This giant nest for humans lets you curl up and get away from it all

June 21, 2017 by  
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Lounging around in a giant nest might sound like something out of a fairy tale, but thanks to this eclectic design by Italian artist  Gianni Ruffi , it can be reality. Italy-based  Gufram  just released this surreal, human-size nest called  La Cova . Complete with two “egg” pillows, it isn’t just a piece of furniture, but a piece of art that lets you get away from it all. La Cova comes with two eggs, like any good nest should, that act as pillows. The nest is made of polyurethane foam and finished with 100% cotton. It measures 2 meters in diameter and weighs about 80 kg (176 lb). The original piece was created back in 1972 by Gianni Ruffi , who was part of the Radical Design movement in Italy. It was auctioned for the record price of 100,000 Euros. The iconic La Cova design has been re-invented with newer materials that combine craftsmanship know-how and newer industrial processes. The construction has also been updated with stretchable and extremely durable materials, the density of which provide excellent mechanical properties – especially in terms of elastic resilience. Related: Porky Hefer’s Cozy Human Nests Hang From the Treetops! Each version of the organic love nests are unique, thanks to the creation process – each one finished with thousands of pieces of cloth, all sewn by hand. La Cova appeared at the  La Triennale di Milano for  Milan Design Week 2017 . + Gufram Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat and Gufram

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This giant nest for humans lets you curl up and get away from it all

EPA to eliminate 1,228 employees by August – including dozens of scientists

June 21, 2017 by  
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Although 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is a real threat, the Trump administration maintains that global warming is a “hoax” – and it’s gutting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) . Under administrator Scott Pruitt the EPA has scrubbed climate science from its website, and now it’s eliminating thousands of employees — including dozens of scientists — by failing to renew their contracts in August. The Washington Post reports that members of the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) were alerted via email that their terms will not be renewed in August. While they do have the opportunity to re-apply by September, the news came as a shock to many – on average, scientists serve three terms and are re-elected to a fourth if they are willing to serve. Peter Meyer, an economist with the E.P. Systems Group, resigned from the board’s sustainable and healthy communities subcommittee as a form of protest. Meyer said: “We were told quite explicitly by the leadership of the sustainable and healthy communities group … that our assignment was a four-to-five-year assignment. That was what we were told at our first meeting. That produces an assumption that you’re going to get reappointed so that you can complete the job.” Deborah Swackhamer, chair of the board’s executive committee and professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota, added, “It effectively wipes out the BOSC and leaves it free for a complete reappointment.” Related: EPA dismisses 5 members of major scientific review board Because this is the second time this year the agency failed to renew scientists’ terms, some claim the Trump administration is politicizing the agency, which exists to benefit wildlife and preserve the environment. In response, EPA officials stated that the cuts provide a new opportunity to reach out to a broad array of applicants and draw on their expertise. “ EPA is grateful for the service of all BOSC members, past and present, and has encouraged those with expiring terms to reapply,” said agency spokeswoman Amy Graham. “We are taking an inclusive approach to filling future BOSC appointments and welcome all applicants from all relevant scientific and technical fields.” The BOSC advises the agency’s Office of Research and Development on whether its research can adequately address important scientific questions. Due to cuts, only five scientists remain on the executive committee. The ultimate fear is that the EPA could eliminate members that hold different opinions than the Trump administration , and fill those positions with people who are more favorable to the communities being regulated by the agency. Reportedly, the agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) will also be changed in the near future. “This gives me a great deal of concern about the erosion of science in this administration,” said Robert Richardson, an ecological economist and associate professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Community Sustainability . “It’s hard to understand the rationale behind a decision like this. I understand they might simply want to repopulate [the board] with people of their own choosing. However, this could also be a way of just weakening advisory boards, of diminishing their role by not replacing members.” Via Washington Post Images via EPA , PBS

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EPA to eliminate 1,228 employees by August – including dozens of scientists

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