Four dolphins escape from Taiji center after nets were slashed

January 6, 2017 by  
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Four dolphins escaped from a recreational center in Taiji , Japan, the town that’s home to the yearly horrifying dolphin hunts. The pod swam outside their pen at DolphinBase after nets surrounding their seaside enclosure were slashed. Three animals returned to the facility but one is still out in the wild. DolphinBase, a facility that offers tourists the opportunity to swim with dolphins and watch them perform, contained the bottlenose dolphins in a pen divided from the ocean with nets, where they’d been kept and trained for over six months. The dolphins are about three to five years old. Police say they do not yet know who cut the nets, allowing the animals to escape. Related: The first dolphins have been slaughtered in this year’s annual Taiji hunt In a blog post translated by the BBC, DolphinBase said, “We are enraged by this heinous act which can easily lead to the dolphins dying. They think that once out of their pen, dolphins will swim far away but that is not true. Dolphins will not stray far and they will not leave their group.” Three of the dolphins did swim back into the pen; the fourth is “scared” and confused about how to get back inside using the new entrance, according to DolphinBase, although it is close by. When asked by the BBC if the dolphins were bred in captivity or wild, the facility would not respond. Activist organization Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project , which monitors the Taiji cove, said in a statement , “While we are against keeping dolphins in captivity, we do not condone illegal behavior…It is our hope that Taiji will ultimately turn into a tourist destination, where no dolphins are hunted or captured for display.” The controversial Taiji dolphin hunt happens every single year between September and March. Hundreds of dolphins are captured, and then either slaughtered for their meat or sold to aquariums . Via the BBC Images via FollowYour Nose on Flickr and DolphinBase

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Four dolphins escape from Taiji center after nets were slashed

Unique solar-powered home in Scotland functions like a Rubik’s cube

January 6, 2017 by  
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This unusual corner house that architect Richard Murphy designed for himself combines sustainable technology with modernist design. Located at the junction of two Edinburgh estates developed in the 1820’s, the design creatively responds to the area’s planning contradictions with an multi-functional residence with a rich material palette. Ten years after the architect first contacted the owner of this lot in the eastern Edinburgh New Town, he finally received planning permission in 2007, but soon had to halt the development again due to the recession. The laborious process has finally resulted in a spacious, three-bedroom residence Glenn Murcutt called “A Rubik’s cube”, referring to its complexity and mechanical features. The front façade continues the stonework pattern of the street façade, with the entire structure featuring a combination of glass blocks, steel, burnt timber and lead. This introduction of bespoke design solutions and materiality reference Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre in Paris that featured an abundance of custom-made steel elements and moving mechanisms. Related: Architect Miguel Rivera’s Daylit Residence in Austin is a Renovated 1917 Bungalow Photovoltaic cells are installed on the south facing monopitch roof, while two giant mechanized shutters in the living room and the master bedroom allow the glass to generate heat for the house when open, but prevent it radiating heat when closed. Most of the windows have insulated shutters which slide or pivot. An automated internal air circulation system takes warm air from the top of the house to the basement to counteract the stack effect. Rainwater is funneled to grey-water storage tanks in the basement and used to flush toilets and supply the sprinkler system . + Richard Murphy Architects Via World Architecture News

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Unique solar-powered home in Scotland functions like a Rubik’s cube

The new Nissan Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway

January 6, 2017 by  
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With the arrival of electric cars like the Chevy Bolt and the upcoming Tesla Model 3 , the Nissan Leaf hasn’t received the attention that it did when it first went on sale at the end of 2010. Nissan is getting ready to bring the spotlight back on the Leaf with an all-new model set to launch in the “near future.” While we’ve heard reports about a much longer driving range, Nissan’s CEO has also confirmed that the next Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway. Without going into to too much detail, Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn revealed at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show that the next-generation Leaf will feature the automaker’s new ProPILOT technology. Related: Nissan’s next-generation Leaf prototype can drive over 310 miles on a single charge “At Nissan, from the beginning, we work to bring the right technologies for the full spectrum of our vehicles and the most amount of people,” said Ghosn in his keynote. “This takes more than innovation. It takes ingenuity. And it’s exactly what we deliver through Nissan Intelligent Mobility.” Nissan’s autonomous driving technology, called “Seamless Autonomous Mobility,” or SAM has been co-developed with NASA. The technology partners in-vehicle artificial intelligence with human support to help autonomous vehicles make decisions in unpredictable situations. According to Nissan, the technology could potentially enable millions of driverless cars to co-exist with human drivers on an accelerated timeline. Ghosn also confirmed that Nissan is working with Microsoft to build the next generation of connected car technologies. Although Nissan says that the next Leaf will arrive in the near future, we don’t have an actual confirmed date. + Nissan All images @ Nissan

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The new Nissan Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway

"World’s saddest polar bear" offered new home at UK wildlife park

September 20, 2016 by  
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A ” tragic polar bear ” living in a cramped space in China ‘s Grandview Aquarium incited international concern after photos and videos of him searching for a way out surfaced. Pizza the polar bear has been described as the “world’s saddest polar bear” and Animals Asia is gathering signatures to close the Grandview Aquarium. Now Yorkshire Wildlife Park has offered to provide Pizza with a large new home, but it’s unclear whether or not the aquarium will let Pizza go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UhP4bcYcsU The Grandview Aquarium is located in a Guangzhou, China mall. Although an online petition has asked the general public to avoid the aquarium, some have stopped to take selfies. The aquarium also contains a wolf, six belugas, arctic foxes, and five walrus calves in ” horrifying conditions .” Related: Polar bears are getting dosed with Prozac to keep them calm in captivity Pizza has been offered a way out. The Yorkshire Wildlife Park offers polar bears 10 acres in which to play and two lakes. One lake is more than eight meters deep, so polar bears can dive as they do in wild habitats. Pizza would also be able to live with other polar bears instead of in the solitary space in which he is currently trapped. Dave Neale, Director of Animal Welfare for Animals Asia, said the organization has spoken with Grandview Aquarium and they realize they have made mistakes in providing habitats for their animals . Neale said Animals Asia would be ” delighted ” to see Pizza moved to Yorkshire Wildlife Park where he would “enjoy incredible facilities.” Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s offer stands only if Grandview Aquarium will not “replace Pizza with another polar bear or any similar-sized animal.” Over half a million people have signed Animals Asia’s petition to close the Grandview Aquarium. If you want to add your name to the petition, you can do so here . + Animals Asia + Yorkshire Wildlife Park Images via Graham Hogg

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"World’s saddest polar bear" offered new home at UK wildlife park

140-year-old Buenos Aires Zoo is shutting down and sending its animals to sanctuaries

June 27, 2016 by  
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After years of debate, the 140-year-old Buenos Aires Zoo just announced plans to shut down, free all of its animals, and work toward becoming an ecological reserve. Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said that 2,500 animals will be relocated to nature reserves elsewhere in the country, while the zoo grounds are set to become an eco-park. In his announcement about the zoo’s closing, the mayor admitted that the animals were living in inhumane conditions. “This situation of captivity is degrading for the animals,” he said at a ceremony last Thursday. “It’s not the way to take care of them.” Some 2,500 animals will be moved from the zoo to various nature reserves throughout Argentina, where they will live the rest of their natural lives without being caged. Related: A baby dolphin died in Argentina after being manhandled by tourists The exact closure date for the zoo hasn’t been announced, but the zoo’s website has already been taken offline. For years, the zoo had been operating at a loss, and the aging facilities were not being maintained well. The 44-acre property will be reopened later this year as an ecopark, according to city officials, where around 50 animals will remain. Older animals and those with health conditions that require additional care will continue to live on the site, but they will not be on display. In the future, the park will also run a rehabilitation program for animals rescued from illegal trafficking. The new park, according to Rodriquez, will be “a place where children can learn how to take care of and relate with the different species. What we have to value is the animals. The way they live here is definitely not the way to do that.” Embed from Getty Images Perhaps the most famous resident of the Buenos Aires Zoo is Sandra , the orangutan who won rights in a local court as a “non-human person” in late 2015. The ruling set a major precedent for legal rights of animals, although the court has yet to determine what specific actions the city of Buenos Aires must take in order to fulfill its legal responsibilities. Sandra, a hybrid of Borneo and Sumatra orangutans , doesn’t socialize with other orangutans, so she needs extra attention. She will be one of the 50 animals who continues to live and receive care at the zoo site once it becomes a park. She will not, however, be put on display for public entertainment anymore. Via Treehugger Images via Wikipedia

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140-year-old Buenos Aires Zoo is shutting down and sending its animals to sanctuaries

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