Strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years made landfall this morning

September 20, 2017 by  
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Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico earlier today as a Category 4 storm . While it had weakened from a Category 5, officials still warned the hurricane is dangerous – forecasters said there could be life-threatening winds blowing for 12 to 24 hours. Governor Ricardo Rossello told the Associated Press, “We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history.” Maria hit the southeast coast of Puerto Rico this morning with 155 miles per hour (mph) winds, and could destroy power infrastructure and homes, compelling the government to rebuild dozens of communities, according to the Associated Press. Rossello said, as of Tuesday night over 4,400 people and 105 pets were in shelters. That number increased to 11,229 people and 580 pets by 5AM, according to a tweet from the governor. Related: Category 5 Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever When the hurricane is measured by wind speed, Maria ties for the eighth strongest storm in the history of the Atlantic . Hurricanes tend to move north or south of Puerto Rico, so the island often avoids a direct hit. 1932 was the last time a Category 4 hurricane made landfall there, and in 1928, the island experienced the strongest storm to hit it: San Felipe, with 160 mph winds. The Washington Post said Maria had already blown over islands to the east with over 160 mph winds – on the island Guadeloupe, officials attributed the deaths of two people to the hurricane. At least two people were reported missing near the island of Desirade. As of Wednesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane warning was in effect “for the Virgin Islands, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas, where Maria is expected to bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall .” Via the Boston Globe and The Washington Post Images via NASA/NOAA GOES Project and National Hurricane Center

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Strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years made landfall this morning

Fukushima robot finds lava-like deposits thought to be melted nuclear fuel

July 24, 2017 by  
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Six years after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, there’s still a lot of cleanup to be done. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) deployed an underwater robot to assess damage inside the Unit 3 reactor in Japan last week, and the robot obtained images of debris that might be melted nuclear fuel. In some areas, the debris was around three-feet-thick. The robot captured eerie footage of the damaged reactor at Fukushima, spotting what could be melted fuel. It found what the Associated Press described as solidified lava -like lumps and rocks inside the pedestal that rests beneath the core in the Primary Containment Vessel. In some places the fuel was mixed with broken reactor pieces, hinting at a difficult cleanup to come. The multiple-day exploration started last Wednesday and finished over the weekend. Related: Fukushima radiation levels at highest since 2011 disaster TEPCO spokesperson Takahiro Kimoto told the Associated Press they now have to analyze the debris seen in the robot-captured images before they can figure out how to remove it. According to The Guardian, the reactor can’t be decommissioned until all the nuclear fuel has been found and removed – a process that could still span decades. It hasn’t been easy to search for melted fuel at Fukushima due to high radiation levels and damage. TEPCO said the expedition would help them gain a clearer picture of conditions at the damaged reactors that will aid them in cleanup efforts. The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning developed the robot, which was inserted into the Primary Containment Vessel through what TEPCO described as a pipe designed to guard against radioactive gas escaping. Thrusters on the robot enabled it to move around through the cooling water that’s accumulated inside the structure since 2011. The robot also had front and rear cameras. Via The Guardian and TEPCO Images via International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning/TEPCO

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Fukushima robot finds lava-like deposits thought to be melted nuclear fuel

Experts to Rio Olympic athletes: Don’t put your head underwater

August 2, 2016 by  
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This Friday marks the opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro , but what the athletes and onlookers may not know is just how dangerous and filthy the city’s surrounding water has become. A 16-month study by the Associated Press found water samples so badly contaminated that biomedical experts are advising Olympians: “don’t put your head underwater.” Ingesting just three teaspoons of the water could make someone violently ill and, in rare cases, lead to heart and brain inflammation. Raw sewage can be seen floating on Rio’s waters – and it’s absolutely teeming with bacteria and viruses that put the public at risk. The AP took adenovirus readings at the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, where rowing events will take place. While adenovirus numbers in the thousands per liter would send a state like California into damage control mode, the Lagoon’s 248 million viruses per liter is making scientists’ heads spin. Even more shocking is the 1.7 billion viruses per liter that were collected in June of last year. Attempts to prevent raw sewage from reaching Gloria Marina were futile, as the numbers grew from 26 million per liter to 37 million in a little over a year. The situation is so bad that even the sand on beaches is contaminated. Related: Anti-microbial suits will protect athletes from bacteria at the Rio Olympics Some Olympic athletes have started taking antibiotics in preparation for the games, but this won’t protect them from viruses. Also, tourists who aren’t used to such high levels of pollution are at high risk from spending even one afternoon at the beach. The local Olympics organizing committee spokesperson says athlete health is their “ first priority ,” yet the last year has shown the city has not done enough to make its beaches and waterways safe. Mario Moscatelli, a biologist who has flown a helicopter over the area monthly for 20 years stated, “The Guanabara Bay has been transformed into a latrine.” Via Yahoo! Sports Images via Wikimedia 1, 2 , Wikipedia

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Experts to Rio Olympic athletes: Don’t put your head underwater

Tesla is building an electric minibus based on the Model X

August 2, 2016 by  
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Elon Musk has been a busy man lately as he works to transition the world to renewable energy and sustainable transportation with the goal of decarbonizing the global economy to meet the challenge of climate change . To meet that goal, Tesla will need to address “high passenger-density urban transport” – and Musk just confirmed plans to create a fully autonomous electric Minibus using the Model X chassis. In a blog post on July 20, Musk wrote about his vision for a self-driving electric minibus: “With the advent of autonomy, it will probably make sense to shrink the size of buses and transition the role of bus driver to that of fleet manager. Traffic congestion would improve due to increased passenger areal density by eliminating the center aisle and putting seats where there are currently entryways, and matching acceleration and braking to other vehicles, thus avoiding the inertial impedance to smooth traffic flow of traditional heavy buses. It would also take people all the way to their destination. Fixed summon buttons at existing bus stops would serve those who don’t have a phone. Design accommodates wheelchairs, strollers and bikes.” Related: Tesla and SolarCity just agreed on a $2.6 billion merger Musk’s recent announcement responds to a rendering of what the minibus could look like by automobile news site Jalopnik . The Model X is a full-size crossover SUV with falcon wing doors for access to the second and third row seats. The vehicle includes a 90 kWh battery providing 257 miles of range. According to Musk, the Model X will be the safest SUV on the market based on Tesla’s own internal crash testing. The company is confident that when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts crash testing that Model X will receive the highest safety rating in every category. In “Master Plan, Part Deux,” Musk said that the electric Tesla Minibus and also the electric Tesla Semi heavy-duty truck are in the early development stages and will likely be unveiled in 2017. Musk also described plans for an electric compact SUV and an electric pickup truck . + Tesla Via Jalopnik and AutoBlog Images via Jalopnik and Tesla

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Tesla is building an electric minibus based on the Model X

Scientists Identify Virus that is Wiping Out Thousands of Starfish on the Pacific Coast

November 21, 2014 by  
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A horrifying disease is making thousands of Starfish in the pacific ocean rip themselves apart , and the cause has left scientists baffled – until now. A team of researchers was recently able to isolate the virus, and they are calling it Sea Star Associated Densovirus (SSaDV). The pathogen was identified after eliminating bacteria, protozoans and fungi as possible culprits. Read the rest of Scientists Identify Virus that is Wiping Out Thousands of Starfish on the Pacific Coast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Sea Star Associated Densovirus , sea star dying , sea star populations , Sea Star Virus , sea star wasting disease , sea stars dying , SSaDV , starfish dying , starfish populations , starfish virus , starfish wasting disease

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Scientists Identify Virus that is Wiping Out Thousands of Starfish on the Pacific Coast

Stimulus Money to Help Renewable Energy

August 28, 2010 by  
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If the world does indeed go on past 2012, the U.S. should see major stimulus money improve renewable energy efforts.  Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday , “Government stimulus spending has put the country on track to double renewable energy production capacity by 2012 and halve solar power costs by 2015.” “The report outlined a goal of doubling renewable energy capacity from the 28.8 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal sources installed as of the end of 2008 to 57.6 GW by the end of 2011, which would be enough to power 16.7 million homes, or 55 million electric cars, for a year,” reports Reuters

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Stimulus Money to Help Renewable Energy

650 Dogs Killed In Baghdad Every Day

July 13, 2010 by  
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U.S. Air Force photo by Tech

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650 Dogs Killed In Baghdad Every Day

From a Vat of Green Tea, Grows Gross (but Cool) Green Fashion called BioCouture (Photos)

July 13, 2010 by  
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Bio Bomber Jacket, grown from a vat of green tea.

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From a Vat of Green Tea, Grows Gross (but Cool) Green Fashion called BioCouture (Photos)

Eco Tech: Solar-powered GREENS provides renewable energy to marines on battlefield

December 12, 2009 by  
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Eco Factor: Portable solar generator provides 300W of continuous power. The Office of Naval Research has developed the GREENS or the Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System, which allows the marines to generate 300W of continuous power using sunshine.

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Eco Tech: Solar-powered GREENS provides renewable energy to marines on battlefield

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