Morgan Freeman converts his Mississippi ranch into a giant sanctuary for wild bees

September 29, 2016 by  
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Morgan Freeman has played so many roles during his long Hollywood career it’s difficult to keep track, but his newest role may prove to be his most important. The actor has turned his 124-acre Mississippi ranch into a sanctuary for wild bees , in an effort to help support population growth for the little pollinators. Freeman started beekeeping in 2014 with 26 hives of buzzing babies, and he explained that tons of bee-friendly plants have been planted on his property. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSBxGrIF89s Back in 2014, Freeman talked to Jimmy Fallon about his new hobby during an appearance on “The Tonight Show.” Having taken up beekeeping just two weeks prior to the interview, the actor described how well he and his bees get along. The actor told Fallon that he doesn’t even need to wear a protective beekeeper’s suit or veil when tending to his precious pollinators, suggesting that he has reached a level of skill and ease akin to his on-screen performances. Related: Pesticide industry spending ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to slow U.S. bee protection Freeman didn’t start keeping bees because of a sweet tooth , but rather as a direct response to the mass bee die-offs that have been threatening the survival of wild bees for the past several years. The actor recognized the opportunity to make a difference through personal action, so he imported 26 hives full of bees from Arkansas and started feeding them sugar water. Freeman said he doesn’t wear the beekeeper’s hat and veil because the bees do not sting him, joking that the protective gear is “for people who can’t resonate” with the bees. When Fallon suggested Freeman had become “at one with the bees,” the actor couldn’t help but agree. It’s difficult to measure what kind of an impact Freeman’s efforts may have on the larger bee populations in North America, but his hobby is an inspiring gesture of goodwill toward those tiny living creatures that are often taken for granted. Via EcoSnippets Images via NBC via screenshot and Max Westby/Flickr

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Morgan Freeman converts his Mississippi ranch into a giant sanctuary for wild bees

Apple confirms massive six-floor campus in London’s former Battersea Power Station

September 29, 2016 by  
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Battersea Power Station Company has confirmed their ” largest office tenant ” in London will be none other than tech company Apple . The electronics giant will sprawl across six floors and 500,000 square feet inside the “central Boiler House” of the former power station. Apple has said they plan to occupy the space in 2021; many believe their presence will help the development company work towards its goal of revitalizing the historic space. Apple will take up 40 percent of Battersea Power Station ‘s entire office space, and 1,400 employees from various London offices will relocate to the large campus. The transaction is widely thought to be the ” largest office letting ” in 20 years in London’s West End, and negotiations took place for around one year. Related: The Skyline hotel at the Battersea Power Station will feature a stunning rooftop infinity pool Battersea Power Station Development Company CEO Rob Tincknell said in a statement, “It has always been our clear objective to create one of London’s most thriving new communities and this commitment from Apple will undoubtedly help us achieve our goal.” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “delighted” that Apple would be moving into the landmark power station that once burned coal and has been vacant since its decommissioning in 1983. Architecture firm WilkinsonEyre is refurbishing the iconic space. Apple’s campus in the Battersea Power Station will be one of the largest outside America. Apple’s main European campus will still be in Cork, Ireland, where around 4,000 people work. According to Battersea Power Station’s statement, Apple said the move would be a “great opportunity” for their entire team to gather from different London offices and be able to work together in one place “while supporting the renovation of a neighborhood rich with history.” + Battersea Power Station + WilkinsonEyre Via The Spaces Images via Battersea Power Station Facebook and Battersea Power Station Company

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Self-driving car lane envisioned for commute between Vancouver and Seattle

September 29, 2016 by  
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Self-driving cars could revolutionize the way we commute, but city planners and governments will first need to consider how roads need to be altered to accommodate them . Seattle-based venture capital organization Madrona Venture Group created a report on incorporating driverless cars into the I-5 interstate between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. Their report includes details for a lane entirely dedicated to self-driving cars. As companies from Uber to Ford to Google work away on self-driving cars, Madrona Venture Group says driverless cars could be “feasible and safe within the next five to ten years.” They recommend starting the transition to accommodate these vehicles by allowing them to utilize the HOV, or carpool, lane. As more self-driving cars enter roadways, the carpool lane could be dedicated solely to autonomous vehicles. Related: Will driverless cars fuel suburban sprawl? Madrona Venture Group went one step further, writing as self-driving cars mostly replace the cars of today, manually operated cars could even be barred from I-5 except at certain hours when less vehicles are on the road. The entire process could take place over “ten to fifteen years.” It takes about two and a half hours to drive from Seattle to Vancouver. Madrona Venture Group envisions a future, along with other driverless car innovators, where that time is spent relaxing or working instead of driving. “Imagine being able to watch a video or sporting event, prepare for a business meeting, work on your novel, or plan a game with your children. It is difficult to place a dollar value on this but one source has estimated this at more than $1 trillion a year in the U.S.,” they said in their report. They add self-driving cars could reduce traffic, save lives, and cause less accidents. As some cities consider high speed trains , Madrona Venture Group notes self-driving cars could be a cheaper option for improved transportation that could benefit commuters sooner than a high speed train. The organization said their plan will probably be controversial at first, but as people realize the benefits of the new technology, more will embrace self-driving cars. Via Mental Floss and Madrona Venture Group Images via Wikimedia Commons and Madrona Venture Group

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Self-driving car lane envisioned for commute between Vancouver and Seattle

15 brilliant green lamps for a brighter future

September 29, 2016 by  
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Origami Lampshade by Foldability We’ve covered Foldability ‘s gorgeous origami lanterns since 2013, so we were thrilled to see designer Kyla McCallum unveil several brand new lamps at the London Design Festival . Her Toby pendant is made from 30 sheets of hand-folded Italian parchment paper, while the Audrey lamp is made from 115 squares of parchment. Fire Ring OLED Chandelier by Blackbody Blackbody ‘s spectacular Fire Ring chandelier is made from hundreds of low-energy OLED lamps. Although Fire Ring is a custom installation, the lighting company has opened a showroom in New York City and it’s prepared to launch its beautiful lights in stores and online. Voronoi LED Bulb by Tala LED Edison bulbs are sweeping the market for good reason – they cast the same lovely glow as their energy-sucking incandescent counterparts, and they last up to 15 times longer. Tala ‘s beautiful Voronoi bulbs are sculpted to resemble the patterns formed by forest canopies, and the company plants 10 trees for every 200 bulbs it sells. Tube Lamp Clock by Lambert Kamps Ok, this is the most elaborate #clock we've ever seen. Lambert Kamps' gigantic art installation displays the time with moving #pneumatic tubes. @designersblock #design #art #time #lighting #lamp #ldf #ldf2016 #londondesignfestival A video posted by Inhabitat (@inhabitatdesign) on Sep 22, 2016 at 11:10am PDT Sun Memories Lamp by Olive Lab What if you could capture the light from a spectacular sunset and replay it at home? That’s the idea behind Olive Lab’s Sun Memories Lamp , which allows you to record lighting conditions throughout the day with a portable sensor. When you get home, synch the sensor to the clock and it will replay the color and intensity of light that you captured. Vita On Tour Mobile Showroom Vita is taking its lighting collection on the road – by creating a living room on wheels! The Vita On Tour project transformed an everyday truck into a glazed greenhouse decked out with lamps and modern decor. Pure Mold LED Lamp by BMIX Studio These lovely little desk lamps pair an energy-efficient LED bulb with a sculptural base made from asbestos-free certified cement. Each light is 100% handmade by Korea-based BMIX Studio . The Ribbon OLED Lamp by Min Sang Cho London-based lighting artist Min Sang Cho explores the potential of flexible OLEDs with his mind-bending Ribbon lamp. The hand-crafted light is made from 3D-printed materials, and it’s set in a stunning mirrored enclosure that multiplies its twisting form. Hibiscus Globe by Lamp Kate Colin Glasgow-based Kate Colin was inspired by her mathematician father’s handmade polyhedra models, and she developed an innovative technique for creating hand-scored, folded paper lanterns. Her Hibiscus Globe light is made from FSC-certified, acid-free paper, and it’s available in a range of colors. YB13.5 Lamp by Yellow Broom Yellow Broom strives to use locally-sourced, traceable timber to create zero-waste products. We love the graceful curves of their YB13.5 Lamp , which projects a luminous halo when it’s switched on. Desert Storm Lamp by Nir Meiri Nir Meiri uses natural materials to create exceptional lights and furnishings. His Desert Storm Lamps are made almost entirely from molded sand, and they’re fitted with LED bulbs that cast a warm glow. Paper Origami Lamp by Zhang Qian Paper Origami Lamp by Zhang Qian We've never seen a lamp move like this before. Zhang Qian's beautiful paper lanterns expand and contract while glowing brighter and softer, creating the impression that they're living, breathing things. A video posted by Inhabitat (@inhabitatdesign) on Sep 21, 2016 at 5:56am PDT Moka Lamp by Beau Birkett Beau Birkett ‘s Moka Lamp is a bright idea with a shot of caffeine. The clever task light is made from a coffee pot and a vegetable rack found at a secondhand charity shop. Carbon Fiber Lamp by Hypetex Several years ago Hypetex unveiled the world’s first colored carbon fiber chair – and the brand just debuted a sculptural new light made from the same revolutionary material. Manta lamps by Ross Lovegrove Ross Lovegrove’s Manta lamps look like graceful sea creatures flying overhead. The lamps are lit entirely with low-energy LEDs, and they bathe their surroundings in soft, diffused light. + London Design Festival Coverage Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat

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15 brilliant green lamps for a brighter future

This could be the United States’ first endangered bee species

September 28, 2016 by  
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The world’s bees are dying – and one particular species may soon become the United State’s first endangered bee. The rusty patched bumble bee has suffered a staggering 90 percent decline in population over the last 20 years. If a new proposal is accepted, it will become the first bee species to receive federal protections in the US under the Endangered Species Act. The rusty patched bumble bee has historically lived in the midwestern and northeastern United States, but their population has plummeted over the years due to pesticides, climate change , and habitat loss. This has led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to propose adding them to the Endangered Species Act . Related: South Carolina kills millions of bees while spraying for Zika mosquitoes These bees are not the only species that has suffered a severe drop in numbers. Estimates by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature reveal that over one-fourth of the 47 varieties of bumble bees native to the US and Canada will soon be facing potential extinction . Seven bee species in Hawaii were proposed for protection last year. Since bees play a vital part in crop pollination, their plight is something we should take very seriously . Via U.S. Uncut Images via Wikipedia , Flickr

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This could be the United States’ first endangered bee species

Student discovers a way to destroy superbug bacteria without antibiotics

September 28, 2016 by  
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A 25-year-old student has discovered a way to destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria without pummeling them with more antibiotics . Shu Lam successfully destroyed superbugs in lab tests using a star-shaped polymer that literally rips the cells to shreds. This breakthrough could signal a complete overhaul in how the medical community approaches these deadly bacteria . Currently, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ( MRSA ), kill 700,000 people per year. Scientists are worried that number could skyrocket to 10 million by the year 2050 , so they’re searching for ways to successful intervene before more damage is done. University of Melbourne student Shu Lam believes she may have found a solution. Related: ‘Nightmare’ bacteria found in the U.S. resists all known antibiotics Her study , published in Nature Microbiology , details the mechanism of SNAPPs, or structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers . SNAPPs work by directly targeting, attacking, and destabilizing the cell membranes of superbugs. They are large enough that they do not affect healthy cells, which are affected by conventional approaches that “poison” the bacteria. So far, Lam has successfully tested SNAPPs on six different strains of superbugs in a laboratory setting, and one in live mice. In each experiment, the nasty bacteria were all killed and did not develop resistance to the polymers in future generations. The development is still in its early phases, yet Lam and her team believe they are onto something big. Via Science Alert Images via Wikipedia , Flickr

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Student discovers a way to destroy superbug bacteria without antibiotics

New U.S. map shows bees dying off in agricultural areas that need them most

December 29, 2015 by  
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The plight of wild honey bees is a topic we have covered time and again, as the little winged agricultural assistants continue to disappear. Some 30 percent of bee populations are dying off each year, largely as the result of neonicotinoid insecticides used on crops. University of Vermont researchers have used data modeling to track the populations of wild bees in the United States for the first time ever, and their work has resulted in a map illustrating which counties will suffer most from declining bee numbers . The map shows the areas which need the highest levels of fertilization are also the regions where bee populations are at record lows. Effectively, this means the bees are disappearing where their pollination services are needed the most, marking a new and disturbing trend that could endanger food supplies. Read the rest of New U.S. map shows bees dying off in agricultural areas that need them most

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Project B connects urban beekeeping with the needs of restaurants

May 22, 2015 by  
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Fundamental to the biodiversity cycle, and essential to our food chain, bee populations in industrial countries are decreasing at an alarming rate due to changes dictated by the industrialization of nature’s environment. As a result of this phenomenon, urban beekeeping has recently gained popularity as the practice becomes more of an interest for citizens of major urban cities. Project B aligns within this global effort of bee preservation by offering a beekeeping service adapted to the needs of restaurants with the objective to develop this millenary art. At the heart of this offer is an innovative beehive optimized to the well-being of the colony that also promotes introductory methods to beekeeping. Read the rest of Project B connects urban beekeeping with the needs of restaurants Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: backyard bees , bee keepers , bee populations , beekeeping , honey , honey bees , Project B , Project B beehive , reader submission , saving the bees , urban beekeeping , urban bees

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Project B connects urban beekeeping with the needs of restaurants

Don’t Forget to Thank the Pollinators That Made Your Thanksgiving Feast Possible

November 27, 2013 by  
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While you are sitting around the Thanksgiving table surrounded by pumpkin pie , cranberry sauce and heaps of vegetables, sharing the things that you are thankful for, don’t forget to thank the insects and animals that made it all possible. We tend to forget how vital bees and other pollinators are to our food system, but without them, there would be no pie, no vegetables, no fruit and no stuffing. This year, the US Fish and Wildlife (FSW) Service is reminding us all to protect the birds, bees, bats and butterflies that make our meals possible with a animation that reveals how empty Thanksgiving dining would be without pollinators. About 75 percent of the food the world eats relies on pollinators, but these hard working bugs and animals are dying because of habitat loss, pesticide use and disease. To help combat this , FWS is collaborating with S.H.A.R.E. (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment), a program that protects dedicated areas for pollinators to thrive in – so that we can all enjoy many feasts to come. + US Fish and Wildlife Service + S.H.A.R.E. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bat preservation , bee loss , bee populations , bee preservation , bird preservation , butterfly preservation , colony collapse , environment preservation , food cycle , food supply , open spaces , pollinator preservation , S.H.A.R.E. , SHARE , simply have areas reserved for the environment , Thanksgiving dinner , Thanksgiving meal , United States Fish and Wildlife Service , usfws        

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Don’t Forget to Thank the Pollinators That Made Your Thanksgiving Feast Possible

Can urban bees provide insight into colony collapse disorder?

August 26, 2013 by  
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Colony Collapse Disorder puzzles honeybee researchers, but bees living in cities may offer clues to this set of symptoms killing bee populations.

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Can urban bees provide insight into colony collapse disorder?

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