Queen of England bans plastic bottles and straws at royal estates

February 12, 2018 by  
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Plastic doesn’t seem to have the royal stamp of approval any more. Queen Elizabeth II recently banned plastic straws and bottles on royal estates with the goal of reducing plastic use. The Independent and The Telegraph quoted a Buckingham Palace spokesperson as saying “there’s a strong desire to tackle this issue” of plastic among the royal household. Some people think the Queen has taken an interest in the plastic problem after working on a conservation documentary with broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough , who recently discussed the particular dilemma of ocean plastic in Blue Planet II – a heartrending clip from the show revealed a mother pilot whale who carried around her dead baby likely poisoned by plastic. Friends of the Earth campaigner Julian Kirby told The Telegraph, “Blue Planet’s reach now extends to the Royal households and shows how much momentum is building behind the war on plastic pollution .” The Queen is tackling plastic use in multiple ways. Buckingham Palace spoke of new waste plans, including measures to phase out straws in public cafes and ban them completely in staff dining rooms. Takeaway food products from Royal Collection cafes will now have to have biodegradable or compostable packaging. Internal caterers at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will only be able to utilize china glasses and plates, as well as recyclable paper cups, per The Telegraph. Related: Over 200 nations commit to ending ocean plastic waste The Telegraph reported Buckingham Palace is going through a 10-year, £369 million – or around $510 million – refurbishment with a goal of improving energy efficiency in the royal residence. Electrical cabling and heating systems that haven’t been updated since just after World War II will be replaced. Solar panels will line the roof and an anaerobic digestion unit will create biogas from waste. Buckingham Palace has a web page devoted to the environment , which says the royal household “is working hard across operations in the Royal Palaces and Estates to reduce its impact on the environment, using everything from energy efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lighting to hydro-electricity generating plants to ensure efficient running of its sites.” Via The Independent and The Telegraph Images via Depositphotos and PublicDomainPictures.net

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Queen of England bans plastic bottles and straws at royal estates

The North Face unveils a geodesic tent that can withstand 60 mph winds

February 12, 2018 by  
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Known for its high-quality outdoor gear, The North Face just unveiled a dream tent designed to meet the needs of even the most intrepid camper. The Geodome 4 is a unique geodesic dome tent that’s built to withstand the harshest elements – including 60 mph gusts of wind. The North Face has a reputation for producing amazingly sturdy camping gear and clothing. This time, however, the company has created a masterpiece when it comes to tougher-than-nails tent design . The lightweight structure is just over 11 kilograms, making it easy to carry and store. For set up, it comes with just five main poles and one equator, allowing for fast and easy assembly. The interior also comes with handy internal hangars for gear storage. Related: Stay in a cozy geodesic dome at this amazing Patagonia retreat The strategic geodesic form creates enough interior room (230 x 218 cm) for four people to sleep comfortably, and with a height of of just over 6 feet, there’s enough space to stand up. The dome shape not only provides ample room, however, as the ultra-efficient shape helps the tent withstand nature’s harshest weather. The dome form helps it stand up against strong winds and the dual-layer water-resistant exterior helps to keep the tent dry in bad weather. Unfortunately, the North Face Geodome 4 Tent is only available on the Japanese market at the moment, but with some luck, will be coming to a store near you some time soon. + The North Face Via Hi Consumption

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The North Face unveils a geodesic tent that can withstand 60 mph winds

Scientists build an alien ocean to test NASA submarine

February 12, 2018 by  
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Researchers at Washington State University have constructed a replica of Titan’s oceans to test a NASA submarine for an eventual mission to Saturn’s largest moon. The scientists replicated ocean conditions, including temperatures of -300 degree Fahrenheit and a liquid content of methane and ethane rather than water. They were even able to reproduce the atmospheric cycle predicted to exist on the planet, which features ethane-methane snow and rain. This feature draws heightened interest from scientists, who note Titan’s similarities to Earth in the moon’s lakes, rivers, and clouds. The research team constructed a chamber capable of holding the methane-ethane liquid mixture at very cold temperatures. To test the impact that such an environment would have on a NASA submarine , the team added a two-inch cylindrical cartridge heater that produces approximately the equivalent heat to a submarine. When a machine powered by heat is placed in these conditions, nitrogen bubbles begin to form. The researchers were particularly interested in how these nitrogen bubbles could affect the submarine’s functionality. Related: NASA communicates with spacecraft 13 billion miles from Earth The team found it difficult to document their experiment due to challenging video conditions. They created a device that, under 60 pounds per square inch of pressure, incorporated a boroscope and camera to record images of the hostile sea. “Those aren’t the friendliest conditions,” said research leader Ian Richardson . “You have to come up with creative solutions.” The team managed to capture footage of methane-ethane rain and snow within the chamber. The researchers also discovered that methane and ethane freeze at lower temperatures under Titan’s conditions than expected. “That’s a big deal,’’ said Richardson. “That means you don’t have to worry about icebergs .” Via Washington State University Images via NASA   (1)  and Washington State University

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Scientists build an alien ocean to test NASA submarine

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