Massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of a Brazilian farming town

November 22, 2017 by  
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Watch your step! An enormous sinkhole has opened up in the tiny municipality of Coromandel, in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. As Forbes  reports, the 65-foot hole appeared overnight in the thick of a local soybean farm swallowing up earth, crops, and putting some 28,000 residents on alert. While some in the area had suspected a meteor was to blame for the cavernous hollow, geologists from the Federal University of Uberlândia have confirmed the sinkhole was in fact caused by the disintegration of the town’s underlying limestone bedrock. In addition to farming soy, coffee, and corn, the region is active in mining pure calcareous limestone, a sedimentary rock that spans much of the area. The town of Coromandel, in fact, sits atop a large stretch of limestone. While the sinkhole is the first to be recorded in the area’s modern history, geologist Trevor Nace is quick to point out that its occurrence is far from abnormal and should not be considered unexpected given the region’s limestone bedrock. Related: Japanese fix massive city sinkhole within 48 hours Nace says rain is slightly acidic. “As it percolates into the ground it can, over time, dissolve calcium carbonate into calcium, carbon dioxide, and water.” He adds, “As the limestone (calcium carbonate) dissolves it leaves voids underneath the ground and eventually the overlying weight of the sediment causes the area to collapse. This collapsed feature is a sinkhole.” Nace also cites “ Poço Verde/Green Well ,” a local tourist destination that professors surmise was once a sinkhole that over time evolved into a lake. Via Forbes Images via Coromandel’s press release and Google Earth

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Massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of a Brazilian farming town

3D-printed pod homes for the homeless could cling to NYC buildings

November 22, 2017 by  
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Creative agency Framlab has proposed a type of parasitic architecture for housing New York City’s growing homeless population. Called Homed , the temporary housing solution comprises partly 3D-printed hexagonal pods that use scaffolding to attach to the sides of unused, windowless building facades. The modular units could be easily customized for different uses and transported from site to site. In an estimate by the Coalition for the Homeless , over 61,000 people are sleeping in New York City’s homeless shelters every night, a growing number that Framlab pins in part to the loss of single-room occupancy (SRO) units. In the face of rising real estate costs, Framlab’s Homed proposal to bring back SROs banks on the city’s abundance of “vertical land,” the blank sidewalls of buildings that appear as developments come and go. Using scaffolding to anchor the homes on the sidewalls, Homed’s hexagon-shaped housing modules could form temporary micro-neighborhoods and a type of private and attractive housing that most shelters are unable to provide. Following Homed’s tagline “Creating a Shelter with Dignity,” the tiny pods aim to create “a warm and friendly environment” in a year-round home. Each aluminum-framed pod features interior modules 3D printed from recyclable bioplastics and clad with wood laminate. PMMA smart glass lets in ample natural light, while the layer of thin film diodes provide privacy and can be used to depict artwork or commercial content on the outside. The flexibility of the modules allows a wide array of uses that include sleeping, showering, and socializing. Related: Parasitic pod homes attach to buildings to provide additional housing Framlab notes that Homed isn’t a “single solution to the situation. Rather, it is intended to be an instrument that plays a part in the solution. The massive extent and complexity of the situation requires work on a broad regulatory and policy-making level. But, it is critical that the design community is part of the process.” + Homed Via Dezeen

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3D-printed pod homes for the homeless could cling to NYC buildings

Foster + Partners Apple Park Visitor Center opens to the public

November 22, 2017 by  
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Apple fans and architecture buffs can now sneak a peek at Apple’s massive spaceship campus at the new Apple Park Visitor Center, opened Friday. As with all the campus buildings and the new Apple stores, Foster + Partners led the design effort at the new Visitor Center, wrapped in a transparent envelope below an incredibly thin floating carbon-fiber roof. The combination of glass and carbon fiber is becoming a hallmark of Apple architecture and stores, including the campus’ Steve Jobs Theater that boasts the world’s largest carbon-fiber roof. Set within an olive grove and positioned for sweeping views of Apple Park, the 20,135-square-foot Visitor Center comprises an Apple Store, cafe, Apple Park exhibition area, and a roof terrace . A model of Apple Park that illustrates the massive scale of the 175-acre campus , as well as the undulating artificial landscape, first greets visitors. The full-height glazing and floating roof makes the building appear weightless and blurs the line between indoors and out. Related: Apple’s stunning “spaceship” campus revealed in new drone footage The furnishings and materials mimic those at Apple Park to give visitors a taste of the main building. The Visitor Center’s small cafe echoes the campus’ restaurant in the timber furnishings and marble countertops. The staircases are also clad in the same quartz stone used in the main building. “The idea was to create a delicate pavilion where visitors can enjoy the same material palette and meticulous detailing seen in the Ring Building in a relaxed setting, against the backdrop of Apple Park,” said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners. + Foster + Partners Images via Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

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New Zealand Considers Proposal to Turn National Parks into Mordor

March 23, 2010 by  
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Will New Zealand allow the Coromandel Peninsula (left) to go the way of Isengard? Image credit: Sandy Austin /Flickr and New Line Cinema In a move that could have been cribbed from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series , the New Zealand government has introduced a proposal that would open 27 square miles of currently-protected conservation land to mining .

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Ford Saves $1.2 Million and Reduces CO2 Emissions by Around 20,000 Tons by Turning Computers Off

March 23, 2010 by  
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Ford’s HQ in Dearborn, Michigan. Photo: Wikipedia , CC “In the U.S.

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Ford Saves $1.2 Million and Reduces CO2 Emissions by Around 20,000 Tons by Turning Computers Off

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