132-year-old lobster returned to ocean after living in tank for 20 years

June 22, 2017 by  
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Did you know it’s National Lobster Month? Residents in Hempstead, New York are celebrating the occasion by releasing a captive lobster back into the ocean . Louie the Lobster is 132 years old, but he has spent the last couple of decades living at Peter’s Clam Bar in Long Island . Louie, who could’ve fetched a fair sum at 22 pounds, will get to live out the rest of his life in the wild. Louie lived in a tank at Peter’s Clam Bar for around 20 years. Owner Butch Yamali obtained the lobster when he bought the restaurant four years ago. He says a customer recently tried to purchase Louie for $1,000 for a Father’s Day dinner, but Yamali couldn’t take the money, saying Louie has become like a pet to him. Related: 95-year-old lobster saved from the supermarket gets to live out his days in an aquarium And apparently he’s happy to see Louie find a new home in the sea. Hempstead held a pardoning ceremony for the lobster as he was lowered into his new home in the Atlantic Ocean . In a ceremony for Louie, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino said, “Today I’m announcing an official pardon for Louie the Lobster. Louie may have faced a buttery fate on a seafood lover’s plate, but today we are here to return Louie to a life that is better down where it’s wetter.” While sending animals to the wild from captivity right away isn’t always the best idea, Louie did live in the ocean for over 100 years before he was caught. Lobster Institute executive director Robert Bayer said, “He’ll be just fine. There aren’t many predators who want to eat a big old lobster like that. Hopefully, he finds a mate – and lives happily ever after.” Around a year ago Larry, another incredibly old lobster who’d been living at Peter’s Clam Bar, also found a new home in the ocean. Via TreeHugger and Fox 5 New York Images via Peter’s Clam Bar Facebook

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132-year-old lobster returned to ocean after living in tank for 20 years

Egyptian scientists turn dried shrimp shells into eco-friendly plastic

March 3, 2017 by  
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Plastic is a plague on this planet, but it doesn’t have to be. A group of Egyptian researchers is developing a kind of plastic won’t languish in landfills for hundreds of years – made with dried shrimp shells. Just six months into a two-year project, the team is already seeing some success. Scientists at Nile University clean and chemically treat shrimp shells, then ground them up and dissolve them in a solution that dries to form plastic. The researchers have utilized chitosan , a polymer made from the compound chitin commonly found in crustacean shells, to make their clear, thin plastic prototype. They’re able to obtain the shells inexpensively, sourcing them from local supermarkets, restaurants, and fishermen at low prices. Project researcher Hani Chbib told Reuters Egypt imports some 3,500 metric tons of shrimp, and is left with 1,000 metric tons of shrimp shell waste. So the project could help alleviate waste and reduce plastic pollution . Related: Harvard Scientists Create Super Strong Degradable Bioplastic from Shrimp Shells The Egyptian researchers are collaborating with a team from Britain’s University of Nottingham , where the professor overseeing the project, Irene Samy, conducted post-doctoral research and began exploring the idea of converting shells into plastic. Samy told Reuters, “If commercialized, this could really help us decrease our waste…and it could help us improve our food exports because the plastic has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.” The team envisions the biodegradable plastic might be used for packaging and plastic bags . They said their technique could potentially work for large-scale industrial production, and while so far they’ve only made small samples, are working to enhance properties like durability and thermal stability so the product could be widely used. The United Kingdom side of the team plans to approach packaging manufacturers in their country. Via Reuters Images via screenshot

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Egyptian scientists turn dried shrimp shells into eco-friendly plastic

Unique asymmetrical home in the Netherlands takes a novel approach to sustainability

March 3, 2017 by  
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Dutch firm Global Architects completed a dream modern villa that breaks from the traditional gabled architecture of the Netherlands. Shaped like a giant boulder, House as a Rock rises from the dunes like a craggy monolithic sculpture that complements the hilly landscape. In addition to its unusual form, the contemporary house stands out for its adoption of sustainable features, including efficient insulation and use of ground heat pumps. Located in Westlandse Zoom in the south of the Netherlands, House as a Rock overlooks a waterway and grassy dunes. The client asked for a modern and minimalist design that maximized natural light and views of the landscape, particularly of the water. To satisfy those requirements, the architects created an asymmetrical home with large windows but nestled it between serrated dunes to provide privacy on the north, east, and west sides. The southern facade is left exposed with the largest windows and an outdoor terrace that extends towards the water. Each facade is distinct in response to different site conditions. “Just as each facade has their own character, there is not a single space inside the house that is quite the same,” write the architects. “This is apparent from the outside through the various sizes of the windows, who are key elements in both the interior and the facade. Light, space, views and unique living are at the heart of this exceptional design. The villa is an eye catcher in the dunes and at the same time blends into the surroundings.” Related: Gorgeous dune-inspired home uses bio-fuel to minimize its carbon footprint To mimic the landscape, House as a Rock was created with a neutral color palette with a brick exterior painted in a light sandy color. The minimalist interior features concrete, timber, steel, stone, and glass to create a muted backdrop for the vibrant artworks displayed throughout the home. The house is equipped with two 135-meter-deep earth thermal ground heat pumps, radiant floor heating and cooling, a solar heater, highly efficient insulation, natural ventilation, and solar shades towards the south. + Global Architects Images © Mirko Merchiori

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Unique asymmetrical home in the Netherlands takes a novel approach to sustainability

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