BreezoMeter’s real-time data tracks air quality and wildfires

September 14, 2021 by  
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Many natural elements affect our daily activities, including snow, temperature and rain. Additionally, air quality has become a primary concern in many areas, especially considering the dramatic increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in recent years. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the United States has experienced, on average, 100 more large wildfires every year than the year before since 2015. Wildfires are also growing in size and moving with a speed and intensity previously unseen. BreezoMeter, a company focused on providing air quality data to citizens, is unveiling a database of information anyone can access so the general population can have an accurate understanding of active fires and their effect on  environmental  air quality.  Related: Wildfire smoke linked to almost 20,000 COVID-19 cases last year The new wildfire tracking technology is available via a free app and provides information about the location of fires and the resulting air quality. It also provides visuals of the total area consumed by the fire, its name, the wind’s speed and direction, the estimated time of containment, and the time of the last update. The team behind BreezoMeter hopes those who track and fight fires can use the Live Wildfire Tracking data for better resource management.  “The free service is part of the company’s commitment to protecting people’s health by equipping them with more than what the eyes can see about the air they breathe, as the effects of climate change,  pollution  and fires increasingly affect air quality around the world,” BreezoMeter said in a press release. The real-time information combines some aspects of other technology already available, such as local sensors and air quality reports. However, BreezoMeter set out to improve gaps in that information to provide real-time visibility without time delays in reporting.  Ran Korber, CEO of BreezoMeter, says, “As wildfires worsen, the public needs the same level of accuracy around fires that they’ve come to expect of rain, snow, and other traditional weather forecasts. Our new technology enables people to protect themselves by adjusting their daily lives without any fear or doubt that the information they’re getting is reliable. It additionally gives companies the tools they need to adapt their operations and offerings, and authorities the real-time information they need to act quicker and smarter.” In addition to providing up-to-date data to citizens and firefighters, BreezoMeter hopes its information can benefit companies in the healthcare, smart home , air purification, automotive, lifestyle and cosmetics industries. The technology will work with GPS data to map the healthiest driving, walking, biking and jogging routes. This information can also benefit supply chain deliveries that may otherwise be delayed by wildfire activity. Along with smart home technology, BreezoMeter can provide evacuation alerts and enhance weather apps with information about air quality. + BreezoMeter Images via BreezoMeter 

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BreezoMeter’s real-time data tracks air quality and wildfires

Earth911 Podcast: Kwik BagIt Cleans Up Home Recycling

August 30, 2021 by  
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Sometimes the recycling setup is harder than getting your daily recycling sorting and cleaning done…. The post Earth911 Podcast: Kwik BagIt Cleans Up Home Recycling appeared first on Earth911.

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Earth911 Podcast: Kwik BagIt Cleans Up Home Recycling

Meat and Dairy Alternatives on the Rise in the U.S.

August 30, 2021 by  
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People in the United States are consuming more meat and dairy alternatives. Statista recently reported… The post Meat and Dairy Alternatives on the Rise in the U.S. appeared first on Earth911.

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Meat and Dairy Alternatives on the Rise in the U.S.

Unprecedented rainfall hits snowy summit in Greenland

August 23, 2021 by  
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On Greenland’s highest summit, snow is the norm. But on the weekend of August 14-15, it rained. A lot. Seven billion tons of water hit the ice sheet for the heaviest  rainfall  since researchers started keeping records in 1950. This means that Greenland is  heating  way, way too fast, according to senior research scientist Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center “What is going on is not simply a warm decade or two in a wandering climate pattern,” Scambos told CNN. “This is unprecedented.” Related: Greenland’s ice melt enough to cover Florida in water Over the weekend, temperatures at the  Greenland  summit climbed above freezing for the third time in the last 10 years. This resulted in an ice mass loss seven times higher than the daily mid-August average. “Increasing  weather  events including melting, high winds, and now rain, over the last 10 years have occurred outside the range of what is considered normal,” said Jennifer Mercer, program officer for the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation, as reported by CNN. “And these seem to be occurring more and more.” And July wasn’t any better. Last month, in a single day, the Greenland  ice sheet  lost more than 8.5 billion tons of surface mass. That’s the third instance in the past decade deemed “extreme melting” by scientists. The culprit? You guessed it. Climate change. According to a recently published study in the journal  The Cryosphere , since the mid-1990s, our planet has lost 28 trillion tons of ice. Much of that came from the Greenland ice sheet and other parts of the  Arctic . The recent deluge will alter the properties of Greenland’s snow. The ice crust it will leave behind will eventually be buried in  snow , but will form a barrier preventing water from melting downward. Instead, there will be runoff at higher elevations. “We are crossing thresholds not seen in millennia, and frankly this is not going to change until we adjust what we’re doing to the  air ,” Scambos told CNN. Via CNN Lead image via Pixabay

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Unprecedented rainfall hits snowy summit in Greenland

France announces end of male chick culling

July 22, 2021 by  
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Being shredded alive. Getting gassed. It sounds like a horror movie, but in fact, it’s the true crime genre. But no more, say the French. France announced on Sunday that as of next year, male chicks can no longer be culled Around the world, about 7 billion male chicks are killed every year. Approximately 50 million of these unfortunates are born in France. Why this fowl sexism? Male chicks produce neither  eggs  nor meat. And then there’s all that crowing, and at such an ungodly hour. For these crimes, they are electrocuted, ground up alive, gassed, or even asphyxiated with plastic bags. Related: KFC confirms suppliers’ chickens suffer from footpad dermatitis Three-quarters of French people said their government wasn’t doing enough to protect animals, according to an opinion poll early last year. Officials are listening. “France is the first country in the world, along with Germany, to end the crushing and gassing of male chicks,” said Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie on the daily news website Le Parisien, according to Reuters. In May,  Germany  banned culling male chicks by 2022. But don’t expect a sudden increase in les coqs .  Instead, the French plan something akin to chicken abortions. Chicken breeders will need to use machines that can determine the sex of chicks before hatching. France is planning a 10 million euro financial aid package for  farmers  to acquire the necessary sexing equipment. However, whether this can be done successfully on a mass scale remains to be seen. As for the developing males in eggs, perhaps France can develop a new delicacy, something like the Filipino street food balut ,  which is a fertilized duck egg containing an embryo. Now France and Germany are encouraging other EU countries to ban culling male chicks. “The killing of large numbers of day-old chicks is, of course, an ethical issue,” said EU Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides at a meeting of  agricultural  ministers, according to Euractiv. She announced plans to “look very carefully at the issue and find the best possible solution” during an upcoming review of EU animal welfare rules. Via Ecowatch , The Guardian , Euractiv Lead image via Pixabay

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Researchers shocked to discover protein that conducts electricity

November 1, 2017 by  
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In a new study from researchers at Arizona State University , scientists have documented that a particular protein known as  alphaVbeta3 has the ability to conduct electricity. Proteins serve as building blocks for cells, but until now, none have been observed conducting electricity. “If it’s true, it’s amazing,” said lead researcher Stuart Lindsay, according to Science Daily . “What this paper is mainly testing out are all the alternative explanations of our data, and ruling out all of the artifacts.” In the past four years since their initial discovery, the team at ASU, whose work was published in the journal  Nano Futures, has been vigilant in checking and rerunning the experiment to determine if there was an alternative explanation. Nonetheless, the most likely conclusion remains that the protein was conducting electricity . The research team first began the work that led to their shocking discovery several years ago when experimenting with DNA and amino acid readers developed by Lindsay, who is a biophysicist and ASU Regents’ Professor. These DNA readers incorporate a technology known as recognition tunneling, which traps individual molecules between electrodes. Curious as to how a whole protein would react to such a process, the team placed the glue-like integrin protein domain alphaVbeta3 and found that it demonstrated “remarkably high electronic conductance.” Through further experimentation and research, the team determined that the protein could become either an electrical conductor or an electrical insulator based on electrical fluctuations. “In our experiments, we were seeing this weird behavior in this huge protein conducting electricity, but it is not static. It’s a dynamic thing,” said Lindsay. “Below a certain bias, it’s just an insulator, but when the fluctuations start kicking in, they are huge.” Related: 10 vegan sources of protein you can grow at home The electrically conductive protein may open up an entirely new way of understanding proteins, how they may be used in nanotechnology , and how treatment for protein-related diseases might be improved. After years of experiments and questions, the team remains curious but cautious. “I believe the data now, but it’s only one protein so far,” said Lindsay. More work will be required before this phenomenon can be harnessed in the medical field and beyond. + Nano Futures Via Futurism Lead image via Depositphotos , others via  Weisi Song/Biodesign Institute/Arizona State University  and Depositphotos

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Foster + Partners Bloomberg HQ opens in London as worlds most sustainable office building

October 25, 2017 by  
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Bloomberg’s new European headquarters—billed the “world’s most sustainable office building”—opened yesterday in London. Designed by Foster + Partners , the 3.2-acre Bloomberg HQ achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating with a 98.5% score that the architects say is the “highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development.” The nine-story headquarters is estimated to save 73 percent in water consumption and 35 percent in energy consumption when compared to typical office buildings. Clad in nearly 10,000 tonnes of English sandstone and bronze, the massive Bloomberg HQ mitigates its size by carving out a public pedestrian arcade between its two buildings, while bronze fins give the buildings human scale and also allow for natural ventilation and protection from solar gain. Located between the Bank of England and St. Paul’s Cathedral, the city block-sized development is also meant to blend in with and respect its historic surroundings. In addition to the pedestrian Bloomberg Arcade, the building features three public plazas and ground-floor restaurants to engage the urban fabric. Site-specific art installations, from artists like Cristina Iglesias and Olafur Eliasson , punctuate the development. Related: Bloomberg’s new London HQ rated world’s most sustainable office “From day one, we talked with Mike Bloomberg about creating an elegant stone building that responds to its historic setting yet is clearly of its own time and which would be a good neighbour in the City of London in every sense of the word,” said Lord Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners. “We wanted the building to have an integrity and continuity of expression both inside and out, creating an inspiring, innovative, dynamic and collaborative workplace for Bloomberg that embodies the core values of the company. Above all, we had a shared belief with Bloomberg that we should provide the highest standards of sustainability and wellbeing for its occupants, as well as create major new public spaces at ground level, making a significant contribution to the daily life of the City of London and its inhabitants.” + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners , photos by Neil Young

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Foster + Partners Bloomberg HQ opens in London as worlds most sustainable office building

How to turn global issues into local concerns

July 3, 2017 by  
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Tips for persuading an audience to truly care about an issue that’s not part of their daily experience.

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How to turn global issues into local concerns

This may be the world’s coolest kindergarten

June 9, 2017 by  
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Who knew that the world’s coolest kindergarten is located in Sydney, Australia? Designed by PAL Design , NUBO is a beautiful space strategically designed to give children the ultimate in “pure play” while managing to keep the space pleasantly clutter-free. The 820-square-foot  kindergarten is open and bright, thanks to a wall of large glass windows and plenty of storage space . The interior design focused on creating a fun and flexible space that is stimulating, but clutter-free to provide ample space to encourage creative and energetic play. According to the architects, the area is especially “suited for children in their various stages of learning to safely and explore the entire space, the overall design takes a minimalist approach to remove unnecessary furniture and equipment – with just enough to invent their own games.” Related: This timber kindergarten is embedded into the hills of a small Northern Italian village The interior layout is designed to be ultra kid-friendly with designated activity areas including an extensive children’s library with reading nooks, a building block room, and numerous toys for all ages. The space even has a kitchen area that lets budding chefs concoct a range of healthy dishes. And for those times when you just have to move, there’s an active area that encourages kids to run, slide, climb and hide. + PAL Design Via Arch Daily Photograph by Michelle Young, Amy Piddington

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This may be the world’s coolest kindergarten

It’s raining tequila from a cloud in Berlin

March 31, 2017 by  
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Berlin winters see a lot of rain, but this is the first time it’s rained tequila. The Mexico Tourist Board wanted to lure Germans to Mexico by combining one of the things they hate most: rain , with one of the things they love best: tequila. The result is a puffy cloud of happiness that rains tequila any time it rains outside. The Mexico Tourist Board teamed up with Lapiz USA to create a cloud that rains tequila. Lapiz took ultrasonic humidifiers to turn tequila into a mist, which they shot into the air to create a tequila-based cloud. Once that mist condensed, it created droplets of tequila that you can actually collect and drink. It’s an ingenious way to turn the winter blahs in Germany into a party. Related: San Diego brewery unveils beer made from 100% recycled wastewater Unfortunately, tequila clouds won’t be filling the skies anytime soon. The exhibit is being featured in an art space in Berlin called Urban Spree, but if you can’t make it there, you can still grab a glass of tequila next time it rains and dream. Via The Daily Mail Images via Lapiz USA

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It’s raining tequila from a cloud in Berlin

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