Iraq’s biggest dam could collapse at any moment, placing a million people in peril

March 2, 2016 by  
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The birthplace of civilization has struggled through some tough times in recent years. The Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and now the conflict with ISIS have seriously damaged Iraq’s infrastructure and undermined its political stability. As if that wasn’t enough, Iraq may soon face another catastrophe as the country’s biggest dam reaches the end of its life. American officials in Baghdad are warning that Mosul Dam could collapse – and the subsequent flooding could lead to the death or displacement of over one million people. Built in 1984, the Mosul Dam regulates the flow of the Tigris River to supply one million Iraqis with hydroelectric power. The dam is capable of holding three trillion gallons of water, which is key for survival in the desert nation. Mosul Dam was constructed on a base of gypsum, a soft mineral that readily dissolves in water. To combat this steady erosion and maintain the infrastructure, engineers have used a grout cement mix to fill any holes that appear. However, this maintenance routine was interrupted in August 2014 when ISIS forces captured the dam for over a week. The militants did not intentionally damage the dam, but their brief presence nonetheless had long-term consequences. Even after the dam was recaptured, many of the Iraqi workers did not return and regular maintenance was not resumed. Related: The world’s tallest building coming to Iraq will be entirely solar-powered The greatest risk of collapse occurs between late February and mid-May when the Tigris River is at its fullest. State Department officials warn that 500,000 people could be killed while a million more would be homeless. Mosul, a city of two and a half million people, could be under 45 feet of water within four hour of the dam’s collapse – and the water level could eventually rise to 70 feet. Baghdad would have a few days notice to prepare, but the flooding would still be devastating, with water levels of up to 14 feet expected. The Italian government has offered to send troops while the Trevi Group, an Italian company, leads much needed repairs of the dam. As usual, politics is proving to be a roadblock. Noting the glacial pace at which the Iraqi government is dealing with the problem, American officials have urged Iraq to educate its citizens on the threat, so that the worst case scenario might be avoided. Via the New York Times Images via DoD News/Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library

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Iraq’s biggest dam could collapse at any moment, placing a million people in peril

Milan wants to fight pollution by paying commuters to bike to work

March 2, 2016 by  
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After 2015 brought some of the worst air pollution on record, the city of Milan, Italy is considering a dramatic solution to improve air quality: paying residents who choose to ride a bike to work rather than driving. In late December, smog became so severe that the city had to ban the use of cars for three days, along with the traditional end of the year firework displays. So it makes sense that officials are trying out new schemes to cut down on air pollution – and they’ve set aside €35 million to the cause. Read the rest of Milan wants to fight pollution by paying commuters to bike to work

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Milan wants to fight pollution by paying commuters to bike to work

Magnitude 7.8 Sumatra earthquake results in loss of life, but minimal damage

March 2, 2016 by  
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Indonesia and Australia have both issued tsunami warnings following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake off the island of Sumatra. Indonesia’s warning has since been lifted and no substantial damage has been reported, although there were an unknown number of casualties. The offshore quake was a shallow one, which tend to be associated with more devastation. The U.S. Geological Survey first reported the quake rated 8.2 before lowering the magnitude three times to settle at 7.8. Read the rest of Magnitude 7.8 Sumatra earthquake results in loss of life, but minimal damage

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Magnitude 7.8 Sumatra earthquake results in loss of life, but minimal damage

Eye Shadow: Not Just for Teens

January 25, 2010 by  
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Remember when eye shadow was fun?  It’s usually the first item girls grab when they start to play with make up.  The unabashed brightness swathed across their lids.  But as we mature this teenage beauty staple often falls by the wayside.  Desire for a more “natural” look, a two- (or three-) in-one product or (usually) less time for primping all contribute to our displacement of this lid adornment.  After not using eye shadow in years, a set came across my desk recently.  Even back when I did use shadow it was usually a light tannish, brown color not that far off from the natural color of lids.  This duo from Lavera came with a white shade and (here’s the fun part) a dark charcoal color.  The deep, sultriness of it was so super tempting that I could not wait to test it out.  Envisioning Angelina Jolie in Wanted I rounded up my brushes, sponges and assortment of applicators and plunged in.  My first attempt (done, thankfully, pre shower) ended up a bit addict-y.  Not what I’m trying to represent. After more experimentation I ended up with some cool results.  Here they are: Read more of this story »

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Eye Shadow: Not Just for Teens

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