Beautiful villas embedded in a remote Chinese mountain pass live in harmony with nature

November 27, 2017 by  
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Blending the man-made into nature without doing harm is difficult, but Origin Architects have managed to embed a series of modern villas into the foot of China’s Eurasia-Changbai Mountain range while simultaneously restoring a large part of an adjacent felled forest. By conducting detailed studies into the area’s natural flora and fauna, the architects were able to build the villas as part of an ecological restoration that will serve to preserve the natural state of the area for years to come. Ajacent to the building area, an old amusement park has been abandoned for years. As they began the clean up process, the team did extensive studies on the entire site, investigating the entire river valley ecosystem in the process. According to the architects, they mapped and measured each primeval tree and exposed stone in the area to create a guide to preserving the natural state of the forest. As they started on the ecological restoration project, the work helped to create the villas in a way that would reduce the structures’ carbon footprint. Related: Y-shaped timber cabin on stilts overlooks Norway’s picturesque mountains The architects explain, “We removed construction waste, restored landforms and rainwater channels according to the vein, dredged choked rivers and cultivated vegetation to encourage ecological redevelopment of this area, so that the separated waste land could be embraced by nature again, and the vast primeval river valley forest could break down the barriers caused by urban development and extend citywards.” In terms of creating little impact with the construction, the structures were lifted off the ground to reduce the project’s footprint. This feature was essential to the project because the area is thought to be a breeding ground for Chinese mergansers, an endangered bird. Thanks to lifting the building off the ground, these prehistoric creatures and other wild animals will be free to move and migrate freely in the area. Visitors to the area will be able reconnect to nature thanks to the amazing environment, but also to the villa’s purposeful design. The outside of the cabins are quite rustic, but the interior design is a minimal and sophisticated as can be. Light wood panels cover the flooring, walls and ceilings and very little furnishings are found on the interior, putting the emphasis completely on the natural surroundings. + Origin Architect Via Archdaily Photography by Xia Zh

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Beautiful villas embedded in a remote Chinese mountain pass live in harmony with nature

Egyptians discover three 1,000-year-old sunken ships full of treasure

November 27, 2017 by  
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Egyptian officials revealed last week that archaeologists located three sunken ships off the country’s northern coast in Alexandria, Egypt’s Abu Qir Bay. The wrecks, determined to be of Roman origin , were discovered filled with ancient artifacts dating back at least 1,000 years. Included in the excavated bounty were gold coins issued during the reign of Rome’s first emperor, Augustus Caesar Octavian (Julius Caesar was his great-uncle), as well as pottery, and a “royal head of crystal.” As MSN writes, the Ministry of Antiquities’ Underwater Archaeology Department and the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology have been working since September to locate and disentomb the ship’s contents from the sunken city of Heraclion. Heraclion sits beneath the bay and is believed to be one of the world’s most archaeologically rich sites. In fact, the team of archaeologists is in the process of locating a fourth sunken ship in the bay. Related: Scientists just discovered evidence of a hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza The finds are a boon for Egypt, which has been in a state of political unrest since the uprisings of 2011. Looters have used mass protests as a cover to both steal and defile artifacts, including those housed in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square. As such, Egypt’s antiquity authorities are sharing their new finds with gusto across global channels, including Facebook. Via MSN Images via the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page

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Egyptians discover three 1,000-year-old sunken ships full of treasure

Japan mulls pouring 1 million metric tons of radioactive Fukushima water into Pacific Ocean

November 27, 2017 by  
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Fukushima cleanup continues over six years after the 2011 disaster – and the country hasn’t yet decided what to do with one million metric tons of radioactive water currently stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 900 big tanks. Some nuclear experts advising the government have said the water should be slowly released into the Pacific Ocean . But local fishermen are afraid consumers won’t purchase fish caught in the region if that happens – and their industry is still struggling to rebuild after the tsunami. Multiple tests have shown most kinds of fish caught near Fukushima are safe to consume. But diners are still hesitant to eat it, and fishermen fear if radioactive water is released, people won’t buy the fish at all. But the radioactive water isn’t really that safe in the tanks – if another tsunami or major earthquake hit, all that water could spill. Related: Fukushima radiation levels at highest since 2011 disaster The water has been treated, and all radioactive elements but tritium have been removed. Experts say tritium is safe in small quantities, but if disaster should strike again, the spill of water would likely be uncontrolled. And the amount of radioactive water at Fukushima increases daily by 150 metric tons. Cooling water must be pumped into the reactors to prevent them from overheating, and that water picks up radioactivity. It then seeps out of damaged containment chambers and collects in the basements, where it mixes with groundwater that comes in via reactor building cracks. 210 metric tons of this water can be treated and reused as cooling water. But 150 metric tons is put in tanks. Other nuclear plants have been allowed to release radioactive tritium water, according to The Independent . But the process can take years. Last year, a government panel recommended Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which owns the Fukushima plant, dilute the water to around 50 times and release around 400 metric tons into the sea every day – that process would likely take nearly a decade. Other people have said Tepco should wait to release the radioactive water until 2023, when half the tritium present when disaster struck will have naturally disappeared. Via The Independent Images via IAEA Imagebank on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Japan mulls pouring 1 million metric tons of radioactive Fukushima water into Pacific Ocean

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