Wildlife conservation aided by a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Train

March 13, 2019 by  
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A Chesapeake Bay retriever named Train is playing an important part in wildlife conservation . Train, who was too energetic to make it as a drug dog, is lending his nose to sniff out endangered species by smelling their poop. Train is helping conservationists like Karen DeMatteo track down some of the world’s most elusive animals, such as oncillas and jaguars, by finding their scat in the wild. DeMatteo and her colleagues are focusing their research in Argentina, and Train is helping them discover where these endangered species are calling home. “Everybody leaves poop behind in the forest,” DeMatteo shared. “You can figure out which habitats they like and which habitats they avoid.” Related: These AI-powered cameras can sense poachers and save wildlife DeMatteo is using the data she gathers to help conservationists determine where they need to focus their efforts. As human populations continue to encroach on wilderness areas, researchers hope to figure out which areas of the country need better conservation practices — and Train is helping them reach their goals. Before he was sniffing out wildlife , Train was placed in a drug-detection program. Train’s life as a drug-sniffing dog did not pan out, because he was far too energetic for the program. Luckily, DeMatteo snagged him up and trained him to sniff out poop instead of drugs, and the rest is history. Train’s energy also makes him ideal for tracking down wildlife in Argentina. In fact, DeMatteo and her team hiked over 600 miles in 2018 looking for scat, and Train’s energy helped him handle the workload with ease. Before Train came along, researchers like DeMatteo relied on game cameras to find and track endangered species. The only problem with this system is that scientists have to wait until the animals cross the camera’s view. They also have to deal with theft. Although Train is 12 years old, he has not slowed down. After Argentina , DeMatteo and her team will be traveling to Nebraska to find mountain lions, continuing Train’s assistance in wildlife conservation. + Got Scat? Via CNN Images via Karen DeMatteo

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Wildlife conservation aided by a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Train

OMA unveils designs for zigzagging residential towers in Brooklyn

March 13, 2019 by  
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OMA’s New York office has unveiled striking designs for the Greenpoint Landing mixed-use towers—two dramatically stepped buildings that appear to be two jagged halves of a whole. Designed to frame views of Greenpoint and vistas of Manhattan beyond, the project is “a ziggurat and its inverse…carefully calibrated to one another,” says OMA Partner Jason Long. Greenpoint Landing, which is expected to break ground in August of this year, is located in the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood of Greenpoint in between Long Island City in the north and Williamsburg in the south. Envisioned as the catalyst for revitalizing Greenpoint’s post-industrial waterfront edge, Greenpoint Landing will expand the public waterfront esplanade and add 2.5 acres of continuous open space along the shoreline as well as 8,600 square feet of ground-floor retail. The complex will include a seven-story building plinth with two towers above that will also bring a total of 745 units of housing, 30 percent of which will be affordable. “Like two dancers, the towers simultaneously lean into and away from one another,” the architecture firm says of the project’s eye-catching design. “The taller tower widens toward the east as it rises, maximizing views and creating a dramatic face to the neighborhood and beyond. Its partner steps back from the waterfront to create a series of large terraces, widening toward the ground and the new waterfront park to the North. A ziggurat and its inverse, the pair are intimately linked by the void between them.” Related: Amsterdam is transforming a prison into a green energy-generating neighborhood To further connect the building with its surroundings, the architects will add two levels of waterfront-facing green space and terraces framed with common spaces and amenities. The facade will be lined with large windows and precast concrete panels with carved angled faces that react dynamically to the sun’s path throughout the day. A bridge housing pool and fitness programs will link the two towers together and provide panoramic views of the waterfront and Manhattan skyline. + OMA Images via OMA

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OMA unveils designs for zigzagging residential towers in Brooklyn

These 5 animals are being consumed into extinction

March 12, 2019 by  
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Humans have a long history of wiping out animal populations, and we continue to do so even to this day. According to a new study published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, people around the world are eating hundreds of animal species into extinction. If we don’t make some changes, the authors of the study warn that the food security of hundreds of millions of people could be threatened. Currently, we are in the middle of mass extinction that rivals the wiping out of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But this time, it isn’t a giant meteorite doing all the damage — it’s humans. Over the past century, we have accelerated extinction rates 100 hundred times greater than what would naturally occur without human impact. As we continue to destroy habitats with construction and invade wild areas for hunting, 301 species of land mammals are now critically endangered and have made their way to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. The list includes 168 primates, 73 hoofed animals, 27 bats, 26 marsupials, 21 rodent species and 12 carnivores. There are also 1,414 species of fish on the Red List. “There are plenty of bad things affecting wildlife around the world, and habitat loss and degradation are clearly at the forefront, but among the other things is the seemingly colossal impact of bushmeat hunting,” said David MacDonald, professor at the University of Oxford and part of the international research team. Bushmeat is a traditional food source for rural people in societies across the globe. That is starting to change because of large-scale commercial hunting and road construction in remote areas. MacDonald said that the number of hunters continues to increase, and the roads are being built in the most remote places, so there is no place left for wildlife to go. Not only does this mass extinction threaten food security, but it also upsets ecosystems. To reverse this problem, the researchers in this new study have a few ideas. They recommend greater legal protection for the endangered species, empowering local communities to prioritize wildlife conservation , providing alternative foods and family planning to reduce the rate of population growth. The list of endangered animals is long, but here are a few highlights. Bluefin tuna One of the fastest fish on Earth, bluefin tuna can hit speeds around 40 miles per hour when they are hunting, can grow up to 15 feet long and weigh as much as 1500 pounds. However, with the growing demand for sushi, overfishing is becoming a huge problem, and the bluefin tuna numbers are dropping. Related: Endangered bluefin tuna sold for $3.1 billion to sushi tycoon Whale shark The largest fish in the sea, the whale shark has been on the critically endangered list for three years, because the population has dropped more than 50 percent in the last 75 years thanks to both legal and illegal fishing. According to National Geographic, fishing for whale sharks is extremely lucrative, because they can be “harvested for their meat, fins and other parts used in traditional medicinal products.” Of course, they are also in great demand for shark fin soup. Pangolin These nocturnal mammals have keratin scales, emit a harmful chemical like skunks and eat ants and termites. In Africa, they are a major source of food and medicine, but in China and Vietnam, they are a delicacy. This has led to the pangolin becoming the most trafficked animal in the world. Related: Zimbabwe hopes to bring attention to trafficking endangered species with the Pangolin Project There is an international trade ban on all pangolin species, but this has only resulted in rising prices as the population declines. Chinese giant salamander As the largest amphibian on Earth, the Chinese giant salamander has been around for more than 170 million years, and it can grow to be 6 feet long and weigh over 100 pounds. The species is currently on the critically endangered list, because it is a Chinese delicacy. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. In just three generations, the population has plummeted by 80 percent. Sturgeon With fossil records dating back 200 million years, we know that sturgeon have survived two — maybe three — mass extinctions . This time, the species might not be so lucky. The beluga sturgeon is being overfished, because the eggs are needed for caviar. They take 20 years to reach maturity, but we are killing them to harvest the eggs at massive rates. You can learn more about the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species on the organization’s website. Images via Danilo Cedrone / UN Food and Agriculture Organization , Aruro de Frias Marques , A.J.T. Johnsingh / WWF-India , Petr Hamerník , USFWS and National Marine  Sanctuary

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These 5 animals are being consumed into extinction

Saving the Places We Love: A Call to Action from Geologist Ned Tillman

June 13, 2014 by  
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  In a time of rapid climatic shift and lack of political will, the lessons in Ned Tillman’s book Saving the Places We Love: Paths to Environmental Stewardship are imperative for the younger generation to understand. By recounting his own experiences in nature as well as pointing to past environmental atrocities , Ned explains reasons for a societal paradigm shift that starts with the changing of our own personal habits and ends with the implementation of international and progressive political negotiations . Read the rest of Saving the Places We Love: A Call to Action from Geologist Ned Tillman Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , act on climate , book review , Climate Change , collaborative action , connection , earth , Fishing , forests , future generations , government , Habitats , inhabitat , land , Love , mountains , narrative , nature deficit disorder , Ned Tillman , nutrient runoff , oceans , personal habits , political will , renewables , retrofitting , Sustainable , water issues , writing

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Saving the Places We Love: A Call to Action from Geologist Ned Tillman

Christopher Marley’s Mesmerizing Insect Mosaics Help Preserve Critical Habitats

May 14, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Christopher Marley’s Mesmerizing Insect Mosaics Help Preserve Critical Habitats Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Art , bug mosaics , bus , Butterflies , christopher marley , eco design , eco-art , environmental art , green art , green design , habitat preservation , Habitats , insect mosaics , insects , Mosaics , pheromone , sustainable art

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Christopher Marley’s Mesmerizing Insect Mosaics Help Preserve Critical Habitats

Stanford University Develops a Solar-Powered Bionic Eye!

May 14, 2012 by  
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Solar technology could have a role in reversing blindness in the near future.  Stanford University researchers have invented goggles that can send information to chips – which behave like solar cells – implanted into eye retinas. These new retinal implants would require far less invasive surgeries than the very limited options that are currently available. The “ bionic eye ” could potentially give the blind the gift of sight once again. Read the rest of Stanford University Develops a Solar-Powered Bionic Eye! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bionic eye , blindness , cure for blindness , electrical engineering , James Loudin , retinal implants , Solar cells , specialized goggles , stanford university

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Stanford University Develops a Solar-Powered Bionic Eye!

Pin Your USB Flash-drive to Your Clothes with Art Lebedev’s Bulavkus

May 14, 2012 by  
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This USB flash-drive design combines a simple safety pin with a 4GB computer memory stick to create a simple and functional way to keep tabs on your mini gadget. The device, called Bulavkus , is the latest in a series of memory stick reinventions from Art Lebedev Studio . “For finding Bulavkus in a flash,” says the studio, “simply fasten to any fabric material and spare yourself frustration of digging through pockets.” Read the rest of Pin Your USB Flash-drive to Your Clothes with Art Lebedev’s Bulavkus Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: art lebedev , bulavkus , computer gadgets , flashdrive design , memory stick design , memory stick reinvention , sustainable digital design

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Pin Your USB Flash-drive to Your Clothes with Art Lebedev’s Bulavkus

Andreas Kowalewski’s Wedge Side Table is a Genius Single-Material Flatpack Design

May 14, 2012 by  
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The Wedge side table by Amsterdam based Designer Andreas Kowalewski is a clever flatpack design that is simple to build, store and transport. The idea behind this genious piece of green design is to create a table that needs less space, hand labour and assembly time by using only one material and a simple assembly process. Read the rest of Andreas Kowalewski’s Wedge Side Table is a Genius Single-Material Flatpack Design Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , andreas kowalewski , Flatpack , green design , green interiors , side table , wedge , wedge side table

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Andreas Kowalewski’s Wedge Side Table is a Genius Single-Material Flatpack Design

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