The rise and fall of an American utility

August 5, 2017 by  
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A utility CEO faces the crisis of his life: transform a 33-year-old electric utility and succeed in the fast-changing U.S. energy landscape.

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The rise and fall of an American utility

Ride the Chair of Death on world’s highest cliff drop swing

August 4, 2017 by  
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Picture it: you jump off a cliff edge 360 feet in the air and plummet past the rocky cliff face until the tension catches, and then you careen across the canyon on the world’s craziest swing . If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then you need to check out the Shotover Canyon Swing in New Zealand – the world’s highest cliff drop. Riders hook onto a 650-foot cable before launching off the cliff. As you fall, you can reach speeds up to 90 mph until your free-fall is arrested by the cable. If stepping off the cliff side isn’t enough for you, you can also choose to ride a bicycle off the cliff, shoot off on a slide, or be tipped over in a plastic chair, known as the “chair of death.” Related: Amazing Tiny Treehouse Boasts the World’s Wildest Swing 8,350 Feet Above Sea Level! Once you master the art of the world’s highest cliff drop, you can add in the “Canyon Fox” option, where you are tethered to two lines 600 feet above the canyon floor. You launch yourself off a sloped ramp, falling until the tether catches you and tosses you across the canyon on a massive zip line . The entire experience, including Swing and Fox ride, will cost you a cool $299 and possibly 10 years off your life. + Canyon Swing Via Thrillist

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Ride the Chair of Death on world’s highest cliff drop swing

Self-inflating HEXA raft automatically deploys upon contact with water

January 2, 2017 by  
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At sea, situations often emerge where crew and passengers have to quickly evacuate the vessel, causing panic, and jeopardizing safety and organization. To help simplify such scenarios, designers Yoo JiIn and Lee Ji Sang created HEXA, a six-sided life raft that automatically activates upon contact with water. In order to be deployed, HEXA requires only that it be dropped in the water where it automatically self-inflates into a life-saving device. Six inflatable sections allow people to climb onto the raft. In addition to the efficiency of its design, the device also sends a RFID signal that can help rescue teams pin point its location. Related: The SeaKettle is a Raft + Water Purifier That Could Save Your Life Various survival supplies like food, drinkable water, flares and lifejackets are available inside the center of the pod, providing survivors with all the essential things which will allow them to survive while waiting to be rescued. Via Yanko Design

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Self-inflating HEXA raft automatically deploys upon contact with water

The world’s oldest panda in captivity dead at 38

October 18, 2016 by  
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Last Sunday, the world’s oldest panda in captivity passed away. Jia Jia spent her final day at Hong Kong ’s Ocean Park, which was home for the last 17 years of her life. At 38, she had far surpassed the natural life expectancy for pandas , becoming a kind of national celebrity and making her death that much harder for locals to bear. Jia Jia first came to Hong Kong in 1999. She and her mate An An, now 30 years old, created a widespread sensation upon their arrival. An An is currently the second oldest male panda in captivity. Pandas typically do not live past the age of 20 in the wild, and maybe a few years more than that when under human care. Ocean Park officials say her longevity is a testament to the devoted care she received there. Related: World’s oldest panda celebrates with cake and bamboo. Happy Birthday Jia Jia! Like any human who lived long enough to be 114 (Jia Jia’s age in human years), she began to succumb to physical maladies typical in old age. High blood pressure, arthritis, and cataracts were among the ailments that plagued her in her final years. Jia Jia had also suddenly lost weight and her appetite, prompting veterinarians to make the decision to ease her suffering and euthanize her early this week. Ocean Park chairman Leo Kung said, “(She) was a member of our family who spent 17 wonderful years with the Hong Kong people, and she will be deeply missed.” Rest in peace, Jia Jia. Via CNN Images via Wikimedia , Pixabay

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The world’s oldest panda in captivity dead at 38

Stunning geodesic domes from Romania can handle earthquakes up to 8.5 on the Richter scale

October 18, 2016 by  
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“Geodesic domes are extremely strong for their weight due to their omni triangulated surface that provides an inherently stable structure,” according to Remus Gall, the lead project manager at Biodomes. The company adds that their domes have “a natural resistance to external factors like earthquakes up to 8.5 on the Richter scale, winds up to 320 km/h due to the aerodynamic shape and loads up to 20 tonnes per point of structure.” Related: 5 great reasons to build a geodesic dome home Geodesic domes also boast a series of environmental benefits. “The spherical design results in highly efficient and effective air circulation in both summer and winter,” according to the company. With a lower surface area than conventional homes, domes are also “less susceptible to temperature changes,” making them cheaper to heat and cool. And because their shape mirrors the sun’s path, they benefit from significant natural lighting and solar gain throughout the day – a plus in winter. In summer, magnetic shades reduce thermal loads. These domes are incredibly versatile – they can be used as a greenhouse , an eco-home, as a recreational space, indoor pool or even an observatory. The images in the gallery depict the Pollux model which is 16-feet in diameter and 8-feet tall. For now the company is restricted to European installations, but it might be worth contacting them if you’re outside of Europe – maybe they can offer you some ideas if this is the way you want to go. + Biodome Systems SRL

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Stunning geodesic domes from Romania can handle earthquakes up to 8.5 on the Richter scale

Hyperloop One raises $50 million and hires former Uber CFO as an advisor

October 18, 2016 by  
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In another round of successful financing, futuristic transportation startup Hyperloop One has tacked on an extra $50 million to its grand investment total of $160 million. Not only are they quickly raising funds – the firm also hired Brent Callinicos, former Uber Chief Financial Officer, to advise their CEO with how to move forward. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49_ekUA2eg The company seems to be moving along almost as quickly as their vehicles are projected to travel. Two months ago the first Hyperloop One factory opened in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the startup still expects to have a full-scale demonstration ready to go by the first quarter of 2017. The latest round of financing, lead by the world’s third largest port operator DP World Group of Dubai , will be helpful. Greentech Media reports many groups are interested in utilizing Hyperloop One for shipping goods, with passengers to follow later. Related: Hyperloop One hits 116 mph in 1.1 seconds on first public test run CEO of Hyperloop One, Ron Lloyd, told The Verge that he is grateful for the addition of Callinicos to the team. He said, “We hope he can help us do the same things he helped Uber do in those early days.” Callinicos will serve as a “full-time strategic advisor to the CEO and board of directors,” according to Clean Technica . Callinicos brings expertise from the rise of Uber, as well as plenty of know-how from notable positions at Microsoft and Google. + Hyperloop One Via Clean Technica Images via Hyperloop One

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Hyperloop One raises $50 million and hires former Uber CFO as an advisor

Detailed flowchart shows the complete lifecycle of US energy use

August 16, 2016 by  
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San Francisco company Otherlab has created a massive interactive “ Energy Literacy ” flowchart that shows all of the energy used in America. The company debuted the chart at an event run by Reinvent , a company dedicated to bringing innovators together to address the world’s most pressing problems. Pulling data from the Department of Energy and other sources, the diagram is the first of its kind to depict the complete flow of energy throughout the US economy. While this was a massive undertaking, perhaps it’s not so surprising considering the source. Otherlab is run by serial entrepreneur and MacArthur genius Saul Griffith, who once famously calculated the carbon footprint of every single action in his life . When he presented the chart, he told his audience, “I think we may be the first three or four people to read every footnote in every energy agency document ever produced.” The left side of the diagram shows where our energy comes from – the majority from coal , less than 1 percent from solar . By highlighting a section, readers can track a single energy source to its various ends, seeing just how much energy ends up wasted along the way. For example: with natural gas the waste is substantial, with only half of the generated energy being used. Related: Americans used less energy in 2015, but more wind, solar, and geothermal power Some of the major uses of our energy should come as no surprise, such as that used for basic infrastructure. Other uses, like the energy used by US military jets, may raise questions readers didn’t even realize they had. By charting out the connections between all of these industries and our energy production, Griffith hopes it will be possible to better understand the economy and for policy decisions to be made with more accurate information. + Energy Literacy Via Co.Exist Images via Energy Literacy and Kevin Dooley

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Detailed flowchart shows the complete lifecycle of US energy use

Why You Should Be Compartmentalizing Your Garden

August 16, 2016 by  
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Do this. Don’t do that. Be there. Be that.  It is a life skill — compartmentalizing our lives — that can be immensely helpful, detrimental or perhaps both depending on just how you play it.  One area where compartmentalizing your life…

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Why You Should Be Compartmentalizing Your Garden

Oli blessing & opening

July 20, 2016 by  
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The event kicked off with an oli, a traditional blessing used by Hawaiians throughout generations to preserve oral histories and traditions. It served as the life blood that preserved and perpetuated the Hawaiian culture. Today, the oli is referred to as the soul of the aboriginal peoples of Hawaii and is recognized at the highest form of the Hawaiian language.

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Oli blessing & opening

Watch Hoover the tiger released into nature after 12 dreadful years in a circus cage

June 16, 2016 by  
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After 12 years living in a circus cage and enduring terrible abuses, Hoover the tiger is finally free. He was rescued from a circus in Peru last April , where he had been enslaved his entire life. Circus trainers whipped and beat him, forcing him and up to 11 other tigers to perform on demand. After a year being nursed back to health by his rescuers, Hoover now lives in southern Florida, where he will enjoy warm breezes and shady grass for the rest of his life at a natural woodland sanctuary shared by other rescued tigers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRxrJv78J3Q Animal Defenders International (ADI) released the above video, which begins with a peaceful scene showing Hoover at his new home at Big Cat Rescue  wildlife sanctuary near Tampa. Hoover creeps cautiously toward a natural pool in a wooded area and, with trepidation, the big cat dips his toes into the water. It is perhaps the first time Hoover was ever able to experience nature directly after a lifetime at the circus. (For our readers who are sensitive to violence against animals , be aware that the above video contains graphic scenes after 0:30.) Related: Tiger populations have increased for the first time in 100 years Hoover’s freedom was hard-won. Animal rights activists were able to secretly film the abuses and alert Peru’s wildlife department, SERFOR (Peru’s forestry department) and police. The circus attempted to evade the law by hiding in the mountains for eight months. Eventually, authorities caught up to them and, in a surprise raid, Hoover was rescued by ADI. Unfortunately, the other 11 tigers in Hoover’s original group perished prior to the raid. Little is known about how or when each one passed away, but Hoover’s poor health and undernourishment suggest the other tigers may have succumbed to their handlers’ neglect and abuse. “Hoover was very lucky to survive,” said ADI President Jan Creamer. “His last cage mate had died before we could get to him. We were very grateful for the public support and information that helped us to track the circus down, now he can live in peace in his wonderful new environment.” + Animal Defenders International + Big Cat Rescue Images via ADI

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Watch Hoover the tiger released into nature after 12 dreadful years in a circus cage

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