Ghost gear is haunting our oceans

January 31, 2019 by  
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Fishing gear isn’t just deadly when there’s a fisherman at the other end of the line. Lost and abandoned equipment continues to kill, rampaging beneath the ocean’s surface, tangling fish, drowning seabirds and smothering reefs. This ghost gear haunts common and endangered species indiscriminately. According to a UN Environment and FAO report , another 640,000 tons of ghost gear is added to the undersea dump each year. In Southeast India, workers at the Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute have formed a team of ghost-net busters to reverse this damage.  The Gulf of Mannar includes 560 square kilometers of islands and shallow coastal waters. Since being declared a marine park in 1986, the live coral reefs have shrunk from 110 to 80 square kilometers. Between climate change bleaching the coral and destructive fishing practices, the ghost-net busters face daunting challenges. They must manually remove nets, being careful not to further damage the coral. Related: California teen finds golf balls are a major source of plastic waste in our oceans “Through removal of ghost nets, we hope not only to help conserve corals but also to support the small-scale fishermen who depend mainly on the reef-associated fishery resources for their livelihoods,” said Patterson Edward, director of the research institute. Edward is part of a team of nine marine scientists and three support staff who survey, monitor and restore reefs in the Gulf of Mannar. Finding and retrieving ghost nets is one part of their work. The problem goes way beyond the gulf. Ghost nets “are killing megafauna in the Indian Ocean and are a transboundary problem, because nets from India find their way to other countries in the region such as the Maldives and kill many iconic species such as turtles, rays and sharks ,” said Gabriel Grimsditch, an expert in marine ecosystems at UN Environment. While aerial views of floating garbage patches are all too familiar, many people have yet to learn about ghost gear. “It’s not just plastic bags and bottles negatively impacting marine life and the blue economy; it’s estimated that by weight, ghost gear makes up between 46 to 70 percent of all macro plastics in our ocean,” said Grimsditch. + UN Environment and FAO Image via Shutterstock

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Ghost gear is haunting our oceans

Solar protective glass gives the iceberg-like Hercule home a mirrored finish

January 31, 2019 by  
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Modern, monolithic and minimalist , Hercule is a single-family home designed like an iceberg — the bulk of the building is hidden while the visible portion emerges out of the ground like the tip of an iceberg. Named after local hero John “Hercule” Gruen for its “robust strength,” the house located in Mondorf-les-bains in the south of Luxembourg is the recently completed work of local architecture practice 2001 . Embedded into the sloped terrain, the concrete dwelling further immerses itself into the landscape with a massive wall of solar reflective glass that mirrors the surroundings. Located on residual land between an old farmhouse and a suburban villa, the project site had a sloped terrain that the architects decided to turn into a design attribute rather than an obstacle. The natural context determined the layout of the home’s three floors, which step down the slope from west to east. Covering a built footprint of 446 square meters, the home appears deceptively compact from street level because of the spacious basement level. The main living spaces as well as the technical rooms are all located on the basement floor, which includes a two-car garage, a fitness and spa area, a wine cellar, storage and the open-plan living room, kitchen and dining area that open up to an enclosed outdoor courtyard through full-height glazed sliding doors. The dimensions of the open-plan living area — measuring 14 by 6 meters — is repeated on the two floors above ground that house the bedrooms and bathrooms. Related: Mirrored pavilion all but disappears into nature Minimalism is stressed throughout the design, with the main structural elements visible and enhanced through formwork and sanding.  Solar protective glass clads the east and west facades, which are oriented toward the street and the garden. To the south, a blind béton brut wall serves as a beam for the upper two floors to ensure a column-free living area below, while the north side is punctuated with garden-facing openings. + 2001 Photography by Maxime Delvaux via 2001

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Solar protective glass gives the iceberg-like Hercule home a mirrored finish

Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled

January 11, 2018 by  
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Lobsters may not really scream when you boil them – they don’t possess vocal cords – but research shows they can feel pain, and Switzerland’s government decided to do something about the common culinary practice of boiling lobsters alive. According to the government order, the crustaceans “will now have to be stunned before they are put to death.” Lobsters in Switzerland now have to be stunned before chefs plunge them into hot water to cook them. The government banned the practice of boiling live lobsters amid concerns the creatures might be able to experience pain. Research from Queen’s University Belfast seems to back them up – a 2013 study on crabs discovered they’re likely to feel pain. Since then, researchers have called upon the food industry to reconsider the treatment of crabs and other live crustaceans like prawns and lobsters. Related: 132-year-old lobster returned to ocean after living in tank for 20 years Switzerland’s new rule is part of an overhaul of animal protection laws that goes into effect on March 1. Swiss public broadcaster RTS said the accepted stunning methods are electric shock or mechanical destruction of the creature’s brain. The government is also outlawing the practice of transporting live crustaceans like lobsters in icy water or on ice, saying they must “always be held in their natural environment.” Some people have contended crustaceans like lobsters can’t feel pain, since they only possess nociception, or “a reflex response to move away from a noxious stimulus,” according to Nature ‘s news blog . Animal behavior researcher Robert Elwood doesn’t agree. He said there’s strong evidence crustaceans do feel pain. Via The Guardian and Nature News Blog Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled

Elon Musk wants to build a rocket that can fly you from New York to Shanghai in 30 minutes

September 29, 2017 by  
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Imagine being able to travel from New York to Shanghai in just 30 minutes. If Elon Musk succeeds with his newest plan, a trip of this kind will soon be possible. During Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. , the entrepreneur revealed his ambition to build the “BFR” – a rocket that could transport anyone anywhere on the planet within 60 minutes. Musk, who has long dreamed of founding a human colony on Mars , is willing to use his own personal assets to fund the futuristic technology. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); LIVE: Elon Musk reveals his latest plans for colonizing Mars. Posted by Bloomberg Technology on Thursday, September 28, 2017 “If we are going to places like Mars , why not Earth?” said Musk at the 68th International Astronautical Congress, which took place in Adelaide, Australia. Towards the end of Musk’s presentation, an animation played on the screen behind the tech entrepreneur, showing dozens of people getting on a high-speed ferry in New York, boarding the BRF on a platform in the water, then jetting to Shanghai in about 30 minutes. Musk wrote on Instagram: ”Fly to most places on Earth in under 30 mins and anywhere in under 60. Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft . Forgot to mention that.” Reportedly, the BFR will contain 40 cabins capable of “ferrying” approximately 100 people at a time. The 46-year-old has admitted in the past that “the major fundamental flaw” in his plans is the financing aspect. With a net worth of approximately $21 billion, the entrepreneur isn’t averse to using his own personal assets to develop the technology. However, money for the BFR will also be raised via contracts with commercial satellite operators, who can use the BFR to carry satellites to orbit, as well as crew and cargo to the International Space Station . Related: Elon Musk sets tentative date for Tesla Semi truck unveiling Musk is also ambitious to send an unmanned “Red Dragon” spacecraft to the red planet in 2018. Though the initial plan has changed, the new goal has the craft landing on Mars in 2022, followed by crewed missions in 2024. Via Bloomberg Images via TEDx , Pixabay

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Elon Musk wants to build a rocket that can fly you from New York to Shanghai in 30 minutes

Modern timber-clad addition spruces up an old Austrian farmhouse

June 7, 2016 by  
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Designed in the Mühlviertel Bauernsacherl style, the original property was built in the local rural vernacular with a half-hip roof and white granite walls. Hammerschmid Pachl Seebacher Architekten’s renovation carefully preserves the building’s character while adding an L-shaped extension that’s both contemporary and complementary. The spruce-clad addition is topped with an asymmetric fibre-cement gabled roof. Related: Austrian S House is Elevated on Stilts so a Lush Garden Can Grow Below It The interior features mostly white-painted surfaces with exposed timber ceiling beams and floors for a clean and modern appearance. The client’s family of four live on one side of the house with three bedrooms on the upper level of the old building that connect to an open-plan communal area with the kitchen, dining room, and living area in the new wing. The client’s mother lives on the lower level of the farmhouse, which was converted into a self-contained apartment with access to a small winter garden. + Hammerschmid Pachl Seebacher Architekten Via Dezeen Images via Hammerschmid Pachl Seebacher Architekten

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Modern timber-clad addition spruces up an old Austrian farmhouse

Solar Impulse Pilots Hosting Reddit Ask Me Anything TODAY at 1PM EST

May 31, 2013 by  
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This amazing Solar Impulse airplane recently completed the second leg of its sun-powered journey across the United States , and today co-founders and pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are hosting a Reddit Ask Me Anything at 1pm EST ! Head over to Reddit now to participate in the live conversation and learn more about this record-breaking project. + Solar Impulse Ask me Anything + Solar Impulse Coverage on Inhabitat Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: across america tour , alternative energy , ama , Andre Borschberg , ask me anything , bertrand piccard , green technology , green transportation , photovoltaics , reddit , renewable energy , solar impulse , solar plane , Solar Power , solar powered plane        

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Solar Impulse Pilots Hosting Reddit Ask Me Anything TODAY at 1PM EST

Marko Vuckovic’s Hydroponic Grass Lamp Lets Anyone Grow Plants Indoors

February 14, 2013 by  
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In an apartment or an office setting, a little greenery can turn a lifeless space into a relaxing oasis. Designer Marko Vu?kovi? ‘s Grass Lamp is a sleek hydroponic light fixture that blends modernist design with living plants. The grass is planted in a growing medium and fed with a mineral nutrient solution, while an overhead fixture provides light. Taking advantage of limited space, the lamp is a beautiful and creative way to add life to a room and purify the air. Read the rest of Marko Vuckovic’s Hydroponic Grass Lamp Lets Anyone Grow Plants Indoors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bosch foundation , design and design award , grass lamp , hydroponic , kare , Light , marko vuckovic , polytechnic university of belgrade , saturn clock

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Marko Vuckovic’s Hydroponic Grass Lamp Lets Anyone Grow Plants Indoors

Check Out Architecture for Humanity’s Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! Today in San Francisco

November 13, 2012 by  
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Today Architecture for Humanity ‘s 3rd Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! conference is bringing San Francisco a schedule of panels and workshops that “bring together designers, architects, real estate professionals, manufacturers, academics, philanthropists, media and business leaders to address the challenges and lessons learned in humanitarian design.” Inhabitat is on the scene, and we’re looking forward to discussions on topics that include “Key Practices for Success in Disaster Reconstruction” (with input from former AIA President Clark Manus and Greensburg GreenTown founder Daniel Wallach ), “Eco-Development in Low Income Communities” and much more. The day will be rounded off by a Design Open Mic judged by Peter Exley . If you can’t make it there in person, fear not—the event will be streamed live! + Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: afh conference , Architecture for Humanity , cameron sinclair , design conference , design like you give a damn , disaster recovery , humanitarian design , kate storr , San Francisco , sustainable design

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Check Out Architecture for Humanity’s Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! Today in San Francisco

Kirchplatz Office + Residence in Switzerland by Oppenheim and Huesler Redefines Live-Work

September 6, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Kirchplatz Office + Residence in Switzerland by Oppenheim and Huesler Redefines Live-Work Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptive reuse of old farm house , florida architecture firm office in switzerland , Huesler Architekten , live-work in farmhouse office and new residence , Minergie , Oppenheim Architecture + Design , solar panels on roof , ultra-modern remodel

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Kirchplatz Office + Residence in Switzerland by Oppenheim and Huesler Redefines Live-Work

Inhabitat is Reporting LIVE From ICFF 2012!

May 19, 2012 by  
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Heads up design fans! ICFF 2012 just kicked off in NYC and Inhabitat is reporting live from the Javits Center to bring you the best green designs from this year’s show. We’ll be publishing breaking design coverage throughout the day, so keep checking back – and make sure to follow Inhabitat’s Twitter for live tweets straight from the show floor! + Inhabitat ICFF 2012 Coverage Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , “sustainable furniture” , green design , green interiors , green products , ICFF , icff 2012 , International Contemporary Furniture Fair , new york design week , ny design week , sustainable design

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