World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion-years-old

March 2, 2017 by  
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Around four billion years ago, bacteria formed tiny tubes and filaments, likely in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. An international team of scientists lead by the University College London (UCL) recently discovered those microorganism remains, preserved for billions of years, which the scientists think could be the oldest fossils humans have ever unearthed. The discovery might even hold clues to life on other planets like Mars .

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World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion-years-old

Santiago Calatrava unveils spectacular 1 billion London landmark

February 2, 2017 by  
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Starchitect Santiago Calatrava unveiled spectacular designs for a £1 billion glass landmark in London’s emerging cultural district, Greenwich Peninsula . Commissioned by Knight Dragon, the 1.4-million-square-foot mixed-use development is Calatrava’s first design in Britain. The new landmark, called Peninsula Place, will sit at the heart of London’s largest single regeneration project, a £8.4 billion transformation of the Peninsula that will provide over 15,000 new homes in seven new neighborhoods. Calatrava’s Peninsula Place will serve as the gateway to Greenwich Peninsula and become part of the Peninsula Central, a neighborhood that will also be home to two buildings designed by Greenwich Peninsula’s masterplanners Allies & Morrison . Together the neighborhood will offer 800 new homes, a quarter of which will be affordable. Peninsula Place’s lower level will include a new tube and bus station, theater, cinema and performance venue, bars, shops, and a wellbeing hub. Three towers rise above this mixed-use base and will contain office space, apartments, and hotels. Related: C.F. Møller’s Low Carbon Energy Center slashes carbon footprint in Greenwich Peninsula A new land bridge will connect Peninsula Place to the Thames River. Sammy Lee of Knight Dragon said: “My ambition is for Greenwich Peninsula to be a unique cultural destination for Londoners and visitors to this global city. Calatrava’s contribution will help ensure that the UK’s biggest regeneration project fulfills its potential to become just that.” Knight Dragon’s plans for Greenwich Peninsula also include central London’s first major film studio, a new design district, schools, office spaces, health services, and public spaces. + Santiago Calatrava Images © Uniform

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Santiago Calatrava unveils spectacular 1 billion London landmark

Scientists find evidence of lost continent beneath Mauritius

February 2, 2017 by  
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A group of geoscientists have uncovered an ancient secret. The scientists from German and South African research institutions found evidence of a formerly undiscovered continent beneath the small Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. This lost continent likely vanished into the ocean around 84 million years ago, undiscovered by humans until just recently. Three geoscientists realized zircon they found on Mauritius was much too old for the relatively new island which formed in the wake of underwater volcanic eruptions eight to nine million years ago. Volcanic eruptions on the island spewed out the zircon crystals that researchers now think may derive from an ancient continent linking India and Madagascar as part of the Gondwana supercontinent. Lewis Ashwal of University of the Witwatersrand , who is the lead author on a paper published online January 31 by Nature , said, “Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than nine million years old on the island. However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found zircons that are as old as three billion years.” Related: Ancient ocean crust in the Mediterranean Sea may predate supercontinent Pangea Back in 2013, scientists found ancient zircons billions of years old in Mauritius beach sand, but that find was controversial as other scientists said the materials could have arrived at the beach from somewhere else. The new discovery lends credence to the idea that there once was a continent under Mauritius billions of years ago, as these zircons could not have been transported to the island via wind or waves, according to Ashwal. He said, “The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent.” Now some people think other pieces of the Gondwana supercontinent may be found in the future, as we explore deeper in the oceans . Via ScienceAlert and Phys.org Images via Ludovic Lubeigt on Flickr and Susan Webb/Wits University

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Scientists find evidence of lost continent beneath Mauritius

World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes

January 10, 2017 by  
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If you’re in London and need your gadget charged or repaired, you might want to look for that iconic red telephone box. A group of London-based techies have recently opened the world’s tiniest phone repair shop– Lovefonebox– housed in the city’s repurposed red telephone box, and promise to repair mobile devices in less than 30 minutes. The company, named Lovefone , have set up their first repair shop in a red telephone booth in Greenwich, London. They decided to bring these landmarks, made obsolete by mobile technology, back to life, and convert them into tiny mobile phone repair shops with a free charging service. Related: Iconic Verbier Ski Gondolas Repurposed into Stunning Shelters to be Auctioned for Charity Lovefone will start with locations in Greenwich and Knightsbridge and are planning another 6 boxes in London. Their aim is to have 35 locations in London over the next 18 months with franchise opportunities available outside London. + Lovefone

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World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes

FBI arrests Volkswagen executive over emissions scandal

January 10, 2017 by  
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Back in October a federal judge approved the largest automotive scandal settlement ever, nearly $15 billion, over Volkswagen’s emissions cheating crime. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested another Volkswagen executive, who was attempting to get on a plane to Germany on Saturday. Oliver Schmidt used to be the general manager of the automobile company’s United States Engineering and Environmental Office before he transferred to Germany in 2015. The New York Times reported the FBI arrested Schmidt at Miami International Airport. Schmidt faces the charges of disobeying the Clean Air Act and defrauding the United States government. Court documents cited by the New York Times indicate the disgraced executive may be able to provide information on other Volkswagen employees currently under government investigation. Related: $15 billion settlement approved after Volkswagen emissions scandal FBI agent Ian Dinsmore said in an affidavit that Schmidt played a key role attempting to sway regulators into thinking excess emissions resulted due to technical issues instead of intentional cheating. According to the affidavit, Schmidt offered “reasons for the discrepancy other than the fact that VW was intentionally cheating on U.S. emissions tests, in order to allow VW to continue to sell diesel vehicles in the United States.” Schmidt continued to work for Volkswagen after the scandal, and in January 2016 he spoke to a British Parliament committee , maintaining the shameful actions Volkswagen took weren’t illegal in Europe. Schmidt isn’t the first Volkswagen employee charged in the scandal’s wake, but he could be the most high profile person charged. Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiring to defraud the United States public in September 2016. After Schmidt’s arrest, a Volkswagen spokesperson told The New York Times the company “continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice” but “it would not be appropriate to comment on any ongoing investigations or to discuss personal matters.” Via The New York Times ( 1 , 2 ) and The Verge Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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FBI arrests Volkswagen executive over emissions scandal

Sustainability reporting in stock exchanges ‘comes of age’

December 7, 2016 by  
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Soon 38 exchanges in London, Qatar, Vietnam and beyond will offer companies environmental and social guidance. Guess who’s missing?

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Sustainability reporting in stock exchanges ‘comes of age’

Making the business case on climate change to Trump

December 7, 2016 by  
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Here’s how to create tens of thousands of jobs without raising taxes.

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Making the business case on climate change to Trump

Londons new Design Museum opens this week inside a renovated post-war modernist building

November 21, 2016 by  
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Topped with a sweeping paraboloid copper-clad concrete roof, the Design Museum’s new building features a double-glazed facade that was meticulously detailed with mullions and patterns to mimic the original blue exterior. The renovated facade is complemented by a new public plaza with fountains installed at the entrance and a West 8 -designed landscape. The most notable overhaul, however, is in the interior, which includes two major temporary gallery spaces, a free permanent collection display, a restaurant overlooking Holland Park, auditorium, studios, library, archive, and new learning facilities. Inside the museum, John Pawson led the redesign, ripping out the original concrete floors and laying down Italian terrazzo flooring on the basement and ground floors, while warm-toned Dinesen oak flooring was used for the upper floors. The galleries, learning spaces, cafe, events space, and shop are organized around an oak-lined central atrium that offer beautiful views up to the iconic hyperbolic paraboloid roof. The double-glazed facade and atrium let in copious amounts of natural light. At night, LEDs are used to illuminate the space. Related: Stone House Made from 99% Recycled Granite Debuts in Milan “There are ‘moments’ in the building that I relish every time I walk around, but I think it is really the way everything comes together – the new and the old – that gives me the greatest pleasure,” said John Pawson. “I hope the Design Museum shows people that you don’t have to tear down and start from scratch to make exciting new cultural spaces.” The Design Museum will open to the public on November 24, 2016 and is expected to attract 650,000 visitors in its first year. + Design Museum Images by Gareth Gardner and Gravity Road

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Londons new Design Museum opens this week inside a renovated post-war modernist building

BIG and Heatherwick to design Googles new London HQ

November 17, 2016 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Thomas Heatherwick will team up for another Google project, this time in the form of a new design for the tech giant’s new London headquarters at King’s Cross . The two firms previously partnered to develop the plan for Google’s controversial new HQ in Mountain View, California which has been plagued with hiccups since its inception. The architects released a single rendering as a teaser, and we can’t wait to see more as the design plan evolves over time.

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BIG and Heatherwick to design Googles new London HQ

IKEA Better Shelter refugee house pops up in west London

November 15, 2016 by  
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Design Museum installed the 17.5-square-meter IKEA Better Shelter outside the South Kensington Underground station in west London, close to the Design Museum’s new location on Kensington High Street. Nominated in the Beazley Designs of the Year’s Architecture category, the Better Shelter was selected for its socially beneficial design, a characteristic that Design Museum curator Gemma Curtain says is at the core of the Beazley Design Award. IKEA’s temporary shelter was developed in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency. Thousands of Better Shelters have been deployed worldwide, from Botswana to Greece, where they serve as temporary homes, registration centers, medical facilities, and food distribution points. Related: United Nations to send 10,000 flat-packed IKEA shelters to refugees worldwide Each flat-pack structure meets the basic needs of living, such as privacy and security, and is designed to last for at least three years and accommodate five people. The house-like shelters are made with a sturdy galvanized steel frame with semi-hard, recyclable polymer plastic walls and lockable doors. A rooftop solar panel charges an indoor LED lamp, which includes a USB port that can charge a mobile phone. Though the Better Shelter is designed for temporary housing, each unit can be anchored to the ground and withstand harsh elements. Every structure can be easily set up without tools in four hours and can be expanded upon thanks to its modular design. Better Shelter will be on display outside the London tube until November 23, 2016, after which it will be moved to the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition that runs from November 24, 2016 to February 19, 2017. The Award winners will be announced on January 26, 2017. + Better Shelter Via Dezeen Images via Design Museum , by Luke Hayes

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IKEA Better Shelter refugee house pops up in west London

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