Woman arrested in Florida for stomping on sea turtle nest

June 18, 2019 by  
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Last weekend, a woman was arrested and taken into custody for prodding and stomping on a protected sea turtle nest on Miami Beach in Florida. The woman, Yaqun Lu from Hudsonville, Michigan, was reported by bystanders, who saw her actions and alerted the police. The police also witnessed her stepping on and poking at the turtle nest. The section of the beach where the nest was situated was blocked off by tape and “Do Not Disturb” signs, indicating that the area is a protected nesting site. Three species of turtles typically nest along Miami Beach: loggerhead turtles, green sea turtles and leatherback turtles. All three turtles are protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973. It is also illegal to interfere with sea turtles, their nests or their hatchlings, according to Florida state legislature. Related: Study finds microplastics in sea turtles around the world According to a Miami Beach website on the importance and vulnerability of turtle nesting sites, “It is important not to disturb [sea turtle] hatchlings, eggs or nests since hatchlings need to crawl to the sea unimpeded. Touching nesting females, taking flash pictures of nesting females or hatchlings or digging into nests is prohibited by law.” Nesting season typically runs from April to October. Female turtles can lay up to 100 eggs per nest and approximately seven nests per season. Predators, marine debris and illegal fishing have contributed to the decline in sea turtle populations worldwide. It has not yet been publicized why the woman was interfering with the nest; however, spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez of the Miami Beach police department said, “Thankfully, it appears the eggs were not damaged.” Lu is being held on a $5,000 bond and is facing a felony charge of harassing a turtle nest. She will be represented by a public defender. Via Huffington Post Image via Mitch Lensink and TravelingOtter

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These solar-powered floating homes are built to withstand floods and hurricanes

April 1, 2019 by  
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As many coastal cities struggle to come up with resiliency plans in the face of rising sea levels, a Miami-based firm is creating sustainable, solar-powered floating residences that could offer the perfect solution. Already well-known for its high-end floating homes , Arkup is now teaming up with Artefacto , an environmentally friendly Brazilian furnishing brand, to create stylish floating houses that are not only resilient to storms and sea levels, but also represent the luxury style for which Miami is known. Arkup has long been recognized for creating sustainable and attractive floating homes that can provide discerning homeowners with what the Miami-based company refers to as “avant-garde life on water.” The residences are modern, cube-like structures that are completely self-sufficient, operating 100 percent off-grid thanks to solar power generation, eco-friendly waste management features, rainwater harvesting and water purification systems. Additionally, the homes are equipped with unique self-elevating systems that help the structures withstand high winds, floods and hurricanes. Related: These hurricane-proof floating homes are packed with green features In addition to the ultra sustainable and resilient features, the two-story floating homes boast interiors with a 775-square-foot living room, bedroom, kitchen and dining space, as well as an open-air rooftop lounge. Sliding glass doors, which almost make up the entirety of the front facade, lead out to a beautiful terrace. Although the company has been working on its floating homes for some time, it recently announced a new partnership with Artefacto, a Brazilian furnishing company with a strong commitment to sustainability  that is known for combining luxurious furniture made of raw materials with cutting-edge smart automation technologies. The Arkup residences will now be outfitted with eco-friendly furnishings, including high-end pieces made out of timber approved for use by the Brazilian Environment Department. + Arkup + Artefacto Images via Arkup

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These solar-powered floating homes are built to withstand floods and hurricanes

Teens exposed to air pollution more likely to experience psychotic episodes, new study says

April 1, 2019 by  
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Air pollution may have more long-term effects on teens than previously thought. A new study conducted in the U.K. found that adolescents who are exposed to pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, harmful particles and nitrogen dioxide , are more likely to experience psychotic episodes during their teen years. People living in densely populated, urban areas have increased risks of having clinical psychosis. This includes disorders like schizophrenia. Prior to the new study, researchers had yet to start any long-term projects that explore the relationship between air pollution and these mental disorders, despite pollution becoming a growing issue in urban locations. Related: Air pollution is killing Europeans at an alarming rate The new study, published in  Jama Psychiatry ,  looked at more than 2,200 children in the U.K. and examined the link between air pollution and mental health . The study was conducted over an 18 year period and included children from various socioeconomic backgrounds and geographic locations. In over 92 percent of the cases, the test subjects reported some kind of psychotic experience, such as having intense paranoia or hearing voices. “We found that adolescent psychotic experiences were more common in urban areas,” explained Joanne Newbury, one of the lead scientists on the study at King’s College London. Newbury added that they were unable to directly link the psychotic experiences of teens in the study with air pollution. Their findings, however, strongly suggest that these harmful chemicals are a contributing factor in the connection between urban populations and psychosis. It should be noted that the study took into account biological factors, and the scientists admitted that psychosocial mechanisms, such as stress, could also be at work. By 2050, experts estimate that over 70 percent of the world’s human population will be living in cities. With more and more people gravitating toward urban locations, it is vastly important that we discover why city dwellers are more susceptible to mental disorders. Although there are likely multiple connections to be made, the harmful gases and particles that commonly make up air quality should not be ignored. According to King’s College London , scientists hope to initiate more studies on the link between air pollution and psychosis, with long-term research being the key focal point. + Jama Psychiatry Via EcoWatch and  King’s College London Image via David Holt

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Teens exposed to air pollution more likely to experience psychotic episodes, new study says

BIG weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami

August 16, 2018 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled designs for a massive mixed-use development that is elevated into the air on thin stilts. Located in the central Miami neighborhood of Allapattah, an industrial, working-class district mainly comprised of produce suppliers, the major complex will serve as a new landmark destination in the city. Dubbed Miami Produce, the project will activate the site with urban farming, restaurants, storefronts, co-working offices, co-living apartments and educational programming. Covering an area of 125,000 square meters, the Miami Produce development takes cues from its industrial surroundings, which can be seen in the buildings’ large industrial-sized floor plates that the architects say “provide maximum programmatic flexibility.” The first phase of the project will see the restoration of the existing produce warehouses, linear buildings that run the length of the site and will be renovated to house educational and commercial programs. A series of passages will be cut through the buildings to improve circulation and provide better access to the nearby metro station. The spaces between the buildings will be landscaped to create three different public spaces: campus, street and garden. To increase site density, the architects plan to add four linear warehouse -like buildings elevated on slim pillars and arranged on the perimeter of the site, creating a large open courtyard in the center. The structures will include two volumes for residential, one for offices and another for hotel. Each building will be topped with unique green roofs that offer recreational opportunities. Related: Foster + Partners unveil plans for a pair of hurricane-resistant high rises in Miami Four more buildings will be stacked in a staggered formation atop the elevated structures. “[These] buildings float above the roofs’ capes and span over the openings below, creating gateways that open up to the surrounding neighborhood while providing light and air to the rooftops,” Bjarke Ingels Group said. “The buildings function as a three dimensional urban framework designed to activate the neighborhood with varying programs and environments.” + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via BIG

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BIG weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami

This luxury Miami home brings the tropical landscape indoors

May 30, 2018 by  
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Cape Town-based architecture firm SAOTA has completed a luxury waterfront home in Miami that boasts envious views toward the Atlantic Ocean and Miami Beach. Sandwiched between the Indian Creek Canal and Pine Tree Drive in the city’s historic Collins Waterfront district, the expansive home—called the Pine Tree Residence—prioritizes an indoor-outdoor living environment. The home also derives inspiration from the firm’s South African roots with its emphasis on the outdoors and “easy-living.” Completed as SAOTA’s first project in Miami, the Pine Tree family home is punctuated with palm trees and continuous views of water throughout. To take advantage of the site’s strong linear proportions, the architects installed large windows that allow for views straight through the home. The porosity of the home and the layout allow homeowners to enjoy views of the outdoors from almost any vantage point in the home. The Pine Tree home also overlooks the activity of the canal ; however, punched anodized aluminum screens can be used to ensure privacy when needed. “The design is as much about containment as it is about the views through the many living spaces, towards the Atlantic Ocean and world-renowned Miami Beach,” says SAOTA director, Philip Olmesdahl. “While the overall contemporary architectural design is a key focus of the SAOTA design team, the use and connectivity of the spaces is the primary driver – how the house lives.” The pool dominates the home’s footprint and the amount of water on the site is about half of the six-bedroom house. The large pool courtyard offers a buffet of entertaining options and includes a hot tub, barbecue area, bar, and even a two-story waterslide that serves as a focal point at the pool pavilion. Related: Foster + Partners unveil plans for a pair of hurricane-resistant high rises in Miami The interior is awash in natural light and the spaces were designed in collaboration with Nils Sanderson. The contemporary and harmonious finishes and furnishings establish the home as a calm retreat from stressful city life. Warm tones are achieved through a mixture of timber and other materials such as callacatta and limestone.  Raymond Jungles designed the landscape. + SAOTA Images via SAOTA

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BIG completes LEED Gold-seeking luxury condos in Miami

August 16, 2016 by  
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Located on South Bayshore Drive, the 98-unit Grove at Grand Bay condominium overlooks views of Biscayne Bay to downtown Miami. Despite Miami’s reputation as a car-centric city, the Grove at Grand Bay’s surrounding area is highly walkable and close to some of the city’s most popular cafes, lounges, bookstores, and boutiques. The pedestrian-friendly luxury condominium also includes two rooftop pools, a five-star spa and fitness center, full-time concierge and butler service, and even a pet spa. Residences range between 1,300 square feet in size to a 10,000-square-foot full-floor penthouse. All units come with 12-foot-high ceilings and glass doors. The design of the twisting glass buildings draws inspiration from the organic shapes found in nearby bodies of water and dense tropical foliage. The buildings are complemented with a stunning and lush landscape design created by acclaimed Miami landscape architect Raymond Jungles . The planting plan includes nearly 500 trees, over 15,000 plants, and many water features, and will help the project achieve LEED Gold status. Related: Brickell Flatiron takes Miami one step closer to a denser and more pedestrian-friendly downtown “Coconut Grove is one of Miami’s most storied neighborhoods and Grove at Grand Bay represents another chapter in that story,” says Terra President David Martin, who co-developed the project alongside his father Terra CEO Pedro Martin. “A sanctuary for artists, writers and unconventional thinkers, the Grove has a long history of challenging the status quo – much the same way Grove at Grand Bay is changing the way Miami thinks about design. We planned and developed this building with the goal of adding value to our neighborhood, so we’re proud that Coconut Grove is enjoying a resurgence while remaining mindful of its colorful past.” + Bjarke Ingels Group + Raymond Jungles Images via Grove at Grand Bay

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CDC issues historic Zika virus warning for northern Miami

August 2, 2016 by  
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Fourteen cases of Zika virus have been reported in the Miami area, leading Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials to issue a health alert for pregnant women and their partners living and traveling in that area of Florida . Although the mosquito-borne virus can go virtually undetected in most people, contracting the illness during pregnancy can lead to microcephaly , a severe birth defect that results in children needing lifelong care. Several other countries, including the United Kingdom, have already issued travel advisories for pregnant women traveling to south Florida. On Monday, officials announced that 10 new cases of Zika virus had been identified, adding to four previously known cases. The diagnosed cases are concentrated, leading health officials to believe the highest risk centers around a one-square-mile zone north of downtown in the Wynwood neighborhood. CDC officials believe these Zika cases all began when individuals contracted the disease locally, rather than while traveling overseas. This marks the first locally transmitted occurrence of the Zika virus within the continental United States. Related: The number of pregnant women in the U.S. with Zika virus just tripled The travel warning applies to women who are currently pregnant as well as those who may become pregnant in the near future, as contracting Zika could cause birth defects even after the fact. “Women who were in this area and left this area recently should wait at least eight weeks before trying to get pregnant,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden at a news conference on Monday. Officials continue to warn residents to take action to discourage mosquitoes , such as getting rid of standing water inside homes and backyards, as well as using insect repellant when outside. Widespread pest control attempts by local agencies haven’t had much of an impact on the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus, so additional precautions are now necessary. Health officials also noted that the mosquitoes do not travel more than 150 meters in their lifetime, which means the risk is confined to a small geographic area. Via ABC Images via Wikipedia and CDC

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CDC issues historic Zika virus warning for northern Miami

Yves Béhar showcases his sweet handmade surfboard in a temporary Miami Surf Shack

December 16, 2015 by  
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San Francisco designer Yves Béhar built a temporary installation as a showroom for his handcrafted surfboards in Miami Design District. The wooden Surf Shack is accompanied by an exhibition called Connecting, where the designer showcased his original sketches, prototypes and the well-known activity-tracking wristband Jawbone and the One Laptop Per Child project. Read the rest of Yves Béhar showcases his sweet handmade surfboard in a temporary Miami Surf Shack

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Yves Béhar showcases his sweet handmade surfboard in a temporary Miami Surf Shack

Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire U.S. with solar energy holds a lot of water

December 16, 2015 by  
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Elon Musk is many things: a forward-thinking technology buff, a serially successful businessman, and even a mediocre actor . He spends a lot of time thinking about the world’s big problems and coming up with possible solutions, and it’s probably high time we all start listening to what he has to say. Recently, Musk offered his take on powering the entire United States with solar power , and the more his suggestion is analyzed, the more sense it makes. Essentially, he proposes that the whole country could be powered by “a little corner of Nevada or Utah” and that, if government leaders cooperated and invested in infrastructure, it could happen in as little as 15 years. Is it really possible? Read the rest of Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire U.S. with solar energy holds a lot of water

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Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire U.S. with solar energy holds a lot of water

Nissan’s first extended-range electric car is going to debut in 2016

December 16, 2015 by  
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It’s widely known that range anxiety is one of the main reasons why car buyers haven’t whole-heartedly adopted the new crop of electric vehicles. BMW and Chevy have answered this range anxiety issue with models like the Chevy Volt and BMW i3, with their range extending engines and now Nissan has confirmed plans to offer a new electric vehicle with a small combustion engine. Read the rest of Nissan’s first extended-range electric car is going to debut in 2016

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Nissan’s first extended-range electric car is going to debut in 2016

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