Rare "super-deep" diamond and mineral found in South African mine

March 9, 2018 by  
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Scientists have uncovered a rare “super-deep” diamond in the Cullinan mine in South Africa’s Gauteng province. Wrapped in this diamond is the mineral calcium silicate perovskite, the fourth-most abundant mineral found on Earth — a significant discovery because, despite its abundance, this marks the first time in which calcium silicate perovskite has been found in nature. “This was very special because this mineral had been theoretically predicted, but it was not thought possible to see it preserved at the Earth’s surface for observation and measurement,” study co-author Graham Pearson told Inverse . “Finding a natural object that has never been seen by anyone before is always exhilarating! It’s what most natural scientists dream about.” Cullinan Mine is known for its rare blue diamonds as well as its scientific and commercial value. According to the authors of the study published in Nature , diamonds “provide access to the deepest intact material from the Earth’s interior through the minerals contained within their volumes.” The discovered diamond is called “super-deep” in reference to its origins 200 to 1,000 kilometers (about 125-621 miles) below the surface of the Earth , The first-ever natural discovery of calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3) wrapped in a rare diamond is providing scientists with a privileged glimpse into the deep inner workings of the Earth. Related: Scientists observe ‘diamond rain’ similar to that found on icy giant planets The super-deep diamond was determined to have formed approximately 760 kilometers below the surface of the Earth. Because the diamond formed in such a deep location, it was highly pressurized. This enabled the diamond to successfully hold CaSiO3, which exists only in very high pressure environments. “Only the super-strong nature of the diamond, and the particular nature of the fast eruption of the host kimberlite, in this case, provided a favorable set of circumstances that led to the preservation of this mineral ,” explained Pearson. “Many people predicted that we would never actually see a natural version of this mineral at the Earth’s surface because it is so unstable.” Via Inverse Images via Wikimedia and Petra Diamonds

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Rare "super-deep" diamond and mineral found in South African mine

Honeycomb shading keeps Bro Ole Scheerens skyscrapers naturally cool in Singapore

March 9, 2018 by  
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Büro Ole Scheeren recently completed DUO, a pair of sculptural glass towers in Singapore’s Kampong Glam neighborhood. The striking mixed-use development is partly wrapped in a honeycomb facade designed to promote solar shading and to accentuate the curved facades. The concave facades also help create a cooling microclimate by channeling winds towards the lushly landscaped parks below. In addition to its eye-catching appearance, DUO also marks a historic joint venture development between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore. Located between Singapore’s historic Kampong Glam district and commercial Bugis Junction, the twin towers will transform the area into a new civic hub with welcoming public spaces including 24-hour covered and open-air gardens , walkways, cafes, and restaurants. “DUO is about a sense of urban responsibility,” says Ole Scheeren , principal of Büro Ole Scheeren. “It shows how architecture can become a tool of reconciliation within an otherwise disparate and fragmented urban context. The project repairs a broken piece of the city and celebrates public life as the central quality of a socially responsible urban environment.” Related: Ole Scheeren unveils designs for a stunning “sky forest” in Vietnam The taller of the two towers at 186 meters is solely residential and houses 660 units. The second 170-meter-tall building includes corporate offices and a five-star Andaz hotel. Additional commercial areas are placed at the public ground floor that’s entirely passively cooled in an oasis-like environment. + Büro Ole Scheeren Via ArchDaily Images © Iwan Baan

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Honeycomb shading keeps Bro Ole Scheerens skyscrapers naturally cool in Singapore

Green-roofed Czech Forestry Headquarters seeks symbiosis with the forest

March 9, 2018 by  
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Imagine if your office was set in the middle of a forest—that’s the image Chybik + Kristof aims for in their competition-winning designs for the new Czech Forestry Headquarters. Located in Hradec Králové, the office building draws direct inspiration from the surrounding forest with its liberal use of timber, a facade evocative of tree trunks, and canopy-like green roofs that encourage bird nesting. The interiors continue the vision of the forest as a workplace with a calming environment full of greenery and natural materials. The Chybik + Kristof-led design team’s “Forestry in the Forest” proposal was born from an initial site visit. When the team explored the Hradec forest beyond the Lesy ?eské republiky campus, they noticed the dramatic temperature difference between the hot campus buildings and the cool forest . “We asked ourselves what we really are forced to work in the hot interior when it would be best to take your laptop among the trees and work in an environment full of peace? Peace,” wrote the architects. Related: Paris hopes to create a forest 5 times bigger than NYC’s Central Park The forest-inspired office is centered on an open courtyard from where buildings radiate outwards, following the design philosophy that “the building grows into a forest, and the forest into the building.” Natural daylight streams through the buildings which recreate the outdoor environment with exposed timber framework indoors, hanging plants, and a natural materials and color palette. A natural trail with educational signage winds around the building and take visitors through areas planted with particular species like spruce, beech and fir, and oak and hornbeams. + Chybik + Kristof Via ArchDaily Images via Chybik + Kristof

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Green-roofed Czech Forestry Headquarters seeks symbiosis with the forest

Austrian scientists create a cheap, flexible solar cell just 3 micrometers thick

August 27, 2015 by  
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The age old mineral perovskite has been something of a holy grail in solar cell development; the mineral is abundant, cheap, lightweight, and highly efficient when it comes to absorbing light. It does, however, have one major downside: perovskite is water-soluble. In experiments to utilize the mineral, this has meant solar cells have either been light and degradable or heavier and less efficient. But an effort by researchers at Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has created a relatively stable solar cell that is just three micrometers thick and yields 12 percent efficiency. Read the rest of Austrian scientists create a cheap, flexible solar cell just 3 micrometers thick

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Austrian scientists create a cheap, flexible solar cell just 3 micrometers thick

Chinese welder spends a year building life-size Transformers model for his lucky son

August 27, 2015 by  
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Scientists Agree Earth Has Entered a New Human-Shaped Geological Epoch

November 12, 2014 by  
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With 7 billion humans and counting living on Earth, all of whom have the increasing capacity to build, shape and often devastate the planet, scientists are now starting to agree that the planet is entering a new geological age shaped by humanity’s impact. According to New Scientist , the idea that humans have the ability to make significant impacts on Earth’s structure has been around for a long time, but were mostly dismissed by geologists who thought humans could never make an imprint on the Earth that was so long lasting it would never be erased. Read the rest of Scientists Agree Earth Has Entered a New Human-Shaped Geological Epoch Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: anthropocene , artificial , destruction , epoch , geological , human , impact , mineral , mining , shaped , time

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Scientists Agree Earth Has Entered a New Human-Shaped Geological Epoch

$11.4 Billion of Recyclables Trashed Yearly

July 31, 2012 by  
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A new report by As You Sow, an organization that promotes corporate environmental responsibility, shows that a staggering $11.4 billion worth of recyclables enter landfills each year– materials that could be easily reused or recycled. Forty percent…

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5.9 Mineral, Virginia Earthquake Shakes Six Nuclear Power Plants Within 150 Miles

August 23, 2011 by  
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A magnitude 5.9 earthquake just hit Mineral, VA , sending shockwaves up and down the East Coast of the United States that evacuated the Capital Building, the White House, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. With Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster still fresh in our memory — and still sending radiation through that country — everyone is wondering how this latest tremor will affect nuclear power plants in the Mineral, VA area. The answer, as of now, is not much — but there are six nuclear reactors within 150 miles of the earthquake’s epicenter, and a recent report by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that we’re not properly prepared for a disaster. Read the rest of 5.9 Mineral, Virginia Earthquake Shakes Six Nuclear Power Plants Within 150 Miles Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 5.9 earthquake , boston earthquake , earth quake , earthquake , east coast earthquake , mineral , mineral virginia , new york city earthquake , new york earthquake , nyc earthquake , seismologist , virginia , virginia earthquake , washington dc earthquake , washington earthquake

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5.9 Mineral, Virginia Earthquake Shakes Six Nuclear Power Plants Within 150 Miles

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