Yurt-inspired visitor’s center in China blends into its exceptional surroundings

February 9, 2018 by  
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This gorgeous visitor center in China was inspired by Mongolian yurts . Architecture firm HDD combined locally sourced stone and wooden beams to create a multi-functional space where local children can play and read. The Mulan Weichang Visitors Center also offers overnight accommodations and a great spot for astronomy enthusiasts to observe the night sky, all nestled within the stunning Mongolian grasslands. The building is located in the northeast of Hebei province, an area connected to inner Mongolia grasslands where ancient Chinese emperors used to hold autumn hunting festivals. Blending into its grassy surroundings, the building resembles the traditional Mongolian yurt. This layout creates a series of round, semi-public spaces that fit perfectly with the modern lifestyle. Related: A Firsthand Look at the Magnolia 2300 Yurt – the First Energy Star Home in British Columbia The middle of the library is a sunken living space, and the kitchen and dining area located off to the side. Large windows fill the interior with natural light and offer views of the landscape. This openness toward the exterior dominates every corner of the interior, including the bathroom, where a freestanding bathtub sits in front of another large window. Related: Trakke Transforms Ancient Yurt into a Packable Round House That Pops Up Anywhere for the Everyday Adventurer The architects used local materials including old stone and used wooden beams in order for the building to blend seamlessly into its natural surroundings. The main structure of the building is steel framing, combined with triple layered low-e glass panels, while the exterior wooden frames double as an efficient shading system. + HDD Architecture Via Contemporist Photos by Shengliang Su

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Yurt-inspired visitor’s center in China blends into its exceptional surroundings

Scott Pruitt thinks global warming could be favorable for humans

February 9, 2018 by  
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt has once again aired thoughts that depart from mainstream climate science , according to The Guardian . In a recent interview with Nevada TV station News 3 , Pruitt suggested global warming could be beneficial for people. He said, “Do we really know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100, in the year 2018? It’s fairly arrogant for us to think we know exactly what it should be in 2100.” Pruitt said in an interview with News 3’s Gerard Ramahlo, “No one disputes the climate changes , is changing, that’s, we see that, that’s constant. We obviously contribute to it; we live in the climate, right?…Now measuring that with precision, Gerard, I think is more challenging than is let on at times but I think the bigger question is…is it an existential threat? Is it something that is unsustainable or what kind of effect or harm is this going to have? I mean, we know that humans have most flourished during times of what, warming trends. I mean, so, so, I think there’s assumptions made that because the climate is warming that that necessarily is a bad thing.” Related: Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO before denying pesticide ban The EPA administrator echoed an idea that’s been raised in the past of a debate on climate change, to go over “what we do know and what we don’t know, so the American people can be informed and make decisions on their own.” A snapshot of the EPA website on January 19, 2017, the day before Donald Trump was sworn into office, was very clear that the impacts of climate change would threaten human health . They said people could be exposed to disease , be threatened by extreme weather events, or face food insecurity due to climate change impacts. Via The Guardian and News 3 Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Scott Pruitt thinks global warming could be favorable for humans

Beautiful Eichler-inspired home draws the eye with a dramatic roof

February 9, 2018 by  
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A coastal infill lot in Southern California has been transformed into a beautiful new home that leans heavily on mid-century modern influences. Surfside Projects and architect Lloyd Russell teamed up to design Avocado Acres House in Encinitas, a beach town just outside of San Diego. The Case Study Houses and Eichler Homes provided the main inspiration for the home, which also incorporates sustainable and energy-efficient design elements. Like all beloved mid-century modern homes in California, Avocado Acres Home embraces the outdoors with ample glazing . A sloping curved shed roof tops the single-story building and tie together its three pavilions that make up a U-shaped plan. “Straight lines with an angular street front geometry sits in stark contrast to the unique curvilinear roof profile,” wrote the designers. “A simple color palette of the open interior space complements the muscular concrete walls and extensive use of natural wood tones on the vaulted ceiling, flooring and cabinetry.” Related: Classic Eichler gets a tasteful renovation and expansion in the heart of Silicon Valley The main living spaces are placed at the front of the home near the street and arranged in an L-formation, however, high walls and clerestory windows preserve privacy. In contrast, nine-foot-tall sliding glass doors open the dining room up to the outdoor courtyard hidden from the street. Three bedrooms, including the master ensuite, are located at the rear of the home. The home’s sustainable features were certified by California’s GreenPoint Rated system. + Surfside Projects + Lloyd Russell Photos by Darren Bradley

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Ancient flying reptile was around the size of a small plane

November 1, 2017 by  
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Pterosaurs roamed the skies long ago as the first animals to evolve powered flight after insects – and in the Gobi Desert , scientists recently found the remains of one that could have been nearly as big as a small aircraft. The massive pterosaur lived around 70 million years ago and could have been one of the biggest pterosaurs to ever walk the Earth, with a 36-foot wingspan. Pterosaurs were reptiles , according to the American Museum of Natural History . They were close cousins to dinosaurs , and some were as tiny as a paper airplane. But this new pterosaur was anything but tiny. An international team led by the University of Tokyo found what they described as fragmentary cervical vertebral elements. From these fossil bones they determined the creature was huge. No pterosaur that large had been found in Asia until this one. Related: Brand new “mega-carnivore” dinosaur discovered in Africa The two biggest pterosaurs we know of are the Quetzalcoatlus , found in the 1970’s in Texas, and Hatzegopteryx , found in the 1990’s in Romania. These reptiles had wingspans of around 32 to 36 feet, and could have reached 18 feet high on the ground – around as tall as a big bull giraffe, according to National Geographic . Pterosaur expert of the University of Portsmouth Mark Witton, who was not a co-author on this study, said there’s a chance this new pterosaur could have been even bigger than those other two. The new pterosaur is part of a group called azhdarchids, though scientists are reluctant to say they come from a new species given the incomplete remains. The pterosaur possibly ate baby dinosaurs, but could have been capable of taking prey the size of a human, according to Witton. It wouldn’t have been an apex predator, because it was alive alongside a 5.5 ton-relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex , Tarbosaurus – although the pterosaur probably wouldn’t have been lunch for those creatures because in mere seconds it could have hurled itself towards the sky from a standing start. The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology published the discovery online in October. Scientists from Mongolia, the United States, and Japan contributed to the research. Via National Geographic Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Ancient flying reptile was around the size of a small plane

Nicholas Cage pledges to return Mongolia’s stolen dinosaur skull

December 23, 2015 by  
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When actor Nicolas Cage bought a 70 million year old Tyrannosaurus bataar skull at auction for $276,000 in 2007, he had no way of knowing that it had actually been smuggled illegally into the United States. Cage purchased the fossil anonymously from the I.M. Chait gallery in Beverly Hills, but in July, 2014 he learned the skull was the subject of a homeland security investigation when law enforcement contacted his agent about the case. Read the rest of Nicholas Cage pledges to return Mongolia’s stolen dinosaur skull

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Beautiful Ontario refuge built from reclaimed materials is 100% self-sufficient

December 23, 2015 by  
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Mongolia’s Nomads Modernize Traditional Tent Homes with Solar Panels

April 11, 2014 by  
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With 250 days of sunshine a year, Mongolia’s potential for solar energy is vast but mostly underutilized. That’s beginning to change though – a new government sponsored initiative aims to equip traditional dome-like homes called gers (tents made of felt and yak’s wool) with portable solar home systems (SHS) to make life a little easier in the northern highlands. So far, almost 70 percent of nomadic people now have access to electricity thanks to newly installed solar panels. Read the rest of Mongolia’s Nomads Modernize Traditional Tent Homes with Solar Panels Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , a better life for mongolian nomads , gers , mongolia’s nomads , Mongolian Ger Solar Panels , mongolian tents , nomad tents , nomadic lifestyle , renewable energies , solar energy for mongolia’s nomads , solar energy for mongolian tents , solar energy in Mongolia , solar panels , yurts

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The Awesome Reason You’ll Never See a UPS Truck Take a Left Turn in the U.S.

April 11, 2014 by  
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Email and text messages may have replaced snail mail, but there are some things that you just can’t send electronically. While the Internet may have killed the handwritten letter, all those online stores have only boosted demand for parcel delivery services. In the interest of saving money and building a greener image, delivery companies have adopted some unique policies. For instance: UPS trucks never turn left! Nope that’s not a joke: In the U.S., UPS drivers are advised to avoid left hand turns at all costs. It sounds silly, but the reduced fuel costs (and by extension, emissions) are no joke. Read the rest of The Awesome Reason You’ll Never See a UPS Truck Take a Left Turn in the U.S. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: parcel delivery service , UPS , UPS brown truck , UPS energy efficiency , UPS hybrid trucks , UPS logistics , UPS no left turns , UPS trucks , UPS trucks don’t turn left

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Snow Leopards are Fashion’s Next Victim

July 24, 2013 by  
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Image via Shutterstock Snow leopards and other wild animals from the mountains and steppes across the Tibetan plateau, Mongolia and West India are struggling to survive because of a surge in cashmere production. The grass and other forage that once sustained antelope on which animals like leopards and wolves prey is being gobbled up by the millions of goats that are raised each year to produce the soft silky wool that is coveted by fashionistas across the globe. Read the rest of Snow Leopards are Fashion’s Next Victim Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cashmere , china , conservation , endangered wildlife , Environment , fashion victims , mongolia , Nature , News , snow leopards , Wildlife        

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Salkhit Wind Farm: Mongolia’s First Major Wind Power Project Goes Online

June 12, 2013 by  
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Mongolia’s first wind energy project has just been unveiled! The $100 million Salkhit Wind Farm aims to take advantage of the country’s high winds with 31 turbines, each capable of generating 1.5MW. It is hoped that the wind farm will reduce dependence on coal fired plants and help the country to embark on further transition to renewable energy sources. Read the rest of Salkhit Wind Farm: Mongolia’s First Major Wind Power Project Goes Online Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , Clean Energy LLC , GE , GE wind turbine , mongolia , Salkhit Wind Farm , SgurrEnergy , wind energy , wind farm        

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