Wild bison return to Canada’s Banff National Park for the first time in 140 years

February 9, 2017 by  
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Wild bison are coming home to Canada’s Banff National Park for the first time in roughly 140 years. Although bison were common sights in the Canadian landscape with a population that numbered in the millions in the early 1800s, these huge and herbivorous mammals nearly disappeared by the end of the 19th century as a result of hunting. Now 16 bison are back at Banff as part of a carefully planned conservation effort to re-establish the species within the area’s ecosystem. With any luck, the herd’s numbers will be growing soon: many of the transferred bisons are pregnant.

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Wild bison return to Canada’s Banff National Park for the first time in 140 years

America will soon surpass the clean energy standards Trump wants to kill

February 9, 2017 by  
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Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan , first announced in 2015, caused no end of political controversy in conservative circles for its ambitious carbon-cutting goals. By February 2016, the Supreme Court halted enforcement of the regulations due to complaints from 29 mostly Republican-led states. Opponents argued that the plan would cause massive layoffs in the energy sector. Now, a new report shows the US is actually poised to surpass the Clean Power Plan’s federal requirements – quite a different picture from the one Trump and his cabinet are painting. The new data comes from the 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook , published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. The report notes: “Within the power sector, the progress is even more noteworthy: in 2016, greenhouse gas emissions from US power plants dropped 5.3% in just one year. Since 2005, the power sector has shrunk its carbon footprint by 24% – in other words, the US is 75% of the way to the Clean Power Plan’s “32% by 2030” headline target, with 14 additional years left to go.” Part of the reason for the lowered emissions is the fact that coal is losing its share of the energy market. Right now it only comprises 30% of the electricity grid in the US – the lowest percentage in the last 70 years. The rise in solar energy is another contributing factor – the solar industry grew by 51,000 jobs last year and seemed poised to continue growing until at least 2022, with the encouragement of the solar energy tax credit. Related: Supreme Court freezes Obama’s plan to cut CO2 emissions This report shows that the transformation in America’s energy market was in effect before the CPP was even on the table. While Obama’s clean energy policies surely accelerated it and made it easier for businesses to make the switch to renewable energy, the change was well underway. Trump’s administration may be expressing interest in repealing the rule , but it’s unlikely to stop the clean energy revolution that’s already underway. Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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America will soon surpass the clean energy standards Trump wants to kill

South America’s largest aquarium boasts a 650-foot underwater tunnel

October 18, 2016 by  
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Brazil’s newest aquarium features a 650-foot underwater tunnel , inviting guests to venture into a marine world few have ever seen before. AquaRio is set to become South America’s largest aquarium when it opens in Rio de Janeiro on November 9. Its one-of-a-kind glass tunnel and huge collection of marine animals promises to lure in visitors from all over the continent. AquaRio is not just a large aquarium ; it’s enormous. The facility will hold some 1.8 million gallons of water among its 28 tanks, which will be home to 8,000 animals from 350 mostly native species . The submerged glass tunnel itself measures just over 650 feet long, giving visitors an expansive look at undersea life. For the $40.6 million cost, the unique glass tunnel is unlike any other on the continent. Related: Airbnb is offering a night in an underwater bedroom surrounded by 35 sharks The aquarium also includes a surf museum and separate science museum, as well as a touch tank where visitors can get up close and personal with sharks, rays and invertebrates. A growing trend in the tourism industry, guests will also have the opportunity to book a night in the aquarium, as part of a sleepover right in the glass tunnel with other guests. That brings a whole new meaning to sleeping with the fishes. Via Vibe Images via AquaRio

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South America’s largest aquarium boasts a 650-foot underwater tunnel

Simple but smart design transforms a concrete plaza into a lively urban park

July 11, 2016 by  
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“The project springs from the need to create a welcoming place for the citizens of Favara while simultaneously donating to the city an innovative public space shaped from the perfect combination of wood and vegetation,” write the architects. In contrast to the site’s original and muted concrete setting, Zighizaghi is filled with greenery and playful elements from its honeycomb shape to the red light fixtures that double as loudspeakers. “Thanks to its interactive character, Zighizaghi transforms its external space into a dynamic environment where music acts as a vehicle between nature and visitors,” continue the architects. Related: Wunderbugs Pavilion Creates Music From the Movement of Insects and Humans The genius of Zighizaghi lies in the use of modular timber hexagons, made from Okoumè, which offer flexibility in design, both in the way they are configured and used. While most hexagonal elements were used as pavers, others double as seating or planters for Mediterranean plants with automatic irrigation systems. Six fourteen-sided red prisms, called the Super Pods, which stand on eight skinny black legs and are used for lighting and music, punctuate the space. + OFL Architecture Images by Guarneri and Riccio Blu

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Simple but smart design transforms a concrete plaza into a lively urban park

40 lifeless tiger cubs discovered in Thailand temple’s freezer

June 1, 2016 by  
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After officials began to remove tigers from Thailand’s Tiger Temple this week, they discovered 40 dead cubs in a freezer. The temple, marketed as a sanctuary, has been accused of animal abuse , wildlife trafficking , and breeding tigers illegally. Monks at the temple deny the accusations. Controversy has shrouded the temple for years. Visitors reported tigers seemed drugged, ex-workers said they weren’t fed properly, lived in concrete cages, and received beatings from so-called caretakers. Others suspected illegal breeding to sell tiger parts utilized in traditional medicines. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in 2007 there were 18 tigers at the temple, but by this year that number rose to 147. Wildlife groups have been working for the tigers’ release since 2001. Related: Tiger farming is cultivating a taste for luxury tiger products in China – and increasing poaching The BBC reports that Thailand’s Department of National Parks (DNP) attempted to seize the tigers but multiple times the monks would not allow them to enter the temple. This current raid is successful because the DNP came armed with a court warrant. So far dozens of tigers have been rescued, but babies were found in the freezer. Police Colonel Bandith Meungsukhum told AFP that the find would lead to criminal charges. Officials were unsure how long the cubs had been frozen, but many appeared to have been alive for only one or two days. Reporters and wildlife officials noted other animal body parts and a dead boar in the freezer. The temple says several years ago a vet told them to keep the cubs, “probably” to silence accusations they were trafficking the cubs. According to a post on their Facebook page, the Tiger Temple said the DNP knew about the babies inside the freezer and had even entered the freezer a few times before. Deputy Director-General Adisorn Nuchdamrong told Reuters , “They must be of some value for the temple to keep them. But for what is beyond me…The temple has notified us when grown tigers die, but never the cubs.” Via the BBC Images via Xiquinho Silva on Flickr , screenshot , and Eli Duke on Flickr

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40 lifeless tiger cubs discovered in Thailand temple’s freezer

Antibiotic-Resistant Super-Germs Found in Chinese Parks Irrigated With Recycled Water

August 5, 2014 by  
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Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have made an alarming discovery: After surveying parks across seven Chinese cities, they found that those watered with recycled waste water had higher counts of microbe genes for antibiotic-resistance than parks watered with fresh water. In fact, the antibiotic-resistance gene (ARG) levels were up to 8,655 times higher . Read the rest of Antibiotic-Resistant Super-Germs Found in Chinese Parks Irrigated With Recycled Water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: antibiotic resistance , china , Chinese Academy of Sciences , genetics , germs , irrigation , microbes , parks , public health , reclaimed water , recycled waste water , recycled water , sewerage , superbugs , unsafe water , water issues

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Antibiotic-Resistant Super-Germs Found in Chinese Parks Irrigated With Recycled Water

New Renderings of Dramatic “Mantaray” Overlook for Brooklyn Bridge Park Unveiled

September 25, 2013 by  
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A lot of excitement has been surrounding the upcoming development of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6, and new renderings of the project’s dramatic “Mantaray” overlook have fueled the fire even more. BIG and MVVA released the new images , which show a triangular form that appears to jut out over the East River for spectacular city views, this week. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bjarke ingels , Brooklyn , brooklyn bridge , Brooklyn Bridge Park , Brooklyn Bridge Park Mantaray , City Gazing , gardens , green spaces , Lower Manhattan Views , Michael Van Valkenburgh , New York Tourist Spots , New York. , News , outdoors , parks , Places to Visit in New York , Trees        

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New Renderings of Dramatic “Mantaray” Overlook for Brooklyn Bridge Park Unveiled

Sydney’s Lizard Log Parklands Offer a Solar-Powered Weekend Getaway

June 4, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Sydney’s Lizard Log Parklands Offer a Solar-Powered Weekend Getaway Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: city parks , grey water , grey water irrigation , Lizard Log parklands , McGregor Coxall , park design , park redesign , parks , parks Australia , Pimelea Sydney , solar panels , sydney australia , Sydney picnic areas , water reuse        

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Sydney’s Lizard Log Parklands Offer a Solar-Powered Weekend Getaway

Hiroshi Nakamura and NAP Architects’ New Green-Roofed Tokyo Plaza Features a Dizzying Kaleidoscopic Entrance

May 16, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Hiroshi Nakamura and NAP Architects’ New Green-Roofed Tokyo Plaza Features a Dizzying Kaleidoscopic Entrance Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: community table , green roof , green roof garden , Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co. Ltd , Japan , mirrors , multifunctional steps , NAP Architects , parks , public space , rooftop park , shopping area , shopping mall , Tokyo , Tokyu Plaza Omotesando , Urban design , Urbanism        

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Hiroshi Nakamura and NAP Architects’ New Green-Roofed Tokyo Plaza Features a Dizzying Kaleidoscopic Entrance

Sou Fujimoto Unveils a Spiraling Cyclone-Shaped Waterfront Center for Belgrade

October 16, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Sou Fujimoto Unveils a Spiraling Cyclone-Shaped Waterfront Center for Belgrade Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Belgrade , Beton Hala , Beton Hala Waterfront Center , parks , public space , Sava River , Serbia , Sou Fujimoto , sou fujimoto architects , Waterfront Centre

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Sou Fujimoto Unveils a Spiraling Cyclone-Shaped Waterfront Center for Belgrade

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