Hundreds of radioactive wild boars run amok in Fukushima, Japan

March 18, 2017 by  
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Packs of radioactive wild boars are running loose in northern Japan, where the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011 forced entire towns and villages to abandon ship. Six years later, the beasts pose more than a minor nuisance to displaced residents, a number of whom are eager to return to their homes as the Japanese government begins to lift evacuation orders in certain areas. Besides their obvious toxicity—tests by officials show that some animals possess levels of cesium-137 300 times higher than what is considered safe—the boars are also known to attack humans. Swaths of farmland, now gone to seed, have become prime real estate for foraging varmints. According to Yomiuri , a local newspaper, boars have caused more than $854,000 in agricultural damage in Fukushima prefecture. Local authorities in the affected towns have hired teams of hunters to shoot the boars with air rifles, or trap them in cages using rice flour as bait. Related: Fukushima radiation levels at highest since 2011 disaster “After people left, they began coming down from the mountains and now they are not going back,” Shoichiro Sakamoto, who leads a group of 13 hunters in the town of Tomioka, told Reuters . “They found a place that was comfortable. There was plenty of food and no one to come after them.” A recent government survey found than half the 21,500 former residents of the town of Namie, one of the towns included in the proposed evacuation-order lift, have decided against returning, citing fears over the safety of the nuclear plant, which will take decades to dismantle. Several have also raised concerns about the bands of marauding boars. “I’m sure officials at all levels are giving some thought to this,” said Hidezo Sato, a former seed merchant in Namie. “Something must be done.” Via Reuters Image via Wikipedia

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Hundreds of radioactive wild boars run amok in Fukushima, Japan

RiverBlue: Jason Priestley-narrated documentary exposes the dark side of your blue jeans

March 18, 2017 by  
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Are your clothes causing the world’s rivers to bleed blue? Directed by David McIlvride and Roger Williams and narrated by Jason Priestley, RiverBlue is a new documentary that delves deep into the shocking underbelly of fast fashion to expose its destructive and widespread impacts on our environment. For those of you in New York City, Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator will be hosting a screening of this powerful film on March 22 for World Water Day . Read on for more details about the screening and post-film discussion with Williams and Paul Gallay, President of Riverkeeper, and learn more about the movie by checking out BF+DA’s interview with McIlvride here . RiverBlue follows acclaimed river conservationist Mark Angelo on a waterborne trip around the world to uncover the truth behind the garment industry and its effects on the Earth’s waterways and ecosystems. Infiltrating one of the world’s most pollutive industries, and speaking with fashion designers and water protectors world-wide, RiverBlue reveals stunning yet, shocking images that will forever change the way we look at fashion, and the impact of the clothes we wear. – Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator BF+DA will be screening RiverBlue on Wednesday, March 22 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Tickets are $10. Click here for more details and to RSVP. + RSVP to see RiverBlue here

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RiverBlue: Jason Priestley-narrated documentary exposes the dark side of your blue jeans

6 of the lightest and strongest materials on Earth

March 18, 2017 by  
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The future of construction is more exciting than ever thanks to huge technological developments in material innovation. Researchers are constantly developing new materials that are stronger and lighter than ever before, paving the way to a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly future in everything from transportation to medical technology . We’ve rounded up six cutting-edge materials that rank among some of the lightest and strongest ever discovered—keep reading to see them all. 3D Graphene Made from pure carbon , ultra-thin graphene is thought to be one of the strongest materials on the planet. But earlier this year, researchers at MIT found a way to turn two-dimensional graphene into a three-dimensional structure by designing a new material with a sponge-like configuration that’s 5 percent the density of steel and about 10 times as strong. The super-strong and lightweight 3D graphene has been shown to be stronger than its 2D counterpart and offers greater potential uses thanks to its building block form. Carbyne In the spring of 2016, a team of Austrian researchers revealed that they were able to successfully synthesize Carbyne, an exotic form of carbon that they say is the strongest of all known materials—even surpassing graphene . Considered the holy grail of carbon allotropes, Carbyne is made from a monodimensional chain of carbon atoms that’s highly reactive, making it very tricky to synthesize. The stiff material is believed to be twice as strong as carbon nanotubes. Aerographite Created from a network of porous carbon tubes, aerographite is synthetic foam that’s one of the lightest structural materials ever created. Developed by researchers at the University of Kiel and the Technical University of Hamburg, aerographite can be produced in a variety of shapes and boasts a density of just 180 grams per cubic meter, making it about 75 times lighter than styrofoam. The material could be used on the electrodes of lithium ion batteries to reduce their weight. Aerographene Aerographene, also known as graphene aerogel, is believed to be the world’s lightest material with a density of just 0.16 milligram per cubic centimeter. Zhejiang University researchers developed the material, which is approximately 7.5 times less dense than air. The extremely elastic material can absorb up to 900 times their own weight in oil and water, making oil spill cleanups a potential application. Metallic microlattice Metallic microlattice is the world’s lightest metal and one of the lightest structural materials. This synthetic porous material made from nickel phosphorous tubes has a density as low as 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimeter. Potential uses include applications in automotive engineering, aeronautical engineering, and more. Limpet teeth The teeth of limpets, the term for aquatic snails found clinging to rocky shores, are considered one of the strongest biological materials in the world. Made of a mineral-protein composite, limpet teeth have been revealed in a University of Portsmouth study to be much stronger than spider silk . Its strength is believed to be due to its tightly packed mineral fibers, which scientists could combine into man-made composites to create stronger planes, cars, and even dental fillings. Lead image via ZD News/Huffington Post

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6 of the lightest and strongest materials on Earth

Costa Rica’s Breathtaking Lapa Rios Eco Resort is Powered by Pig Waste

October 6, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Costa Rica’s Breathtaking Lapa Rios Eco Resort is Powered by Pig Waste Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: biogas , biomass , bungalows , compost , composting , cooking , Costa Rica , Costa Rica eco hotel , Costa Rican Eco Resort , eco hotel , eco resort , eco-tourism , eco-travel , Ecoresort , ecotourism , green energy , heating , jungle , Lapa Rios , macaws , manure , manure power , methane , Organic , parrots , pig feces , pig poo , pig poo power , Pig Power , pig powered , pigs , Poo Power! , power , renewable energy , sustainable tourism

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Costa Rica’s Breathtaking Lapa Rios Eco Resort is Powered by Pig Waste

Dutch Pigs Keep Cool with Their Own Water Slide

August 19, 2013 by  
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Most people don’t realize it, but pigs wallow in mud to keep cool . These sensitive animals don’t have sweat glands like humans, and they’re also prone to sunburn . One Dutch farmer, Erik Stegink, decided to give his pigs a state-of-the-art wallowing experience by installing a bright yellow water slide leading into his farm’s mud pit. The slide isn’t entirely unprecedented; as one Redditor noted, one Chinese pig farm encourages pigs to dive into water. Now, we just need to see a video of these pigs on the yellow slide. Via DesignTaxi Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative farming , humane farming , mud bath , pig behavior , Pig Farming , pig wallowing , pigs , waterslide        

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Dutch Pigs Keep Cool with Their Own Water Slide

Study Predicts Coastal Flooding Damage Will Cost $1 Trillion a Year by 2050

August 19, 2013 by  
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As the sea level rises and storms become more intense due to the effects of climate change, a new study predicts that damage to coastal cities will cost $1 trillion every year by 2050. The research, which is published in the August 18 edition of the journal Nature Climate Change , states that areas along the edges of Asia and North America are the most vulnerable. In the United States, New York, New Orleans, and Miami are singled out as being at high risk. Read the rest of Study Predicts Coastal Flooding Damage Will Cost $1 Trillion a Year by 2050 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: asia , china , coastal flooding , economic projection , ecuador , England , guangzhou , guayaquil , Hurricane Katrina , India , kolkata , Miami , Mumbai , nature climate change , New Orleans , New York. , north america , sea level rise , shenzen , Superstorm Sandy , University of Southampton        

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Study Predicts Coastal Flooding Damage Will Cost $1 Trillion a Year by 2050

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Tree Shrew Teach Us About Addiction?

August 19, 2013 by  
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In our newest series, The Biomimicry Manual , we are thinking about design in a different way and asking ourselves “ How would nature do it? “. Nature’s designs are tried and true, and there are a number of creatures on this planet that have a few tricks we can study and borrow from to make life on earth better. Take, for instance, this tiny party animal seen above. The pen-tailed tree-shrew ( Ptilocercus lowii ) is a beautiful, bright-eyed social climber, with a lovely naked tail ending in a fabulous feathery fringe. It spends its days sleeping, but by night, this little creature indulges its taste for naturally fermented palm wine. A lot of it . In fact, booze is pretty much what they live on. So what can we learn from them? Read the rest of The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Tree Shrew Teach Us About Addiction? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: addiction , alcoholiism , alcoholism , asknature , bioinspiration , bioinspired design , biomimicry , curing addiction , curing alcoholism , palm wine , pen-tail treeshrew , the biomimcry manual , tree-shrew , treeshrew        

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Tree Shrew Teach Us About Addiction?

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Reveals That He Only Eats Animals He Kills Himself

May 27, 2011 by  
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Mark Zuckerberg is not afraid to take on a new challenge. In fact, every year he establishes a new one to sharpen his personal discipline

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Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Reveals That He Only Eats Animals He Kills Himself

Is It True That Farmers Feed Antibiotics To Livestock To Make Them Grow Faster?

May 26, 2011 by  
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“Up Close and Cattle” Image credit:Flickr, Alex E. Proimos I always thought the ‘it makes them grow faster’ reasoning for why they put antibiotics in animal feed was a myth and that the truth was more complex.

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Is It True That Farmers Feed Antibiotics To Livestock To Make Them Grow Faster?

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