Cow escapes pen to live wild with herd of bison in Poland

January 26, 2018 by  
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A domesticated cow in Poland seems to have decided it didn’t want to be so domesticated anymore. The animal escaped from its pen on a farm last fall and was then spotted by naturalists hanging out with a herd of around 50 bison near the Bialowieza Forest – and it seems to have stayed with them for several months now. Bison expert Rafal Kowalczyk told The Associated Press he’s never seen a cow living with bison before this. The adventurous cow in Poland picked freedom and left a farm, heading to roam with wild bison instead. The BBC said ornithologist Adam Zbyryt spotted the cow first, telling Polish news outlet TVN24 in a November piece, “It’s not unusual to see bison near the Bialowieza Forest, but one animal caught my eye. It was a completely different light-brown shade from the rest of the herd. Bison are chestnut or dark brown.” With binoculars, he was able to see this animal was, in fact, a Limousin cow. She looked healthy, and TVN24 said it seemed the herd had fully accepted her. Related: Wild bison return to Canada’s Banff National Park for the first time in 140 years (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); A krowa uciekinierka ma się dobrze w stadzie żubrów, Już prawie 3 miesiące na gigancie! (Puszcza Białowieska,… Posted by Rafa? Kowalczyk on  Friday, January 19, 2018 Naturalists figured the cow would meander back to its pasture when winter really came on. But the animal has been with the herd for around three months now. Kowalczyk, director of the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Mammal Research Institute, spotted her recently, and she still seemed healthy. She’s been glimpsed on the edges of the herd; Kowalczyk told TVN24, “She is not very integrated with the group, as bison act like one organism and she stands out.” But the presence of the herd could have kept her safe from wolves throughout the winter. The cow’s wild adventure will likely need to end before spring. Right now, she’s too young to breed, but if she mated, she could die during birth because the hybrid calf would be so large. The offspring could also contaminate the endangered bison population with hybrids, so the cow will probably need to be recaptured. Via the BBC , The Associated Press , and TVN24 ( 1 , 2 ) Images courtesy of Rafal Kowalczyk and via Wikimedia Commons

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Cow escapes pen to live wild with herd of bison in Poland

EPA ends "always-in" clean air policy opposed by fossil fuel companies

January 26, 2018 by  
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing a key  Clean Air Act provision. They’re reversing the “once-in always-in” policy for major sources of pollution , which requires sources like  power plants , to always be classified as a major source. Under the new change, if a source “limits its potential to emit below major source thresholds,” per the EPA , it can be reclassified as an area source. What’s the impact of all this? According to a statement from Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) clean air director John Walke, “This is among the most dangerous actions that the Trump EPA has taken yet against public health .” The EPA , in their own words, is “reducing regulatory burdens.” They’re withdrawing a policy “for the classification of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under section 112 of the Clean Air Act.” According to Reuters, the “once-in always-in” policy was established in 1995. The agency said it had acted as a disincentive for sources to put pollution abatement and prevention attempts in place, “or to pursue technological innovations that would reduce hazardous air pollution emissions .” Reuters reported the petroleum industry, utilities, and others sought the withdrawal. Related: EPA cancels plan to clean up polluting Texas coal plants A major source emits or could emit 10 tons a year of any risky air pollutant, according to the EPA, or 25 tons or more of a combination of air pollutants a year. Area sources are those with emissions under that threshold, and according to Reuters, are subject to pollution control standards that aren’t as strict as those for major sources. The NRDC doesn’t agree with the move. Walke said it would “allow the greatest increase in hazardous air pollutants in our nation’s history.” “This move drastically weakens protective limits on air pollutants like arsenic, lead, mercury, and other toxins that cause cancer, brain damage, infertility, developmental problems, and even death,” he said in a statement. “And those harmed most would be nearby communities already suffering a legacy of pollution.” + Environmental Protection Agency Via Reuters and the Natural Resources Defense Council Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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EPA ends "always-in" clean air policy opposed by fossil fuel companies

Electric off-road motorcycle with 50-mile range is ready for when the paved road ends

January 26, 2018 by  
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Today there are plenty of electric motorcycle options, but no so many if you want an electric dirt bike. That’s why Cake might be just what you’re looking for. Cake’s specialty is lightweight electric off-road motorcycles and the company recently announced that it is taking pre-orders for a special edition off-road motorcycle called KALK. The Cake KALK is an all-electric off-road motorcycle that’s ready for when the paved road ends. It has unique minimalistic style, a range up to 50 miles and a top speed of 50 mph. The KALK also only weighs 150 pounds, which is around 100 pounds lighter than a typical off-road motorcycle. ”With a clear mission to contribute speeding up the transition towards a zero-emission society, Cake aims to turn the motorized two-wheeled future upside down,” said Stefan Ytterborn, founder and CEO of Cake. “Light, silent and clean electric off-road motorbikes will make the era of noise, disturbance, pollution and complexity a thing of the past. The category will evolve into an independent pursuit, offering action and magic in combination with responsibility and respect towards people and planet.” Pricing for the KALK starts at $14,000 and Cake requires a $1,000 deposit. Images @Cake +Cake

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Electric off-road motorcycle with 50-mile range is ready for when the paved road ends

Incredible fossil discovery rewrites the history of human migration out of Africa

January 26, 2018 by  
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Scientists have discovered the oldest known fossil of a modern human outside of Africa in Misliya Cave near Mount Carmel, Israel . The discovery reveals that modern humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. “[The fossil] provides the clearest evidence yet that our ancestors first migrated out of Africa much earlier than we previously believed,” said Binghamton University anthropology professor Rolf Quam. The fossil , which consists of an upper jawbone with several teeth still attached, is estimated to be between 175,000-200,000 years old, at least 50,000 years before humans had been thought to have first left Africa. Using microCT scans and 3D virtual models, the research team, including scientists from Tel Aviv University , Binghamton University, and the State University of New York , determined that the fossil showed signs of potential hybridization. “While all of the anatomical details in the Misliya fossil are fully consistent with modern humans, some features are also found in Neanderthals and other human groups,” said Quam , who was a study co-author. The fossil and archaeological evidence found in the cave also indicates that these early humans in historic Palestine were capable of hunting large game animals, controlling fire for their own uses, and crafting a variety of prehistoric stone tools. “It also means that modern humans were potentially meeting and interacting during a longer period of time with other archaic human groups, providing more opportunity for cultural and biological exchanges.” Related: Turns out blood-sucking ticks really did plague the dinosaurs The region in which the fossil was discovered has long been seen as a major passage for human migration out of Africa as well as a home for various species of hominids, including Neanderthals . Piecing together the story of human migration beyond the African continent is essential to understanding the evolution of our species, the researchers emphasized. The latest discovery adds key information to this story, including details regarding the timing and nature of demographic changes and genetic mixing between populations and even species of early humans. With this new chapter, the story of ourselves becomes that much clearer. Via Phys.org Images via Rolf Quam and  Israel Hershkovitz/Tel Aviv University  

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Incredible fossil discovery rewrites the history of human migration out of Africa

The 2018 Super Bowl stadium in Minnesota offsets 100% of its energy

January 26, 2018 by  
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The NFL’s Super Bowl LII kicks off next Sunday—but football won’t be the only thing on our mind when the game begins. This year’s championship game will be held in Minneapolis, the northernmost American city to ever host a Super Bowl, at the LEED Gold-certified U.S. Bank Stadium . Designed by American architecture firm HKS , the energy-efficient NFL stadium is home to the Minnesota Vikings, and it offsets 100% of its electricity with renewable energy credits and employs energy-efficient technologies. Minneapolis’ snowy winter climate presented a major challenge in designing the 1.8 million-square-foot U.S. Bank Stadium. The sculptural shape of the stadium, which features a jagged form evoking ice formations and Viking longboats, was designed in response to environmental conditions: the asymmetrical steep roofline efficiently sheds snow, while southern exposure is maximized for increased snow melting capability. Inspired by traditional Nordic dwellings, the stadium’s lightweight roof uses a single steel truss and is covered with ETFE —the first ETFE roof in a U.S. stadium—to allow solar thermal heating and natural daylight. It has the added benefit of letting the visitors feel as if they’re sitting outside. In addition to translucent ETFE, high-performance glass wraps around part of the stadium to further minimize the need for artificial lighting. Zinc cladding envelops the majority of the building – this material was chosen for its low maintenance and durability. The form of the building optimizes air circulation, which draws captured heat from a “heat reservoir” down to the seating bowl. In the summer, the flow of air risers is reversed to take advantage of the “stack effect” , which ventilates heat at the top of the building while drawing in cool air from below. Related: The 50th Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium will be a net-zero energy game Heat recovery, air handling units, efficient ventilation, and high-efficiency motors reduced the U.S. Bank Stadium’s energy costs by 16 percent as compared to Minneapolis’ smaller Metrodome, the former home of the Vikings. Lighting was also reduced by 37 percent thanks to the installation of LED sports lighting. The stadium has implemented a sustainability program and is working towards becoming a zero-waste facility. Super Bowl LII will take place Sunday, February 4 at the U.S. Bank Stadium featuring the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. + HKS Images via HKS

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The 2018 Super Bowl stadium in Minnesota offsets 100% of its energy

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