Puerto Rico could be without electricity for months due to Hurricane Maria

September 22, 2017 by  
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When Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico last Saturday with 155mph winds, hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed and the entire island was left in a total blackout. After a natural disaster such as this, residents would usually go about their lives and pick up the pieces along the way. Not this time. Due to the island’s poor infrastructure, economic woes and the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, it could be months before millions of people have access to electricity again. It wasn’t hard for Hurricane Maria to wipe out the entire island’s electricity because the power grid has been in poor shape for years. Whereas most power plants are 18-years-old, those belonging to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) — the island’s sole power supplier to 1.5 million people — are 44 years old, on average.  In July of this year, PREPA filed for bankruptcy and called its own system “degraded and unsafe.” In a fiscal plan released this year, it added that “years of under-investment have led to severe degradation of infrastructure.” The electricity outage was also caused by Puerto Rico’s grim economic situation. The island has yet to emerge from a recession that has lasted over a decade. With an unemployment rate of 11 percent, the government entered into a process similar to bankruptcy protection earlier this May. TIME reports that its debt load is currently in excess of $70 billion. Related: Explosion of color takes over an abandoned Puerto Rican factory As a result of weakening infrastructure, financial problems and the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, restoring the island’s power will be a lengthy, tiresome process. Governor Russello told CNN , “It depends on the damage to the infrastructure. I’m afraid it’s probably going to be severe. If it is … we’re looking at months as opposed to weeks or days.” Hurricane Irma , which skirted the north part of the island earlier this month, is also to blame. At the time, over 1 million users in Puerto Rico lost power. The day before Maria slammed into the island, 70,000 people were still without power, reports CNBC . To solve this tragedy, Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon brought up the issue of electric supply with Brock Long, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). She said, “We were asking him to have more resources in terms of electrical teams that can help us out to solve the situation and recover the infrastructure of the power grid on the island,” she said. “That is going to be the main issue.” Rossello has also asked President Trump to declare Puerto Rico a disaster zone. On Monday, Trump made an emergency declaration for the island, which enabled FEMA to coordinate relief efforts. However, only a “major disaster” declaration would ensure the territory receives an increase in federal resources and programs for affected areas to recover. Vox reports that even if Congress agrees to provide extra relief, funds would only be of limited help in this situation. Via TIME , Vox, CNN, CNBC Images via ABC 7 Chicago ,  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Puerto Rico could be without electricity for months due to Hurricane Maria

Strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years made landfall this morning

September 20, 2017 by  
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Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico earlier today as a Category 4 storm . While it had weakened from a Category 5, officials still warned the hurricane is dangerous – forecasters said there could be life-threatening winds blowing for 12 to 24 hours. Governor Ricardo Rossello told the Associated Press, “We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history.” Maria hit the southeast coast of Puerto Rico this morning with 155 miles per hour (mph) winds, and could destroy power infrastructure and homes, compelling the government to rebuild dozens of communities, according to the Associated Press. Rossello said, as of Tuesday night over 4,400 people and 105 pets were in shelters. That number increased to 11,229 people and 580 pets by 5AM, according to a tweet from the governor. Related: Category 5 Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever When the hurricane is measured by wind speed, Maria ties for the eighth strongest storm in the history of the Atlantic . Hurricanes tend to move north or south of Puerto Rico, so the island often avoids a direct hit. 1932 was the last time a Category 4 hurricane made landfall there, and in 1928, the island experienced the strongest storm to hit it: San Felipe, with 160 mph winds. The Washington Post said Maria had already blown over islands to the east with over 160 mph winds – on the island Guadeloupe, officials attributed the deaths of two people to the hurricane. At least two people were reported missing near the island of Desirade. As of Wednesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane warning was in effect “for the Virgin Islands, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas, where Maria is expected to bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall .” Via the Boston Globe and The Washington Post Images via NASA/NOAA GOES Project and National Hurricane Center

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Strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years made landfall this morning

Extraordinary living chandelier with algae-filled leaves purifies the air

September 20, 2017 by  
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Lighting design has come a long way. Julian Melchiorri , a London-based designer and engineer, created this extraordinary living chandelier that not only lights up the room, but also actively purifies the air around it. Currently on display at the V&A Museum for London Design Week, the Exhale Chandelier features glass leaves filled with green algae that absorb CO2 and release oxygen. The living chandelier is not only an amazing eco-product that’s beneficial for the environment, but its sophisticated design makes for a beautiful lighting source for any atmosphere. Its modular format allows the chandelier’s green-hued leaves to be configured in a wide range of shapes, adding versatility. The lamp can be used indoors or outdoors – wherever air purification is needed. Related: 13 groundbreaking lighting innovations from NY Design Week Melchiorri is not only a design-engineer, but also a leading biochemical technology researcher. The innovative chandelier design is the result of his many years developing and crafting his unique “artifical leaf’” technology. Working with microbiological life forms, the designer’s bionic-leaf is based on the basic principles of photosynthesis , harnessing the power of converting CO2 into oxygen and integrating it into one very beautiful product. Although the chandelier is a prototype at the moment, the designer envisions integrating his photo-reactive cell technology into future buildings , freeing them of harmful emissions. + Julian Melchiorri + London Design Festival Photography by Mike Chino

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Extraordinary living chandelier with algae-filled leaves purifies the air

Category 5 Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever

September 5, 2017 by  
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Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a Category 5 storm , and could be one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is warning that Irma could potentially be catastrophic, with winds whirling at 180 miles per hour – so strong that they are showing up on earthquake monitoring equipment. Even worse, the NHC said there’s an increasing chance the storm will slam into  Florida . With sustained winds of 180mph, #Irma is now stronger than Katrina was at its peak. A monstrous, horrific storm. pic.twitter.com/jCwe4XTPxS — Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 5, 2017 With the United States still reeling after Tropical Storm Harvey , communities are bracing for another catastrophe as Irma is looking like it will impact Florida later this week or during the weekend. But there are also many other islands it could hit on its way to the United States. Irma could affect the Leeward Islands as an “extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane” soon, according to NHC . It could also impact the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Cuba. Related: 1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh NHC said it’s too early to determine Irma’s direct impacts on the continental United States, other than an increasing chance it could affect the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys. Florida governor Rick Scott doesn’t seem to be taking any chances. He declared a state of emergency in Florida after a Monday advisory update. He’s activated 100 National Guard members and 6,000 stand ready. He’s spoken with President Donald Trump , and the Orlando Sentinel said Trump activated pre-landfall emergency declaration so federal funds and resources will be available. Scott said, “Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared…while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, most forecast models indicate the whole state of Florida could feel the hurricane’s impact. NHC urged everyone in hurricane-prone areas to “ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.” Via the Orlando Sentinel and the National Hurricane Center Images via Wikimedia Commons and the National Hurricane Center

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Category 5 Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever

Zika may have claimed its first victim in the continental US

July 13, 2016 by  
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Last Friday, health officials announced that the first death related to Zika has occurred in the continental US. An elderly patient in Utah had tested positive for Zika virus after traveling to an affected region, but because of the person’s underlying health conditions, it’s not known if the virus was the sole cause of death, or if it merely contributed. Doctors were unable to confirm the presence of the virus until after the patient had already died. At this time, the Salt Lake County Department of Health is not revealing any further information about the patient, so their identity, and even the location where they contracted Zika, are both currently unknown. While this case is alarming, it shouldn’t be a reason to panic. There are been 1,132 cases of Zika in the US diagnosed so far , but all of the affected patients are believed to have contracted the virus while traveling. So far, there have been no cases of the disease transmitted within US borders . Related: Experimental Zika vaccine to be tested on humans for the first time This death follows that of a Puerto Rican man back in February. Unlike the continental US, there is evidence that the infection has been transmitted by local mosquitos within the territory. The CDC is advising that pregnant women avoid traveling to Puerto Rico, and that all travelers take measures to avoid exposure to mosquitos while there. Via CNN Images via  Shutterstock  and Pixabay

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Zika may have claimed its first victim in the continental US

Researchers present a scientific explanation for Bermuda Triangle disappearances

March 16, 2016 by  
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Aliens, supernatural forces, and the city of Atlantis have all been blamed for the disappearances of planes and ships in the Bermuda Triangle, an area between Bermuda , Puerto Rico, and Miami. The Bermuda Triangle myth was propelled into the public imagination in the 1950’s and although it was effectively debunked in the 1970’s, has lived on in movies, music, and articles. Now, a Norwegian team’s Arctic research may provide some answers to this tropical area of the ocean . Read the rest of Researchers present a scientific explanation for Bermuda Triangle disappearances

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Researchers present a scientific explanation for Bermuda Triangle disappearances

Kengo Kuma unveils spiraling new timber-clad library design for Sydney

March 16, 2016 by  
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Kengo Kuma unveils spiraling new timber-clad library design for Sydney

Incredible, newly discovered underwater creatures caught on camera for first time

June 5, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. The deep seas are host to a vast number of extraordinary, completely alien creatures, ranging from the rare and somewhat terrifying Goblin Shark to 18-foot-long sea serpents —and those are just some of the ones we know about. While the oceans cover two-thirds of the planet’s surface, we have only explored some five percent of them, which means that there is almost literally a world of unknown sea creatures out there that we have yet to discover—and these extraordinarily beautiful, yet to be named creatures recently filmed off the coast of Puerto Rico are the most recent to be caught on camera for the first time. Read the rest of Incredible, newly discovered underwater creatures caught on camera for first time Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: deep sea creatures , deepsea corals , deepsea exploration , marine life , newly discovered species , NOAA , ocean health , puerto rico , underwater alien , unknown species

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Incredible, newly discovered underwater creatures caught on camera for first time

Artist Miya Ando’s Bioluminescent Leaves Emit a Soft Nighttime Glow

May 6, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Artist Miya Ando’s Bioluminescent Leaves Emit a Soft Nighttime Glow Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , Art , bioluminescence , bioluminescent leaves , dinoflagellates , eco-art , environmental art , Festival of the Dead , First Art Foundation , Miya Ando , Obon Festival , puerto rico , site specific art installation        

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Artist Miya Ando’s Bioluminescent Leaves Emit a Soft Nighttime Glow

Historic Barn to be Transformed into Live-Work Architecture and Art Studios Near Moscow

May 6, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Historic Barn to be Transformed into Live-Work Architecture and Art Studios Near Moscow Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , adaptive reuse , Architecture , architecture studio , Art , art and architecture , art institute , art studio , barn conversion , barn renovation , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green renovation , housing , Moscow , Moto Designshop , Nikola-Lenivets , russia , Sustainable Building , sustainable design        

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