Rocks discovered in Canada hold the oldest evidence of life

September 29, 2017 by  
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3.95 billion-year-old rocks could offer the oldest evidence we’ve found for life on Earth . A team led by the University of Tokyo found graphite in Labrador, Canada that they think is biogenic, or produced by living organisms. They contend this is the oldest evidence of life, as opposed to microfossils found earlier in Quebec , saying the dating process used in the latter was highly controversial. In March, the journal Nature published the findings of an international team of researchers who’d found fossils in Quebec that they said could be between 3.77 and 4.28 billion years old. Now, nine scientists at institutions in Japan say they’ve actually found the oldest evidence of life on this planet, and it’s in 3.95 billion-year-old rocks. Related: World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion years old These researchers found graphite in sedimentary rocks. Tsuyoshi Komiya of the University of Tokyo said, “Our samples are also the oldest supracrustal rocks preserved on Earth.” Phys.org pointed out the Quebec fossils were found in a similar formation. The Japan team measured the isotope composition of the graphite to find it was biogenic, although the identity of the organisms that produced the graphite or their appearance are mysteries. Komiya said the team could work to identify the organisms by scrutinizing “other isotopes such as nitrogen, sulphur, and iron of the organic matter and accompanied materials.” They can also analyze the rock’s chemical composition to try and figure out the organisms’ environment . Other researchers, like geochemist Daniele Pinti of the University of Quebec at Montreal, seem impressed by the new team’s findings and process. He told CBC News, “For the moment, it looks very convincing.” Phys.org said that should the discovery be accurate, it would mean life sprung up on Earth a geological second after the planet formed around 4.5 billion years ago. Nature published the new study this week. Via Phys.org and CBC News Images via Wikimedia Commons and Tashiro, Takayuki, et al.

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Estrade Residence adapts to rocky hillside with locally-harvested materials

January 30, 2017 by  
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The gorgeous Estrade Residence adapts to the rocky, steep topography of a lake shore in Quebec , and offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. Canadian design studio MU Architecture design the house using natural and locally sourced materials and created a multitude of spaces and terraces that embrace the site. The main idea was to highlight the peculiarities of the site and integrate nature into the design of the house. This resulted in a staggered structure that includes several terraces that establish a strong dialogue with the surrounding landscape. Thick walls made from rocks extracted during excavation create a spine of the project that extends outwards, protect the apartments on the ground floor, and help establish a direct connection between the interior and exterior spaces. Related: Modern meets rustic in the Hemmingford House built from natural materials The different volumes are gradually revealed as visitors climb an aerial and magisterial staircase which connects all levels of the house. Open spaces dominate the ground floor bathed in natural light, with a double-sided fireplace located in the center of the common room adding warmth to the place. This area extends the kitchen to the outside via a veranda which stretches perpendicularly to the natural ridge. Natural cedar cladding of the upper volumes complements the stone walls and gives the residence both a rustic and modern feel. + MU Architecture Via v2com Photos by Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard (YUL Photo)

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Artist "attacks" buildings with clutter to remind us of how much stuff we own

August 9, 2016 by  
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Torres has been working and living in Quebec for over a decade, where much of his artwork has been publicly displayed. “Tipping Point” was brought to Ottawa after the artist was invited by Canadian Heritage and EXMURO arts publics for an early July installation. Kayaks, construction cones, children’s toys, and patio chairs in bright, alarming colors seem to explode out of the side of the wall as observers pass by the piece. Related: Artist Veronika Richterová turns plastic bottles into beautiful plant and animal sculptures The piece is much like earlier works at a Quebec City event, named “Overflows” and “Stock in Transit”. The former portrays an explosion of multicolored plastic equipment bursting out of a tipped storage container, a metaphor for our disturbing reliance on accumulating as many things as we can buy. Each piece is meant to feel imposing and overwhelming, just like the western world’s love affair with “disposable” plastic objects. Most recently Torres’ “Canopy” piece was featured in Edmonton’s The Works Art & Design Festival . Visitors walked underneath and amongst exposed and covered passageways. The experience is meant to represent nomadism, a key theme in the artist’s life and creative work. +José Luis Torres Images via José Luis Torres

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Artist "attacks" buildings with clutter to remind us of how much stuff we own

Norway considers ban of gas-fueled vehicles by 2025

June 6, 2016 by  
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As the electric vehicle market picks up speed, some countries around the world have considered banning the sale of gas-burning vehicles. According to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, the country’s politicians could be close to a ban on sales of gas-fueled vehicles. If approved, the move would go into effect by 2025 . Dagens Næringsliv reported that four major political parties in Norway have agreed on such a proposal. While the proposal isn’t law yet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted a picture of the newspaper headline and described Norway as an ” amazingly awesome country .” According to Electrek, the parties include those on the ” right and the left .” Norwegian citizens have already taken their own steps toward a future with cleaner transportation : about 20 percent of vehicles on the road are electric. Related: Dutch politicians want to ban all polluting cars by 2025 It could be a promising step for Norway, but there’s a caveat. While the country supplies 90 percent of local energy via hydropower , Norway is still Europe’s largest producer of petroleum . 45 percent of the country’s exports are comprised of fossil fuels, which results in 20 percent of Norway’s GDP. If the proposed ban was turned into law, Fortune said it would be the “geopolitical equivalent of a drug dealer that refuses to touch their own product.” Will the proposal become law? That’s a tricky question, as some of the conservative parties are already saying they have not yet agreed. It may take more time – several other countries and some U.S. states have considered similar proposals but have allowed far more generous timelines. By 2050 , states such as California, New York, and Oregon aim to ban new sales. The Netherlands, India, Germany, the UK, and Quebec are also considering a ban on future sales. Via Fortune Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Norway considers ban of gas-fueled vehicles by 2025

Five stunning gardens unveiled for the International Garden Festival in Quebec

February 19, 2016 by  
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Five stunning gardens unveiled for the International Garden Festival in Quebec

Naturehumaine transforms a plain home into a gorgeous, light-filled retreat

January 4, 2016 by  
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Vancouver lights up a dark highway overpass with a massive chandelier

January 4, 2016 by  
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The city of Vancouver, Canada has approved a public art project which would suspend a giant, spinning chandelier beneath the Granville Street Bridge. Commissioned by The Westbank Corporation and designed by local artist Rodney Graham , the sculpture is a replica of an 18th century design that will measure four by six meters (13 by 19 feet). Though it may appear to be crystal from a distance, the chandelier is actually composed of clear polymer pieces with embedded LEDs . Read the rest of Vancouver lights up a dark highway overpass with a massive chandelier

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Permaculture Paradise: Laying the groundwork for a food forest garden

January 9, 2015 by  
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  A couple of years ago, my husband and I made a huge decision that would change our lives forever: after years of living in downtown Toronto, we decided to take a huge leap of faith and move to the outskirts of a tiny village in rural Quebec. Now, after observing our land for over a year, we’re ready to start transforming it! Read on past the jump to find out what I’ll be chronicling as our property  evolves  into a  permaculture homestead with a lush, perennial food forest garden. Read the rest of Permaculture Paradise: Laying the groundwork for a food forest garden Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: building a chicken coop , Cate , Cate Winter , Catherine , Catherine Winter-Hebert , DIY , DIY permaculture , food forest , food forest garden , goat cheese , growing food , homesteading , maple syrup , Organic , organic seeds , perennial food forest garden , permaculture , permaculture gardening , permaculture homestead , permaculture homesteading , quebec , raising chickens , rural farming , rural food , rural garden , rural life , rural living , spruce beer , Sustainable , sustainable permaculture

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TransCanada Stops Pipeline Terminal Construction After Belugas Declared Endangered

December 3, 2014 by  
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Finally some good news on the pipeline beat. Phys.org reports that Canadian energy infrastructure company TransCanada recently decided to suspend construction of a major pipeline terminal on the St. Lawrence River in Eastern Canada after Canadian authorities deemed a nearby population of beluga whales “endangered.” The belugas live near Cacouna, Quebec, the planned location of the terminal, and were given the status of “threatened” when the last formal study of their population was done 10 years ago. Read the rest of TransCanada Stops Pipeline Terminal Construction After Belugas Declared Endangered Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beluga , endangered , fossil , fuels , oil , pipeline , suspended , terminal , threatened , transcanada , whales

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La Luge is a Flexible Holiday Home Nestled in the Countryside of Quebec

July 16, 2014 by  
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