New subway-style map shows how US rivers connect cities and national parks

July 26, 2017 by  
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When we think of transportation in the United States, we don’t always think of rivers . But according to designer Theo Rindos , the country’s waterways once were and still worthy of travel. He designed a subway-style map of America’s major rivers inspired by Harry Beck’s 1933 London Underground Tube Map . The new map reveals how rivers connect cities and national parks in the country. Rindos, a Yonkers-based illustrator, grew up in Montana near the Yellowstone River , where he spent his childhood rafting, tubing, and fly fishing. He translated his love for the water into a crisp subway map, Major Rivers of the United States, featuring the country’s major rivers like the Mississippi River , the Rio Grande, and, of course, the Yellowstone River. Related: Sierra Club Draws a Subway Map of America’s National Parks Data from the United States Geological Survey , Wikipedia, and Google Maps helped Rindos draw up the map, with the the iconic 1930’s map influencing his design . Rindos told CityLab, “London is a very old city and the streets are not laid out in a grid, but Harry found a way to transform something chaotic into something clean, readable, and beautiful. I wanted to take something completely natural and structure it as a transit system, because technically these rivers once were and still are a form of transportation.” He prioritized rivers key today in shipping and transportation, although left some, like the Potomac River, off the map for aesthetic purposes. The ends of each line generally indicate river sources. Stops on the map are towns and cities along the waterways. Smaller rivers, like the Pecos River or the Sacramento River, are drawn on as bus routes. Rindos also divided the country up into 18 Watershed Hydraulic Unit Code zones, like New England or the Great Lakes. Rindos’ subway map is available for purchase online here . + Theo Rindos Via CityLab Images © Theo Rindos

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New subway-style map shows how US rivers connect cities and national parks

Google enters nuclear fusion clean-energy race

July 26, 2017 by  
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Nuclear fusion is the holy grail of sustainable energy — a potentially unlimited source of pollution-free energy that can power the world. No greenhouse gas emissions. Only helium and a neutron are produced. Now Google has jumped into the race to commercialize nuclear fusion technology, teaming up with California-based fusion company Tri Alpha Energy to develop a new computer algorithim that optimises plasma — an ionized gas that conducts electricity. “Google is always interested in solving complex engineering problems, and few are more complex than fusion,” wrote Ted Baltz, senior staff software engineer, Google Accelerated Science Team, on Google’s research blog . “Physicists have been trying since the 1950s to control the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium, which is the same process that powers the Sun. The key to harnessing this power is to confine hydrogen plasmas for long enough to get more energy out from fusion reactions than was put in. This point is called ‘breakeven.’ If it works, it would represent a technological breakthrough, and could provide an abundant source of zero-carbon energy.” Related: These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030 The research was published Tuesday in the journal Scientific Reports . The Optometrist Algorithm achieved a 50 percent reduction in the energy loss rate and an increase in ion temperature and total plasma energy. Other private and public entities are racing to become the first to bring nuclear fusion to scale. Experimental testing includes the Iter project in France, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7X) stellarator in Germany and the Tokamak ST40 reactor in the UK. General Fusion , a Canadian company, is also working to develop nuclear fusion technology. + Tri Alpha Energy + Achievement of Sustained Net Plasma Heating in a Fusion Experiment with the Optometrist Algorithm Via The Guardian Images via Tri Alpha Energy , Google Research Blog

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Google enters nuclear fusion clean-energy race

First estimate of plastic entering oceans from rivers yields shocking results

June 7, 2017 by  
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How much plastic do rivers dump into the world’s oceans ? The Ocean Cleanup decided to find out. They conducted what they say is the “first-ever estimate of plastic emissions from rivers” and the results are shocking, as in, between 1.15 and 2.41 million metric tons annually shocking. They say knowing the trash’s origins will help them better deploy their plastic-scooping cleanup arrays. Scientists have known for a long time rivers deposit plastic into oceans, but before this study no one had ever quantified just how much plastic is flowing from rivers, or how much each river contributes, according to The Ocean Cleanup . To answer such questions, researcher Laurent Lebreton of The Ocean Cleanup designed a model drawing from data on waste management , population density, dam locations, hydrography, and topography. Related: Redesigned Ocean Cleanup arrays to start scooping up Pacific garbage patch within a year The researchers found out of 40,760 rivers, a mere 20 contribute two thirds of the plastic input. The plastic also enters oceans more heavily between May and October: three quarters of plastic released makes its way into ocean waters then. The Ocean Cleanup created an interactive map to help visualize the issue. The map tells a user how many kilograms of plastic have entered the oceans just since they started viewing it. You can check it out here . The Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO Boyan Slat said in a statement, “We’re pleased to see how many initiatives have been taken in the past few years to raise awareness of the ocean pollution problem. However, for our work in the deep ocean to succeed in the long run, it’s crucial that governments and other organizations speed up their efforts to mitigate the sources of the problem we aim to resolve. The results of this latest study can assist with those efforts.” The journal Nature Communications published the study online today . Four Ocean Cleanup researchers were joined by one scientist from North Carolina State University and an expert from HKV Consultants in the Netherlands . + The Ocean Cleanup Images via The Ocean Cleanup

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A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

June 7, 2017 by  
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This renovated loft in Vienna has a sculptural staircase at its core that appears to support the entire upper floor. Design studio Smartvoll sought to preserve as much of the original space as possible while cultivating a minimalist feel reminiscent of Adolf Loos’s interiors. The renovation of the 3,767-square-foot Loft Panzerhalle introduced an abundance of natural light into the interior. The architects left the ribbon windows on the upper floor intact instead of creating galleries typical in modern loft design . An impressive central staircase sweeps upwards like a concrete sculpture, rounding off the composition. The staircase also divides the room while creating a roof over the kitchen, recesses and elevations. Related: Architects turn a cramped apartment into a gorgeous loft where the owner’s cats can roam freely While concrete dominates the space, semi-transparent materials were used to delineate the guest area and bedroom. All the furniture looks integrated into the construction, celebrating free space and minimalist aesthetics. “We wanted to revitalize the space’s original charm,” said the architects. “Magnanimity and a spatial experience of both storeys were priorities. In all dimensions.” + Smartvoll Architects Via v2com Photos by Tobias Colz/smartvoll

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A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

Trump begins process of rolling back Obama-era clean water rule

March 1, 2017 by  
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As part of his ongoing campaign to repeal and undermine many of Barack Obama’s environmental accomplishments, yesterday President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to roll back a 2015 regulation known as “Waters of the United States” rule. The regulation gives the federal government the authority to limit pollution in major bodies of water, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Trump’s executive order, on its own, can’t repeal the rule. However, he’s directed the controversial new EPA head, Scott Pruitt, to begin the complex legal process of rescinding and rewriting the rule, which the New York Times writes could take longer than Trump’s first term to actually carry out. The rule was originally created to clear up confusion about the federal government’s authority in regulating streams, wetlands, and major bodies of water after a series of court decisions created legal confusion. Related: New EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s emails reveal troubling oil-industry ties Though the rule was put forward jointly by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, many business owners in industries including property development, oil and gas , and fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing claim it stifles economic growth. Environmentalists, on the other hand, contend that it will help provide healthier drinking water and cleaner natural areas to people around the nation. This isn’t the only environmental executive order Trump’s expected to sign in the near future. Reports are also circulating that in the coming week he’ll sign a similar order directing the EPA to dismantle Obama’s 2015 climate change regulations as well. Via NRDC Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Trump begins process of rolling back Obama-era clean water rule

Philippines president Duterte signs Paris agreement

March 1, 2017 by  
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It’s been almost a year since leaders from 170 countries met in New York City to formally sign the Paris climate change agreement , and almost four months since the agreement officially went into force . But president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte is only now jumping on the climate change -fighting bandwagon, finally signing the historic accord. Duterte initially resisted signing the agreement; he claimed it favored rich countries like the United States, and threatened to boycott the agreement because it would hurt industrialization in the Philippines. But his protests subsided last November, when he said a cabinet decision swayed him to support the Paris agreement. Now that he’s signed the deal, it will need to go through the country’s Senate. Related: Hard-won Paris climate agreement officially goes into force Senator Loren Legarda said, “We are a step away from full ratification and it is my commitment to actively shepherd the Senate’s immediate concurrence.”It’s expected the Senate will back ratification as Duterte’s allies populate the governing body. Should the agreement finally go through, the Philippines would receive access to the Green Climate Fund , a global initiative slated to send billions of dollars to developing nations to help them combat climate change. Manila , the country’s capital, has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030. The ambitious target will require financial and technical support. Duterte has been labeled a strongman and a firebrand. Vox described him as the Donald Trump of Manila, although the former Davao City mayor has been in politics for decades. Trump and Duterte have become fast friends – Trump reportedly praised Duterte’s war on drugs, which is so violent it sparked a January report from Amnesty International . Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Philippines president Duterte signs Paris agreement

Passive solar beach house is a contemporary take on the Australian beach shack

July 6, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Passive solar beach house is a contemporary take on the Australian beach shack Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: contemporary beach house , corrugated metal , fibre-cement sheeting , natural ventilation , Northern Rivers beach house , northern Rivers Beach House by refresh design , open plan layout , passive solar , refresh design , timber

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Passive solar beach house is a contemporary take on the Australian beach shack

Kentucky is Shipping Invasive Asian Carp to China to Halt Their Spread Across the US

March 26, 2014 by  
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The Asian carp population has exploded in the US – the fish can now be found in 12 states, despite attempts to curb the species’ spread. Now the state of Kentucky has hit upon a novel solution: send the fish back to China, where they are a prized delicacy. Read the rest of Kentucky is Shipping Invasive Asian Carp to China to Halt Their Spread Across the US Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Asian carp , ecosystems , environmental destruction , illinois , invasive carp , invasive species , kentucky , npr , rivers , water issues        

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Kentucky is Shipping Invasive Asian Carp to China to Halt Their Spread Across the US

Nelson Minar Creates a Stunning Map Showing Every River in the US

June 17, 2013 by  
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Graphic designer Nelson Minar has created a stunning map that shows every single river in the United States . All the water channels look like a network of veins and arteries that reach almost every point of the country. Minar has also taken all his data and placed it on GitHub , should anyone wish to make their own infographic. Follow the link below to download a hi-res version of the image. + Nelson Minar via Kottke / Gizmodo Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: github , graphic designer , Nelson Minar , Nelson Minar river map , river map , rivers , US rivers        

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Nelson Minar Creates a Stunning Map Showing Every River in the US

SkinVision Smartphone App Can Detect Skin Cancer

June 17, 2013 by  
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SkinVision is a unique mobile app that detects skin cancer and enables users to track the health of their skin. The app takes into account skin type and your local UV index, and it allows users to pictures of moles appearing on their skin, send them for instant analysis, and find a nearby dermatologist. The app was recently named a finalist in the prestigious  2013 INDEX Awards . Read the rest of SkinVision Smartphone App Can Detect Skin Cancer Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Dermatology , Health Mobile App , Healthy Skin , Heath Technology , INDEX Awards 2013 , Melanoma Protection , Mole Scanning , Skin Health Tracking , Skin Mobile App , SkinVision        

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