UK tests cheaper, longer-lasting roads made with recycled plastic

April 25, 2017 by  
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Around 24.8 million miles of roads crisscross the surface of Earth. And hundreds of millions of barrels of oil have been used for that development. Engineer Toby McCartney came up with a solution to that waste of natural resources and the growing plastic pollution problem. His company, Scotland-based MacRebur , lays roads that are as much as 60 percent stronger than regular asphalt roads and last around 10 times longer – and they’re made with recycled plastic. Our city roads require a lot of maintenance over time as weather deteriorates them and potholes open up. Meanwhile there are around five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. McCartney came up with an answer to both issues. He turns 100 percent recycled plastic into what he calls MR6 pellets, or small pellets of waste plastic, which replace bitumen , the material used to bind roads together (extracted from crude oil) and sold by oil companies like Shell. Related: Vancouver Becomes First City to Pave Its Streets With Recycled Plastic Normal roads are comprised of around 90 percent rock, sand, and limestone, with 10 percent bitumen. MacRebur’s process replaces most of the bitumen, using household waste plastic, farm waste, and commercial waste. Much of the trash would have otherwise ended up in a landfill . At asphalt plants the MR6 pellets are mixed with quarried rock and a bit of bitumen, and a plant worker told the BBC the process is actually the same “as mixing the conventional way with additions into a bitumen product.” McCartney was inspired to design plastic roads after his daughter’s teacher asked the class what lives in the ocean, and his daughter said, “Plastics.” He didn’t want her to grow up in a world where that was true. He’d also spent time in India, where he saw locals would fix holes in the road by putting waste plastic into the holes and then burning it. He started MacRebur with friends Nick Burnett and Gordon Reid. MacRebur’s first road was McCartney’s own driveway, and now the company’s roads have been laid in the county of Cumbria in the United Kingdom . + MacRebur Via the BBC Images via MacRebur Facebook

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UK tests cheaper, longer-lasting roads made with recycled plastic

Research reveals the Earth may have once had a solid egg-like crust

March 2, 2017 by  
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Extending the symbolism of eggs as a metaphor for life and reproduction, recent research reveals the Earth itself may have once had an egg-like structure. According to a report from the University of Maryland , the plate tectonics that now define the Earth’s geology may have begun later in the planet’s history. Before the plates began moving and colliding to define the surface we know and love today, the Earth’s crust likely consisted of a solid but deformable shell encasing a molten liquid interior. The research, a joint effort between the UMD’s College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Curtin University and the Geological Survey of Western Australia , was recently published in the journal Nature, and represents the latest in a longstanding debate over the Earth’s geological history. One side of the debate says plate tectonics began right after the Earth started to cool (known as uniformitarianism), while the other proposes the planet went through a long phase with a solid shell enveloping it. This latest study clearly favors the latter view. Models for how the first continental crust formed generally fall into two groups: those that invoke modern-style plate tectonics and those that do not, says Michael Brown, a professor of geology at the University of Maryland and a co-author of the study. “Our research supports the latter ‘stagnant lid’ forming the planet’s outer shell early in Earth’?s history. Related: Geologists find seventh continent hiding in plain sight Coming to this conclusion was no easy task. Brown and his team studied rocks collected from the East Pilabara Terrane – a large area of ancient crust located in Western Australia . As old as 3.5 billion years, these rocks are some of the oldest on the planet. The researchers looked at the granite and basalt rocks for signs of plate tectonic activity, such as subduction of one plate beneath the other. As UMD explains it: “Plate tectonics substantially affects the temperature and pressure of rocks within Earth’?s interior. When a slab of rock subducts under the Earth’s surface, the rock starts off relatively cool and takes time to gain heat. By the time it reaches a higher temperature, the rock has also reached a significant depth, which corresponds to high pressure – in the same way a diver experiences higher pressure at greater water depth.” In contrast, a stagnant lid regime would be very hot at relatively shallow depths and low pressures. Geologists refer to this as a “high thermal gradient.” According to Brown, the results showed the Pilabara granites were produced by melting rocks in a high thermal gradient environment and the composition of local basalts shows they came from an earlier generation of source rocks supporting the ‘stagnant lid’ theory of the Earth’s early formation. Images via Robert Whitehead , domdomegg

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Research reveals the Earth may have once had a solid egg-like crust

Scientists find evidence of lost continent beneath Mauritius

February 2, 2017 by  
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A group of geoscientists have uncovered an ancient secret. The scientists from German and South African research institutions found evidence of a formerly undiscovered continent beneath the small Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. This lost continent likely vanished into the ocean around 84 million years ago, undiscovered by humans until just recently. Three geoscientists realized zircon they found on Mauritius was much too old for the relatively new island which formed in the wake of underwater volcanic eruptions eight to nine million years ago. Volcanic eruptions on the island spewed out the zircon crystals that researchers now think may derive from an ancient continent linking India and Madagascar as part of the Gondwana supercontinent. Lewis Ashwal of University of the Witwatersrand , who is the lead author on a paper published online January 31 by Nature , said, “Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than nine million years old on the island. However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found zircons that are as old as three billion years.” Related: Ancient ocean crust in the Mediterranean Sea may predate supercontinent Pangea Back in 2013, scientists found ancient zircons billions of years old in Mauritius beach sand, but that find was controversial as other scientists said the materials could have arrived at the beach from somewhere else. The new discovery lends credence to the idea that there once was a continent under Mauritius billions of years ago, as these zircons could not have been transported to the island via wind or waves, according to Ashwal. He said, “The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent.” Now some people think other pieces of the Gondwana supercontinent may be found in the future, as we explore deeper in the oceans . Via ScienceAlert and Phys.org Images via Ludovic Lubeigt on Flickr and Susan Webb/Wits University

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Scientists find evidence of lost continent beneath Mauritius

Japanese fix massive city sinkhole within 48 hours

November 15, 2016 by  
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Within two days of swallowing a five-lane city street, a sinkhole in Fukuoka, Japan has been repaired – though, as the Guardian reports , the street’s re-opening was delayed several days for safety reasons. The sinkhole opened up on 8 November, and one week later, the street officially reopened to pedestrian and vehicular traffic with an apology from the city’s mayor. The 98-foot-long sinkhole in Fukoaka affected a sewage pipe, traffic lights, as well as utility pipes, all of which have been restored with fresh gas and power lines, the Guardian reports. Local press claim Fukuoka workers filled the urban cavity with 6,200 cubic meters of sand and cement, working around the clock to restore the busy thoroughfare. Related: Terrifying sinkhole swallows five-lane street in Japan Mayor Soichiro Takashima said the street is now 30 times stronger than it was before, adding that the city has assembled a panel of experts to determine what caused the sinkhole. Earlier reports placed blame on construction of new subway lines. “We’re very sorry for causing great trouble,” the mayor said, according to the Telegraph . “Sinkholes are common where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by groundwater circulating through them,” according to the USGS. Evaporite rocks, where sinkholes are commonly found, underlie up to 40 percent of US territory. Via The Guardian Images via Hideyuki Hongo, USGS

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Japanese fix massive city sinkhole within 48 hours

Video captures vandals toppling 18-million-year-old sandstone formation in Oregon

September 7, 2016 by  
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An iconic sandstone formation on the Oregon coast known as “the duckbill” is no more, after a group of vandals forced the rocks to topple, leaving behind a devastated pile of rubble . The giant rock, known as “The Duckbill” measured up to 10 feet across, and was a sought-after destination just beyond the safety fence in Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area in Oregon’s Tillamook County. At first, park officials thought that the formation had fallen on its own, but video captured by a witness later revealed the extent of this terrible loss. After discovering the formation had toppled, Oregon State Parks posted on Facebook on Sept. 1 warning visitors to the area that “the rubble serves as a sobering reminder of the ever present dangers of our fragile coastal rocks and cliffs.” They did not know, at that time, that it was intentionally knocked over by a group of ne’er-do-wells. That detail wasn’t known until authorities discovered that David Kalas posted a video of the vandalism act on Twitter. Kalas, who was not directly involved in the destruction, shot video of the group on Aug. 29 and then approached them with questions. Related: Actress Vanessa Hudgens is under investigation for defacing natural landmarks on Valentine’s Day Kalas told the local Fox News affiliate about his confrontation with the vandals immediately after the destructive act. They told him, reportedly, that they decided to topple the giant sandstone because one of their friends had broken his leg after falling off the rock, in a misguided effort to protect other park-goers from harm. Understandably, Kalas didn’t really buy that story, saying it “frustrated [him] because nobody forced them to climb on top of the rock.” The naturally formed sandstone tower was an iconic part of the Oregon coastline, and had become a significant location for many people over the years. Despite its location behind a safety fence, many people climbed atop the rock to take pictures of important life events. “People got married on top of the rock, got their engagement photos on top of the rock,” Kalas told Fox News. “They can’t share that moment any more with their future children or their grandchildren or anyone like that, it will always just now be a memory,” he added. Oregon State Parks posted an update  on Sept. 6, explaining that the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is working closely with the Oregon State Police to determine the best course of action. The vandals, who have not yet been identified publicly, face a maximum penalty in the form of a $435 fine. Via Treehugger Images via David Kalas , Oregon State Parks and Thomas Shahan/Flickr

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Video captures vandals toppling 18-million-year-old sandstone formation in Oregon

Cost-effective modern home sports an outdoor climbing wall that reaches the roof

September 7, 2016 by  
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To comply with the site’s limited buildable area and the client’s programmatic demands, the architects designed the Cache Creek Residence with an “upside-down version of a traditional house diagram.” While most homes place the living areas on the ground floor and the private rooms above, the two-story Cache Creek Residence places the open kitchen, living, and dining area, as well as the master bedroom on the second floor. The two guest bedrooms, gear storage, and utility areas are located on the lower level. Large glazed openings frame views of the Snow King Ski Area and bring in natural light to illuminate the high-ceilinged interior. Related: The SkyHouse Features a 50-Foot Climbing Wall and 80-Foot Spiraling Slide in This NYC Penthouse The Cache Creek Residence’s boxy form is clad in black corrugated metal , a material chosen for its durability, texture, and low cost. Galvanized steel-clad projections and large protruding decks on the south and east sides add interest and depth to the building. A climbing wall on the north elevation with multicolored holds spans the full height of the home and provides access to the roof. “The interior is characterized by high ceilings and generous glazing, which allows for constant daylight,” write the architects. “Economical finish selections let materials speak for themselves: concrete floors, quartz stone countertops and IKEA cabinetry, complete the interior expression.” + Carney Logan Burke Via Dezeen Images via Carney Logan Burke

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Cost-effective modern home sports an outdoor climbing wall that reaches the roof

Adrien Rovero Gives Salvaged Ski Gondolas a Second Life as Unique Rocking Chairs

October 10, 2012 by  
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These stylish rocking chairs are crafted from salvaged ski gondolas by Adrien Rovero . The chairs, dubbed ‘Rock’, are part of a larger project organized by Mountain Climbers , a group which combines sustainable design with charitable efforts. Each of the rockers is crafted from a gondola lift and then decorated by a different artist, architect or designer to create an thoroughly unique work. After the ski gondola chairs are exhibited around Switzerland, the cool designs will be sold at an auction from which all the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation. The team aim to continue the project over the next three years, so we can expect a whole lot more dismantled ski icons to be transformed into fantastic designs. + Adrien Rovero + Mountain Climbers Images courtesy of Annik Wetter

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Adrien Rovero Gives Salvaged Ski Gondolas a Second Life as Unique Rocking Chairs

Yeast-Based Ingredient Could Replace “Whale Vomit” in Perfume

April 15, 2012 by  
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Perfume bottles photo via Shutterstock Did you know that that bottle of pricey perfume sitting atop your dresser likely contains wale vomit? For centuries, designer perfume makers have used ambergris , a wax-like ingredient spit up by whales as a fragrance fixative for perfume. Because the rock-like globs can fetch as much as $20,000 per kilogram and because sperm wales are endangered, scientists at the University of British have been working to synthesize a viable replacement for ambergris, and they may have found one in yeast. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ambergris , Cologne , fragrance , perfume , science , sperm whales , University of British Columbia , whale , yeast

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Yeast-Based Ingredient Could Replace “Whale Vomit” in Perfume

5 Futuristic ideas for renewable energy generation

October 24, 2011 by  
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Preeti Dahiya: Turn trash into power One of the most futuristic idea for renewable energy generation. The renewable energy generation has come out to be the most effective and the most useful one. This clean energy source has become a major process for the generation of energy in various forms. The renewable energy is so famous and popular for the only one reason and that is its eco friendly nature. This energy can be used to generate large quantity of other forms of energy which can be used for various effective purposes. With the development of technology, this energy has also developed to a whole new level. The futuristic ideas out for this clean energy are simply awesome and are being applied on a large scale. There are various such futuristic ideas regarding the use of renewable source of energy but only few of them are worth of going for. So here we are with a list of five futuristic ideas for renewable energy generation which will generate energy on a grand scale. Have a look. 1. Sequester carbon in limestone This is a cool and really unique idea to save our Earth by reducing the global warming effect. It was found by a geologist Peter Kelemen who when on a tour with his friends found that the underground CO2 can be effectively reduced and can be stored inside a rock like structure. This idea is quite simple and according to it the rock formations obtained after deep drilling into the Earth can be heated up and then be supplied with CO2 enriched water. This would result in the formation of a carbonate out of rock which would ultimately absorb the greenhouse gases in the solid form. This idea is highly appreciated and is still under observations by the scientists. 2. Use fusion to zap nuclear waste The fusion process is one of the widely used process in terms of producing energy using the nuclear products. But now here is something that can also be used as a source of producing this green energy. The nuclear waste out of the nuclear plants can be effectively used to generate considerable amount of energy. This is a process of recycling and would ultimately result in a safe and green environment. This futuristic idea is worth of trying this multiproject. 3. Build homes that don’t need furnaces Usually our houses these days are made by using high amount of furnace process. The furnace process is made into use to provide higher durability but it also leads to environmental problems and pollution. This cool idea was suggested by Nathan Fariss and according to him the houses can also be built without making use of furnace. The furnace process can be avoided and would lead to a similar durable house without even affecting the environment. This project will also bring down the total cost incurred and would almost cost you around 5% of the overall conventional house cost. 4. Keep working on fusion energy The fusion energy is considered to be highly powerful in terms of producing energy and these days technology is being developed to make the best use of it. The new project in talk is the ITER, which is expected to be the world’s biggest tokamak plant which is capable of generating enormous amount of energy and is estimated to be completed by the year 2018 in southern France. This power plant concept is still under observations and next year California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is predicted to be starting their firing of tiny hydrogen target to produce magnet free fusion process. This project, if come into existence, will be highly effective and will completely change the way green energy is being produced. 5. Turn trash into power This project is ultra futuristic and is highly in talk about its really energy sufficient process. The trash we find everywhere around us can now be effectively used according to this project and can be used on a wide scale to produce enormous amount of energy. The GEM which is short for Green Energy Machine is now being considered to be the next big thing in the industry of clean and energy efficient processes. The concept behind this is simply superb and aims at producing energy by reducing considerable amount of greenhouse gases into environment which would ultimately make the environment healthy and fit to stay. The cargo found around in the areas of Waltham is estimated to heat and power 200,000 square feet of space resulting in generation of enormous energy. This will be done on a set of diet of 3 tons of garbage. This is estimated to save up to 540 tons of emission of the deadly greenhouse gases into the environment per year.

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5 Futuristic ideas for renewable energy generation

Rock Star: Trekking To California’s Vasquez Rocks Park

June 7, 2011 by  
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[ By Steve in Geography & Travel & History & Trivia & Uncategorized . ] That tilted rock formation … now where have I seen that before? On TV and in the movies, most likely.

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Rock Star: Trekking To California’s Vasquez Rocks Park

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