Conchs in the Bahamas could be extinct in 10 years

January 24, 2019 by  
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The Bahamas is famous for its large conch population, but some studies claim that could change significantly over the next decade if the archipelago doesn’t start enforcing its laws and introduce stricter regulations. Overfishing has devastated many of the Bahamian conch communities, and it is making reproduction so difficult, the sea slug could be extinct within 10 years. This would be devastating to Bahamian tradition and culture, not to mention the economic impact on the fishing industry. According to the Matador Network , about 9,000 fishermen, which is about 2 percent of the population, depend on the conch fishery. These sluggish sea creatures move too slowly to mate in just pairs. Instead, it’s safer for them to mate in groups, with at least 50 others nearby. But many of the Bahamian conch communities are below critical levels. Related: 60% of wild coffee species are now threatened with extinction The conchs in the Florida Keys suffered the same fate more than four decades ago. Back in 1975, the once abundant conch population went extinct because of overfishing. Now, the Bahamas are facing the same problem, because the nation has some of the most lenient fishing regulations in the Caribbean. However, the Bahamas’ Department of Marine Resources announced on January 13 that it would be ending exports and increasing its regulatory staff in an effort to protect the conchs . There could be some push-back according to Shelly Cant-Woodside, the director of science and policy for the Bahamas National Trust. “We’re not used to regulations or enforcement,” Cant-Woodside told National Geographic . Because the conch industry is the only source of income for many residents of the Bahamas, they might not welcome new restrictions. Right now, the fishermen can legally fish adult conchs after they have had enough time to reproduce. But the Bahamas’ Department of Marine Resources will enforce this rule more strictly by recommending a mandatory minimum shell thickness. Biologist Any Kough said that the new recommendation is encouraging, and it is a “clear sign” that the department is aware of the troubles the conch population is facing in the Bahamas. Via Matador Network and National Geographic Image via Briana Baud

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Conchs in the Bahamas could be extinct in 10 years

Shark fins still being sold in US restaurants amid ban

January 24, 2019 by  
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Shark finning has sparked numerous controversies for the horrible act of animal cruelty that has led to the banning of shark finning in 12 U.S. states. However, the ban is so difficult to effectively enforce that some restaurants in at least 10 of the states still manage to have shark fins on their menus, and some are starting to question if the ban is worth it. Shark finning — the act of slicing fins off live sharks and throwing the wounded shark into the ocean , where they sink and eventually die of suffocation and blood loss — became illegal in U.S. waters back in 2000. Yet, shark fins have been making their way to the states from countries that don’t ban the practice and catch sharks. Although the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington D.C. — who supports the national shark fin ban — updates their yearly list of establishments that serve shark fin soup, restaurants are still featuring the infamous soup on the their menus. According to National Geographic ,  shark fin soup is a “status dish in Asian countries” and has a long history dating back to the Song Dynasty. Currently, the soup is traditionally served at wedding receptions as a sign of respect for guests. Related: Nine more states join seismic blasting lawsuit against the Trump administration The “luxury dish” is prepared by boiling the shark fins and removing the skin and meat. The softened protein fiber that is left behind is then shredded and put into the soup. Trying to ban this item from restaurants is proving to be a major problem for U.S. enforcement agencies due to understaffing. Not to mention, making a case against shark fin vendors can be difficult since the trade is mostly underground, like illegal drugs. “I know it’s going on, I know it’s out there,” says San Francisco marine warden William O’Brien. “But it’s a very private matter — it’s not the kind of thing that, you know, people are selling to the public.” To make matters worse, the fines and jail sentences for violating the ban are usually light and don’t deter the practice. Via National Geographic Images via Shutterstock

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Shark fins still being sold in US restaurants amid ban

Oozing hagfish spill covers highway with slime in Oregon

July 17, 2017 by  
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The images seem as though they were lifted from some horror show in which alien creatures paralyze highways and melt cars wherever they fall. In a stranger-than-fiction twist, something quite similar actually occurred in Depoe Bay, Oregon . A truck hauling eels known as hagfish for their ghoulish appearance overturned on an Oregon state highway last week, leaving the roadway covered in a debilitating layer of ooze. “What to tell the #drycleaner?” tweeted the Oregon State Police as the clean-up team worked to clear the road. The hagfish that spilled across the highway were en route to port, from which they would be shipped to Korea ; there, hagfish are considered a delicacy. As the truck driver tried to slow down near road construction, containers of hagfish, 7,500 pounds of eels in total, slipped from the truck bed, hitting the pavement and nearby passing cars. The highway was shutdown for several hours as state and local authorities bulldozed and hosed the unlucky hagfish and their accompanying slime off the road. Related: The Biomimicry Manual: That Crafty Green Chemist, the Hagfish When hagfish are agitated, they excrete a large amount of the slime observed in the pictures of the flooded highway and wrecked cars . This slime production is actually encouraged by intentionally distressing the hagfish, as their slime is used in some cuisines in a similar manner as one might use egg whites. It only takes one hagfish a few seconds to transform a five-gallon bucket of saltwater into a sticky, slimy mess. This slime can also be used as an unexpected natural fiber , which can be processed into a replacement for oil-based polymers. Via the Seattle Times Images via NOAA Photo Library and Oregon State Police

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Oozing hagfish spill covers highway with slime in Oregon

This off-grid school bus home has an incredible raised roof

July 17, 2017 by  
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Converting an old school bus into a livable home is no easy task, but with a little ingenuity, amazing spaces can be created. When Luke and Rachel Davis of Midwest Wanderers decided to travel full time with their daughter and dog, they renovated a 240-square-foot school bus into a surprisingly spacious off-grid home that includes a raised roof, solar panels, and a beautiful interior design. After deciding to leave their Chicago home behind and take the leap into nomadic living, the couple purchased an old school bus for $4,000. They gutted the entire structure and began to do the bus renovations themselves using as many repurposed materials as possible. A year and a half later, the couple raised the bus’s roof by 24 inches to add height to the living space. The extra space does wonders for the living area, which is illuminated with an abundance of natural light thanks to the porthole skylights on the raised ceiling. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel The sophisticated interior design is extremely comfortable for the family of three, plus their dog, Baxter. The living room, kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms are all equipped with strategic storage solutions to help reduce clutter. Thanks to the elevated roof, the couple was able to add a sleeping loft on the upper level that is accessible via ladder. A second bedroom for their daughter is located just underneath on the main floor. The living area also has a sleeper sofa with plenty of storage underneath. Adjacent to the sofa is a dining table that can be folded down when not in use. A cast iron pot belly wood stove sits in the corner of the living space, and provides enough heat to warm the interior. In the corner of the living space is a compact bathroom, which was installed with a composting toilet and a RV-style tub shower. As a former baker, Rachel was determined to have a working kitchen with sufficient space. Accordingly, the kitchen was equipped with a large countertop, a four-burner stove, and a refrigerator. The handy duo wanted to make their new home as self-sufficient as possible. They used as many repurposed materials in the conversion process as possible, installing upcycled bamboo flooring, reclaimed barn beam countertops, a reclaimed barn wood accent wall, and a locally-reclaimed walnut table. For energy use, a 900-watt solar array provides all of the family’s energy and their water use is reduced thanks to a composting toilet and a low-flow shower head in the bathroom. You can follow the adventures of the Midwest Wanderers on their blog and Instagram page . + Midwest Wanderers Via Treehugger Photography via Midwest Wanderers

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This off-grid school bus home has an incredible raised roof

Watch thousands of giant spider crabs colonize the seafloor near Melbourne

June 17, 2016 by  
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Did you know that crabs migrate? Unlike birds that fly south for the winter to avoid the frigid cold, giant spider crabs head to the shallow waters of Australia’s southern coast in pursuit of warmth . Each year, hundreds of thousands of crabs migrate, and one scientist was lucky enough to capture video of a giant horde of spider crabs as they gathered in Port Phillip Bay near Melbourne. Crowding together like this is an odd behavior that scientists don’t completely understand, but it is quite a spectacle to behold – check out a video after the jump. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQSHfutIzh8 Australian aquatic scientist Sheree Marris, a documentary film producer and former winner of three Young Australian of the Year awards, was exploring just off the coast when she came upon a mass of the giant spider crabs that she described as several hundreds of meters long. With the crabs stacked up to 10 individuals deep, it’s impossible to know how many crabs were present. Each crab can measure up to 12 feet from claw to claw, giving them greatest leg span of any arthropod on the planet. Related: More than one-third of coral is dead in parts of the Great Barrier Reef The reason for the giant spider crabs gathering together en masse is something scientists don’t completely understand. The prevailing theory, though, is that they cluster for protection during the molting season, when they become more vulnerable to predators after shedding their hard outer shells. Certainly, a crab that strays from the crowd would be easily picked off by a dogfish or a sea turtle. An alternative theory suggests the behavior may be related to mating. Regardless of the reason for the giant spider crab mob, Marris hopes her video will help raise awareness of the diversity of marine animals off Australia’s coast, an area where many people have misconceptions about the nature of sea life. “Who would have thought something like this, that is so spectacular, could be happening in Australia on the southern shore?” she said. Via BBC Images via Sheree Marris

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Engineering students create a fire entinguisher that uses sound waves

March 30, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Sound waves could be the next big thing in fire-fighting technology. George Mason University engineering students Seth Robertson and Viet Tran have built a new kind of fire extinguisher that uses sound waves to extinguish fires as part of their senior research project – and it has a lot of potential to work in real world applications, both in everyday households and in outer space. Read the rest of Engineering students create a fire entinguisher that uses sound waves Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: engineering students , fire extinguisher , fire fighting , george mason university , gmu , sound waves , space

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Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum shelters architectural history within an energy-saving, hand-drawn concrete facade

March 30, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum shelters architectural history within an energy-saving, hand-drawn concrete facade Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “sustainable architecture” , architectural drawing museum , architectural photography berlin , Architecture , Art , berlin , concrete facade , energy efficient building , germany , green architecture , green architecture germany , Green Building , Museum , nps tchoban voss , SPEECH architects , sustainable building berlin , Tchoban Foundation , Urban design

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Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum shelters architectural history within an energy-saving, hand-drawn concrete facade

PETITION: Tell presidential candidates to stop lying about climate change!

March 30, 2015 by  
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In 2016, the American people will select a new president , and that person will face some of the most difficult challenges this world has ever seen. Climate change and the human impact on it are arguably the biggest problems the next president will have to tackle. With the frenzied season of political promises ahead will come a barrage of media coverage of presidential hopefuls and their proposed policies. Newly-announced presidential candidate Ted Cruz is well known for rejecting climate change, saying “global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers.” Other candidates are likely to pick and choose which scientific facts they wish to believe as well, but that doesn’t mean the media has to relay their lies without keeping them in check. This new petition is targeted at major media outlets, in the hopes that journalists will hold political candidates accountable for their climate change lies. Can you imagine media coverage that included a fair and balanced reporting of scientific facts? Sign the petition today and send a message to presidential candidates that it’s time to get real about the things they say about climate change in our fragile world. SIGN THE PETITION > Image via Shutterstock Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , climate change deniers , global warming , media accuracy , media holding political candidates accountable , media reporting on climate change , presidential candidates , scientific facts about climate change

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PETITION: Tell presidential candidates to stop lying about climate change!

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE500e is the brand’s first plug-in hybrid SUV

March 30, 2015 by  
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Mercedes-Benz has revealed the 2016 GLE SUV, which officially replaces the popular M-Class SUV. The big news is that the GLE also introduces Mercedes’ first plug-in hybrid SUV – the GLE500e, which can travel up to 19 miles in electric mode. The best part is that it can even travel at speeds up to 81 mph in electric mode, which is much faster than many other plug-in hybrids . Read the rest of 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE500e is the brand’s first plug-in hybrid SUV Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2015 New York Auto Show , electric motor , GLE , GLE500e , green SUV , green transportation , Mercedes-Benz , Mercedes-Benz GLE , Mercedes-Benz GLE500e , Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid , plug-in hybrid , plug-in hybrid suv

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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE500e is the brand’s first plug-in hybrid SUV

Benjamin Spöth weaves leftover birch plywood into beautiful Upcycle lamps

March 30, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Benjamin Spöth weaves leftover birch plywood into beautiful Upcycle lamps Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Benjamin Spöth , Birch-Plywood , high quality birch plywood , Multiplex , plywood lamp , scrap plywood , upcycle , upcycle lamps

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Benjamin Spöth weaves leftover birch plywood into beautiful Upcycle lamps

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