Record number of pilot whales get stranded, die in Tasmania

September 25, 2020 by  
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Over 380 long-finned pilot whales have been confirmed dead after nearly 500 were stranded on Tasmania’s west coast. The whales are believed to have been lured to the shore to feed or erroneously guided by one of their own. By late Wednesday, rescuers had managed to save 50 of the stranded whales and were working hard to save the remaining 30. According to Tasmanian officials, the rescue efforts are to continue as long as the whales are still alive. Nic Deka, the regional manager for Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service, said that the government has hope of rescuing the remaining whales and as long as they are still alive, they have a chance of getting back to the water. However, Deka also explained that the chances of survival get slimmer every second that passes by. “While they’re still alive and in water, there’s still hope for them — but as time goes on they do become more fatigued.” Related: Right whales now ranked as critically endangered species While the rescuers are making efforts to save the living whales , the Australian government is working on a plan to clean up the carcasses. The government has to decide the best way of disposing of the perished whales before embarking on the process. In previous cases, carcasses were buried on the shoreline to reduce the cost of transportation. It is still not clear why the whales in Tasmania ended up beached, but investigations are underway. This incident surpasses one of the largest strandings ever recorded in Australia in 1996, when 320 whales were beached. Tasmania is prone to whale strandings, with more than 80% of the continent’s stranding events occurring here. According to Kris Carlyon, Marine Conservation Program wildlife biologist, the latest mass stranding is the largest to occur in Australia in terms of the number of whales stranded and deaths. Carlyon said that the whales might have been lured into the coast for food or misguided adventure. Pilot whales travel in groups. Unfortunately, their bond means that they may get stranded in masses and eventually lead to huge losses, as is currently happening in Tasmania. Via BBC and Huffington Post Image via Ursula Di Chito

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Record number of pilot whales get stranded, die in Tasmania

A heritage industrial site becomes a dreamy wilderness retreat in Australia

April 6, 2020 by  
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In the middle of Australia’s deepest lake, a historic industrial site has been reborn as Pumphouse Point, a charming getaway perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Designed by architecture firm Cumulus Studio , the boutique accommodation is the realization of tourism developer Simon Currant’s 18-year vision to thoughtfully and sustainably make a portion of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area more accessible to travelers. The grounds comprise a collection of buildings, two of which were renovated from heritage-listed Art Deco buildings, originally part of the Hydro Electric scheme. Originally constructed in 1940, the five-story pump house that was built as part of the state’s Hydro Electricity Scheme had been used to pump water from Lake St. Clair to the nearby St. Lake Lagoon. The building was decommissioned in the early ’90s and sat unused for decades. Today, the site has become home to a unique, 18-room boutique property that is housed in three buildings: the new-build “Retreat”, “The Pumphouse” and “The Shorehouse.” The latter two are refurbished historic buildings. The Shorehouse, which was the original Hydro substation, also includes a new dining and lounge extension. Related: 1850s barn in Italy becomes a modern, sustainable family home In keeping with the values of the World Heritage Site, in which the property is located, the Cumulus team retained the existing buildings’ footprints and minimally modified the exteriors. In contrast, the interiors are strikingly contemporary yet still minimalist to keep focus on the outdoors. A neutral palette of timber and metal imparts a “rugged simplicity” that also alludes to the site’s history. Due to Pumphouse Point’s remote location and the tight project budget, the architects turned to prefabrication and simple construction techniques to streamline the building process. In addition to spectacular views, Pumphouse Point guests can also enjoy nature walks, lake excursions, biking trails and more. Other than newborns and infants, the boutique property does not accommodate anyone under the age of 18. + Cumulus Studio Photography by Adam Gibson via Cumulus Studio

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A heritage industrial site becomes a dreamy wilderness retreat in Australia

Mining in Tasmania raises water pollution concerns to a new high

February 14, 2019 by  
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Tasmania’s water pollution is becoming a major problem for local residents and wildlife. A new study discovered that metal contamination in the state’s lakes are about as high as they get, raising concerns about the quality of water and food obtained from the region. The majority of the contamination can be traced to historic mining operations in Rosebery and Queenstown. The new study, which was conducted by the Australian National University, looked at six lakes in Tasmania, including Perched Lake, Lake Cygnus, Lake Dobson and Dove Lake, and found levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and copper. Basin Lake and Owen Tarn had the highest levels of water pollution. The levels of contamination are bad enough to equal some of the highest contaminated waterways in the world, including Iran’s Shur River and Pakistan’s Kurang River. “The levels of contamination are really, really high,” the lead scientist on the study, Larissa Schneider. “They need to do research to know what is happening to the fish and if it’s really high… people should not be eating it.” Schneider compared the level of water pollution to what the United States has encountered in some areas of the country. In those cases, local fish populations were severely harmed by the pollutants, which is a major concern because the contamination levels in Tasmania are much higher. Related: California teen finds golf balls are a major source of plastic waste in our oceans Scientists, for example, discovered an alarming amount of lead contamination in Dove Lake, which could affect native organisms. The new research argues that the contaminates were spread via atmospheric transport. Mining operations in the 1930s used open cut mining, a popular practice until it was outlawed by the Environmental Protection Act in the 1970s. Metal contaminates were discovered over 80 miles away from old mining locations, and some of the lakes are in mountainous regions. This suggests that they reached these bodies of water by passing through the air. Will Hodgman, the premier of Tasmania, discussed the new findings and suggested a form of remediation on the part of government and private industries. The entity that looks after waterways, the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment , has not commented on Tasmania’s water pollution levels. Via The Guardian Image via Wikipedia Commons  

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Stellar views and a small footprint defines this Tasmanian timber cabin

April 12, 2018 by  
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A small abode perched high on the eastern slopes of Tasmania’s Mount Wellington offers spectacular landscape views. Room11 Architects designed the boxy dwelling with a deliberately compact footprint as an “intensely private” retreat that keeps the focus on outdoor views framed by large windows. In addition to enviable views, natural cross ventilation and a wood-burning stove help keep the home, called Little Big House, attuned to nature. Located high above Hobart, Little Big House is an escape from the city set in a forested landscape. The simple residence is clad in vertical unfinished timber in a nod to the local vernacular construction styles of Southern Tasmania. “A small home with big volumes, the house is a bespoke building in a cool climate,” wrote the architects. “Eschewing many of the traditions of Australian architecture , this house is distinctly Tasmanian.” Related: Historic train shed transformed into Tasmanian School for Architecture Polycarbonate cladding on the east and west facades bring additional light to the minimalist interior without compromising privacy. White walls and tall ceilings create a bright and airy atmosphere indoors; the entry, kitchen, and bathroom spaces are finished in black to provide visual contrast. The focus is kept on the double-height living room set next to a long strip of glazing, while the bedroom is tucked above on the mezzanine level. + Room11 Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Ben Hosking

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Stellar views and a small footprint defines this Tasmanian timber cabin

Marvelous modular retreat goes off-grid in untamed Tasmania

November 13, 2015 by  
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Naval camouflage enlivens the bioclimatic solar-powered Southern Outlet House

September 28, 2015 by  
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Duncan Meerding transforms tree stumps into lamps that double as tables and stools

June 15, 2015 by  
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Who knew tree stumps could have so many uses! Tasmanian furniture designer Duncan Meerding transformed ordinary tree stumps into gorgeous, weather-resistant lamps that can double as indoor and outdoor tables and stools,. The cracks in the timber of the Log Light illuminate an entire area with shards of light coming from warm LED strip lights fitted into the volume. Read the rest of Duncan Meerding transforms tree stumps into lamps that double as tables and stools Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cracked Log Lamp , Duncan Meerding , furniture design , green lighting , lamp design , LED lights , reclaimed timber , sustainable design , tasmania

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Solar-powered Valley House blends industrial chic with rural Tasmanian elements

June 1, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Solar-powered Valley House blends industrial chic with rural Tasmanian elements Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: blackwood timber , double-glazed windows , energy efficient architecture , heat pump technology , Launceston , LEDs , natural lighting , natural ventilation , northern exposure , Philip M Dingemanse , Solar Power , solar powered house , tasmania , Tasmanian timber , Valley House , Valley House by Philip M Dingemanse

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Solar-powered Valley House blends industrial chic with rural Tasmanian elements

Gorgeous Lookout House is a contemporary twist on Australian farmhouse typology

December 29, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous Lookout House is a contemporary twist on Australian farmhouse typology Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: australia , barn door , barnyard typology , cedar , courtyard , farmhouse , farmhouse typology , gabled roof , gabled rooftop , Lookout House , metal roof , port arthur , Room 11 , solar heat gain , Tasman Island , tasmania , timber

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Madrid takes on largest street lighting upgrade in the world

December 29, 2014 by  
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The city government of Madrid plans to upgrade every single one of their streetlights to Philips ’ energy-efficient bulbs. Philips, the world’s leader in lighting, will finance the project at no additional cost to the citizens of Madrid. Existing lights on streets, at historic monuments, and in public parks will be replaced with energy-efficient LED lighting provided by Philips. The project targets a total of 225,000 lights, making this the world’s largest street lighting upgrade. Read the rest of Madrid takes on largest street lighting upgrade in the world Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , city planning , eco-friendly lighting , energy efficient , LED lighting , lightbulbs , madrid , Philips , recycling , reducing energy costs , Spain , technology upgrade

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