11-year-old discovers rare 475-million-year-old fossil in Tennessee

May 8, 2018 by  
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While enjoying an evening walk at Douglas Lake in East Tennessee , 11-year-old Ryleigh Taylor stumbled upon a magnificent discovery: the 475-million-year-old fossilized remains of an ancient sea creature called a trilobite. Taylor brought her find to the University of Tennessee , where it was examined by paleobiology professor Colin Sumrall. “Typically when we look at fossils of trilobites, they molt when they grow,” Sumrall told WATE.com . “So what happens is, when the trilobite skeleton just crumbles into hundreds of little pieces. To find one where all the pieces are intact, it’s actually a pretty lucky find.” Related to modern crustaceans, spiders and insects , most closely to horseshoe crabs, trilobites were a widespread arthropod group during the Cambrian period, reaching 60 different species at its peak. The group began to shrink during the Devonian period, then eventually went extinct in the wake of the Permian extinction. Named trilobite for its “three-lobes” body structure, the group is thought to be one of the first organisms to experience vision. While some trilobites could not have been seen without a microscope, others, such as isotelus rex , could grow to be several feet in length. Related: Treasure trove of Triassic fossils found at Bears Ears Taylor was thrilled with her discovery. “To find something like that, it’s really really cool,” Taylor told WATE . “I looked down while I was walking and I found it, I just saw it.” Taylor hopes that her unexpected fossil find will inspire other young people to get outside and explore. “I can show kids that are my age that they don’t have to sit inside and play games . They can actually go outside and find different things,” said Taylor. “To find something like that, it could spark this youngster into a whole career,” explained Sumrall. “Maybe she’ll become a great paleontologist one day.” For now, Ryleigh Taylor is simply content to continue exploring. Via The TeCake Images via  Depositphotos (2)

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11-year-old discovers rare 475-million-year-old fossil in Tennessee

Scientists hypothesize why earthquakes happen where they shouldn’t

December 22, 2017 by  
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Scientists at the University of Kentucky and the University of Memphis may have learned why earthquakes often occur in places they aren’t usually expected. The slow, steady grind of tectonic plates and the tension released by tectonic activity are typically cited as the primary cause of earthquakes. However, hundreds of “intraplate” earthquakes occur each year in places that are far from regions where plates meet. Such hot spots for intraplate earthquakes include Charlevoix, Quebec , New Madrid, Missouri, and the eastern third of Tennessee. The researchers believe that these intraplate earthquakes may be caused in part by concentrated crustal deformation at the lowest levels of the continental crust. In a study published in the science journal Tectonics , researchers presented their case that these areas of unusual seismic activity may be affected by damage to the underlying crust. “We present a new hypothesis that major seismic zones are restricted to places where the large-scale basement structures have been damaged by concentrated crustal deformation (CCD),” write co-researchers Christine Powell and William Thomas. CCD refers to any damage in geological history to the solid rock , deepest layers of a continental crust. Damage incurred millions of years ago may reemerge in the form of increased seismic activity. Related: Scientists warn of more severe earthquakes in 2018 as Earth’s rotation slows Though CCD likely contributes to all, each region has its own unique geological story to its unusual seismic activity. For example, the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the Midwestern United States is the result of folding of the local crust during the collapse of Rodinia, a supercontinent that fell apart hundreds of millions of years ago. In Eastern Tennessee , the increased seismic activity is caused by a sudden twist within one of the area’s deep faults. “Although the mechanisms producing the CCD vary, the regionally restricted CCD serves to focus seismicity in these three zones,” write Powell and Thomas. The researchers conclude that while CCD likely impacts these intraplate-earthquake-prone areas, it is not the only contributing factor. There is more to the story. Via ScienceAlert Images via Depositphotos   (1)

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Scientists hypothesize why earthquakes happen where they shouldn’t

Watts Bar Unit 2 is the first new American nuclear reactor to go online in 20 years

October 21, 2016 by  
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A new nuclear reactor went online in Tennessee recently, making history as the first commercial reactor in America to go online in the 21st century. Watts Bar Unit 2 is part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant , and cost $4.7 billion. The unit can power 650,000 homes. There hasn’t been a new nuclear reactor brought online in two decades. TVA says Watts Bar Unit 2 was finished “the right way – with safety and quality” taken into deep consideration every step along the way. The company says the unit underwent ” an extensive series of power ascension tests ” as it began to operate. This week they announced the new reactor is officially operational after it functioned properly and generated power for three weeks. TVA CEO Bill Johnson said the energy generated by Watts Bar Unit 2 will be reliable, low-cost, and will protect the area’s natural resources. Related: First new US nuclear power plant in 20 years scheduled to open in Tennessee The company emphasizes the power generated by Watts Bar 2 is clean energy

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Kimbal Musk’s new Memphis eatery will offer healthy meals on the go for $5

June 23, 2016 by  
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Regular readers of Inhabitat know of our continued intrigue with Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk , but we haven’t reported as much on his youngest brother Kimbal Musk . The younger Musk brother is a busy man, sitting on the boards of Tesla, SpaceX and Chipotle Mexican Grill – and his own venture, The Kitchen Community , is a nonprofit that puts educational gardens in schools and other community spaces. Now, Kimbal Musk is launching a healthy “grab-and-go” café called The Kitchenette, which will offer healthy meals for just $5. The flagship location of The Kitchenette is planned for Memphis, Tennessee and is expected to open this August. In fact, they are already hiring . The location will be unique, situated inside the visitor center of Shelby Farms Park , a sprawling urban park and nature conservancy which has more than one million visitors each year. At Musk’s café, healthy food will take the spotlight, including $5 meals on-the-go. The menu will consist mostly of sandwiches, soups, and salads. Musk and his cofounder and chef Hugo Matheson have aspirations to expand the concept to other cities, but no solid plans are in place yet. Related: Plummeting sales show Americans are basically over McDonald’s Healthy fast food joints seem to be the latest trend in the food service industry, but many existing options aren’t exactly budget friendly and lunch for one can easily cost $15-20. In order to provide true competition to common fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s, Musk knew he had to keep the prices down. To that end, no single item on the menu at The Kitchenette will be priced over $10. Musk told Tech Insider that he’ll keep prices down by partnering with local farmers , which seems like a smart move, both for diners and for the local economy. The only downside we can see is that The Kitchenette won’t have a drive-thru window. Via Tech Insider Images via Kimbal Musk/The Kitchen

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Kimbal Musk’s new Memphis eatery will offer healthy meals on the go for $5

Airbnb wants a family to sleep in this Great Barrier Reef floating ‘house’, but is it safe?

June 23, 2016 by  
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The Airbnb listing calls the accommodations an “apartment” but it is decidedly not that. Composed of an open-air floating platform , the space is elaborately decorated with white linens and natural elements. The reef-adjacent guest space sleeps up to four people, so Airbnb is marketing this particular giveaway to families in partnership with Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory , which opened June 17. The contest entrant must be at least 21 years old, and the winner can bring along three immediate family members. The prize also includes return airfare to Cairns (the nearest city), as well as accommodations there in an Airbnb property on the night before and after the Great Barrier Reef adventure. Related: Airbnb is offering a night in an underwater bedroom surrounded by 35 sharks The main bedroom area features what appears to be a queen-sized bed, while a second sleeping area is situated behind a dividing wall positioned at the head of bed. There, a bunk bed is adorned with colorful Disney-themed bedding, but the kids sleeping area is also dangerously exposed, without so much as a railing between the “bedroom” and the open sea. If you choose to ignore the obvious safety concerns, the space is decidedly beautiful. The open walls feature billows of gauzy curtains which are more for aesthetic appeal than privacy or protection from the elements. Unfinished wood make up the floor and sofa, while fluffy pillows in white and sandy colors offer cool places to enjoy the view. This dreamy floating getaway is also conspicuously missing a bathroom, although there is a sink positioned between the bedroom and the lounge area. Par for the course with Airbnb giveaways , the winners will do more than just sleep on the waves. The prize also includes a late lunch featuring from local produce, prepared by Neil Perry, one of Australia’s most famous chefs. In the afternoon, the winners will go on a guided dive, and tour private coral gardens with a marine biologist. Entries will be accepted until June 30 and a winner will be announced soon after, with the trip planned for July 12 to 14. The entire prize package is worth $30,000, according to Airbnb, which seems like a lot of money to put behind a floating room that gives parents major cause for concern about the safety and comfort of their children. + Airbnb Night At Great Barrier Reef Via MyModernMet Images via Airbnb

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Airbnb wants a family to sleep in this Great Barrier Reef floating ‘house’, but is it safe?

This groundbreaking 3D-printed building can be powered by a car

September 23, 2015 by  
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This groundbreaking 3D-printed building can be powered by a car

Energy-efficient dryer of the future swaps heat for ultrasonic waves

June 28, 2015 by  
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Clothes dryers are one of the biggest energy users in the home, but a new discovery made by scientists at Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory could change the home appliance’s energy-guzzling reputation forever. This “dryer of the future” will extract moisture from clothes using ultrasonic vibrations rather than heat. This method will not only use significantly less energy , but can also cut down drying times for a full load by as much as 15 to 20 minutes. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , dryer of the future , energy efficient dryer , oak ridge national laboratory , ultrasonic vibrations

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Energy-efficient dryer of the future swaps heat for ultrasonic waves

Subterranean Conservation Hall is a glass-walled atrium under the Governor’s lawn in Tennessee

May 15, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Subterranean Conservation Hall is a glass-walled atrium under the Governor’s lawn in Tennessee Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Archimania , Architecture , botany , conservation , Conservation Hall , governor’s lawn , green design , LEED gold , Nashville , retrofit , subterranean atrium , sustainable design , sustainable renovation , tennessee

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Subterranean Conservation Hall is a glass-walled atrium under the Governor’s lawn in Tennessee

Google’s autonomous cars will drive themselves around Mountain View this summer

May 15, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Newsfeeds have been abuzz lately with discussions about the safety of Google’s self-driving cars. On the heels of the news that none of the autonomous vehicles were at fault in the motor vehicle ‘incidents’ they’ve been involved in, Google’s Self-Driving Car Project plans to free the cars from the confines of their test track and let them loose this summer on the streets of Mountain View, California. Well, sort of. Read the rest of Google’s autonomous cars will drive themselves around Mountain View this summer Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: autonomous car technology , autonomous vehicle , California , driverless car , Google , google announcement , google self-driving car , Google self-driving car project , mountain view , self-driving car

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Google’s autonomous cars will drive themselves around Mountain View this summer

Tennessee Senate Passes Koch Brothers-Backed Ban on Bus Rapid Transit

April 16, 2014 by  
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Despite the country’s recent transportation victories on bike share expansion and other mass transit investments, Tennessee seems to have taken a giant step backwards. Last week, the Tennessee Senate overwhelmingly voted to ban any kind of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) construction in the state. The ban was heavily backed by the wealthy Koch Brothers–who some may remember for their devastating oil spill in Texas last year–and seems to have been specifically targeted at squashing the 7.1 mile AMP BRT project in Nashville. Read the rest of Tennessee Senate Passes Koch Brothers-Backed Ban on Bus Rapid Transit Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: americans for prosperity , amp brt , amp bus rapid transit , brt , brt ban , brt system , Bus Rapid Transit , bus rapid transit ban , green transportation , karl dean , Koch Brothers , mass transit , Nashville , tennessee , tennessee senate

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