4.4 billion years ago Earth had no mountains and was covered with water, say scientists

May 10, 2017 by  
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Tiny zircon crystals have allowed scientists at Australian National University (ANU) to paint a portrait of what Earth looked like over four billion years ago. Their scrutiny of the mineral grains – the oldest fragments of the planet we’ve ever uncovered – led them to think our world was a much different place back then. They say the planet, which was barren, had no mountains, and probably only a few islands poked up above the water blanketing the rest of the planet. Zircon crystals preserved inside sandstone rocks in the Jack Hills of Western Australia provided clues to our planet’s history – billions of years before humans ever showed up. Lead researcher Antony Burnham said the zircon samples were collected over multiple decades, and his team also drew on chemical analyses from an ANU research group two decades ago. He likened zircon grains to skin cells at a crime scene. Related: World’s largest dinosaur footprint found in Australia’s “Jurassic Park” “The history of the Earth is like a book with its first chapter ripped out with no surviving rocks from the very early period, but we’ve used these trace elements of zircon to build a profile of the world at that time,” he said in a statement. “Our research indicates there were no mountains and continental collisions during the Earth’s first 700 million years or more of existence – it was a much more quiet and dull place.” The zircon formed from melting older igneous rocks, instead of sediment melting, which is typical in continental collisions. And it appears it took a long time for the planet to change from the flat landscape into the Earth we inhabit now. “Our findings also showed that there are strong similarities with zircon from the types of rocks that predominated for the following 1.5 billion years, suggesting that it took the Earth a long time to evolve into the planet that we know today,” Burnham said. The journal Nature Geoscience published the research online yesterday. Via Australian National University Images via Stuart Hay, ANU

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4.4 billion years ago Earth had no mountains and was covered with water, say scientists

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will bring a massive 11-acre green roof to Los Angeles

May 10, 2017 by  
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Much like the beloved Star Wars movies, the design process for the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is turning out to be quite the saga. The museum is at long last set to be built in L.A.’s Exposition Park, and MAD Architects just unveiled updated plans for the futuristic building – including a massive 11-acre green roof! According to Urbanize LA , the design for the $1 billion project will soon be presented to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission for approval. The latest renderings by the architecture firm, led by Ma Yansong, depict a few changes from the initial designs unveiled last year. The most notable differences are the massive green roof and the elongated sinewy shape of the 300,000 square feet complex. Related: George Lucas selects Los Angeles to host $1 billion art museum The museum will hold two theaters, archives, offices, classrooms, and a library spread over two wings, but the bulk of the exhibition space will be housed on the fourth floor, where the two wings connect. Additional exhibition space and a restaurant will be located on the top floor. A large underground parking garage with capacity for 2,400 cars adjacent to the museum will be hidden under 11 acres of expansive green space . According to the project description, the Lucas Museum will house one-of-a kind collections divided into three categories: narrative art, the art of cinema, and digital art. Visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of art genres from fine art and modern art, illustrations and comics. Of course, there will also be a large collection of props and storyboards from Lucas’ long career in the film industry. + Lucas Museum + MAD Architects Via Archinect Images via LADCP

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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will bring a massive 11-acre green roof to Los Angeles

Rare sea snakes, thought to be extinct, discovered in Western Australia

December 28, 2015 by  
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Two rare species of sea snakes , thought to have been extinct, have been sighted by scientists in Western Australia. Neither species, whose only known habitats were a pair of reefs in the Timor Sea, has been seen since 2002. “This discovery is really exciting. We get another chance to protect these two endemic Western Australian sea snake species,” says Blanche D’Anastasi, lead author of the report about the find. Read the rest of Rare sea snakes, thought to be extinct, discovered in Western Australia

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Rare sea snakes, thought to be extinct, discovered in Western Australia

Light-filled Shenzhen Art Museum and Library protects against solar heat gain

December 28, 2015 by  
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Light-filled Shenzhen Art Museum and Library protects against solar heat gain

Carnegie Wave Energy to Launch the World’s First Wave-Powered Desalination Plant

August 28, 2013 by  
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Carnegie Wave Energy is planning to open the world’s first zero-emission wave powered desalination plant on Garden Island in Australia. Using the Perth company’s proprietary “CETO technology,” the two megawatt pilot project will operate with multiple submerged buoys tethered to pumps that funnel pressurized water to turbines onshore. There the water can either be harnessed to create electricity or to run and supply water for a reverse osmosis desalination plant. Read the rest of Carnegie Wave Energy to Launch the World’s First Wave-Powered Desalination Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carnegie wave energy , ceto technology , desalination plant , drinking water , garden island , perth , reverse osmosis , submerged buoys , wave-powered desalination plant , west australia water corporation , western australia , zero-emissions        

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Carnegie Wave Energy to Launch the World’s First Wave-Powered Desalination Plant

World’s First Anti-Shark Wetsuits Protect Surfers and Divers From Deadly Attacks

July 18, 2013 by  
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We’ve showcased several attempts at creating the ultimate invisibility cloak – but the “Anti-Shark” Wetsuit is the world’s first design that renders divers and surfers invisible to sharks! Entrepreneurs Hamish Jolly and Craig Anderson teamed up with the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute to develop a wetsuit that uses scientific data about sharks’ eyesight to prevent life-threatening attacks on humans. Read the rest of World’s First Anti-Shark Wetsuits Protect Surfers and Divers From Deadly Attacks Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Anti-Shark Wetsuit , Biomimetic Design , biomimicry , diver safety , invisibility cloak , invisibility technology , Radiator anti-shark suits , Shark Attack Mitigation Systems , shark attacks , shark attacks Australia , surfer safety , surfers shark attacks , Western Australia’s (UWA) Oceans Institute , wetsuit design        

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World’s First Anti-Shark Wetsuits Protect Surfers and Divers From Deadly Attacks

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