Rainwater-harvesting pavilions mimic a lush rainforest at the Indianapolis Zoo

October 23, 2017 by  
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Artful rainwater design has taken root at the Indianapolis Zoo. RATIO Architects recently completed the Bicentennial Pavilion, an open-air events space modeled after a lush rainforest with 11 steel-framed “tree canopies.” Built primarily from natural materials, the pavilion is a beautiful example of multifunctional and sustainable design that provides 40,000 square feet of weather-protected events space while collecting and filtering 100% of its stormwater runoff. The Indianapolis Zoo Bicentennial Pavilion and Promenade was made possible by a $10 million grant provided by the Lilly Endowment in 2015. The money came with the requirement that the zoo “implement a game-changing initiative that benefits the community institution’s long-term sustainability.” To satisfy the zoo’s needs to expand visitor infrastructure and the Lilly Endowment’s condition, RATIO Architects designed an open-air multifunctional facility that could be used year-round and replace the zoo’s former 400-person events tent tucked into the back-of-house areas. The sustainability angle came from the use of natural materials —each tree-like column is built of 63 individual timber beams, while a hearth of rough-back quarry block limestone rests beneath the canopy—and stormwater management . The pavilion canopy funnels rainwater down the tree-like column’s laser-cut weathered steel rain screens and into planting beds, where it then percolates through a water quality unit and is held in a 14-foot deep water detention bed designed to accommodate 100-year flood events. The angled pavilion canopy is built of translucent roofing materials to let filtered light shine through, just as in a real rainforest canopy. Related: Stunning solar Butterfly House masters resource conservation in California The Bicentennial Pavilion is split up into two main event areas, each of which accommodate up to 400 guests. The pavilion can also be converted into one large event space for up to 800 guests. The pavilion’s north side is designed for the new bird exhibition, Magnificent Macaws, with a custom-designed stage and perch to showcase the birds on their twice-daily flight through the Pavilion. + RATIO Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Susan Fleck

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Rainwater-harvesting pavilions mimic a lush rainforest at the Indianapolis Zoo

Kentucky Noah’s Ark Encounter opens amidst severe flooding

July 8, 2016 by  
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Christian fundamentalist organization Answers in Genesis ‘ (AiG) just opened their  Ark Encounter  in Kentucky , and the event was, ironically, greeted with epic flash floods and heavy rain . Kentucky announced a state of emergency  as severe flooding overwhelmed the area. Though AiG’s Ark seems to have survived the worst of it, others have been evacuated and homes destroyed in the deluge. The new theme park, Ark Encounter , is located near AiG’s Creation Museum . The new full-size ark replica is just a short drive from Cincinnati.  Dezeen reports  that it’s “within a day’s drive for two thirds of the US population,” and, judging by the thousands of visitors who inundated the park on opening day, people are taking advantage of the proximity. Architecture company Troyer Group designed the ark, which was constructed with the help of Amish carpenters. Related: Full-size replica of Noah’s Ark pops up in Kentucky According to the Bible, Noah is instructed to build the ark to save his family and animals from flooding. AiG’s ark is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, and builders drew on dimensions found in the Bible. According to AiG, it is ” the largest timber-frame structure in the world ” and they built the attraction to provide answers about the story of Noah’s Ark . Founder and CEO Ken Ham told Dezeen, “In a world that is becoming increasingly secularized and biased, it’s time for Christians to do something of this size and magnitude.” The $100 million project was, controversially,  funded partially through sales tax incentives . The seven-story-tall ark features exhibits and a restaurant. In the theme park, visitors can ride a zip line, take a donkey or camel ride, or visit a zoo which houses Tibetan yaks, ostriches, and kangaroos. About 10,000 people can visit the ark every day, but for the first 40 days and nights – the amount of time rain fell while Noah floated in his ark – the park will operate with extended hours. According to the National Weather Service , there are still flood warnings for a few areas in the state, and most are on a severe thunderstorm watch. Via Dezeen Images via Ark Encounter Facebook

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Kentucky Noah’s Ark Encounter opens amidst severe flooding

Criminal charges possible in Cincinnati Zoo gorilla Harambe’s death

June 1, 2016 by  
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Criminal charges may be possible after the death of Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo . This past weekend, a four-year-old boy climbed a barrier and fell into the gorilla’s enclosure. The gorilla appeared to behave in a threatening manner, precipitating the decision of a zoo response team to shoot Harambe in order to rescue the child. In a statement released on their Facebook page, the zoo said they were ” devastated ” by Harambe’s death. Director Thane Maynard said, “We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made by our Dangerous Animal Response Team. Our first response was to call the gorillas out of the exhibit. The two females complied, but Harambe did not. It is important to note that with the child still in the exhibit, tranquilizing the 450-pound gorilla was not an option. Tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes and the child was in imminent danger. On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get worse.” Related: Polar bears are getting dosed with Prozac to keep them calm in captivity Angered, some members of the public are calling for justice for Harambe. A Change.org petition casting blame on the child’s parents has garnered around 349,400 supporters. The petition says the “negligence may be reflective of the child’s home situation” and calls for an investigation. In addition, activist organization Stop Animal Exploitation Now filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which monitors zoos as part of the Animal Welfare Act . The group cast blame on the zoo and said the enclosure was not properly constructed. If the USDA finds the zoo has violated the Animal Welfare Act, the zoo could owe the government $10,000. According to USDA reports, a polar bear escape incident and deteriorating enclosures for horses and monkeys resulted in prior citations. The zoo said in their statement that Gorilla World, where Harambe resided, has been “inspected regularly” by the USDA. According to Maynard, the barrier around Harambe’s enclosure had worked “for 38 years.” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters confirmed the Cincinnati Police Department is investigating the death of Harambe. He said , “Once their investigation is concluded, they will confer with our office on possible criminal charges.” Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Facebook

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Criminal charges possible in Cincinnati Zoo gorilla Harambe’s death

LEGO Music lets you turn bricks into tunes

June 1, 2016 by  
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The maker movement is king. To bring LEGO into the maker conversation, we introduce LEGO Music. With the idea, LEGO stores will carry Beatboards, a modified LEGO baseplate. By using capacitive sensing, kids are able to build their own interactive music pad using LEGO bricks. The bricks and baseplate are coated in conductive ink, making it possible to change the resistance in a circuit by simply adding and removing LEGO bricks. It’s simple: change the shape, change the sound. The Beatboard’s underlying technology is simple, consisting of a basic circuit board, a speaker , and enough wires for each note. So, the Beatboard can be adapted to any size from individual platforms to large-scale installations. ‘LEGO music’, invented by Esteban Cardona, along with Benson Rong and Andrew Kim, was awarded winner of the silver pencil at The One Show’s advertising competition and was shortlisted for Future Lions 2016 (part of the Cannes Lion Festival). + Esteban Cardona

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LEGO Music lets you turn bricks into tunes

Polar bears are getting dosed with Prozac to keep them calm in captivity

January 13, 2016 by  
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A visit to the zoo wouldn’t be complete without a stop by the polar bear enclosure. Seeing the majestic creatures padding about and docilely swimming up to kids as they peer through the glass may seem like a wonderful experience for a paying guest – yet these behaviors go against everything polar bears are programmed to do. Social isolation, boredom, and living in an enclosure that’s a fraction of what their normal habitat range would be in the Arctic causes bears and other captive animals to quite literally become mentally ill . So prescribing antidepressants and other medications to zoo animals has become a common practice. One that some zoos don’t want the public to know about. Read the rest of Polar bears are getting dosed with Prozac to keep them calm in captivity

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Polar bears are getting dosed with Prozac to keep them calm in captivity

Bureau A creates transparent birdhouses meant to remind us of the omnipresence of nature

July 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Bureau A creates transparent birdhouses meant to remind us of the omnipresence of nature Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bird nest , Bureau A , green design , Green Exhibition , italy , Migrant Garden , Politecnico di Milano , transparent structure , zoo , Zoo design

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Bureau A creates transparent birdhouses meant to remind us of the omnipresence of nature

A Home Fit For Elephants at the Cophenhagen Zoo

July 23, 2010 by  
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Read the rest of A Home Fit For Elephants at the Cophenhagen Zoo http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: copenhagen zoo , Daylighting , eco design , elephant house , Foster and Partners , green design , solar passive design , solar thermal design , Sustainable Building , zoo

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4 Northern Rhinos Arrive Safely in Kenya from Czech Zoo!

December 20, 2009 by  
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Four of the world’s only known Northern white rhinos have arrived in Kenya to begin new lives at Ol Pejeta Conservancy – the last hope to save this critically endangered rhino subspecies. Good news – and a sigh of relief! Sudan, Suni, Najin and Fatu have landed safely in Kenya after being flown from ZOO Dv?r Králové to their new home.

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4 Northern Rhinos Arrive Safely in Kenya from Czech Zoo!

Create Your Own Dry Skin Remedy

December 20, 2009 by  
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For some of us, the season is a constant battle against dry, irritated skin.  Sure there are lots of heavy moisturizers out there, but it can be difficult to find the one that does the trick.  Some leave you too slippery, while others cast a strange chalky effect.  Certainly not what we are looking for during the most festive (and social) time of the year. Now, I have written many an article here on Feelgood about dry skin and the many wonderful products on the market to help with this particular condition.  But (for those of you prone to plenty of natural oils) please bear with me, I think I am on to something here. This latest concoction was something I stumbled upon over lack of time and forethought.  After exfoliating my body with a mixture of sugar and milk in the shower I went to apply my usual body lotion.  Realizing it would not be enough hydration for my freshly sloughed skin, I added a squirt of body oil.  Later that night I realized that my skin was still super silky and soft and well nourished.

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Precious Cargo: Extremely Rare Rhinos Prepared for Move from Czech Zoo to Kenya

December 17, 2009 by  
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Four of the world’s eight surviving Northern white rhinos are about to be flown from ZOO Dv?r Králové in the Czech Republic to Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy. This weekend, Northern white rhinos Sudan, Suni, Najin, and Fatu will begin the journey of a lifetime: A new life in Kenya – and the last hope for one of earth’s rarest creatures

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Precious Cargo: Extremely Rare Rhinos Prepared for Move from Czech Zoo to Kenya

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