Recently, a team of pathogen hunters at Columbia University...conducted a survey of the viruses and bacteria in Manhattan’s rats, the first attempt to use DNA to catalog pathogens in any animal species in New York City [...] Although the scientists examined just 133 rats, they found plenty of pathogens. Some caused food-borne illnesses. Others, like Seoul hantavirus, had never before been found in New York. Others were altogether new to science. — NY Times
New York's notorious rat problem is just one of the many complex human-animal interactions that can lead to disease outbreaks. Ebola, which has decimated West Africa and is now appearing in the US, likely spread to humans from contact with infected primates. Avian flu (H5N1) spreads from contact...
According to Jane McGonigal, a well-known game designer and researcher, “games build the kind of trust, relationships and social networks so critical to [collective action].” Playing games, people naturally weave a tight social fabric.” — Northern Lights Minnesota
The U.S. Department of Agriculture officially launched their U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. As the first step of a new USDA and forest industry initiative, the competition...aims to showcase the architectural and commercial feasibility of advanced wood products in tall building construction in order to support employment opportunities in U.S. rural communities, maintain the health and resiliency of American forests, and advance sustainability in the built environment. — bustler.net
"Following a funding initiative announced by the Obama Administration and the U.S. forestry industry through the USDA, SLB and BSLC earlier this year, the competition invites all U.S. developers, institutions, organizations and design teams willing to undertake an alternative solution approach to...
The aptly named Quake Column is a knurled pillar of 3-D printed concrete that combines an ancient Incan masonry technique with state-of-the-art manufacturing tools to create a structure that can withstand seismic shocks without mortar or rebar. [...]
It’s an interesting proof of concept, but utilizing a 3-D printer, rather than traditional ceramic manufacturing technique also unlocked a host of other advantages. — wired.com
Many major U.S. coastal cities will face a huge surge in the number of tidal floods they experience as sea levels rise due to climate change, a new report has warned. The study, conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), covered 52 cities on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, from Portland, Maine, to Freeport, Texas, and predicts a dramatic increase in flooding linked to high tides over the next few decades. — Al Jazeera
"In all modern cultures, cleaning up merely involves moving “dirt” from one place to another. Five decades ago, cleaning up may have been easier. It would have meant restoring the predominantly organic and compostable discards in the waste stream to its rightful place – namely, the soil –...
El Hierro, the most remote of Spain's Canary Islands, is now billing itself as the world's first energy self-sufficient island that has never been hooked up to a power grid [...] This past summer, El Hierro inaugurated the Gorona del Viento power plant, a $110 million wind and water turbine farm. By the end of this year, the plant will generate all of the island's energy needs of up to 48 gigawatt hours per year. — NPR
Not only will El Hierro be the first energy self-sufficient island, it's will also exclusively make use of renewable energy sources, a mix of wind and hydro-power. Previously, the island – the most remote of the Canary Islands – couldn't hook up to the Spanish grid and had to barge in about...
Bloomberg published their predictions for the top forty most densely populated cities by 2025, with current #1 Hong Kong keeping the top spot, at nearly twice the projected density of #2, Salvador, Brazil. Hong Kong's population growth is predicted to grow by 32.8%, while Salvador's is nearly...
Apple has previously advertised the environmentally conscious features of Campus 2, most notably on the recently updated environmental section of its website, which states that the building will be "powered by 100 percent renewable energy sources" and rely on natural ventilation instead of temperature control during 75 percent of the year. Apple will also be installing more than 300 electric vehicle charging stations on the campus and planting more than 7,000 trees on the grounds. — theverge.com
Indonesia is preparing cloud-seeding operations in an effort to combat a haze of air pollution blanketing neighbouring Singapore. Pollution levels were "moderate" levels on Tuesday morning, according to the pollution standard index, a day after hitting "unhealthy" levels. The worst affected parts of the island are in the west and closest to Indonesia. The haze has become an annual event in this part of Southeast Asia, as farmers illegally burn forest or plantation areas to clear land. — Al Jazeera America
“The project does not provide the storm damage mitigation and storm-surge protection that is promised, or at least the U.S. Geological Survey comments on the plan question the science behind those proposed benefits.” [...]
“A project like this, where the science is being questioned by government scientists and the environmental impacts are clearly negative, it’s a poster child for where we shouldn’t do this. This stretch of Fire Island is a park, for goodness sake.” — nextcity.org
A new development, 42 Crosby Street, is pushing the limits of New York City real estate to new heights with 10 underground parking spots that will cost more per square foot than the apartments being sold upstairs.
At $250,000 a tire, the parking spaces in the underground garage cost more than four times the national median sales price for a home, which is $217,800, according to Zillow. — New York Times
The idea of the Future Cemetery is to create a place for people to connect with death. What that actually means and looks like is still in development, Troyer says, but in the first stage of the project they did everything from projections to audio installations. Now, they’re working on developing augmented reality experiences in cemeteries—elements that are only visible with certain devices and if you know they’re there. The idea is to allow people to add to their own cemetery experience... — theatlantic.com
One index of human impact is the extinction of species, now estimated to be at about the same rate as it was 65 million years ago when an asteroid hit the Earth. That is the presumed cause for the ending of the age of the dinosaurs, which opened the way for small mammals to proliferate, and ultimately modern humans. Today, it is humans who are the asteroid, condemning much of life to extinction. — In These Times
Probably one of the most prompt and tell it the way it is style of Noam Chomsky, 'where we are going account' of recent history and our as a matter of factly demise depicted. Enjoy your last milleniums.., humans!
Residents of Beijing can use one of the city’s 34 newly installed recycling machines to trade empty bottles for phone card rebates or free public transit passes.
Those who choose the phone card rebate just need to type in their phone numbers or scan their cards and the rebate will be automatically applied.
The value of the rebate will correspond to the value of the type of bottle that was recycled. — pangeatoday.com
SUBMIT NEWS: submit in 60 seconds!