Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

Power Up with Bovine Burps

November 3, 2013

Power Up with Bovine Burps

Argentina raises a whole lot of cows, and they raise a whole lot of burps. When you’ve got four stomachs and eat plants all day, gas happens. That gas is mostly methane, and each cow belches about 300 liters of it daily. It’s a polluting greenhouse gas, but it’s also fuel. Argentinos want to use all that gas to power up their cars — or maybe even cook up all that beef.

More:

“Argentine scientists tap cow burps for natural gas,” Maximiliano Rizzi, Reuters

“El gas de las vacas puede alimentar un motor,” INTA Informa

Reuters video here 

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-hFZ

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Found in the Trash: Music & Children

October 20, 2013

The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay.

More:

LandFillharmonicMovie.com

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-hDI

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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China’s Farms: ‘The Good Earth’ No More

August 22, 2013

China's Farms: 'The Good Earth' No More

A fifth of China’s farmland is polluted by industrial effluent, sewage, excessive farm chemicals, or mining runoff. There’s carcinogenic cadmium in the rice. Heavy nitrogen fertilizer use is turning the soil acidic and less productive.

Tom Philpott summarizes recent reports:

“6 Mind-Boggling Facts About Farms in China, Tom Philpott, Mother Jones

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-hcK

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. Attention young people: The Good Earth is a novel by Pearl Buck.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Giant Machine Tunnels Under Nation’s Capital

April 11, 2013

Lady Bird, a 400-foot-long, $30 million, 1,300-ton German-made tunnel boring machine, will soon be carving miles of 22-foot-wide tunnel 100 feet below the Potomac riverbed. It’s part of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project, the second-largest civil engineering project in DC history (only Metrorail is bigger). When completed in 2025, the $2.6 billion EPA-funded dig will keep raw sewage from flowing into the Potomac and Anacostia when it rains hard. That’s what happens now (it’s called CSO, “Combined Sewer Overflow”).

Lady Bird will be underground and out of sight, but you can follow her on her own Twitter account.

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DC Celebrates Cherry Blossom Festival with Bare Branches

April 8, 2013

DC Celebrates Cherry Blossom Festival with Bare Branches

Tourists have infested thronged Washington for the city’s annual Spring celebration, the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year’s festival has concerts, kites, kimonos, food, fireworks ….. everything but cherry blossoms. Unseasonably cool temperatures have resulted in tiny green and pink buds but no real blossoms. The festival ends next weekend; maybe the cherry blossoms will be out by then.

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Image (“DC Spring Weenies, Barracks Row“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Rock Creek Park: 20 Deer Down, 130 to Go.

April 2, 2013

Rock Creek Park: 20 Deer Down, 130 to Go.

Despite protests by concerned DC citizens, sharpshooters have bagged 20 deer in Rock Creek Park, which runs though the middle of the Nation’s Capital. The National Park Service is reducing whitetail over-population in the urban outdoors, and hopes to harvest a total of 150 critters by the end of a 3-year deer-reduction period. Resulting venison is donated to local food banks and shelters.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-goP

Image (“Rock Creek Deer Hunt, after Atelier de Walt Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Bye-Bye Bambi: The Hunt Is On In Rock Creek Park.

March 27, 2013

Bye-Bye Bambi: The Hunt Is On In Rock Creek Park.

In the dead of night, while half the city is out of town for Easter Week, the National Park Service is implementing its ruthless slaughter of helpless, cute, fuzzy deer whitetail reduction plan in Rock Creek Park.

More:

“‘Deer Reduction Operations’ to Begin Tonight in Rock Creek Park,” Martin Austermuhle, DCist

“Sharpshooters to begin killing deer in Rock Creek Park for National Park Service,” AP via Washington Post

“Rock Creek Park Deer Slaughter Starts Tonight,” Will Sommer, Washington City Paper blog.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-gmJ

Image (“Bye-Bye Bambi, after Atelier de Walt Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

Rock Creek Park: The Hunt Is On

March 18, 2013

Rock Creek Park: The Hunt Is On
Rock Creek Park runs right through the middle of Washington DC, and it has a problem. The skinny ribbon of National Parkland is infested with deer, five times more than the 1,750 acres can support. The deer wander onto Rock Creek Parkway where commuting motorists mince them into Bambi-burgers. They cause international incidents by browsing backyards on Embassy Row and visit the grounds of the Vice President’s residence for wrestling matches with the Secret Service.

The National Park Service issued shoot-to-kill orders, but five DC residents went to court to stop the hunt. A judge just threw out their lawsuit so the hunt is back on. The NPS plans to donate harvested venison to area homeless shelters.

UPDATE:

“Rock Creek Park Deer Killing for Me, Not for Thee,” Will Sommer, Washington CityPaper blog

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ggu

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2013

Groundhog Day

It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

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NASA Explores New Car Smell

November 26, 2012

NASA Explores New Car Smell

Attention space travelers: That new space capsule may smell good, but that aroma isn’t good for you. NASA’s Goddard Laboratory is on the case:

“For some people, the best part about buying a new car is its factory-fresh new car smell, a distinctive aroma created when the chemicals and residual solvents used to manufacture dashboards, car seats, carpeting and other vehicle appointments that outgas and fill the cabin. While the scent may be alluring to some, many researchers believe exposure to these gases isn’t particularly healthy — so unhealthy, in fact, that some recommend that drivers keep their new cars ventilated while driving.

Outgassed solvents, epoxies, lubricants, and other materials aren’t especially wholesome for contamination-sensitive telescope mirrors, thermal-control units, high-voltage electronic boxes, cryogenic instruments, detectors and solar arrays, either. As a result, NASA engineers are always looking for new techniques to prevent these gases from adhering to instrument and spacecraft surfaces and potentially shortening their lives.

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