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Sweden:Malmo shut down nuclear plants, 1st carbon-neutral neighborhood; Japan:reactor re-activated despite disaster&mass protest

The Western Harbour neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, has led strides in sustainability.

officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima nuclear plant

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Västra Hamnen, also known as the City of Tomorrow, was transformed from a former shipyard in 2001 and is now home to 4,000 people.

Europe’s ‘First Carbon-Neutral Neighborhood’: Western Harbour
With a smart heating and cooling system and renewable energy, the city district of Västra Hamnen (Western Harbor), in Malmö, Sweden has established itself as the first carbon-neutral neighborhood in Europe, says Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu.

Västra Hamnen, also known as the City of Tomorrow, was transformed from a former shipyard in 2001 and is now home to 4,000 people.

The district uses an aquifer thermal energy storage system to store water collected during the summer 70 meters (230 feet) underground and pump it up with wind energy to heat the homes during the winter. The chilled water is then reused to cool buildings in the summer. “There’s no need for air-conditioners in the district,” Reepalu proudly told the audience at the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Forum, held during the World Cities Summit on July 2 in Singapore.  read more »

"Just the two of us": loving panda mom Shin Shin takes good care of her new baby, first panda cub born in Japan in 24 years

a tiny newborn panda cub clings to its mother, Shin Shin, at Ueno Zoo, Japan

Shin Shin rested at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo last month. The zoo announced on June 25 that Shin Shin had shown signs of pregnancy

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Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo released photographs of its newborn giant panda on July 6, showing its mother breastfeeding the tiny cub.

Born to 7-year-old Shin Shin on July 5, the panda--a male--is the first born at the zoo in Taito Ward as a result of natural breeding. “Even though she is a new mother, Shin Shin takes very good care of her cub,” said Yutaka Fukuda, deputy director of the zoo. “I'm sure she will be a good mother.”  read more »

Discovery, unofficial! Higgs boson, 'God particle': new subatomic particle, without it, Universe does not exist?

CERN illustration: experiment to find Higgs Boson
A typical ‘candidate event’ in the Higgs-hunting CMS experiment. Red lines represent high-energy proton beams while yellow lines show the tracks of particles produced in the collision.

Does Higgs boson - or ‘God particle’ - exist?

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The Higgs boson appears in a theory first fleshed out in 1964 by Peter Higgs at Edinburgh University and five other physicists. Finding the particle proves there is an energy field that fills the vacuum of the observable universe. It plays the crucial role of giving mass to certain subatomic particles that are the building blocks of matter. The Higgs field is thought to have switched on a trillionth of a second after the big bang that blasted the universe into existence. Without it, or something to do its job, the structure of the cosmos would be radically different than it is today.

So what is the Higgs boson?  read more »

Pixar's animated 'Brave' pays tribute to legends and beauty of Scotland, dedicates production to memory of Steve Jobs

Pixar’s Brave: a fairy tale about an archery-loving Scottish princess

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'BRAVE' Keeps Pixar's Winning Streak Alive
Ancient Scotland has been the setting for many past adventures in movies... And now it becomes Pixar's location for the studio's production of 'Brave'.

The story of BRAVE is a simple one with a red-headed and strong willed Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly McDonald) doing her own thing in the kingdom where her archery skills don't exactly endear her to the male community. Her mom, the Queen (voiced by Emma Thompson) isn't thrilled either. The final straw comes when Merida refuses to go along with an arranged marriage. To escape her planned-out future, she escapes into the woods where she falls under a wicked witch's---a funky witch's spell - voiced by Julie Waters. The spell turns mom into a giant black bear---with emotions--- but unable to speak and leading to chaos and fury throughout the kingdom. Will the Queen's spell be reversed before time runs out? Will the Princess make up with mom and make pop, King Fergus (voiced by Billy Connelly) proud?

As to the production itself, it's dedicated to Steve Jobs who gave a new lease on life to Pixar back in 1986. And as for the look of the film, Jobs would be proud.

"Legends are legends---they ring with truths" That line in the film pretty well sums things up.

Disney/Pixar's 'Brave,' Highlights The Beauty Of Scotland  read more »

NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day: Easter Island stone giants illuminated under the Milky Way

Milky Way Above Easter Island

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NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day, June 18, 2012
Why were the statues on Easter Island built? No one is sure. What is sure is that over 800 large stone statues exist there. The Easter Island statues, stand, on the average, over twice as tall as a person and have over 200 times as much mass. Few specifics are known about the history or meaning of the unusual statues, but many believe that they were created about 500 years ago in the images of local leaders of a lost civilization. Pictured above, some of the stone giants were illuminated in 2009 under the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy.

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Image Credit & Copyright: Manel Soria

Life Journey: 21yrs later, Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi(66) receives Nobel Prize; China's 1st female astronaut Liu Yang(33) in space

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader, is greeted in Oslo by Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee

China's first female astronaut, waves during a launch ceremony at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre

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21 Years Later, Aung San Suu Kyi Receives Her Nobel Peace Prize
When the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded her the prize, she said in her Nobel lecture here on Saturday, 21 years later, it was recognition that “the oppressed and the isolated in Burma were also a part of the world, they were recognizing the oneness of humanity.” But “it did not seem quite real, because in a sense I did not feel myself to be quite real at that time,” she said. “The Nobel Peace Prize opened up a door in my heart.” She said the prize “had made me real once again; it had drawn me back into the wider human community,” and it had given the oppressed people of Burma, now Myanmar, and its dispersed refugees, new hope. “To be forgotten,” Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi added, “is to die a little.” In a quiet, throaty voice on Saturday she asked the world not to forget other prisoners of conscience, both in Myanmar and around the world, other refugees, others in need, who may be suffering twice over, she said, from oppression and from the larger world’s “compassion fatigue.”  read more »

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