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Earth polluted: aerial photo. Brazil: oil spill; new law'll cost Amazon forest loss size of Germany, Italy and Austria combined
These are among the most beautiful photographs ever taken - and the ugliest: aerial images show the damage caused by industrial pollution, but they also capture the striking vivid colours created by toxic waste. "Red mud" bauxite waste from aluminium production containing significant amounts of heavy metal contamination, in Darrow, Louisiana. read more »
Dolphin & Whale more like people than we thought: Curious, playful, affectionate, sharing things, blowing water jets
*Update 12 March 2013*
Christopher Swann, a cetacean novice, 'whale whisperer' - dances with whales 'Minkes are the smallest of the great whales but they still grow to a length of 30ft and weigh 7 tons... Orcas, or killer whales, are 8-ton sea monsters with dorsal fins like dinghy sails - lords of the sea at the top of the food chain, gladiatorial figures in black shining armour, cleaving the waves with dorsal fins as symbolic as the scythe of the Grim Reaper.’ Swann once followed a group of killers for 14 hours. Food and drink were irrelevant. The sun scorched his eyes and he felt himself drawn irresistibly into their world. 'As would happen many times there-after,’ he says, 'I simply became a whale.’
*Update 22 October 2012*
Listen: Beluga whale 'makes human-like sounds Researchers in the US have been shocked to discover a beluga whale whose vocalisations were remarkably close to human speech. While dolphins have been taught to mimic the pattern and durations of sounds in human speech, no animal has spontaneously tried such mimicry. "Our observations suggest that the whale had to modify its vocal mechanics in order to make the speech-like sounds," said Sam Ridgway, president of the National Marine Mammal Foundation and lead author on the paper. "The sounds we heard were clearly an example of vocal learning by the white whale."
*Update March 09, 2012* - 30 Dolphins stranded in Brazil and incredibly saved! Extremely rare event!
Robin Williams with dolphins in the wild read more »
First space dockings: US Gemini 8, March 16, 1966; Russia Cosmos 186, Oct. 30, 1967; China Shenzhou 8, Nov. 4, 2011
[2 November 2011] The unmanned Shenzhou 8 craft, launched earlier this week, made contact with the Tiangong-1 space lab at 1729 GMT. The union occurred over China itself.
Being able to dock two space vehicles together is a necessary capability for China if it wants to start building a space station towards the decade's end.
Although no astronauts were in the Shenzhou craft this time, future missions will carry people.
Tuesday's procedure (Beijing time 0029, Thursday) took place at an altitude of about 340km. It was automated but overseen on the ground at the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Centre. read more »
World population to reach 7billion in few days (increased 1billion in 12yrs), world resources under more strain than ever before
Room for one more? World population to reach 7 BILLION in next few days
Children most likely to be born in Asia-Pacific region
Fears over pressure on food supply and medical care
The world's population looks set to smash through the seven billion barrier in the next few days, according to the United Nations.
It comes just 12 years since the total reached six billion - with official estimates saying the figure will top eight billion in 2025 and 10 billion before the end of the century. read more »
Youngest Planet: newborn gas giant may be up to six times the mass of Jupiter, orbiting a sunlike star 450 light-years away
Youngest Planet Picture: Gas Giant Seen in Throes of Creation... Baby world likely "deep red" to human eyes due to heat of formation.
A new picture of a Jupiter-like world swaddled in gas and dust is a direct image of what may be the youngest planet yet seen, astronomers report.
The newborn gas giant, dubbed LkCa 15b, orbits a sunlike star 450 light-years away in the northern constellation Taurus. The planet orbits inside a disk of material around the star that's no more than two million years old. By contrast, astronomers estimate our solar system is 4.6 billion years old.
The big baby planet may be up to six times the mass of Jupiter, according to theory-based calculations, and it appears to orbit 11 times farther from its parent star than Earth does from our sun.
The new picture was made in near-infrared light, but "the planet would probably appear a deep red to our eye, since it's still glowing from the heat of being formed," said Adam Kraus, lead study author and an astronomer at the University of Hawaii.
Separating Light From Light
Kraus and colleagues zeroed in on the young star based on previous observations that showed a conspicuous gap in the star's surrounding debris disk.
Such gaps are thought to be telltale signs that massive, newly formed planets are circling inside the disks—a protoplanet's gravity would clear away a wide swath of gas and dust as it accumulates matter. read more »
October is Non-GMO Awareness Month. 89% Americans want clear labels for genetically modified foods..thousands march fr NYC to DC
Protesters Demand Honest GMO Labels at Right 2 Know March
The Right to Know Where Food Comes From
[October 1, 2011] Starting today, thousands of Americans will march in protest from New York City all the way to Washington D.C. to demand clear, honest labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients.
Genetically modified foods are subject to disclosure and labeling requirements in many countries, but currently, United States law does not require food producers to label genetically modified foods sold to consumers as genetically modified. The only way for consumers who prefer not to eat genetically modified foods to avoid GMOs is to buy produce only from farmers they know, carefully research the origins of the food they purchase, or limit themselves to buying only food that either been certified by the USDA as organic or has been voluntarily labeled by its manufacturer and certified by a third party as non-GMO. read more »
Disney World opened 40 yrs ago today: "family amusement park...to walk, sit...relax, stay human, stop swearing, start smiling"
Disneyland, the original California park, was groundbreaking in every possible way. Prior to Disneyland’s creation, amusement parks were, by and large, dirty, dangerous places aimed almost exclusively at teenagers. Parents didn’t go on rides, they sat on benches while the kids played. As an animator, Walt Disney had already earned a reputation as a maverick, a rebel genius who was able to sell adult audiences on feature-length cartoons, something his peers had claimed would never work. Disneyland was the culmination of many of Walt’s big dreams, a different kind of park, where parents and children could have fun together. Walt Disney told stories, and Disneyland allowed guests to become a part of those stories.