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Sea otters eat sea urchins, protect kelp forests that trap CO2 from atmosphere - but can they catch up to man-made pollution?

Smart Sea Otter Stacks Cups

Sea Otter Pup


"Nature does nothing uselessly. " - Aristotle

Global warming? Sea otters to the rescue!
Global warming is reaching new records, ice caps continue to melt at an alarming rate, and measures taken by authorities are as rare as they are questionable. But as cute as they are, where do otters step in? Well, as I was telling you, otters like to feast on sea urchins. Sea urchins eat kelp, and kelp forests trap and store massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. A kelp forest ‘guarded’ by otters can absorb as much as 12 times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere than one without an otter population.

Published in the respectable online journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the research that came to this conclusion didn’t go unnoticed at all, as professor Chris Wilmers from the University of California, Santa Cruz, explains: “Right now, all the climate change models and proposed methods of sequestering carbon ignore animals. But animals the world over, working in different ways to influence the carbon cycle, might actually have a large impact.” He elaborates: “If ecologists can get a better handle on what these impacts are, there might be opportunities for win-win conservations scenarios, whereby animal species are protected or enhanced, and carbon gets sequestered.”  read more »

Photos. A lot of courage to be ideologically consistent over decades, always stands up for "Liberty, Peace & Prosperity"

'Ron Paul finally gets his moment at the Republican Convention
Ron Paul RNC Tribute Video -
20 years in congress, he never votes for tax increase, budget increasing ceiling, "it's the american story - charting your own path, forging new wave forward, not because it's the easy way but because it's the right way for those with dedication, character, faith, conviction... sometimes the lonely path pave the way forward for millions"'

"Full Unedited Ron Paul Speech at We Are The Future Rally - Tampa Sun Dome - Aug 26 2012"

(quote)  read more »

2012 London Olympics opening ceremony: Queen as Bond Girl, uninvited guest "UFO" moves slowly across sky

Olympic rings light up in London 2012 during Opening Ceremony
Olympic rings lit with pyrotechnics - 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in London

bright flames in Olympic cauldron, London 2012
The Olympic cauldron burns during the Opening Ceremony on July 28.

Sir Steve Redgrave hands off Olympic torch to young athletes in London
Sir Steve Redgrave hands off the Olympic torch to seven young athletes representing Britain’s hopes for the future.

a person dressed as Queen parachutes into Olympic stadium
A person dressed as Queen Elizabeth II parachutes into the Olympic stadium during the Opening Ceremony.

A blimp or a glowing UFO above the opening ceremony of the London Olympics??

David Beckham at London Olympic games opening ceremony
Becks Bond? David Beckham passes under Tower Bridge driving a speedboat named 'Max Power' which carries the Olympic Torch with its torchbearer.

Red Arrows fly over London
planes in formation at Olympics 2012 in London  read more »

Cute cute cute: like a star falling from the sky, don't be surprised if someone sends a plane to land in your backyard

*update* Dec. 01, 2012
The first-ever flying drone competition “In the next few years the idea of drones will dramatically change. You no longer need a PhD... The same functions every Web programmer uses to build apps can now make drones navigate, take pictures, find people, fly through windows, play games, and so on. When the low level control of hardware comes built-in, hobbyists can focus on writing algorithms and routines." "Autonomous Flight, with a Few Lines of Javascript"


July 4, 2012 U.S. drone 'hijackings' - University of Texas professor and grad students manipulate unmanned crafts' flight paths...even able to make them land

Thousands of drones are destined for US skies. The use of drones is taking off in America. Local governments and private businesses see them as a cheap and effective way of maintaining an eye from the sky.

But will the drones be fully under their control? A college professor and his students say not necessarily.

A civilian drone aircraft was "hijacked" by Professor Todd Humphreys and his graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin. They were able to hack into the drone's GPS signals. Later, in an exercise done in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security at White Sands, N.M., they were even able to make the drone land.  read more »

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

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


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 »

Honor student needs help not jail: supports 2 siblings, runs fr job to job, homework til 7am..too tired for school, missed class


Diane Tran, Honor Student At Texas High School, Jailed For Missing School
Diane Tran, a 17-year-old honor student in Texas, was forced to spend the night in jail last week after missing too many classes, KHOU-11's Sherry Williams reports.

The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school. "She goes from job to job from school," Devin Hill, one of Tran's classmates, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework." Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.

Tran's case has spread online, with dozens of news outlets across the country picking up her story., a site set up by the Louisiana Children's Education Alliance in partnership with Anedot and Gatorworks, has raised over $28,000

A petition at that calls for the judge to revoke the teen's fine and sentencing was approaching 28,000 signatures on Monday afternoon.

*Update May 31, 2012*

Charges dropped against honor student jailed for truancy
The 17-year-old Willis High School honor student whose 24-hour stay in jail for excessive truancy drew national attention had the charge rescinded Wednesday, records show.  read more »

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