EARTH PORTATION curated News February 12th

ANIMALS - 50 nations gather for London summit
UK government, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge host talks aimed at quashing trade threatening rhinos and elephantsAfrican heads of state and officials from around 50 countries will join the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, at a summit in London on Thursday aimed at quashing the illegal ivory trade threatening the survival of elephants, rhino and other species.The meeting at Lancaster House is
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ANIMALS - Blinded by speed, tiger beetles use antennae to 'see' while running
Speed is blinding. Just ask the tiger beetle: This predatory insect has excellent sight, but when it chases prey, it runs so fast it can no longer see where it’s going .. ...

ANIMALS - Lost and found: New beetle collected by Darwin 180 years ago published on his birthday
In 1832 Charles Darwin disembarked from HMS Beagle in Bahia Blanca, Argentina where he travelled by land to Buenos Aires. In Bahia Blanca, Darwin collected several fossils of large mammals along with many other living organisms, including several insects. More than 180 years later on Darwin's birthday, February 12, scientists name after him a long lost but new to science beetle genus and species from this collection .. ...

ANIMALS - Man's best friend equally adapted to high altitudes of Tibet
As humans have expanded into new environments and civilizations, man's best friend, dogs, have been faithful companions at their sides. Now, with DNA sequencing technology readily available to examine the dog genome, scientists are gaining new insights into canine evolution .. ...

BEES - Urban bees using plastic to build hives
Once the snow melts, bees will be back in business -- pollinating, making honey and keeping busy doing bee things. For at least two urban bee species, that means making nests out of plastic waste. A new study reveals that some bees use bits of plastic bags and plastic building materials to construct their nests .. ...

BEES - Urban bees using plastic to build hives
Once the snow melts, Canada's bee population will be back in business—pollinating, making honey and keeping busy doing bee things. For at least two urban bee species, that means making nests out of plastic waste .. ...

BIRDS - "You hide it—I'll find it!"—Great tit has a bird's eye view when looking for dinner
Birds that hoard food for a rainy day better be sure that there are no great tits around to spy on where they hide their reserve of seeds and nuts. So says Anders Brodin and Utku Urhan of the University of Lund in Sweden, who found that great tits can remember the position of such hideaways up to 24 hours after seeing it cached. Interestingly, even though great tits share this mental ability with well-known hoarders such as crows and jays, they d ...

BOOKS - Book Excerpt: A New Earth
Eckhart Tolles' challenge to let go of unhappiness and negativity and to embrace happiness .. ...

BOOKS - Book Excerpt: Every Earthly Blessing


BOOKS - Book Excerpt: Streams of Grace
The Abbe of Tourville on holding firm to an unassuming simplicity .. ...

CLIMATE - Is Shipping Oil by Rail As Dangerous As the Keystone Pipeline?
Accident response planning requirements are “practically nonexistent.”When the State Department issued its long-awaited environmental-impact statement on the Keystone XL project earlier this month, one of its key findings was that if the controversial pipeline weren’t built, oil-laden rail cars would pick up the slack. “Rail will likely be able to accommodate new production if new pipelines are delayed or not constructed,” it argued. As we noted ...

EARTH - Iceland's pristine habitats threatened by hydropower plans
A travel writer captures the beauty of Iceland's wilderness, but will these natural wonders exists for much longer .. ...

EARTH - San Francisco's big 1906 earthquake was third of a series on San Andreas Fault
Geologists have uncovered geologic evidence that supports historical narratives for two earthquakes in the 68 years prior to San Francisco's devastating 1906 disaster .. ...

ECONOMICS - Can This Intelligent Efficiency Startup Succeed on Its Own?
Just in time for Valentine's Day, the budding intelligent efficiency sector has witnessed one of its first break ups. 5Twenty, a software startup that built the platform for monitoring energy consumption at the Veteran's Administration (VA) headquarters, has decided to split from its parent company, SPARC.  The small team of developers say they're ready to become a more serious energy efficiency firm, and their relationship with SPARC -- a pure ...

EDUCATION - Dignity in Education (Part 1)
The next step toward affording children equal recognition as individuals will be to find a way to factor their interests into electoral politicsread mor .. ...

EDUCATION - Gaming the classroom: Teaching style motivates, engages
Writing a blog comparing Socrates to Steve Jobs .. ...

EDUCATION - How to See the Good in the "Bad" Kids
Elementary teacher and CTQ author Justin Mikel shares his own journey seeing the "hidden heart of the rock-throwers, the F-bomb droppers, the whiny, the sneaky, the rude, and the cruel [students]." His three steps will tug at your heart and inspire you to look past the "mud that gets heaped on some kid's spirits." Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures via Pixaba .. ...

EDUCATION - Secretary of State John Kerry to be Class Day speaker
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ’66 B.A. will deliver the Class Day lecture on Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. on Old Campus .. ...

ENERGY - 3 Things to Watch as Opower Plans Its Initial Public Offering
After tapping Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs last November to help it go public, the energy efficiency firm Opower has confidentially filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Wall Street Journal reported on the news this morning. According to Greentech Media sources close to the company, the filing possibly could have occurred around a month ago -- the private market for shares has been very active ...

ENERGY - Improving the U.S. Critical Energy Infrastructure
WASHINGTON – In support of the President’s State of the Union address and Climate Action Plan, the Department of Energy is committed to working with officials and communities at the state, local, and tribal level to strengthen and modernize our critical energy infrastructure, diversify our energy portfolio, and improve the resilience of our electric grid in the face of extreme weather events and other potential disruptions. As part of that commit ...
electric grid

ENERGY - U.S.National Renewable Energy Lab Releases Renewable Energy Data Book Detailing Growing Industry in 2012
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book on behalf of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The annual report is an important assessment of U.S. energy statistics for 2012, including renewable electricity, worldwide renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and data on specific technologies.“The 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book is filled with ...
nrel sign

ENERGY - With Reliability a Concern, Universities Are Looking to Microgrids
The case for colleges and universities to invest in microgrids often includes mitigating the risk of prolonged blackouts caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires. In the Midwest, where those threats are remote or nonexistent, there hasn’t been as great a sense of urgency to boost electric reliability on campuses as there has been in coastal regions and other disaster-prone areas. But as electric grid reliability ...

ENVIRONMENT - Biodegradable Cigarette Butts Could Reduce Smoking Litter
A biodegradable cigarette filter made from all-natural materials could make a huge impact on the amount and type of litter associated with smoking, which is currently quite significant. It’s estimated that some 5 trillion cigarette butts end up as litter every year, and because most of them are made with synthetic materials that are resistant to degradation, these butts can take up to 15 years to break down in a natural environment. In fact, a st ...

ENVIRONMENT - David Cameron using flood crisis to 'drown embarrassing news'
Accusation comes after government announces a raft of reports on Britain's relationship with the EUDavid Cameron was accused of using the floods to "drown embarrassing news" after the government announced it is publishing a raft of reports on Britain's relationship with the EU, one of which concludes that the single market is vital to the UK economy.In one of the most eye-catching findings of the eight volumes, easyJet says it would not exist
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ENVIRONMENT - Flooded Britain: archive images from 1953 – in pictures
In 1953, low-lying areas of Britain were affected by severe flooding along the east coast and Thames estuary. We take a look backSarah Gilber .. ...
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ENVIRONMENT - UK floods and storms: your images
From Somerset to Surrey, our readers have been sharing their images of flooding, wading and the odd boat rescue. You can share your own images and stories via GuardianWitnessGuardian readersJames Wals .. ...
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ENVIRONMENT - UK floods: the facts
As the rain and storms keep coming, we are bombarded with more and more numbers. We wade through themRiskSince Friday 29 January, 1,135 homes have been flooded. During this time, more than 181,000 homes have been protected and more than 200,000 homes have been sent a flood warning following the wettest January since records began in 1766.Around 5.2m (one-sixth) of properties in England are at risk of flooding. More than 2.4m properties are at ris ...
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ENVIRONMENT - UK storms: hurricane-force winds wreak chaos as floods continue
More than 50,000 people without power supplies as hundred-mile an hour winds prompt Met Office warningsHundred-mile an hour winds buffeted Wales on Wednesday, leaving more than 50,000 people without power supplies, and caused chaos on the road and rail networks in north west England.A high of 108mph was recorded in Aberdaron, as the Met Office issued a rare red warning for Wales and north-west England, indicating people should take action because ...
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FASHION - How one manufacturer makes old clothes new again
Cornell students and Toronto company figure out how to upcycle old clothes on an industrial scale .. ...

HOMES - Learn to build a tiny house from salvaged building materials
Building and living in a tiny house can be a big step toward living more sustainably, but using repurposed salvaged building materials to build one might be the Holy Grail of green living .. ...

MOVIES - DVD Feature Film Review: All is Lost
An immersive drama about being resilient and facing the fear we all have of dying alone; one of the Best Films of 2013 .. ...

MOVIES - DVD Feature Film Review: Wadjda
How a courageous and creative little girl in the oppressive and patriarchal Saudi Arabian society expresses her rebelliousness and tries to fulfill her dreams .. ...

PEOPLE - People Are Awesome: He Used to Be the School Janitor, Now He's the Principal
Gabe Sonnier's may be the principal at Port Barre Elementary in Port Barre, Louisiana, but 30 years ago he started out in an entirely different role: school janitor. CBS News reports that at the age of 39 he decided to go back to college to be a teacher. "Whenever he wasn’t cleaning classrooms, he was studying in them. He got his teaching degree and, shortly after, his first teaching job. Then came the Master's of Science and Education." Now he's ...

PERMACULTURE - Modular all-in-one chicken coop & garden composts too
This neat design includes raised gardening beds, a composting bin and a chicken coop that can be arranged in various configurations .. ...

PERMACULTURE - Victory for Clean Energy in U.S. Farm Bill
Wednesday, February 05, 2014—The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) applauds the passage Tuesday of the Energy Title and the Rural Energy Savings Program as part of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Farm Bill). This represents a great victory for the production of clean energy on American farms and for the advancement of a clean energy economy. It is also a major milestone for EESI’s long-standing and ongoing efforts in these policy ...
clean energy

SCIENCE - It's Darwin Day, a celebration of science and reason
Happy Darwin Day! Is that even an appropriate thing to wish somebody? Especially so close to Valentine's day .. ...

SCIENCE - King Richard III to get his genetic code sequenced
Richard III has already been immortalized as Shakespeare's hunchbacked antihero. Now scientists hope to immortalize his genetic code by sequencing his DNA .. ...

SCIENCE - Physicists reveal novel magnetoelectric effect
New research reveals a novel magnetoelectric effect that may provide a route for using multiferroic materials for the application of RAM in computers and other devices .. ...

SPACE - NASA moves longest-serving Mars spacecraft for new observations
(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has tweaked its orbit to help scientists make the first systematic observations of how morning fogs, clouds and surface frost develop in different seasons on the Red Planet .. ...

URBAN - Book: Roman Architecture
YaleNews features works recently or soon to be published by members of the University community. Descriptions are based on material provided by the publishers. Authors of new books may forward publishers’ book descriptions to us by email .. ...

URBAN - Modular construction and cross-laminated timber, together at last!
Weber Thompson proposes an eleven storey wood prefa .. ...

URBAN - On Designboom: Student residence built out of shipping containers stacked on silos
Students are used to be stuck in silos and boxes. Here, it's for real .. ...

URBAN - Should all parks be public? A look at the MoMA Sculpture Garden in New York
Not only are people losing the Folk Art Museum, are they going to ruin the classic garden as well .. ...

WIND - Awesome interactive USGS map shows the 47,000 onshore wind turbines in the U.S.
Using high-resolution aerial imagery and data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You can zoom in and check out how many turbines are in your area .. ...

WIND - Existing wind turbines to get
GE launches an upgrade program for turbines that are already in the field, boosting power and increasing profitability .. ...

WIND - Sensor system illuminates wind turbines when planes are near
One of the big NIMBY complaints about wind turbines is the constant blinking lights that make them visible to aircraft. A new sensor system would eliminate the nuisance, lighting the turbines only when planes are approaching .. ...

WRITE - Noted food writer to speak at master’s tea
Writer, chef, and teacher Samin Nosrat will be the guest at a Morse College master’s tea on Monday, Feb. 17 .. ...


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