I know this isn’t the right time, but seriously, these images have got nothing to do with the Japanese quake. They’re incredibly awesome (and scary as well!) archive images from various natural disasters, including the 2005 Indonesian quake. It gets really freaky when mother Earth gets angry!
More images at My Modern Met, check them out!
For those love to sit at their garden in the summer evening, here is a neat solar powered blossoming lights for your garden. The Blossoming Solar Lights come in small flowers shape and it has very small solar panel attached to bottom of the each stem.
As funny as it may sound, I think by now, it’s probably one of the best selling garden deco items out there, at least not in this region maybe.
This will add cute garden lights in your garden landscape and the blossoming solar lights’ motorized flower will bloom every single morning and closes up during night. The crucial mechanism is the small solar panels located on each stem. Beside capable recharging the batteries, it will power the LED light and flower petals that automatically open and close. Interestingly, you will be able to choose between pink or white petals to your liking at separate prices. The flowers sell for USD34.95 each.
Why oh why?
It may not match peak oil in terms of a global crisis, but the world is running out of another non-renewable resource: helium. According to a report in the The Independent, scientists estimate the world may have little more than 25 years left of the gas. What will the kids do without their balloons!?!?!
Helium accumulates on earth through the gradual degeneration of radioactive rock, with no means of artificial synthesis currently in existence. The world running out of helium could spell the end for certain technologies like MRI scanners (where helium is used as a coolant) and some nuclear technology.
Via NZ Herald
Krakatau was definitely one of the few things that fascinated me as a kid. The extent of its destructive power, the effect to the world, etc. was just out the box.
And thankfully, Wired has done a very nice writeup on this sleeping giant. I know this sounds bad, but I hope to see the Krakatau come alive one day!
Flashback, to 1883
Krakatau (aka Krakatoa) had been rumbling and sending up puffs of ash since May 1883. The eruption turned deadly on the afternoon of Aug. 26, with the first explosion coming at 1 p.m. A column of black ash soon rose 17 miles into the sky above the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.
The earth around and under the volcano continued to move, sending a tsunami out around 5 p.m. Others would follow.
Explosions continued at night, and lightning jumped between the ash column and the island. St. Elmo’s Fire played on a ship’s yardarms and rigging 25 miles away, ash fell on its deck, and explosions deafened its crew.
Just after 10 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 27 came the final, cataclysmic explosion with 26 times the power of the biggest H-bomb test. As Krakatau’s underground magma chamber emptied, the sea rushed in, at first sucking ships toward it in an inbound current. Then the 2,600-foot-high volcanic cone collapsed into the center, leaving little of the island above water and sending out a truly colossal tsunami.
Hundred-foot tidal waves (up to 130 feet in some places) scoured nearby coasts, obliterating hundreds of villages and taking more than 36,000 lives. Much reduced, the sea wave swept past the Cape of Good Hope into the Atlantic Ocean and even caused a measurable ripple in the English Channel.
The noise was heard at Alice Springs in the middle of Australia. Four hours after the massive explosion, 3,000 miles away on the island of Rodrigues in the western Indian Ocean, it was recorded as the “roar of heavy guns.” The sound was audible over 1/13 the surface of the globe, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The shock wave registered on a barometer in London.
The final eruption also threw pumice an estimated 34 to 50 miles into the sky. Dust fell more than 3,000 miles away 10 days later. Islands of pumice floated on the oceans for months. Sulfur in the ash reacted with atmospheric ozone to scatter sunlight, causing vivid red sunsets around the world. Global temperatures dropped, and climate disruptions lasted five years.
[Extracted from Wired.com. Image shows Anak Krakatau exploding in 2007]
How ironic! But it’s the truth anyway.
Former vice president Al Gore, the target of ridicule by climate skeptics this winter, says he wishes global warming were an “illusion.”
Former vice president Al Gore has long warned of the dangers of global warming. He spoke about them during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.
Unfortunately, its dangers are real, despite mistakes by a leading United Nations climate-science panel, Gore writes Sunday in The New York Times. “The overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged,” he says, adding:
In fact, the crisis is still growing because we are continuing to dump 90 million tons of global-warming pollution every 24 hours into the atmosphere — as if it were an open sewer.
Climate skeptics, citing recent snowfall in parts of the East Coast, have mocked Gore. Tycoon Donald Trump says Gore should be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize for warning about climate change. “It’s going to keep snowing in D.C. until Al Gore cries “uncle,”" Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., wrote on Twitter.
Gore says global data show the last January was the second-hottest since surface temperatures were first measured 130 years ago and the last 10 years were the hottest decade since modern records have been kept. He says these rising temperatures have increased evaporation from the oceans, putting more moisture into the atmosphere and thus heavier rain and snow in some areas.
The IPCC, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Gore for a report that called climate change “unequivocal” and “very likely” caused by human activity, announced Saturday that it will seek independent review of its major reports.
Gore says U.S. industry also needs to back a climate bill, but he likens its reluctance to Big Tobacco’s decades-long fight against regulation:
Over the years, as the science has become clearer and clearer, some industries and companies whose business plans are dependent on unrestrained pollution of the atmospheric commons have become ever more entrenched. They are ferociously fighting against the mildest regulation — just as tobacco companies blocked constraints on the marketing of cigarettes for four decades after science confirmed the link of cigarettes to diseases of the lung and the heart.
Finally someone is stepping the game up. Kudos to Toshiba!
Long story told short, Toshiba has stopped production of mass-market incandescent light bulbs, putting an end to a 120-year manufacturing history of the products. The company, which is one of Japan’s largest makers of lighting products, had planned to halt production next year but brought up the date by a year. It will now focus on more energy efficient products, including LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which contain a handful of white LEDs and draw a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs.
Incandescent light bulb production at other companies is expected to end in the coming years as regulations come into force banning their sale. Governments around the world are keen to promote the use of more energy-efficient lighting products.
At the forefront of the push has been Australia, which began regulating the sale of incandescent and older florescent lighting products from last year. The government changes are expected to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 28 million tons over 12 years and save the average household A$50 (US$46) per year.
Probably the largest pollutant in this region; the city of Beijing!
Apparently, traffic officials said there were 4 million vehicles on the road by last week. About 10,000 new ones are added each week, on top of that.
Worst part, officials have spent billions of dollars on public transport over the past few years. But a city that used to be famous for its bicycles now has congested streets just like many other modern cities.
Interesting point: There were just 2,300 vehicles on Beijing’s roads when the Communists took over in 1949, according to reports.
It took another 48 years to get to one million cars – but only two years to go from three to four million!
Want to have a wireless power supply grid within your house? No worries, the future is here, at least theoritically.
Sony has apparently created a highly efficient wireless power transfer system using magnetic resonance, which means now you can charge your laptop whereever you’re sitting around the house without worrying about the length of the cable or power socket location.
What’s more? You can transfer 60 Watts of electrical power over a distance of 50cm (at an efficiency of approximately 80%, approximately 60% including rectifier). Cool, right.
This new wireless power transfer system incorporates a form of contactless electrical energy transmission technology based on magnetic resonance. With magnetic resonance, electromagnetic energy is only transferred to recipient devices that share the identical resonant frequencies as the energy source, so energy transfer efficiency is maintained, even when misalignment occurs. Furthermore, even if there are metal objects located between the transmitter and receiver, no heat induction occurs.
Read more on Sony.com
The head of the U.N. climate panel had apparently painted a stark picture of the future unless nations agree tough emissions curbs to control global warming.
Following are some of the key points from Rajendra Pachauri‘s speech on Monday to delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered in Copenhagen for Dec 7-18 talks aimed at sealing the outlines of a climate pact:
He told delegates the world faced:
– More heat waves and heavy rainfall events;
– Increase in tropical cyclone intensity;
– Possible disappearance of Arctic sea ice by the latter part of the 21st century;
– Decrease in water resources in semi-arid areas, such as the Mediterranean Basin, western United States, southern Africa and north-eastern Brazil;
– Possible elimination of the Greenland ice sheet and a resulting contribution to sea level rise of about 7 metres;
– Approximately 20 to 30 percent of species at increased risk of extinction if increases in global average warming exceed 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius;
– Greater stress on water resources from population growth and economic and land use change, including urbanisation;
– Significant future increase in heavy rainfall in many regions as well as some in which the mean rainfall is likely to drop. Greater flood risk threatens infrastructure and water quality;
– Likelihood that 20 percent of the world population, or more than two billion people, will live in areas where river flood potential could increase by the 2080s;
– Increasing threat to low-lying island nations and coastal cities and deltas from rising seas. Seas are already rising because of melting glaciers and icesheets as well as expansion of the oceans as they warm;
– Even keeping global average temperatures to within 2 degrees C would likely lead to sea level rise of between 0.4 and 1.4 metres because of thermal expansion of the oceans;
– In Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to climate change and in some African countries, agricultural yields could be cut by half.
– To limit the average global rise in temperatures to between 2 and 2.4 deg C, the cost of curbing emissions by 2030 would not exceed 3 percent of global GDP, the climate panel says.
– Global emissions need to peak by 2015 to ensure that the temperature rise stays within 2 to 2.4 deg C.
Oh by the way, you can now view global Deforestation in Google Earth. Head over here for more info.