Tag Archives: Sustainability

Stuff in the news 7/20/2013 – Social Good

Friend Joining Group Showing Friendship And Togetherness.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

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Stuff in the news 6/24/2013 – New Mexico

Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM - Image by M. Reddy-Hjelmfelt http://theredelm.com/

Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM – Image by M. Reddy-Hjelmfelt http://theredelm.com/

Stuff in the news 6/21/2013 – New Mexico

Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM - Image by M. Reddy-Hjelmfelt http://theredelm.com/

Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM – Image by M. Reddy-Hjelmfelt http://theredelm.com/

  • Santa Fe Opera House was named one of the world’s best opera houses by Four Seasons Resorts. No surprise to any of us here but nice to see: Where Is the World’s Best Opera House?
  • Apparently, the Opera isn’t enough to keep people living here. “Not only does Albuquerque lead the nation in losing jobs, it’s also one of the leaders when it comes to losing people, as in people moving away. It’s a double whammy haunting the state’s deeply troubled economy.” It’s more than job loss, though – people are even leaving to retire.  Record number of people moving away from Albuquerque.
  • New Mexico ranked number 8 in the top ten solar states, based on solar incentives; utility policies; interconnection; and net metering. Interesting that 4 of the top 5 were all eastern ones. Didn’t see that coming.
  • OK, so putting this in the New Mexico post is a bit of a stretch but the question was posed to Outside by someone in Santa Fe and I’m sitting in Hillside Market Cafe again, so there ya go. Q: How much caffeine is too much? 
  • Megafires seem to be expected in NM. “Scientists studying a prolonged and severe drought in the southwestern U.S. say that extensive damage done to trees in that region portends what lies in store as other forests worldwide face rising temperatures, diminished rainfall, and devastating fires.” — Megadrought in U.S. Southwest: A Bad Omen for Forests Globally (Hat tip Jim O’Donnell)
  • If you never got over to The Legal Tender in Lamy before it closed (I’ve blogged about it here), another chance is coming: Judge gives Legal Tender green light to reopen. Is it too much to hope that Santa Fe Southern Railway makes a comeback, as well?

Stuff in the news 6/19/2013 – Tech

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Helping out our friends at Village Memorial in Portland, OR. They’ve entered a contest on the NASA Tech Briefs website and we want you to know about it and vote for them, if you would, please. The concept behind their project is that pathogens stay resident on a human body after it is dead, even up to a couple of days. This, of course , can be a health hazard to survivors of a disaster or first responders. Village Memorial has developed an eco-friendly method of removing these pathogens through the use of “mycelium enzymatic digestion”, or to use layman terms, pathogen-eating fungi. Here’s their video from YouTube:
  • There will be a full blog post coming soon but I want to mention this because it’s such a great use of virtual tech. I am at my new favorite hangout, Hillside Market, this afternoon and had a very nice chat with  the owners, Trish and Pam, who was paying barista today. Also here was Fernando Aleo, owner of the now closed Epazote restaurant that used to be on Agua Fria in Santa Fe.  Turns out that one of Fernando’s projects has been to host virtual dinners between Santa Fe, NM and Chihuahua, MX. He creates the menus and has staff in both locations and they meet by Skype. Is that not cool? Definitely looking forward to his new ventures here in Santa Fe!
  • Haiku Deck is one of those apps that I’ve been meaning to try but I’m so averse to doing anything on an iPad that I have to see extremely well, like spreadsheets. Still, this article is making me reconsider, as the author is pretty honest about the shortcomings it has. May major worry is the notion that you have to upload the presentation to their server and it’s not reliable. I do have a pico projector, so I suppose I could present directly from the iPad but it’s not ideal, since I like to share my slide decks.
  • Good stuff in here: 50 Ways Your Business Can Get The Most Out of Gmail
  • ” In the future, a grandmother’s crowning achievement—the thing she never forgets to remind her grandchildren about—will be that Justin Bieber retweeted her once. The framed screenshot of the RT will become a family heirloom.” — Has The Internet Changed Our Definition Of Success?
  • Feedly rocks! The pending integration with Sprout Social will make it even better. Feedly Cloud Available to All Users Two Weeks Before Google Reader Shuts Down, Press Updates With Support
  • Four ways OS X Mavericks will save your MacBook’s battery.
    • Great. Now fix the battery life on the iPhone….

Company to add an air of suburbia to Manhattan

Media_httpwwwdigitalj_pycky

New York – With little green space in New York City outside of Central Park, even the slightest bit of nature immediately catches a New Yorker’s eye. For that reason, one Manhattan-based company is adding some curb appeal to the concrete jungle.

The Participation Agency, a New York firm that works to “unite brands and investors with creative ventures that shape and challenge the cultural landscape,” is preparing to launch its latest project: a 3,200 square foot “backyard area” for rent.

The area–located in the Lower East Side at 145 Ludlow Street–is known as “Time Share Backyard” by the firm, and will provide those who rent the space with a venue in which to barbecue, host gatherings or simply lay out and enjoy the weather.

Read more at digitaljournal.com

The Comfort of Home In Emergency Housing – Science and Technology – Utne Reader

Media_httpwwwutnecomu_nljlb

Molo, a design firm based in Vancouver, BC, Canada has come up with a way to give privacy to individuals and families forced to live in temporary shelters—like community centers or the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina—after disasters strike their communities. The product, softshelter, “is a system for creating personal space within a larger shelter area in order to provide…a sense of privacy and encourage community-building in the days following a disaster.” The honeycomb walls are collapsible, easily expandable, can be molded into a variety of shapes, and connect to more pieces by concealed magnets. But they’re not just walls for dividing people; Molo is also attempting to bring some comforts of home into these stressful situations.

Read about it here: utne.com

Futurity.org – Device scavenges power out of thin air

Manos Tentzeris displays an inkjet-printed rectifying antenna used to convert microwave energy to DC power. This grid is printed on flexible Kapton material and is expected to operate with frequencies as high as 10 gigahertz when complete. (Credit: Gary Meek)

GEORIGIA TECH (US) — A new way to capture and harness energy from the air could lead to paper-based wireless sensors that are self-powered, low-cost, and able to function independently almost anywhere.

“There is a large amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but nobody has been able to tap into it,” says Manos Tentzeris, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

“We are using an ultra-wideband antenna that lets us exploit a variety of signals in different frequency ranges, giving us greatly increased power-gathering capability.”

Inkjet printers are used to combine sensors, antennas, and energy-grabbing capabilities on paper or flexible polymers. The resulting self-powered wireless sensors may be used for chemical, biological, heat, and stress sensing for defense and industry; radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging for manufacturing and shipping, and monitoring tasks in a variety of fields including communications and power usage.

Communications devices transmit energy in many different frequency ranges, or bands.  The team’s scavenging devices are able to capture the energy, convert it from AC to DC, and then store it in capacitors and batteries. The scavenging technology can presently take advantage of frequencies from FM radio to radar, a range spanning 100 megahertz (MHz) to 15 gigahertz (GHz) or higher.

Experiments utilizing TV bands have already yielded power amounting to hundreds of microwatts. Multi-band systems are expected to generate one milliwatt or more—enough power to operate many small electronic devices, including a variety of sensors and microprocessors.

Original continues here: futurity.org

Futurity.org – Device scavenges power out of thin air

Manos Tentzeris displays an inkjet-printed rectifying antenna used to convert microwave energy to DC power. This grid is printed on flexible Kapton material and is expected to operate with frequencies as high as 10 gigahertz when complete. (Credit: Gary Meek)

GEORIGIA TECH (US) — A new way to capture and harness energy from the air could lead to paper-based wireless sensors that are self-powered, low-cost, and able to function independently almost anywhere.

“There is a large amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but nobody has been able to tap into it,” says Manos Tentzeris, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

“We are using an ultra-wideband antenna that lets us exploit a variety of signals in different frequency ranges, giving us greatly increased power-gathering capability.”

Inkjet printers are used to combine sensors, antennas, and energy-grabbing capabilities on paper or flexible polymers. The resulting self-powered wireless sensors may be used for chemical, biological, heat, and stress sensing for defense and industry; radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging for manufacturing and shipping, and monitoring tasks in a variety of fields including communications and power usage.

Communications devices transmit energy in many different frequency ranges, or bands.  The team’s scavenging devices are able to capture the energy, convert it from AC to DC, and then store it in capacitors and batteries. The scavenging technology can presently take advantage of frequencies from FM radio to radar, a range spanning 100 megahertz (MHz) to 15 gigahertz (GHz) or higher.

Experiments utilizing TV bands have already yielded power amounting to hundreds of microwatts. Multi-band systems are expected to generate one milliwatt or more—enough power to operate many small electronic devices, including a variety of sensors and microprocessors.

Original continues here: futurity.org

Climate Change Disrupts Great Lakes National Parks in US | Blue Channel 24

isleroyale

Five Great Lakes national parks and lakeshores are feeling the impacts of climate change, finds a new report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and Natural Resources Defense Council. Lake Michigan may have some winters with no ice cover within 10 years, and Lake Superior may be ice-free in about three decades, the report warns.

The five largest parks on the Great Lakes are experiencing rising temperatures, decreased winter ice, eroding shorelines, spreading disease, and a crowding out of key wildlife and plant life.

“Human disruption of the climate is the greatest threat ever to America’s national parks. This report details the particular threats that a changed climate poses to our Great Lakes national parks,” said Stephen Saunders, president, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior overseeing the National Park Service.

The five parks are: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Indiana near Chicago; Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore; Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, just offshore from Minnesota; and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin.

The report documents that the amount of rain falling in heavy storms in the Midwest increased by 31 percent over the past century, a level well above the national average of 22 percent.

Winds over the Great Lakes are stronger than they used to be. Lake Superior wind speeds have increased by 12 percent since 1985.

The temperatures of Great Lakes waters are hotter, increasing more in recent decades than air temperatures have. Lake Superior’s summer water temperatures rose about 4.5 degrees from 1979 to 2006, roughly double the rate at which summer air temperatures have gone up over the surrounding land.

In 2010, a tick of the type that carries Lyme disease was confirmed at Isle Royale for the first time – a fact stated publicly for the first time in this report. Cold temperatures previously prevented these ticks from reaching so far north, but their spread into the region had been projected as the climate gets hotter. The Lyme disease ticks also have spread to nearby Grand Portage National Monument for the first time.

The threats of climate disruption to the national parks in the Great Lakes are also threats to the Great Lakes regional economy, the report points out.

Mayor Larry J. MacDonald of Bayfield, Wisconsin said, “The City of Bayfield, as the gateway community to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, faces the financial reality that climate change will bring tremendous economic challenges to our National Lakeshore-based local tourism economy. We need to continue to respect and protect Lake Superior. When the Lake is healthy, our community and the Apostle Islands will continue to prosper.”

The five parks featured in this report together drew more than four million visitors in 2010, according to the report. Visitor spending in 2009 totaled more than $200 million and supported nearly 3,000 jobs.

Said Thom Cmar, staff attorney in the Chicago office of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “We need to head off climate change quickly to protect our Great Lakes parks, the iconic landscapes and wildlife that live in them, and our own communities. Climate action is economic action in the Great Lakes.”

“To protect the jobs and massive revenue that come out of these parks, Congress needs to either act on climate or get out of the way and let the EPA do its job to limit carbon pollution,” Cmar said.

The report, “Great Lakes National Parks in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption,” finds higher temperatures, less winter ice, shoreline erosion, and loss of wildlife.

In Isle Royale, the moose population has declined, as have the numbers of the wolves that depend on them as prey. The moose population is down to about 515, half the park’s long-term average.

Temperatures higher than moose can tolerate could be responsible, as in nearby northwest Minnesota, where the moose population has crashed in the past two decades from 4,000 to fewer than 100 animals, coinciding with higher temperatures.

Also, warmer winters in Isle Royale enable enough ticks to overwinter and cause such a large loss of blood among the moose that they are more vulnerable to the park’s wolves, the report explains.

Isle Royale’s wolf population has fallen, too. The park’s moose make up 90 percent of the wolves’s prey, and declines in the moose population threaten the wolves. The park now has only 16 wolves in two packs, compared to 24 wolves in four packs a few years ago.

Lynx and martens in Isle Royale also at risk as the climate changes.

Birds at risk of being eliminated from the parks include common loons and ruffed grouse, iconic birds of the Great Lakes and the North Woods.

Other birds are also at risk. Botulism outbreaks linked to high water temperatures and low lake levels now kill hundreds to thousands of birds a year in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. So many dead birds drop onto the park’s beaches that the National Park Service patrols from June through November to clean up the bird carcasses.

“Change in nature is natural. But the changes we face with the accelerated rate of global climate change that our human activities have caused don’t allow millennia or even centuries for adaption; the changes now will take place in only decades without time for nature to adapt,” warned Dale Engquist, former superintendent, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and president, Chicago Wilderness Trust.

FROM | www.ens-newswire.com

The National Meteorological Service (SMN) issued an alert for heavy rain, storms and hail for today as sunny skies give space to cloudy ones at the same time as weather conditions worse around noon.

Authorities released the warning for most of the metropolitan area, center and east of the State, Entre Ríos province, south of Santa Fe province and La Plata River.

In a public statement, the SMN… Read More

Surrounded by a natural arena of sunset-tinged and snow-capped peaks, it’s impossible to imagine a more wild and spectacular location than Lago Pehoé in southern Chile’s improbably scenic Torres del Paine National Park. Another distinctly Patagonian bonus is sharing the jaw-dropping scenery with the local wildlife. Between bouts of trekking, river rafting and horseriding, ticking off most of the park’s iconic fauna comes remarkably easily to the curious traveller.

Rescuers returned 44 pilot whales to open water yesterday after a mass stranding in the estuary of a sea loch in the Scottish Highlands. Twenty-five whales from the pod died at the Kyle of Durness when they beached at low tide.

Attempts to refloat the whales began on Friday night. British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) medics, the coastguard and the Royal Navy managed to rotate whales that were… Read More

Climate Change Disrupts Great Lakes National Parks in US | Blue Channel 24

isleroyale

Five Great Lakes national parks and lakeshores are feeling the impacts of climate change, finds a new report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and Natural Resources Defense Council. Lake Michigan may have some winters with no ice cover within 10 years, and Lake Superior may be ice-free in about three decades, the report warns.

The five largest parks on the Great Lakes are experiencing rising temperatures, decreased winter ice, eroding shorelines, spreading disease, and a crowding out of key wildlife and plant life.

“Human disruption of the climate is the greatest threat ever to America’s national parks. This report details the particular threats that a changed climate poses to our Great Lakes national parks,” said Stephen Saunders, president, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior overseeing the National Park Service.

The five parks are: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Indiana near Chicago; Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore; Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, just offshore from Minnesota; and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin.

The report documents that the amount of rain falling in heavy storms in the Midwest increased by 31 percent over the past century, a level well above the national average of 22 percent.

Winds over the Great Lakes are stronger than they used to be. Lake Superior wind speeds have increased by 12 percent since 1985.

The temperatures of Great Lakes waters are hotter, increasing more in recent decades than air temperatures have. Lake Superior’s summer water temperatures rose about 4.5 degrees from 1979 to 2006, roughly double the rate at which summer air temperatures have gone up over the surrounding land.

In 2010, a tick of the type that carries Lyme disease was confirmed at Isle Royale for the first time – a fact stated publicly for the first time in this report. Cold temperatures previously prevented these ticks from reaching so far north, but their spread into the region had been projected as the climate gets hotter. The Lyme disease ticks also have spread to nearby Grand Portage National Monument for the first time.

The threats of climate disruption to the national parks in the Great Lakes are also threats to the Great Lakes regional economy, the report points out.

Mayor Larry J. MacDonald of Bayfield, Wisconsin said, “The City of Bayfield, as the gateway community to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, faces the financial reality that climate change will bring tremendous economic challenges to our National Lakeshore-based local tourism economy. We need to continue to respect and protect Lake Superior. When the Lake is healthy, our community and the Apostle Islands will continue to prosper.”

The five parks featured in this report together drew more than four million visitors in 2010, according to the report. Visitor spending in 2009 totaled more than $200 million and supported nearly 3,000 jobs.

Said Thom Cmar, staff attorney in the Chicago office of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “We need to head off climate change quickly to protect our Great Lakes parks, the iconic landscapes and wildlife that live in them, and our own communities. Climate action is economic action in the Great Lakes.”

“To protect the jobs and massive revenue that come out of these parks, Congress needs to either act on climate or get out of the way and let the EPA do its job to limit carbon pollution,” Cmar said.

The report, “Great Lakes National Parks in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption,” finds higher temperatures, less winter ice, shoreline erosion, and loss of wildlife.

In Isle Royale, the moose population has declined, as have the numbers of the wolves that depend on them as prey. The moose population is down to about 515, half the park’s long-term average.

Temperatures higher than moose can tolerate could be responsible, as in nearby northwest Minnesota, where the moose population has crashed in the past two decades from 4,000 to fewer than 100 animals, coinciding with higher temperatures.

Also, warmer winters in Isle Royale enable enough ticks to overwinter and cause such a large loss of blood among the moose that they are more vulnerable to the park’s wolves, the report explains.

Isle Royale’s wolf population has fallen, too. The park’s moose make up 90 percent of the wolves’s prey, and declines in the moose population threaten the wolves. The park now has only 16 wolves in two packs, compared to 24 wolves in four packs a few years ago.

Lynx and martens in Isle Royale also at risk as the climate changes.

Birds at risk of being eliminated from the parks include common loons and ruffed grouse, iconic birds of the Great Lakes and the North Woods.

Other birds are also at risk. Botulism outbreaks linked to high water temperatures and low lake levels now kill hundreds to thousands of birds a year in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. So many dead birds drop onto the park’s beaches that the National Park Service patrols from June through November to clean up the bird carcasses.

“Change in nature is natural. But the changes we face with the accelerated rate of global climate change that our human activities have caused don’t allow millennia or even centuries for adaption; the changes now will take place in only decades without time for nature to adapt,” warned Dale Engquist, former superintendent, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and president, Chicago Wilderness Trust.

FROM | www.ens-newswire.com

The National Meteorological Service (SMN) issued an alert for heavy rain, storms and hail for today as sunny skies give space to cloudy ones at the same time as weather conditions worse around noon.

Authorities released the warning for most of the metropolitan area, center and east of the State, Entre Ríos province, south of Santa Fe province and La Plata River.

In a public statement, the SMN… Read More

Surrounded by a natural arena of sunset-tinged and snow-capped peaks, it’s impossible to imagine a more wild and spectacular location than Lago Pehoé in southern Chile’s improbably scenic Torres del Paine National Park. Another distinctly Patagonian bonus is sharing the jaw-dropping scenery with the local wildlife. Between bouts of trekking, river rafting and horseriding, ticking off most of the park’s iconic fauna comes remarkably easily to the curious traveller.

Rescuers returned 44 pilot whales to open water yesterday after a mass stranding in the estuary of a sea loch in the Scottish Highlands. Twenty-five whales from the pod died at the Kyle of Durness when they beached at low tide.

Attempts to refloat the whales began on Friday night. British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) medics, the coastguard and the Royal Navy managed to rotate whales that were… Read More