Nature’s Game Changer: ‘Great White Shark Gets Head Into Shark Cage’ Video.

What would’ve happened had the Great White Shark gotten into the cage? Best comparison we could come up with looks a like this:

Cat with its head stuck in a cat food can.

“Innovative capitalists have tried to rewrite nature, but to no avail.”Terri Guillemets [Neatorama]

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Who’s More Energy Efficient: Red States Or Blue States?

Red state vs Blue State: Energy Consumption and rat's asses.Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass but if you do, here’s a link to “Red States Are Less Energy-Efficient Than Blue Ones: Another Partisan Divide?” The last thing we need to do is to push both sides further apart – blue states feeling all superior and red states caring even less about energy efficiency. [GTM]

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‘Intersex Fish Of The Lower Potomac’ Is Not A Reality Show. It’s A Reality.

Intersex smallmouth bassBack in 2003, a male smallmouth bass was caught in the south branch of the Potomac River that had both male and female parts – intersex. Since then, wildlife biologists have discovered that 50-100% of the fish in various tributaries leading into Chesapeake Bay have become intersex . Here’s a USGS explanation why fish become intersex:

“Intersex is one manifestation of endocrine disruption in fish. Endocrine disruption can result in adverse effects on the development of the brain and nervous system, the growth and function of the reproductive system, and the response to stressors in the environment. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have documented the presence of endocrine disrupting contaminants in rivers and streams across the nation. Additionally, USGS scientists and others have demonstrated that exposure to endocrine-active contaminants can cause endocrine disruption, which can have ruinous impacts on fish populations.”

What’s causing the endocrine disruption is still a mystery. In addition to stormwater overflows loaded with sewage and pharmaceutical waste, pesticide pollution and manure with natural hormones from upstream farms are also considered a cause of the he-fish to he-she-fish transformations. There are currently two new bills in the Maryland House and Senate that would require farmers to better track what pesticides they’re using on their farms. [Washington Post]

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‘Colourful Shit’ Project Aims To Show How Our Food Affects Our Poo.

Colorful Shit Project - Froot Loops editionWant to know what that food dye laden bowl of Froot Loops you’re about to eat looks like 30 hours later? Gabriel Morais wants to and will show you how much the food we ingest affects our body through his “Colourful Shit” project. Mr. Morais first photographs what he’s about to eat and then captures an image of what he poo’d out 30 – 36 hours later. For his project so far, he’s downed:

  • 9.9 lbs of beet root (turnaround time 36 hours).
  • 8.8 lbs of sweet corn (turnaround time 36 hours).
  • 7.7 lbs of Froot Loops (turnaround time 30 hours).

Want to see what 7.7 lbs of Froot Loops (aka Froot Poops) will look like 30 hours later? [Read more…]

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Engineers At Lockheed Martin Create Perforene: More Efficiently Converts Saltwater To Clean Freshwater.

John Stetson - Lockheed MartinLockheed Martin has announced that they’ve created an atom-thin carbon membrane that will significantly reduce the cost and energy required to convert saltwater to freshwater. It’s called perforene and its one-nanometer sized holes are large enough to let water flow through but small enough to filter out salt from seawater. From Lockheed Martin engineer John Stetson:

“It’s [perforene] 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger. The energy that’s required and the pressure that’s required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less [than reverse osmosis].”

Perforene, if it reaches the market, would be a great solution for coastal areas that have limited access to freshwater and that may not be able to afford building and operating an expensive desalinization plant. The downside: mo water mo people. [Reuters]

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Graham Hill Downsized His Life And Enjoyed It More. Why Can’t We All Do The Same?

Simple Studio ApartmentGraham Hill’s article “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” in the NY Times is an inspiring read. Mr. Hill, serial entrepreneur and founder of Treehugger.com, got rich early and had filled 5500 sq. ft of living space in two cities with stuff and then decided to simplify his life and belongings into a 420 sq. ft studio. From the NY Times:

“I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.”

If you get a chance, read the full article and see if it inspires you to downsize your life.

Our household of five doesn’t live all that large but I can not wait to downsize the inside of our house and our outside lives. What’s holding us back? Unlike Graham Hill and like many families, it’s our elem/teen/tweenage kids that might suffer from the drastic change of downsizing while they’re still in school. Now on the day my youngest heads to college, our house will be abuzz because everything will go. Not storage – instead we’ll donate, give away and sell what we can because we’ll never live larger. T-minus 8 years and counting! [NY Times]

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