Corrosive Concrete Halts Construction Of Second Tallest Building In The World.

Ping'an International Finance Center
Ping'an International Finance CenterIt’s probably too late to reconsider constructing the 660m, 116-story Ping’an International Finance Center so hopefully they can get it right. What’s halting construction? It turns out that several contractors supplying concrete to the project may have been using unprocessed sea sand in their mix which over time, could compromise the stability of the future 2nd tallest building in the world and the tallest building in China. From Dezeen:

“While cheap sea sand offers cost-saving opportunities for contractors, the salt and chloride present in it can corrode steel reinforcements over time and ultimately cause a building to collapse.”

With the delays and the possible added cost of removing and replacing all of the skunk-concrete, maybe the developers will stop at 58 stories and cut their losses. The Ping’an International Finance Center was only going to be the second tallest skyscraper in the world anyways. [Dezeen via Inhabitat]

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Andrew Ucles Enlists The Help Of Venomous Snakes To Catch Invasive Rabbits In Australia.

Andrew Ucles barehanded animal catchesThis is so Aus-some. Skipping the pindone poison treated carrots or oats, Andrew Ucles is going old-school to catch rabbits by chasing them into their holes and then siccing some venomous snakes on Australia’s invasive rodents. After watching the video below, it came to me that the most Jubbling way for the US to get rid of our invasive species (ie Asian carp, Burmese pythons etc.) is to import a bunch of shirtless Aussies to do the job. Just sayin. [Treehugger]


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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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Australian Study Finds That Groups Opposing Wind Farms Are The Cause Of Wind Farm Sickness.

Wind farm sickness.

Do you speak cow? The anti-wind farm lobby may need you to spread the word.

According to a study from Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at Sydney University, the spread of the non-illness known as wind farm sickness is via anti-wind activists and lobbyist. From the Guardian:

“[Professor Chapman’s] report concludes that illnesses being blamed on windfarms are more than likely caused by the psychological effect of suggestions that the turbines make people ill, rather than by the turbines themselves.”

Sounds like the anti-wind lobby is sending out wind farm syndrome Mary and wind farm syndrome Harry to use some magic, a little voodoo and the power of suggestion to spread the unrecognized, not-illness. Sounds about right. [Guardian]


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Volkswagen’s ‘E-Up!’ Electric Car.

Volkswagen 'E-Up!' Electric CarVolkswagen has been showing the electric ‘E-Up!’ at auto shows since 2009 and it’s now slated to be released in the US in 2014. We could say “it’s about time” or instead, we could assume that Volkswagen has used this time to perfect their new ‘E-Up!’ electric car. Here are some of its specs:

  • Range of 93 miles per full charge.
  • 80% charge in 30 minutes with quick charge option.
  • 80 hp engine hits 0-60 in 14 seconds (1970 VW bus’ish?)

I sure hope it’s the former and Volkswagen has worked out the issues with their electric vehicle. As a proud owner of a Volkswagen vehicle, I know how idiosyncratic they can be. Holding one leg out of the driver’s side window in an futile attempt to get the passenger side window to roll down is a problem. And completely ripping out the floor mounted gear shifter to get my VW out of park is also a very big problem – especially when it happens twice.

Good luck Volkswagen and we’ll see if the ‘E-Up!’ is a big hit. I do hope that the extra time VW took to release the ‘E-Up!’ was necessary to get it running error-free because if it fails, the entire electric vehicle market gets a black eye. [Wired]

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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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