jtotheizzoe:

The Stuff of Everything

There’s 94 naturally occurring elements on Earth. Mankind has a relationship with nearly all of them. 94 Elements is a new global filmmaking project that will explore our life through the lens of the elements.

It’s not just the silicon in the lens glass that captures these images, but the potassium, boron and lanthanum that improve its refractive index (great video on making Leica lenses here). The indium in the computer display the film editor used and on which you are reading this. The carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, oxygen and hydrogen that makes up your genetic code, creating a body that seeks to discover, study, mine, and utilize these 94 ingredients of matter. Ingredients that we are running out of.

These movies are their human stories, and you can help support the ongoing project with your donations (via their Indiegogo fundraising site), or even your films. View the amazing first batch of films here.

(via 94 Elements - Stories from Hydrogen to Plutonium)

In the Sawmill Sink in Abaco, the water at a depth of 30 to 26 feet is pigmented by the bacteria. But the real danger lies in the hydrogen sulfide gas, which forces divers to hastily proceed through. Photo by Wes C. Skiles.

In the Sawmill Sink in Abaco, the water at a depth of 30 to 26 feet is pigmented by the bacteria. But the real danger lies in the hydrogen sulfide gas, which forces divers to hastily proceed through. Photo by Wes C. Skiles.

expose-the-light:

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Water
1  Water is everywhere—there are 332,500,000 cubic miles of it on the earth’s surface. But less than 1 percent of it is fresh and accessible, even when you include bottled water.
2  And “fresh” can be a relative term. Before 2009, federal regulators did not require water bottlers to remove E. coli.
3  Actually, E. coli doesn’t sound so bad. In 1999 the Natural Resources Defense Council found that one brand of spring water came from a well in an industrial parking lot near a hazardous waste dump.
4  Cheers! The new Water Recovery System on the International Space Station recycles 93 percent of astronauts’ perspiration and urine, turning it back into drinking water.
5  Kurdish villages in northern Iraq are using a portable version of the NASA system to purify water from streams and rivers, courtesy of the relief group Concern for Kids.
6  Ice is a lattice of tetra­hedrally bonded molecules that contain a lot of empty space. That’s why it floats.
7  Even after ice melts, some of those tetrahedrons almost always remain, like tiny ice cubes 100 molecules wide. So every glass of water, no matter what its temperature, comes on the rocks.
8  You can make your own water by mixing hydrogen and oxygen in a container and adding a spark. Unfortunately, that is the formula that helped destroy the Hindenburg.
9  Scientists have a less explosive recipe for extracting energy from hydrogen and oxygen. Strip away electrons from some hydrogen molecules, add oxygen molecules with too many electrons, and bingo! You get an electric current. That’s what happens in a fuel cell.
10  Good gardeners know not to water plants during the day. Droplets clinging to the leaves can act as little magnifying glasses, focusing sunlight and causing the plants to burn.
11  Hair on your skin can hold water droplets too. A hairy leg may get sunburned more quickly than a shaved one.
12  Vicious cycle: Water in the stratosphere contributes to the current warming of the earth’s atmosphere. That in turn may increase the severity of tropical cyclones, which throw more water into the stratosphere. That’s the theory, anyway.
13  The slower rate of warming in the past decade might be due to a 10 percent drop in stratospheric water. Cause: unknown.
14  Although many doctors tell patients to drink eight glasses of water a day, there is no scientific evidence to support this advice.
15  The misinformation might have come from a 1945 report recommending that Americans consume about “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which amounts to 8 or 10 cups a day. But the report added that much of that water comes from food—a nuance many people apparently missed.
16  Call waterholics anonymous: Drinking significantly more water than is needed can cause “water intoxication” and lead to fatal cerebral and pulmonary edema. Amateur marathon runners have died this way.
17  Scientists at Oregon State University have identified vast reservoirs of water beneath the ocean floor. In fact, there may be more water under the oceans than in them.
18  Without water, ocean crust would not sink back into the earth’s mantle. There would be no plate tectonics, and our planet would probably be a lot like Venus: hellish and inert.
19  At the other end of the wetness scale, planet GJ 1214b, which orbits a red dwarf star, may be almost entirely water.
20  Recent evidence suggests that when the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago, comets had liquid cores. If so, life may have started in a comet.

My mother and I could talk your ears off about water purification.

expose-the-light:

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Water

Water is everywhere—there are 332,500,000 cubic miles of it on the earth’s surface. But less than 1 percent of it is fresh and accessible, even when you include bottled water.

And “fresh” can be a relative term. Before 2009, federal regulators did not require water bottlers to remove E. coli.

3  Actually, E. coli doesn’t sound so bad. In 1999 the Natural Resources Defense Council found that one brand of spring water came from a well in an industrial parking lot near a hazardous waste dump.

4  Cheers! The new Water Recovery System on the International Space Station recycles 93 percent of astronauts’ perspiration and urine, turning it back into drinking water.

Kurdish villages in northern Iraq are using a portable version of the NASA system to purify water from streams and rivers, courtesy of the relief group Concern for Kids.

Ice is a lattice of tetra­hedrally bonded molecules that contain a lot of empty space. That’s why it floats.

Even after ice melts, some of those tetrahedrons almost always remain, like tiny ice cubes 100 molecules wide. So every glass of water, no matter what its temperature, comes on the rocks.

8  You can make your own water by mixing hydrogen and oxygen in a container and adding a spark. Unfortunately, that is the formula that helped destroy the Hindenburg.

9  Scientists have a less explosive recipe for extracting energy from hydrogen and oxygen. Strip away electrons from some hydrogen molecules, add oxygen molecules with too many electrons, and bingo! You get an electric current. That’s what happens in a fuel cell.

10  Good gardeners know not to water plants during the day. Droplets clinging to the leaves can act as little magnifying glasses, focusing sunlight and causing the plants to burn.

11  Hair on your skin can hold water droplets too. A hairy leg may get sunburned more quickly than a shaved one.

12  Vicious cycle: Water in the stratosphere contributes to the current warming of the earth’s atmosphere. That in turn may increase the severity of tropical cyclones, which throw more water into the stratosphere. That’s the theory, anyway.

13  The slower rate of warming in the past decade might be due to a 10 percent drop in stratospheric water. Cause: unknown.

14  Although many doctors tell patients to drink eight glasses of water a day, there is no scientific evidence to support this advice.

15  The misinformation might have come from a 1945 report recommending that Americans consume about “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which amounts to 8 or 10 cups a day. But the report added that much of that water comes from food—a nuance many people apparently missed.

16  Call waterholics anonymous: Drinking significantly more water than is needed can cause “water intoxication” and lead to fatal cerebral and pulmonary edema. Amateur marathon runners have died this way.

17  Scientists at Oregon State University have identified vast reservoirs of water beneath the ocean floor. In fact, there may be more water under the oceans than in them.

18  Without water, ocean crust would not sink back into the earth’s mantle. There would be no plate tectonics, and our planet would probably be a lot like Venus: hellish and inert.

19  At the other end of the wetness scale, planet GJ 1214b, which orbits a red dwarf star, may be almost entirely water.

20  Recent evidence suggests that when the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago, comets had liquid cores. If so, life may have started in a comet.

My mother and I could talk your ears off about water purification.

mothernaturenetwork:

Photo of the day: Golf resort vs. offshore wind farmDonald Trump is hit on the head by a balloon-wielding bandit after visiting the Scottish Parliament to voice his opposition to a proposed offshore wind farm, which he says will spoil the view from his new $1.2 billion golf resort, slated to open in July in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. “Scotland, if you pursue this policy of these monstrous turbines, Scotland will go broke,” Trump told the group. “They are ugly, they are noisy and they are dangerous. If Scotland does this, Scotland will be in serious trouble and will lose tourism to places like Ireland, and they are laughing at us.”

Donald Trump: Always Has His Priorities Straight

mothernaturenetwork:

Photo of the day: Golf resort vs. offshore wind farm
Donald Trump is hit on the head by a balloon-wielding bandit after visiting the Scottish Parliament to voice his opposition to a proposed offshore wind farm, which he says will spoil the view from his new $1.2 billion golf resort, slated to open in July in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
 
“Scotland, if you pursue this policy of these monstrous turbines, Scotland will go broke,” Trump told the group. “They are ugly, they are noisy and they are dangerous. If Scotland does this, Scotland will be in serious trouble and will lose tourism to places like Ireland, and they are laughing at us.”

Donald Trump: Always Has His Priorities Straight

This video, by artist Isao Hashimoto, plots every nuclear bomb explosion from 1945 to 1998. Despite its relatively long duration of 14 minutes, this video is extremely effective. It’s both unsettling and sickening to see all the areas contaminated and resources wasted in the name of “domestic security.”

According to the Center for Disease Control:

This digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of an untreated water specimen extracted from a wild stream mainly used to control flooding during inclement weather, revealed the presence of unidentified organisms, which included bacteria, protozoa, and algae. In this particular view, a microorganism is featured, the exterior of which is covered by numerous projections imparting an appearance of a sea urchin. This microscopic “pin cushion” was tethered to its surroundings by a biofilm within which many bacteria, and amoeboid protozoa could be seen enmeshed as well. 

According to the Center for Disease Control:

This digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of an untreated water specimen extracted from a wild stream mainly used to control flooding during inclement weather, revealed the presence of unidentified organisms, which included bacteria, protozoa, and algae. In this particular view, a microorganism is featured, the exterior of which is covered by numerous projections imparting an appearance of a sea urchin. This microscopic “pin cushion” was tethered to its surroundings by a biofilm within which many bacteria, and amoeboid protozoa could be seen enmeshed as well. 


Firefighters douse a smoldering ridge southwest of Denver with slurry. The blaze has already destroyed 16 homes in the area and continues to spread. (via)

What is slurry?
In general, a slurry is a “thick suspension of solids in a liquid”. But, in particular, the slurry used as a fire retardant in this particular photo, according to the US Air Force, is composed of 80-85% water and 10-15% ammonium sulfate. The ammonium sulfate acts as both a gelling agent and red dye, which helps pilots determine areas that have not already been canvased by previous loads.
These long-term fire retardants are more efficient than plain water, as it works in two phases. First the water extinguishes its portion of the fire, but once the water is completely evaporated, the chemical residue that remains prevents vegetation and other materials from igniting again by binding to cellulose, until it is eroded or washed away with rain. 
The residue left over has no ill health affects unless it seeps its way into the water supply, so pilots are careful not to spray near waterways. It also causes no damage to buildings and is relatively easy to clean off, due to its dispersion as a mist. Along with its extinguishing properties, this concoction makes a decent fertilizer.
Read more about slurry here.

Firefighters douse a smoldering ridge southwest of Denver with slurry. The blaze has already destroyed 16 homes in the area and continues to spread. (via)

What is slurry?

In general, a slurry is a “thick suspension of solids in a liquid”. But, in particular, the slurry used as a fire retardant in this particular photo, according to the US Air Force, is composed of 80-85% water and 10-15% ammonium sulfate. The ammonium sulfate acts as both a gelling agent and red dye, which helps pilots determine areas that have not already been canvased by previous loads.

These long-term fire retardants are more efficient than plain water, as it works in two phases. First the water extinguishes its portion of the fire, but once the water is completely evaporated, the chemical residue that remains prevents vegetation and other materials from igniting again by binding to cellulose, until it is eroded or washed away with rain. 

The residue left over has no ill health affects unless it seeps its way into the water supply, so pilots are careful not to spray near waterways. It also causes no damage to buildings and is relatively easy to clean off, due to its dispersion as a mist. Along with its extinguishing properties, this concoction makes a decent fertilizer.

Read more about slurry here.

sagansense:

Earth Hour 2012.

You’ve seen all the videos and images we’ve been featuring lately that astronauts on the International Space Station have taken of Earth from orbit. The one ubiquitous feature is the amount of lights showing up from cities and towns around the world.

But will you be turning off the lights this weekend for Earth Hour 2012?

Earth Hour is a world-wide effort to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. This year, Earth Hour is on Saturday, March 31 and starts at 20:30 (8:30pm) wherever you are. People all over the world — and off the planet — will be turning off non-essential lights for an hour. Even the astronauts on the Space Station will be doing their part, as well as watching from above to see if they can there is a noticeable change in the amount of lights from Earth. Astronaut and nature ambassador André Kuipers will be taking photos and videos of Earth Hour from space.

What began as a single-city initiative in Sydney, Australia – in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into a global symbol of hope and movement for change. Earth Hour 2011 was the world’s largest ever voluntary action with people, businesses and governments in 135 countries across every continent joining in the symbolic environmental event.

Organizers say as many as 1.8 billion people will participate this year. Will you be one of them?

Find out more about Earth Hour.

moderation:

NASA Jet Stream Study Will Light up The Night Sky
—
High in the sky, 60 to 65 miles above Earth’s surface, winds rush through a little understood region of Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Lower than a typical satellite’s orbit, higher than where most planes fly, this upper atmosphere jet stream makes a perfect target for a particular kind of scientific experiment: the sounding rocket. Some 35 to 40 feet long, sounding rockets shoot up into the sky for short journeys of eight to ten minutes, allowing scientists to probe difficult-to-reach layers of the atmosphere.
In March, NASA will launch five such rockets in approximately five minutes to study these high-altitude winds and their intimate connection to the complicated electrical current patterns that surround Earth. First noticed in the 1960s, the winds in this jet stream shouldn’t be confused with the lower jet stream located around 30,000 feet, through which passenger jets fly and which is reported in weather forecasts. This rocket experiment is designed to gain a better understanding of the high-altitude winds and help scientists better model the electromagnetic regions of space that can damage man-made satellites and disrupt communications systems. The experiment will also help explain how the effects of atmospheric disturbances in one part of the globe can be transported to other parts of the globe in a mere day or two.
(via NASA)

Wait, are these launching merely 2 hours from my house?? I wish I could be home :(

moderation:

NASA Jet Stream Study Will Light up The Night Sky

High in the sky, 60 to 65 miles above Earth’s surface, winds rush through a little understood region of Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Lower than a typical satellite’s orbit, higher than where most planes fly, this upper atmosphere jet stream makes a perfect target for a particular kind of scientific experiment: the sounding rocket. Some 35 to 40 feet long, sounding rockets shoot up into the sky for short journeys of eight to ten minutes, allowing scientists to probe difficult-to-reach layers of the atmosphere.

In March, NASA will launch five such rockets in approximately five minutes to study these high-altitude winds and their intimate connection to the complicated electrical current patterns that surround Earth. First noticed in the 1960s, the winds in this jet stream shouldn’t be confused with the lower jet stream located around 30,000 feet, through which passenger jets fly and which is reported in weather forecasts. This rocket experiment is designed to gain a better understanding of the high-altitude winds and help scientists better model the electromagnetic regions of space that can damage man-made satellites and disrupt communications systems. The experiment will also help explain how the effects of atmospheric disturbances in one part of the globe can be transported to other parts of the globe in a mere day or two.

(via NASA)

Wait, are these launching merely 2 hours from my house?? I wish I could be home :(

expose-the-light:

The planets of the solar system imagined as human (and canine) characters

The manga Hetalia personifies nations as a group of constantly bickering characters. Artist Irene Flores has done something similar for the solar system, minus the bickering, with cheerful characters based on the eight planets, plus Pluto.

Flores has been creating these original characters for an unnamed project. Perhaps a children’s book or a comic? I love how she’s translated each celestial body into a distinct character — elegant Saturn, Jupiter and his large family of moons, fleet-footed Mercury. Pluto, as the dwarf planet, gets to be the solar system’s dog (although perhaps it’s just a play on the Disney character). She also has an additional illustration below, with the Earth and two unnamed characters, whom I suspect are Earth’s moon and the sun.

Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see what Flores has in store for these characters as her project grows.

[Irene Flores via The Uniblogger]

Oh goodness, I love this. Pluto as a dog is perfect, Uranus as a jaded preteen, and Venus as a bombshell who could actually kill you within seconds. OH, AND EARTH HAS A BAND-AID, no doubt symbolic of the fact that our little planet has quite a few boo-boos nowadays from our environmental negligence. I give this an A+ for attention to detail.

These two global snapshots, the first between North America and Europe, and the second over Eurasia, were arranged by Felix Pharand-Deschenes to display how air traffic corridors have come to dominate the surface of Earth. (via)

Thermographic Photography 
Revealing insulation inefficiencies in everyday objects (via)

  1. Plugs still use power even when their attached appliances are turned off, as indicated by the red glow of these adapter plugs. Studies have even indicated that in one year, a plug wastes as much energy when plugged in, yet off, as it uses to power its intended functions.
  2. Nowadays it may be less of an environmental impact to stand aimlessly at your fridge, as in the last 30 years, fridges have become a third more efficient.
  3. New energy-efficient lightbulbs, including the Geobulb II and compact fluorescent bulbs, require only a fourth as much electricity as traditional incandescent bulbs. Even with their red appearances, these bulbs are both much cooler than incandescent bulbs, which end up wasting 90% of their energy as heat. 
  4. Red and yellow patches show escaping heat, and thus wasted energy, in a older home. Luckily, new double-pane window effectively seal in warmth, thus appear cool blue and extensively cutting heating costs.
  5. The engines in our vehicles are actually rather inefficient, as they waste up to 85% of the energy, mostly as heat.
A roll cloud off of the coast of Brazil. These clouds form alongside thunderstorm downdrafts and bizarre sea winds. Despite its intimidating appearance, these clouds are both rare and entirely harmless. Read more about these clouds here.

A roll cloud off of the coast of Brazil. These clouds form alongside thunderstorm downdrafts and bizarre sea winds. Despite its intimidating appearance, these clouds are both rare and entirely harmless. Read more about these clouds here.