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Clean Snowmobile Challenge Scheduled to Begin Tomorrow

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 03 March 2013
in Clean Energy Technology

This year a total of 21 teams from United States and Canadian universities have registered their Clarkson-winner-internal-combustion-category-2012-SAE-Clean-Snowmobile-Challengesnowmobiles for this year’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge.

Queen’s University in Ontario and Rochester Institute of Technology in New York are the two rookie teams that are helping make this year’s batch the largest ever since the first challenge in 2003 according to the Michigan Snowmobile Association.

“Students learn critical lessons about hands-on engineering and designing for the environment, plus the Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a huge asset to our local community,” said co-organizer Jay Meldrum. Meldrum is the director at Michigan Tech University’s Keweenaw Research Center (KRC).

The facility’s mission is: “To generate and conduct externally funded research in science and engineering in support of the University's overall educational mission.” They conduct research for the military and corporations to fine tune everything from tanks to dishwashers.

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Friday Creature Feature: Sea Lamprey

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Friday, 01 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

At right is a photo that first appeared over on Reddit. The photo was uploaded this month, about two sea-lamprey-redditweeks ago by a user named jlitch, and made the rounds on the Internet like all good horrifyingly confusing photos tend to do.

The human subject of the photo, probably some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise in the eel-infested waters of New Jersey on a summer day, has speared what obviously looks to be a monster.

Those who were bored enough to question the authenticity of the photo crying “Photoshop!” did so while the rest of us hid under our beds clutching a butter knife, sad that we had no harpoon to defend ourselves against the monster. Jlitch posted another photo to prove the creature was real and that his friend was too.

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Lake-Effect Snow: Snowier than Other Snow!

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 19 February 2013
in Earth Blog

Before I moved to Ohio from California I was warned by practically everyone that this region had a season snow-river-ohiocalled "winter." They said in the gravest voice they could muster with a shudder that during this season there is a form of precipitation called "snow." Some of these acquaintances had been raised in the Buckeye State or the surrounding states and knew firsthand how potentially awful winter can be.

They reminded me that I would be unfamiliar with the icy phenomenon because save for spying it on a far-off mountaintop or a token trip “to the snow” I had no real snow experience. They said I was going to be in for a shock once I experienced “lake-effect snow.”

I can count the number of winters I have experienced on one hand so neither can I explain or tell you if I have experienced lake-effect snow.

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SELC'S 5th Annual List of Endangered Places

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Monday, 11 February 2013
in Earth Blog

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has released their annual top ten list of the most charlottesville-virginia-robert-llewellynendangered places in the Southern United States.

In a statement last week Nat Mund, SELC's Legislative Director said, “There's absolutely no reason why we have to choose between a healthy environment and a healthy economy—in fact, the two go hand-in-hand. History shows that investing in clean water, healthy air, and clean energy can create jobs and save money—and lives—in the long run. And yet, many of the South's natural treasures are at stake because of short-sighted attempts to weaken environmental safeguards under the guise of fiscal responsibility."

Three areas are making a repeat appearance from last year’s list because SELC is continuing to work with organizations and communities to protect these places.

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Do You Know Where Your Local Biobank is Located?

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Monday, 28 January 2013
in Earth Blog

“Biobanks are increasingly important to scientific advances, but our decentralized, fragmented researchNIGMS-NIH-biobank-facility enterprise system in the U.S. has encouraged their development without necessarily providing them with the tools to survive," said Gail Henderson, PhD, professor and chair of social medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Henderson is also the head of UNC's Center for Genomics and Society.

A biobank (a facility is shown at right; storing what exactly I'm not quite sure) is a place, sometimes run by a hospital or a university, that curates human specimens like blood for research purposes. Some biobanks even share their specimens or the data they’ve collected from their human body bits.

Last year Henderson and her colleagues conducted an online national survey of biobanks (facilities were offered a a $30 Amazon gift card if they participated which they should use to buy Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach) and the results are available now for us all to gawk at in morbid curiosity.  

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A Sunday Sandy Update From the Erie Shore

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 28 October 2012
in Mother Nature's News

Aside from rain, wind, and the possibility of snow we aren’t suppose to feel the affects from Hurricane lorain county erie calmer day boselaSandy here in Ohio at least not as awful as what the East Coast will be feeling. It’s rainy and windy right now and Sandy is still swirling out in the Atlantic a few days away from hitting land in our country.

We must be feeling the affects of the nor'easter expected to merge head on and create the “Frankenstorm”- as the media has chosen to dub it.  Earlier today we had a two tiny power outages that lasted no more than five seconds because of the wind gusts.

The state next door to the east, Pennsylvania, is bracing for flooding and over the weekend their governor declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm. Other states that have done the same are: Maryland, New York, and Virginia. Washington D.C. has also declared a state of emergency.  Their declarations made me stop for a minute to see if Ohio had done the same (they hadn’t) but we are expecting flooding too.

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Attendance Is Down At National Parks

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 21 October 2012
in Earth Blog

There is a saying I picked up somewhere on the Internet that sums up how I feel about camping, “You yellowstone prizmatic pool pdellknow what’s better than camping? Not camping!”

I enjoy nature but I like to enjoy it from afar and the barrier my house creates is the perfect way to do that. An event this morning illustrates why I am not always fond of nature.

While my husband was making breakfast a yellow jacket worked its way into our kitchen. I fled to the opposite end of the house to let my husband deal with it because I have apiphobia or fear of bees, their stings, and other buzzing insects that sting. These insects make me panic and either I freeze up or run away screaming until someone escorts it outside or it moves on.

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More Men than Women Bike to Work

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 22 September 2012
in Earth Blog

Yesterday BikeGuard, a free online bike registry managed by myassetag.com, released a series of jusben woman bicycleinfographics with bicycling commuting statistics for each state. The data was pulled from the United States Department of Commerce's American Community Survey conducted in 2010.

One of the startling statistics was the percentage of men versus women who bike to work: “74 percent of bike commuters nationally are male, in contrast to a tiny 26 percent who are female.”

Rivka Fogel, creator of BikeGuard said in a press release, "We're really surprised to see some of these findings. We've been hearing about the relatively few women biking to work, but seeing it reflected in hard numbers is a different thing entirely. Then again, based in New York as we are, it's always interesting to see a state like Idaho being so progressive, with numbers that point to an even ratio for cycle commuting across the genders."

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Hawaii Volcanoes Quarter Debuts

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Thursday, 30 August 2012
in Clean Fun

Two years ago the United States Mint began the America The Beautiful Quarters program.  At the end of Hawaii-volcanoes NP ATB quarterthe run in 2021 the mint have will have released quarters representing 56 national parks or national historic sites (including Washington DC and the territories) for coin collectors and numismatists -the fancy word for coin collectors who may also be interested in the cultural history of money.

The mint will release the quarters chronologically as the sites were designated. The Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar in partnership with state or local governments selected the sites that will be represented on the coins’ reverse or tails side.

Yesterday the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park quarter become the fourth of five that will be released this year and the 14th since 2010.

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Speaking of Trees....

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 07 August 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

In honor of The Lorax being released today on DVD let’s look at another tree cover study from the United cypress trees LA swamp ronniebStates Forest Service (USFS) because they speak for the trees all day every day.

In February a study by the USFS estimated that the tree cover in urban parts of the country was declining at four million trees per year.

Even at that astonishing rate (for urban areas at least) the USFS released a study a few months later that says the tree cover in the contiguous 48 states is at 659 million acres. That means over one-third of the nation is shaded by glorious trees or other impervious cover.

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How to Help in Florida and Colorado

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 28 June 2012
in Earth Blog

CNN.com reported early this morning that the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado has now burned over 18,500firefighter jackets ladyheart acres but a respite may be on the horizon as temperatures cool and winds die down today. They are also reporting that 36,000 people have been displaced because of the blaze and the fire is still only 5% contained as of yesterday.

The Colorado Division of Emergency Management told CNN that the wildfires so far had destroyed 181,426 acres by Wednesday afternoon. The U.S Forest Service added that the High Park Fire, which began about twenty days ago and is only 75% contained has destroyed 87,284 acres

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EPA Releases Top 25 Cities with Energy Star Buildings

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Wednesday, 11 April 2012
in Clean Energy News

Today the EPA released their annual top 25 metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified lightbulb energy starbuildings.

Three California cities are in the top ten with Los Angeles ranked 1st, San Francisco at 3rd, and Riverside is ranked 9th. According to the EPA, Los Angeles has been in the top spot since 2008.

California has a total of six cities on the list with Sacramento (12th), San Diego (19th), and San Jose (21st) making the Golden State the host with the most.

How do Energy Star buildings differ from buildings that carry LEED certification?

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8+1= A New Way to Teach Science

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Thursday, 05 April 2012
in Mother Nature's Science

“8+1” is not the name of Kate Gosselin’s new TLC reality show that will continue chronicling her life withmicroscope her eight children: a pair of twins and a set of sextuplets. “8 +1” is a concept that could change the way the Gosselin kids or any Kindergarten through 12th grade student might  leanr about science and correlating subjects.  Current methods, in which science courses are taught serially with no connection to one other, and an emphasis on fact memorization (to pass standardized tests) don’t seem to be working.

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USPS Releases Cherry Blossom Stamp

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 25 March 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

One hundred years ago the Japanese capital of Tokyo gifted the United States capital with over 3,000sakura chamomile cherry blossom trees. That initial set of trees would be one of many sets exchanged over the years and across the Pacific ocean to symbolize friendship between the two countries. 

Sadly, the relationship between Japan and the United States would become tumultuous in the 1940’s as the countries fought bitterly against each other in World War II.  In 1941, four days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, four cherry trees in Washington DC were chopped down in what law enforcement believed to be an attack of “retaliation.”  The vandals responsible for the crime were never found. During WWII the annual Cherry Blossom Festival was suspended and there wouldn’t be another festival until 1948.

Yesterday, the United States Postal Service unveiled the commemorative 45 cent forever stamps known as “Cherry Blossom Centennial” that will mark the anniversary of the donated trees and celebrate their legacy.

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Uncle Sam Wants you to Shop Secondhand

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 18 March 2012
in Earth Blog

Starting on Wednesday you can bid on surplus and scrap metals from the "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona where decommissioned United States military aircraft sit in the hot dessert sun waiting to be stripped down to their base materials.dowdle historic planes

Right now the yard at Tucson's base is the only location where extra government planes  -over 4,200 to be exact- live. Some of the planes are operational or historic but the yard also acts as the military’s own giant pick-a-part for aircraft. Once a plane is no longer useful to the military it will be sold for scrap.

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Sky Harbor Gets Green Upgrades

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Wednesday, 22 February 2012
in Clean Energy News

Did you ever play SimCity for the Super Nintendo or PC growing up? Not The Sims, the simulation game where a player basically creates a suburban version of his or herself, but rather the old school game rooted in city planning and map making. 

Do you remember the anxiety felt when building an airport in your simulated town because, yes theairplane residents are demanding it but it’s going to create so much pollution! How did you fight pollution? Did you place the airport on an island, far away from residential areas but connected to the main land via rail? Did you surround it with park land trying to combat pollution with the power of trees? Did any of that even work to reduce pollution? Furthermore SimCity was just a game; you could always destroy your town and start all over.  That isn’t an option in real life when city planners look at their communities and airports.

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United States Census Provides Green Facts

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 22 January 2012
in Clean Factoids

The United States Census, a mandatory survey to be taken every ten years, is not just to count every citizen to determine the number of Congressional seats and legislative districts.

It’s not to annoy you by sending an enumerator to knock on your door to ask for the forms if you don’t mail them to the United States Census Bureau in a timely fashion. It’s definitely not a government conspiracy to collect information to use against you in some nefarious way.

The Census provides the government with important statistical information that will decide if communities are eligible for government funding while giving them a look at how Americans are living and what their households are like compared to each other. Sometimes the data can even be surprising, inspirational, and environmental. The data is now being compiled for a daily feature called “Profile America”.

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Summer Car Travel Expected to Level

Posted by Sarah Paulin
Sarah Paulin
Sarah Paulin is currently finishing her bachelor's degree at UCSD as a Writing m
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on Friday, 03 June 2011
in Clean Energy News

Researchers in the transportation department are projecting a leveling trend and expecting to see it take effect this summer. Memorial day kicks off summer travel plans and though there will always be more people driving during the warmer months, it is thought that an overall plateau has been reached and record numbers will no longer be broken.  

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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