Sulfur, useful as it is, is produced in such vast quantities as a byproduct of energy production that it is of little value. There's so much of it that Canadian oil company Syncrude's storage site is slowly turning into an enormous pyramid of sulfur.
Google Maps reveals that there are in fact three of them, a Gizeh of The North!
Here's a photo by Jason Woodhead, released under the Creative Commons.
If they keep going, it'll eventually be far larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
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Hospice used to be charity work run by religious organizations. Now it's big business, complete with all-too-predictable horrifying corruption unmasked in an expose by Ben Hallman at Huffington Post. Read the rest
Speeding up the line and reducing regulatory oversight is an interesting combination to couple with a promise of safer food
. Read the rest
New York Times China correspondent Edward Wong describes his life in heavily polluted Beijing
, where he no longer feels safe running outside and, in order to bike around town, dons a black air filter face mask that makes him "look like an Asian Darth Vader". Read the rest
The Windsor Hum is a weird thing — a low-frequency buzzing that drives some people in Windsor, Ontario crazy and, yet, doesn't seem to be heard by the Americans who live closest to its source
, an island crowded with industrial facilities. As part of a new feature exploring environmental mysteries, Kim Tingley looks at how grantees of the Canadian government are attempting to identify the exact cause of the Windsor Hum, and how an American company is getting away with banning them from the island. Read the rest
Most of the time, when somebody goes undercover inside a meat processing facility, it's done with the express goal of convincing other people to stop eating meat. But that wasn't what journalist Ted Conover had in mind. He was more just curious, especially given the growing trend of state laws preventing undercover infiltration of agribusiness facilities. So, using his real name and address, Conover got a job as a USDA meat inspector at a Cargill plant.
What's fascinating here is that the problems he finds have less to do with animal abuse (Maryn McKenna reports that Conover was surprised to find himself in a clean, safe, humane facility) and more to do with the abuse of antibiotics — a trend that is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance.
You can't read the full story for free, unfortunately. Such is the way of Harpers. But Maryn McKenna has a summary, Conover has a blog post on agribusiness gag laws, and you can buy access to the full story with a Harper's subscription. Read the rest
After World War II and the toppling of the Nazi regime, the Soviets laid claim to much of Germany's highly-advanced metallurgy industry. In so doing they got a head start on the Cold War race for supersonic air superiority. Unwittingly, they also set in motion a larger, and largely forgotten, industrial revolution that shaped the second half of the 20th century and will shape the 21st. This is the story of the birth of the Jet Age — but it’s anchored firmly to the ground.