Designer creates stylized illustrations of real-life Flint heroes

Brazilian artist Butcher Billy was commissioned by STATE bags to create #FlintsFantasticFive, a series of images depicting several key voices in addressing the Flint water crisis. Read the rest

This Jenga set is made of recycled fishing nets

About 10% of plastic ocean pollution is ghost nets, the countless lost or abandoned fishing nets that maim and kill marine life. Jenga Ocean, made of recycled nets, tries to raise awareness, recycle recovered nets, and raise funds to help end this type of pollution. Via Bureo: Read the rest

Al Shabab declares plastic bags to be unislamic, bans their use in jihadi-controlled Somali territory

Al Shabab (previously) is an Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group whose use of child soldiers, brutal murder, and attacks targeted at civilians have allowed them to carve out a jihadi-controlled territory in Somalia. Read the rest

Coffee lids: new book on the elegant design of a modern scourge

Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture is a beautifully-shot new book showcasing the world's largest collection of plastic coffee lids. Read the rest

Watch how omnivore and plant-based diets compare

Mercy For Animals is a group that advocates a plant-based diet, and they have put together a comparison of resources needed to support a plant-based diet vs. an omnivore diet. Read the rest

Panty hose stuffed with hair clippings works great on oil slicks

Years ago, a hairdresser noticed that spilled oil stuck to bird feathers and marine mammal fur, so he started playing around with making oil booms from nylons and hair from his salon. It worked well and is in small-scale use already. Read the rest

Modular floating park made of reclaimed plastic debris

Dutch project Recycled Park is a riverside area with 28 plastic planters made from debris skimmed from the river. Watch how they built it.

On July 4th the first Recycled Park opened in the Rotterdam harbor. Floating debris from the rivers and port is retrieved and recycled to create a floating park of 140m2. The aim of this iconic Recycled Park is to illustrate that recycled plastic from the open waters is a valuable material and suitable for recycling. By re-using the retrieved plastics and by producing building blocks with them, the plastics receives new value. As an extra the building blocks create a new green area; Recycled Park. Floating green structures are a plus for the city and have an ecological function in the river as habitat for micro and macro fauna as snails, flatworms, larva, beetles and fish.

Check out their site for more information on the launch and plans for future expansion.

Recycled Park first 140m2 open! (YouTube / Recycled Island Foundation) Read the rest

The tiny fern that could take a big bite out of greenhouse gases

The little pink-edged ferns above are Azolla filiculoides, and they're smaller than a fingernail. Scientists just made it the first fern to get its genome sequenced because of its potential for fertilizing and even cooling the planet. Fifty million years ago, it was so abundant as ocean blooms that it helped cool the earth's atmosphere. Via Quartz:

This great Azolla boom was so successful that it lasted for 800,000 years, and is now known to paleobotanists as the “Azolla event.” Green plants suck up carbon dioxide; Azolla is particularly good at doing so. Over that period, researchers believe it sequestered about 10 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere, or well over 200 times the total amount of carbon dioxide humans currently release into the atmosphere every year.

During the Azolla boom, global temperatures plummeted, suggesting the diminutive fern “played a key role in transitioning Earth from a hot house to the cool place it is today,” Fay-Wei Li, a plant evolutionary biologist at Cornell University, said in a press release. As Yale’s E360 pointed out, scientists have wondered for years if Azolla could be harnessed to cool the planet again.

#Azollafiliculoides#misquitofern#tinyplants#fern#aquatic

A post shared by Dejanique (@dejaniqueelectropop) on Jul 11, 2015 at 12:21am PDT

This teeny tiny fern may hold a key to lowering global temperatures (Quartz) Read the rest

Scott Pruitt quits EPA after corruption exposed by staffers. His resignation letter to Trump is bonkers.

President Trump's corrupt EPA chief is out. The resignation letter is nuts, and mentions God's divine providence and other creepy surreal stuff that doesn't belong. Read the rest

Pagan Kennedy's NY Times piece on collective vs. personal health becomes "New Rule" on Real Time

Imagine my surprise to see my old friend, Pagan Kennedy, being talked about Friday night in a "New Rules" segment on Real Time with Bill Maher. Pagan's opinion piece in the Times, and Maher's Real Time bit about it, make the rather obvious, but still important, point that you can obsess all you want over your own personal health, but if the environment around you and the public policy that governs it are diseased, your health is still in jeopardy. As Kennedy puts it in the Times: "It’s the decisions that we make as a collective that matter more than any choice we make on our own."

In the article, Pagan catalogs many of the paragons of health nuttery (Pritikin, Rodale, Euell Gibbons, Adelle Davis, Clive McKay) and how they didn't even live an average lifespan. Maher makes funny work of this, and the rest of piece, while making sobering points about the health perils we all face. Maher: "No matter what you do for yourself, how right you eat, if the air is full of lead and the bug populations are out of control and your city is under water, it doesn't matter. You can eat kale until it comes out of your ears. You can stay hydrated, slather on sunblock, steam your vagina, eat your placenta, work at a standing desk, and put a healing crystal up your ass, but there is no escaping the environment we all live in.

(My favorite line from the bit: "Back [in the 1970s] when Scientific American was the name of a magazine. Read the rest

Guy captures the moment a river cuts a new channel to the ocean

Wayne Easton braved the elements to capture an interesting natural phenomenon: the Mahlongwa River in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa breaching its bank and cutting a channel to the Indian Ocean. Part two is below: Read the rest

Los Angeles cools street temperatures by painting them white

This very satisfying drone footage shows an innovative plan to reduce temperatures in Los Angeles by sealing streets with a reflective sealant. Read the rest

The baobabs are dying

Nine of thirteen "landmark" baobab trees across southern Africa abruptly died in recent years, reports Agence Presse-France. Climate change is blamed.

“It is definitely shocking and dramatic to experience during our lifetime the demise of so many trees with millennial ages,” said the study’s co-author Adrian Patrut of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania.

Read the rest

National Geographic's plastics issue is a huge wake-up call

This video accompanies National Geographic's terrific reporting on the global plastic waste crisis. it shows how America became a plastic-addicted throwaway culture, and how the earth is now paying for humanity's short-sighted sin. Read the rest

Drone's-eye view of how solar farms clean all those panels

Clifford Burgoni wanted to sell his system for cleaning 86,000 solar panels, so he made a cool drone video of the gear in operation. Read the rest

Watch how organic farmers use tractor-mounted flamethrowers on weeds and pests

Flame weeding involves strapping a tank of propane to the back of a tractor and running specialized equipment down rows of crops, burning any non-crop stuff that gets in the way. Read the rest

New AI-enabled tractors target weeds, using 90% less herbicide

Farming is undergoing a quiet but radical transformation as machine learning and automation innovations reduce waste. One especially promising new technology targets individual weeds. Read the rest

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