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Posts from the ‘Science’ category

NASA’s Inflatable Greenhouse for Farming on Mars

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DesignBoom has a look at NASA’s prototype greenhouse, developed at the University of Arizona, which may travel to Mars in the near future and help astronauts farm their produce on the Red Planet. The structure is a cylinder in shape and can deploy quickly once at it’s destination. It uses both LED and natural light to grow, and has a sophisticated support system:

The 18 X 7 ft deployable greenhouse can also be used for air revitalization, water recycling or waste recycling. The idea is for carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts to be introduced into the martian/ lunar greenhouse, which is then used by the plants to photosynthesize and generate oxygen. the whole process is called a bioregenerative life support system.

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Growing lettuce aboard the ISS

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Adidas Futurecraft 4D Printed Shoes

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4D is the new 3D, it seems. Using a new process called Digital Light Synthesis, Adidas has partnered with Carbon to create a shoe sole that is not so much printed as it is “born” out of a liquid bath. Carbon is revolutionizing the 3D printing world with their technology, which promises to be 10-100x faster than traditional 3D printing, and allows for shapes that have never been seen before.  Adidas sees this as an opportunity to explore hyper-customized products that are specially tuned to a customer’s height, weight and size. Pretty awesome stuff. Via DesignMilk:

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John Edmark’s Math-Based Sculptures

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Science Friday has a great video featuring mathematician and reluctant sculptor John Edmark. His fascination with spirals, and math-based sculptures, has made him somewhat of a legend. Utilizing the Golden Angle and the Golden Ratio, Edmark creates amazing pieces that seem to defy physics with the way they move, open, and spiral infinitely. But the designs are based on math, and nature has been building like this for millions of years. His work is available for purchase through 3D printing company Shapeways.  Definitely worth a watch.

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Iceland From the Air

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In these remarkable and mesmerizing photos by Andre Ermolaev, we see raw nature flowing and ebbing and drifting and snaking its way across the landscape. Iceland is the world’s science experiment, in terms of geological behavior and fluidity. Captured in a beautiful sense of purity, the aerial images paint a scene of movement but also of calm, of everything existing organically, the way it wants to.  The forms and shapes that nature creates are amazing.Via FastCo Design:

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National Parks 2050

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In a grim yet horrifyingly accurate portrayal, artist Hannah Rothstein beautifully creates dystopian future versions of classic National Park posters. The designs for the 2050 versions are set next to their classic counterpoints, showing the devastation that very well may occur unless we start waking up to the realities of climate change. And our very horrible president isn’t going to be doing any favors to our parks, in that regard.  Rothstein is selling her work in poster form, with 25% of profits going to climate related causes.

From the artist’s website:

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” -Aldous Huxley

National Parks 2050 is a call to action. Drawing upon the classic National Parks posters, this series shows how climate change will affect seven of America’s most beloved landscapes. In doing so, it makes climate change feel close to home and hard to ignore.

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Two Thirds of the Great Barrier Reef Now Bleached

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Considered one of the true treasures of Planet Earth, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral system on the planet, able to be seen from space. And now, due to human caused climate change, it’s been severely, severely damaged, possibly forever. Coral bleaching, caused by high water temperatures, has been happening on the reef for the last several years. But a severely hot summer there this year has increased the bleaching to reach two thirds of the entire reef system. This means bright, colorful, living coral has now been killed, leaving white skeletons of the coral behind. The chart below show the amount of bleaching from 2016 to 2017. Sadly, the trend is not going in the right direction. Via James Cook University:

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With such a huge area of bleaching, what can be done to stem the tide? Well, cutting emissions is the first critical step. And judging by current politics, that seems uncertain. For reference, a healthy, beautiful section of the Great Barrier Reef looks like the below photo:

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Richard Mosse’s Infrared Congo

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The Congo. A tough place, indeed. In 2005 I briefly stepped foot across the border of Rwanda into this lush, dense, jungle land that is the heart of Africa. I was there doing humanitarian work, and it was exhilarating and tragic and real. I met strong Africans who told me stories of the violence and genocide that rocked Rwanda in the 90s, and the troubles that plague the Congo to this day.  Though a peace accord was signed in 2003, fighting continues in Congo, and an estimated five and a half million people have been killed in the warring there.  Human atrocities of a truly shocking order have occurred in this troubled land.   A country of 71 million people, it is by most accounts the most corrupt large country in the world, and one of the poorest. But in a sick irony, the Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered to be the richest country in the world regarding natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of US$ 24 trillion.

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The Other Great Lake, Baikal

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Growing up on the Great Lakes in Michigan, I have a very soft spot for the big 5: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. H.O.M.E.S. is the easy way to remember that bunch. They’re wonderful, and epic. A trip to the Great lakes will give you an appreciation for freshwater like you’ve never had before. But we often forget the oldest, deepest, most unusual great lake in the world, Baikal. Located in southern Siberia, Lake Baikal is a rift valley lake, caused by earth’s crust slowly pulling apart. Over 25 million years old, the lake also contains nearly 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh surface water.

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Baikal’s age, as well as it’s extreme depth, (up to 5,387 feet deep!), has led to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including many species of completely endemic species. This includes more than 40 species of fish, and the world’s only freshwater seal.

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An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

Was Al Gore prescient? Was he lucky? How did he predict all of these catastrophes related to extreme weather? He didn’t predict it. He knew it. Because the signs were there. Because the science was there.  Most of the world, on the other hand, seemed to shrug, in the early 2000s, because….it was inconvenient. Hmm…..

Fast forward to today, where we have a child as president. A buffoon portraying a businessman portraying a president, surrounded by hapless creeps who would rather profit off of their today than worry about the tomorrow. That’s the truth. Like it or not, we are in trouble.

Al Gore has gathered footage from unprecedented storms and catastrophes over the last fifteen years, and edited it into his new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.  It’s most definitely a must-see, a film that will scare and anger you, and hopefully, just hopefully, push you to do something about it. Because as we like to say here on Moss and Fog, this is our only planet. 

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Jupiter’s Gorgeous Storms

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A new photo by Juno Cam, taken February 2017, shows a swirl of colorful storms, 9,000 feet above the Jovian planet. Jupiter’s size is breathtaking, with many of the visible storms being as large as Earth itself. Check out this quick size comparison we drew up to get a sense of the planet’s epic scale.

Jupiter vs Earth Size Comparison

Raw images from Juno Cam are available to the public here:

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