Category Archives: Water

“You can’t catch stupid?” ~ Don’t drink the water!!

1-CATCH STUPID

The following article, “The Virus That Could Be Making You Dumber” by Carl Engelking was posted Nov. 10th this year on Discover’s web site.

You may have heard the saying, “You can’t catch stupid” - meant to console you that idiocy is not contagious. But, as it turns out, in a small way it might be.

GUNPOWDER RIVER

LAKE ROLAND DAMScientists have discovered that a foreign virus in some peoples’ throats parallels with those individuals’ poorer cognitive performance. And when mice are given this virus, previously thought to only infect algae, they were slower to learn a maze.


LAKE ROLANDSurprise Virus

Scientists stumbled on their discovery while collecting throat swab samples from people to assemble a virome - a genetic profile of all the viruses circulating through our bodies. During the analysis, researchers were surprised to find DNA of chlorella virus ATCV-1, a virus common in aquatic environments but not thought to infect humans or animals.

IMAGE2What’s more, the virus was common: It was detected in 40 out of the 92 participants. It didn’t appear that age, sex, race or any other external factors affected a person’s chance of harboring the virus.

Here’s a Youtube video, “Scientists Accidentally Discover A ‘Stupidity Virus’ “, published on Nov 12, 2014 on this topic. 

Dumbed Down
DRUID HILL PARKFortunately for researchers, their original experiment included standardized tests to measure participants’ visual processing and motor skills. So, with the new variable - ATCV-1 - in the forefront, scientists switched gears to examine whether the newly discovered virus affected cognitive performance. And they found it did: people infected with the virus performed significantly worse on cognitive tests than did their uninfected counterparts.

CASCADE LAKEThat warranted further study, so researchers then tested how the virus affected mice. They infected 30 mice with ATCV-1 and put them through a series of maze tests. These mice took much longer to explore a novel maze setup than mice in the control group, researchers reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Mind Control
BALTIMORE HARBOR ALGAEATCV-1 is common in most inland waters such as those around Baltimore, where the study was conducted. Therefore, exposure to the virus is probably common, but why some people acquire infection while others don’t is still unknown. Answering this question, researchers say, will guide future studies on ATCV-1.

PATTISON PARKIn the meantime, it’s a fascinating and freaky example of how microbes can mess with our brains. Robert Yolken, the virologist who led the study, told The Independent,“This is a striking example showing that the ‘innocuous’ microorganisms we carry can affect behavior and cognition.”                

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/11/10/virus-could-be-making-you-dumber/

“The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis” by Gary Wockner

The following article, “The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis” by Gary Wockner and Youtube video, “WKA Peoples Climate March Video 8 19 14″ was posted to Ecowatch.com on Sept. 15, 2014

We’ve seen near-record wildfires, rain, drought, flooding and snowpack in the last 5 years in the watersheds along the Front Range of Colorado. In the same 12 months that record rain has occurred in one part of the Southwest U.S.’ Colorado River basin, record heat and drought has occurred in another.

Climate change is real, is happening now, and the climate crisis is a water crisis.

WATER CRISIS

On Sept. 20 as a part of the People’s Climate March in New York City, I and other colleagues from the international Waterkeeper Alliance we be holding a teach-in, The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis. We will come from all over the U.S. to tell a story about the link between climate and water, and we will offer our observations and recommendations on the next steps forward.

Here in the Southwest U.S, we must do everything we can to stop from making climate change worse. Unfortunately in Colorado and across the region, our public policies are going the wrong direction—we are drilling, fracking and mining fossil fuels faster than ever before, and we are burning them at record rates. Colorado’s frack-happy politicians and policies only seem to be rivaled by Utah’s deep dive (“carbon bomb”) into oil shale and tar sands mining. We must stop and head the other direction.

We also need to be better prepared to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We will likely see more extreme weather variability, we may see more extreme droughts in the Southwest U.S., and California’s extreme heat and drought going on right now may become a “new normal.”…

Taken from Gary’s post, “Waterkeepers March!” on Ecowatch, Sept. 21, 2014

WATERKEEPERS MARCH

“It was euphoric!

Never in my life have I been in such a mass of humanity as I was today in New York City in the largest climate march in world history. Joining me were 100 members of Waterkeeper Alliance as we marched along with more than 300,000 people through the streets of Manhattan. The march was three times bigger than anyone expected. The day was simply amazing…”

Gary Wockner, PhD, is Waterkeeper for the Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins, Colorado, and directs the Save The Colorado River Campaign. You can reach Gary at Gary@GaryWockner.com.

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Canadians flushing huge energy source down the drain

1-WASTED POTENTIAL The following article, “Wasted Potential – Canadians may be flushing a huge source of energy down the drain” by Lynn Mueller was published in the March/April issue of WaterCanada magazine. DOWN THE DRAINIt has been estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy that Americans flush 350 billion kilowatt-hours of energy into sewers each year. This wasted energy would be enough to supply 30 million homes. In fact, the typical North American pours 75 litres of hot water down the drain every day. WATER EXPENSEFor a regular household, this can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars per year since water heating is the second highest source of energy demand in a home. But unbeknownst to some, it is now possible to capture 95 per cent of this wasted heat and recycle it back into our buildings using sewage heat recovery, which means the heat energy flowing down our drains never has to leave the building. Unlike solar or wind power, this technology doesn’t require a quantum shift in the way we live or the way we think—it can simply be plugged into our existing infrastructure. municipal systemWater enters heat recovery captures the heat in water leaving the building and uses it to reheat our hot-water tanks and the building itself. This technology is not complicated. First, a filter is used to separate out solids which make up about two to three percent of sewage. Then, with the help of a heat exchanger, the heat is transferred into clean water, and this warm, clean water is sent back into the building. At the end of the cycle, the clear sewer water picks up the solids extracted at the start and flushes it back into the municipal sewer system. The following Youtube video, “SHARC Energy Systems Launch Film”, was published on Jun 9, 2014 In the summer, buildings with sewage heat recovery systems can reverse their heat pumps and use the wastewater to reduce a building’s air-conditioning costs. In this scenario, the pumps extract heat from the building and transfer it through the exchanger into the sewer water. The potential reusable heat in wastewater has largely been ignored because sewage has “dirty” and negative associations. But today’s sewage heat recovery systems are hermetically sealed, meaning there is no associated smell. They are also designed to be clog-proof with an automatic back flush to filter sewage simply and effectively. Moreover, a monitoring system will flag any potential problems long before they become an issue. Sewage heat recovery is gaining in popularity with operations underway in Norway, Japan, and China’s Beijing South Railway Station. North American cities are now waking up to the fact that there is a valuable energy resource currently flowing under the city streets. Vancouver, Seattle, and Philadelphia have all started experimenting with sewage heat recovery systems. IWS LOGOIn Vancouver, International Wastewater Systems has already installed sewage heat recovery systems, called SHARCs, into several public and private buildings, including the Gateway Theater in Richmond. The Gateway installation will be the first application in Canada that will use raw wastewater directly from the municipal sewer rather than the wastewater coming out of the building. SEWAGE HEAT DISCOVERY SYSTEMAlthough sewage heat recovery systems are applicable to any building, they work best with residential buildings of greater than 200 units or with institutional buildings like hospitals and prisons that have exceptional hot water usage. The most cost-effective time to introduce a heat recovery system into a building is while doing other energy upgrades or retrofits. SEWAGE HEAT DISCOVERYThe option of using sewage heat recovery on a district-wide scale is also being explored worldwide. District energy systems are large-scale, multi-building heating projects that can supply energy over a large area using either recovered energy from other buildings, industrial sources, waste, or by burning carbon-neutral fuels. Sewage heat recovery could easily plug in to district energy infrastructure. FUEL CELL BEST  While sewage may not be as exciting as fuel cells or tidal energy, the fact that it has a payback period of two to five years makes it perhaps the most cost-effective renewable energy system currently available. Sewage heat recovery systems also work at 500 to 600 per cent efficiency, meaning that for every dollar spent on operational costs, $5 of heat is recovered. Moreover, current systems are demonstrating consistent energy saving performance of 76 per cent.

MUELLER TO CROPLynn Mueller is president of International Wastewater Systems in Vancouver.

Baltimore Harbor Cleanup ingenuity

1-INNER HARBOR BALTIMORE

The following article, “How a Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Clean 50,000 Pounds of Trash Per Day From Baltimore’s Inner Harbor”, by Brandon Baker, June 25, 2014 on EcoWatch (link at end of article)

 FIRST IN BLOGA large wheel has been strolling the Baltimore Inner Harbor the past month, doing its best to clean the trash that has littered a city landmark and tourist attraction.

JOHN KELLERIt’s called the Inner Harbor Water Wheel, and though it moves slow, it has the capability to collect 50,000 pounds of trash. The timing for John Kellett’s solar-powered creation is crucial—hands and crab nets simply can’t keep up with the growing amount of wrappers, cigarette butts, bottles and other debris carried from storm drains into the harbor.

The following youtube video, “Water Wheel operating in a rain storm (Baltimore, MD)”, published May 16, 2014 covers the Inner Harbor Water Wheel as it receives its first major flow of trash on the morning of Friday, May 16th.

“It looks sort of like a cross between a spaceship and a covered wagon and an old mill,” says Kellett told NPR. “It’s pretty unique in its look, but it’s also doing a really good job getting this trash out of the water.”

JONES FALLSThe wheel has become an integral part of the Healthy Harbor Waterfront Partnership Initiative. It receives power from the Jones Falls river’s current near the harbor, which turns the wheel and lifts trash from the water into a dumpster barge. A solar panel array keeps it running when there water current isn’t enough.

Graphic credit: Healthy Harbor

The wheel is now docked to the harbor. Each it runs, it removes an impressive amount of debris. So far, it has never collected less than eight cubic yards of trash.

Graphic credit: Healthy Harbor

Healthy Harbor hopes to make the body of water swimmable in less than six years, and the Water Wheel could be a big part of that. 

BILL FLOHR“The water wheel has been a time-saver for us,” said Bill Flohr, who runs Baltimore Harbor’s East Marina. “It seems to be collecting probably 95 percent of what we normally had to pick up by hand.”

I wonder if a version of this might lead to the possibility of using mega-sized solar powered water wheels to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (A plastic continent) that some say is 3 times larger than the United States and 90 feet deep, and growing… 
Wikipedia - Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches, sometimes collectively called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (two large masses of ever-accumulating trash). The Eastern Garbage Patch floats between Hawaii and California; scientists estimate its size as two times bigger than Texas. The Western Garbage Patch forms east of Japan and west of Hawaii.  The garbage patches present numerous hazards to marine life, fishing and tourism. 

http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/25/solar-water-wheel-trashbaltimore-inner-harbor/

 

 

California Drought Crisis affects U.S. and Canada

HOW BAD IS THIS DROUGHT GRAPHThe Nexus in Crisis – California’s drought is everybody’s problem, by Kerry Freek, is from WaterCanada’s Mar/April 2014 issue

Dangerously low river levels might be a gold prospector’s dream, but California’s drought—gearing up to be the worst in the United States on record this century—is quickly becoming a widespread nightmare.
NOAAAt the end of January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that water levels in all but a few reservoirs in the state were at less than 50 per cent of capacity. DROUGHT MONITORBy February, drought had affected every square inch of the state in some capacity, and the U.S. federal government announced that nearly 15 per cent of the state, and much of the farmland, is experiencing extreme conditions. On February 19, the Chicago Tribune reported that 10 communities were at acute risk of running out of drinking water in 60 days.
WATER COALITIONThis extreme drought is leading to extreme measures. California’s farmers, who receive nearly 80 per cent of the state’s water allocations, are facing significant cutbacks—and, in some cases, they’re losing water delivery completely. In February, Central Valley farmers learned the state’s largest delivery system would provide no water to the area, which produces half of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables in the United States. The California Farm Water Coalition says this means farmers will leave 500,000 acres of land unplanted in the 2014 season.
OBAMAYou can guess what that might mean for the country. “California is our biggest agricultural producer, so what happens here matters to every working American, right down to the cost of food that you put on your table,” said U.S. President Obama in an address in the same month.

SYLVAIN CHARLEBOISCanadians will feel the impact,  too. University of Guelph economics professor Sylvain Charlebois told CTV News the price of food products imported from California could soon increase by as much as 20 per cent.


Beyond just feeling the impact, Canadians also have an active role to play 
in mitigating the effects of this disaster— especially when it comes to energy.

SIGN2According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, almost 14 per cent of the nation’s hydroelectric generating capacity is concentrated in California. Lower river levels hinder the state’s ability to produce energy.
While natural gas can make up much of the difference, the drought increases demand for this resource in a time when much of the United States and Canada is (or, by the time you read this note, was) in a deep freeze.

GAS PRICES SOARThe unprecedented demand for natural gas has impacted fuel supplies, driving the price of the resource skyward. During this time of crisis, Californians are being asked to conserve both water and energy.
SIGNThat’s just the beginning for  California. The effects of the drought will be lasting, especially in the farming sector where many people have lost their livelihoods. Both state and federal governments are directing emergency drought relief funds—$687 million and $200 million, respectively—to help California residents, farm workers, and communities deal with water shortages.
CROPPED SAVE WATER LOGOWhen we talk about water and its influence, the links between it and food, energy, and the economy—call it any kind of nexus, if you prefer—become dangerously apparent. Californians, and now the rest of North America, are learning that lesson the hard way.
The urgent challenge is to move those lessons to policy and action. After significant weather events, drought and flood alike, a country’s economy takes a major hit. Follow the money and, on top of the millions of dollars for aid, these events result in higher prices for things like food, energy, and insurance, not to mention the increased threat to environmental and human health and safety.
SIGNWill this finally be the crisis that spurs us to action? Perhaps now is the time to look at—and actually begin implementing—alternative sources of power, including sewage heat recovery (see “Wasted Potential” by Lynn Mueller in the Mar/Apr issue of WaterCanada). NATURAL DISASTERS SIGNWe must apply what we’ve learned to ensure this crisis doesn’t worsen or persist. We must be open to learning from this and other disasters— and ensure our systems are resilient enough to handle what Mother Nature throws our way.

CAL DROUGHT MONITOR 2014

KERRY FREEKKerry Freek,

Editor-at-large for WaterCanada

 

Only in Paris ~ Incredible Bridge Competition

SEULEMENT DANS PARIS ~ INCROYABLE!!!

 

This is a follow up to my  October 26, 2012 blog, “Seulement Dans Paris ~ Incroyalbe!!!” to let you know who won the design competition “A Bridge in Paris”. In that blog I featured AtelierZundel Cristea’s incredibly creative entry – an inflatable trampoline bridge (see link to Oct. 2012 blog below photo). The trampoline entry was awarded 3rd prize.

…In Paris, an inflatable trampoline bridge has been proposed by the Paris-based architectural studio Atelier Zündel Cristea firm to span the Seine River.  This would allow travellers a unique and fun method of crossing the Seine River near the existing Pont de Bir-Hakeim

https://rainsoftottawa.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=8583&action=edit

The winner of the competition was “Quivering wire crossing” by “bureau faceB wins Paris bridge competition” article posted 24 October 2012 on dezeen magazine’s site

Water At-traction by bureau faceB

News: French practice bureau faceB has won a competition to design a bridge across the Seine in Paris with plans for a wobbling crossing of stretched steel cables.

Water At-traction by bureau faceB

Concrete treads would be threaded over the cables, creating a surface that will quiver under the pressure of footsteps.

PARIS BRIDGE“In Paris, people don’t feel the water,” architect Camille Mourier told Dezeen. “We wanted people to feel that they are crossing.”

Water At-traction by bureau faceB

Each cable would be strung onto springs to prevent too much movement.

Water At-traction by bureau faceB

 

On the southern side of the island, part of the bridge would be pulled down towards the water to create a stepped area where Mourier hopes people will be able to “sit down and have a sandwich”.

Water At-traction by bureau faceB

Only a narrow pathway would be left to run alongside these steps, which the architects compare to a perilous Himalayan footbridge.

Here’s a project description from bureau faceB:


Water “At-traction”
A pedestrian bridge to stroll along the water

It’s in the heart of the city. One of its major attractions. However, you can barely feel it. Maybe on a boat, a little bit on bridges, anyway without intimacy. On the contrary La Seine has to be seen as an out of time place, telling you stories and history. A link through time and space: the water attraction.

This new bridge has to be seen as a light stroke, a thin roadway flirting with the water. Instead of using traditional technics based on compression, it uses a new design, using the potential of traction. Steel cables, strung between the banks by springs, generate a mesh on which concrete beads are threaded.

This fluent area enables new uses. The crossing can be done in two ways. Through a “perilous” one: the very narrow deck gives the feeling of an Himalayan footbridge. Through a space for strolling: the generous space near the water allows to sit, to rest quietly, having lunch, enjoying the proximity of the river and offering a unique perspective on Paris.

Project team: Camille Mourier, François Marcuz, Arnaud Malras, Germain Pluvinage

The following bridge entry by an American architectural student in the United States won 2nd prize ~

ABMV:
August Miller + Bernard Vilza + +
Architecture Student+ United States

ArchTriumph

 

Award Winning Film – A Must See! Iceland’s Water “Vatn”

1-ICELAND VATN_WATER

I posted my 437th blog this past Tuesday and thought I’d have a look at our most viewed blogs and re-post some of them again for you from time to time (save you from scrolling though our lengthy archives). I’ve added a photo and a brief bio excerpt of Enrique Pacheco.

What a magnificent, stunning and profound result of E. Pacheco’s approach to viewing water conservationpersonify and give water a voice!!!

Your friends from Rainsoft Ottawa know you will certainly enjoy this unique video presentation!

Photographer and filmmaker Enrique Pacheco‘s most recent short film, “Vatn” (the Icelandic word for water), offers stunning views of Iceland’s oceans, rivers and waterfalls…

Shot and edited over a 6-month period, the film employs an interesting narrative structure that personifies water and makes it the film’s protagonist. “Human beings are the antagonists,” Pacheco said of the film, in an interview published on his Web site.

“We are changing the life cycle of water. This film is for water conservation. Instead of talking about water, I decided to personify water, give it voice, so we can hear it.”

ENRIQUE PACHECOEnrique Pacheco is a professional cinematographer from Spain. He has been working in video production for more than 10 years, but Enrique’s career changed when he moved to Iceland. There he started to specialize on time-lapse and DSLR cameras, exploring the raw landscape of Iceland and shooting some of nature’s most volatile subjects, such as active volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, and the traditional culture of Iceland. Some of his latest short films have been very successful in Vimeo. “Winter in Hell”, “Raw Lightscapes”, “Made on Earth”, “The Maghreb and “Vatn” are all long-term self-productions made with great effort and passion. – See more at: http://www.enriquepacheco.com/about-me#sthash.RqRYUffa.dpuf 

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National Aquarium - WATERblog

A Blog for the National Aquarium Community

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

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