Monthly Archives: June 2014

Remarkable ‘LifeStraw’ Water Filter System

1-LIFESTRAW SYSTEMEARTHEASY LOGOThe following excerpts from the article, “LifeStraw Personal Water Filter’ are taken from eartheasy.com.  LifeStraw is the award-winning personal water filter, designed to provide you with safe, clean drinking water in any situation. The ideal water filter for hiking & camping, travel, emergency preparedness & survival, LifeStraw makes contaminated or suspect water safe to drink.

TIME MAGAZINE

LifeStraw has received significant accolades since its original design was invented in 2005.Time Magazine named LifeStraw the SAATCHI“Best Invention of 2005.” In 2008, it won the Saatchi and Saatchi Award for “World Changing Ideas”. 

COMPANY LOGOThe LifeStraw personal water filter enables users to drink water safely from contaminated water sources. LifeStraw is ideal for homeowners during emergencies such as local flooding which can contaminate drinking water supplies. LifeStraw is also ideal for campers and hikers who may be drinking from rivers or lakes and are unsure of the water safety. Because LifeStraw is lightweight and compact, it is also great for travelers who do not want to rely on the quality of local water.

MIKKE;The following Youtube video was uploaded on Mar 12, 2009 – Interview with Mikkel Vestergaard, CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen, on CNN about the inspiration for and challenges of designing and developing the LifeStraw water purifiers.

MILLENNIUM GOALSSince 2005, LifeStraw has been used in developing countries to assist in achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals for clean drinking water. We’re excited to help launch this useful product in North America.

This next video, “The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Review ” was uploaded Sept. 19, 2011:

To see an impressive list of Features & Benefits click on the link at the end of this blog.

LifeStraw Buy One, Give One

For every LifeStraw® water filter sold, we provide a child in Africa with clean water for an entire school year.

When you purchase any type of LifeStraw® filter, we use part of the funds to donate LifeStraw® Community institutional water purifiers to schools in Africa. LifeStraw® Community is specifically designed to deliver clean, safe water to school children by removing waterborne pathogens and dirt commonly found in source water.

Eartheasy’s goal is to provide clean water to 500 schools in Kenya in 2014. Thank you for supporting this mission!

http://eartheasy.com/lifestraw?gclid=COSukY_BvbICFak7Mgodg3QAlQ

 

 

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Fight to force B. C. legislation to protect waterways

 BC SALMON The following article is taken from WaterCanada’s Mar/Apr issue; “A Legal Hotbed – Environmental groups in British Columbia are fighting to force the government into using legislation to protect its waterways” by Siobhan McClelland.
Environmental groups are testing the litigation waters in British Columbia to challenge government actions that put the marine environment at risk.

PIPELINERight now, British Columbia is a
hotbed for environmental issues, with private companies interested in using the province’s waterways as part of their operations, including fracking and natural gas businesses.

               
ECOJUSTICEBut Ecojustice, a Vancouver-based organization that represents several environmental groups, is pursuing many legal cases against the government. The organization claims the government hasn’t used its legislation or has violated its legislation, resulting in too much power being handed over to private companies that are making decisions that affect the environment.
WATERWAYS PROTECTION PROGRAMWhile there are environmental laws that provide protection for Canada’s waterways and marine life, some question how effective the legislation is.

“It’s frustrating to have legislation on the books, which the various levels of government ignore or OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAinterpret in a manner different than what was represented to the populace when proclaimed,” Maureen Bell,
(see link at end for one of Maureen’s articles on water rights) a Calgary environmental lawyer, said. “In such cases, the politicians get full points for creating the legislation, but if it languishes on the shelf or is perverted in its application, it isn’t much good.”
MARGOT VENTONMargot Venton, a staff lawyer at Ecojustice, said that people have been using the courts to try to protect the marine environment since the 1980s, when the rules changed to allow public interest parties standing, or the ability to become involved in environmental cases and bring lawsuits.

VANCOUVER COASTLINE“I think right now, in the British Columbia coast, there’s a lot of tension over how we will develop resources and what we are willing to risk in the development of these resources,” Venton said. “Some of the FISH FARMpotential resource uses, like pipelines or fish farms or whatever it is, are really placing these issues front and center in people’s minds, and we’re realizing that the threat is becoming really obvious.”
BC OIL AND GAS COMMISSIONEcojustice is currently challenging the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission’s decision to issue short-term water approvals to fracking companies, arguing that the companies should have to go through the more stringent process of bringing water-license applications.
RANDY CHRISTENSENEcojustice staff lawyer Randy Christensen said short-term water approvals, which are usually good for two years, are being renewed by the same company five or six times. He said Ecojustice wants the companies that use water for fracking purposes to go into the water-licensing process, where the government would then assess the impact of the water withdrawals more carefully and look at the cumulative impacts of many water withdrawals in one area.
“Our concern right now is that there are really two different routes of getting the water. One has minimal oversight and one has more robust oversight,” Christensen said.
SALMON LIFECYCLEHe added that the cumulative impact of the fracking operations could affect water flow conditions in certain areas and fluctuations in water flow could affect the life cycles of fish in rivers and streams. This could possibly result in shortages at certain times of the year that would affect other people’s water use.
“These are all the kinds of things that need to go through the licensing process so that you have studies and assessments, and you know the impact of what those uses could be,”
Christensen said.
DISEASED SALMONFracking operations aren’t the only concern for Ecojustice. In another case, Ecojustice alleges diseased farmed Atlantic salmon have been unlawfully transferred into an open-pen fish farm, where the diseased fish would share water with wild fish. The claim is that FISHERIES LOGOFisheries and Oceans Canada has unlawfully given a private company the power to decide whether to transfer the diseased salmon.

Venton said decisions about the risks associated with the transfer of diseased fish should be made by the government, not private companies.
FISH FARM BEST“It’s more appropriate for the government to make the call about that risk than it is for a private individual or private company running a farm to make that call,” she said, arguing that the law doesn’t allow anyone to put fish that may carry a diseased agent into the ocean because this could potentially harm the conservation and protection of fish in the ocean.
PRIVATE CO MAKE DECISIONS“I think there is a general trend, in particular in the federal government, to get out of the business of governing,” she said, adding that this is her personal opinion. “There’s also a trend
in Canada toward deregulation and toward handing more and more power and decision making to the companies, with less and less oversight. You see that in British Columbia.”
DON'T FRACKKirsten Ruecker, a communications advisor at Fisheries and Oceans’ office in the Pacific Region, wrote in an email that the government was unable to comment on the fracking and salmon cases as these matters are currently before the courts.
ECOJUSTICE SAVE SALMON IN COURTThe fracking case does not have a hearing date yet. The salmon-farming case is scheduled for a hearing on June 9.

 

Siobhan McClelland is a former lawyer now working as a freelance journalist and the new media editor at Canadian Geographic. She has written for several law publications on a variety of topics.

Maureen Bell – “Water Rights Set To Make Waves” ~
http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=757

World’s famous swimming elephant ~ captivating and hilarious videos!!!

ELEPHANT SWIMMING“Watching the world’s last ocean swimming elephant is a real delight” posted to sploid.gizmodo.com by James Baker
This video (scroll down for videos) features the remarkable 64-year old Rajan, the world’s last ocean swimming elephant who lives on a beautiful archipelago in the Bay of Bengal.
Rajan, who weighs around four tons, once worked hard carrying lumber between islands but is now retired—although he still takes the occasional swim for fun.
It takes ten years to train a working, swimming elephant and it is no longer considered economically viable with the availability of modern transportation. However elephants are still valued workers and this was reflected in the $40,000 price that Rajan’s keepers paid for him. 
They repaid this money through a variety of means including hiring him out on photo shoots to photographers.

Swimming With Elephant Andaman Islands, youtube video posted by Madhu Duggal  

  

 Swimming Elephant HD by Freedom Divers, Phuket

The following youtube video, “Ricky Gervais – Elephants Swimming” is absolutely hilarious!

 

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/watch-this-elephant-swim-with-people-in-a-crystal-clear-1588552292

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The following excerpt and photos are taken from “Fetch your trunks – the only elephant in the world that loves going for a swim in the sea”… by Anna Edwards, published on dailymail.co.uk 12 June 2013…

The retired working animal is the only elephant in the world to swim in the sea, and loves to take a dip off the Andaman Islands, an archipelago that is part of India in the Bay of Bengal.
The Asian elephant is a retired working animal called Rajan and is the only elephant in the world to swim in the seaThe Asian elephant is a retired working animal called Rajan and is the only elephant in the world to swim in the sea.

He was trained to swim to haul logs out to boats off the Islands, but when the practice was banned, enough money was raised to keep Rajan where he was in retirement
He was trained to swim to haul logs out to boats off the Islands, but when the practice was banned, enough money was raised to keep Rajan where he was in retirement.
His duties have been taken up by motor boats and now he just swims for fun and allows divers to have a dip with him.
Photographer Wolfgang Zwicknagl, from Austria said it was amazing what a good swimmer this huge animal is.
Wolfgang, 40, said: ‘We have been told that Rajan goes swimming in the sea just two or three times per month.
‘He is not forced to go into the water and if he doesn’t want to, then you dive alone.
Water baby! Now Rajan just swims for fun and allows divers to take a dip with him
Water baby! Now Rajan just swims for fun and allows divers to take a dip with him.The 64-year-old animal moves perfectly in the ocean and uses his trunk as a snorkelThe 64-year-old animal moves perfectly in the ocean and uses his trunk as a snorkel.
‘But when his Mahout brought him to the beach, he stood there for a minute, took a breath and walked into the ocean.
‘It is almost impossible to explain how amazed we were when he started the dive with us.
‘He moves perfectly in the ocean, using his trunk as a snorkel and moved much quicker than we expected, so taking photos was surprisingly exhausting.
‘The tips of his tusks have been cut slightly as he had some difficulties moving his trunk.’
Wolfgang added: ‘Rajan is a retired working elephant who enjoys his pension on the Andaman Islands.
‘While elephants love in a dip in the river, Rajan is the last and only one who swims in the ocean, as the painful education to do this is not allowed anymore.
Wolfgang Zwicknagl took the pictures in the Andaman Islands, an archipelago that is part of India in the bay of Bengal
Wolfgang Zwicknagl took the pictures in the Andaman Islands, an archipelago that is part of India in the bay of Bengal.
Splashing about: Despite their large frames, elephants are capable swimmersSplashing about: Despite their large frames, elephants are capable swimmers
‘Working elephants have been used at the Andamans for bringing logged trees to boats waiting in the sea and eventually to swim to the next island. This required a cruel education.
The 64-year-old animal, that weighs between three and four tons, was bought into freedom approximately five years ago.
He would have been sold to a temple in south India otherwise to continue his working elephant career.
Wolfgang said: ‘He was definitely less exhausted than us (after the dive).’
Despite their large frames, elephants are capable swimmers.
They have been recorded swimming for up to six hours without touching the bottom, and have travelled as far as 30 miles…
Wolfgang Zwicknagl said the tips of Raajan's tusks have been cut slightly as he had some difficulties moving his trunk
Wolfgang Zwicknagl said the tips of Raajan’s tusks have been cut slightly as he had some difficulties moving his trunk.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2340192/Fetch-trunks–elephant-world-loves-going-swim-sea.html

Save Otters Petition (Force Change)

1-SEA OTTERS

Save the Sea Otter from the
Effects of Climate Change!

The charmingly mellow sea otter spends much of its life in water, where it eats, sleeps, hunts, mates, and even gives birth. But a changing climate is changing its habitat and threatening the otter’s food source. Ocean acidification prevents the formation of carbonate shells, which put the otter’s food supply (marine invertebrates like clams & sea urchins) at risk.

Youtube video, “Threatened: The Controversial Struggle of the Southern Sea Otter”

In order to protect this adorable aquatic mammal, we need to combat climate change immediately.

Youtube video, ” California Sea Otters”, published on Feb 5, 2013

The EPA has proposed a landmark standard for climate pollution from new power plants. This standard will help end dirty energy as we know it and keep animals like the sea otter safe from climate change.

We know that industry leaders and their friends in Congress will be attacking it at any moment — and we need our voices to rise up louder than theirs. Tell the EPA you support its proposal to help curb climate pollution and save the sea otters’ habitat!

PLEASE SIGN PETITION:

http://forcechange.com/124591/save-the-sea-otter/?utm_source=ForceChange+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2cdbdc7e45-NL4535_26_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_600a6911b9-2cdbdc7e45-297079149

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

 

World Oceans Day ~ Terrific Video

1-WORLD OCEANS DAY_2014

World Oceans Day ~ June 8th

and today is the day you can help!

But first a let’s watch a terrific Youtube video, “The Ocean”, uploaded on 8 Jun 2010 by The Cube –

…A staggering 80 percent of all the life on Earth is to be found hidden beneath the waves and this vast global ocean pulses around our world driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet… Without the global ocean there would be no life on Earth…

Helping the ocean and its animals is just a click away.
Celebrate World Oceans Day by showing your support for clean energy.

You can help celebrate #WorldOceansDay! Support wind energy to protect the ocean and its animals http://owl.li/xABhA

 We love the ocean! Do you? Take a selfie for the sea for #WorldOceansDay and share how you want to help http://owl.li/wqwFh
— Click here to tweet now

If you are unable to pledge here are a number of ideas where you can make a big difference!

BAGI promise to use reusable bags at the
grocery store

 

BOTTLEI promise to use a
reusable water bottle

 

MEATI promise to not eat
meat on Mondays

 

SHOWERI promise to take shorter showers

 

BUSI promise to take public transportation
to school/work once a week

 

FOODI promise to only eat sustainably caught
or farmed seafood

 

THRIFT STOREI promise to shop a thrift store first
instead of buying new

 

UNPLUG

I promise to unplug my electronic
chargers when not using them

 

 

TURN OFFI promise to turn off all the lights and
the heat or A/C when I leave my house

 

BIKEI promise to bike instead of drive for at
least one errand a week

 

 

LITTERI promise to participate
in a litter cleanup

 

 

PESTICIDESI promise to not use toxic pesticides
on my garden or lawn

 

Canada’s nutrient problem ~ severely threatened Lake Winnipeg

1-LAKE WINNIPEG

The following article “OVERLOADED ~ Deammonification processing can address Canada’s nutrient problem, especially in a severely threatened Lake Winnipeg’  by Simon Baker and Beverley Stinson appeared in the Mar/Apr issue of WaterCanada

BASIN INITIATIVEIn 2013, Lake Winnipeg was named the world’s “threatened lake of the Year” because of increasing pollution from agricultural run-off and sewage discharges. Excessive nutrients – particularly nitrogen and phosphorus – in Canada’s lakes and riversGREAT LAKES INITIATIVE are becoming a growing public concern. In response, environment Canada has launched two major government programs worth millions of dollars: the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund and the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative.

Lake Winnipeg named worlds most threatened | CTV News.
Research has focused on the specific role of municipal wastewater treatment in contributing to the problem. Analyzing more than 116,000 tonnes of nutrients released from public and private industrial facilities, a study by the federal government’s national pollutant release inventory reported that 85 per cent originated from municipal water and sewage systems.
n and d cycle Municipal wastewater treatment can include nitrogen removal processing to help the level of total nitrogen in effluent prior to its discharge. One of the most common methods is nitrification/denitrification. It is a two-step process that involves first converting the wastewater’s ammonia content into nitrates so that it can then be converted into nitrogen gas, a harmless byproduct.

IMAGE5  A typical wastewater treatment plant can reduce total nitrogen levels in effluent down to 5 mg/l in the winter and less than 1 mg/l in the summer using nitrification/denitrification processing, CCMEAccording to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. This approach is not, however, without its disadvantages. It involves significant power consumption and, in some cases, the use of costly and hazardous chemicals, predominantly methanol.
   Nitrification/denitrification processing is the conventional option, but if growing public concern over water quality issues leads to new or more stringent nutrient removal requirements for wastewater treatment processing, the associated rise in operating costs will likely be significant.
DEAMONIFICATION  A growing awareness of this problem within North America’s municipal water sector is leading some to consider an emerging solution – to help reduce both the energyANAMOX and chemical costs of conventional processing. Deammonification is based on the innovative development of a newmethod using the anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) microbial process.
This microbial process involves a previously unknown bacterium, first Discovered in 1995 by scientists at Delft Technical DELFT UNIVERSITYUniversity in the Netherlands. The bacterium’s unique characteristics provide a completely different metabolic pathway. Nitrogen can be processed under anaerobic conditions, rather than aerobic conditions, thereby reducing energy and chemical costs.
The greatest opportunity to reduce energy and chemical costs with deammonification lies in adapting the technology to mainstream treatment configurations. Achieving this goal is the focus of an AIZinternational collaborative research effort. The team is led by water agencies in Austria (Achental- Inntal Zillerta Waterboard) and the United States (District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority and the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Virginia) and supported by ARa Consult GmbH and AECOM.
WASHINGTON DC Extensive bench and pilot scale work was undertaken at the Blue Plains wastewater treatment plant in Washington, D.C., and smaller facilities in Virginia to explore viable control strategies for mainstream deammonification with great success.
The existing nitrification/denitrification configuration at Blue Plains was identified as the plant’s largest energy-consuming process, accounting for 27 per-cent of the total electrical demand. The chemical cost of the methanol required for the processing totals between US$9 million and US$10 million per year. The results from a pilot study and demonstration phase using a mainstream deammonification configuration indicated Blue Plains could obtain a theoretical 65 per cent savings in energy and a 90 per cent savings in chemicals while meeting stringent effluent discharge requirements for nitrogen.
STRASS CENTRE  Based on those findings, the team launched a project at the Strass wastewater treatment plant, near Innsbruck, Austria, in 2011, which successfully demonstrated the feasibility of a mainstream deammonification configuration. The plant was able to remove more nitrogen and maintain more stable performance while operating under deammonification than it had achieved while operating in the conventional method during the previous winter.
While the work in Austria and the United States is helping develop deammonification into a proven solution for mainstream treatment configurations, the first, albeit smaller, steps in Canada are taking place in terms of the technology’s application to sidestream treatment.
NORTH WPG SYSTEM      Last year, the City of Winnipeg retained AECOM to prepare an optimization Study for the centrate treatment plant at its North End Water Pollution Control Centre, Winnipeg’s largest wastewater Treatment plant. The study looked at a review of alternative configurations, including sidestream deammonification, to explore options for reducing the energy and chemical costs related to nutrient removal.
CONVERT INTO NITRATES Using the plant’s current nitrification/denitrification configuration as a performance measure, the study suggested deammonification could provide a significant savings in power consumption and methanol, representing an 83 per cent reduction in operating costs when compared to the reference case. Deammonification’s results in lowering these operating costs were also significantly better than those achieved through the other conventional alternatives examined, which ranged from four to 42 per cent.
  LAKE ERIECanada has a strong track record in responding to concerns over water quality issues. After being declared “dead” in the 1960s, Ontario’s Lake Erie became an environmental recovery success story once wastewater treatment plants began to treat effluent by removing phosphorus loads. It is a valuable lesson to remember, but one that comes with an important distinction.
WATER AND SEWAGE SYSTEMSIf today’s municipal plants were similarly required to improve their treatment capabilities, they would be doing so in a far different operating environment than their counterparts of more than 50 years ago. Any upgrade investment would need to anticipate the continuing steep rise in associated energy and chemical costs.
The potential of deammonification lies in its value of offering a solution to the environmental challenge of reducing nutrient loads, but at the same time allowing operators to manage the inescapable economic realities involved in this challenge.
Simon Baker is a Winnipeg-based, aecom wastewater expert. Beverley Stinson is aecom’s technical lead for biological nutrient removal and director of applied research.

 

 

National Aquarium - WATERblog

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National Aquarium - WATERblog

A Blog for the National Aquarium Community

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

The WordPress.com Blog

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