Tag Archives: Kanata

Giraffe Katie gives birth ~ Dallas Zoo ~ Amazing!

Katie the Giraffe’s Story | Giraffe Birth Live – Published on Apr 10, 2015 – Get to know Katie, the sweet and friendly giraffe at the Dallas Zoo who is a mother-to-be and star of Giraffe Birth Live. | http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/…

 

Katie the Giraffe Gives Birth!, published on Apr 13, 2015 – Katie the Giraffe gave birth! Watch the highlights as captured on Animal Planet’s Live Cam. |http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/…

The following remarkable BBC wildlife video is highly recommended:
Born to Be Wild: Giraffes on the Move with Joanna Lumley, u
ploaded by BBCWorldwide on Apr 9, 2009 – Joanna Lumley gets up close and personal with one of the most graceful creatures on the planet – the giraffe. Joanna follows the dangerous journey of seven endangered Rothschild giraffes to a new home in the hope that they will establish a breeding herd.

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDHave a great weekend everyone
– warmer weather, sunny days,
– ah, spring at last!

Tragic! Ocean choking on 8 million metric tons plastic per year

 

Episode 6 Ocean Requiem, uploaded on Jun 30, 2009.  This is a rather slow moving video but the end is very touching. This is a good relaxing video with a message so enjoy and visit seashephard.org to see how you can help. 

February 13, 2015
Plastic in oceanPromo image Lindsay Robinson/University of Georgia
As Maggie recently wrote about, there’s a lot of plastic crap in Earth’s oceans; The latest estimate was that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our seas, weighing over 250,000 tons. That’s about 700 pieces of plastic for every human on earth.

Image result for Jenna Jambeck university of GeorgiaBut a new study paints an even more alarming picture of the situation. Jenna Jambeck and her colleagues at the University of Georgia found that an incredibly large amount of plastic waste is mismanaged by the populations living in coastal area, and that even a conservative estimate of how much ends up in the sea puts adds up to between 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic. Per year. (8 million is the mid-point of the estimate).

Part of the problem is that some of the countries with the largest coastal populations – mostly in Asia – are also developing nations with inadequate infrastructure to deal with all the waste that they generate.

Here one of the authors of the study explains the methodology behind the numbers and also gives a warning about the future if we don’t clean up our act on waste management:

Image result for From there, we looked at what percent of that waste is plasticOur methods for this estimate were to look at per person waste generation rates in 2010 from 192 countries with a coastline in the world. Because people’s activities nearest the coast are responsible for most of the plastic going into the water, we limited our analysis to a 50km strip of the coastline. From there, we looked at what percent of that waste is plastic, and what percentage of THAT is mismanaged waste (which means litter or when waste is not captured and dumped on the land). From there we had three scenarios of input into the ocean: low, mid and high. Our 8 million metric ton estimate is that mid-range scenario. 8 million metric tons of plastic is equal to 5 bags filled with plastic going into the ocean along every foot of coastline in the world. That… is HUGE.

And it can get worse. If we assume a business as usual projection with growing populations, increasing plastic consumption and increased waste generation, by 2025, this number doubles – we may be adding 17.5 million metric tons of plastic per year. If that happens, then our cumulative input over time from 2010 to 2025 is projected to be 155 million metric tons.

The solutions to this plastic pollution problem are known, we just need to actually do it. We need to cut back on plastic production in the first place, so there’s less of it in the system. Then whatever is left needs to all be captured and managed properly. This requires not only better infrastructure (especially in poorer areas of the world), but also social and cultural changes. People need to be educated on what needs to be done with their trash in general, and plastic specifically.

 

Mother Nature at Her Most Bizarre ~ Photos

I received the following photograph collection of Mother Nature’s amazing oddities, “These Bizarre Nature Photos Show How Strange Earth Really Is” from http://www.viralnova.com/earth-oddities yesterday.

These photos might look like they come from an alien planet, but it turns out our own little Earth is capable of some truly weird stuff. All of these things occur naturally across the globe because of, like, science and stuff. A lot of the reasons why go over my head, but it’s all true. It’s easy to appreciate the wondrous beauty of Earth without knowing exactly how it happens. Some of these are cringe-worthy, but others make me want to buy a plane ticket. And I am definitely going to pay closer attention to sunsets from now on. Take a look at some of the cool things you didn’t realize happen on our home planet.

1. Never-ending Wave: Occurs twice a year in Brazil when the Atlantic ocean meets the mouth of the Amazon River. The resulting waves can travel 500 miles inland before slowing down.

2. Underwater Crop Circles: In Japan male pufferfish flapping their fins creating their alien-esque circles in the sand.

3. Bleeding Glacier: Also known as Blood Falls in Antarctica, the outflowing water resembles blood due to iron oxide.

4. Blue Lava: Due to sulfuric gases at extremely high temperatures, this volcano in Indonesia produces the blue glowing lava.

5. Calcifying Lake: This creepy lake in Tanzania has such high PH levels that it calcifies any animal that goes into the water.

6. Cocooned Trees: During the flood season in Pakistan, spiders are forced to flee to the trees where their webs create this effect.

7. Danixia Landforms: Over millions of years, the red sandstone and mineral deposits in certain areas of China have created these rainbow-like landforms.

8. Frost Flowers: In Arctic areas these floral ice formations occur when the temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere differs.

9. Green Flash: This rare phenomenon occurs when the conditions are right at the beginning or end of a sunset.

10. Hair Ice: Water escaping ice in freezing weather can have this follicle-effect due to certain bacteria presence.

11. Horsetail Falls: In Yosemite National Park, California, this waterfall looks more like lave with a bright orange glow at certain times of the day in February.

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDHave a great weekend everyone.  It looks as if Mother Nature is finally going to be kind to us and send us some half decent weather over the weekend – hope you have the same.

Arsenic, the Silent Killer – Part II

Please see my first article on arsenic: Arsenic – The Sleeping Giant, published Mar. 31st this year.

“Know Your Well ~ Saskatchewan’s watershed authority teaches users about proper maintenance.” This article appeared in the May/June issue of watercanada magazine by Kerry Freek


A man cleans a well during a community clean-up day in Anguissa, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Provincially, Saskatchewan has got high levels of arsenic, selenium and uranium. When floods occur, these concentrations can make well water unsafe. The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority recommended regular flushes to maintain good water quality.

For Saskatchewan, spring runoff season presents a huge risk for private well contamination, especially considering the province’s high levels of arsenic, Image result for Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (SWA)selenium, and uranium. At the height of this year’s flood crisis in theImage result for drinking water standards saskatchewanPrairies, Terry Hanley, director of science, information, and monitoring for the Saskatchewan Watershed
Authority (SWA) shared details on the water quality risks for well users.

“We have a database of about 4,000 wells that we’ve tested,” says Hanley. “About 50 per cent of those wells exceed at least one maximum allowable concentration (MAC) or drinking water standard. Now that there’s flooding, there’s increased risk to the 100,000 residents that rely on wells.”
He says that last year, after severe flooding in Maple Creek, Yorkton, and North Battleford, 70 per cent of wells in those areas exceeded acceptable nitrate or bacteriological levels. “The MAC for drinking water is 45 milligrams per litre, but we had levels in the 1,500 range,” says Hanley. “There are pretty significant risks, and we expect the same this year.”
That’s why the SWA offers free well tests. “We’ve had E. coli levels in the tens of thousands,” he reveals.
“That’s slightly less than treated effluent—it’s usually a shock to people. Just because the water’s clear doesn’t mean it’s good.”
In Manitoba—also affected by the spring floods—the chief provincial public health officer announced that people using private water supplies should boil their water and test it for bacteria. The Province added that it would cover the full cost of well-water testing for affected areas.
Image result for shock chlorinated the wellsIn addition to gathering demographics on site visits, SWA assesses the wells. How old is the casing? Are there well caps in place? Have the owners shock chlorinated the wells after major weather events?
They found some surprising statistics. Two out of three wells didn’t have caps or casing that is at least two to three inches above ground. Nine out of ten wells had never been shock chlorinated.
“It only takes a few hours to fix these things,” says Hanley, who hopes these assessments will help owners take the simple steps to better understand and maintain their wells.
It appears the program is working. “Of the clients we’ve tested, about 60 per cent have adopted our recommendations,” says Hanley. “That’s huge for us.” 

Here’s a link I  found on Uranium tailings in the Athabasca basin of northern Saskatchewan – definitely worth reading-  http://www.usask.ca/geology/JimSite/Research.html

Arsenic ~ The Sleeping Giant

FAUCET
ARE WE OVERLOOKING THE REAL ARSENIC RISK? Posted by Jim Barlow – Oregon on March 10, 2015

“No one has touched on the link between arsenic on the surface and in groundwater,” says Qusheng Jin. Geologist Qusheng Jin had “a wild hypothesis” in 2008 that a bacterial process was at work in an arsenic-contaminated aquifer in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Jin’s team shows the process is in play and concludes the practice of just monitoring total arsenic levels for groundwater safety is not enough.
They suggest organic arsenic forms, generally considered less toxic, should be looked at more closely in aquifers around the world.

Image result for University of Oregon geological sciences department“No one has touched on the link between arsenic on the surface and in groundwater,” says Jin, a professor in the University of Oregon’s geological sciences department.

“Traditionally the presence of the organic form in groundwater has been ignored. The focus has always been on inorganic forms, arsenate and arsenite.”
That approach, Jin says, over-simplifies the view on arsenic levels and overlooks how human activities, including pumping and irrigation, or environmental factors such as heavy rain or drought may influence organic forms.
SAFE TO DRINK?
Water is considered safe to drink when total arsenic levels are below 10 micrograms per liter. Levels above that are considered cancer risks.
Arsenic is a natural element found in abundance in the Earth’s crust. Organic arsenic, Jin says, is made up of a series of carbon-containing forms.
Image result for Total arsenic is commonly assumed to be a pure metalloid formTotal arsenic is commonly assumed to be a pure metalloid form. Arsenic often changes forms as it moves through the environment. It also is used in some pesticides, herbicides and wood preservatives and in chicken feed.
The organic arsenic that caught the team’s attention is dimethylarsinate (DMA). This intermediate stage is a floating mishmash of dissolved organic forms along with inorganic arsenite and arsenate already floating freely in the water.
DMA’s concentration—sometimes exceeding 10 percent of inorganic arsenic—always correlates with the overall arsenite level, Jin explains. Eventually, he adds, the conversion process can turn arsenic into arsine, a volatile gas similar to fluorescent phosphine that rises as the result of decomposition in graveyards.
TESTING WELL WATER
NSFThe fieldwork, funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Jin, involved gathering water samples at depths ranging from 20 to 40 meters (66 to Oregon researchers detail new insights on arsenic cycling131 feet) from 23 wells located on rural properties near Creswell, Oregon. In 10 of the wells tested, DMA was found with concentrations as high as 16.5 micrograms per liter.
The aquifer consists of volcanic sandstone, tuff and silicic ash, overlaid by lava flows and river sediments. The basin floor dates to 33 million years ago. Organic arsenic in the aquifer, the researchers noted, is similar to that in aquifers in Florida and New Jersey in the United States and in Argentina, China (Inner Mongolia and Datong), Cypress, Taiwan, and West Bengal. Arsenic in groundwater is a challenge worldwide, including all 48 contiguous U.S. states.
To test the hypothesis that arsenic cycling was occurring by way of native bacteria, doctoral student Scott C. Maguffin conducted a series of three laboratory experiments involving dissolved arsenite and arsenate taken from wells in the study area.
The addition of ethanol in the final experiment stimulated bacterial activity, resulting in DMA concentrations much higher than those found in the field.
“I am concerned about the impact of this cycling process in aquifers,” Jin says. “If this process is as important as we believe it is, it will impact the transport and fate of arsenic in groundwater. Many organic arsenic forms are volatile and prone to diffusion. Where will these organic arsenic forms go? Will they ever make it to the surface?”
Source: University of Oregon
http://www.futurity.org/arsenic-groundwater-871572/?utm_source=Futurity+Today&utm_campaign=8641b8af89-March_10_20153_10_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e34e8ee443-8641b8af89-206319993

~ Arsenic, the poison ~
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Random thoughts as we age ~ Hilarious!

1-AGING FUNNY-001

Random thoughts as we age:

BAD MEMORYThe biggest lie I tell myself is …”I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

Image result for shrink clothesWouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes and come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller!

PROCRASTINATELast year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet!

TRIPI don’t trip over things, I do random gravity checks!

ANGERI don’t need anger management. I need people to stop pissing me off!

OLD AGE CROPOld age is coming at a really bad time!

BARSLord grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the friends to post my bail when I finally snap!

GREY HAIRI don’t have gray hair. I have “wisdom highlights”………. I’m just very wise.

SHOOTTeach your daughter how to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper!

TOUCH TOESIf God wanted me to touch my toes, he would’ve put them on my knees.

PLSThe kids text me “plz” which is shorter than please. I text back “no”…..which is shorter than “yes”.

RETIREI’m going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I’ll do that second week.

WE THE PEOPLEWhen did it change from “We the people” to “screw the people” ???

DUCT TAPEEven duct tape can’t fix stupid …….. but it can muffle the sound!

CROP PRESS ONEWhy do I have to press one for English when you’re just gonna transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?

TALK TO SELFOf course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice!


Oops! Did I roll my eyes out loud?

LUCKYAt my age “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.

SEND E-MAILAnd, of course… Have I sent this to you already or did you send this to me?

 

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDEnjoyed the chuckles?

If so – great, then share with others and have an enjoyable weekend.

 

 

World Water Week 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Winner

SIWI

The water man of India wins 2015 Stockholm Water Prize

SWP Banners with image

Click here for short video of interview –
http://siwi-mediahub.creo.tv/i/041xn2jzNd63dMxf-Ggs7Q
    

STOCKHOLMStockholm, Sweden (20 March 2015) – Rajendra Singh of India is named the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, for his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need.

1-WORLD WATER WEEK 2015

Mr Singh, born 1959, lives and works in the arid Indian state of Rajasthan, where he for several decades dedicated himself to defeating drought and empowering communities. The results of his tireless work are without equal: in close cooperation with local residents, he and his organization have revived several rivers, brought water, and life, back to a thousand villages and given hope to countless people.


VILLAGE

On receiving news about the prize, Mr Singh said “this is very encouraging, energizing and inspiring news. Through the Indian wisdom of rainwater harvesting, we have made helpless, abandoned, destitute and impoverished villages prosperous and healthy again.

SWP Banners resized newsIn its citation, The Stockholm Water Prize Committee says that “today’s water problems cannot be solved by science or technology alone. They are instead human problems of governance, policy, leadership, and social resilience. Rajendra Singh’s life work has been in building social capacity to solve local water problems through participatory action, empowerment of women, linking indigenous know-how with modern scientific and technical approaches and upending traditional patterns of development, resource use, and social norms.”

“In a world where demand for freshwater is booming, where we will face a severe water crisis within decades if we do not learn how to better take care of our water, Mr Singh is a beacon of hope,” says Torgny Holmgren, SIWI’s Executive Director. “He has literally brought villages back to life. We need to take Mr Singh’s lessons and actions to heart if we are to achieve sustainable water use in our lifetime.”

Rajendra Singh’s work reveals a true humanitarian and firm believerImage result for ayurvedic medicine symbol in empowerment. After studying Ayurvedic medicine and surgery, he
went into the countryside in the largely impoverished state of Rajasthan in the mid-1980’s with the aim to set up health clinics. Instead, he was told by villagers that the greatest need was not health care, but water. As wells dried up, crops wilted, and rivers and forests disappeared, many able-bodied villagers left in search for work in the cities. Women, children and the elderly were left behind, without hope, as their villages were being overrun by sand and dust.

Rajendra Singh did not insist with the clinics. Instead, and with the help of the villagers, he set out to build johads, or traditional earthen dams. Two decades after Rajendra Singh arrived in Rajasthan, 8,600 johads and other structures to collect water had been built. Water had been brought back to a 1,000 villages across the state. Mr Singh, his co-workers in Tarun Bharat Sangh (India Youth Association) had gotten water to flow again in several rivers of Rajasthan. The forest cover has increased, and antelope and leopard started returning.

The methods used by Mr Singh are modernization of traditional Indian ways of collecting and storing rainwater, dating back thousands of years. The methods fell out of use during British colonial rule, but have now brought water back to the driest state in one of the world’s most populous nations, thanks to the “Water man of India” and his colleagues.

“When we started our work, we were only looking at the drinking water crisis and how to solve that. Today our aim is higher. This is the 21st century. This is the century of exploitation, pollution and encroachment. To stop all this, to convert the war on water into peace, that is my life’s goal”, says Mr Singh.

Climate change is changing weather patterns around the world, leading to more frequent and intense droughts and floods. Learning how to harvest rainwater, cutting the peaks of water to fill the troughs, will be a key skill in most parts of the world. Some of the world’s finest scientists are currently focusing their attention on the management of rain and how to best develop the knowledge.


“We need to learn more about managing and harvesting rain in order to reduce our exposure to droughts as well as floods”, says SIWI’s Torgny Holmgren.

“Due to the harvesting of rain and recharging groundwater, there is no scope for drought or floods in our area. This work of ours is a way to solve both floods and droughts globally. Therefore we believe the impact of this work is on the local level, national level, the international level and above all at the village level,” says Rajendra Singh.

KING CARLH.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, will present the prize to Rajendra Singh at a Royal Award Ceremony during 2015 World Water Week in Stockholm on 26 August.

About Stockholm Water Prize
The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award founded in 1991 and presented annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) to an individual, organisation or institution for outstanding water-related achievements. The Stockholm Water Prize Laureate receives USD 150,000 and a specially designed sculpture. H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is patron of the prize.

Initially founded by the Stockholm Water Foundation to encourage research and development of the world’s water environment, the Image result for royal swedish academy of sciencesStockholm Water Prize is additionally supported by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, International Water Image result for international water association logoAssociation, Water Environment Federation and the City of Stockholm. The Founders of the Stockholm Water Prize are companies united in their strong conviction to drive sustainability in the water sector. They are: Bacardi, Borealis & Borouge, DuPont, Europeiska ERV, Fujitsu, HP, Kemira, KPMG Sweden, Ragn-Sells, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), SJ (Swedish Railways), Snecma/Safran, Xylem and Ålandsbanken.


Image result for Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)Stockholm International Water Institute is a policy institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-makers towards water wise policy and sustainable development. SIWI performs research, builds institutional capacity and provides advisory services in five thematic areas: water governance, transboundary water management, water and climate change, the water-energy-food nexus, and water economics. SIWI organizes the World Water Week in Stockholm – the leading annual global meeting place on water and development issues – and hosts the Stockholm Water Prize, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award.

http://www.siwi.org/prizes/stockholmwaterprize/laureates/2015-2/