Solar energy that doesn’t block the view
A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface. And, according to Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering, the key word is “transparent.”
8 September is International Literacy Day!
The theme this year is “Literacy and Sustainable Development”. Literacy is one of the key elements needed to promote sustainable development, as it empowers people so that they can make the right decisions in the areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration.
Learn more at: http://j.mp/QoqjYL
UN Security Council calls for ceasefire as offensive enters fifth day and death toll rises above 120
July 12 2014
At least twelve people were killed Saturday in airstrikes that hit a rehabilitation center for the disabled in Gaza, a mosque and other targets in the area, according to Palestinian medics. It comes as the death toll from Israel’s bombardment of the Palestinian enclave rose to 124.
Three patients and a nurse were killed overnight in the explosion on the rehabilitation center in Jebaliya, as Israel’s campaign entered its fifth day. Video footage of the aftermath of the attack showed victims being taken to hospital for injuries, including severe burns.
Fatalities from the offensive in Gaza now include 88 civilians, 30 of which are children, according to the United Nations. A further 750 people have been injured in five days of shelling.
Meanwhile, Israel said 680 rockets had been fired from Gaza into Israel since Tuesday, injuring nine Israelis. On Saturday, a missile seriously wounded one Israeli and injured another seven when it hit a fuel tanker at a service station in Ashdod, 20 miles north of Gaza.
The rocket salvoes from the enclave, some striking more than 60 miles from Gaza, have so far resulted in no fatalities, due in part to interceptions by Israel’s partly-U.S. funded Iron Dome aerial defense system. The Israeli army said that it had struck a total of 1,160 targets since the latest round of hostilities began earlier this week.
Alongside the dead from the rehabilitation center in Jabaliya, there were also reports of casualties at a separate charitable association for the disabled in Beit Lahiya, resulting from the latest raid.
At least two people killed and four critically wounded in the Beit Lahiya explosion, according to the AFP news agency. Meanwhile people were killed in the eastern Tufah area of Gaza City, and three in western Gaza City, it was reported.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking for details on why the Beit Lahiya center was targeted.
A mosque in Al-Nuseirat, in central Gaza, was also destroyed in the overnight raids. Graffiti scrawled on one of the mosque’s blasted walls read, “We will prevail despite your arrogance, Netanyahu.”
The Israeli military said the mosque housed a weapons cache.
The United Nations Security Council, meanwhile, called for a cease-fire Saturday in the hostilities centered on Gaza. A council statement approved by all 15 members calls for de-escalation of the violence, restoration of calm and a resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians aimed at achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution.
The press statement, which is not legally binding but reflects international opinion, expresses “serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides.” It calls for respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.
The U.N. and a handful of consulates are preparing for an exodus of 800 dual- and foreign-nationals from 21 countries on Sunday morning through the Erez Crossing at the northern end of the Gaza strip, according to a U.N. official.
On Saturday, Israel’s army chief, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, said his forces were ready to act as needed — hinting at readiness to send tanks and ground troops across the barbed-wire boundary into Gaza, as Israel last did for two weeks in early 2009. Some 20,000 reservists have already been mobilized for a possible thrust into Gaza, the army said.
"We are in the midst of an assault and we are prepared to expand it as much as is required, to wherever is required, with whatever force will be required and for as long as will be required," Gantz told reporters.
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late on Friday that he would continue the military campaign until he achieved his goal.
"No international pressure will prevent us acting with all our force against a terror organization that is calling for our destruction,” he said. “We will continue to forcefully attack anyone who is trying to hurt us,” he told reporters in Tel Aviv on Friday, a day after a phone call with U.S. President Barack Obama about the worst flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence in almost two years.
"No terrorist target in Gaza is immune," he added.
Washington affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself in a statement from the Pentagon on Friday. But Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon he was concerned “about the risk of further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect civilian lives and restore calm,” a Pentagon statement said.
“Mission 31 pays homage to my grandfather’s work and all aquanauts who have since followed his lead in the name of ocean exploration.”
~ Fabien Cousteau
Jacques-Yves Cousteau remains a legendary figure for exploration; specifically, ocean exploration. However, Cousteau was also a filmmaker, inventor, scientist, photographer, author, researcher, conservationist, and above all - a true explorer in every sense of the word. Becoming a pioneer means you have ventured where others haven’t, gone further, and/or cleared the path where subsequent generations may now be permitted access.
I would nearly go so far as to say he was the Carl Sagan of ocean exploration, but it would be a disservice to compare Cousteau to anyone else. I mean, the man was responsible for the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus: SCUBA! This accomplishment alone is a testament toward his stewardship toward this planet and all its inhabitants.
We’ve come a long way since Cousteau’s firs foray into ocean exploration, which brings us to Mission-31, led by Jacques grandson, Fabien Cousteau, who is currently on board his Aquarius underwater sea laboratory, entering in the second half of his mission before resurfacing or, “splash-up” on July 2nd.
Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31 will break new ground in ocean exploration and also coincides with the 50th anniversary of a monumental legacy left by his grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who is credited with creating the first ocean floor habitats for humans and leading a team of ocean explorers on the first attempt to live and work underwater aboard Conshelf Two. The ambitious 30-day living experiment in the Red Sea succeeded as the first effort in saturation diving, proving that it could be done without suffering any ill effects. Mission 31 will broaden the original Cousteau experiment by one full day, 30 more feet of saturation and will broadcast each moment on multiple channels exposing the world to the adventure, risk and mystique of what lies beneath. This will be the first time a mission of this length has taken place in the Aquarius lab, the only underwater marine habitat and lab in the world, located 9 miles off the coast of Key Largo, Fla., and operated by Florida International University.
The overarching theme for Mission 31 is the human-ocean connection within the lens of exploration and discovery. Three main topics will be highlighted throughout Mission 31: climate change and the related challenges of ocean acidification; ocean pollution with an emphasis on the effects of plastics; and overconsumption of resources with specific focus on the decline of biodiversity.
Promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education globally - through virtual hangouts - have only been a shade of the outreach for ocean conservation for the Mission 31 aquanauts. See below for an excerpt from one of their recent blog posts:
On Tues., June 17, Cousteau took part in a Google Hangout moderated by CNN anchor, Brooke Baldwin, with Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group and Ocean Elders and Wendy Schmidt, president of the Schmidt Family Foundation and co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute. The importance of ocean conservation and increased public awareness for ocean issues was the focus of the conversation. Although Branson is well known for his involvement with space travel, he noted the parallels between the worlds of space and sea, both promising exploration and discovery of the unknown. Regarding Cousteau living underwater for 31 days, Branson said, “I take my hat off to him. I mean it’s a wonderful commitment, and through that commitment he’s managed to get programs like this to get out and talk about the oceans.” The participants were interested to hear from Cousteau about what it is like living in the undersea research lab. Cousteau spoke about seeing a spectacular example of predator-prey behavior right outside the viewport the night before.
Cousteau welcomed VIP guest, actor and filmmaker Adrian Grenier to the Aquarius habitat on Wed., June 18. Grenier is best known for playing Vincent Chase in the HBO series “Entourage.” He is also co-founder of SHFT, a digital media platform for a socially conscious lifestyle. Grenier is an ambassador for OCEANA, and via his shingle Reckless Productions is producing an upcoming documentary “52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale in the World.” Although Grenier had to face quite a current as he headed down to Aquarius, upon return to land he stepped off the boat with smiles and praise for Cousteau and the team. “It was incredible,” said Grenier. “Fabien and his team have done great work.”
Outer space met the undersea world on June 19, when retired US NASA astronaut, Clayton Anderson dove down for a visit with Cousteau and the Mission 31 team. Like Cousteau, Anderson is no stranger to living extended periods of time in an alien environment. Anderson spent five months living and working aboard the International Space Station in 2007. Anderson has logged a total of 167 days in space, and completed six spacewalks to count for more than 38 hours of extra-vehicle activity in space. During his 30-year career with NASA, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2008 and 2011. This was not Anderson’s first time at the Aquarius Reef Base. He previously worked there as an aquanaut for 14 days during NEEMO 5 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) in 2003. He was also originally trained by Mark Hulsbeck, Mission 31 Specialist and Aquarius Reef Base crewmember.
As you can see, this team has been widely successful already, and pushing the boundaries of ocean conservation education with this incredible project. Their blog is constantly updated with entries from the team as well as their dive log. There’s a ‘social hub’ which merges all of their social media communication outlets, a page - with a video from Fabien - promoting support of the effort, and what future endeavors beyond the mission lie ahead for Fabien.
Along with a beautifully interactive site to engage with the mission, a 24-hour livestream has been available since the start of Mission-31, for the public to observe the team’s goings on, with beautiful views of the Aquarius exterior, courtesy of Florida International University’s Medina Aqarius Program!
Chimamamda Ngozi Adiche, We Should All Be Feminists
Ever so appropriate reminder…and what is more disheartening is WOMEN reinforce this BULLSHIT.Being a woman doesn’t mean you’re a feminist. Men aren’t the only ones invested in patriarchy.
Truth. Sad truth
reblog every time.
My experience also comes from other women doling out this abuse, keeping misogyny alive.