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December 2012
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February 2013

Chinese air pollution hits record levels – in pictures


via the guardian

Beijing residents advised to stay indoors as much as possible with severe pollution at levels 'beyond index'

I mean, don’t they have a climate control weapon or “something” which they proudly showcased during the Beijing Olympics?  How come they don’t use it NOW?

They should use it to wash the hazardous PM2.5 down while they are still in Chinese territory.

Beijing's New Year surprise: PM 2.5 readings (CNN)

Zhao Jialin, a blogger on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblog site, tweeted: "Thank the government for making this effort to solve the problem. It is a Chinese New Year gift from them to the people."

As I mentioned before, China should seriously consider to slow down their current pace of motorization, put extremely high tax on all vehicles using fossil energy and encourage their people to switch all vehicles to EV or Hybrids, and better yet, go back to bicycles like they used to! 爆笑

アフリカのリスクを地図で見る。本当に危険な場所はどこ? アルジェリア人質事件で現実となった “レッドゾーン”

via Nikkei Business

アフリカ諸国のリスクの状況を、英調査会社エクスクルーシブ・アナリシスが作成しているリスクマップで見てみたい。上の地図(出所:Exclusive Analysis、以下同)は、同社がアフリカ大陸をリスクの度合いによって色分けしたものだ。青→黄→赤の順に危険度が上がっていく。


Dutch architect plans world's first 3D-printed building (WIRED)



A Dutch architect is planning to construct a Möbius strip-shaped house using the world's largest 3D printer.

Landscape House, designed by Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Amsterdam firm Universal Architecture, will contain around 1,100 square meters of floorspace throughout the twisted structure. The 3D printer -- which can "print" objects as large as six meters by nine meters using a mix of grinded-down rocks or sand, held together with a liquid binding agent -- has been designed by Italian roboticist Enrico Dini.

Dini has been printing huge objects with his printer for a couple of years, but this will be the first building that he's produced that's actually designed to be occupied just like any other. For a house that will be a solid whole, without any visible seams, a Möbius strip makes perfect sense as a design shape.


「Landscape House」と名付けられたこの家は、アムステルダムに本拠を置くUniverse Architecture社のヤンヤップ・ライジシェナーシュ(Janjaap Ruijssenaars)が設計した。このねじれた構造の建物の中に、およそ1,100平方メートルの床面積が確保される予定だ。


Sistine Chapel in Virtual Reality (Vatican)



Sistine Chapel painting by Michelangelo in Virtual Reality. For your viewing pleasure….

The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the large Papal Chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV after whom it is named, and was painted at the commission of Pope Julius II. The chapel is the location for Papal Conclaves and many important services.[1]

The ceiling's various painted elements form part of a larger scheme of decoration within the Chapel, which includes the large fresco The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall, also by Michelangelo, wall paintings by several leading painters of the late 15th century including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Pietro Perugino, and a set of large tapestries by Raphael, the whole illustrating much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church.[2][3]

Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which the Creation of Adam is the best known, having an iconic standing equalled only by Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the hands of God and Adam being reproduced in countless imitations. The complex design includes several sets of individual figures, both clothed and nude, which allowed Michelangelo to fully demonstrate his skill in creating a huge variety of poses for the human figure, and have provided an enormously influential pattern book of models for other artists ever since.


Can You Spot the Possible UFO in This Time-Lapse Video of a Meteor Shower? (THE BLAZE)

Time Lapse Video of Geminid Meteor Shower Captures Potential UFO


Time-lapse videos of meteor showers are stunning. Footage of alleged UFOs are intriguing. But what do you get when you put the two of them together? A “dreamlapse.”

The video “Death Valley Dreamlapse” shows one team’s trek to the Eureka Dunes on Dec. 13, 2012, to catch the peak of the Geminid meteor shower.

” … we had to conquer epic climbs, sand roads with the 4×4 Jeep, and the occasional UFO,” Sunchaser Pictures writes on the video’s description.

UFO or not, this clip is absolutely beautiful and intriguing.

Search for life on Mars goes underground



Up to half of all life on Earth consists of simple microorganisms hidden in rocks beneath the surface and for some time scientists have suggested that the same may be true for Mars. Now this theory has been supported by new research, which suggests that the ingredients for life have been present in the Martian subsurface, a zone of more than three miles below ground, for much of the planet’s history.

When meteorites strike the surface of Mars, they act like natural probes, bringing up rocks from far beneath the surface. Recent research published in the journal Nature Geoscience shows that many of the rocks brought up from the Martian subsurface contain clays and minerals with a chemical make-up that has been altered by water, an essential element to support life.

Sundance Filmmakers Can Self-Distribute Films Online After Festival


via Mashable

The Sundance Film Festival, which kicked off last week in Park City, Utah, has long been one of the go-to events for filmmakers hoping to get their projects noticed by some of the industry's top players.

This year, the institute announced its partnership with an online video platform called Reelhouse, which filmmakers from the event can use to self-distribute their work online.

Isn’t this a Great Idea!??

Leaked UN climate report slammed for citing WWF, Greenpeace


via Fox News

Critics are blasting a draft U.N. climate change report that combines studies by advocacy groups like the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace alongside scientific research papers -- the same issue that led independent auditors to slam the U.N.'s last report.

“You'd think that the IPCC would have learned its lesson, that it would have told its authors not to rely on these sorts of publications,” said Donna Laframboise, the head of, an investigative website skeptical of the scientific consensus on global warming.

PBS' NOVA to Premiere Documentary on 'Rise of the Drones'

via Mashable

The documentary will tackle both the military and civilian side of drone technology, exploring how the military trains drone pilots at the Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico, as well as the role drones will play in domestic law enforcement.

There are controversies in both of these worlds. Are drone strikes in accordance with international law? Are they killing too many civilians? "We’ve entered an era where we’re conducting an array of operations using unmanned systems that in a previous generation we would have called war, and we would have treated like war," Peter W. Singer, an expert in the future of warfare, says in the documentary. "When you’re conducting more than 300 air strikes in a country, you’re conducting an equivalent of at least an ‘Air War’ campaign. But we don’t call it that now."

On the civilian side, most of the questions are related to privacy and security. Can citizens' privacy be respected when there are thousands of eyes in the sky? "I think anybody that can use a device to peer into your activities even if it’s the air outside your window or the air above your property, I think there is a right to privacy," Rep. Rand Paul tells NOVA. "The worry is that in two [to] three years we will have 30,000 drones crisscrossing the sky accumulating all this information."

Obama to use Lincoln's and Martin Luther King's Bibles for swearing-in | World news | The Guardian


President Barack Obama is putting a symbolic twist on a time-honored tradition, taking the oath of office for his second term with his hand placed not on a single Bible but on two – one owned by Martin Luther King Jr and one by Abraham Lincoln.

The use of King's Bible is particularly significant since the inauguration is on 21 January, the federal holiday in honour of the civil rights leader, who delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago at the Lincoln memorial. Obama will be facing the memorial as he takes the oath. King's Bible, which his children say he used early in his career as a preacher, has never been part of a presidential inauguration.

image: President Barack Obama gives his inauguration address during the public ceremonial inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

There were some great words and phrases in his speech, some of which were historically remarkable actually, and that go in line with “I have a dream” speech by civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.

But putting his words into action would be very tough job for him during next four years term.

And I sincerely hope that he will not be crucified by his own words.  









1972年の旧通産省と旧環境庁との覚書により、国立公園内では新たに地熱発電所は建設 しないことになったこともあり、その後、国立公園特別地域内では調査も困難な状況にな っています。ちなみに、150℃以上の地熱資源量2347万kWの81.9%が国立公園特別地 域内となっているのです。ということは、今のままでは、有望な地域のほとんどが開発で きないことになってしまっています。




今夜放送のJAM THE WORLDで、前「日本地熱学会」会長で、NPO「地熱情報研究所」代表の江原幸雄さんをゲストに迎えて、その辺りを伺いたいと思う。

Original Batmobile sold for $4.2m at US auction


The Batmobile used by actor Adam West in the original TV series of Batman has sold for $4.2m (£2.6m) at a US auction.

The car was bought by Rick Champagne, a logistics company owner from Phoenix, Arizona.

The 56-year-old, who was just 10 when the high-camp TV series began in 1966, said it "was a dream come true".

The Batmobile design was based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy by the Ford Motor Company.

It was the first time that car had come up for public sale since it was bought in 1965 by car-customiser George Barris, who transformed it in 15 days, at the cost of $15,000 (£9,400), into the superhero's famous vehicle.

The Batmobile was definitely one of my Dream Car when I was a kid…  I have not seen it for very long time, but I think it still looks awesome!

Report: Solar Could Meet All The World's Electricity Needs In 2050 Using Under One Percent Of World's Land | ThinkProgress


Highlighting the fact that a global switch to renewable energy is not just necessary, but doable, a new report released by the WWF concludes that the solar arrays necessary to meet all the world’s projected energy needs in 2050 would cover under one percent of global land area. Obviously this is a theoretical exercise, and 100 percent of the planet’s electricity needs are not actually going to be filled through solar. But several credible scenarios suggest that solar could provide about 30 percent of global total electricity in 2050, up from the 0.1 percent it provides now.

By going through the numbers, the Solar PV Atlas demonstrates both the practical feasibility of renewable energy, and the possibility of harmonizing solar energy with conservation goals:

The battery that grounded Boeing


U.S. officials grounded Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner because the aircraft's advanced batteries appear to be malfunctioning. But what's the problem? And can it be fixed?

To reduce weight on the plane, Boeing relied heavily on lithium ion batteries -- the same type found in mobile phones and laptops.

Can it be fixed? Fixing the fire issue is obviously the main problem. Boeing chose a particularly risky type of chemical makeup in its lithium ion battery, one that provides more power but does not stand up well to overheating.

"Boeing made a conscious design decision, and is now paying the price," he said.