Greenpeace: Save the Arctic

The Arctic ice we all depend on is disappearing. Fast.

In the last 30 years, we’ve lost as much as three-quarters of the floating sea ice cover at the top of the world. The volume of that sea ice measured by satellites in the summer, when it reaches its smallest, has shrunk so fast that scientists say it’s now in a ‘death spiral’.

For over 800,000 years, ice has been a permanent feature of the Arctic ocean. It’s melting because of our use of dirty fossil fuel energy, and in the near future it could be ice free for the first time since humans walked the Earth. This would be not only devastating for the people, polar bears, narwhals, walruses and other species that live there – but for the rest of us too.

The ice at the top of the world reflects much of the sun’s heat back into space and keeps our whole planet cool, stabilising the weather systems that we depend on to grow our food. Protecting the ice means protecting us all.

To save the Arctic, we have to act today. Sign now.

Channel 4 Seeks New Presenter For Future Family Series In Partnership With E.ON

Channel 4 is looking for someone with a passion for technology and gadgets to join the presenting team for Future Family, a major new documentary series in partnership with E.ON.

The new five-part TV and web-based series will follow an average family as their lives are transformed using futuristic technology and gadgets.

Featuring the latest environmental and energy-saving technology, Future Family will look at how new developments could change the way we live, from how we work and play, to relaxation, how we power and heat our homes, as well as eating and staying healthy.

As part of the presenting team, the new talent will be given the opportunity to front the Future Familyseries of web videos, in which they will help demystify the technology featured in the show.

The online series will showcase fantastic and futuristic inventions and practical how-to videos offering advice on saving and generating energy in your home. It will also offer the audience the opportunity to submit their own inventions. Further details will be announced closer to launch date.

Do you have what it takes?

The new presenter can be of any age, male or female, but should have a genuine passion for technology. They will be engaging and have the ability to speak about the latest gadgets and energy saving inventions with credibility.

How to enter

For an opportunity to become the show’s resident technology expert, email futurefamily@twofour.co.uk or visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwnWQaFuhKk

Applications close on 30th May 2011.

Applicants will receive an email requesting that they complete a short application form and provide a link to a one minute video clip of themselves talking about a piece of technology that interests them.

Should they be successful, applicants will be contacted by the production team to discuss the series in more detail. A screen test will be required as part of the final selection process.

Future Family will air on Channel 4 this autumn and will be Channel 4’s first peak-time Advertiser Funded Programme.

Samsung Project Space Planes Finally Launch

Remember Samsung Project Space Planes back in September? Which had the idea of launching a balloon to space where there it would release lots of paper planes with Samsung SD memory cards (with your messages). If not quickly see video below!

Well they have finally managed to do that, amidst awful weather, from a place called Wolfsburg in Germany!

The balloon, filled with helium gas and carrying a load of paper planes, took 2.6 hours to rise to 37,339 metres (that’s at the edge of space!), where it burst and took only 40 minutes to fall back to earth. It landed in a forest just south east of Berlin, where our team had to use a very long pole to retrieve the payload from the top of a tree.

The hand-crafted paper planes with their precious cargo of Samsung SD memory cards were released at around 36,3500 metres and could land anywhere!

Now if anyone finds a plane and memory card, they would like you to contact them at www.projectspaceplanes.com/ask and they will try to put you in touch with the person who uploaded their piece of data onto that memory card.

They have already tested the few cards that got tangled in the net and therefore weren’t released, and they all work perfectly!

See the action in the video below.

My Garden as of the 6th of July 2010

I’ve been working pretty hard lately on my garden – I just wish there was some miracle way of stopping weeds and roots from growing back and also to slow time . But hey it’s a challenge right – a one man band doing all he can within reason while still having no transport to get rid of all the cuttings! 🙂

8th of September 2009 – Before winter came and took the garden back.

DSC01224

DSC01225

24th of April 2010 – The sun is coming out time to do that garden!

DSC01656

DSC01654

DSC01661

21st of June 2010 – No car anymore, so work has been hard but it’s getting there, shame the rain came and ruined all the work I had done – weirds grow back quick!

DSC01893

DSC01894

DSC01898

27th of June 2010 – Finally shifting that dirt.

DSC01942

DSC01943

DSC01946

6th of July 2010 – More dirt shifting and still no transport makes for a hard life in the garden. Summer holidays soon – will have to clear as much as I can before winters back!

DSC01971

DSC01975

DSC01982

DSC01984

Airspace Rebooted after Icelandic Volcanic Ash

A visualisation of the northern European airspace returning to use after being closed due to volcanic ash from the Volcano Eruption in Iceland. Due to varying ash density across Europe, the first flights can be seen in some areas on the 18th and by the 20th everywhere is open.

The flight data is courtesy of flightradar24.com and covers a large fraction of Europe. There are a few gaps (most noticeably France) and no coverage over the Atlantic, but the picture is still clear.

The map data is CC-by-SA openstreetmap.org and contributors.

This CC-by-SA visualisation was produced by itoworld.com with support from ideasintransit.org

Airspace Rebooted from ItoWorld on Vimeo.

Snow around the Aral Sea in early January 2010

Snow surrounded the Aral Sea in early January 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on January 8, 2010. A band of snow extends from southwest to northeast, crossing over the Aral Sea. The band of snow thins along its southeastern edge, so snow barely covers the southeastern shore of the water body.

January 2010 also brought the heaviest snowfall in decades to the Beijing region and Seoul, and unusually heavy snow to Western Europe, including Great Britain. Unusually cold temperatures throughout the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere in December 2009 likely resulted from a negative plunge of the Arctic Oscillation. Land surface temperature anomalies in the region of the Aral Sea, however, were mixed, both above and below the 2000–2008 average.

By the time MODIS acquired this image of the Aral Sea, the water body was a small remnant of its former self. Once the world’s fourth-largest lake, the sea was dramatically reduced by irrigation projects.

Snow around the Aral Sea

Snow around the Aral Sea

Snow across Great Britain on the 7th of January 2010

Snow blanketed Great Britain on January 7, 2010, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite passed overhead and captured this image. Snow covers most of England, from the east to the west coast. (The large image shows snow cover over the entire island of Great Britain.) The cities of Manchester, Birmingham, and London form ghostly gray shapes against the white land surface. Immediately east of London, clouds swirl over the island, casting blue-gray shadows toward the north.

Frigid temperatures followed snowfall, leaving roads and sidewalks treacherously icy, according to news reports. As of January 7, overnight temperatures had plunged to -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in isolated spots, with more widespread temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). The heavy snowfall downed power lines, leaving several thousand homes in southern England without electricity.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, transportation difficulties kept an estimated 10 percent of the workforce home on January 5 and 6, and thousands of schools were closed. Forecasters warned that frigid temperatures could linger for up to a week. Eurostar was operating at a reduced capacity and airports remained open although passengers could expect delays.

A contributor to the persistent cold and snow across much of the Northern Hemisphere’s mid-latitudes in December 2009 and January 2010 could be the fact that the atmosphere was in an extreme negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). The AO is a seesawing strengthening and weakening of semi-permanent areas of low and high atmospheric pressure in the Arctic and the mid-latitudes. One consequence of the oscillation’s negative phase is cold, snowy weather in Eurasia and North America during the winter months. The extreme negative dip of the Arctic Oscillation Index in December 2009 was the lowest monthly value observed for the past six decades.

Snow across Great Britain

Snow across Great Britain

Pixel size: 1km | 500m | 250m

Babcock Ranch Florida 100% Powered Solar City

Raising the initiative of a sustainable, environmentally sensitive, green community to new heights, Babcock Ranch (The City of Tomorrow) is planned to be the first city to be 100% powered by the sun, with the majority of its electric needs generated from the largest on-site solar photovoltaic energy facility powering any city on earth.  By consuming less KW hours than the solar facilities located on the property will produce, Babcock Ranch will become the first city in the world powered by clean, renewable solar energy.

Located near Fort Myers, in beautiful Charlotte County, USA, just minutes from I-75 and the Southwest Florida International Airport, Babcock Ranch is destined to become America’s most talked-about new city.  A place where neighbors of all backgrounds, ages and incomes can come together to work, to learn, to shop, to play – and to savor life.  It’s a new city where innovation will abound – with planned state-of-the-art infrastructure to assure businesses and residents full access to emerging technologies for communications, energy, education and transportation.