Another moment in time with a close friend! Sometimes we drift apart but always find a way to link up in the closest mutual city. This cycle around afroPunk was the magnet that attracted her to Atlanta! We ping pong between conversations about starting a new job to what is the true nature of this reality. This time we had a chance to check out the key to my peace of mind! The mill….. as I type this a text message confirming Natalie has made her flight by a thin hair reminds me everything happens as it should within divine timing! This slice of pizza is right on time too Peace! Until next love, Happy Birthday I hope my presence was a gift! Surprisingly we were rocking similar pieces, black tourmaline necklace! I’ve been running into people with the same thing on lately like the lady that just rang up my pizza. We were kindly interrupted by a lady that began giving Natalie instructions to move her hat up so we can see her eyes. “Such beautiful eyes” the lady says making her way closer to me as I try to pay her no mind. She continues ” lift your hat up, I know art direction…” at this point I knew she wouldn’t go away so my answer to this was give her more than she asked for. I walked over to her and began showing her what was previously captured. She looked on with pleasure and excitement then began giving me her name to add on Facebook to show me her photos that she gets captured. I notice Natalie’s attention is drifting as I let the lady exhaust her words my initial and only question to her was, are you a photographer. The answer was no. Moving right along….It was great chasing the sun! As well as dodging doggy bloaks ha! Until next time…

An Earthship is a type of passive solar house that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds.

An Earthship addresses six principles or human needs[1]:

  1. Thermal/solar heating and cooling
  2. solar and wind electricity
  3. self-contained sewage treatment
  4. building with natural and recycled materials
  5. water harvesting and long term storage
  6. some internal food production capability

Earthship structures are intended to be “off-the-grid-ready” homes, with minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rain water.

  • They are designed with thermal mass construction and natural cross-ventilation to regulate indoor temperature.
  • The designs are intentionally uncomplicated and mainly single-story, so that people with little building knowledge can construct them

 

There are research teams around the world dedicated to finding a remedy for the growing plastic pollution crisis, but now it seems that one group of scientists have found a feasible answer — and they stumbled upon it by accident. Researchers studying a newly-discovered bacterium found that with a few tweaks, the bug can be turned into a mutant enzyme that starts eating plastic in a matter of days, compared to the centuries it takes for plastic to break down in the ocean.

The surprise discovery was made when scientists began investigating the structure of a bacterium found in a waste dump in Japan. The bug produced an enzyme, which the team studied using the Diamond Light Source, an intense beam of X-rays 10 billion times brighter than the sun. At first, the enzyme looked similar to one evolved by many kinds of bacteria to break down cutin, a natural polymer used by plants as a protective layer. But after some gentle manipulation, the team actually improved its ability to eat PET (polyethylene terephthalate), the type of plastic used in drinks bottles.

Speaking to The Guardian, Professor John McGeehan, who led the research from the University of Portsmouth, said the discovery was “a bit of a shock,” but that it could have a significant impact on the mounting global plastics problem. PET bottles that are currently recycled can only be turned into fibers for clothing and carpets. The mutant enzyme could be used to turn plastic back into its original components. “It means we won’t need to dig up any more oil and, fundamentally, it should reduce the amount of plastic in the environment,” said McGeehan.

Existing examples of industrial enzymes, such as those used in detergents and biofuels, have been manipulated to work up to 1,000 times faster in just a few years — McGeehan believes the same could be possible with the new enzyme: “It gives us scope to use all the technology used in other enzyme development for years and years and make a super-fast enzyme.” According to the team, potential future uses for the enzyme could include spraying it on the huge islands of floating plastic in oceans to break down the material.

Plastic pollution has seen renewed focus in recent times, thanks largely to attention drawn by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series, and through a number of legislative proposals. Science has examined a huge range of solutions, from plastic-plucking robots to infrared identification from space, but the discovery of this mutant enzyme could herald an entirely new way of dealing with the issue.

Source – Yahoo  

Costa Rica Just Elected Its First Afrocan Female Vice President

Epsy Campbell Barr is the first African, female vice president in Latin American history.

Epsy Campbell Barr has just made history.

The Costa Rican economist, politician and author is the first African person and the first woman ever to become vice president in her country, and the first African woman to do so in Latin American history.

Campbell Barr, who is one of the founders of the ruling party Citizen Action Party (PAC) will be second in command to president-elect Carlos Alvarado Quesada won the election in a landslide victory on Monday. She previously ran for the position back in 2006, and she served in the legislature from 2002-2006, reports TeleSur.

“It would not be the first only in Costa Rica, but in Latin America,” Campbell Barr proclaimed to CRHoy on Sunday. “It will be a responsibility not only to represent people of African descent but to represent all women and men in the country, a country that gives us all the same opportunities,”

Born in San Jose, Campbell Barr is a third generation Costa Rican of Jamaican descent, she is named in honor of her paternal grandmother who emigrated to Costa Rica from Jamaica.

Campbell Barr follows in the footsteps of Costa Rica’s former high-standing political officials including Thelma Curling, the first Afro-Costa Rican legislator, Victoria Garron the first vice-president and Laura Chinchilla the country’s first female president.

The vice president-elect has made it a point to highlight the role of women in fostering growth Costa Rica. Ahead of her win, Campbell Barr gave an address, urging her fellow citizens to support equality and inclusion. “I want to invite you to vote on April 1 to build an inclusive, transparent Costa Rica, a Costa Rica for all people, it is for us, it is for Costa Rica.”

Source – OkayAfrica

A fight  for power often leads to blood shed. From political activist to natural remedy doctors people that would like to cause a change are targeted by those who profit from business as usual until  undeniable change occurs.

Marielle Franco, a councilwoman from Rio de Janeiro, was shot along with her driver on Wednesday night. The 38-year councillor had become a voice for gay and black rights, as well as fighting against police violence in poor areas of the city. Brazil’s president was quick to speak out to condemn the killing, even though the two had disagreed over his recent plans to put the army in charge of security in Rio de Janiero. Al Jazeera’s Hannah Hoexter reports.

Waste management is one of the biggest challenges confronting many African countries. The issue of collection, management and disposal of solid waste still features highly in major towns and cities across the region. Failure to correctly manage waste disposal has often led to flooding and the outbreak of diseases.

In Ethiopia, its largest rubbish dump Koshe was for almost 50 years, home to hundreds of people who collect and resell rubbish trucked in from around the capital Addis Ababa. It, however, made headlines last year when it killed about 114 people, compelling the government to rethink an alternative use for the site which is said to be the size of 36 football pitches.

Ethiopia has since turned the site into a new waste-to-energy plant via the Reppie Waste-to-Energy Project which is the first of its kind in Africa. This forms part of efforts to revolutionise waste management practices in the country.

The plant, which was expected to begin operation in January, will incinerate 1,400 tons of waste every day. This represents about 80 percent of the city’s waste generation. The plant will also supply the people with 30 percent of their household electricity needs.

“The Reppie project is just one component of Ethiopia’s broader strategy to address pollution and embrace renewable energy across all sectors of the economy. We hope that Reppie will serve as a model for other countries in the region, and around the world,” Zerubabel Getachew, Ethiopia’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations said in Nairobi last year.

The waste-to-energy incineration plant will burn the rubbish in a combustion chamber. The heat produced will be used to boil water until it turns to steam, which drives a turbine generator that produces electricity.

Waste-to-energy incineration is also vital for cities where land is in short supply, as apart from generating electricity, space will be saved and there is a substantial prevention of the release of toxic chemicals into groundwater, and reduction in the release of the greenhouse gas – methane – into the atmosphere.

The Reppie plant operates within the emissions standards of the European Union, as it contributes towards alleviating air pollution.

Waste-to-energy plants are already popular in Europe, as nearly 25 percent of municipal waste is incinerated.
In France alone, there are about 126 waste-to-energy plants, with Germany having 121 and Italy having 40.

The Reppie plant in Addis Ababa is the result of a partnership between the Government of Ethiopia and a consortium of international companies: Cambridge Industries Limited (Singapore), China National Electric Engineering and Ramboll, a Danish engineering firm. The consortium is hoping that the project will be a series of similar ones in major cities across Africa.

Source – Face2FaceAfrica 

Im not quite sure what this means but it seemed interesting …. 

Physicists Create New Form Of Light

For the first time, scientists have watched groups of three photons interacting and effectively producing a new form of light.

In results published in Science, researchers suggest that this new light could be used to perform highly complex, incredibly fast quantum computations.

Photons are tiny particles that normally travel solo through beams of light, never interacting with each other. But in 2013 scientists made them clump together in pairs, creating a new state of matter. This discovery shows that interactions are possible on a greater scale.

“It was an open question,” Vladan Vuletic from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who led the team with Mikhail Lukin from Harvard University, said in a statement. “Can you add more photons to a molecule to make bigger and bigger things?” 

The scientists cooled a cloud of rubidium atoms to an ultralow temperature to answer their question. This slowed the atoms down till they were almost still. A very faint laser beam sent just a few photons through the freezing cloud at once.

The photons came out the other side as pairs and triplets, rather than just as individuals.

Photons flit between atoms like bees among flowers

The researchers think the particles might flit from one nearby atom to another as they pass through the rubidium cloud—like bees in a field of flowers. These passing photons can could form “polaritons”—part photon, part atom hybrids. If more than one photon pass by the same atom at the same time, they might form polaritons that are linked. As they leave the atom, they could stay together as a pair, or even a triplet.

“What’s neat about this is, when photons go through the medium, anything that happens in the medium, they ‘remember’ when they get out,” said co-author Sergio Cantu from MIT.

This whole process takes about a millionth of a second.

The future of computing

This research is the latest step towards a long-fabled quantum computer, an ultra-powerful machine that could solve problems beyond the realm of traditional computers. Your desktop PC would, for example, struggle to solve the question: “If a salesman has lots of places to visit, what is the quickest route?”

“[A traditional computer] could solve this for a certain number of cities, but if I wanted to add more cities, it would get much harder, very quickly,” Vuletic previously stated in a press release.

Light, he said, is already used to transmit data very quickly over long distances via fibre optic cables. Being able to manipulate these photons could enable the distribution of data in much more powerful ways.

The team is now aiming to coerce photons in ways beyond attraction. The next stop is repulsion, where photons slam into each other and scatter.

“It’s completely novel in the sense that we don’t even know sometimes qualitatively what to expect,” Vuletic says. “With repulsion of photons, can they be such that they form a regular pattern, like a crystal of light? Or will something else happen? It’s very uncharted territory.”

Source – MSN