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http://www.sustainableamerica.org/blog/plantagon/

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The future of farming might very well be up. With urban populations increasing and the reality that agriculture is stretched to its current limits of production, it is clear that we must find innovative new ways to produce food. We are also facing the issue of food miles, the distance that food currently travels from farm to plate and all the energy that’s needed for those distribution networks.

A Swedish-American company, Plantagon, was recently awarded the 2012 SACC New York-Deloitte Green Award for its innovative design of a 12-story triangular urban farm. This building, which broke ground last February, will be one of the tallest farms in the world once construction is completed.

Inside the Plantagon structure, plants will travel on tracks from the bottom floor up to the top and back to take advantage of optimum sunlight and make harvesting easier and more efficient. Plantagon plans to sell the produce at nearby farmers markets, minimizing food miles, and they will lease office space in the building for additional revenue.

They also plan to reduce operating energy use by creating biogas from the building’s own organic garbage. Down the line they are exploring the concept of a Planta-car – a vehicle that could run on the building’s organic compost.

This past July, the company expanded their reach into Asia, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tongi University in Shanghai to partner on research related to town-planning issues.

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Parasites often alter their host's behaviour or appearance, but Cymothoa exigua goes one further - it is the only parasite known to replace an entire organ. Its unfortunate host is typically the rose spotted snapper, which it enters through the gills and lodges itself at the back of the mouth. It hooks its claws at the base of the tongue and interrup

ts the blood flow, consuming it instead. Due to the lack of blood the tongue atrophies and falls off, where the isopod parasite attaches itself to the remaining stub. It then "becomes" a functional tongue for the fish, able to be moved as the fish would have moved its original tongue.

Like most cymothoid isopods, C. exigua is a hermaphrodite. In one study females were only found in the mouth, whereas males could be found in the gills and the mouth (and in the mouth they were clinging to females, suggesting copulation). A small proportion of extremely unlucky fish were found with females as the tongue and males simultaneously occupying the gills. Despite the "organ-replacement" part, it doesn't appear C. exigua has other adverse effects on the fish.

In case you were wondering (and we're sure it crossed your mind at some point), C. exigua does not affect humans. That said, don't pick one up - they deliver quite a nip.

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I'm not sure if that's cool or creepy.

That parasite looks like it's doing a Mr. Burns impression...excellent

excellent-mr-burns.gif

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This is not photoshopped. It happened in early 1990 in the Persian Gulf, while U.S. carriers and B-52s were holding joint exercises. Two B-52s called the carrier (USS Ranger) and asked if they could do a fly-by, and the carrier air controller said yes. When the B-52s reported they were 9 kilometers out, the carrier controller said he didn't see them. The B-52s told the carrier folks to look down. The paint job on the B-52 made it hard to see from above, but as it got closer, the sailors could make it out, and the water the B-52 jets were causing to spray out. It's very, very rare for a USAF aircraft to do a fly-by below the flight deck of a carrier. But B-52s had been practicing low level flights for years, to come in under Soviet radar. In this case, the B-52 pilots asked the carrier controller if they would like the bombers come around again. The carrier guys said yes, and a lot more sailors had their cameras out this time.

Link

Edited by China

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In a see of negative, infuriating, and saddening stories (on other threads)..I give you...

Oh, and we need more stories like this.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/paralyzed-dog-runs-for-the-first-time-slideshow/

Paralyzed dog runs for first time

Four-year old Billy, whose hind legs are paralyzed since birth, ran for the first time on Nov. 9 with the aid of the roll car. 'Rehatechnik fuer Tiere' (medical engineering for animals) owner Marco van den Boom, custom builds a range of roll cars for disabled or infirm dogs and animals, to help aid their mobility or paralysis needs.

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Edited by The Evil Genius

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This small waterfall located in the Shale Creek Preserve along a section of the Chestnut Ridge Park, near Buffalo New York has a rather interesting phenomena associated with it. The aptly named “Eternal Flame Falls” sits on a pocket of natural methane gas, which seeps out through a fracture in the rocks behind the waterfall.

Unfortunately weather conditions or lack of methane escaping can put the flame out now and then (perhaps not quite eternal) but it doesn’t take long before the locals or a visitor relights the flame once again. No one is quite sure who first discovered the fracture and set fire to it first.

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This little guy is a Tardigrade, or a water bear. In 2008, water bears were the first animals demonstrated to be able to survive the vacuum of space. They are virtually indestructible and can survive being blasted with radiation, intense pressures and years of desiccation.

Specimens were launched into space by Swedish scientists and they returned unharmed after eight days.

For more info on their superhero tendencies: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/12855775

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"Jennifer Foster of Florence, AZ was visiting Times Square with her husband Nov. 14 when they saw a shoeless man asking for change. She writes, “Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put ...socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching*. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer’s name. It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared. Our thanks to the Fosters for their attention and appreciation, and especially to this officer, who remains anonymous. "

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=388162557927199&set=a.274991665910956.65258.262068223869967&type=1&theater

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Middle school wrestler lets boy with cerebral palsy win match

Justin Kievit, a middle-school wrestler from Tennessee, showed off his sportsmanship when he matched up against Jared Stevens, who has cerebral palsy.

The match, which was taped and posted to Facebook by Kievit's father and to YouTube by Stevens' dad, begins with Stevens being gently laid down on the wrestling mat by a coach. Once the match begins, Kievit maneuvers around Stevens in a low crouch. Kievit then gets down on the mat and slides underneath Stevens so Stevens can pin him. The crowd went wild for Stevens' win and Kievit's heart.

According to Kievit's father, the act wasn't planned. The proud dad remarked to Franklin Home Page: "The first time he met Jared was when he shook hands with him before the match. So it really was spontaneous. They just picked this kid. If you watch the video, he just did an amazing job. There's not many adults comfortable putting hands on a disabled kid, much less another 13-year-old."

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/middle-school-wrestler-lets-boy-cerebral-palsy-win-222254658.html

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I've relit candles like that. Kinda cool. It's fun to see how high up on the smoke you can make the flame jump from.

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