Category Archives: African Continent

Futuristic solution to the Pacific Garbage patch ready for action

Engadget.com | May 2017 | Global |

Ocean pollution in the form of plastics is one of the greatest threats to environmental health that our planet faces at present. Year on year, increasing amounts of plastic are being dumped into our oceans, negatively affecting delicate ecosystems and environmental phenomena. As part of this, the ‘great pacific garbage patch’ has developed, a collection of various types of pollutants and plastics, being brought together by major ocean currents.

To deal with this issue, The Ocean Cleanup, a dutch foundation, have developed a novel system for collecting and basically harvesting the tonnes upon tonnes of plastic debris in our seas. They system works by using floating 50, 0.6 mile length screens anchored to the ocean floor, to capture and trap debris and moved by the currents.

A statement from the organizations leader, Boyan Slat, said that they expected the system to be able to clean up half of the massive garbage patch in 5 years, at a relatively low cost (in comparison to other and earlier designs).

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“Boston public schools map switch aims to amend 500 years of distortion”

Theguardian.com – Mar 2017 – USA |

Don’t pretend that this cartographical conundrum hasn’t been keeping you up at night.

The Mercator projection has long been a topic of debate within mapping enthusiast circles. It is almost ubiquitously used in contemporary maps and atlases, and many would recognize its projection of our planet. Western-Europe at the center of our globe, with a sprawling northern hemisphere in comparison to it’s southern half.

The Mercator projection distorts out planet. South America and Africa appear drastically smaller than they are in reality, with areas such as Europe, America and Greenland being inversely enlarged. Schools in Boston however are looking to shake things up for its students and restore some geographical truth to their classrooms.

The maps they use will now feature the lesser known Peter’s projection, which cuts US, Britain, and the rest of Europe down to size.

Many are hailing the move as an important step in removing colonial thinking from contemporary society. These new maps will remove the focus and exaggerated sizing of imperialist powers. It is hoped this slight shift will help promote a more universal and truthful understanding of Earth for future generations, moving away from western-centric discourses of our planet.

To read the article in full, please click on the reference title above.

 

 

“Tech company proposes edible drone to solve world hunger”

Theverge.com – Mar 2017 – Global |

A British company has developed a ground-breaking drone prototype.

The unmanned ‘Pouncer’ is gaining a lot of coverage in the technology world due to its unique and novel design. Windhorse Aerospace’s nine foot wingspan drone will be entirely constructed with “foodstuff” or edible materials.

Honeycomb, compressed vegetables and salami are all possible resources being considered in the design.

Although the prototype may sound like a bit of a publicity stunt, there is sounds science and motivation behind the project. The team hope that the drone may help in solving a key humanitarian crisis, being food sources and availability. The drone could not only be used to drop supplies in the most needed areas, but then can also be ‘recycled’ itself, acting as a high-tech meal for those in need.

To read the article and commentary in full, follow the reference title above.

 

“Happiness report: Norway is the happiest place on Earth”

Bbcnews.co.uk – Mar 2017 – Norway |

Norway has overtaken Denmark as the happiest place on earth, according to a recent study published by the UN.

The World Happiness Report has been developed to quantify and report how happy people in a given area are, and the reasons behind this. It is a measure of subjective well-being, taking in factors such as conflict, life expectancy, access to services and environmental pollution.

The study has in recent years been dominated by the extremely happy Danish and Scandinavian region. Although this report still reports the same general findings, Norway are now the world leaders with Denmark having to settle for second best (although by the looks of the report, they will still be pretty happy about it!)

The report was released today to coincide with the UN’s International Day of Happiness.

Below is a list of the top and bottom ten countries. Where does your country sit? Do you agree with the rankings? What could your country change to make things a happier place to be?

Cheerful News Happiness graph

To read the article and view the results in full, follow the reference title above.