12 November 2011

Another (sub) species, extinct

According to the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, "the Western Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) has officially been declared extinct." (see IUCN news release).

The loss of a rhinoceros sub-species is a travesty, particularly as it was hunted to extinction.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a democratic membership union composed of over 1,000 members, 11,000 scientific experts in various thematic commissions with 1,000 staff, working together in more than 160 countries to help the world find pragmatic solutions to the most pressing environment and development challenges.

The Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities is a country member, along with nine state government agencies and 16 non-government organisations.

The United States Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are also country members.

11 November 2011

Tintin in India

Soutik Biswas is the Delhi correspondent for the BBC. He's also an unabashed Tintin fan and writes
Indians love Tintin like no other comic book. In an age of dashing, computer generated comic book heroes, Tintin albums - in English and in Bengali and Hindi translations - continue to sell by the thousands. Is it any surprise then that Steven Spielberg's paean to the intrepid reporter, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, releases in India later on Friday, six weeks ahead of its US release?

"Tintin is huge in India, perhaps bigger than in the US," says a spokesperson for Sony Pictures (India), which is releasing the film here. She says their research shows that more than 90% of the audience that watch Hollywood films in India are Tintin fans. Amazing.
Read more.

Tintin visited India in Tintin in Tibet, The Blue Lotus and Cigars of the Pharaohs.

10 November 2011

Water from thin air

The winner of the James Dyson Award was announced on 8 November 2011. From James Dyson Award website
The James Dyson Award is open to product design, industrial design and engineering university level students (or graduates within 4 years of graduation) who have studied in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA.
The award is £10,000 for the student or student team (up to four members) winner, £10,000 for their university department and the James Dyson Award trophy and Certificate.

This year, the award was won by Edward Linacre, a Swinburne University of Technology graduate, for his Airdrop invention, in which
Moisture is harvested out of the air to irrigate crops by an efficient system that produces large amounts of condensation. A turbine intake drives air underground through a network of piping that rapidly cools the air to the temperature of the soil where it reaches 100% humidity and produces water. The water is then stored in an underground tank and pumped through to the roots of crops via sub surface drip irrigation hosing.
Read more.

See also

In his own words

Amazing ingenuity from Australia - an innovative and practical solution to a major problem that is also cheap to implement. Congratulations to Mr Linacre.