The End Of Tuna?

The high seas are owned by no one and governed by largely feeble multinational agreements. According to the Sea Around Us project of the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Center, catches from the high seas have risen by 700 percent in the last half-century, and much of that increase is tuna. Moreover, because tuna cross so many boundaries, even when tuna do leave the high seas and tarry in any one nation’s territorial waters (as Atlantic bluefin usually do), they remain under the foggy international jurisdiction of poorly enforced tuna treaties.

The essentially ownerless nature of tuna has led to the last great wild-fish gold rush the world may ever see. The most noticeable result of this has been the decline of the giant Atlantic bluefin tuna. But the Atlantic bluefin is just a symptom of a metastasizing tuna disease. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reports that 7 of the 23 commercially fished tuna stocksare overfished or depleted. An additional nine stocks are also threatened. The Pew Environment Group’s tuna campaign asserts that “the boats seeking these tuna are responsible for more hooks and nets in the water than any other fishery.”

via Tuna’s End –

What’s Really Underneath The Oil Spill?

Among oil industry watchers there has been a great deal of information about the size of the field under the big spill. Respected industry watchers have said that there is good reason to expect that the field extends many miles deep underground and horizontally from the site of the spill.

In the past few years, seismic studies and drilling results from deep beneath the Gulf are leading many informed sources to believe the total oil available under the Gulf of Mexico, in the area around BP’s Macondo well (which was originally expected to have about 50 million barrels of recoverable oil) may contain billions of barrels of oil. It is early to make an informed analysis, but the Macondo well blowout may indicate that these Gulf of Mexico fields, located in deep water about 50 miles offshore and under another 20,000 to 35,000 of rock below the seabed, represent a massive oil discovery.

via Guild Global Market Commentary :: Guild Investment Management, Inc. | MyNewsletterBuilder.

Afghanistan’s Potential Endgame

There was a buzz last week because of a U.S. estimate that Afghanistan could possess $1 trillion in mineral wealth. That’s a pipe dream for now, but what’s real is a Chinese project to invest $3 billion in the Aynak copper mine, south of Kabul. To transport the copper, China has pledged to build a new railway route north, through Tajikistan, and the Chinese want to extend this rail link to the Pakistani port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea.

Then there’s the energy trade: The authors of the report, Frederick Starr and Andrew C. Kuchins, note that the Asian Development Bank is considering funding a $7.6 billion pipeline that would link natural gas reserves in Turkmenistan with energy-poor Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

More to the point, it explains why it would be in the interest of all the regional powers — especially Pakistan — to encourage a political settlement of the war that would open Afghanistan and other Central Asian markets to Pakistani merchants.

via David Ignatius – Afghanistan’s future lies in trade partnerships.

Energy-Saving Air Conditioner Breakthrough

“The technology we have today is nearly a hundred years old,” says Eric Kozubal, a senior engineer at NREL. Kozubal and colleagues have come up with an air conditioner that combines evaporative cooling with a water-absorbing material to provide cool, dry air while using up to 90 percent less energy. The desiccant-enhanced evaporative, or DEVap, air conditioner is meant to addresses the old complaint, “It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity,” more efficiently.

The desiccant used in the system is relatively harmless (calcium chloride is used in road salt), though its corrosiveness requires that metal be eliminated from the hardware. What’s particularly attractive is that it replaces the chlorofluorocarbons that are used as the refrigerant in traditional air conditioners. Those CFCs can easily leak, and every kilogram of them provides the same greenhouse gas effect as about 2,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Kozubal says it might take about five years to develop the system to a point where NREL can hand it off to industry for commercialization. The system is designed to replace existing systems without many changes, so it could be phased in as people upgrade their old air conditioners.

via Technology Review: An Energy-Saving Air Conditioner.

Why Have More Kids

While you can try and instill "Good Habits", Religion, Sports and Political affiliation is your most likely long-term influence, according to Research.

Many find behavioral genetics depressing, but it’s great news for parents and potential parents. If you think that your kids’ future rests in your hands, you’ll probably make many painful “investments”–and feel guilty that you didn’t do more. Once you realize that your kids’ future largely rests in their own hands, you can give yourself a guilt-free break.

…In fact, relaxing is better for the whole family. Riding your kids “for their own good” rarely pays off, and it may hurt how your children feel about you.

If you simply don’t like kids, research has little to say to you. If however you’re interested in kids, but scared of the sacrifices, research has two big lessons. First, parents’ sacrifice is much smaller than it looks, and childless and single is far inferior to married with children. Second, parents’ sacrifice is much larger than it has to be. Twin and adoption research shows that you don’t have to go the extra mile to prepare your kids for the future. Instead of trying to mold your children into perfect adults, you can safely kick back, relax and enjoy your journey together—and seriously consider adding another passenger.

via The Case for Having More Kids – Continue reading “Why Have More Kids”

And Now – The Potato Battery

Potato battery basic composition and performance. Potato Zn/Cu galvanic cell battery basic structure. The battery (Kcell = 15.5 cm) was used to light two white LEDs.

The bioelectrolytic low power electrical energy source introduced in this study brings an extra dimension to the utilization of the globally fourth most abundant crop, accessible essentially all over the world, made of solid components, and requires low initial financial investment compared with solar or conventional batteries. Boiling and the simple assembly do not require special skills; it is both easy to operate and environment friendly. Last but not least, the power generated by Zn/Cu-potato is much cheaper than any conventional portable battery and produces with LED’s substantially cheaper lighting than kerosene. The proposed technology may be immediately implemented in the developing countries for improving the life quality on numerous people who do not have access to grid electricity.

via Zn/Cu-vegetative batteries, bioelectrical characterizations, and primary cost analyses | Issue 3 – Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Behind the World-wide Cornficker Cyberwar

This long article is the one-of-the-best layman’s introduction to a war going on behind-the-scenes as we surf the net.

As of this writing, 17 months after it appeared and about a year after the April 1 update, Conficker has created a stable botnet. It consists of anywhere from hundreds of thousands of computers to 12 million. No one knows for sure anymore, because with peer-to-peer communications, the worm no longer needs to check in with an outside command center, which is how the good guys kept count. Joffe estimates that with the four distinct strains (yet another one appeared on April 8, 2009), 6.5 million computers are probably infected.

The investigators see no immediate chance or even any effective way to kill it.

via The Enemy Within – Magazine – The Atlantic.

NASA Warns of 2013 Solar Storm

Every 22 years the Sun’s magnetic energy cycle peaks while the number of sun spots – or flares – hits a maximum level every 11 years. Dr Fisher, a Nasa scientist for 20 years, said these two events would combine in 2013 to produce huge levels of radiation.

We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Dr Richard Fisher, the director of Nasa’s Heliophysics division, said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

“It will disrupt communication devices such as satellites and car navigations, air travel, the banking system, our computers, everything that is electronic. It will cause major problems for the world.

“Large areas will be without electricity power and to repair that damage will be hard as that takes time.”

via Nasa warns solar flares from ‘huge space storm’ will cause devastation – Telegraph.

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