Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rockets, Bees, Ghost Towns, Lunatics, and Candiru

You guys have sent me all kinds of cool links in the last few days, so here goes.

First off, Daniel Quock sent me links to two excellent videos. The first documents the failure of a satellite launch last week by Sea Launch. Uh, boom, and you can see it here. The second is a video of a Boeing Delta 2 rocket being launched. The camera is actually on the rocket and it's a spectacular view. Watch it here.

Sirius sent me a link to an article about the "doomsday vault", a seed vault that will be built by the Swedish government. Here's an excerpt:
The Svalbard International Seed Vault will be built into a mountainside on a remote island near the North Pole.

The vault aims to safeguard the world's agriculture from future catastrophes, such as nuclear war, asteroid strikes and climate change.

Construction begins in March, and the seed bank is scheduled to open in 2008.

The Norwegian government is paying the $5m (£2.5m) construction costs of the vault, which will have enough space to house three million seed samples.

You can read the full article here.

Here's another excellent link from Sirius, about a mysterious bee illness:
A mysterious illness is killing tens of thousands of honeybee colonies across the country, threatening honey production, the livelihood of beekeepers and possibly crops that need bees for pollination.

Researchers are scrambling to find the cause of the ailment, called Colony Collapse Disorder.

I hadn't heard of this before, but it's widespread, and scientists are baffled. Read about it here.

DQ Legal Advisor Lee Rawles sent me a link to the story of Surfridge, a ghost town just west of the LAX runways. The story is very interesting and there are some great pictures with it, and you can read it all here.

Doug Walsh sent me a link about an insane person who is swimming down the Amazon river. That's 3,375 miles in 70 days, in case you're wondering. Here's an excerpt from a National Geographic story:
An experienced expedition swimmer, Strel is taking precautions. He will have, for example, a support boat with doctors and scientists on hand regularly checking his health and administering emergency aid, such as tossing buckets of chum into the river to distract swarming schools of piranhas.

...The Amazon, however, presents a whole new range of challenges: torrential rains, whirlpools, tidal bores, waterborne diseases … to say nothing of the candiru, a tiny, needle-like fish that swims up bodily orifices and feeds on blood and tissue.

Oh my. The crazy man's expedition website is here.

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