Author Archive | Sam Buks

Corn Shortage Sees Farmers Turn To Junk Food For Feed

Picture: Derived from work by Airstrom (CC)

Extensive drought damage throughout the U.S. has led to the smallest corn crop in six years, and in turn a dramatic increase in price for the versatile foodstuff. Beef farmers in particular are incredibly reliant on corn to feed their vast numbers of livestock, and the shortage has seen many farmers creatively supplementing their herd’s diets. The Vancouver Sun reports:

In the mix are cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries. Cattlemen are feeding virtually anything they can get their hands on that will replace the starchy sugar content traditionally delivered to the animals through corn.

“Everybody is looking for alternatives,” said Ki Fanning, a nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting in Eagle, Nebraska. “It’s kind of funny the first time you see it but it works well. The big advantage to that is you can turn something you normally throw away into something that can be consumed.

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Private U.S. Company Plans ‘Space Elevator’ to the Moon

Picture: Pat Rawling, NASA (PD)

With the recent passing of Neil Armstrong forty-three years after (supposedly) stepping foot on the moon; coupled with NASA’s successful venture to Mars by the Curiosity Rover, the question of why we haven’t begun to colonize our closest celestial neighbor has been raised. A simple, cost effective method of transporting people and equipment to the lunar surface, away from the Earth’s gravity would lead to untold possibilities in research and further space exploration.

One company, the U.S. based LiftPort Group is seeking to create such a method. They have created a Kickstarter account in an attempt to crowd-source a tether which would reach 55,000km above the moon’s surface. Of course, any vehicle would first have to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and rendezvous with the tether, but it would certainly make lunar travel a far less expensive and troublesome process. From LiftPort Group’s official website:

Once the Lunar Elevator is fully functioning, astronauts and equipment will be able to soft-land cargo on the Lunar surface.

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