Tag Archives | Water

Black Hole Hosts Universe’s Most Massive Water Cloud

Photo: NASA

Photo: NASA

A giant quasar billions of light-years away is surrounded by water vapor that could fill Earth’s oceans over 140 trillion times. Via National Geographic:

In a galaxy 12 billion light-years away resides the most distant and most massive cloud of water yet seen in the universe, astronomers say.

Weighing in at 40 billion times the mass of Earth, the giant cloud of mist swaddles a type of actively feeding supermassive black hole known as a quasar.

Among the brightest and most energetic objects in the universe, quasars are black holes at the centers of galaxies that are gravitationally consuming surrounding disks of material while burping back out powerful energy jets.

“As this disk of material is consumed by the central black hole, it releases energy in the form of x-ray and infrared radiation, which in turn can heat the surrounding material, resulting in the observed water vapor,” said study co-author Eric Murphy, an astronomer with the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California.

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‘Super Sand’ Cleans Dirty Drinking Water

Sand has been used as a purifier for thousands of years. An innovative way of cleaning water, by adding graphite waste, provides a cost affective way to bring purified water to those who may not normally have access to a clean water source. Via Treehugger:
The solution is cheap since the sources of graphite could include the waste produced by graphite mining companies that still contains a significant amount of graphite. And the researchers believe that it is possible to modify the graphite oxide to pick out particular pollutants and therefore tailor the super sand to specific areas that might be having trouble with certain water-borne diseases or pollutants.
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20 Signs That A ‘Horrific’ Global Food Crisis Is Coming

Starved girlZero Hedge writes via The Economic Collapse Blog:

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen.

Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes.

Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively.

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The World Of Water Filtration

The Big Berkey

The Big Berkey

About a year ago we met filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig, director of the documentary Tapped, which outlined the ills of bottled water so effectively that we quickly decided to forgo those five-gallon jugs of water in favor of tap water at the disinformation offices, and I did the same at home.

However, while New York City’s tap water isn’t bad compared to some municipalities, it still contains plenty of chemicals that I have no intention of knowingly ingesting (fluoride, chlorine, various VOCs, etc.), so we decided to install water filters.

At the office we installed a plumbed-in filtered water dispenser from local company Cure Water Systems, and it works well in an office environment, proudly sporting one of Stephanie’s “Get Off The Bottle” stickers.

banner_tapped_home

At home I installed an under-sink filter from Aquasana on the advice of super-informed science writer Terri Mitchell, who contributed a great article to the disinformation anthology You Are Still Being Lied To.  The water tastes good and it is one of the most effective filters available, but the filters allow less and less water flow over time until you change them, so it’s not perfect.… Read the rest

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Radiation Detected In Drinking Water Across The U.S.

Radiation warning symbolJeff McMahon writes for Forbes:

Radiation from Japan has been detected in drinking water in 13 more American cities, and cesium-137 has been found in American milk—in Montpelier, Vermont—for the first time since the Japan nuclear disaster began, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Agency late Friday.

Milk samples from Phoenix and Los Angeles contained iodine-131 at levels roughly equal to the maximum contaminant level permitted by EPA, the data shows. The Phoenix sample contained 3.2 picoCuries per liter of iodine-131. The Los Angeles sample contained 2.9. The EPA maximum contaminant level is 3.0, but this is a conservative standard designed to minimize exposure over a lifetime, so EPA does not consider these levels to pose a health threat.

The cesium-137 found in milk in Vermont is the first cesium detected in milk since the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear accident occurred last month. The sample contained 1.9 picoCuries per liter of cesium-137, which falls under the same 3.0 standard.

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Are You Drinking Recycled Sewage Water?

Animation by Chris 73 (CC)

Animation by Chris 73 (CC)

OK, so your first reaction is going to be NO WAYYYY! — but you may be wrong. If you live in Orange County, California, or Fairfax County, Virginia, your water may well be going from toilet to tap, albeit via some filtration technology along the way. Kathy Chu reports on the increasing use of waste water in drinking systems in thirsty places around the world, for USA Today:

… “Water is going to be the oil of the 21st century,” predicts Bill Cooper, director of the Urban Water Research Center at the University of California-Irvine.

Clearly, something needs to be done. Roughly 884 million people — 1 of every 8 in the world — still lack access to safe drinking water, according to the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Meanwhile, water use has increased by more than twice the rate of the world’s population growth during the past century, United Nations data show.

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Hydrofracking Is Poisoning U.S. Water Supply

Shale gas drilling rig in Texas. Photo: David R. Tribble (CC)

Photo: David R. Tribble (CC)

When the mainstream media decries the practices of large energy companies, you know they must really be operating outside any possibility of acceptable behavior. Case in point: hydraulic fracturing for natural gas deposits. Ian Urbina reports for the New York Times:

The American landscape is dotted with hundreds of thousands of new wells and drilling rigs, as the country scrambles to tap into this century’s gold rush — for natural gas.

The gas has always been there, of course, trapped deep underground in countless tiny bubbles, like frozen spills of seltzer water between thin layers of shale rock. But drilling companies have only in recent years developed techniques to unlock the enormous reserves, thought to be enough to supply the country with gas for heating buildings, generating electricity and powering vehicles for up to a hundred years.

So energy companies are clamoring to drill. And they are getting rare support from their usual sparring partners.

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New Invention Has Bicycle Purify Drinking Water

Cycloclean

Cycloclean

Why bike? Riding a bicycle is good for your health, curbs pollution as an environmentally conscious form of transportation, and can now improve your drinking water! Via Smart Planet:

Bicycling is a great way to burn calories and get fit. But a new kind of bike may improve the health of entire communities in an entirely different way.

Nippon Basic, a start-up based in Japan, has plans to scale up production of a bicycle that purifies water for those living in remote villages or disaster areas. Cycloclean functions just like any other bicycle, except that the addition of a water filtering system allows bikers to crank out drinking water using the same pedaling motion that propels bikers forward. The rotation of the bike chain helps to remove impurities by driving a motor that pumps water through a system of filters, pumps and hoses located near the rear wheel.

But just how much drinking water are we talking about here?

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Ray Kurzweil: No Energy Or Water Shortages, Climate Change Is No Problem

Ray Kurzweil. Photo by Michael Lutch. Courtesy of Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

Ray Kurzweil. Photo by Michael Lutch. Courtesy of Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

Lauren Feeney elicited some gems from futurist Ray Kurzweil in her interview for PBS. Among his predictions:

  • “In 20 years we’ll be meeting all of our energy needs with solar.”
  • Life extension technology is about to take off — meaning far greater life expectancy.
  • There will be no water shortage as we use the abundant electricity to convert polluted water.
  • We are going to have plenty of food from “vertical agriculture, where we grow plants, fruits, vegetables and meat in computerized factories by artificial intelligence; hydroponic plants tended by intelligent robots to create fruits and vegetables, in-vitro cloned meats, basically just cloning the part of the animal that you want to eat, which is the muscled tissue.”
  • We shouldn’t worry about climate change — the new technologies we’re developing will beat it.

Crazy stuff! I’m not sure I want to eat cloned portions of animals grown in a lab…

Read the whole interview at PBS.… Read the rest

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