London city hall recycled water., Photo by JMorton
Peter and I recently visited the City Hall of London. It has a fantastic view of the Thames and the many buildings of various shapes and sizes, which are wowing locals and tourists alike. (I have never seen so many people taking selfies at any given time.)
Whilst inside the building, we used the toilet after having had lunch at the ground floor cafeteria, where we had a brief encounter with Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, which is another story! LOL
I digress, anyway, at first, I was really annoyed that the previous user of the toilet bowl seemed to not have bothered to flush the toilet as the water is rather yellow, in a urine-yellow way.
So I flushed it but it remained yellow. It was only afterwards that I noticed a sign confirming that the water was from a recycled source.
Apparently recycled water or reclaimed water comes from sewage water, which has been treated to remove the solid bits as well as impurities. In some cases, recycled water is purified that it is suitable to for drinking. 🙁
Though it was rather off-putting to see yellow water in toilets (takes getting used to, I must say), at least the idea behind it is, of course, admirable. Recycling promotes sustainability and water conservation in our ecosystem. GRRREATT! 😉
Wow, some lucky woman will have her digit and neckline and possibly her wrist too adorned with blings from this newly found blue diamond.
Lucky for some!
As the gorgeous Marilyn, who knew a thing or two about diamonds, sang:
Men grow cold As girls grow old, And we all lose our charms in the end.
But square-cut or pear-shaped, These rocks don’t lose their shape. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
Blue Diamond ‘Worth Tens Of Millions’ Discovered
A massive diamond with a possible price tag of more than £36m has been discovered at a mine in South Africa.
The 29.6 carat blue diamond, described as being “exceptional”, was dug up at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria – owned by Petra Diamonds.
Chief executive Johan Dippenaar said: “The stones in the last year or so are selling well above $2m (£1.2m) per carat. That’s not my quote, that’s updates in the market.”
However, analyst Cailey Barker at brokers Numis said it could expect to fetch less – between $15m (£9m) and $20m (£12m) – at auction.
The mine, owned by the firm since 2008, was also where the Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905 – described as the largest rough gem diamond ever recovered and weighing 3,106 carats.
Other notable diamonds found in the mine include a 25.5 carat Cullinan blue diamond, found in 2013 and sold for $16.9m (£10m), and a diamond found in 2008, known as the Star of Josephine, which was sold for $9.49m (£5.7m).
Mining for minerals, precious stones and metals from our small planet earth has been undertaken by humans since around 4000 BC, when our stone age ancestors mined stone such as flint to make axes and tools. Since then we have plundered our planet for any mineral that could be used for fuel, manufacturing for most of what we use today including ever increasing demands electronic goods, smartphones, tablets computers and jewellery.
Our earth has only a finite amount of these resources in terms of minerals and metals which are becoming scarcer and harder to mine, alternative sources are now being looked at beyond our pale blue dot of a planet!
Asteroids which orbit our sun and sometimes wander close (not too close we hope) to earth are thought to contain an abundance of the stuff we need.
With more nations and private enterprises now launching space craft and looking to develop fast evolving space related technology, instead of visiting these heavenly bodies to map, take amazing photos and get the odd sample, these new space industries want to mine asteroids. Instead of the famous Californian Gold Rush of the mid 1800s and misquote “There’s gold in them thar hills”. We may say there is gold and more in them space rocks.
The BBC reported that a new venture is joining the effort to extract mineral resources on asteroids.
The announcement of plans by Deep Space Industries to exploit the rare metals present in the space rocks turns asteroid mining into a two-horse race.
The other venture, Planetary Resources, went public with its proposals last year.
Advocates of asteroid mining hope it could turn into a trillion-dollar business, but some scientists are highly sceptical of the idea.
Deep Space Industries wants to send a fleet of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft out into the Solar System to hunt for resources.
These spacecraft, which the company has dubbed “Fireflies”, would use low-cost CubeSat components and benefit from discounted delivery to space by ride-sharing on the launch of larger communications satellites.
The Fireflies would have a mass of about 55 lb (25 kg) and be launched for the first time in 2015 on journeys of two to six months.
The company then wants to launch bigger spacecraft – which it calls “Dragonflies” – for round-trip visits that bring back samples.
These expeditions would take two to four years, depending on the target, and would return 60 to 150 lbs of material from target asteroids.
Planetary Resources was the first firm to announce asteroid mining proposals
“Using resources harvested in space is the only way to afford permanent space development,” said the company’s chief executive David Gump.
“More than 900 new asteroids that pass near Earth are discovered every year. They can be like the Iron Range of Minnesota was for the Detroit car industry last century – a key resource located near where it was needed. In this case, metals and fuel from asteroids can expand the in-space industries of this century.”
Asteroids could yield precious minerals such as gold, platinum and rare-Earth metals. But some are also thought to harbour water ice, which could be used as a raw material for the manufacture of rocket propellant or even breathable air.
The other firm in the mining race, Planetary Resources, has backing from several billionaire investors, including Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, software executive Charles Simonyi and film maker James Cameron.
That company wants to start by launching orbiting telescopes that would identify suitable asteroid targets for mineral exploitation.
However, some scientists struggle to see how cost-effective asteroid mining could be, even with the high value of gold and platinum.
Also what percentage of asteroids would contain material worth mining?
They point out that an upcoming Nasa mission to return just 60g (two ounces) of material from an asteroid will cost about $1bn.
We can do our bit to prevent overfishing or giving our British money to the French fishing trawlers who are bent on destroying our deep British seabeds.
If you are not into exposing yourself (especially in this wintry British weather) and then using a fish as a pashmina to highlight your protest then there is an easier step, which I have already taken myself. Below is a petition that you can sign. It is really as easy as that and not so cold or slimy! 😉 Just add your email address and you are done!
In one of the weirder images we’ve seen today, X-Files and The Fall actress Gillian Anderson poses naked with a massive conger eel thrown round her neck.
The picture forms part of a photographic campaign called Fishlove seeking to highlight the issue of diminishing fish stocks, the message being that British taxpayers’ money is being given to French fishing trawlers to destroy the deep seabed in British waters.
A petition has been launched in support of the campaign, aiming to attract 10,000 signatures.
The collection was taken by French portrait photographer Denis Rouvre and also sees Olivia Williams, Goldie and a number of French celebrities in the nude while holding various fish.
This Sunday, a three-tonne, double-decker sized bus mechanical polar bear named Aurora will perambulate along the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge, finishing at the London headquarters of oil giant Shell in protest against their plans to drill in the Arctic.
Aurora, especially commissioned by Greenpeace will be operated from inside by a team of 15 puppeteers (including artists from West End blockbuster War Horse) while a built-in sound system will create a polar soundscapes. The 41-foot-long puppet is also fully articulated. The head and jaws move, and billowing sides will give the impression of breathing.
Made of reclaimed ship parts and recycled materials, Aurora will carry in her fur the names of more than 3.5 million people who have joined the global movement to protect the Arctic from industrial exploitation. Following the beast in the parade will be hundreds of people in polar bear costumes and other Arctic garb.
The parade starts at Victoria Tower Gardens (next to Parliament) on Sunday 15 September at midday.
Let us welcome and support Aurora on that date. Please diarise!