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Architecture & Design Nature Science

How the Netherlands use agricultural density through “architecture“ to feed the world

The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products despite being 237 times smaller in land area than the world’s export leader, the United States.

That’s according to a fascinating article on Netherlands agriculture density through “architecture“ (ie., extensive use of greenhouses) as examined by Arch Daily:

“Dutch agriculture is defined by vast landscapes of greenhouses, some covering 175 acres, which dominate the architectural landscape of South Holland. In total, the country contains 36 square miles of greenhouses, an area 56% larger than the island of Manhattan.”

Photographer Tom Hegen has captured these sprawling greenhouses from above in a mesmerizing series entitled “The Greenhouse Series.”

Researchers in the Netherlands are experimenting with one way to feed more people with using less land, by growing crops indoors. At inside temperatures above 20 degrees, constant humidity of around 80 percent and the use of LED lighting to permit precisely cultivation, in order to produce year-round. The indoor gardens provide growing conditions for plants like tomatoes, peppers or strawberries around the clock and in every kind of weather, which doubles the average yield of an outdoor farm.

How a country so small and very dense — 507 people per square kilometer — can also produce heaps of crop indoors to become a world-leading agricultural exporter is astonishing.

Categories
Animals Nature Science

It’s ‘Raining’ Iguanas in South Florida

Iguanas in South Florida are falling out of trees due to freezing temperatures.

Weather in South Florida dropped into the 30s on Tuesday night, which immobilized the iguanas and turned their bodies dormant.

“Don’t be surprised if you see iguanas falling from the trees tonight,” the Miami National Weather Service office tweeted.

The good news is that the iguanas woke up when the heat turned back up on Wednesday morning, like this one. While Miami suffered its coldest temperatures in 9 years, it’s expected to be back to 80 on Friday.

via Twitter
Categories
Nature Science Travel

Everything you need to know about Yosemite’s stunning ‘firefall’ phenomenon

In what looks like a scene from a fantasy movie, the ‘firefall’ phenomenon in Yosemite is spewing lava-like water again.

Called Horsetail Fall, the fiery waterfall makes an annual appearance for two weeks around February. The fiery orange glow of the waterfall emerges from the illumination of the setting sun over the 1500 foot flowing water.

via twitter

The tight window around catching the Firefall natural phenomenon in Yosemite

The Yosemite Firefall phenomenon is a summer tradition that dates back to 1872.

People would gather at the eastern edge of El Capitan Yosemite to watch ember from the bonfires get pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a man-made fiery waterfall.

As travel blogger James Kaiser notes on his blog:

For decades those words ushered in one of Yosemite National Park’s most famous spectacles: The Yosemite Firefall. Each evening in the summer, a roaring bonfire was built at the edge of Glacier Point , which towers 3,200 feet above Yosemite Valley. By sundown hundreds of spectators had gathered in Curry Village below. At 9pm sharp, a master of ceremonies in Curry Village shouted out, “Let the Fire Fall!” and the bonfire’s glowing embers were pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a glittering “Waterfall of Fire.”

The National Park Service ended the Yosemite Firefall in 1968. But then nature magically took over to recreate the scene.

Today, the scientific miracle of intermixing chemicals including barium, aluminum and strontium mix together with the sunlight at dusk.

Writes Kaiser on the Yosemite Firefall website:

Then in 1973, within months of the 100-year anniversary of the first Yosemite Firefall, photographer Galen Rowell took the first known photo of the “Natural Firefall” at Horsetail Fall. That single photo ushered in an exciting new chapter in the history of the Firefall, and within a few decades the Natural Firefall had become as famous as the Manmade Firefall.

The firefall phenomenon only lasts about 10 minutes so you’ll need to be patient to catch it just as you would a solar eclipse. If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite, check out some of the best lodging sites here.

Video via Calia Domenico/tw

Categories
Travel

A navigational nightmare: Watch a time-lapse of Port of Amsterdam

The Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is the 4th busiest port by metric tons of cargo in Europe.

As you can see in the time-lapse of traffic patterns, navigation looks nearly impossible to control on a daily basis. So we did some digging to find out if this sort of nautical chaos was normal.

As one Twitter user noted, this time-lapse was taken during the Sail Amsterdam event which occurs every five years. This would make sense given all the fleet of tall ships and masted sails rolling about.

It’s also worth mentioning that David Bowie recorded a song in the port’s name.

In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sings

Of the dreams that he brings from the wide open sea
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sleeps
While the river bank weeps to the old willow tree

In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who dies
Full of beer, full of cries in a drunken town fight
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who’s born
On a hot muggy morn by the dawn’s early light

David Bowie, Port of Amsterdam
Categories
Space

Breathtaking views of the Earth from the International Space Station

Ever wanted to see Planet Earth from 248 miles away?

Now you can, thanks to these epic views of our planet from the International Space Station in the thermosphere.

Watch the crescent Earth rotate among the solar panels and the sun in various views as the International Space Station orbits Earth at 17,500mph.

Stunning. And be sure to follow the International Space Station on Twitter for more live shots.

Videos via Nasa/Images via Astro_Jessica

Categories
Animals Nature

Punk rock turtle who can breathe for 72 hours underwater

The Mary River Turtle not only has specialized glands that allow it to breathe underwater for 72 hours, it also sports a punk rock algae-infused mohawk.

Named one of the world’s most vulnerable reptiles, the turtle lives in Mary River streams in southeastern Queensland, Australia. It uses the algae growing on its shell to camouflage itself from predators.

“We need to be a little bit more tortoise-y and a little less hare-ish,” Malcolm Gladwell once said. While his message encourages people to slow down in this hyperspeed era, perhaps we need a little more punk in our lives too.

Rock on!

Photos: Chris Van Wyk