Day: July 10, 2016

New Zealanders raise millions to buy beach and donate it to the public

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Awaroa beach — which was open to all — in New Zealand’s Abel Tasman National Park was privately held by Michael Spackman (a businessman embroiled in complex financial shenanigans) who had decided to sell it; two New Zealanders, fearing that the new owners would use it as a private beach, started a crowdfunding campaign that raised about NZ$2.3m from some 40,000 people to buy it and donate it to the country’s national parks system.
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The week in Pokemon: home invasions, armed robbery, police militarization

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Pokemon Go is the game of the summer: the first really successful alternate reality game that mashes up crowdsourced maps, in-phone cameras, seriously addictive game mechanics, and (of course) a free-to-play/cash-to-accelerate slot machine mechanic that children wouldn’t be allowed to stand near if it were in a casino — in less than a week, it’s lifted Nintendo’s stock price by 10% and been implicated in any number of bizarre news stories:
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Zucchini Noodle Chicken Pesto Bowl

Zucchini Noodle Chicken Pesto Bowl

Have zucchini? If you haven’t tried spiralizing zucchini yet, you’re missing out!

Seriously. Zucchini “noodles” are great. They trick your mind into thinking you’re eating carb-heavy pasta, when in fact, you are eating healthy, vitamin rich zucchini.

You know that spinach flavored pasta? This is like zucchini flavored pasta, that’s actually just zucchini. Gluten-free, low-carb, super healthy zucchini.

There’s something about the noodle shape that makes it way more fun to eat than just chopped up squash.

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Investigating the Great Earthquake of 2012: the Mirage Expedition

At 120 meters long, the Marion Dufresne is the largest research vessel in the French fleet. Here it is at the dock in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where our voyage began.

On April 11, 2012, a magnitude-8.6 earthquake, followed a few hours later by a magnitude-8.2, struck the Wharton Basin, which lies approximately five kilometers below the surface of the Indian Ocean, and some 500 kilometers southwest of the tip of Sumatra. Unlike the magnitude 9.2 earthquake of 2004, whose epicenter was in the volatile subduction zone just off the western coast of Sumatra, the Great Earthquake of 2012, as it’s come to be called, did not trigger devastating tsunamis resulting in the loss of thousands of lives. That may be because its epicenter was well within the Indo-Australian plate, at a depth of 50 kilometers. Even so, the Great Earthquake of 2012 is of keen interest to scientists—at magnitude-8.6, it is the largest intraplate earthquake ever recorded.

During the month of July, I get to accompany an international group of scientists and students on an expedition dubbed MIRAGE, which stands for “Marine Investigation of the Rupture Anatomy of the 2012 Great Earthquake.” Composed of representatives from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), and the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), the group’s collective task is to acquire bathymetry (i.e., to map the seafloor and its sub-surface) in the section of the Wharton Basin directly above and around the epicenter of the 2012 magnitude-8.6 earthquake. My job is to write about their work for EOS’s blog. #MIRAGEcruise.

I’ll also be posting at Boing Boing from time to time, to give this site’s readers a heads up on what’s been posted at EOS, as well as to share some of my photos and impressions of the trip. For example, yes, if you must know, I did get seasick the first morning and afternoon, but it’s been smooth sailing ever since. Also, we’ve been told to keep an eye out for pirates, but I have to say that compared to the noisy hype leading up to the nominating conventions and being bombarded by Donald’s bombast 24/7, a potential pirate attack is preferable. And that’s my first impression of being out here in the middle of the Indian Ocean: A month ago, like just about everybody else I know in the States, I was consumed by each fresh outrage, each new poll. Over the last few days, though, I’m up at dawn to watch the sunrise, and back up on “I” deck to watch it go down. That may get old as the weeks wear on, but right now it’s difficult to imagine how…

To follow the progress of MIRAGE, visit the EOS blog. #MIRAGEcruise

Cranes on the bow of the R/V Marion Dufresne, in Colombo harbor

Cranes on the bow of the R/V Marion Dufresne, in Colombo harbor

At 120 meters long, the Marion Dufresne is the largest research vessel in the French fleet. Here it is at the dock in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where our voyage began. At 120 meters long, the Marion …read more

For 91% off you can protect your computer and streamline your workflow with this software bundle featuring Scrivener and CCleaner Pro

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George Takei says gay Sulu is "really unfortunate" decision

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George Takei, the actor who played Lt. Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series, says he is delighted that the franchise’s new movie, Star Trek Beyond has a gay character in it, but the decision to make Sulu gay was a “really unfortunate” decision because it went against series creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision. Simon Pegg, who co-write the movie script (and played Scotty) respectfully disagreed.

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