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- Hundreds of South Koreans Head North to Reunite With Their Loved Ones
- Deadly, 40,000-foot fire tornado revealed in new videos
Harrowing new footage released by California's firefighting agency Cal Fire reveals the massive fire tornado that led to the death of a firefighter on July 26. The fire tornado was part of the Carr Fire that's engulfed 223,610 acres of land in Northern California so far. A report from Cal Fire breaks down the details surrounding the fiery phenomenon. SEE ALSO: A fire tornado hit California. Here's how it happened. Per the report, the tornado "was a large rotating fire plume that was roughly 1,000 feet in diameter at its base" and managed to reach a height of 40,000 feet. In late July, we covered news of a fire tornado in the area on the evening of July 26. It's unclear whether the fire tornado in the report is the same as the one that garnered media attention at the time, according to Cal Fire. "Observations from witnesses and other evidence suggest that either several fire tornados occurred at different locations and times, or one fire tornado formed and then periodically weakened and strengthened causing several separate damage areas," the report says. Fire tornados can happen when extreme heat spins up from the ground. As Mashable's Mark Kaufman explained at the time: Firefighters captured the disturbing video above from a helicopter, as well as footage taken from a fire engine, and from the Keswick Dam on the Sacramento River. The Carr Fire continues to ravage parts of Shasta County and Trinity County. It is 77 percent contained, and other fires continue to rage in Northern California and other areas These fires are spurred on by extreme heat and dryness in the region. While human-caused climate change isn't necessarily the direct cause of any single weather event, like these fires, it can make extreme weather more likely now and in the future. WATCH: Scientists made an awesome error that could save our planet from plastic hell
- Putin Warns Merkel That Europe Can't Afford a New Syria Refugee Crisis
- Elephants take the flag in Indonesia independence ceremony
A trio of rare elephants led an unusual ceremony in the Sumatran jungle Friday, raising Indonesia's red and white flag to help mark the country's independence day. Brandishing a flagpole flying the national colours by the trunk, lead elephant Ulu marched outside a conservation office in northern Aceh province as onlookers sung the national anthem. “As we can see here, this is also an education for us, that elephants can live side by side with humans," Rizal, an elephant trainer at the conservation office, told AFP.
- Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Other World Leaders Celebrate the Life of Kofi Annan
- The Afghan President Has Called for a Cease-Fire With the Taliban During Eid al-Adha
- Science Says: Hotter weather turbocharges US West wildfires
As temperatures rise in the U.S. West, so do the flames. The years with the most acres burned by wildfires have some of the hottest temperatures, an Associated Press analysis of fire and weather data found. As human-caused climate change has warmed the world over the past 35 years, the land consumed by flames has more than doubled.
- New panda mom doesn't know she has twins thanks to these sneaky zookeepers
Crafty zookeepers are keeping a set of newborn panda twins alive by switching them out every day. Although twins aren't uncommon, when pandas have multiple babies they tend to devote all of their attention to only one of their cubs, leaving the other to starve. SEE ALSO: Someone tried to smuggle a snake onto a plane by hiding it in a hard drive But these zookeepers have managed to get new panda moms to care for both babies by rotating them out, tricking the pandas into believing they only have one cub to care for. A BBC Earth video — narrated by the one and only David Attenborough — shows the keepers' technique. New mother Lee Lee hasn't realized that she had twins because her keepers have been switching her 18-day-old cubs out, so she only has one at a time. When they need to change out the cubs, they distract Lee Lee with a bowl of honey water and worm the young cub from her paws. Then, they put that cub in an incubator and bring the other cub to Lee Lee, ensuring that both get the maternal care they need. Keepers swap the cubs out at least 10 times a day, keeping a meticulous record of the babies' time with their mom. The technique has an almost 100 percent survival rate. Although pandas are no longer endangered, they are still vulnerable, so finding new ways to help the species along, even in captivity, is important. Plus, it's freaking adorable. WATCH: This design studio is growing gourds inside 3D printed molds to create organic, biodegradable cups
- Near-Death Experience...or Psychedelic Trip?
- Facebook admits PragerU videos were 'mistakenly removed'
- Recycling in the United States is in serious trouble. How does it work?
You probably have no idea how recycling works. Most Americans — who recycle nearly 87 million tons of waste each year — likely think that the plastic and paper thrown into those special blue bins gets sorted by some nebulous government agency and automatically becomes an environmentally-friendly product. But that's not how it works. Recycling, first and foremost, is a business. When recycled goods get picked up by the state's waste management corporation, they are taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where everything is separated and packaged up to be sent to another facility where it's processed depending on the material. For example, paper is processed at a mill where it is turned into pulp to be repurposed. But in order for the recyclable material to get to its proper sorting center, someone has to buy it first. And that's where we have a problem. Bales of recycled cartons sit outside and await transport.Image: Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesRecycling has worked well for the last 40 years because recycled waste was valuable and in high demand in countries around the world. The United States has historically sold most of its recycled goods to China. But new restrictions from the Chinese government on imported recyclables have demanded that the materials have very, very little contamination, or in the case of paper, that it is processed into pulp before reaching their shores. Typically, contamination is a people issue. Plastic or paper with food remnants on it — like your greasy pizza box — cannot be recycled because those contaminants would mess up the refining process. Contamination levels in America are at 25 percent right now, meaning 1 out 4 items in a recycling bin should actually be thrown in the trash, according to Waste Management. But China wants the contamination levels down to 0.3 percent, which is effectively code for "we will not be accepting any imported recyclable materials." “China is sort of saying to itself we want our socioeconomic industrial programs to have recyclable programs like America does," National Waste & Recycling Association director Steve Changaris said. "They are kicking us out, and trying to use their own wastes so they can develop their own domestic recycling capacity." Sorted recycled materials sit in stacks outside of a recycling facility in Germany.Image: Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesThis causes problems on two fronts, he explained. First, since the United States has to rely on other countries to buy the recyclables, the value of the commodity is staggeringly low. Over the course of 2017, the value of mixed paper dropped from $75 per ton in January to $25 per ton in December. Second, the U.S. has more supply than these countries are demanding. “The material keeps coming in. It’s piling up and the value is diminishing,” Changaris said. “And recycling isn’t free.” Many Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF), especially in states that don’t put much emphasis on recycling policies, are going to be facing a hard decision as they continue to lose profit. Unless they come up with a sustainable solution, recycling in large swaths of the United States might come to an end. In the future, cities less committed to sustainability might have to drop their recycling programs in favor of an easier disposal program, Sims Municipal Recycling manager Tom Outerbridge said. Waste management companies are only going to turn to landfills when that’s the cheaper option, like in Alabama, where you can put garbage in the ground for $19 a ton. Otherwise, the more comfortable position is continue to work within the already established infrastructure and try and update it to meet the new world order. Outerbridge says some ideas are already floating around. Since the biggest change to the market involves mixed paper (newspapers, junk mail, and magazines) corporations in the United States are looking to swoop in and exploit the newly vacated market. Workers at a recycling facility in San Francisco sort through trash on a conveyor belt.Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesOne purported way companies are making space for themselves in the market is by purchasing paper mills and retrofitting them to include processing abilities — giving these companies the ability to turn the recycled mixed paper into pulp, and therefore bypassing China's restrictions. But beginning that process is a huge risk. “We don’t know for sure if this world is the new status quo," Outerbridge said. "Chinese paper mills might be struggling without the constant influx of U.S. recyclables so much that the Chinese government eases some of the restrictions and then people go back to shipping mixed paper there.” Current tensions between China and the U.S. certainly aren't helping. The Trump administration's recent efforts to increase U.S production of goods by increasing tariffs on Chinese goods has lead to full-scale retaliation by the Chinese government. For example, the Chinese government placed a 25 percent tax on aluminum scraps. Formerly, the U.S. made more than $1.1 billion off of aluminum trading. The new tariff places a $300 million burden on that industry. It's safe to say the whole infrastructure is in limbo right now, as corporations weigh their options. A spokesperson from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged via email that the government organization recognizes the challenges that lie ahead when it comes to updating recycling infrastructure. "[The] EPA is communicating with governments at the federal, state and local levels, as well as stakeholders at the private sector, to determine what (if any) additional steps should be taken at the national level regarding the domestic management of materials," the spokesperson explained. In the mean time, MRFs are tightening up production by adding more staff to ensure that the materials collected are of the best quality — as well as altering what is collected to more closely match the market demand according to the EPA. Recycling hasn't reached critical failure just yet, but the industry is in desperate need of an upgrade. The alternative is a world full of trash. WATCH: Ever wonder where your recyclables go? Get an inside look at where the magic happens
- The U.S. Military’s Worst Nightmare: Russia Attacking Our Satellites
- 2 Shot During High School Football Game in Florida
- Italy Threatens to Return 177 Migrants to Libya Over New Standoff With Malta
- A Kansas City School District Is Embracing Gender-Neutral Bathrooms
- Is there a solution to space pollution?
- Renewable resort: Greek island to run on wind, solar power
When the blades of its 800-kilowatt wind turbine start turning, the small Greek island of Tilos will become the first in the Mediterranean to run exclusively on wind and solar power. The sea horse-shaped Greek island between Rhodes and Kos has a winter population of 400. It will allow Tilos to run exclusively on high-tech batteries recharged by a wind turbine and a solar park.
- Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Dies at Age 80
- Plane Makes Emergency Landing on Florida Highway
- Ethiopia opens plant to turn waste into energy
Ethiopia on Sunday inaugurated a power plant which converts waste into energy, next to a filthy open-air dump in Addis Ababa where a landslide last year killed more than 110 people. Named Reppie, the facility is the first of its kind in Africa, according to the government and the British company Cambridge Industries behind the project, and will turn 1,400 tons of waste per day into energy. There for over 40 years, Koshe serves as the main rubbish tip in Ethiopia's capital which has a rapidly rising population, currently at more than four million people.
- Giuliani Claims 'Truth Isn't Truth' and Says Trump Tower Meeting Sought Information on Clinton
- Could an Australian bee solve the world's plastic crisis?
Researchers believe an Australian bee which produces a “cellophane-like” material for its nests could help to end the world’s reliance on disposable plastics. The native Hylaeus nubilosus masked bee, known for the distinctive yellow badge on its back, does not sting or live in hives but it has generated interest because of the nesting material it produces, which is non-toxic, waterproof, flame-resistant and able to withstand heat. A biotech company in New Zealand, Humble Bee, is trying to reverse-engineer the material in the hope of mass producing it as an alternative to plastic. Veronica Harwood-Stevenson, the firm’s founder, said she began investigating the potential plastic alternative after noticing a throwaway line in a research paper about the “cellophane-like” qualities of the masked bee’s nesting material. "Plastic particles and chemicals have permeated ecosystems and organisms around the world, [from] foetal blood of babies [to] the most remote arctic lakes; it's so pervasive, it's terrifying," she told The Sydney Morning Herald. "It's about biomimicry, about copying what's in the natural environment, and we've been doing it in design for centuries, from plane wing design inspired by birds of prey to train shapes reflecting bird beaks." Richard Furneaux, a chemistry professor at the Victoria University of Wellington, said the discovery of the new material was “almost too good to be true”. File image of bees working on their hive “Its robustness is beyond what you would have expected,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Scientists analysed the genetic makeup of the bioplastic by studying the bee’s glands. Humble Bee plans to initially use the material to make outdoor apparel, such as camping gear, which often use toxic chemicals to keep them waterproof. "Outdoor apparel is definitely what we’re most interested in because of the chemicals being used and because chances are, if you like the environment, you don't want the products you enjoy to be screwing up the environment," Ms Harwood-Stevenson said. Scientists believe chemicals used to change the properties of plastic – such as those that make it harder or waterproof – may be harmful and could increase the risk of heart disease, cancer or infertility. The bioplastic could also be used for aviation, electrics and construction products. It is resistant to acid which could allow it to coat medicines and help them to pass through the stomach. The firm hopes to start selling the bioplastic in five years.
- This start-up aims to do genomic tests on memory champs, newborns and 110-year olds
Veritas Genetics says it has the largest collection of DNA for people who have lived to the age of 110. The company is focused on people at the edges of the human experience, whether it's the really old, really young or super performers. Nelson Dellis has won the U.S. memory championship four times.
- ICE Agents Detained a Man Driving His Pregnant Wife to the Hospital
- Omarosa Has Video, Emails and Texts Supporting Her Claims About President Trump, Sources Say
- French farm aims to grow new crop of farmers
They bandy about terms like "co-working" but instead of coding and developing algorithms in open space offices they work out in the open trying to tease tomatoes from the soil. Welcome to the Hundredth Monkey Farm where aspiring farmers can benefit from the same type of coaching and shared resources that many hi-tech startups get from business incubators or co-working. Sacha Danjou, 25, is a former aeronautical engineer learning to manage a farm.
- German Researchers Have Built a Quantum Transistor Using Just a Single Atom
- Study: Climate change possible cause of bird species decline
- Mexican astrophysicist identified ancient stars in the Milky Way
Mexico, Aug. 18 (Notimex).- Finding some of the first galaxies that formed in our universe orbiting in the Milky Way is the astronomical equivalent to find the first human remains that inhabited the Earth," said Carlos Frenk Mor. The scientist graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, for its acronym in Spanish), based in the United States, published the above in the article "The footprint of cosmic reionization in the luminous function of galaxies", published by the magazine The Astrophysical Journal. The expert pointed out that the ancestral galaxies are: Segue-1, Bootes I, Tucana II and Ursa Mayor I, with more than 13 million years. "What we did was collect all the data and interpretations within the scheme that we have of the evolution of the Universe," the Mexican scientist explained. "The finding supports the actual model for our universe evolution, the so-called 'Lambda of dark-cold matter', in which the elementary particles that make up dark matter drive cosmic evolution," he added. The UNAM highlighted that with the help of instruments such as the VTL, from the European Southern Observatory, they can study more thoroughly the satellite galaxies that are kept close to bigger ones due to gravitational attraction. With computer modeling systems, Frenk Mora and his team identified the galaxy populations that the satellite orbits around our galactic neighborhood. The first contains galaxies that formed during the dark cosmic era. The second, with brighter objects that formed hundreds of millions of years later, once the hydrogen ionized by the intense ultraviolet radiation emitted by the first stars could have been cooled down in more massive dark materials. Surprisingly, the team discovered that a theoretical model of galaxy formation that they had previously developed, coincided with the data, which allowed them to infer the galaxies formation times. A decade ago, the most weak galaxies near the Milky Way had been discarded from study, but with the new scientific equipment, they have been revealed as “a new treasure to learn from the primitive universe”, the university specialist added. In the research Alis Deason, of the Computational Cosmology Institute of the University of Durham, England, and Sownak Bose, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, United States participated. NTX/AAR/MSG/ASTRO16/BBF
- NASA Releases Images of Its Aeronautic Innovations for National Aviation Day
- Georgia Lawmaker Says President Trump's Alleged N-Word Use Should Be Held Separate From His Presidency
- Pence to travel to Houston to discuss Space Force with NASA