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DC's Cherry Blossom Festival delayed for anti gun violence March

24.03.2018 15:10

Rachel Maddow reports that the opening of Washington, D.C.'s famous Cheery Blossom Festival is being delayed a day to accommodate the expected crowds participating in the March For Our Lives protest for new laws to prevent gun violence.


The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is up to 16 times more massive than thought

24.03.2018 13:14

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), a massive area of floating plastic debris that is more than twice the size of Texas, contains about 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. This is between 4 and 16 times the mass of plastic that scientists previously estimated.  What's worse is that the amount of plastic within this area is growing "exponentially," according to a comprehensive three-year-long study using 30 vessels and a high-tech reconnaissance aircraft.  The study, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, provides a detailed analysis of the size and types of plastic caught up in the Garbage Patch, which occupies about 1.6 million square kilometers, or 617,763 square miles, between Hawaii and California.  SEE ALSO: A floating 'island of trash' has surfaced in the Caribbean The GPGP is just one of five ocean garbage patches that have developed around the world as people use more and more plastic, which is not biodegradable and is used for everything from water bottles to shipping crates. A fleet of 30 vessels, each dragging nets behind them to scoop up pieces of plastic, gathered 1.2 million samples. Scientists from The Ocean Cleanup Foundation in the Netherlands, as well as six universities and an aviation sensor company, used the samples they'd gathered to build a model of how plastic is transported in and out of the GPGP.  The study estimates that the approximately1.8 trillion pieces of plastic within the GPGP weighs about 80,000 metric tons. Another unexpected finding: Most of this mass — 92 percent — is composed of large plastic debris, such as crates and bottles, while just 8 percent or so of the mass is made up of microplastics, pieces smaller than 5 millimeters in size.  Modeled mass concentration of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage PatchImage: THE OCEAN CLEANUP FOUNDATION/lebreton et. al. scientific reports."We were surprised by the amount of large plastic objects we encountered," said Julia Reisser, chief scientist of the expeditions, who works for The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, in a press release.  At least 46 percent of the mass was composed of ghostnets, or fishing nets drifting at sea, unmoored from the ships that once towed them, the study found.  “There’s a lot more plastic out there than thought,” said Boyan Slat, a co-author of the study and founder of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, in an interview. Unlike earlier studies, which focused on collecting small pieces of plastic within a smaller area of the GPGP, this one attempted to capture the full range of debris floating in the GPGP. The armada of research ships used small nets to catch the small pieces, large ones to wrangle the medium-to-large pieces, and a C-130 Hercules aircraft equipped with LIDAR equipment in order to detect "these mega-pieces” of larger than 1 meter, Slat said.  Using their transport model, the researchers pointed to Asia as a main source of plastic pollution for the GPGP, particularly Japan and China, though plastics from North America contribute to it as well. Plastics that get routed into the Garbage Patch by winds and ocean currents are likely to be permanently trapped there, in a zone of little wind and devoid of weather systems that would break up and disperse the debris. Eventually, some of the surface plastic does sink to the ocean bottom, where it can endanger marine life.  A styrofoam buoy collected during the 2015 ocean surveyImage: the ocean Cleanup Foundation.The researchers used an "apples to apples" comparison of small plastic pieces, dating back to 1970, to analyze their mass estimates against previous studies, Slat said. The conclusion was inescapable: There is more and more plastic being added to the Garbage Patch each year, with far less plastic escaping, to the point where it's undergoing exponential growth.  This May, scientists and engineers affiliated with The Ocean Project plan to test out technology to clean up plastic from the sea, using a vessel off the California coast. The eventual plan is for the group to reduce plastic pollution by cleaning up the GPGP and similar areas of plastics around the world.  The nearly $40 million initiative relies on private funding; since 2013, they'd been raising funds using crowdfunding. Now, according to Slat, the group relies on a group of anonymous philanthropists, split about equally between Silicon Valley and Europe. One prominent investor is Marc Benioff, the founder and CEO of Salesforce, Slat said.  “We need to understand how much plastic is out there so that we can clean it up,” Slat said. The goal is to have the first plastic from the Garbage Patch recovered and back in port before the end of this year, Slat said. On its website, the foundation says its goal is to clean up 50 percent of the GPGP recovered within five years of deployment. WATCH: 'Supercolony' of 1.5m penguins discovered in Antarctica

What's the acclaimed Inazuma Eleven game that's coming to Switch?

24.03.2018 13:14

Carlton from SwitchEra writes: "Level 5 took the strange concept of middle school children playing soccer with pseudo-superpowers and somehow made it a Japanese phenomenon that has been slowly leaking into the European gaming sphere. Amassing a cult following in America, Inazuma Eleven is a widely popular franchise that spans generations of characters over multiple platforms and mediums including a continuing anime and a short-lived trading card game."


Help wanted: Teachers, police, even mayors. Jobs crucial to society are plagued by discontent

24.03.2018 13:07

They are jobs considered elemental to civil society, yet those who fill them are facing high stress.


Eiffel Tower protest: Marchers back more US gun control

24.03.2018 12:55

PARIS (AP) — Calls for greater gun control in the U.S. have reached as far as the Eiffel Tower, where 100 demonstrators demanded “Protect children, not guns!” The crowd at Saturday’s gathering in Paris included American and French demonstrators, families and students. Caitlin Waters, co-organizer of the March For Our Lives Paris gathering, says “it’s [...]


Is knee pain linked to depression?

24.03.2018 12:13

According to researchers, knee osteoarthritis affects some 55 percent of people over age 40 in Japan. A research team recently published a study examining the effects of knee pain on depression since, until now, few studies have focused on how knee pain and impaired knee function relate to depression.


Older adults who have slower walking speeds may have increased risk for dementia

24.03.2018 12:13

Because there's currently no cure for dementia, it's important to know about risk factors that may lead to developing it. For example, researchers have learned that older adults with slower walking speeds seem to have a greater risk than those with faster walking speeds. Recently, researchers have learned more about changes in walking speed, changes in the ability to think and make decisions, and dementia.


4K highly detailed and realistic terrain/landscape textures released for Skyrim

24.03.2018 12:11

Modder MystiriousDawn Pfuscher some really detailed and realistic terrain/landscape textures for Skyrim Special Edition. As its title suggets, HD Ground Textures replaces the vanilla super blurry textures with crisp realistic ones.

Tags: 4K, Cher

Young D.C. marchers fighting for their future

24.03.2018 12:07

Tens of thousands swarmed into the nation's capital to march for gun control and ignite political activism among the young. Teenage marchers are pledging to vote in November for candidates that will listen to their cries for gun control. (March 24)

Tags: Teenager, USA, Cher

WATCH: School librarian says 'arm me with my books,' not guns

24.03.2018 11:54

A Virginia educator says arming teachers would result in "unwanted disasters."


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