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Scotland: world 1st floating wind farm, built by offshore oil company, begun in 2016 now delivers electricity powering 20k homes

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18 Oct 2017 - First floating wind farm, built by offshore oil company, delivers electricity - Anchored, floating turbines allow offshore wind installations in deep waters.
The world’s first floating offshore wind farm began delivering electricity to the Scottish grid today.

The 30MW installation, situated 25km (15.5mi) from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, will demonstrate that offshore wind energy can be harvested in deep waters, miles away from land, where installing giant turbines was once impractical or impossible. At peak capacity, the wind farm will produce enough electricity to power 20,000 Scottish homes.

The installation, called Hywind Scotland, is also interesting because it was built by Statoil, a Norwegian mega-corporation known for offshore oil drilling. Statoil has pursued offshore wind projects in recent years, using the company's experience building and managing infrastructure in difficult open sea conditions to its advantage.

Hywind Scotland began producing power in September, and today it starts delivering electricity to the Scottish grid.

The five 6MW turbines are the first commercial turbines to lack a firm attachment to the seafloor. The towers extend 176m (577ft) above the water and 78m (256ft) below it. Each tower is capable of pitching its blades to reduce unwanted motion and optimize power output depending on the wind direction and strength.  read more »

Ideas and Photos: make smaller beautiful, life simpler, money saved, and time spared for fun


Domino Loft system, designed by Charles Irby of ICOSA and Peter Suen


Zoku Hybrid Live-Work Hotel

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8 clever modern micro-apartments that live big
Micro-apartments are becoming more popular in cities where the demand for housing is growing, and the supply of affordable real estate is shrinking. From New York, to San Francisco and London, micro-living spaces that measure 500 square feet or less are becoming a trend, offering renters and buyers something smaller but less expensive. Nevertheless, these tiny spaces often packed with built-in amenities like transformer furniture, or if they are part of a multi-unit development, generous communal spaces to compensate for the tinier private quarters.

Domino Loft System
Our first look is at the Domino Loft system, designed by Charles Irby of ICOSA and Peter Suen for a young couple. The system consists of prefabricated concrete panels, wood slats and custom-made cabinetry, and is configured as an all-in-one unit that can transform into a dining room, workspace and guest room on the bottom level. On top, one can find the sleeping loft, which also doubles as a perch to watch films projected onto a wall on the other side of the space. Multifunctional designs such as this help to give more privacy to each occupant and augment what would be an other tiny space.

Zoku Hybrid Live-Work Hotel  read more »

Canada looks to ban US coal shipments as retaliation for a new US 24% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber

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April 26, 2017
24% tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber British Columbian Premier Christy Clark pressed Trudeau on Wednesday to enforce a trade ban on shipments of thermal coal, also called steam coal, at its terminal in Vancouver in response to the Trump administration's 24 percent tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imposed Tuesday.

"I told British Columbians that I would use every tool at our disposal to ensure we get a fair deal on softwood lumber," Clark said in an open letter to Trudeau. "Friends and trading partners cooperate," but "clearly, the United States is taking a different approach," she said.

Clark said U.S. coal producers rely on the terminal in Vancouver to ship coal to Asia, with a record of more than 6 million tons shipped last year. The U.S. lacks the capacity to move its own coal on the Pacific coast, making the ban an effective retaliatory response to the lumber tariff.

On Friday Washington state will release an environmental impact statement on a proposed coal terminal for Asian shipments.

Clark also said that steam coal is one of the most carbon-dioxide producing fuels, and banning its shipment would help Canada and the province meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most scientists blame the emissions for raising the Earth's temperature, resulting in more severe weather, floods and drought.

Clark pointed out that over the past five years most of the U.S. proposals to build its own coal terminals have been rejected for environmental and ecological reasons.  read more »

NO MORE WAR: British PM Theresa May vows to END 'failed' invasions like Iraq and Afghanistan

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26 January, 2017
"Britain and America will no longer invade foreign countries 'to make the world in their own image'" - Theresa May. Britain and America will never again invade foreign countries “in an attempt to make the world in their own image”, Theresa May has said in the biggest shift in UK foreign policy for more than 20 years.

Addressing US Republican politicians in Philadelphia, the Prime Minister pledged not to repeat the “failed policies of the past” in a clear reference to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan by Tony Blair and George W Bush.

And she hailed Mr Trump's election as "dawn breaking on a new era of American renewal".

She told Republicans: “I speak to you not just as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but as a fellow Conservative who believes in the same principles that underpin the agenda of your Party.

“The value of liberty. The dignity of work. The principles of nationhood, family, economic prudence, patriotism – and putting power in the hands of the people.

“Principles instilled in me from a young age. Principles that my parents taught me in the vicarage in Southern England in which I was raised.

“I know that it is these principles that you have put at the heart of your plan for government. “  read more »

Tourists Flee 'Nightmare' Paris - rising violence and roaming wolves - news in photos: 18 Jan 2017

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18 Jan 2017
Tourists Flee 'Nightmare' Paris Amidst Rising Theft, Assaults... Paris' regional tourism office last year reported a slump in visitor numbers to the city. Rising violence and aggression account for the drop. President of the Chinese Association of Travel Agencies in France, Jean-François Zhou, said "increasingly violent” thefts and assaults are turning France into "one of the worst destinations for foreign tourists." In 2016, there were 1.6 million Chinese tourists compared to 2.2 million in 2015. The number of Japanese tourists dropped 39 percent and Koreans 27 per cent."

18 Jan 2017
A lone wolf was spotted prowling just 200 miles from Paris - when an expert was quick to point out that they can cover 300 miles in a DAY on foot. French told not to fear wolves roaming Paris streets as 'they only eat four-legged animals.'
Parisians are frightened that the endangered beasts are now within howling distance of the capital and can't be stopped.

Only lone wolves have been spotted so far wandering its streets. Experts and eyewitnesses claim they are freely roaming French 'departments' (an administrative district) of Yvelines and Essone in Île-de-France - which overlaps with the Paris metropolitan area in the south and west - at night.

Warnings were first made last year when a lone wolf was spotted prowling just 200 miles from Paris - when an expert was quick to point out that they can cover 300 miles in a DAY on foot.

(unquote)  read more »

Yahoo, no more: sold. Mayer's gain: "$365 million, 5 years at Yahoo". Who said in 2012 "Fool's bargain"?

If someone's gain at anyone's loss: who is the fool if there's a fool's bargain?
July 07, 2012: "Mayer was making a fool's bargain
to choose Yahoo over Google as the ambitious executive
shocked the tech world by leaving Google to become Yahoo’s new CEO"
Dec 14, 2015: "If she stays on board for another year and a half,
Mayer will make $365 million for 5 years of work at Yahoo"
"The vast majority of her pay isn't tied to Yahoo's performance as a company"
Jan 10, 2017: Yahoo is sold to Verizon.
"Yahoo's board voted to alter its change-in-control provision
to include the sale of a major business unit as well; and with that,
Mayer's $123 million payday was created."
"Without that vote, Mayer would have walked away with "only" around $14 million."

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Dec 14, 2015
If she stays on board for another year and a half, Marissa Mayer will make $365 million for five years of work at Yahoo.
The vast majority of her pay isn't tied to Yahoo's performance as a company
- it's tied to Yahoo's stock price.

Jan 10, 2017  read more »

Paris: free public transport to battle worst smog; Sweden tax breaks on repairs: no waste


"Transport chiefs banned drivers with odd-numbered licence plates from entering the centre on Tuesday, with cars bearing even numbers barred yesterday (Photo: AFP)"

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Paris makes all public transport FREE to cut polluting traffic after worst smog in 10 years
The Metro underground system and overground rail in the French capital were tonight said to be buckling under the strain with thousands taking advantage of zero cost fares.
Authorities have clamped down on cars as a perfect storm of high vehicle emissions, soaring numbers of domestic wood fires and windless conditions have blanketed Paris in choking smog.

Transport chiefs banned drivers with odd-numbered licence plates from entering the centre on Tuesday, with cars bearing even numbers barred yesterday, reports the Independent.

Sweden's tax breaks on repairs to clothes, bicycles, fridges, and washing machines: No more waste
To combat its "throwaway consumer culture," Sweden has announced tax breaks on repairs to clothes, bicycles, fridges, and washing machines. On bikes and clothes, VAT has been reduced from 25% to 12% and on large household products (also known in Sweden as "white goods") consumers can claim back income tax due on the person doing the work.
The incentives are intended to reduce the environmental impact of the things Swedes buy. The country has ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but has found that the impact of consumer choices is actually increasing.

(unquote)  read more »

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Before man to blow to right
The wind once blew itself untaught,
And did its loudest day and night
In any rough place where it caught.

Man came to tell it what was wrong:
It hadn't found the place to blow;
It blew too hard - the aim was song.
And listen - how it ought to go!

He took a little in his mouth,
And held it long enough for north
To be converted into south,
And then by measure blew it forth.

By measure. It was word and note,
The wind the wind had meant to be -
A little through the lips and throat.
The aim was song - the wind could see.

— Robert Frost

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