March 15, 2013

    Photo: ra_o/Flickr

Dead Fish Fill 2016 Olympic Rowing Lake

Oh no, that smell

The Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, due to host the rowing events of the 2016 Summer Olympics, was filled with dead fish earlier this week. To be exact: it was filled with 86 tons of dead fish.

The lagoon, which sits below the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, has hosted rowing events in the past (see: the 2007 Pan-Am Games), but it has also hosted other mass fish die-offs (see: 2000, 2009). And it doesn’t seem—ruling out bio-engineering or the use of a time machine—that there’s any way to prevent this from happening again:

According to Mr Moscatelli, the presence of sewage in the lake was due to problems with the lake’s outlet into the Atlantic sea, the canal of Jardim de Allah, which then caused the phenomenon, called efflorescence. Algae expert Mariângela Menezes said that samples of more than 400 per milliliter of the culprit micro-organisms were collected during the days leading up to the disaster, far above what would normally be expected.

From USA Today:

It took 100 municipal workers 48 hours to clean up the mess, which actually sounds quite impressive when you look at the scope of the decay.

Yes, go look at that scope. You can smell it through your computer.


    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Surfers Fighting for Public Beach Access

Private owner blocking Martin's Beach in California

A Silicon Valley venture capitalist has pushed a group of surfers to point break in a dispute over access to a stretch of coastline called Martin’s Beach. The Surfrider Foundation, a coastal protection group, filed a lawsuit this week alleging that the private owner of the beachfront property south of San Francisco has violated the law by closing an access road used by local surfers and fishermen.

While the lawsuit doesn’t name the owner, he is believed to be Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and prominent clean energy investor. Under California’s constitution, all beaches are open to the public.

Though not all landowners are required to allow access to their property, new landowners are supposed to acquire a permit for any changes they make regarding the use of the beach. According to Surfrider’s lawyers, no such permit was acquired by the owners of Martin’s Beach. Khosla has not released a statement on the matter.

Outside covered the contributions of Surfrider and other beach rescue operations in 2011.


Red Bull normally tastes delicious!     Photo: Luc Legay/Flickr

Red Bull Blackmailed With Poop Contamination

No evidence of contamination

Energy drink giant Red Bull is reporting that it has been blackmailed by anonymous callers threatening to place feces-contaminated beverage cans on supermarket shelves. In a statement, the company said it was cooperating closely with police but offered no information on the demands of the poopetrators.

The company did say that the threats were limited to Austria, but they are cooperating with German authorities as well. The threats started several weeks ago, but so far there has been no sign that any products have been tampered with at any stores. Police did not comment on Red Bull's statement but said that they were close to finding those responsible.

Red Bull's co-founder, Dieter Mateschitz, is worth a reported $7.1 billion and is Austria's richest person. Red Bull's sales rose 12 percent in 2011 to $5.6 billion.

Via Reuters


    Photo: Itayba/Flickr

1 Dead, 30 Hospitalized in Tel Aviv Half-Marathon

Heat stroke, dehydration to blame

One runner died and 30 were hospitalized at a half-marathon race in Tel Aviv after 90-degree temperatures caused widespread dehydration and heat stroke. Organizers decided last week to postpone the full Tel Aviv Gilette Marathon after forecasts predicted triple-digit temperatures. They allowed the half-marathon to continue, though they rescheduled the start to 30 minutes earlier.

Among the 30 injured, 12 were in critical condition, with four in medically-induced comas. NBC producer and runner Paul Goldman, who competed in the race, said that few Israeli runners would have had an opportunity to acclimate to the heat. "It was winter until literally a week ago," he said to NBC. "Everyone that has trained for the marathon, we were all running in rain conditions and training in pretty cold weather." Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai pledged that the city would investigate the incident.