May 23, 2013

Footprints in snow     Photo: net_efekt

Shoes Leave Large Carbon Footprint

Complicated shoes require complicated manufacturing

Trying to go green? Ditch your gym shoes for a pair of flip-flops. A pair of schmancy synthetic running shoes generates around 30lbs of carbon dioxide, according to a new study from MIT. That's equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for an entire week.

More than two-thirds of the emissions are produced during the manufacturing process, an unusual breakdown for clothing, one of the study authors told The Guardian.

"Folks tend to find that manufacturing is relevant to the carbon footprint in hi-tech or specialized products," said co-author Randolph Kirchain, "Such as integrated circuits or that kind of thing." Not typically shoes.

The shoes studied by MIT were made from 26 different materials and required 360 steps to manufacture and assemble, with many pieces being produced on machines fed by coal. Researchers believe that by streamlining the manufacturing process, manufacturers may be able to slash their environmental impact.

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Climbers at Lhotse.     Photo: Garrett Madison

80-Year-Old Summits Everest

Breaks age record

Eighty-year-old Yuichiro Miura became the oldest person to climb Mount Everest on Thursday, reaching the summit just four months after undergoing heart surgery for an arrhythmia.

Miura's history with the world's highest peak goes back to 1970, when he attempted a ski descent of the mountain, using a parachute to slow him, and ended up tumbling over 1,000 feet down the Lhotse face, an event chronicled in the Academy-Award-winning documentary The Man Who Skied Down Everest. The Japanese climber first set Everest's age record ten years ago, when he scaled the mountain at 70 years old.

“I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mt. Everest at age 80," Miura told his support team in a phone call. "This is the world's best feeling, although I'm totally exhausted. Even at 80, I can still do quite well."

According to The Independent, Miura's record may not last long: The previous record holder, 81-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan of Nepal, hopes to retake the title by climbing Everest next week.

More on Miura and this year's other Everest firsts.

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    Photo: Via DailyMail

SAR Volunteer to Sue Trabuco Teens

Broke his back in the search

A search and rescue volunteer who broke his back looking for two meth-addled teenagers in Trabuco Canyon in April says he plans to sue Nicholas Cendoya if the 19-year-old is found guilty of drug possession. Nick Papageorge, 20, was hunting for the missing teenagers in Cleveland National Forest when he fell over 100 feet down a cliff face and broke his back.

Doctors had to implant two titanium rods and 11 screws to repair Papageorge’s spine, resulting in some $350,000 dollars in medical bills. He now believes he is entitled to some form of restitution.

Cendoya is scheduled to appear in court on July 12 to face charges over the significant quantity of methamphetamine that authorities found in his car during the search. Papageorge says he was aware that Cendoya and his companion Kyndall Jack might have been using drugs before getting lost, but joined in the search anyway.

If found guilty, Cendoya will still be eligible for a drug diversion program, which, if completed, will keep a drug conviction off his record. According to Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon, this would prevent Papageorge from seeking compensation for his injuries.

Under the current law, Orange County officials cannot seek restitution for the $160,000 they spent searching for Cendoya and Jack. However, Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Tustin, has signed on to carry a bill which will permit municipalities to seek compensation from people who endanger themselves through illegal or reckless acts.

“Taxpayer-funded searches and rescues are intended for accidents, not for 'on purposes' that are a result of negligence or criminal activity," said 3rd District Supervisor Todd Spitzer in a statement. "Individuals who recklessly put themselves and others in danger should pay the cost for such rescues. Innocent taxpayers should not bear the burden of these exorbitant costs."

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    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Scientists Pick Top 10 New Species

Identify the rarest finds

A glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge, and a monkey with “human-like eyes”: these were some of the new species that earned the distinction of being one of the top 10 discovered in 2012

This morning, on the birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University released its annual list, chosen by an international committee from over 140 nominations. They hope it will help put a priority on exploring biodiversity. The winners were chosen for their unexpected features, rarity, and significance to humans.

Some more highlights:

See the full list of winners.

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