Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Deep sea tailings halted

I recently blogged about the Papua New Guinea government approving a Chinese company's bid to dump its mining wastes in the Basamuk area of the Astrolobe bay in PNG. When the deep sea tailings was approved, the PNG government allegedly authorized dynamiting an area through coral reefs spanning some 500 m long by 20 m wide. It was sad to see a beautiful structure that had taken so long to be built to be dynamited away just like that.

Fortunately for the coral reefs, the local people of the area have successfully taken out a court order to stop dumping of wastes in the bay. Hooray for the locals....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ancient Corals hold new hope for Reefs

Fossil corals, up to half a million years old are providing fresh hope that coral reefs may be able to withstand the huge stresses imposed on them by today's human Activity.

Why Meat and Beer is better

Every now and then we look ourselves in the mirror and compare ourselves to other people always haunted by the thought of weather we are in shape or not and for those of us who love our food and beer, there already is a fine line drawn between us and the so called health conscious people who always make us look and feel bad. Well here are a few justifications on the main points those health conscious always attack us on.

Cardio-vascular exercises do not prolong life. See it this way, the heart, like everything else wears out eventually so it is only good for so many beats. Speeding it up will not make you live longer, its like extending the life of your car battery by speeding up the car. If you want to live longer, I say take a nap.

Many people are choosing a high vegetable diet arguing that it is healthier and better for the heart. Well, try to understand this, what do cows eat? Grass, hay and corn, these are all vegetables and so meat is just a more efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to the system. And if you want more grains in your diet, chicken is the best alternative while pork chops can provide 100% of recommended allowance of vegetable product.

If you think reducing your alcohol intake or quitting alcohol altogether is a healthy alternative, you do not know what you are missing out on. Wine is made from fruit and Brandy is distilled wine, which means they take water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made of grains and hops so my take on this question is that the more the better.

Being healthy is always about having the correct body/fat balance. Wanna know how to calculate your body/fat ratio? this is the simplest way to understand it. If you have one body and are fat, then your ratio is one to one, if you have two bodies, its two to one, etc. The next thing to knowing your body/fat ratio is to exercise to get into the ratio you want. Now comes the question of weather regular exercise is good? To be simple, there are no advantages in participating in regular exercise programs simply because no pain......good. Furthermore, exercises makes muscles bigger so if you thought exercises like sit ups will keep you getting soft in the middle, it might, but then it is only going to make it bigger.

By now the only thing I haven't touched on is fried foods, well fried foods are cooked in vegetable oil, how could getting more vegetables be bad for you? I will leave this one for you to decide and if you are still worried about your body shape, hey 'ROUND' is also a shape.

Remember, life is NOT a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Walking, Biting Mosquitoes

In the quest to combat the spread of dengue fever, scientists from the University of Oxford in England have developed a method to genetically alter male mosquitoes so that when they mate with a female mosquito, the offspring's they produce will have wings that prevent the female from flying. By preventing the female mosquitoes from flying they also reduce the chances of them spreading the infection.

The fight against dengue has gone from swatting, to poison, even sterilizing males and now its genetic engineering to ground females. Is it also possible that evolution would result in a new breed of mosquitoes walking around and biting people from the ground?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Deep Sea Tailings Approved

At a time when terrestrial mineral and petroleum deposits all over the world are becoming more scarce, many companies are slowly moving into marine based mining. This is usually associated with offshore drilling for oil and gas, however in recent years, the likelihood of having a marine based mine for minerals has increased so much that we already have a proposed schedule for the start of deep sea mining in early 2011.

The main question in everyones minds is how successful will the deep sea mining company be at keeping its tailings at a minimum and what environmental impacts the mining practice will have on the environment. While scientists and environmentalists all over the world are still looking for safer techniques and alternatives to this method of mining, this is fast becoming a race against time and with the current state of the worlds economy, this is shaping up to be a losing battle for the scientists.

Having said that, it is even more frustrating to see that the PNG government has recently approved Deep Sea Tailings at the Basamuk bay for its new US$1 billion Ramu Nickel project Pipe. According to a news paper article from PNG, tailings disposal from the mine which are said to be already neutralized, would be piped along the sea floor to a depth of 150m below sea level where they would be released. To construct the Deep Sea Tailings Pipeline (DSTP), mine operator, Chinese Metallic Company Corporation (CMCC) has suggested blasting a pathway 500 meters long by 5 meters wide through coral beds in the region.

How do we justify the decisions made at the cost of the environment?