Solar-Powered Plane Soars Over The Pacific Without A Drop Of Fuel


A solar-powered, single-pilot airplane just made aviation (and renewable energy) history, completing the 4,000-mile journey from Japan to Hawaii without stops or fossil fuel. The plane landed Friday morning at Kalaeloa Airport on the island of Oahu.

HE MADE IT! @andreborschberg just touched down in #Hawaii after a record-breaking flight! #futureisclean @b

— SOLAR IMPULSE (@solarimpulse) July 3, 2015

The trip from Japan to Hawaii was the longest leg in the Solar Impulse 2’s ongoing trip around the world. The plane took off from Japan on Sunday afternoon, after its team determined that the weather would permit a safe passage. The crew had made a previous attempt to fly to Hawaii in late May, but that effort was aborted mid-flight due to precarious weather.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of 90 mph and only averaged around 40 mph during the flight, which means the journey took a daunting 117 hours and 52 seconds — or nearly five days. The pilot for this leg of the flight, André Borschberg, got his sleep in 20-minute naps.

By comparison, a Boeing 777, with a top speed of around 600 mph, can make the same trip in about 8.5 hours.

The Solar Impulse 2 broke a number of records with its latest flight, including longest distance for solar-powered flight, longest duration for solar-powered flight, and longest non-stop solo-pilot flight of any kind (made possible because the plane doesn’t need to stop for refueling).

“This oceanic flight to Hawaii demonstrates that if technological solutions exist to fly a plane day and night without fuel, then there is potential for these same efficient technologies to be used in our daily lives, and to achieve energy savings to —> Read More

Record-breaking solar flight reaches Hawaii after 5 nights and days airborne without fuel

The longest and most difficult leg of the Round the World Solar Flight attempted since last March by Swiss explorers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg ended successfully in Hawaii. At the controls of Solar Impulse 2, pilot André Borschberg landed safely in Hawaii after flying 117 hours and 52 minutes over the Pacific Ocean from Japan powered only by the sun. —> Read More

Red, White, and Bison: This Iconic Animal Should be Named the National Mammal of the United States

American bison in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Photo by Jeff Burrell ©WCS.

By John Calvelli

[Note: This is the sixth in a series of blogs by Calvelli celebrating the history and conservation of the American Bison.]

This weekend, Americans will spend the 4th of July thinking of the things that make the United States great. Of course, that means independence and freedom, and probably barbecues and fireworks as well. But another of those quintessentially great things about America is the bison, an animal that has for too long gone unrecognized as the national icon that it is.

Bison – our largest land mammal – have unparalleled historical, cultural, economic, and ecological significance to the U.S.

American bison in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Photo by Jeff Burrell ©WCS.

Once ranging from Oregon to New Jersey and Alaska to Mexico, bison herds inspired awe in western explorers, were integrally linked with the economic, physical, and spiritual lives of Native Americans, and are a symbol of America’s history. As WCS (the Wildlife Conservation Society) works to restore bison in its historic range, we can also appreciate everything it contributes to today’s society.

Also known as buffalo, we recognize these magnificent animals from childhood stories tracing the settlement of the American West. We remember them from paintings by artists like James Perry Wilson, who captured bison herds in the Great Plains for dioramas featured in the American Museum of Natural History.

Recognizing the bison’s remarkable history on our continent, Democratic and Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation on June 29 to officially recognize bison as the national mammal of the United States.

American bison bulls grazing by the river at Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS.

The bipartisan National Bison Legacy Act, led by Reps. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Kristi Noem (R-SD) and José Serrano (D-NY), acknowledges the cultural, economic, —> Read More

Jim Carrey Apologizes For Tweeting Photo Of Boy With Autism In Anti-Vaccine Rant

Jim Carrey spent Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning tweeting about his anti-vaccination views, and on Thursday night he apologized for including a photo of a young boy without permission.

The actor had sent out an image of the boy, who has autism, as part of a series of tweets challenging a new California law that eliminates personal-belief exemptions for childhood immunizations.

The mother of Alex Echols asked Carrey to remove the photo of her son, noting that he had not been given permission to use it.

@JimCarrey Please remove this photo of my son. You do not have permission to use his image.

— Karen Echols (@karen_echols) July 2, 2015

@JimCarrey we appreciate the apology. If you feel so inclined, a shout out for tuberous sclerosis awareness would be awesome! #IAMTSC

— Karen Echols (@karen_echols) July 3, 2015

The picture, which has since been removed, was attached to a tweet that read, “A trillion dollars buys a lot of expert opinions. Will it buy you? TOXIN FREE VACCINES, A REASONABLE REQUEST!” It was included among several images of distraught children with autism.

The scientific consensus, based on multiple studies, is that the vaccines distributed in the United States do not cause autism. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that thimerosal, the specific compound that Carrey argues can lead to autism, was removed from childhood vaccines more than a decade ago, except for some flu vaccines.

Alex’s aunt, Elizabeth Welch, posted a screenshot of Carrey’s tweet on Instagram. In the caption, she said that her nephew does have autism but was diagnosed before receiving any vaccinations.

Carrey is not the only anti-vaccine celebrity. Most notably, there’s his —> Read More

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