In Bali, Bamboo Architecture Offers Model for a Sustainable Future

Ibuku3
The living room of ‘Temple House’ a home constructed in the Green Village, a neighborhood on the island of Bali dedicated to building homes almost entirely out of bamboo. Photos by Ari Beser

BALI, Indonesia—How do you build a future out of grass? On the Indonesian island of Bali, one organization has set out to do just that. Ibuku, an architecture and furniture design firm based outside of Denpasar, Bali’s capital, is using Dendrocalamus asper bamboo—or petung in Balinese—to construct Green Village. I had the chance to visit this innovative new community while on leave from my Fulbright National Geographic Fellowship in Japan.

Green Village was inspired by the design of Green School, an eco friendly academy founded by John Hardy, the father of Elora Hardy, Ibuku’s founder and creative director. Ibu in Balinese means Mother, and ku means mine. Ibuku’s philosophy is similar to Green School’s desire to maintain a relationship with Mother Earth and the environment and delicate ecosystem that surrounds them.

According to a statement by Ibuku, “Bamboo is a flexible and tensile material with the strength equivalent to steel. We account for the flexibility in the engineering process and work to ensure our bamboo maintains its integrity over time. Bamboo is plentiful in river valleys throughout Asia, and the clumps regenerate each year. Bamboo is ready for use as a building material at age 3-5 years.”

While bamboo has been used worldwide in construction and craftsmanship for millennia, its structures don’t typically last long enough to be seen as a material worth permanence. Ibuku’s answer to this problem is a boron solution that suppresses glucose levels and renders it inedible for insects. According to Ibuku’s team, “If the bamboo is chosen well, treated properly, designed carefully and maintained, a bamboo house can last a lifetime. —> Read More

Wyoming’s Proposed Mountain Lion Trapping Bill Contradicts Science

A mountain lion unlucky enough to be caught in a trap set for a bobcat. Photograph compliments of Nevada Department of Wildlife and Tom Knudson, author of RevealNews article, “America’s trapping boom relies on cruel and grisly tools.”

This January, a bill called HB0012 was introduced in the Wyoming legislature that, if passed, would allow any person with a valid hunting license to kill a mountain lion using a trap or snare. This bill is not based on valid science, and the negative consequences for mountain lions, other wildlife, Wyoming citizens, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are far-reaching. As a Wyoming resident and mountain lion biologist, I’m alarmed to see our legislature considering a bill that threatens the balance of nature on which our state so deeply depends.

Ostensibly, this bill was introduced to provide “additional tools” to reverse recent mule deer population declines, a valuable game species for Wyoming residents. In reality, the connection between mountain lions and mule deer population declines is tenuous at best. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has openly shared that mule deer declines are largely the result of other factors, including habitat loss and disruption to migration corridors. It is also well accepted among wildlife biologists that deer dynamics are driven primarily by weather patterns, and resulting forage availability, not predators. In fact, a recent intensive, long term study from the Idaho Department of Fish & Game emphasized that removing mountain lions and coyotes did not provide any long-term benefit to deer populations. The researchers reported: “In conclusion, benefits of predator removal appear to be marginal and short term in southeastern Idaho and likely will not appreciably change long-term dynamics of mule deer populations in the intermountain west” (Hurley et al. 2011). (Emphasis added).

Like mule deer, mountain lions are also experiencing —> Read More

6th Man on Moon Edgar Mitchell, Dies at 85 on Eve of 45th Lunar Landing Anniversary

Apollo 14 astronaut crew, including Moonwalkers Alan B. Shepard Jr., mission commander (first) and Edgar D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot (last), and Stuart A. Roosa, command module pilot (middle) walk out to the astrovan bringing them to the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.    Credit: Julian Leek

NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man to walk on the Moon, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 4, on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his Apollo 14 mission lunar landing.Mitchell passed away in West Palm Beach, Fla., just 1 day prior to the 45th anniversary of the Feb. 5, 1971 landing of Apollo 14’s Lunar Module “Antares.” Mitchell was accompanied by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shephard, Jr., the first American in space, for the descent to the Moon’s surface inside “Antares.”Meanwhile the third Apollo 14 crewmember command module pilot Stuart A. Roosa, flew solo in orbit around the moon while remaining inside the Command and Service Module “Kitty Hawk” during the lunar landing trek by his two crewmates.Shephard and Mitchell safely touched down in the Fra Mauro highlands on Feb. 5, 1971 and spent a record 33 hours on the Moon. “It’s the 45th Anniv of the #Apollo14 landing on the moon & yesterday we lost another Lunar Pioneer Edgar Mitchell,” tweeted Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon along with humanities first moon walker Neil Armstrong, during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.Apollo 14 marked NASA’s third successful lunar landing mission, following the ill fated Apollo 13 mission, which abandoned its originally planned third moon landing flight after a sudden in flight emergency and explosion in the service module on the way to the Moon.Apollo 14 launched on Jan. 31, 1971 from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.Altogether only 12 humans, all American’s, have walked on the Moon during a total of six NASA lunar landing missions in the 1960s and 1970s. No human has visited the Moon since the Apollo 17 lunar landing in 1972.”On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my condolences to —> Read More

N. Korea launches space rocket in defiance of sanctions threats

Seoul (AFP) Feb 7, 2016

North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday, violating UN resolutions and doubling down against an international community already determined to punish Pyongyang for a nuclear test last month.

North Korea had labelled the launch part of a purely scientific space programme, but most of the world viewed it as a disguised ballistic missile test and the nuclear-armed state’s latest step t —> Read More

The forgotten moon landing that paved the way for today’s space adventures

Birmingham UK (SPX) Feb 07, 2016

Crashing into a planet is seldom a good idea. If you’re trying to travel to another world, you’re likely to land at tens of kilometres per second unless you do something serious to slow down. When Neil Armstrong famously became the first man on the moon in 1969, he piloted a lunar module onto the surface using thrusters that slowed the craft’s descent.

But far less remembered is that the S —> Read More

Millisecond pulsars are likely to account for dark matter signal in galactic centre

Amsterdam, Netherlands (SPX) Feb 07, 2016

The puzzling excess of gamma rays from the centre of the Milky Way probably originate from rapidly rotating neutron stars, or millisecond pulsars, and not from dark matter annihilation, as previously claimed. This is the conclusion of new data analyses by two independent research teams from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Princeton University/Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The rese —> Read More

Dawn now circling Ceres in its final orbit

Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 07, 2016

A veteran interplanetary traveler is writing the closing chapter in its long and storied expedition. In its final orbit, where it will remain even beyond the end of its mission, at its lowest altitude, Dawn is circling dwarf planet Ceres, gathering an album of spellbinding pictures and other data to reveal the nature of this mysterious world of rock and ice.

Ceres turns on its axis in a li —> Read More

1 2 3 5,400