Tag Archives: ecology

State-of-the-Art Toilet Technology

I’m not normally an early adopter, but I confess to a little bit of toilet envy when it comes to green toilets.

Now, I’ve spent more than enough time living in apartments with toilets that are literally, and unintentionally green; I’d really love to live with one that was green in metaphor only — like a composting toilet, say. Who can’t get behind the knowledge that every time you visit the lav, you’re helping grow some rhododendrons?

Even just a low-flow variety or a rig with a bidet would be an improvement. It may not be polite to say, but we spend an awful lot of our lives in that private, special place — some of us far more than others. Is it wrong to think I’d like a little variety in my quiet time?

This rig, however, may be going overboard. I’m mildly appalled at this article on Mother Nature Network about INAX’s Regio (READ MORE)


New Year’s Eve: Blackbirds Fall From the Sky Just Before Midnight

Courtesy of BuyCostumes.com

A few minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve, thousands of blackbirds fell dead from the sky in Arkansas.

Occurring over the town of Bebe, Arkansas, in an area about a mile long and a half-mile wide, the phenomenon is, thus far, totally unexplained. In fact, the BBC’s story accompanying the article is just 54 words long. The local TV station, KATV, has a longer story that’s even more maddening for its lack of answers. The speculation is that lightning or high-atmosphere hail caused the deaths, but further speculation is that New Year’s Eve fireworks could have caused the birds to die of stress (which sounds unfeasible to me, but what do I know?)


Indian Journalists, Forest Rangers Battle “Sand Mafia”

You heard me. “Sand Mafia.”

Forest rangers in Chandigarh, India were physically attacked this week by sand-mining mobsters for the third time in a year, “expos[ing] the rampant illegal quarrying from the restricted areas in the Chandigarh periphery.”

Chandigarh is a a planned community in the extreme north of India that manages to be the capital of not one but two Indian states (Punjab and Haryana). Says Indian Express:

A team of Forest officials, led by Forest Range Officer Blawinder Singh, intercepted a tractor-trolley laden with sand illegal lifted from the forest area near Chhoti Karoran village, close to Chandigarh, but the driver and his accomplices not only manhandled and attacked the Forest officials but also managed to flee away with the illegal sand in the cover of darkness, the police said here today.

You laugh, Yankee dogs, but the sand mafia is a recurrent and growing problem in northern India. As a planned community, Chandigarh requires sand for construction projects, but the mining of sand is controlled by politically-connected mobsters who flout environmental legislation. Earlier this year, the Times of India reported that its own team of journalists was attacked by gangsters while reporting on the theft of sand from an important environmental site (READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM)