Chile Snubs Iron Mine To Save Endangered Penguins

It may not be everyday that a group of elephants rescue 300 tourists from a flood. But when humans need them, animals are always eager to lend a hand — or paw. For the Chilean government, protecting wildlife the way they do us is very much a priority. It recently rejected a billion-dollar mining project in order to save endangered penguins.

A Chilean company, Andes Iron, had wanted to extract millions of tonnes of iron in the northern Coquimbo region as well as building a new port.

The area is home to 80% of the world’s Humboldt penguins as well as other endangered species, including blue whales, fin whales and sea otters.

Chile’s environmental minister asserted that while he believes in development, risking ecological areas is a no-go.

Correspondents say mining companies have in recent years had a harder time obtaining permits in Chile because of growing interest in the environment from politicians and public opinion.

Chilean miners are infuriated, understandably. However, the rejection is also a wake-up call. Mining may be the easy answer, but not necessarily the best one.

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Modified Metal Can Purify Water In Minutes

Modern day-technologies have come as far as being able to detect water pollution in large scales. Filtering lakes and rivers, on the other hand, is a different story. Researchers at the Edith Cowan University in Australia have recently come up with a potential solution. By modifying the atomic structure of iron, they created a metal that can purify water in minutes.

Associate Professor Laichang Zhang from ECU’s School of Engineering was able to change the atomic structure of iron to form what is known as metallic glass.

A thin strip of the iron-based metallic glass… can remove impurities such as dyes or heavy metals from even highly polluted water in just minutes.

The material is not only cheaper to produce — it doesn’t create iron sludge, which iron powder does. The metallic glass is also reusable up to 20 times, whereas most wastewater treatments are disposed of immediately. Apparently, the product is already in demand.

“We have already had significant interest from companies in both China and Australia who are keen to work with us to develop this technology, including Ausino Drilling Services, whose clients include Rio Tinto and the Aluminum Corporation of China.”

Researchers are targeting use towards the mining and textile industries, both of which produce large amounts of water. Now that’s rock and roll — or should I say heavy metal?

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Going Vegetarian: What You Need To Know

I am everyone’s go-to person when they decide to stop eating meat. I became vegetarian some four years ago in my early twenties, to which people respond, then it must be easy. If I, a bacon lover for the first two decades of my life, can eliminate meat from my diet, then anyone can. This is partially true — while anyone can transition into vegetarianism, it isn’t easy.

For starters, have good reasons for wanting to go green. Becoming vegetarian can’t just be about “trying something new” or responding irrationally to the Earthlings documentary. Do you want to cut fat or increase your nutrient intake? Is helping the environment on your radar? List everything down and consider your motives carefully. Vegetarianism isn’t only diet-related — it’s a drastic change in lifestyle.

Do research, and I mean a lot of it. Find out what foods can replace the protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins you get from meat. Weigh the financial aspect of having to purchase different ingredients. Understand how the shift will affect you physically and even mentally. And on that note, consult a doctor. If you are anemic or suffer from low levels of blood sugar, perhaps going vegetarian isn’t the most practical choice for you.

Once you are comfortable with your decision and accept the fact that you bidding trips to Burger King adieu, figure out how you want to transition. If you are not a fan of the cold turkey method, consider taking it slow. Gradually wean yourself off meat. Quick jumps could shock your body.

With every diet comes a brand-new pantry. For a segue this major, find good recipes in advance. While the cookbook route is a great path to take, online sources are just as useful. Bookmark easy-to-cook meals that you can familiarize yourself with. Of course, do a lot of planning. While vegetarians aren’t aliens, not every restaurant will have a good variety of meat-free courses. Having a vast selection at home is the safest way to go.

If you can’t seem to let go of the wonderful taste of meat, buy substitutes. Trust me, there are alternatives to almost anything, but they don’t always come cheap. Scour your local supermarket — you’re likely to find a hidden gem. While substitutes may taste exactly like meat, they may not always provide the same amount of nutrients, so stock up on healthy replacements. 

Being mostly herbivorous doesn’t always equate to being healthy. While there are junk foods made with vegetarian ingredients, they can also be detrimental to your body. If you are a heavy snacker, limit your junk food intake. Vegetables might get boring but there are many different ways to spice things up with different preparations.

Most of all, remember to exercise and find time to relax. If your diet is making you feel deprived and triggering mood swings, you’ll hardly last a week. Get good energy circulating by going on an occasional jog and engaging in your favorite activities. And if it makes you feel any better, know that a lot of cows and pigs are grateful.

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