The World is Running Out of Helium

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A helium balloon in the future could cost $100.

The world is running short on several metals, but perhaps more disconcerting is the impending loss of the noble helium. The stuff of birthday balloons, superconducting magnets and Mickey Mouse voices could get a lot more expensive in the near future, according to a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

 

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Diesel Cars Outsell Gas-Powered Cars in Britain For the First Time

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Sales of diesel cars have overtaken gas-run vehicles for the first time.

More diesel cars were sold in Britain last month than their petrol-driven counterparts, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) latest survey revealed.  The survey of new car registrations showed that in July diesel cars took a record high 50.6 per cent of the market share after rising 11.8 per cent while petrol car registrations declined by 13.2 per cent.

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BP to Rebrand Gas Stations Across US – to Amoco?

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The BP Snowjob Continues

You probably haven’t seen many Amoco gas stations on the side of the road for a while. That’s because BP merged with the ‘American Oil Co.’ in the 90s, the British company’s logo and namesake took over. As a result, all Amoco stations were converted to BP stations, leaving Amoco stations nowhere to be found. But that could change very soon — in a major rebranding effort launched to sidestep the bad reputation that’s sprouted from having caused the biggest environmental catastrophe in US history, BP is considering renaming all of its stateside gas stations ‘Amoco’ — or something else…

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More Than 27,000 Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells Waiting To Leak In Gulf Of Mexico

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Are oils spills to become a common occurrance?

An Associated Press investigation shows that there are more than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, and the constellation of aging wells has been ignored for decades.

“No one—not industry, not government—is checking to see if they are leaking.”

The oldest was abandoned in the late 1940s….

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Xenon Gas Given to Baby to Prevent Brain Damage a World First

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Sarah and Dave Joyce with their newborn baby son Riley, who became the first baby born in the world with the help of Xenon gas.

A British hospital has become the first in the world to give xenon gas to a stricken newborn baby to prevent it suffering brain injury.  Riley Joyce was given the inert gas, xenon, to breathe when he was born suffering from the effects of a lack of oxygen.

 

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Student-Built “Black Widow” Racer Gets 2,752 Miles Per Gallon

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Um… can I get one in green?
Engineering students at the California Polytechnic State University are showing off the updated Black Widow, their entry for the upcoming Shell Eco-Marathon contest, and it involves some unusual numbers: 3 (wheels); 3 (horsepower engine); and 2,752 (miles per gallon).The team has been working on the vehicle since 2005, and with each successive year they’ve managed to shed weight and ramp up mileage. In its current state it weighs only 96 pounds, and can hit a top speed of 30 MPH with its Honda 50cc engine.

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A Ferry Powered Completely by Rechargeable Batteries

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A fresh ferry concept.

A Japanese shipbuilding company named IHI Marine United is developing a ship that can be powered entirely by rechargeable lithium batteries. It will be able to travel 80 km while carrying 800 passengers:

Its Zero Emission Electric Propulsion Ship will use batteries that can be recharged at charging stations in ports it visits. The plug-in ship powered by lithium-ion batteries would run without a diesel engine, thus cutting its carbon dioxide or nitrogen oxide emissions to zero.

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Are Gas Mask Fashions Back in Style?

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There is something rather creepy about gas masks, yet we live in rather creepy times.  So what better fashion statement than to show up at your next party wearing your own personal cold war era gas mask?

But they will get you noticed. Below is a photo essay showing how gas masks have become part of our culture, and an ever present symbol of the worst that humanity has to offer.  (Pics)

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Thermeleon: Roof Tiles That Change Color Based On Temperature

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A blast from a heat gun has turned most of the black tile in this image white.

Anyone who has ever stepped barefoot onto blacktop pavement on a hot sunny day knows the phenomenon very well: Black surfaces absorb the sun’s heat very efficiently, producing a toe-scorching surface. In the wintertime, that can be a good thing: A dark roof heats up in the sun and helps reduce your heating bill. But in summertime, it’s definitely a bad thing: Your house gets even hotter, and your air conditioning has to work harder. In most places, the summertime penalty is greater than the wintertime gain, it turns out, so that’s why many people, including U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, strongly advocate switching to white roofs.

 

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MIT Scientists Create First Magnetic Gas

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For decades, scientists have debated whether or not gasses could display the same magnetic properties as solids. Now, thanks to some MIT scientists, they know the answer is a freezing cold yes.  MIT researchers have observed magnetism in an atomic gas of lithium cooled down to 150 millionths of a degree above absolute zero. This experiment represents a point of unification between condensed matter research and the field of atomic science and lasers, and could influence areas such as data storage and medical diagnostics.

 

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‘Flash-Frying’ Coal Underground To Provide A Green Source Of Energy

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A project is taking shape that could offer an affordable means of reaching billions of tons of deep-lying coal deposits without causing irreparable harm to the environment.

Coal has become the ugly sister of power sources, condemned as old-fashioned, ultra-polluting and excessively costly to mine, given that we have exhausted the most easily accessible supplies.

 

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