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Showing posts from August 25, 2013

SHIPPING LANES : South Florida Running Out Of Sand

Posted: 08/25/2013 11:48 am EDT | Updated: 08/25/2013 12:05 pm EDT

Beachgoers enjoy a day on Miami Beach, Florida's famed South Beach, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Some of South Florida's most popular beaches will be particularly vulnerable to erosion and major damage if the state experiences a series of hurricanes, as it did in 2004 and 2005, because officials have run out of sand. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Florida needs sand.

The state, known for its sunny beaches, is reportedly fast running out of the precious commodity due to erosion from storms and tides, a rising sea level and man-made structures like jetties that have been built on beaches, causing sand to build up on only one side of the structure.

"It is quite a concept but unfortunately it's true," Jerry Scarborough of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told NBC News of the sand scarcity.

According to the New York Times, communities who live along Florida's Atlantic coastline have been replenishing their beac…


The Mangoes of Merritt Island

« on: February 08, 2012, 08:25:31 PM »

Here's the old article on the Merritt Island mangoes:

For those who are unfamiliar, Merritt Island is the northernmost part of Florida where mangoes are grown on any kind of commercial scale.

They are specifically aided on the southern part of the island by being sandwiched between the Indian and Banana rivers, which has helped protect them some from the periodic freezes we get in Florida.

The grove profiled in the article is the Ensey family grove; there are a number of other growers on the island but the Enseys were the source for most of the cultivars that originated on the island.

link to the cultivar descriptions:

This list doesn't include all of their varieties but it has most; they also have plenty of the established old varieties as well that we're all familiar with.


The NSA Has No Idea How Much Data Edward Snowden Took Because He Covered His Digital Tracks


AUG. 24, 2013, 8:27 PM

Screenshot / The Guardian

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's efforts to determine which highly classified materials leaker Edward Snowden took from the National Security Agency have been frustrated by Snowden's sophisticated efforts to cover his digital trail by deleting or bypassing electronic logs, government officials told The Associated Press. 

Such logs would have showed what information Snowden viewed or downloaded.

The government's forensic investigation is wrestling with Snowden's apparent ability to defeat safeguards established to monitor and deter people looking at information without proper permission, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the sensitive developments publicly.

The disclosure undermines the Obama administration's assurances to Congress and the public that the NSA surveillance programs can't be abused because its spying…


Science, policy tie up to make mango 'aam'

Subodh Varma, TNN | Aug 25, 2013, 05.19 AM IST

Time was when the pricey aam was anything but the aam aadmi's fruit. But look around, and mango season is still on, and, for one and all. Behind this juicy outcome of affairs is a rare coming together of science and policy — with small farmers reaping the benefits.

It all began in the 1970s when scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute 'crossed' various mango varieties to arrive at the most desirable cross-bred. 

After 25,000 'crosses' came the Amrapali and Mallika, derived from the Dusehri and Neelam. 

But the finds remained buried in lab files. Until crisis struck elsewhere. 

As foodgrain yield stagnated, small farmers, who constitute two-thirds of India's cultivators, were encouraged to turn to horticulture. 

A Horticulture Mission set up in 2005, with a spend of Rs 8,000 crore since, has brought results.

In 2001-02, mango trees were planted over 15 mill…