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Showing posts from July 20, 2014

AFTER A TEN YEAR HIATUS : IMO HAS A BUSY 2015 Global Mango Conference Schedule


Cabo San Lucas

January 2015

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San Francisco Valley
Petrolina , Brazil

April 2015

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July 2015

The daredevil pilots of Colombia - the vintage Douglas DC-3 plane

Full Length 25 minute Film:

6 minute animated short:

First of Its Kind Map Reveals Extent of Ocean Plastic

There's less than expected on the surface. Scientists are trying to find where in the ocean it's gone.

A plastic bag floats in the water off the coast of Pulau Bunaken, Indonesia.


Laura Parker

National Geographic


When marine ecologist Andres Cozar Cabañas and a team of researchers completed the first ever map of ocean trash, something didn't quite add up.

Their work, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, did find millions of pieces of plastic debris floating in five large subtropical gyres in the world's oceans. 

But plastic production has quadrupled since the 1980s, and wind, waves, and sun break all that plastic into tiny bits the size of rice grains. So there should have been a lot more plastic floating on the surface than the scientists found.

"Our observations show that large loads of plastic fragments, with sizes from microns to some millimeters, are unaccounted for in th…

TROUBLE AHEAD ??? : Expanded Panama Canal Fundamentally Flawed Says Veteran Ship Pilot


Image: Panama Canal

Captain Jose Claus, a Panama Canal pilot with 22-years of experience guiding ships along this vital passage, strongly believes the locks for the new Panama Canal have a fundamental design flaw that may have extraordinarily far-reaching and highly negative implications. 

In short, he believes they are under-engineered for the task they are about to perform.

Initial engineering studies for the new Panama Canal brought engineers to Port of Antwerp to visit the largest Post-Panamax locks in the world, Berendrecht and Zandvliet. 

 At these locks, tugs are used maneuver the ships in and out of the locks rather than locomotives (mules). Both locks measure 1,640 feet long and are 223 feet wide and 186 feet wide, respectively.

The dimensions of the locks in Belgium are critically important because not only do they consider the maximum size of the vessel that will transit, but also the maneuvering tugs which will accompany these vessels alongside. I…


Mango-Pineapple Salsa

March 11, 2013 39 comments »

I’ve been seeing mangoes and pineapple at the grocery store for weeks now, but I haven’t felt tempted to buy them until recently. They’re such bright, cheery fruits that remind me of sunshine, green grass and long summer days. The weather in Pittsburgh has been anything but until this weekend. After having 10 inches of snow on Wednesday, we celebrated the first elongated day of the year yesterday with 70-degree weather. I’ll take it! The nice weekend weather called for some fresh fruit. A couple of weeks ago, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I had a family dinner at his cousin’s house, and she had a mango salsa and chips for us to munch on before dinner. It was delicious! On Saturday, feeling inspired by the gorgeous weather, I loaded up on mangoes and pineapple at the grocery store and made my own!

I love how incredibly fresh-tasting this salsa is… between the mango and pineapple, the bite from the red onion and jalapeño, and the pop fr…

USA : “Dirty Dozen” in Transportation Spending

July 09, 2014 

Budget & Spending

By Akash Chougule and Mary Kate Hopkins

The Highway Trust Fund is set to run dry in the coming weeks, and leaders in Washington as well as interested parties around the country are scrambling to find ways to fill the Fund’s shrinking balance. 

Lawmakers on both sides have proposed gimmicks that would provide one-time revenue boosts. Some have even suggested raising fuel taxes and fees, despite the billions Americans already pay.

Instead, Congress should consider the most common-sense reform to transportation spending: eliminating wasteful spending and returning responsibility for local projects to the states. Doing so would save billions of dollars and lead to better roads and bridges for the American people.

Here is a list of 12 problems with the current transportation spending practices, all of which should catch the attention of lawmakers as they look for solutions for the Highway Trust Fund:

01) Congestion – In 2011, American commuters wasted 5.5 billi…