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Showing posts from April 11, 2016

Making Salt Water Drinkable Just Got 99 Percent Easier

Andrew Tarantola3/15/13 8:00pm
Filed to: WATER

Access to steady supplies of clean water is getting more and more difficult in the developing world, especially as demand skyrockets. In response, many countries have turned to the sea for potable fluids but existing reverse osmosis plants rely on complicated processes that are expensive and energy-intensive to operate. Good thing, engineers at Lockheed Martin have just announced a newly-developed salt filter that could reduce desalinization energy costs by 99 percent.

The Reverse Osmosis process works on a simple principle: molecules within a liquid will flow across a semipermeable membrane from areas of higher concentration to lower until both sides reach an equilibrium. But that same membrane can act as a filter for large molecules and ions if outside pressure is applied to one side of the system. For desalinization, the process typically employs a sheet of thin-film composite (TFC) membrane which is made from an active thin-film layer of…

Medellín, Colombia: a miracle of reinvention

Once dubbed the ‘most dangerous city on earth’, Medellín is now one of Colombia’s liveliest and most creative 

Downtown Medellin, Colombia, showing the metro station Parque Berrio, Plaza Botero and the Museum of Antioquia. Photograph: Alamy

Chris Moss

Saturday 19 September 2015 02.00 EDT

I had my doubts about Medellín. Next time someone says “most dangerous city on earth”, I’ll pull a machine gun on them – that spurious claim was made over a quarter of a century ago, in Time magazine in March 1988. 

Like Bogotá and Santiago de Cali, Medellín is a much wealthier, safer and more fashionable city these days, and its year-round summery climate, nearby forests and bird reserves and, indeed, the fact that it hasn’t been backpacked into oblivion – unlike Cusco, say – makes it a rather more desirable destination.

But I was also dubious about claims that the city is the epitome of the “Colombian miracle” – shorthand for the quelling of violence of the left-wing Farc and paramilitary forces. In just …

Those Who Are (and Are Not) Sheltered From the Panama Papers

"Those Who Are (and Are Not) Sheltered From the Panama Papers is republished with permission of Stratfor."

APRIL 8, 2016 | 22:56 GMT


Summary On April 3, the Panama Papers hit media outlets around the world, and the fallout was swift. A prime minister lost his job, and other global leaders are under mounting pressure to account for their actions. But the effects of the leaks are not evenly spread; the documents contained far more information about the offshore activities of individuals in the developing world than in the developed world. Whatever the reasons for the imbalance, it will likely limit the papers' impact. In the developing world, long histories of corruption have dulled the public's sensitivity to scandal, and repressive governments leave little room for popular backlash. So although less information was released on Western leaders, it is already doing more damage. Iceland's leader has left his post, and relatively minor revelations …