He's on a one-man mission to clean up trash and help save sea life
PHILADELPHIA — Madis Pihlak looked into the eyes of a loggerhead sea turtle at a Florida rehab center and knew he had to help.“You look at that face and they are so beautiful,” said Pihlak, a retired Pennsylvania State University professor of architecture and landscape architecture.In January, Pihlak and his girlfriend, Toni A. Flanigan, were visiting the Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach, where they learned that a portion of the garbage generated by Americans will end up in waterways. It gets washed into sewers, moves into creeks, streams, rivers, and oceans, and gets mistaken for p...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Will Bunch: Will a coronavirus mirage of clean air, water inspire climate action — or make things worse?
OK, let’s be clear about one thing: Dolphins aren’t actually frolicking in the canals of a deserted Venice, a city on lockdown like the rest of Italy because of the global pandemic. But — as is sometimes the case — those misleading or faked viral tweets are an exaggerated version of something that is true, and also compelling: The shutdown of scores of tourist-packed gondolas has cleaned the murky waters of the ancient city to the point where fish are now visible.And that’s not the only remarkable vision — practically a mirage, really — as the coronavirus crisis shutters the developed world’s ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Astronaut Christina Koch hopes to inspire others to reach for the stars
DETROIT — Astronaut Christina Koch spent almost 11 months aboard the International Space Station, and seeing the distant beauty of the Great Lakes from her outer perch changed her view of humanity.“ … I’ll never forget the first time it kind of came into focus over the horizon and realizing you see the Great Lakes all together and then suddenly realizing … there’s like Lake Michigan, there’s the mitten … . It’s a really incredible feeling.”The Michigan native has been back on Earth for about six weeks after 328 days in space, the longest single spaceflight by a woman.Her status as one of few w...
The Detroit News
More hurricanes possible this season with a weaker El Niño, experts say
ORLANDO, Fla. — While still more than 10 weeks away, hurricane season 2020 is already showing signs of being a year flooded by storms.El Niño, the large series of climate changes seen in the Pacific Ocean, has a profound effect on deterring and enabling a prolific Atlantic hurricane season.Think Punxsutawney Phil, but with actual power and influence.So far, westerly winds from El Niño have been weak, according to the Climate Prediction Center, and that spells troubling signs for the upcoming hurricane season, said Jayme King, FOX 35 meteorologist.“Early indications show El Niño may not be of a...
Vahe Gregorian: Amid pandemic pandemonium, sports show way forward through actions and perspectives
In the once-sacrosanct biosphere of American sports, hope seldom springs more eternal and universal than in these few days on the annual calendar. That’s particularly so in an Olympic year, with the dreams attached to so many U.S. trials typically scheduled in the next few months.Front and center, on this Sunday in the world we had taken for granted, the NCAA Tournament compels us with the bracket reveals that we instantly process for the inevitable captivating upsets.Negated, now, by the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.Beware the ides of March, Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar.But what about th...
The Kansas City Star
NASA's moon rocket launch is delayed another year after billions in cost overruns, audit finds
ORLANDO, Fla. — This won’t be SLS’ year.NASA’s heavy-lift rocket, designed to be the most powerful of all time to return astronauts to the moon, was supposed to fly on its first mission in November after years of delays and cost overruns under a program known as Artemis.But a NASA Office of the Inspector General audit released Tuesday found the program is still struggling to stay on track, even after cash infusions and increased pressure to get boots on the moon by 2024 — a major goal of President Donald Trump. The report is the latest in a string of audits by the inspector general that has co...
Editorial: The barnstorming coronavirus humbles humans: We only think we're in charge
We walk the Earth’s crust, we erect vast cities, we boast of our achievements. We see ourselves as the mistresses and masters of our fate. Yet as John Lennon and other writers before him bluntly warned, life is what happens while we’re busy making plans.The little living form that now roils humanity is a virus, one among millions of infectious agents that roam this planet. As the coronavirus claims rising numbers of lives, we humans see ourselves as under siege: Like its kin, this virus is without discrimination in selecting its victims; great wealth has its privileges, but immunity from epide...
SpaceX launches the last of its original cargo capsules
ORLANDO, Fla. — The spacecraft that started NASA’s relationship with SpaceX took off from the Space Coast for the last time late Friday night, signaling the end of the first generation of commercial missions to space.SpaceX’s Dragon 1 began supplying the space station in 2012 after the conclusion of the space shuttle program in 2011. It was the first commercial craft to dock at the station, the first to carry live mice to the orbiting laboratory and the first to fly a reused booster for a government mission.After Friday’s flight — SpaceX’s 20th in its first contract with NASA — Dragon 1 will b...
Ford's secret weapon has a passion for batteries and came from NASA
The little boy who grew up at 3931 Hubert Ave. in Los Angeles never thought he’d wind up living in Detroit — and never dreamed he would want to stay.Blame his passion for batteries.That’s right, batteries.It’s one thing to dash across town to CVS to pick up a tube of Crest toothpaste. It’s another story to travel all the way to Jupiter. But the technology can be the same.And it’s designed by a guy named Bob Taenaka (pronounced Tie-eh-NAH-ka).He’s the man, whether it’s powering the Galileo space probe at Jupiter or engineering the power source behind the Mustang Mach-E, F-150 hybrid pickup and ...
Detroit Free Press
Minnesota AG joins push for crackdown on chemical used to sterilize medical devices
Half of all medical devices used in the United States — from bandages to implantable computers — are sterilized with a toxic gas that has come under critical scrutiny over concerns about air pollution that could cause cancer.Now Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has joined a coalition of 11 attorneys general asking the federal Environmental Protection Agency to crack down on emissions of the chemical, ethylene oxide (abbreviated as EO or EtO), which is used on an industrial scale to kill pathogens on medical devices, food spices and other products.“Fortunately, Minnesota doesn’t rank hi...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)