Floating pipe set to start massive ocean cleanup process

Floating pipe set to start massive ocean cleanup process

A 2,000 foot-long floating pipe nicknamed Wilson is about to start its mission to collect all the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Last month, the Ocean Cleanup foundation launched the world’s first ocean cleanup system out of San Francisco to take on the notorious “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a giant floating trash […]

A 2,000 foot-long floating pipe nicknamed Wilson is about to start its mission to collect all the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Last month, the Ocean Cleanup foundation launched the world’s first ocean cleanup system out of San Francisco to take on the notorious “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a giant floating trash pile between San Francisco and Hawaii that is twice the size of Texas. It’s the largest of five ocean trash piles on Earth.

The pipe is set to arrive at its destination in the ocean on Tuesday and begin the cleanup process soon after, according to a company spokesperson.
The pipe, which is in the shape of a U, features a 3-meter deep net underneath it to trap floating plastic under the water’s surface. A boat will return to the spot every couple of months to remove the debris — like a garbage truck for the ocean — and return it to shore. The goal is to recycle the plastic and create new products.

With about 150 million tons of plastic in the world’s oceans — and that number expected to triple in the next decade — this type of trash disposal has real implications for climate change, the safety of sea life and industries such as fishing and tourism. It can also affect our health if plastic ends up in the food we eat.

“That plastic is still going to be there in one year. It’s still going to be there in ten years,” said 24-year-old Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO Boyan Slat. “It’s probably still going to be there in 100 years, so really only if we go out there and clean it up this amount of plastic is going to go down.”

The trash collects in the middle of the U-shaped pipe until a garbage boat comes to collect it. The device has satellite pods that communicate with the company’s headquarters in the Netherlands and other boats to share its location. It’s controlled remotely and has two cameras located in the center.

The Ocean Cleanup team has been researching and testing the pipe for the past five years. In 2013, the project raised over $2 million through crowdfunding and has since raised over $30 million.

The group hopes the pipe will collect 50 tons of trash by April 2019 and clean 90% of the world’s ocean plastic by the year 2040.

But some experts question whether how much a system like this can be a real impact on such large oceans. It’s also faced criticism for its inability to capture small pieces of debris and the possibility of some sea life getting trapped inside. Some critics also worry if the device could break down, whether due to malfunction or storms, and create even more ocean garbage.

Eben Schwartz, the marine debris program manager at the California Coastal Commission, said his main concern is the percentage of plastic that floats and could be collected this way is too small to make a difference. He believes focusing on trash reduction with land-based efforts will be more effective.

“It’s much more effective from a cost and prevention effort to stop trash from entering in the first place,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz added that his water and beach cleanup volunteer group collected between 7 and 10 times the amount of trash Ocean Cleanup wants to capture by spring 2019.

“We did it in three hours and for a fraction of the cost of The Ocean Cleanup’s project.”
Although Schwartz said that cleaning up the oceans is important, he believes the attention around the project could curb other efforts to reduce waste.

“If this makes people feel like they don’t need to worry about recycling because this thing is out there, that’s a serious negative consequence,” he said.

The need to clean up our oceans is getting attention beyond this project. Last week, President Donald Trump signed the Save Our Seas Act, which aims to help clean ocean waste by extending its own ocean cleanup initiative, the Marine Debris Program, for five more years.

It may not be the only effort around, but Slat believes his pipe will make a big difference.
“Back in the day people said, ‘Well, there’s no way to clean this up. The best thing we could do is not make it worse,'” Slat said. “But to me that’s a very uninspiring message. Everyone wants the future to be better than the present, and that’s what we hope to achieve.”

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Cleaning, but safely! Cocoons protect sensitive ant brood during toxic disinfection

Ants are neat: when they move into a new nest box, they spend the first days cleaning it thoroughly, like us humans getting out the cleaning bucket when moving into a new home. Despite keeping the nest clean, using poison within the nest is dangerous and can kill unprotected brood. However, the silk cocoon that […]

Ants are neat: when they move into a new nest box, they spend the first days cleaning it thoroughly, like us humans getting out the cleaning bucket when moving into a new home. Despite keeping the nest clean, using poison within the nest is dangerous and can kill unprotected brood. However, the silk cocoon that surrounds the ant’s sensitive pupae protects them from any harmful effects, as Sylvia Cremer from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria), and her team, including first author doctoral student Christopher Pull — now a postdoc at the Royal Holloway University London (RHUL) — show in today’s edition of Current Biology.

Many ants produce highly acidic chemicals from specialized glands in their body. For a long time, researchers assumed that ants only spray this poison, which is made mostly of formic acid, to fight other ants and would-be predators. But in two studies published in 2013 and 2018, Sylvia Cremer and her team showed that ants use acidic chemicals to disinfect nest-mates contaminated and infected with pathogens. In the current study, published by Pull et al., Cremer’s research team show that Lasius neglectus ants also spray their nests prophylactically with their acidic poison, likely ensuring that the nest is clean for first-time occupancy. But, given the poison doubles-up as a chemical weapon, the use of the poison within the nest raises further questions, as Sylvia Cremer explains: “How can ants spray this aggressive acid in their nest, whilst leaving their sensitive brood in the acidic fog?” Whilst adult ants are protected from the poison by a thick skin (the cuticle) and eggs by a protective “shell” (the corion), the cuticle of the pupae is thin and fragile, and so very susceptible to damage. However, pupae of the Lasius neglectus species are also covered in a silk cocoon, which Pull et al hypothesized may offer them protection.

Through a series of experiments, the research team searched for the answer. First, they removed the protective silk cocoon from some pupae and found that these nude pupae survived just as well alone as pupae wrapped in a cocoon. But when they placed nude pupae and worker ants into a nest together, more nude pupae died than cocooned pupae. Is the increased death a result of the acidic poison? To test this, the researchers glued shut the poison glands of the worker ants with superglue. “We created a ‘functional knock-out’ ant by creating animals that could not spray formic acid,” explains Cremer. In a nest with ants unable to spray their acid, nude and wrapped pupae had the same chance of survival. “So it is the formic acid that kills nude pupae, but pupae in a cocoon are protected from it,” Cremer concludes — and we behave similarly: “When we use harmful cleaning products, we protect ourselves with gloves. The cocoon has a similar function to protective gloves.”

The current study provides the first example at colony level of so-called immunopathology, a phenomenon also known from the human immune system. The immune system often fights pathogens with toxic substances, but at the same time, it must limit damage to its own body cells. The immune system, therefore, faces the challenge of fighting pathogens as aggressively as possible, while protecting the body’s own cells and organs from collateral damage. The same happens in ants on the colony level: they protect the most sensitive parts of their colony from the harmful side effects of cleaning with a caustic poison.

The study could also explain why some species of ants have lost the original cocoon and other species have kept it, explains Christopher Pull: “Constructing a cocoon is costly for ants, for example, it may mean a longer development time for the pupae. Why some species of ants have a cocoon whereas others have lost it is still unclear. Here, we show that the cocoon protects ants in a sensitive phase of their development. It remains to be seen whether species of ants without cocoon clean their nests with less aggressive chemicals.”

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Cleaning for a Reason

Rachael Joines doesn’t want a filthy house, but sometimes she just has something better to do. “I would say that I have different priorities now,” she said. “Do I have the energy to play with my 6-year-old son, or do I sweep and mop and clean the bathroom? After you have surgery you just can’t.” […]

Rachael Joines doesn’t want a filthy house, but sometimes she just has something better to do.

“I would say that I have different priorities now,” she said. “Do I have the energy to play with my 6-year-old son, or do I sweep and mop and clean the bathroom? After you have surgery you just can’t.”

Joines is 29-years-old and she has stage 4 breast cancer, something she was diagnosed with when she was 24. The disease has spread to her lungs, and her treatment doesn’t stop. She said when she has felt good enough to clean her home, she does, but when she doesn’t, she has been happy to receive the services of Simple Custodial Services in Longview, which has provided her with some free housecleaning services.

Simple Custodial Services is linked up with Cleaning for a Reason, a nonprofit organization based in Lewisville that gives the gift of free house cleaning to women undergoing any type of cancer. Cleaning for a Reason serves the United States and Canada, providing up to two free house cleanings for women with cancer, based on the availability of services in a specific area.

“This cancer crap is up and down. Some months I’m feeling good enough and can do it, and another month I am having chemo and surgery and they have stepped up and done the things I can’t do,” Joines said. “I am thankful to them because not many people would come into your house and clean it for free. They are just an impeccable cleaning service who cares for the community and the ladies who are in it.”

Joines said when she had a double mastectomy, she couldn’t clean because she couldn’t rip the stitches. When she is undergoing radiation she cannot do the dishes or fold laundry because her skin is falling off. Going through an illness such cancer that presents so many barriers to completing daily tasks means she needs extra help, and the free cleaning services come in handy.

“Family and friends help but at certain times they have their own lives to go back to,” she said.

Juliette Graves, who owns Simple Custodial Services, said she found about Cleaning for a Reason in 2016 and contacted the organization on Facebook to see if her company could become a partner. She said her own experience with cancer is the reason she reached out to the national nonprofit.

“This was close to my heart because I was diagnosed with a brain tumor that ended up being benign,” Graves said. Still, she went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments and met other people in similar circumstances. “At that part of life you think, ‘Why did you get sick,’ and you don’t know what is going to happen and you kind of get mad, but then you meet others who don’t know whether they are going to live or die and I found out I didn’t have it that bad.”

Graves said one particular patient, a teenager who was undergoing cancer treatments, touched her the most.

“Whenever she came to treatments she was so positive, and I realized I didn’t have it that bad and it changed my whole view,” she said. “I think everything happens for a reason and I realized when I got this tumor — God had a plan, and I realize it’s not always about me. It’s about other people.”

Candy Palmer, franchise owner of Merry Maids in Longview and Tyler, said she became well aware of the challenges of life while going through cancer treatments because her mom, Hilda Wallin, and her mother-in-law, Mary Ann Palmer, are both breast cancer survivors. Her franchise has been offering free cleaning services through Cleaning for a Reason for the past five years.

“While these women fight and battle through treatment, we can fight the dust bunnies, pet hair, soap scum and more,” she said. “One of our clients recently lost (her) battle here on earth, yet she and her friends and family were so grateful for the blessing because we made a significant difference in the lives of each of them. It is not only a gift for the cancer patient, but for the entire family and their closet friends. Allowing us to to take care of the home for free relieves a financial burden and gives them the gift of time together which is simply priceless.”

Women with cancer who are interested in having their homes cleaned should contact Cleaning for a Reason directly and fill out the necessary forms at cleaningforareason.org.

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Viral cleaner Mrs Hinch shares her tips for cleaning sinks and plugholes, and her followers are obsessing over the mesmerising results

MRS Hinch is the cleaning expert everyone needs to watch, and her sink tips are life changing. A woman from Essex – named Mrs Hinch on Instagram – has become a viral sensation after sharing videos of herself cleaning her home.   While it may not sound like the world’s most exciting footage, the tips […]

MRS Hinch is the cleaning expert everyone needs to watch, and her sink tips are life changing.

A woman from Essex – named Mrs Hinch on Instagram – has become a viral sensation after sharing videos of herself cleaning her home.

 

While it may not sound like the world’s most exciting footage, the tips and results Mrs Hinch shares are enough to make anyone mess up their house, just so they have an excuse to clean it.

Some of the best tips Mrs Hinch has shared are all about cleaning your sink and plughole.

Posting on her Instagram story, Mrs Hinch spoke her fans through her process, and it’s incredible.

We’re broken it down for you, with all the products, so your sink can shine just like Mrs Hinch’s.

First you want to start by pouring soda crystals down your plughole.

Following this, pour some white vinegar down the plughole with the crystals – you’ll see a fizzing reaction star to happen.

To this, Mrs Hinch adds one cupful of Zoflora Concentrated Disinfectant to the plugholes.

 

 

While these elements are working away to clean the plugholes, Mrs Hinch works in a product called The Pink Stuff into the stainless steel surface and sink.

After applying this all over and wiping away, pour boiling water down each plughole to get rid of the crystals.

Mrs Hinch then goes in with Stardrops Disinfectant Spray followed by Cif’s Ultra Power stainless steel, which is left on for ten minutes.

The last step is to clean away to product and be amazed by the results.

Fans have been left astounded by the cleaning tips, sharing their love for Mrs Hinch on Twitter.

One follower wrote: “Just bought a load of cleaning things due to #MrsHinch and genuinely excited to put my sink ‘to bed’ tonight.”

Another commented: “Is it sad that I want a stainless steel sink so I can clean it like mrs Hinch? #hincharmy.”

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Student Is Overjoyed After Teacher Surprises Him With A Gift

Stacy Caldwell, a music teacher at Wilmeth Elementary School in McKinney, Texas, believed 10-year-old Alijah had a special talent after hearing him play drums on a bucket. She asked him if he’d ever had lessons, and found out he was self-taught. Not having his own drum set, Alijah could only practice at school, church and […]

Stacy Caldwell, a music teacher at Wilmeth Elementary School in McKinney, Texas, believed 10-year-old Alijah had a special talent after hearing him play drums on a bucket.

She asked him if he’d ever had lessons, and found out he was self-taught.

teacher surprises student with drum set

Not having his own drum set, Alijah could only practice at school, church and Guitar Center.

But that all changed, thanks to Caldwell and a few community members.

In a video posted on Facebook, Caldwell asks Alijah to stay after class and surprises him with his very own drum set.

“We all believe in you and we want you to have the tools that you need to be successful,” Caldwell says to him.

“I just was not expecting the kind of reaction that I got from him. It was really hard to keep from crying when I saw tears in his eyes,” Caldwell said.

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How to Clean Carpet

Carpets warm a home by adding color, pattern, and texture. Regular vacuuming provides the first line of defense against dirt and grit that damages carpet fibers. But carpets also need regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. Plan to thoroughly wash carpet every 12 to 18 months, more often in high-traffic areas. If you […]

Carpets warm a home by adding color, pattern, and texture. Regular vacuuming provides the first line of defense against dirt and grit that damages carpet fibers. But carpets also need regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. Plan to thoroughly wash carpet every 12 to 18 months, more often in high-traffic areas. If you have light-color carpet and/or kids or pets, clean your carpets two or three times a year. Always follow the carpet manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines.

Colorfast carpet will not bleed, fade, or change when you are cleaning it or removing stains. Whether or not it is colorfast may change the cleaning method or products you choose. Here’s how to pretest your carpet to find out if it is colorfast.

  • First find a carpet scrap or an inconspicuous spot, such as carpet inside a closet. Vacuum the carpet.
  • Dampen a cloth with the cleaner or stain remover you want to use.
  • Lay the cloth on the carpet for an hour, and then blot the damp area with a dry white cloth.
  • If the cloth is stained with carpet dyes, test other carpet cleaning products until you find one that does not make the carpet sample bleed.

Stain removal kit

Always protect your furniture, carpet padding, and subfloor when cleaning carpets. Grab a partner to help you remove furniture from the room where the carpet is being cleaned. Thoroughly vacuum the carpet. Use a rental cleaner — if recommended by the carpet manufacturer — or have it professionally cleaned. If you choose a wet extraction method (see below), make sure the carpet dries completely within 24 hours to prevent mold or mildew growth in the carpet or padding and to stop moisture from damaging the floor underneath.

Owning a Carpet Cleaning System
If you have light-color carpets and/or a house full of kids or pets, you might want to buy your own professional-style model designed for home use. Home carpet cleaners can save you money over the long haul when compared with hiring a pro several times a year. Keep in mind, though, that the unit you buy may not have the carpet cleaning power that professional models do.

Water Extraction Method
Most home carpet cleaning systems are water extraction units that are also known as steam cleaners. They work to wash carpet by injecting a solution into the carpet pile, then pulling the dirty solution back into the machine. To avoid the hassle of dragging a hose around the house, opt for a model that does not require a clean-water hookup. Also, choose the most powerful carpet cleaning machine you can afford to ease the burden of water extraction.

Caution: When using a steam cleaner, do not get the carpets overly wet. Overwetting can damage the carpet backing and underlayment, causing shrinkage, discoloration, and odor.

Dry Extraction Method
Other home cleaning systems use a dry extraction method to wash carpet. First you spread a dry absorbent compound over the carpet being cleaned, then you vacuum it with the cleaning machine. Although they usually work better than steam cleaners, dry machines and chemicals are more expensive than steamers and wet extraction solutions.

Renting a Carpet Cleaner
You may want to rent a professional-quality steam cleaner from a grocery store or rental center because of the additional power. With rental fees and the price of cleaning solutions (shampoo, defoamer, spot removers, odor removers, and more), a rental machine can quickly strain your household budget. But it may be a better value if your carpets don’t show dirt, your kids are grown, or you don’t own four-legged pets.

Hiring a Cleaning Pro
When you hire professionals, you’ll get to choose between steam cleaning and dry extraction cleaning. Each method — if handled by a qualified pro — will do wonders for dirty carpets. Not only do professionals have far more powerful carpet cleaning equipment than you’re likely to buy or rent, they have far more experience getting stains out of carpet. Prices may vary widely for essentially the same service, so shop carefully.

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