Friday, February 21, 2014

2/21 RR creosote, oil tank upgrade, Navy bombs, BC ferry, wee battery, body heat light, Fukushima spill

Data In Data Out (Dennis Hlynsky/Crosscut)
If you like to watch: Digital Prospector: A time lapse of birds
Artist Dennis Hlynsky captures birds in time. Rustin Thompson explains.

Creosote from new railroad ties flowing into salmon streams
Toxic creosote is usually a problem from the past we have to deal with today, but freshly applied creosote is leaching into Whatcom County streams. Gary Chittim reports.

BNSF Plans To Upgrade Tanker Fleet After Accidents
BNSF Railway Co. said Thursday it intends to buy a fleet of 5,000 strengthened tank cars to haul oil and ethanol in a move that would set a higher benchmark for safety within an industry that’s seen multiple major accidents. The voluntary step by the Texas-based subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. comes as railroads in the U.S. and Canada are under intense pressure to improve safety for hazardous materials shipments.

Navy Looks To Renew Permits For Bombing And Sonar Exercises In The Northwest
The Navy is pursuing permits to continue conducting sonar and explosives exercises in a large area of the Pacific Ocean — and that’s putting marine mammal advocates on high alert. Public hearings kick off next week as the Navy gathers public comments on its draft environmental impact statement for the Northwest training and testing range. The range stretches from northern California to the Canadian border. Ashley Ahearn reports.

BC Ferries gets approval to build cable-ferry system between Vancouver, Denman islands
BC Ferries has received approval to build what could be one of the world's longest cable-ferry systems but the service is remaining mum about the expected cost for the Vancouver Island project.

Battery small enough to be injected, energetic enough to track salmon
Scientists have created a microbattery that packs twice the energy compared to current microbatteries used to monitor the movements of salmon. The battery is just slightly larger than a long grain of rice, however is not the world's smallest battery. Engineers have created batteries far tinier than the width of a human hair, but those smaller batteries don't hold enough energy to power acoustic fish tags. The new battery is small enough to be injected into an organism and holds much more energy than similar-sized batteries.

Jimmy Fallon turns spotlight on Victoria teen’s flashlight
Sixteen-year-old Victoria scientist Ann Makosinski was a guest on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night, showing off the body heat-powered flashlight that won her top prize at the 2013 Google Science Fair. In a segment called ‘Fallonventions,’ the teen scientist demonstrated her flashlight. Fallon responded by showing Makosinski his own creation, the Granola Bowla, an edible cereal bowl.

Worst spill in 6 months at stricken Japanese nuclear plant
About 100 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one of the hundreds of storage tanks at the Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator said Thursday, calling it the worst spill at the plant in six months. The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, said the leak, discovered Wednesday and stopped Thursday, happened far enough from the plant’s waterfront that none of the radioactive water was likely to reach the Pacific Ocean, as has happened during previous spills. Martin Fackler reports.

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 232 AM PST FRI FEB 21 2014
TODAY
N WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING NW 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON.
 W SWELL 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
NW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING W 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF
 SHOWERS.
SAT
NW WIND 10 KT...BECOMING SE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 17 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN IN
 THE MORNING...THEN RAIN LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING E 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 16 SECONDS.
SUN
NE WIND 20 TO 30 KT...BECOMING E 25 TO 35 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 4 TO 7 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 15 SECONDS.

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