A few miles off the coast of Japan lies "Battleship Island,"
or Gunkanjima (軍艦島), the Japanese nickname for Hashima Island
, due to its resemblance to the Japanese Tosa battleship
. The island was formerly a densely populated coal mining town
, purchased by Mitsubishi in 1890, but by the 1960s the coal was running out, and in 1974 the island was quickly vacated as Mitsubishi offered residents jobs elsewhere
. Now, the island is an urban explorer's dream
, though the island is not completely open to the public for tours
. Last year, Google trekker walked the island
, providing a virtual tour of the island. And if the roughly 40 year old ruins aren't foreboding enough, Bryan James put together a Chrome experiment
called Hashima Island: Forgotten World
, based on the Google maps tour of the site.
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 21, 2014 -
is a five-part comic by Kate Beaton
based on her time working at a mining site in Fort McMurray in 2008. It's 'about environmental destruction in an environment that includes humans,' and it's sad and disturbing and shrewd all at once.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED
on Apr 7, 2014 -
"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia
was written by Pliny the Elder
between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian
, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum
, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Dec 16, 2013 -
Practical, economic development of space — treating it not as a mere borderland of Earth, but a new frontier in its own right — has not materialized. Still, the promise is as great as it ever was, and, contrary to popular opinion, is eminently achievable — but only if the current legal framework and attitude toward space can be shifted toward seeing it as a realm not just of human exploration, but also of human enterprise.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 12, 2013 -
Anyone who has spent any time at all on the Western side of San Francisco is familiar with the name Sutro
. Being the 24th mayor of the City was actually one of his smaller and lesser-known accomplishments.
Born in Prussia in 1830, he first made a name for himself with The Sutro Tunnel
, which was used to drain water from underneath the Comstock Lode
, improving working conditions and lowering the mine's operating costs. He sold his interest in the company he founded and left for San Francisco, where he built
himself a mansion
, among other things... [more inside]
posted by MattMangels
on Dec 9, 2012 -
Mining is a dangerous industry, and Mining Mayhem
is a blog that aims to be the definitive resource for photos of mine site incidents and accidents (mostly from Australian mine sites)
. [more inside]
posted by barnacles
on Apr 14, 2012 -
Mining the Mother of all Data Dumps
We now have a relatively massive haul of digital data from the OBL strike. There are several forensic toolkits in use by the private (commercially available)
sector as well as open-source
. Best practices
include inventorying all the sources, cloning the sources so as to not damage pristine data, recovering any partial or damaged content, making the cloned sources read-only, adhering to legally-admissible tools standards, and documenting everything. There is an excellent source titled Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content from the Council on Library and Information Resources [pdf
, Resource Shelf
]. But what to do next*? [more inside]
posted by rzklkng
on May 4, 2011 -
Dirty Coal, Clean Future To environmentalists, "clean coal" is an insulting oxymoron. But for now, the only way to meet the world's energy needs, and to arrest climate change before it produces irreversible cataclysm, is to use coal—dirty, sooty, toxic coal—in more-sustainable ways. The good news is that new technologies are making this possible. China is now the leader in this area, the Google and Intel of the energy world. If we are serious about global warming, America needs to work with China to build a greener future on a foundation of coal. Otherwise, the clean-energy revolution will leave us behind, with grave costs for the world's climate and our economy.
and responses here
posted by kliuless
on Nov 12, 2010 -
"Places like Picher are why Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980—better known as the Superfund bill
." - Wired Magazine on the most toxic town in America, Picher, OK
, and the people who still live there
posted by The Whelk
on Sep 5, 2010 -
U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan.
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
posted by scalefree
on Jun 13, 2010 -
7 Dead, 19 Missing
"The Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA, has cited the Upper Big Branch Mine for hundreds of violations in recent years, including 10 so far this year related to legal requirements for ventilation systems to control methane and dust. The company has contested numerous fines, including two in January totaling more than $130,000 related to mine ventilation."
posted by wv kay in ga
on Apr 5, 2010 -
explore mines, ghost towns, rockhounding spots, petroglyphs, geocaching and metal detecting sites, and take lots of great pictures in the process.
posted by rollbiz
on Apr 26, 2009 -
was part of a major lead mining area
in the central US until the middle of the last century, when the mines closed down
. It is now the epicenter
of the Tar Creek Superfund site
. Residents live among mountains of mine tailings known
. Heavy metal poisoning is endemic in the area. With fits and starts, things do begin to get done about it, but only very slowly.
To add insult to injury, Picher was struck
by an EF-4 tornado
on May 10th, 2008. The residents are finally suing
over the long in
plan. Shockingly, the buyout plan was put into place with urgency not because of the lead, zinc, and cadmium poisoning,
but because the mines are in danger of caving in
. There is still word on when the mountains of debris
will be removed, or the acid mine drainage stopped. Despite attempts to prevent further contamination in the 1980s and 90s, the waste is still poisoning local creeks
posted by wierdo
on Apr 9, 2009 -
Long revered for its value as a fertilizer
, and as a raw material for explosives
, guano is the dried droppings of various birds and bats. The New York Times has published an excellent account of the Peruvian harvest
of this valuable resource including a multimedia slideshow
. Guano was superseded by synthetics in the early part of the 20th century, due to the development of the Haber Bosch process
, which fixed atmospheric nitrogen
An attempt to harvest bat guano from a Grand Canyon cave
in the late 1950’s was beset by technical problems and was ultimately unsuccessful. The remaining structures at the canyon rim are now a tourist attraction.
posted by Tube
on Jun 7, 2008 -
The Crooked House
is a pub in the UK's West Midlands built on coal mining land. Severe subsidence over time caused a 15 degree shift from the left wall to the right. Faced with the choice of repairing the damage or abandoning the structure, the owners took a different tack - buttresses now hold the building in place, and it remains at a permanent slant. Higher resolution photos here
posted by jonson
on Sep 27, 2007 -