Operating satellites, space stations, and other orbiting vehicles beyond earth's atmosphere poses many technological challenges, not the least of which is implementing adequate, sustainable power sources. NASA 's solution to the power issue, with the help of its Advanced Energy: Photovoltaics division, is solar energy.
Solar energy is the most effective and efficient means of powering NASA's technological marvels. These orbiting objects, including the International Space Station (ISS) use the same types of photovoltaic (PV) solar panel arrays that we use on Earth's surface in our rooftop solar panel systems, to convert the sun's energy into enough electricity to sustain their operation for decades. The ISS draws its power from eight huge solar panels, each 114 feet long with 33,000 solar cells. By using this massive solar energy system, the crew members of the ISS are able to operate safely without compromising quality of living.
Green Solar Technologies Founder and long-time solar energy advocate, Nicki Zvik, notes that NASA's confidence in solar inspires advocates of renewable energy. He states, "NASA's support of solar energy is encouraging, and I, along with others who support the use of clean, renewable energy, are grateful for those at NASA who are diligently working to improve solar technology, both to advance space exploration and to enhance the daily lives of all of us on Earth."
Because NASA relies so heavily on solar energy, NASA scientists are continuously looking to improve the technology, making the panels thinner, increasing the capacity of the systems and developing ways to help the panels resist dust and dirt which can reduce their absorption of sunlight. NASA has already found one solution to the "dirty panel" problem—self-cleaning panels.
According to an article posted on HowStuffWorks, NASA's "self-cleaning panels have a thin, transparent and electrically conductive layer. When embedded sensors detect accumulated dust, a cascading electrical charge is sent through the coating, in effect pushing the dirt off with electromagnetic waves."
Nicki Zvik comments, "Any advancements in solar technology that NASA develops are advancements that we can eventually begin to use for residential and business solar panel systems. I'm eager to see how we can use NASA's development of their 'self-cleaning panels' in the future, especially in sunny, desert climates."
The owner of disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security on Sunday denied his horse had interfered with the declared winner and said it was unlikely the horse would run in the May 18 Preakness, the second leg of U.S. racing's Triple Crown.
Gary West, in an interview with Daily Racing Form, added that he may need to appeal the Kentucky Derby decision to U.S. federal courts because of Kentucky regulations. Maximum Security became the first horse in the history of the 145-year-old race to be disqualified after crossing the line first.
Stewards ruled Maximum Security was guilty of a contact foul when he drifted out heading into the stretch and affected the progress of several horses. They awarded the win to long-shot Country House. West denied Maximum Security had impeded the winner and said he was contemplating what to do next.
"I don't think we came within 10 or 20 feet of the winner (Country House)," he said. "Certainly we did not bother the winner." As for appealing the decision, "the only recourse a person would have would be to get it into the federal court system," because of Kentucky regulations, West said, according to Daily Racing Form's website http://www.drf.com. "I don't know we're going to do (that). I want to see the video, I want to understand the facts. I want time to think about it."
West said he had requested a meeting with stewards to go over the video but that the request was denied. He said he was told the first opportunity to review the video would be on Thursday, the next day of live racing at Churchill Downs.
Neither West nor the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission could be reached for comment. Stewards' "findings of fact and determination shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal," according to racing commission statues. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday slammed the decision to disqualify Maximum Security [L5N22H0JO] "Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby - not even close!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
Alley Cat Rescue (ACR) announced a new campaign in South Africa to protect the African Wildcat, the ancestor of the domestic cat, through a targeted education and trap-neuter-return (TNR) program in South Africa. Genetically pure African Wildcats could someday disappear, the group says, if hybridization with domestic cats is allowed to continue unchecked.
The African Wildcat lives throughout the continent of Africa and parts of Asia and the Middle East. Today's familiar house cat is believed to have been domesticated from AWCs about 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent. This beautiful and iconic species is currently facing population declines from hybridization with domestic cats, as well as habitat loss, hunting and the killing of cats by farmers.
One of the largest threats to pure populations of African Wildcats is inter-breeding with feral and stray cats. Studies have found that Wildcats and domestic cats can mate and create fertile, hybrid offspring.
The African Wildcat, Felis lybica cafra, is currently listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international agreement among countries to protect threatened and endangered species. As with other Appendix II species, Wildcats are not immediately threatened with extinction, but do need protection in order to ensure their survival.
Alley Cat Rescue President & Founder Louise Holton says, "It's important to save the African Wildcat. This cat gave the world our wonderful companion cats, who today play an integral role in the lives of millions of people around the world."
Alley Cat Rescue is addressing the issue of hybridization by implementing their project where domestic cats and African Wildcats are most likely to interact; the places where their territories overlap. The campaign will focus on the area around Kruger National Park, where hybridization can occur and where it is possible to create a "barrier" of sterilized domestic cats. The park is home to a significant number of African Wildcats, who could come into contact with domestic cats from nearby urban areas.
Alley Cat Rescue is partnering with local scientists, veterinarians and other animal advocacy groups in the area for the project, and welcomes additional participation.
About Alley Cat Rescue: ACR is an International nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of all cats: domestic, stray, abandoned, and feral. ACR advocates for humane, nonlethal control of feral cats. ACR has been awarded the Independent Charities of America's "Best in America" Seal of Approval, and their newsletter has won several awards from the Cat Writers' Association.
Proposed legislation in Florida would allow veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse to authorities, Fresh Take Florida reports.
At present, they’re not allowed to discuss the condition of patients except under subpoena, with notice to be given to the client, according to the news outlet.
In fact, sharing such medical information can currently get a vet referred to the state Board of Veterinary Medicine for discipline.
The bill is headed for the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis for approval or veto.
The bill includes an exception for animals that live on agricultural land. In such cases, the vet would have to notify the client before contacting authorities.
Pet Trainer HQ announces the launch of its new platform. Pet Trainer HQ works with credentialed, humane and positive reinforcement professional animal behavior consultants to help pet parents successfully overcome their behavior and training challenges through on-demand video chat sessions.
With Pet Trainer HQ pet families can connect with qualified animal behavior experts for assistance with everything from basic obedience, to fear and aggression, to separation anxiety. Pet Trainer HQ will also offer a library of resources for pet guardians via its Dog School Blog.
By allowing pet families to book an online appointment and get advice from animal behavior professionals, Pet Trainer HQ helps humans and their pets resolve behavior challenges. Due to the one-on-one connection, Pet Trainer HQ optimizes the learning curve for efficient behavior modification and training.
“Our mission is to make it easier for pet families to have instant access to effective, positive reinforcement and humane training solutions for behavior challenges with professional, industry leading, behavior experts without having to leave their home,” said Mark Hayward, founder and CEO.
A survey conducted by National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy found that 96 percent of the dogs surrendered to shelters have received zero training. Additionally, reports state that 50 percent to 70 percent of all euthanasia are the result of behavior problems. Pet Trainer HQ’s goal is to drastically reduce that number.
Essentials PetCare announced the expansion of its walk-in clinics to nine Walmart stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. The veterinary clinics are scheduled to begin opening later this month and in June.
In 2016, Essentials PetCare launched the first retail veterinary clinic located within a Walmart store in Port Richey, FL. The company’s clinics provide routine vaccinations and treatment for a variety of minor illnesses, such as ear infections, common skin conditions and urinary issues. More serious ailments and surgeries are referred to full-service veterinary hospitals in the surrounding community.
The Dallas-Fort Worth clinics will be located at Walmart stores in the cities of Anna, Cross Roads, Fort Worth, Frisco, Gainesville, Kaufman, Prosper, Royse City and Weatherford. The first Essentials PetCare clinic is scheduled to open on May 22 at the Kaufman Walmart on Kings Fort Parkway, followed by other locations in June. Specific opening dates for the other clinics will be posted on the company’s website in coming weeks.
The lack of basic veterinary care can lead to significant increases in serious and sometimes fatal disease, unnecessary suffering and premature death. Untreated zoonotic diseases can also be passed to humans and pose particular health risks to pregnant women, the elderly, young children and people with weakened immune systems.
Legislation is currently moving through New York’s state assembly in an effort to ban the declawing of cats.
Declawing is already banned in several cities in California, as well as many countries around the world, including Switzerland, Israel, and the U.K. If Bill A01303 is passed, it would make New York the first state to ban the practice.
“Claws play an important role in various aspects of cats’ lives. They use their nails to assist in climbing and maintaining balance, to help them fully stretch, to relieve stress through kneading, and to escape danger,” reads a state assembly memorandum memo.
The memo goes on to say, “When the claws are removed, the animal tends to shift its gait and where it places most of its weight, causing strain on its leg joints and spine, which can lead to early onset arthritis and prolonged back and joint pain.”
Should the bill pass, anyone who performs an onychectomy, a partial/complete phlangectomy, or a tendonectomy procedure on a cat faces a fine of up to $1,000.
Declawing will be permitted when it is necessary for therapeutic purposes, including:
- an existing or recurring illness;
- injury; or
Six months after the Camp Fire destroyed thousands of homes in Paradise and Butte County, California, Alley Cat Allies continues to help cats who were injured or lost. Since the wildfire burned in November, more than 550 of the Camp Fire cats were rescued and received medical attention from the Alley Cat Allies® Recovery Center, which FieldHaven Feline Center managed in Marysville.
“We’re thankful that so many Camp Fire cats have been reunited with their families, but we also know that plenty of work remains,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Our ongoing focus is to help rebuild the community’s ability to protect cats over the long term. We’re encouraging the organizations who care for cats in the area to envision the future they want and we’re helping them to create a plan to make it happen.”
Incredibly, the Alley Cat Allies Recovery Center has successfully reunited 134 cats with their original families so far, and reunions are still taking place. Additionally, more than 270 socialized cats were rescued; some of them have been adopted by fire survivors and other area residents, and the others are awaiting permanent homes.
The Transfer Station at 5399 Clark Rd. in Paradise is receiving cats who have been recovered after surviving the fire and living for six months on their own. Cats are still being rescued with burn marks on their whiskers or other injuries caused by the Camp Fire. Cats receive medical care while attempts to reunite them continue.
Fowler co-hosted Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” with Marlin Perkins beginning in 1963. He was also known for being a regular guest on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson,” and Fowler was close friends with the talk show host.
Fowler became interested in wildlife growing up on his family’s farm in Georgia. He studied zoology in college, where he was also a star baseball player. Fowler turned down offers from the Phillies and Yankees to pursue a career as a naturalist, according to his website.
Fowler aimed to educate the public about wildlife and encourage nature conservation.
Fowler said in a statement on his website, “What we have to do is ask ourselves, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Only then will we realize that the continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is ultimately important to the quality of life of humans.”
Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny remembered the educator with a tweet, writing, “We were saddened to learn of the death of our friend Jim Fowler. Growing up this kid from the Bronx and millions of others spent every Sunday night w/ him and Wild Kingdom. He was a force and role model in my career choice. As a kid I could not have imagined becoming his friend.”
Did you know that May is “National Burger Month”? We think it’s the perfect excuse to try something new—and more humane than a conventional, industrially produced beef patty. Meat alternatives are going mainstream, with fast food chains rolling out plant-based options like the Impossible™ Burger and the Beyond Burger® nationwide. This is great news for consumers who want a quick, convenient meal but are concerned about the devastating impacts of factory farmed meat.
By now, most major restaurants offer vegetarian options, but the fast food chains are making headlines by sourcing new plant-based products—burgers and otherwise—that are hailed as tasting and looking a lot like beef: Beyond Meat® (pea protein-based) and Impossible Foods (wheat, potato and soy protein-based).
For a list of restaurants and locations visit talkinpets.com in the news section…
- Bareburger – Beyond Burger, Beyond Sausage®, Impossible Burger
- Burger 21 – Impossible Burger
- BurgerFi – Beyond Burger
- Burger King – Impossible Burger
- Carl’s Jr – Beyond Burger
- Cheesecake Factory – Impossible Burger
- Dave & Busters – Impossible Burger
- Del Taco – Beyond Meat taco
- FreeBirds World Burrito – Beyond Meat burrito
- Houlihan’s – Impossible Burger
- Luna Grill – Beyond Burger
- Red Robin – Impossible Burger
- TGI Fridays – Beyond Burger
- Twin Peaks – Beyond Burger
- White Castle – Impossible Burger sliders
A number of other chains offer these items in select locations, so it doesn’t hurt to ask! The ASPCA is thrilled to see fast food chains embracing plant-based items and making animal-friendly meals more accessible to an unprecedented number of people. At the same time, it’s critical that these companies also improve the welfare of animals in their supply chains. The ASPCAwill continue to encourage these companies to commit to more humane, sustainable farming practices, as we have with dozens of others.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International released this statement following the annoucement of the report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services about species extinction rates accelerating:
“The IPBES findings that one million of the world’s estimated 8 million species are threatened with extinction, that the rate of species extinction is accelerating, and that direct exploitation is one of the main culprits, and that unsustainable food production is destroying wildlife ecosystems, is a wakeup call that must be heeded. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International join the IPBES in calling for urgent action to restore and protect nature for the public good, including stricter regulation of vested commercial interests that extract wildlife for profit. No one needs elephant ivory trinkets, shark fin soup, sea turtle shell jewelry, African lion hunting trophies, giraffe skin pillows, or wild-caught coral reef fish for their aquariums. However, everyone needs the survival of these species for the health of the planet. We must also reform our food production systems, with a priority on reducing unsustainable levels of meat consumption which threaten natural habitat and resources that benefit wild and domestic species alike.”
If you wish to read the entire report you can find the link at talkinpets.com in the news section of the web site