Roasting Coffee by the Rays of the Sun

coffee

In Italy your next cup of coffee may come from a solar roaster instead of an unsustainable source. Climate change is threatening the ability of coffee plants to survive, as a result the entire industry may not exist by the end of the century. This has got smaller players in the industry (not the mega corporations) to explore new ways to process coffee from plant to cup.

A roasters the size of a tennis court can roast coffee using only the rays of the sun, making it incredibly efficient. The only high tech aspect of the whole operation are a few microchips and servos to move the mirrors

The process isn’t only environmentally friendly and economically convenient. According to Durbe and Tummei, it also better preserves the coffee’s aroma, giving it a richer flavor. Unlike conventional hot air ovens, which are typically gas-powered, the concentrated sunlight roasts the coffee without heating the air around it — by penetrating the grains in a more uniform way and without burning the exterior.

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In Italy, Art is Used to Block Illegal Fishing

Water

It’s well known that industrial fishing is bad for the environment and bad for the fishers involved in it. A local fisherman, Paolo Fanciulli, had enough of the industrial fishing in their area and decided to fight it using art. Fanciulli creates large marble art pieces on land then drops them into the water. The art then functions as an obstacle which inhibits the use of nets and over fashioning, the art itself can also be listed by sea creatures and human alike!

He asked a quarry in nearby Carrara if they could donate two marble blocks that he could use to make sculptures. “They donated 100 instead.”

Via word of mouth, contributions from tourists and online crowdfunding, Fanciulli persuaded artists including Giorgio Butini, Massimo Lippi, Beverly Pepper and Emily Young to carve sculptures from the marble. Then he took them out to sea and lowered them in.

The underwater sculptures create both a physical barrier for nets and a unique underwater museum. The sculptures are placed in a circle, 4m apart, with an obelix at the centre carved by the Italian artist Massimo Catalani. Emily Young provided four sculptures, each weighing 12 tons, she calls “guardians”; nearby lies a mermaid by the young artist Aurora Vantaggiato. Lippi has contributed 17 sculptures representing Siena’s contrade, or medieval districts.

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International Leaders of Geothermal Energy Agree to Work Together

industry

Geothermal energy is very simple in principal: drill a hole into the hot earth and use the naturally occurring heat to get turbines spinning. In practice it can be very hard. To bridge the practical difficulties getting geothermal around the world running leaders behind the technology are gathered in Florence to discuss ways to accelerate adoption. They are in the process of creating a framework to share knowledge and expertise to ensure that this form of renewable energy gets used in more places.

From their press release:

Minister of Environment, Mr. Gian Luca Galletti stated: “Italy considers the Paris Agreement to be irreversible and non-negotiable and therefore strives to promote geothermal and other renewable energy sources as a vital component for the planet’s sustainable development.”

“Geothermal’s vast potential is currently untapped,” he continued. “We must develop new technologies and encourage new investments to ensure we cover this gap. The Alliance will multiply its efforts to guide this process, and Italy will provide its contribution with its long experience and know-how.”

Ms. Teresa Bellanova, Italy’s Vice Minister of Economy and Development, said: “Geothermal energy’s consistent and continuous availability make it a highly precious source of renewable energy both in Italy and many countries all over the world. Through our knowledge of the industry, Italy can play an important role in achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, in addition to stimulating sustainable job creation.”

Director General of IRENA, Mr. Adnan. Z. Amin, said: “This meeting has, without question, allowed both the policy and industry communities to identify common ground in the pursuit of what is a renewable energy source with tremendous potential.

“If we can identify and implement mechanisms that deliver a greater level of certainty to investors and developers, then we will move beyond meaningful dialogue to decisive action that accelerates geothermal production,” continued Mr. Amin, “contributing significantly to decarbonisation of the global economy, whilst creating jobs and supporting growth around the world.”

For more context go here.

From Mafia Home to Art Gallery

Italy is home to the oldest operating museum, the Uffizi, and the country is (probably) home to the oldest operating mafia. But it may come as a bit of a surprise to find out that an old mafia home is being converted to a new museum.

In an ongoing and complicated effort to stop the influence of the mafia on Italian society a former mafia mansion seized by the police is being converted to an art gallery. This is not the first time that old property belonging to mafia crime lords has been converted to something that benefits all people.

Today, construction crews are busy turning the Coppola residence – seized by the Italian state following his arrest in 2012 – into the area’s first museum.

A temporary exhibit called The Light Wins Over the Shadow, which takes its inspiration from Caravaggio, will open on 22 June and will include works of art from the Uffizi and other galleries. The exhibit will be dedicated to the memory of Peppe Diana, a local priest who was shot in the head by Camorra members in 1994 as he prepared for mass.

“Only through the promotion of civil society can we build a community that will always be ready to protect itself from this kind of infiltration,” Natale told the Guardian, as he participated in a memorial ceremony in nearby Castel Volturno for a local businessman killed seven years ago for resisting the Camorra.

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WikiLeaks Releases Syria Files

WikiLeaks continues to bring the world information that would otherwise be hidden from the masses, this time it’s millions of emails and documents from Syria. The Syria Files have been given to some media organizations to filter through (much like the last large release of documents from WikiLeaks).

This new release should shed light on the volatile situation in Syria and potential more. Already, it appears Italy was illegal helping Syria, who knows what else will be found. The more open and transparent countries are the more democratically they can function (the irony in all of this is WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being threatened by America).

“It helps us not merely to criticize one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it,” the announcement quotes Julian Assange, who is currently in the Ecuador embassy in London, where he is awaiting a decision on his appeal for political asylum.

There are 2,434,899 documents in the leak involving 678,752 different senders and 1,082,447 different recipients, WikiLeaks says. That’s about eight times the size of “Cablegate” in terms of a number of documents and 100 times the size in terms of data. Cablegate was the release by WikiLeaks of US State Department confidential cable exchanges between American embassies and Washington, which angered the US administration.

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