Could Shrimp Save the Planet?

Scientists in China have reportedly found a new use for shrimp – developing a catalyst from shrimp shells which could aid production of biodiesel fuel.

In a world increasingly concerned with global warming, there is a growing turn towards more renewable sources of energy. Xinsheng Zheng and colleagues in China have noticed the importance of renewable fuels like biodiesel.

Current biodiesel production processes produce large amounts of waste water, and the catalysts required to speed up the chemical reactions that transform plant oils into diesel fuel cannot be reused. This new research suggests that a catalyst derived from shrimp shells converted canola oil to biodiesel more efficiently, and quickly than some traditional catalysts, and additionally can be reused.

Their study is scheduled for release in the Aug. 20 issue of ACS’ Energy & Fuels.

Missing Dog Treks 1,200 Miles

A dog who has been missing from her Australian family’s home for 9 years was this month found 1,200 miles away from where she vanished.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) officers were investigating a potential case of animal cruelty when they found the white fluffy dog, Muffy, in the garden. Thanks to the microchip in the dog’s neck, Muffy’s owner, Natalie Lampard, was able to be identified and they are soon to be reunited.

Quite how Muffy made it all the way down the coast from Brisbane to Melbourne is unknown. Muffy is currently being treated by the RSPCA, and is due to fly home this week.

There’s something in my French onion soup!

On April 12th, Hodousek, age 51 was enjoying dining in the Claim Jumper restaurant for Easter with his family. After being served french onion soup, he bit down on something he apparently thought was cheese. Unable to chew on this, he pulled the hard substance from his mouth and spit it into a napkin.

In shock he discovered it was a condom, tied up! The restaurant manager came over to untie the knot to clarify it was an actual condom and not a glove, in the meantime Hodousek was throwing up several times in the restaurant toilet.  Due to loss of sleep and appetite and concerned about catching sexually transmitted diseases he is now suing the restaurant for several damages.

The restaurant happily never got sued as there wasn’t enough strong claims and evidence to prove that the condom was actually from the kitchen.

Archaeologists Find Ancient Roman Shipwrecks

Off the coast of Ventotene in the Mediterranean Archaeologists have found 5 Ancient Roman Shipwrecks which have been found.  The ships themselves are between 1,600 and 1,900 years old.

The wreckage and their contents have been discovered in grand condition.  They established that the ships never actually capsized.   The wrecks were in much deeper waters away from strong destructive currents,laden with contents  found in exactly in the same positions as when the ships originally set off.

The largest wreck measures more than 65 feet.  A handful of objects were taken out to be studied and will be put on display in Ventotene.

Costa Rica the ‘happiest’ country in the world

Costa Rica has topped the 2009 Happy Planet Index to earn the title of the ‘happiest’ nation.

Unlike traditional development indices, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Happy Planet Index takes sustainability into account – looking at life expectancy along with a country’s ecological footprint. Evaluating human well-being along with environmental impact determines where people live long and happy lives.

Out of the 143 nations included, Latin American countries filled nine of the top ten places, with developed nations such as Britain and the US ranked much lower, 74th and 114th respectively.

If you are heading to Costa Rica then make sure you take out travel insurance in case of any emergency situations you may find yourself in as health can be expensive.