"A person that never made a mistake, never tried

anything new.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Barrier Reefs

Coral reefs are the most diverse marine habitat. Even though they only cover a small part of the ocean floor, they provide a home to more than twenty-five percent of marine life. Bones and parts of ancient animals have formed reefs over long periods of time. Coral reefs are built with the help of polyps. Polyps are individual small animals and organisms. Polyps connect to one another by their tentacles, and over time they harden, and new living ones grow on top of them.

Many coral reefs are found in semitropical and tropical parts of climates. They are found where the water is warm, usually ranging from 61-86 degrees Fahrenheit (16-30 degrees Celsius). There are small strips of coral reef in the North Atlantic, called cold water coral, but most coral thrives in warmer water.

There are two types of coral; soft and hard. Soft coral is not reef-building coral. It is soft, and other types of coral can not grow on top of it, unlike hard coral. Soft coral thrives in nutrient filled water, and collects food that floats past. Coral is alive, and the flesh of the coral is spiky, grainy, and textured, which keep away most predators.  Many soft corals are being cut for research, and as a hobby. Coral grown into captivity grows more rapidly, therefore helping the soft coral thrive.

Soft Coral

Hard coral can also be know as stone coral, because it is hard, and feels like a rock. Unlike soft coral, hard coral is hard enough to allow more coral to grow on top of it. It is a home to many animals that burrow in the holes, eat from its surface, and use it as protection.
Hard Coral

There are three types of coral; barrier reefs, atolls, and fringing reefs.

Barrier reefs- Offshore reefs that have water separating them from the mainland.

Atolls- Islands of coral surrounding a central lagoon

Fringing reefs- Reefs that are continuous with the land mass or mainland

What is happening to our reefs?
 There is always a constant threat to the reefs because they are dying off. We have already lost up to 15 percent of our reefs, due to natural and human causes. We can’t destroy the reefs because they provide a home to many animals. Also painkillers and Anti-cancer drugs are being made from chemicals in the reefs. Reefs are another wonder of our Beautiful earth

Sources and links to check out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Maximizing a Minimum

A common theme amongst my blogs seems to be eco friendly and conservation. This week I decided to stick with this common theme and share with you a very interesting story about one man who utilized the small space presented to him and how he turned it into an eco friendly modern apartment.  
            Searching for something interesting to read in my free time, I stumbled across this video on an yahoo news. As it may seem based off of my previous blogs, I am really interested in architecture, conservation, and smart homes. One man, Gary Chang was interested in architecture long before he became an architecht. Living in Hong Kong with 7million other people means that there really isn’t that much living space. As a kid, he lived in a 330 square foot apartment that he later bought and renovated. Not only did he modernize everything, he made great use of the space. 330 square feet is a VERY small space, even for a single man like himself. The average house size (for Americans, is over 1,200 square feet). This gives us a great idea of how small apartments are in the heart of Hong Kong.
            What Gary did that mesmerized me was that he took the 330 square feet of apartment and transformed it so that he had 24 different rooms (combinations). There are two main rooms but one of the rooms has tracks on the ceiling and wheels on the floor. There are different pull out walls he inserted into his home. If he needs to take a bath he can simply pull out the TV/ living room panel and roll the bathtub panel out. Above the tub is a pull down bed for a guest to stay in. There are several pull outs and pull downs throughout his apartment such as a tv, kitchen, closet, and bed. Talk about a GREAT way to maximize a small space!

This is a video of Gary explaining his creation:
Tell me what you think! Would you be willing to live in this fashion if it meant living greener? Thanks for reading!