Feb 11, 2009 | 1
If you can’t wait until tomorrow to celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, just call someone in Darwin, Australia. That northern Australian city, nine and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time – near Darwin’s birthplace of Shrewsbury, England – has already begun celebrating the 200th birthday of its namesake.
It’s a bit unclear when Darwin – population 120,900 – got its name. Here’s the story, as best we can tell: The first Westerners who paid a visit to the area, which was and still is home to the Aboriginal group the Larrakia, were the Dutch in the 1660s. They were busy mapping the coast and didn't bestow the spot with a name.
Fast-forward to 1836. Darwin returns from his journey around the world, which included stops along the southern side of Australia on the HMS Beagle. The next year, the Beagle set out on a surveying expedition with the same captain, John Clements Wickham, and admiral, John Lort Stokes. In September 1839, they spotted the harbor, which Wickham and Stokes decided to dub Darwin Harbor in honor of their former traveling companion.
Dec 4, 2008 | 8
White lemuroid possums—otherwise known as Hemibelideus lemuroides—may have become the first mammal to disappear because of climate change, according to an Australian researcher. The cute marsupials restricted to certain mountaintops in the prehistoric "Lost World" of far northern tropical Queensland, Australia, may have fallen victim to an average temperature rise of at least 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius) over the last several decades.
Nocturnal, fruit-eating creatures that live in old-growth trees, this rare white form of the marsupial was found in two mountain peak cloud forests—until 2005. Prior to that, such possums were often spotted during nighttime expeditions. But they have not been seen since a heat wave that year, biologist Steve Williams of the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change at James Cook University told Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper.
Oct 23, 2008 | 11
The alternative-energy automobile company known as Better Place plans to bring the same electric car system already in the works for Israel and Denmark to Australia. After raising $1 billion in capital—a tall order in today’s cold economic climate—Better Place founder Shai Agassi, a former software executive, Australian bank Macquarie and partners plan to build by 2012 electric car charge garages and battery exchange stations throughout Australia—all powered by wind turbines and other renewable resources (when possible)—to service the vehicles.
Basically, Better Place is trying to make electric cars—specifically the Renault-Nissan eMegane under development that can drive around 100 miles on one charge with a top power of 91 horsepower—work like cellphones. Customers would pay by the minute, er, mile, to use cars (powered by batteries and electricity) that they owned or leased. Customers would purchase mileage plans in order to use Better Place’s recharging stations and battery swaps. A123 Systems, a battery company in Watertown, Mass., will be the most likely battery provider, according to Agassi.
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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