Wikisnaps! We find what's interesting on Wikipedia, so you don't have to!

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norwegian: Svalbard globale frøhvelv) is a secure seedbank located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near the town of Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) from the North Pole. The facility preserves a wide variety of plant seeds in an underground cavern. The seeds are duplicate samples, or "spare" copies, of seeds held in genebanks worldwide. The seed vault will provide insurance against the loss of seeds in genebanks, as well as a refuge for seeds in the case of large scale regional or global crises. The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (also known as NordGen and previously named the Nordic Gene Bank, a cooperative effort of the Nordic countries under the Nordic Council of Ministers). Construction of the seed vault, which cost approximately 45 million Norwegian Kroner (9 million USD), was funded entirely by the Government of Norway. Storage of seeds in the seed vault is free of charge. Operational costs will be paid by Norway and the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The primary funding of the Trust came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, Switzerland, and Sweden, though funding has been received from a wide variety of sources including four developing countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and India. The seed vault functions like a safe deposit box in a bank. The bank owns the building and the depositor owns the contents of his or her box. The Government of Norway owns the facility and the depositing genebanks own the seeds they send. The deposit of samples in Svalbard does not constitute a legal transfer of genetic resources. In genebank terminology this is called a "black box" arrangement. Each depositor signs a Deposit Agreement with NordGen, acting on behalf of Norway. The Agreement makes clear that Norway does not claim ownership over the deposited samples and that ownership remains with the depositor, who has the sole right of access to those materials in the seed vault. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Florida stone crab, Menippe mercenaria, ranges from North Carolina to Panama. It is brownish red with gray spots and a whitish underside. It has large and unequally-sized claws with black tips. In addition to the usual sexual dimorphism exhibited by crabs, female stone crabs have smaller but deeper carapaces than males of a similar age, and males generally have larger chelae than females. Males grow faster than females, and the proportional size of males claws always increases. Female claw size increases relative to body size only through the small-juvenile stage; in the large-juvenile and adult stages, the body and claws grow at proportionally the same rate. The stone crab fishery is unique because only the claws are harvested; the crab is released back into the water and can grow new claws if it survives the declawing process. Legal-sized claws must be 2.75 inches long, measured from the tips of the immovable finger to the first joint. Florida stone crabs are legal for harvest from October 15 until May 15. Prepared Florida stone crab claws. In Florida, all stone crabs are usually fished in open water from nearshore to 60–80 ft depth, using traps that have specific legal requirements. The bodies of harvested crabs are not taken because there is very little meat in the body. The claws, which are large and strong, are considered a delicacy. Harvesting is accomplished by removing one or both claws from the live animal and returning the crab to the ocean where it can regrow the lost limb(s) in 12-14 months. Because stone crabs usually die if their claws are not removed properly, it is important to remove the claws correctly when harvesting them. If both claws are legal-sized, they may both be taken. The probability of surviving the declawing process and living to grow new claws is doubled if only one claw is taken. Stone crabs are carnivores and do not eat seagrass or algae. When a stone crab loses both claws, its diet changes from large mollusks to very small mollusks and other invertebrates. It has hard, sharp, pointed tips on its legs and uses those to probe into sediment and dig or pick out small mollusks. It also will forage on small invertebrates (worms, mollusks) on seagrass blades. It has multiple sharp mouth parts that can penetrate the shells of small prey items. Stone crabs have been popular, specialty food items for 50 years. Per pound of meat, they are the most expensive seafood item sold in the USA. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Lawrence Richard Walters, nicknamed "Lawnchair Larry" or the "Lawn Chair Pilot", was an American truckdriver who took flight on July 2, 1982 in a homemade aircraft. Dubbed Inspiration I, the "flying machine" consisted of an ordinary patio chair with 45 helium-filled weather balloons attached to it. Walters rose to an altitude of 16,000 feet and floated from his point of origin in San Pedro, California into controlled airspace near Long Beach Airport. His flight was widely reported in many newspapers. Walters had always dreamed of flying, but was unable to become a pilot in the United States Air Force because of his poor eyesight. Walters had first thought of using weather balloons to fly at age 13, after seeing them hanging from the ceiling of a military surplus store. Twenty years later he decided to do so. His intention was to attach a few helium-filled weather balloons to his lawnchair, cut the anchor, and then float above his backyard at a height of about 30 feet for several hours. He planned to use a pellet gun to burst balloons to float gently to the ground. Walters attached the balloons to his lawn chair, filled them with helium, put on a parachute, and strapped himself into the chair. He took his pellet gun, a CB radio, sandwiches, cold beer, and a camera. When his friends cut the cord that tied his lawn chair to his Jeep, Walters' lawn chair rose rapidly to a height of about 15,000 feet. He did not dare shoot any balloons, fearing that he might unbalance the load and cause himself to spill out. He slowly drifted over Long Beach and crossed the primary approach corridor of Long Beach Airport. After 45 minutes in the sky, he shot several balloons, and then accidentally dropped his pellet gun overboard. He descended slowly, until the balloons' dangling cables got caught in a power line, causing a 20-minute blackout in a Long Beach neighborhood. Walters was able to climb to the ground. He was immediately arrested by waiting members of the Long Beach Police Department. Regional safety inspector Neal Savoy was reported to have said, "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charge will be filed. If he had a pilot's license, we'd suspend that. But he doesn't." Walters initially was fined $4,000 for violations under U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations, including operating an aircraft within an airport traffic area "without establishing and maintaining two-way communications with the control tower." Walters appealed, and the fine was reduced to $1,500. A charge of operating a "civil aircraft for which there is not currently in effect an airworthiness certificate" was dropped, as it was not applicable to his class of aircraft. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





The Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) is a bird in the Sulidae family which comprises ten species of long-winged seabirds. The natural breeding habitat of the Blue-footed Booby is tropical and subtropical islands off the Pacific Ocean, most famously, the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. The name “booby” comes from the Spanish term bobo, which means "Stupid" or "Fool"/"Clown". This is because the Blue-footed Booby is clumsy on the land. Like other seabirds, they can be very tame. The Blue-footed Booby is on average 81 centimetres (32 in) long and weighs 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb), with the females slightly larger than the males. It has long pointed wings and a wedge shaped tail. They have strong, thick necks. The booby's eyes are placed on either side of their bill and oriented towards the front. They have excellent binocular vision. The Blue-footed Booby's eyes are yellow. The male has more yellow on its iris than the female does. The Blue-footed Booby has permanently closed nostrils specialized for diving. They breathe through the corners of their mouths. Their feet range from a pale turquoise to a deep aquamarine. Males and younger birds have lighter feet than females do. The courtship of the Blue-footed Booby consists of the male flaunting his blue feet and dancing to impress the female. During the dance, the male will spread his wings and stamp his feet on the ground. The Blue-footed Booby is a monogamous animal although they do have the potential to be bigamous. They reunite at their breeding grounds. The breeding cycle of the booby is every 8 to 9 months. When mating, the female parades and the male points his head and tail high to the sky and his wings back to show off to the female. The male blue-footed booby also makes a high-piping whistle noise. Males do a dance to attract the females. The dance includes the males lifting their blue feet high and throwing their heads up. The blue-footed booby is not a seasonally reproducing species. They are opportunistic in their breeding. The Blue-footed Booby's diet consists entirely of fish. Blue-footed Boobies are specialized fish eaters feeding on school fish like sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and flying fish. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



wikisnap.com is not affiliated with or endorsed by wikipedia. wikipedia and the wikipedia globe are registered trademarks of wikipedia.org.
article content reproduced in compliance with wikipedia's copyright policy and gnu free documentation license
view our privacy policy and terms of service here