Here are some noteworthy environmental links folks are Digging today:
— Hotel Indigo's new chain in the U.K. features an oversized hanging basket of flowers on an outside wall, measuring 20 feet by 10 feet. The Daily Mail is quite impressed with the "eye-catching" and "spectacular" display, adding that it "took a massive EIGHT hours to winch into position." Massive hours? Settle down, guys. It's a basket.
• YouTube [video]: "Everest's Melting Glaciers"
— In this video, mountaineer David Breashears shows photos he took in the Himalayas in 2008, juxtaposed with similar shots from decades ago. The comparison is sobering, as vast glacial landscapes have melted away, revealing bare rock in their place. (A brief warning: This video is frustrating to watch. The camera rarely backs up enough to show both photos being compared, and glare from the lights keeps washing out the images.)
• Inhabitat: "Singapore Unfurls A Sail-Shaped Green Skyscraper"
— The Sail @ Marina Bay isn't an e-mail address; it's two smooth, sail-shaped towers in the Marina Bay area of Singapore's Central Business District. The mixed-use development is expected to earn Singapore's Gold Standard of Sustainability badge, Inhabitat reports.
• Scientific American: "Babar on Ice: A New Way to Save Endangered Elephants?"
— Asian elephants have lots of reproductive problems in zoos, with high rates of miscarriages and infant mortality, making captive breeding an uphill battle for the endangered pachyderm. But scientists have developed a way to "cryopreserve," or freeze, the elephants' sperm, which allows zookeepers and handlers more flexibility in choosing the right time and place for insemination, increasing the chances of success.
• Part Time Green: "Barack Obama's environmental platform"
— In recognition of his historic inauguration today, Part Time Green offers a succinct summary of President Barack Obama's environmental policies.
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