Eco-Friendly Toilets Cause a Stink

| Friday, April 1, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Daily Mail Reporter

San Francisco is paying a high - and smelly -price for promoting eco-friendly low-flow toilets.

Twenty million gallons a year are being saved, but because the small amount of water isn't pushing the waste away fast enough there's a stinky whiff in parts of the city.

Now authorities are set to undermine the toilets' green credentials by flushing $14 million worth of bleach to solve the problem.

Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue admitted that skimping on toilet water had caused more sludge to back up inside the sewer pipes.

It has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park - home to the San Francisco Giants - and other parts of the Bay Area, especially during the summer months.


In the Blink of Bird’s Eye, a Model for Quantum Navigation

by Lisa Grossman

European robins may maintain quantum entanglement in their eyes a full 20 microseconds longer than the best laboratory systems, say physicists investigating how birds may use quantum effects to “see” Earth’s magnetic field.

Quantum entanglement is a state where electrons are spatially separated, but able to affect one another. It’s been proposed that birds’ eyes contain entanglement-based compasses.

Conclusive proof doesn’t yet exist, but multiple lines of evidence suggest it. Findings like this one underscore just how sophisticated those compasses may be.

“How can a living system have evolved to protect a quantum state as well — no, better — than we can do in the lab with these exotic molecules?” asked quantum physicist Simon Benjamin of Oxford University and the National University of Singapore, a co-author of the new study. “That really is an amazing thing.”

Many animals — including not only birds, but some mammals, fish, reptiles, even crustaceans and insects — navigate by sensing the direction of Earth’s magnetic field. Physicist Klaus Schulten of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign proposed in the late 1970s that bird navigation relied on some geomagnetically sensitive, as-yet-unknown biochemical reaction taking place in their eyes.