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Did you know - Facts

Singing Whales

According to Ellen Garland from the University of St Andrews, we can tell where a humpback whale has travelled from the themes in its song. She and her team recorded 52 whales at locations across the south Pacific. They found three song types that were dominant in different regions, and the whales seemed to have picked up bits of songs from other whales along popular migratory routes.

The team broke down each song into units, like notes, that build together to make a phrase, and several phrases that repeat to form a theme. A few themes are sung in a set order to form a song. They found three song types from 52 whale singers. Song type 1 was dominant in the central Pacific, including the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. Song type 2 was most common in the west, including New Caledonia, Tonga and Niue. And song type 3 was only recorded in the waters near eastern Australia.

Gullane

Millions of pounds in irreplaceable precious metals (including copper) are lost in the automotive industry when old car bodies are scrapped and smelted en masse.

One of the first recyclers was car mogul Henry Ford who exported truck chassis in wooden crates, crates which then formed the floorboards of the assembled trucks.

Korean rice husks have been used as insulation packing in the export of electronic goods, rice husks which are subsequently reused as brick making materials owing to their high silica content. An example of upcycling.

The average paperback book contains chlorinated wood pulp, polymers, coatings, heavy metals and halogenated hydrocarbons. It cannot be safely composted and if incinerated emits dioxins, some of the most cancer causing substances ever created by man.

If several billion people wish to wear blue jeans, millions of acres are required to be dedicated to cotton plants and Indigo to satisfy demand. Land which could be used for growing food. Indigo contains mutagens and deplete genetic diversity.

Around 90% of materials extracted to make durable goods in the West become waste almost immediately.

Asbestos now banned from many products has been replaced in several cases (including car brake pads) with antimony sulphide which is an even stronger carcinogen than asbestos.

Your television set contains 4,360 different chemicals.

Only 5% of the detergent you put in your laundry is actually used in the cleaning process, the remainder ends up in rivers and oceans.

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