In this issue

Issue 27


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Diesel fuel from the farm?
In many countries scientists and engineers are developing renewable fuels to replace petroleum products. The most promising candidate for diesel engines is vegetable oil.
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A new era for oil shale
Oil shales don't contain oil and are seldom shales. Geologically, they are usually classified as marlstones or mudstones, and they contain a resinous solid material called kerogen. But semantics aside, the fact is that, when heated, such rocks yield a valuable commodity — an oil that can be readily converted to something akin to crude oil.
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Keeping a weather eye on the world
Weather has fascinated man for thousands of years, and still wields enormous influence over our lives.
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Australia’s monsoon
Last July and August, as much of Australia prepared for a dry, dusty spring during one of the most severe droughts on record, the River Ganges, swollen by the monsoon rains, burst its banks.
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Wind power: better than we thought
The concept of an array of wind generators feeding renewable pollution-free power into our electricity grids is attractive to those concerned with conservation. But even its most ardent proponents acknowledge an obvious drawback: a wind generator in periods without wind is pretty useless.
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Fewer are dying of heart disease: but why?
One in three Australians dies of heart disease, making it by far the biggest cause of death. (The second biggest, cancer, accounts for about one in six.) Most of the heart disease deaths are due to some form of ‘coronary heart disease’, involving interference with the flow of blood to the heart through the coronary arteries.
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‘Superbugs’ make biogas from neat piggery waste
Piggery waste is rich in nitrogen and other elements, and makes good soil fertilizer, but it smells unpleasant and causes pollution if it escapes in to rivers and creeks.
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Pinpointing Australia’s coastal features
Three-quarters of the Australian population live within 40 km of the coast, and one in four lives no more than 3 km from the high-tide line.
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Why Port Arthur crumbled
The convicts of the penal settlement of Port Arthur in Tasmania built their own prison, even down to the bricks themselves.
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