Slimy green algae is taking over China’s beaches for an alarming reason

rtx11b05 (1)

RocketNews 24/Business Insider:

Every summer for the past eight years, huge algae blooms have taken over the beaches near Qingdao, a city in the Shandong province of China.

The bright green stuff has blanketed at least 13,500 square miles of ocean this summer, according to the South China Morning Post.

And this isn’t the first time it’s happened. In 2013, the blooms got as big as the state of Connecticut! Check out this year’s algae infestation.

The algae blooms every year on the beaches in Qingdao, on China’s northeast coast between Beijing and Shanghai. The first blooms appeared in 2007 after seaweed farmers working south of Qingdao switched up how they clean off their rafts.

the-algae-blooms-every-year-on-the-beaches-in-qingdao-on-chinas-northeast-coast-between-beijing-and-shanghai-the-first-blooms-appeared-in-2007-after-seaweed-farmers-working-south-of-qingdao-switched-up-how-they-clean-off-their-rafts

Farmers use the rafts to make nori, a type of edible seaweed that’s popular in Japan. When the rafts are cleaned off in the spring, along comes the algae, which thrives off the leftover seaweed nutrients and the warm conditions in the Yellow Sea.

farmers-use-the-rafts-to-make-nori-a-type-of-edible-seaweed-thats-popular-in-japan-when-the-rafts-are-cleaned-off-in-the-spring-along-comes-the-algae-which-thrives-off-the-leftover-seaweed-nutrients-and-the-warm-conditions-in-the-yellow-sea

Researchers think the reason for the algae growth in Qingdao is that seaweed farmers started cleaning their rafts farther offshore. This gave the algae the chance to spread out and make its way to the shore up near the city.

researchers-think-the-reason-for-the-algae-growth-in-qingdao-is-that-seaweed-farmers-started-cleaning-their-rafts-farther-offshore-this-gave-the-algae-the-chance-to-spread-out-and-make-its-way-to-the-shore-up-near-the-city

Ever since the large blooms started popping up, tourists have viewed it as a summer tradition to head down to the beach and play in the algae.

ever-since-the-large-blooms-started-popping-up-tourists-have-viewed-it-as-a-summer-tradition-to-head-down-to-the-beach-and-play-in-the-algae

While it’s a ton of fun to play in, it’s actually connected to pollution from nearby agriculture and industrial plants that gets in the water.

while-its-a-ton-of-fun-to-play-in-its-actually-connected-to-pollution-from-nearby-agriculture-and-industrial-plants-that-gets-in-the-water

But luckily, there are some ways to use the algae to benefit the community: It makes for a good fertilizer and green energy source.

but-luckily-there-are-some-ways-to-use-the-algae-to-benefit-the-community-it-makes-for-a-good-fertilizer-and-green-energy-source

Cleaning it up is no small feat — it has to be done quickly, because the algae begins to stink like rotten eggs when it decomposes. Here, workers scoop up the algae during the 2014 bloom.

cleaning-it-up-is-no-small-feat--it-has-to-be-done-quickly-because-the-algae-begins-to-stink-like-rotten-eggs-when-it-decomposes-here-workers-scoop-up-the-algae-during-the-2014-bloom

It’s not just stinky; it’s also incredibly heavy. Workers who cleaned up the 2013 bloom collected more than 19,800 tons of the stuff — about the same weight as 9,900 cars!

its-not-just-stinky-its-also-incredibly-heavy-workers-who-cleaned-up-the-2013-bloom-collected-more-than-19800-tons-of-the-stuff--about-the-same-weight-as-9900-cars

If left where it is, the algae can spread to other beaches and become an even bigger environmental problem.

if-left-where-it-is-the-algae-can-spread-to-other-beaches-and-become-an-even-bigger-environmental-problem

Amazing watermelon cake to be available on Rakuten… for just one hour

suika_new1

RocketNews 24 (by Audrey Akcasu):

Few things are more refreshing on a hot summer day than a nice big slice of a juicy, red watermelon, whether served plain, salted or drizzled with lemon juice. Internet marketplace, Rakuten, however, thinks they have a match for fresh watermelon, and it’s available to order for a discounted price on one day, for one hour.

Welcome back to the scene, Suika (Watermelon) Baumkuchen!

While the Suika Baumkuchen is not a real watermelon, you may think so if you saw it. Shaped and colored like the real deal, this traditional German pastry, which has become wildly popular in Japan, would confuse even the most astute watermelon connoisseurs.

Baumkuchen are also known as “spit cakes,” as they are made by pouring layer after layer of cake batter on a spinning rod, gradually getting wider and thicker. It’s even sometimes called a “tree cake,” (a literal translation of the German, where baum = tree and kuchen = cake) as the rings resemble the rings on the cross-sections of trees.

▼ The spit leaves a big hole in the middle.

img_1

Unlike typical baumkuchen though, this watermelon baum cake, is not just a ring-shaped, yellow cake. The outer layers of the cake are made from a green, melon-flavored batter and further decorated to resemble the striped, telltale watermelon pattern.

▼ The making of the deliciousness.

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 14

Typical baumkuchen have a big hole in the middle, where the rod of the spit had been. To make the Suika Baumkuchen, however, they filled that middle section with a red, watermelon-flavored mousse, spruced up with chocolate chips to serve as the seeds.

▼ It’s approximately 10 centimeters (4 inches) tall, 7.5 centimeters (3 inches) in diameter at the top and 11.5 centimeters (4.5 inches) in diameter in the middle.

suika-size

The cake is then chilled so the mousse can set, so serving the cake is easy and simple – sure beats cutting up a watermelon, plus you can eat the rind!

▼ Rakuten real-time ranking: Consistent Champion.

suika-rank-new

Is your mouth watering yet? Too bad, you’ll have to wait awhile, and that’s only if you’re lucky. The cake, which sprang to fame last summer after being broadcast on TV, is consistently ranked as the best baum cake by Rakuten pollers.

Despite its popularity, the cake is not a commodity normally found on the Internet marketplace. It’s making a comeback though, albeit not the kind you may be hoping for. 

▼ The Suika Baumkuchen will be available for purchase for 1,980 yen (US$16) on Rakuten on Saturday, August 1 from 11:00-11:59 AM. 

suika1980

That’s right, the cake will be on sale for only one hour on one day this summer.You better check your Internet connection and get your credit card ready before 11 AM, if you want to have any chance of getting one these watermelon flavored, summertime refreshers. According to some reviews, you should probably try to get one:

“Someone had one and I got to try it. It wasn’t just cute, it was delicious.”

“When I saw the picture I thought it was a watermelon. It even looked so much like a watermelon up close and when I was cutting it. My family was so excited. It was delicious.”

If you need your watermelon cake fix now, or just want to check out its origin, head to the city of Tomisato in Chiba Prefecture, one of the watermelon capitals of Japan, where you can join watermelon themed road races and are sure not to find a silly watermelon like this.

K’Yan Yip 2015 Spring/Summer Lookbook

Head Porter (Japan) 2015 Spring/Summer Accessories

BEAUTY & YOUTH (Japan) 2015 Summer Lookbook

Onitsuka Tiger Colorado Eighty-Five “Triple White”

Just in time for the upcoming summer season, Onitsuka Tiger unveils a new “Triple White” colorway of the classic Colorado Eighty-Five silhouette. The heritage runner’s premium leather upper is rendered in an all-white hue, with subtle touches of off-white at the heel and outsole. A deep-treaded outsole makes the shoe ideal for outdoor use, though the colorway may not be best suited for off-road exploration.

Priced at $120 USD, the Onitsuka Tiger Colorado Eighty-Five “Triple White” is available for purchase at select accounts likeFeature.