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You can find Dubna, a small town three hours away from Moscow by train, both on a map and in the periodic table: dubnium, element number 105, was discovered at a research center there, and named after the town. A hasteless town, Dubna is defined as much by the surrounding forests as by the water: it sits on the banks of the Ivankovskoe Reservoir, the first part of a massive hydropower project called “Big Volga” whose construction spanned decades during the Soviet era. The complex, consisting of 11 dams on the Volga and its largest tributary, the Kama, is responsible for about 5% of the total electricity production in Russia. The Ivankovskoe Reservoir is both the oldest part of the complex and the farthest upstream, situated almost at the Volga’s headwaters. 

About 2,300 miles long, the Volga—sometimes referred to as “Volga-matushka,” or “Mother Volga”—is the longest river in Europe and the biggest by water flow, arcing from northwest of Moscow around and down to the Caspian Sea. Some 60 million people—about 40% of Russia’s population—live in its basin, which spans almost a tenth of the country’s vast territory. Moscow, with its 12 million people, gets most of its drinking water from the Volga via the Moscow Canal. About 1,500 miles downstream, the strategic port city of Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, was the site of World War II’s most decisive, and arguably bloodiest, battle. As an artery of commerce, a source of energy and drinking water, and a conveyor of history, the Volga touches nearly every aspect of life in Russia. It is what the Mississippi is to the United States or the Rhein to Germany.

When the station in Dubna was designed, in the early 1930s, the young Soviet state had just decided to catch up with the capitalist states of the West by rapidly accelerating its industrial development—but in order to do so, it needed to generate energy on a massive scale. By the time the last station was built, in the 1980s, the Soviet Union, having just hosted the Olympics for the first time, was about to launch perestroika, a program of large-scale democratic reforms intended to end an era of stagnation and revitalize the flailing state. The history of the Big Volga project is, in a sense, the history of Soviet industrialization. It is also a history of rivalry with the US, which for decades raced the Soviets to build bigger, more impressive dams.

The project was one of the largest nature-transforming schemes in history: put together, the artificial reservoirs on the Volga are about as big as Lake Erie. It tried to harness the river to provide the Russian people with necessary things: energy, transportation, and water. But it tried to do too much.

The river has become polluted, silted up, and overwhelmed by invasive species. Water flows at a tenth of the speed it did before the dams were constructed, according to estimates by researchers at the Institute of Ecology of the Volga River Basin, in the central Russian port city of Togliatti. Widespread toxic algal blooms are now common. 

As global temperatures rise, the Volga basin is getting less and less rainfall in the spring and summer, and more snow in the winter. Igor Mokhov, chief scientist at the Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, points out that the intensity of spring and summer precipitation is expected to increase, making post-high-water planning more difficult. A team of Russian hydrologists, writing in an August 2021 paper in Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology, argued that because of climate change, “there will be more water in those regions [of Russia] where it is sufficient, and less where it is most needed.” The Volga basin is one of the regions most at risk, they wrote.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Russia’s mother river is broken.

I visited Dubna on a windy November morning. Runners in colorful clothing zipped by people walking their dogs along an unkempt reservoir front. I found myself in a grayscale photo of milky clouds and water like quicksilver, interrupted by the odd patch of evergreen and autumn brown. The opposite side of the reservoir was an impenetrable wall of coniferous trees, shrouded in a light mist.

I was trying, in vain, to orient myself to figure out how exactly one of the better-known stories about this reservoir must have unfolded. The story goes that in late November 1941, German forces were closing in on Moscow and had planned to cross the frozen body of water. The hydropower station workers reportedly decided to drain the reservoir, dropping water levels abruptly by two meters, crushing the ice and buying the city some time by stopping the invaders in their tracks. Eighty years later, though it was the same time of year, there was no ice in sight.

The hydropower station itself is a restricted site, encircled with an abundance of barbed wire, warning signs, and towering cranes so

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By: Olga Dobrovidova
Title: The Soviets turned the Volga River into a machine. Then the machine broke.
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/12/15/1041312/volga-river-dams-russia-soviets-infrastructure/
Published Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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