Dynamic X-Ray imaging – detecting objects or living creatures

The conventional image (left) and the dynamic image (right) of a pack of rice containing mealworm larvae

The conventional image (left) and the dynamic image (right) of a pack of rice containing mealworm larvae

X-ray inspection systems are a standard feature in many ports. These X-ray systems have the unique ability to non-destructively image the contents of entire cargo containers in just a few seconds. It is a difficult task, however, to identify what is in the container based on the obtained X-ray images. The superposition of two images with different contrasts – like in dual-energy X-ray imaging – can enhance the effectiveness of the detection. A novel X-ray imaging technology now introduces an entirely new type of contrast based on movement. This technology can be combined with existing single-energy and dual-energy X-ray imaging methods, opening new possibilities in port security applications.

One important application of the dynamic imaging technology could be finding stowaway pests in the cargo. Stowaway pests travel hidden within transported goods and may damage the cargo while being shipped. In addition to this, potentially invasive species often travel as stowaway pests and arrive to new territories unnoticed. Although better part of these exotics are harmless, approximately 20 to 30 percent of the introduced species are pests and cause major environmental and economic problems. Read the full article here! Source: Porttechnology.com

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EU ‘green tax’ will hit South African exporters

At the expense of coming across a bit cynical – what exactly is the aim of the ‘carbon emission’ movement? We know it’s a United Nations initiative; that many politicians, ex presidents, scientists and climatologists warn against the use traditional energy sources and preach of cataclysmic consequences if we do not need heed their call; that it has become the latest excuse for more government imposed taxes; that the very mention of CO2 conjours up animosity between the rich and poor nations in much the same way as the mention of the WTO. Lets not forget there’s even a ‘Green Customs Initiative’ just so that we can all feel mutually inclusive.

An article just published by IFW-net.com suggests that exporting from South Africa could become even more expensive if the country’s free-trade deal with the European Union (EU) is brought to an end and replaced by a shipping tax next year. The current trade deal removes tariffs on 98% of South Africa’s exported goods. Trade between the two regions creates around R400 billion (US$48bn) a year. Seems like taxation is the West’s latest answer to the failing WTO overtures on free trade!

At the United Nations conference on climate change in Durban, the EC will announce plans to tackle emissions. The proposed shipping tax, aimed at lowering carbon emissions, is expected to dramatically increase the cost of imports into the EU.

The EU’s envoy to South Africa, said shipping and aviation was a main contributor to carbon emissions.“That is why we are quite persistent that a shipping and aviation tax must be included in any deal that hopes to limit carbon emissions.” he said.

The EU has also sparked controversy over its plan for Emissions Trading Scheme that will apply to all airlines flying through its airspace from 1 January 2012.

One way or the other, SARS gets the monopoly on collecting the tax, regardless of its form.

For an alternative view on ‘green stuff’ read “The Recession Hits the Green Movement“. It’s perhaps a lot closer to the truth than all the ‘saving-the-planet’ stuff being dished up by the mainstream media.