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New Study Reveals Child Cancer Linked To Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown

Child Cancer Fukushima Radiation

Two children watch their father get screened for radiation in 2011. Image Source: Fox News

Radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown has been linked to child cancer, a new study revealed.

The study, authored by Oakayama University professor and epidemiologist Toshihide Tsuda, found that children exposed to radiation in the middle central Fukushima prefecture have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at significantly higher rates than the national annual incidence ratio.

Since the meltdown, the prefecture performed thyroid screenings on all residents under the age of 18, and Tsuda used that data — in comparison with national data and a reference area within the prefecture — to address the popular concern about cancer and exposure to nuclear radiation.

According to the most recent statistics released in August, thyroid cancer is suspected or confirmed in 137 of the 370,000 children screened. To put that number in perspective, the disease affects just one to two children per million each year elsewhere.

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Straw Dinosaurs In A Rice Field? Only In Japan

Japanese Straw Sculptures TRex

A Giant Tyrannosaurus Rex created by local artist Amy Goda. Source: amymauscd

What a way to end a season. Each year on the last day of August, Japan’s Niigata Prefecture celebrates the end of the rice harvest in a rather elaborate (yet resourceful) fashion: creating rice straw sculptures.

Known as the Wara Art Festival, artists across the area transform the prefecture’s leftover wara (rice straw) into some truly stunning artwork, all available for public viewing.

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This Japanese Garden Is So Colorful It Will Turn The Brownest Of Thumbs Green

Hitachi Seaside Park

Just two hours from Tokyo in the city of Hitachinaka is one of the world’s most colorful parks — Hitachi Seaside Park. Covering almost 500 acres, the vast park is home to thousands of blooms, and draws millions of tourists throughout the year. Visitors can see everything from roses and daffodils to zinnias and poppies, and can feast their eyes (and feet!) on a scenic train route and cycling tours, as well as a giant “flower ring” ferris wheel.

Because Hitachi Seaside Park grows hundreds of distinct flower species, the month you visit can greatly impact the kind of park you see. Sometimes its hills are rainbow-striped, with more than 260 tulip species on display. At other times, when four-and-a-half million nemophila make an appearance in what’s called “Nemophila Harmony,” the park turns monochromatic blue.

If you can’t make the trip out, you can still take part in the visual feast in the gallery below:

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Hitachi Seaside Park Narcissus

There are more than 550 distinct narcissus species in the park. Source: DPlus Guide

Hitachi Seaside Park Suisen

Spring means Suisen Fantasy is in full swing at the Hitachi Seaside Park. Source: Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachi Seaside Park Tulips

The colorful tulip fields are one of Hitachi Seaside Park’s biggest attractions. Source: Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachi Seaside Park Serpent Garden

The tulip fields are in bloom from mid to late April. Source: Agustin Rafael Reyes

Hitachi Seaside Park Blooms

Visitors can see more than 270,000 tulips representing over 260 species. Source: Trover

Hitachi Seaside Park Nemophila

4.5 million Nemophila blooms turn the park into a sea of blue. Source: Hexapolis

Hitachi Seaside Park Blooms Close

Source: Tokyo Lolas

Hitachi Seaside Park Blue

Nemophila are more commonly called “baby blue eyes.” Source: World’s Awesome Places

Hitachi Seaside Park Nemophila Girl

The flowers bloom every April through May. Source: Hexapolis

Hitachi Seaside Park Rose Garden

In early autumn and summer, more than 3,000 roses bloom in the Hitachi Rose Garden. Source: Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachi Seaside Park Kochia

For most of the year, the Kochia plants look like ordinary green bushes. Source: Life in Yamaguchi

Hitachi Seaside Park Incredible

Yet in autumn, they transform Hitachi Seaside Park into a sea of burning red bushes. Source: Dad & the Code

Hitachi Seaside Park Kochia Hill

Kochia plants (aka summer cypress) are often used to make brooms. Source: Japan Guide

Hitachi Seaside Park Sky

Source: Panoramio

Hitachi Seaside Park October

This is what Hitachi Seaside Park looks like in October. Source: Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachi Seaside Park Tourists

Source: Todanang

Hitachi Seaside Park Cosmos

Source: Japanize

Hitachi Seaside Park Ice Tulips

Though winter isn’t a big season for blooms, beautiful ice tulips like these brighten up the park from December through the middle of January. Source: Hitachi Seaside Park

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The Earth Strikes Back: Five Places Reclaimed by Nature

Reclaimed By Nature Pakistan Spiders

Sindh, Pakistan. Image Source: Flickr

The world is brimming with more than seven billion people. As the human population continues to rise, land and resources are increasingly engorged and it’s starting to look as if nature has a grim future. But, even on a planet blanketed by concrete and steel, plants and animals still find a way to survive and, in some cases, thrive. Be it because of natural disaster of hasty decisions, these places demonstrate what happens when the earth is reclaimed by nature.

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