Butterflies may hold the secret to increasing solar output by 50 percent

by , 08/03/15
filed under: Animals, News, Science, Solar Power

Cabbage White butterfly, butterfly, solar power, solar powered butterfly, solar technology, green technology, green tech, technology breakthrough, solar breakthrough, increasing solar output

The secret to cheaper, more efficient solar power may lie in the unassuming wings of butterflies. The Cabbage White butterfly folds its wings in a v-shape in order to heat up their flight muscles before launching into the air. Scientists at the University of Exeter found that by replicating this posture with solar panels, they could increase solar output by nearly 50 percent.

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Solar-powered POD-Idladla is a tiny flat-pack home for two that lets you live almost anywhere

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ART

Cybele Young folds Japanese paper into intricate sculptures of everyday objects

by , 08/03/15
filed under: Art, Design

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World’s first Braille smartwatch gives blind people a lifeline to information

the dot, braille smartwatch, technology for blind people, smartwatch for blind people, technology for vision-impaired, wearable technology

In countries where smartphones are popular, it’s common to see folks walking down the street, tiny screen in hand, as they navigate to a new cafe, text with a buddy, or read an email from their boss. Smartwatches, although not so pervasive, essentially help people do the same things. But you never see a blind person transfixed to their iPhone or honed in on their smartwatch, because the technology simply isn’t compatible with the vision-impaired way of life. Enter the Dot—the world’s first Braille smartwatch—which could close the gap that precludes many blind people from interacting with information the way sighted folks can.

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San Francisco college student upcycles old skateboards into one-of-a-kind guitars

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Double domed Copagri Pavilion in Milan can be reassembled again and again

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ART

The UK's largest earth sculpture is a gigantic horse leaping across the land

by , 08/02/15

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World’s longest and tallest tunnel slide to be installed on Anish Kapoor's London tower

by , 08/02/15

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This home in rural Ghana was built from rammed earth and recycled plastic

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Fascinating floating city shaped like a manta ray would be 100% self-sustaining

City of Mériens, Jacques Rougerie, manta ray floating city, floating city, oceanic research, seaorbiter, ocean research, university city, city shaped like manta ray

French architect Jacques Rougerie has envisioned a giant floating city which bears a striking resemblance to a manta ray. He discusses his love for the ocean in an interview, where he calls himself a “mérien,” a term he coined which translates to “one belonging to the sea.” His dream is for likeminded individuals to populate his City of Mériens, to conduct research on the surrounding ocean.

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Monsanto may be to blame for soaring suicide rates among farmers in India

by , 08/02/15

monsanto, india farmers, suicide rates among farmers, genetically modified crops, gm crops, genetically modified cotton, bt cotton

In India, the suicide rate among farmers is an alarming 47 percent higher than workers in other sectors, and the figures continue to rise year after year. Environmental activists are blaming the deaths on Monsanto, the multinational corporation that has the market cornered on the insecticide-infused crop known as Bt Cotton. The genetically modified cotton contains Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium, from which it gets its name, and Monsanto‘s fierce restrictions concerning the saving and selling of seeds has put an enormous stress on farmers. Read on to learn more about the controversy between Monsanto and environmental activists in India.

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Tres Birds Workshop's Wooden Nests Mimic Bird Habitats in Vail, CO

by , 08/02/15

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Tiny Abod Shelters Provide Humane Housing for Slum Dwellers in Just One Day

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Edith Macefield's famed "Up" house is being saved by a nonprofit

edith macefield, seattle up house, ballard seattle, paul thomas, up house, up house saved

Earlier this month, we reported the sad news that Edith Macefield’s iconic Seattle home likely faced demolition, after its new owners determined it would be too expensive to renovate as a coffee shop. The bungalow came to share a city block with a shopping center in the downtown neighborhood of Ballard, WA when Macefield, the home’s former owner, refused to sell her property to developers. The now-vacant home, a symbol for anti-corporate struggles, has reportedly been saved from the chopping block and will remain intact, thanks to a yet-to-be-named nonprofit organization.

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Prince Charles turns royal gardens into a woodland playground for grandson Prince George

by , 08/02/15
filed under: Architecture, Inhabitots

Prince Charles, Highgrove gardens, The stumpery, royal treehouse, treehouse, Prince George, William and Harry,

Even England’s royalty can’t resist a good treehouse. Prince Charles recently renovated a portion of the Highgrove gardens into a royal woodland playground with a treehouse for his two-year-old grandson, Prince George. The new toddler wonderland is located in The Stumpery, a playground designed by William Bertram for the then five and three-year-old princes, William and Harry. The original design included a thatched roof treehouse, designed for William’s seventh birthday, which has now been relocated and passed down to Prince George.

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UPDATED: Cecil the lion's brother Jericho confirmed to be alive

UPDATED: Cecil the lion's brother Jericho confirmed to be alive

While the world mourns the loss of Cecil the lion, breaking news reveals that his brother Jericho was killed today by poachers illegally hunting in Zimbabwe. After Cecil was killed by…

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Architects 'Turn Around' an Aging Victorian Home to Flood it With Natural Light

Architects 'Turn Around' an Aging Victorian Home to Flood it With…

Reworking the home's boundaries involved creating a whole new configuration for the structure and removing an existing bathroom. In addition to "turning" the house around, the…

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Refuge Tonneau: Cassina's 1930s Pod Home Looks Like a Futuristic Space Shuttle

Refuge Tonneau: Cassina's 1930s Pod Home Looks Like a Futuristic Space…

The shelter has a dodecahedron structure which was ahead of its times and was used in the Antarctic in 2002 and at the Mars Society Desert Research Station in 2011. The structure is…

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Colossal Green Value Farm Flourishes Within a Former Factory in China

Colossal Green Value Farm Flourishes Within a Former Factory in China

The colossal 2,100 square meter factory has become a testing ground for a number of green ideas. Within the confines of the space, the studio preserved the original factory features,…

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Escape Traveler is a tiny cabin on wheels that can be moved anywhere

Escape Traveler is a tiny cabin on wheels that can be moved anywhere

If the Escape Traveler looks familiar, it’s because the tiny mobile home came from the same minds—Kelly Davis and Dan George Dobrowolski—that created the Escape Cabin. Like its…

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