This all-electric off-road spider car can drive over just about anything

It may not look like your typical off-roading beast, but the ingenious Swincar by French company Mecanroc may be the most incredible ATV ever created. With four independent wheels mounted on spider-like legs and a suspended hammock-like seat for the driver, this thing can tackle terrain that most vehicles could never even attempt. Seventy-percent grade? No problem. Down the center of an irrigation ditch with each wheel at a different height? Easy peasy. Better yet, the all-electric four-wheeler can do all that with none of the smog-generating pollution of traditional off-road vehicles.

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Brooklyn Hotel by creators of the Lowline boasts winding gardens and tiny hidden spaces

by , 08/04/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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This incredible 390-year-old bonsai tree survived an atomic bomb blast

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Almost 70 years ago, on 6 August 1945, the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb “Little Boy” over Hiroshima. It killed some 200,000 people and caused incalculable long-term damage. Yet, just two miles from the site of the bomb blast, a Japanese white pine bonsai tree that had been tended to every day since 1625 sat against a wall of a nursery—and due to its fortuitous placement, the tree survived even as windows of an adjacent building were blown out. The bonsai was donated without explanation to the National Arboretum in Washington, DC in 1976, only for its story—and astonishing age—to be revealed in 2001.

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95-year-old lobster saved from the supermarket gets to live out his days in an aquarium

by , 08/04/15
filed under: Animals, News

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Recently, a Long Island restaurant worker discovered a lobster the size of a small child in a shipping crate. The crustacean weighs in at 23 pounds and, judging by its size, could be as old as 95 years. Luckily for him, he will be sent off to live out the remainder of his golden years in an aquarium, instead of succumbing to the taste buds of all the hungry press and customers who have swarmed to catch a glimpse.

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Japan just installed the world's largest floating wind turbine off the coast of Fukushima

fukishima wind turbines, fukishima nuclear disaster, fukishima tsunami, fukishima wind farm, floating wind turbine, world's largest wind turbine, floating wind turbine Japan, Fukushima floating wind turbine, Japan floating wind turbine, world's largest floating wind turbine

After the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that destroyed the Fukishima nuclear power plant, Japan is diversifying its energy mix. Engineers are currently installing the world’s largest floating wind turbine just 12 miles off the Fukishima coast. It is one of three turbines sponsored by the Japanese government that will be connected to a floating sub-power station.

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Botswana confirms ban on trophy hunting in wake of Cecil the Lion’s death

by , 08/04/15
filed under: Animals, Conservation, News

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The government of Botswana, neighbor to Zimbabwe and the Hwange National Park, from where famed and revered lion Cecil was lured and killed earlier this month, has confirmed a nationwide ban on trophy hunting. The news follows a wave of international outrage over Cecil’s slaughter at the hands of American hunter Walter James Palmer.

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Revolutionary construction system builds low-cost Syrian refugee schools out of sand

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Sign this petition to stop the sale of dyed baby chicks as toys

by , 08/04/15
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Tourists on the Koh Lanta island of Thailand recently made a disturbing discovery while walking along the beach: vendors are selling baby chicks that have been dyed bright colors and lumped into sealed plastic bags on sweltering hot days. A petition is making its rounds on Care2 to bring attention to the cruelty – sign it here!

STOP SELLING DYED CHICKS AS TOYS >

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New 100% effective Ebola vaccine could end the deadly epidemic

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The west African Ebola epidemic may soon be fizzling out, thanks to the speedy development of a vaccine that has shown 100% effectiveness against the virus in clinical trials. Normal vaccine trials can take decades to produce results, but thanks to 4,000 people in Guinea who volunteered for the trials, along with a combined effort by multiple countries and organizations, the vaccine will begin saving lives right away.

 

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Stanford Solar Car Project reveals next-gen "Arctan" racer

by , 08/04/15

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The Stanford Solar Car Project just unveiled its next generation sun-powered car: the Arctan. The solar array built on the Arctan’s upper surface is composed of SunPower Maxeon cells, one of the most advanced solar cells available. In order to increase the vehicle’s performance over the team’s previous model, the Arctan was manufactured using lighter materials and a more efficient method of solar cell encapsulation. This new system resulted in a 50 percent weight reduction over the previous model, the Luminos.

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Mass pigeon kidnapping leaves Washington Square Park locals mourning feathered friends

by , 08/04/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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Washington Square Park-goers may have noticed that the flock of pigeons that usually floods the green space is suddenly much smaller. According to the Washington Square Park Blog, close to 300 pigeons were netted and captured late last month in broad daylight. Bowery Boogie reports that the kidnapping isn’t an isolated event, and that the stolen pigeons will be transported to Pennsylvania and sold for hunting events where they will have their wings clipped and be launched into the air and shot at. While the birds may have been a nuisance to some, others, like artist and local Tina Trachtenberg, are mourning their loss.

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Solar-powered LEED-certified home in Portland boasts a dazzling array of eco-friendly features

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100,000 LEED-certified ceramic tiles clad Milan’s restored Rainbow Tower

by , 08/04/15

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Shigeru Ban Architects' Oita Prefectural Art Museum opens in Japan

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Obama's Climate Action Plan is the strongest in US history

clean power plan, climate action, climate change, president obama, epa, environmental protection agency, greenhouse gases, gina mccarthy, coal power, natural gas, renewable energy

Today President Obama unveiled the strongest climate action plan in US history, and the first to set Federal limits on carbon emissions from power plants. Under the new Clean Power Plan—which will undoubtedly face legal challenges from the coal industry—power plants will be required to cut emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 to help curb climate change. States can also avail themselves of new initiatives to increase renewable energy generation. The plan amounts to the equivalent of taking 166 million cars off the road and could reduce premature deaths due to power plant emissions by 90 percent.

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Massive wildfire threatens 6,300 properties north of San Francisco

Massive wildfire threatens 6,300 properties north of San Francisco

The largest of 23 major wildfires currently burning in drought-stricken California has destroyed two dozen houses, while over 12,000 people have been advised to flee their homes in the…

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

Solar-powered POD-Idladla is a tiny flat-pack home for two that lets…

If the POD-Idlala looks familiar, it’s likely you’ve seen images of its predecessor, the Indawo/lifePOD, also designed by Almeida and Dokter+Misses. While the rebranded POD-Idlala…

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

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

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…

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Tesla's updated Model S autopilot mode will make long road trips even better

Tesla's updated Model S autopilot mode will make long road trips even…

As if the Tesla Model ‘S’ wasn’t already cool enough with its semiautonomous autopilot mode, now it’s even cooler. The autopilot mode is already equipped, according to Engadget,…

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Chinese-funded $13.8bn railway to slice through Kenya's oldest national park

Chinese-funded $13.8bn railway to slice through Kenya's oldest…

A $13.8 bn railway project, linking Nairobi to Mombasa, will cut right through Nairobi National Park in Kenya. The Chinese-funded railway line is set to replace the colonial-era Lunatic…

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