INTERVIEW: Architect David Hertz on how to build with old planes

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VIDEO: How to install Voltaic solar panels on your car

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In the old days, if you wanted a solar panel, you had to buy one of those giant clunky things that were not only pricey, but also a real pain in the you-know-what to install. But times have changed, thanks to companies like Voltaic Systems who are leading the charge with a new generation of affordable, durable, and portable solar panels. When they heard that I was converting my Ford Transit Connect XL into a self-sufficient live and work eco-mobile, Voltaic generously donated a pair of 17-watt solar panels, along with accompanying V72 batteries, that I can use to charge my cell phone and laptop far from any electrical outlet. I decided to pop them on the roof of my van and turn my van into a lean, green live-work machine. And the best part? I didn’t have to drill a single hole in my van to install them.

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5 easy vegetables to plant in your fall garden

fall vegetables, fall harvest, planting for fall harvest, vegetables for fall harvest, gardening, fall gardening, fall vegetables, vegetables, grow your own,  backyard gardening, vegetable gardening, food gardening, gardening tips, reader submission

Fall brings pumpkin spice lattes and kids going back to school, and it also means the start of your fall garden. Many people neglect their garden during the start of fall because of their busy schedules. However, there are several vegetables that are easy to grow and are hardy enough to outlast the frost. Here are 5 of those low-maintenance veggies that you should plant this fall, including radishes, lettuce, beets, carrots and squash (or, if those aren’t your bag, you can find additional options here).

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New NASA video shows how ocean garbage patches form

We’ve all heard of the ocean garbage patches that are swirling out at sea, but it can be hard to visualize just how these patches form and grow. The data visualization wizards at NASA have come up with a way to show the world how and where garbage collects in our oceans and ultimately, what the ocean’s garbage patches might look like in 20 years. Lead animator Greg Shirah and chief data cruncher Horace Mitchell combined two data models to show how trash ends up collecting in the ocean’s five big garbage patches, also called gyres.

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Rare white humpback whale caught on video off the coast of Australia

by , 08/25/15
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Stormwatcher James Chambers was whale watching at the beach when he happened to capture an amazing sight on video: a rare glimpse of a white humpback whale, surfacing just off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Avid whale watchers speculate that Chambers’ video shows the world-famous Migaloo, one of the few white whales in the world. Avid whale watchers like to follow Migaloo as he travels north along the Australian coast, and a news helicopter spotted the whale shortly after Chambers, and posted the amazing footage on Twitter. There has been a lot of speculation since the two sightings as to the true identity of the majestic white giant, but the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection hasn’t been able to confirm that the whale in the videos is Migaloo. Chambers says on his YouTube page that he spotted seven or eight whales at the beach that day, but we’re guessing this humpback was his favorite. After all, it was his white whale.

Via Mashable

Images via James Chambers and News 7 

 

New Orleans' $14.5 billion rebuilt levees won't fight a Category 5 hurricane

new orleans, hurricane katrina, army corps of engineers, levees, flood wall, storm surge, flooding, flood protection, the lens

An often-repeated truth about Hurricane Katrina is that the events of August 29, 2005 were not a natural disaster – they were a man-made disaster caused by the failure of levee systems designed to protect the city. In the wake of the devastating storm, President Bush was told the Army Corps of Engineers would “look into” building Category 5 storm protection for New Orleans, and President Obama later stated such protection was an “ultimate goal” for the city. But as a report by Bob Marshall at The Lens and Politifact has determined, the levee system that currently protects the Big Easy is a “compromise” on that goal.

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Why are black rhino horns still for sale in San Francisco's Chinatown?

black rhinos, black rhinoceros, endangered species, rhino horns, bear bile, lion bones, tiger bones, chinese medicine, chinese traditional medicine

Shopkeepers in San Francisco’s Chinatown are still selling black rhino horns, despite recent crackdowns by federal agents. The horns, wanted by practitioners of traditional medicine for their purported medicinal properties, create a market that directly contributes to the endangered species status for rhinos. All five species of rhino still living in the wild are considered endangered, with some species having very recently gone extinct. Will lawmakers and law enforcement be able to curb the trade soon enough to prevent further loss of species?

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Scientists discover that certain earthquakes threaten skyscrapers more than others

earthquakes, seismic activity, Nepal, scientific papers, Kathmandu, fault lines, earthquake behavior, fault lines, earthquake damage

It’s not the size of the earthquake so much as its rate of oscillation that determines the extent of injuries and damage, suggest two scientific papers published recently. Following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Kathmandu in April, experts expected the number of deaths to be comparable to a 2005 quake that hit a less-populated area of Kashmir. The actual death toll was close to 9,000 in Nepal, nowhere near the 85,000 people who died in the earlier quake. That “is actually a small number given the density of the population in the Kathmandu area and the vulnerability of the buildings,” Jean-Philippe Avouac, the author of the papers, told The New York Times.

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SoHo co-working space fuels startups with quirky vintage touches and year-round ice cream

by , 08/25/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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ART

Chandelier-like canopy is made from 10,000 recycled BIC pens

by , 08/25/15
filed under: Art, carousel showcase, Gallery

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Hand-powered Circo dishwasher saves time, space, money and water

hand-powered dishwasher, kinetic dishwasher, water and energy efficient dishwasher, dishwasher for small spaces, hand-powered dishwasher saves water, Israeli dishwasher design, Circo Independent, Circo Independent dishwasher, Chen Levin dishwasher, off grid dishwasher, off grid, hand powered dishwasher

Washing dishes by hand can be so tedious and wasteful, so Chen Levin designed a small dishwasher powered by human kinetic energy that can fit in even the smallest of spaces. It is estimated that 75 percent of the global population will live in urban areas by 2050. While this urbanization presents great opportunities, it will be an enormous challenge to ensure that energy and space is distributed efficiently and equitably for who will call the city their home. An aspiring engineer from Israel, Levin’s Circo Independent dishwasher will hopefully help meet the demands of a dense urban future.

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All major forest biomes on Earth are dying, and fast

forest devastation, forests dying, climate change killing forests, loss of biodiversity, biodiversity, forest health

We have to cut right to the chase on this one. Every single major forest biome is dying, according to reports in the latest issue of Science, which is devoted to the special topic of worldwide forest health. It’s happening now, it’s happening fast, and it’s even happening in forests that have traditionally proven resistant to the changes that endanger other forests.

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Polarmond's cocoon-like All-In-One combines 3 camping essentials into one

camping gear, tents, camping, sleep system, tent system. Polarmond all-in-one, Polarmond tent, Polarmond sleep system, latest camping gear, latest tents

Finding camping gear that’s lightweight, waterproof, and warm can be hard, especially since sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and tents are often sold separately. Swiss outdoors company Polarmond has simplified things by combining those three elements into a single all-in-one sleep cell that’s not only lightweight and waterproof, but can also keep you warm in frigid temperatures of -22° F (-30° C). The system, which won a Gold Award at Germany’s Outdoor Show last month, is roomier than a bivouac sack, cozier than a tent, and provides several optional add-ons suitable for different weather and terrain conditions.

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Mexico City's busiest avenue returning to residents as a stunning elevated public park

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Boyan Slat's Great Pacific Garbage Patch expedition shows the plastic problem is "even bigger than we thought"

great pacific garbage patch, ocean cleanup, ocean cleanup array, boyan slat, pacific ocean plastic, plastic debris, plastic trash, plastic litter, plastic in ocean, ocean plastic

Last month Boyan Slat‘s Ocean Cleanup project sent a fleet of scientists and volunteers to measure and map the waves of plastic trash making their way across the Pacific tides toward the West coast. They concentrated on an area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is estimated to be twice the size of Texas. After returning, they report the plastic waste problem is much bigger than we previously thought.

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Low-impact offSET Shed House is a modern beach home in New Zealand

Low-impact offSET Shed House is a modern beach home in New Zealand

Irving Smith Jack Architects designed a couple of “sheds” that couldn’t be more different from the garden-variety types you’ve seen before. Set in a coastal town near Gisborne,…

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The motion-powered Million Mile Light is a runner's dream come true

The motion-powered Million Mile Light is a runner's dream come true

Runners, unless they prefer to exclusively jog well-lit hiking trails or the gym treadmill, all face a similar dilemma: staying visible and safe while pounding the pavement. The…

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Solar-powered Eagle View safari eco-lodge overlooks Kenya's beautiful landscapes

Solar-powered Eagle View safari eco-lodge overlooks Kenya's beautiful…

Africa is well-known for its breathtakingly beautiful and pristine landscapes, which makes it a very popular destination with travelers who want to experience nature at its unspoiled…

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CastAway makes furniture out of waste that forces us question modern consumerist culture

CastAway makes furniture out of waste that forces us question modern…

Can sustainable design thinking help us develop new furniture aesthetics and possibilities? We live in a world dominated by the waste produced by the consumerist disposable society;…

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Nuevo South and GOOD Magazine transform a 100-year-old craftsman into a community home for kids

Nuevo South and GOOD Magazine transform a 100-year-old craftsman into…

Having a place to be creative and socialize could be life-changing for kids living in unsafe city neighborhoods. Members of the inspiring Nuevo South community organization in South LA,…

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