Aug 27, 14

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The Week in Green Vehicles

Starting this week, Green Car Congress' Mike Millikin now gives us a Sunday update on the week's sustainable mobility news. Green Car Congress is by far the best resource around for news and analysis covering the ongoing evolution of personal transportation. WorldChanging is very happy to present Mike's insights here. Take it away, Mike: The publication of the annual World Energy Outlook by the IEA provides a backdrop to the developments in green transportation this last week. The agency...


Atlas of the Biosphere

This is a beautiful site. The Atlas of the Biosphere, a service of the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a wonderful resource for global and regional maps of environmental data. The maps cover four broad categories: human impacts, land use, ecosystems, and water resources. Global and continental maps are available for each subject, all approximately 1600x1200 in size (making them perfect for desktop backgrounds). The map...

stuff

A Biomimicry Database

Rocky Mountain Institute's Alexis Karolides spoke on biomimicry at Parsons School of Design this past Thursday. It was an introductory presentation, perhaps because sustainability is not a consistent preoccupation of student designers and architects in New York City: while on my right, one guy had Jane Jacobs' "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" on his lap, on my left one student was asking another, "So, who is this speaking tonight?"


The Billion People Effect: Lessons From China

Keywords: Online uprisings, India & China, internet usage, outsourcing, smart mobs, journalism and blogs, Tehelka Tapes, gaming, Google, Ronald Coase, Agent Orange. There are only two “billion people” nations in the world – India & China. Together they make up more than a third of the world’s population. They are big governance systems which defy traditional analyses that may apply to smaller countries. So we must consider that when dealing with extremely large numbers, percentages do...

community

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people ...

...said the late Victor Borge, the byline in the "Books and Arts" section of this week's edition of The Economist (October 28, 2004) about the global spread of stand-up comedy. Apparently, British franchises are finding markets all over the world now, with surprising successes in places like the Middle East. But if humor has traditionally been so culturally specific, why is stand-up spreading so fast? They argue "partly because American sitcoms have been sold to almost every country with...

stuff

What's the Best Path to CO2 Reduction?

In a new article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Duke University scientists Robert B. Jackson and William H. Schlesinger calculate what it would take to reduce American carbon dioxide output by 10%, comparing established carbon sequestration methods with efficiency improvements in transportation. They found that sequestration was less effective than anticipated, and vehicle efficiency increases proved a much better option. The article itself is behind a subscriber-only...


San Fran City-Wide Wifi

First with the solar panels, now this: SAN FRANCISCO - The mayor says San Francisco plans to rapidly expand its free wireless Internet access program and will soon make free computers available at housing projects and community centers. ... "We will not stop until every San Franciscan has access to free wireless Internet service," Mayor Gavin Newsom declared in his first State of the City address. I love living on the Left Coast.


Green Power & Water For Kids

Want to have your kid grow up understanding alternative energy and green homes? The Power House by MindWare is the science toy for you: "Twenty building projects and 70 experiments guide students through building a house complete with solar panels, windmill, greenhouse and desalination system. This outstanding kit teaches principles of physics, electricity, magnetism and energy conversion through the practical processes of baking bread, heating water, growing sunflowers and much more."


PLA plastic gaining real niche

PLA, a corn-derived bio-plastic invented by Dow Chemical, it is starting to exit the mere-gadget phase and enter the large-niche-adoption phase. So much so that there's an article on it in the Wall Street Journal, which is a conservative enough paper to think that people mostly buy hybrid cars not because they're green, but because of their high-tech novelty. For those who haven't already heard of PLA, it is basically a replacement for polyester that's made from corn. It means compostable...


Virus-Detecting Biochip

Harvard researchers have developed a highly sensitive biochip able to detect a single virus in real time in unpurified samples. The system uses 20-nanometer silicon nanowires coated with antibody proteins for a specific virus, then connected to a fluid microchannel. Detectors using this biochip could provide early warnings of viral infections, as the sensor is able to detect the presence of a virus in very small concentrations. The researchers' next step is to combine multiple virus detectors...

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