‘Acoustic lighthouses’ could warn birds about wind turbines

March 14, 2018 by  
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Birds and humans don’t always co-exist peacefully — each year millions of the small animals fly into buildings, wind turbines , cell towers, and even planes. William & Mary behavioral biologist John Swaddle is working to translate understanding of bird behavior into technology that could hopefully save their lives, including an Acoustic Lighthouse that would guide birds around man-made structures. Here’s how an acoustic lighthouse might work: a directional speaker mounted on a structure like a wind turbine would project a sound warning birds. While flying, birds align their bodies on a horizontal plane for ideal aerodynamics, according to Swaddle . And as their eyes are on the sides of their heads, they’re looking down, not where they’re flying. The sound would essentially prompt them to slow down, and when slowing down, birds lower their tail feathers, moving their bodies “from the horizontal plane to a more vertical position,” according to William & Mary, so they can see the structure and soar around it. Swaddle said, “It’s a bit like someone texting while they’re driving. If you honk your horn at them, they’ll look up.” Related: Painting Wind Turbines Black Could Prevent Thousands of Bird Deaths Every Year “The fundamental knowledge of how birds behave and respond to sound helps us derive these new technologies and solutions,” said Swaddle. He’s also developed a concept called Sonic Nets, intended to disrupt gatherings of birds in places like airports, parking lots, or crop fields. Swaddle recently spoke at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting on reducing strike risk between birds and wind turbines and airplanes , and protecting crops, through an understanding of bird behavior. The journal Integrative and Comparative Biology published a paper written by Swaddle and former William & Mary graduate student Nicole Ingrassia on the acoustic lighthouse concept in 2017. + William & Mary Via Science Magazine Images via DepositPhotos , William & Mary video screengrab

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‘Acoustic lighthouses’ could warn birds about wind turbines

This hand-built island is the start of Copenhagens parkipelago of floating public spaces

March 14, 2018 by  
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A tiny wooden island floating in Copenhagen harbor is bringing life and interest back to the city’s waters. Australian architect Marshall Blecher and Magnus Maarbjerg of Danish design studio Fokstrot designed CPH-Ø1, an experimental floating island park buoyed by recycled plastic bottles that could bring about more floating public spaces all along the city’s waters. Created as a prototype for the Copenhagen Islands project, the 215-square-foot timber island is punctuated by a single linden tree and is temporarily located in Sluseløbet. Launched last year with support by Kulturhavn365, CPH-Ø1 first served as a resting area for adventurous Copenhageners who are invited to moor alongside the island by boat or kayak. The public space also doubles as a small events venue and, according to Dezeen , will host a lecture series next month about the future of harbor cities. CPH-Ø1 was constructed by hand in Copenhagen’s boat building yards using traditional wooden boat building techniques with locally and sustainably sourced materials. Related: Copper-clad Copenhagen landmark boasts Denmark’s most energy-efficient laboratories CPH-Ø1 is the first in what the designers hope will be a ‘parkipelago’ of nine islands that offer creative public spaces in the harbor, particularly in forgotten and unused areas. Future iterations may include a floating sauna island, floating mussel farms, floating gardens, and even a floating sail-in cafe—all of which will be open to the public. The islands can be connected together or float separately. + Copenhagen Islands Via Dezeen Images via Fokstrot

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This hand-built island is the start of Copenhagens parkipelago of floating public spaces

How can I “reuse” fresh eggs that we can’t eat?

September 4, 2012 by  
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(Hi! Sorry to regular readers for the stupidly long break in posting – I’ve been reading all the comments as usual as they come in, just not posting any new content myself due to a combination of busy-ness, illness and laziness. I’m hoping to get back to regular scheduled blogging again now though!) This question is a bit like the one I posted six years ago (!!) about ways to use up no longer fresh eggs but this one is a little different. We’ve got our own chickens now so always have super-fresh eggs – but sometimes, like this last weekend, I have to give them medication or treat their coup with things that mean we shouldn’t eat their eggs for a few days. The eggs look perfectly fine but there is a risk of contamination so we can’t eat them. I can’t bring myself to just throw them in the compost though – or even throw them at my boyfriend when he’s not paying attention… 😉 I know egg yolks can be used as a hair conditioner or for a face mask – does anyone have any favourite recipes/techniques? I’ve also heard some people using them as a fertiliser boost for plants – do any plants particularly benefit from an eggy treat (especially at this time of year), or is there any that definitely shouldn’t have it? Any other suggestions? And finally, less on topic but critically important, did you all have a good summer? (Or good winter, if you’re on the southern side of things?)

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Eco E-Trike is a Futuristic Electric Vehicle Concept for City Driving

March 12, 2012 by  
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Stephen Reon Francisco ‘s Eco E-Trike is a concept for an electric vehicle that allows people to get around the city with ease. Looking a bit like a streamlined golf-cart, the E-Trike is more convenient than a regular bike but uses less materials than a typical car. Because of its small stature, it’s ideal for zipping through narrow city streets and has many of the creature comforts of a car without the bulk. + Eco E-Trike The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following  this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative transportation , e-trike , eco design , eco e-trike , electric vehicles , ev , green design , green transportation , Stephen Reon Francisco , sustainable design

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Eco E-Trike is a Futuristic Electric Vehicle Concept for City Driving

How can I reuse or recycle baby cot mattresses?

November 30, 2011 by  
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We’ve had an email from Maggie: I’m due to have my second baby in January but everyone has screamed at me when I mentioned reusing the cot so I’m going to get a new mattress. What can I do with the old one? I don’t have kids so I’m not exactly knowledge but from what I’ve read on the subject, it sounds a bit like car seats – you can reuse them yourself if they’re still in good condition for your other children but it’s best not to buy/receive a second-hand one with an unknown history. You know how much it’s been used, what it’s been, um, soaked with and know how well it has been cleaned. Having said that, I can understand why people don’t want to risk it (although obviously so do baby mattress manufacturers…). Some crib mattresses are fully sprung but others, particularly cheaper ones, are just slabs of foam so in theory, they could be reused for any spot needing a bit of foam cushioning. When we were talking about reusing the actual cot last year, some people talked about turning them into essentially a day bed for the growing toddler/small child – if you had the space, you could keep the first mattress to use as extra seat padding or cushioning on the side/back. Any other ideas?

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How can I reuse or recycle baby cot mattresses?

How can I reuse, recycle or pass on old board games?

November 28, 2011 by  
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We’ve had an email from Harrie: We’ve got lots of board games (Monopoly and such) from when the kids were little but they’re not in good condition so I don’t think charity shops will take them. What else can I do with them? As long as they’ve still got all/enough pieces, games like that don’t need to be in pristine condition to be fun. Perhaps offer them honestly on your local Freecycle/Freegle group – someone might just be grateful to have them whatever the condition, especially if they’re going to be playing with similar destructive kids 😉 Or someone might want them for “spares and repairs”, or to make things out of the game pieces. What could they make? Jewellery from the pieces, notebook covers from the board, decorative decoupage with paper money/cards – quick searches on Etsy shows all sorts of things being made from old Monopoly , Risk and Cluedo game parts — and that some people are selling the raw materials too (especially if they’re vintage games). Of course, you could make those things yourself too if you’re the crafty sort 🙂 Any other suggestions for Harrie? What have you done with old board games?

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How can I reuse, recycle or pass on old board games?

How can I reuse coffee that’s sat on the plate for too long?

November 23, 2011 by  
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We’ve had an email from Iris: We make a big jug of filter coffee each morning at the weekend but I regularly have to pour away the last cup or two away because it’s gone bitter. Is there anything I can do to revive it or use it up some other way? Of course, there is an obvious “reduce” angle here: just don’t make so much. If that’s not an option for some reason or if you still end up with dregs, as a minimum, the coffee (along with the grounds and the filter, if it’s paper/cotton) should be going on the compost heap rather than down the drain – but that’s a last resort. Some plants that like acidic soils might also like to down your last cup of joe once a week too (although watered down if it’s got a bit strong on the hot plate, and it’s had too much if the leaves start to yellow or go brown after a few weeks). I don’t drink coffee but do use it in cakes/desserts from time to time. I usually get my brewmaster (boyfriend) to prepare a fresh cup for me to use though as he makes (Aeropress) espresso and we don’t have “spare” coffee. I’d imagine that any burnt taste in the coffee would be transferred to the cake/mousse etc too – but I don’t know, perhaps the other ingredients would mask it — anyone tried that? Any other suggestions for ways for Iris to use up that bitter coffee?

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How can I reuse coffee that’s sat on the plate for too long?

The Week in Pictures: Oil Workers Clean Up Mega Popcorn Spill, Solar-Powered Hornets, and More (Slideshow)

December 10, 2010 by  
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Last week, a boat in the Amazon spilled around 210,000 gallons of popcorn into a major river, making the surface of the water look a bit like the floor of a movie theater. More on that story below, plus photos of the beautiful Miluira Retro Electric Roadster from Japan, an exclusive peak inside Michelle Kaufmann ‘s Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the story of a woman who has used the same Christmas tree every year since 1928, and more in the Week in Pictures

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The Week in Pictures: Oil Workers Clean Up Mega Popcorn Spill, Solar-Powered Hornets, and More (Slideshow)

Google Destroys 25 ChromeOS Laptops To Prove A Lame Point (Video)

December 10, 2010 by  
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Image via Google ChromeOS video Google has launched the ChromeOS laptop , which is built for working on the web — you are mainly on the cloud using Google Docs and other programs while working from the laptop. As such, your data is constantly saved in the cloud, rather than on a laptop, so you’re not at risk of losing data should your computer crash

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Google Destroys 25 ChromeOS Laptops To Prove A Lame Point (Video)

Two Prisoners Raise Endangered Frogs by Hand

November 10, 2010 by  
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Photo via Northwest Trek Some might say James Goodall and Harry Greer have a soft spot for frogs — and they’d likely agree with that.

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Two Prisoners Raise Endangered Frogs by Hand

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