New anti-Trump resistance posters go from ‘HOPE’ to nope

January 20, 2017 by  
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The 2008 HOPE poster designed by Shepard Fairey was so popular, the Obama camp officially approved its widespread distribution. But the new President, who will today swear to defend the U.S. Constitution as 44 others have done before him, probably won’t like the posters made for his inauguration day. The Seattle-based nonprofit Amplifier Foundation commissioned Fairey, Ernesto Yerena, and Jessica Sabogal to work with photographers on a project called We the People. These new posters say no to hate, no to fear, and no to the blatant racism stoked by Donald Trump and his followers. The Kickstarter campaign raised nearly $1.4 million – far exceeding the $60,000 goal. This has allowed the group to take out full page advertisements in the Washington Post, reminding readers and anyone else in D.C. for the inauguration of the values laid down by our forefathers. “Much of Washington will be locked down on Inauguration Day, and in some areas there will be severe restrictions on signs and banners,” the campaign notes. Related: Obamba – the US clean energy transition is irreversible “But we’ve figured out a hack. It’s called the newspaper! On January 20th, if this campaign succeeds, we’re going to take out full-page ads in the Washington Post with these images, so that people across the capitol and across the country will be able to carry them into the streets, hang them in windows, or paste them on walls.” The posters identified segments of the American population who will be most vulnerable under the new administration, including Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, and members of the LGBTQ community, and put their faces on the posters with positive messaging. “It’s really about making sure that people remember that ‘we the people’ means everyone, it means all the people,” Fairey told CNN . “I think the campaigns were very divisive, more from one side than the other. But (it’s) just reminding people to find their common humanity, and look beyond maybe one narrow definition of what it means to be American.” Via CNN Images via Amplifier Foundation / screenshot

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New anti-Trump resistance posters go from ‘HOPE’ to nope

This moth is named after Donald Trump

January 20, 2017 by  
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Maybe this will get Donald Trump to care about the environment: a biologist just named a new species of moth after the President-elect. Neopalpa donaldtrumpi bears an eerie resemblance to its namesake, by sporting a wild crop of blond scales on its head. Evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari hopes the clever appellation will highlight the need for continued conservation – he came up with it right as Republican congressmen announced their intentions to roll back the Endangered Species Act . It appears some biologists still have a sense of humor even as a president who threatens to be terrible for the environment is slated to take office. Nazari, who is unaffiliated and based in Ottawa, Canada, was scrutinizing the Bohart Museum of Entomology ‘s specimen collection at U.C. Davis when he saw some small moths that stood apart from the others because of their strange wing markings and small genitals. DNA barcoding couldn’t identify the moths, which means Nazari had stumbled across a new species – and he had the perfect name in mind. Related: San Francisco man singlehandedly revives a rare butterfly species in his own backyard In his research article published by ZooKeys , Nazari said, “The new species is named in honor of Donald J. Trump, to be installed as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017… The specific epithet is selected because of the resemblance of the scales on the frons (head) of the moth to Mr. Trump’s hairstyle.” The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi also bears another hilarious similarity to its bombastic namesake. It’s a member of the twirler moth family, named for their tendency to spin in circles when stressed (Trump’s Twitter rants, anyone?). In his article Nazari said, “The discovery of this distinct micro-moth in the densely populated and otherwise zoologically well-studied southern California underscores the importance of the conservation of the fragile habitats that still contain undescribed and threatened species.” Via mental_floss Images via Vazrick Nazari

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This moth is named after Donald Trump

Cape Town has just 100 days of water left

January 20, 2017 by  
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Cape Town, South Africa has been struck by severe drought – and now residents have just 100 days of water left. The local government is asking citizens to conserve, while fire fighters are using sea water to battle two nearby wildfires. According to University of Cape Town Environmental and Geographical Sciences lecturer Kevin Winter, “We can’t see any rain on the horizon,” Winter notes. “ And right now, in terms of dam storage levels, we’re probably approaching the ‘100 days left of storage.’” Eyewitness News reports that dams around Cape Town are sitting at just 42.5 percent full, but they could drop to as little as 20 percent full in the next few months if the city doesn’t take drastic water conservation measures. Xanthea Limberg of the City of Cape Town adds that reaching the 20 percent storage mark represents a pretty risky situation. “This is a very low margin of safety because it becomes very difficult to extract the last 10 percent,” she explains. “We’re really encouraging residents to help us ensure that we can save water.” Thousands of liters of the remaining water is being used every day to battle two large, raging wildfires that recently sprung up nearby. In response to the situation, fire fighters are resorting to the “extreme measure” of using sea water to fight the fires. Via Eyewitness News Images via AerialcamSA and magemu , Wikimedia Commons

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Cape Town has just 100 days of water left

iPhone Amplifier Reuses a Vintage Bike Horn to Blast Some Tunes

May 22, 2012 by  
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Here at Inhabitat we have seen some very creative iPhone amplifiers that use bamboo canes, repurposed musical instruments and even an entire tree trunk to blast tunes. But here is one example you can easily DIY by combining a vintage bike horn and a standard plastic tube. Homemade, low-tech and definitely eye-catching, Lowtechatmo’s Bike Horn iPhone will combine your love of music with your love for bikes. Read the rest of iPhone Amplifier Reuses a Vintage Bike Horn to Blast Some Tunes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bicycles , DIY , electricity-free iPhone speakers , green gadgets , green products , iPhone Amplifier , Lowtechatmo

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iPhone Amplifier Reuses a Vintage Bike Horn to Blast Some Tunes

How to make a solar powered boombox

October 1, 2011 by  
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Satyajit Bera: Solar powered speakers Use solar energy to power up a boom-box With the gradual depletion of the natural energy resources, the world is looking forward to the non-conventional energy sources, mainly the solar-power. The power of the sun can be harnessed easily to produce useful electrical energy to power up different electrical or electronic devices and gadgets. All of us prefer a music system which is wireless and portable in nature. The conventional battery powered speaker boxes are OK. What if you can charge up the speaker batteries with solar power? Well it is obviously an excellent concept to “enjoy music off the grid”. Following are the steps to build up a solar powered audio boombox with some simple accessories and tools: Difficulty level: Moderately challenging (may require expertise in few areas) Time required: The overall time required to make this project is about 2 days. It depends on the efficiency of the person involved. Resources required: A small audio amplifier playable by a 12 V D.C. power source A pair of speakers (medium in size) Wooden plates (to make the cabinet) A 12 V D.C. rechargeable battery A solar power regulator Connecting cables (preferably copper cables) Wire stripper Hand saw Screws Zipper ties A screwdriver Soldering Iron Electrical insulation tape Cable ties Estimate cost: The estimated cost involved in this project is about $100. It depends on the type of solar panel and quality of the amplifier-speaker set used. Instructions: First of all make a sleek cabinet to mount the equipments. Use the hand saw, cut appropriate sizes and fix them together with the help of screws to build the cabinet. Cut two round shaped holes to place the speakers. Provide a strong metallic handle or a pair of handles to lift up or carry the system. Then, fix the solar panel on the top surface of the cabinet box with the help of screws and bolts and also make an additional hole for the cable entry from the panel to the components inside. You can also make an adjustable mounting for the solar panel so that you can change it’s angle so as to capture maximum sunlight. Mount the battery, the solar power regulator, speakers and the amplifier inside the wooden cabinet with the help of screws or zipper ties. Now lets get started with the electrical connections. Connect the two terminals of the battery to the solar power regulator. Next connect the solar power regulator with the two wires coming from the solar panel above the box. This is the one which collects the electrical power from the solar panel output and charges up the battery to store it. Once these connections are over, let us move on to the audio amplifier part. Connect the D.C. 12 V power source of the battery to the amplifier’s power input. Solder two wires to each of the speakers and connect them to the audio output sockets of the audio amplifier. You can take a test run of this system in order to check the correctness of the electrical circuitry. Once you have finished with the testing part, cover any naked wire terminals with electrical insulation tape. Properly dress the power cables with the help of cable ties. Connect the audio input cable of the amplifier and take out the other end from the hole you’ve already made for the solar panel cable. Connect this cable to any audio source such as Ipods, MP3 players or laptops and enjoy the music. Frequently asked questions: 1. Is this device portable? Yes, the design given above is completely portable. Well if you select small speakers then the solar panel required to feed the batteries will be smaller. That can reduce the overall size and weight of the boombox and make it easier to carry. 2. How long can I play the music off the grid? This device is designed suitably to charge a battery unit which powers the speakers and the amplifiers. Depending upon the backup capacity of the battery, you can enjoy the music. Try to use batteries above the rating of 2500 mAH. You can also get an increased playtime by optimizing the volume level of the speakers. Quick tips: Make sure that all the electrical components are of the same voltage ratings that is 12 V D.C. Mount the speakers and other components tightly and properly to avoid any damage due to any vibration or while carrying the device from one place to another. Make use of high quality copper wires for the connections. It is because a poor quality wire will result in losses and discharge the battery quickly. Try to keep the volume level moderate to get extended battery backup. Things to watch out for: Look out for cloudy weathers. In that case carry extra batteries if you are in a camp site or picnic because the solar charging system will not work in the absence of solar radiation. Never use a dead or leaking battery for such project. It may lead to the explosion of the battery as a result of repeated charging and discharging. Properly inspect the battery and check the outgoing voltage with the help of a multimeter before installing. Don’t make the cabinet box too heavy. Instead, try to keep it light and strong. That will prevent it from breaking up if it ever slipped from your hands and hit the ground.

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Size Matters: NASA to exhibit largest ever solar sail in space

October 1, 2011 by  
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Pratima Kalra: Solar sail NASA to exhibit largest even solar sail in space What is it? With the launch of IKAROS, Japan was the first country to experiment successfully with solar sail technology to be used in the interplanetary space. Realizing the immense potential of solar sail technology and its future application for a more economical power solutions, NASA has undertaken to take a few steps further for transforming space communication, deep space navigation and also in-space propulsion capabilities with the help of three projects to be implemented in tandem. Massive flares, during solar activity often cause disturbances and the energy thus releases can be used for increasing in-space propulsion capability. The massive solar energy released during the process can be harnessed using the solar sails and they would increase the efficiency of the spacecraft and at the same time also reduce the operating costs. For exploiting this huge potential and for technology demonstration, NASA will soon be launching the largest ever solar sail around 2015. The area of this spacecraft will be seven times greater than any other spacecraft launched previously. In 2010, NASA’s 100 square feet sail NanoSail-D, re entered the earth’s atmosphere as a pre test effort before the big leap. It was able to collect valuable de-orbiting data, but lacked maneuvering capabilities. More work is being done for making this demonstration mission a success. Through this project, NASA will also demonstrate three main new technologies namely; laser communication relay, deep space atomic clock and beyond the plumb brook chamber. The laser communications relay will improve data rates by almost 100 percent that too cost effectively. The prototype of a deep space atomic clock based on a mercury-ion atomic clock will also be used. This will increase the GPS accuracy along with the speed of one-way radio communications. Finally, an advanced weather warning system will provide accurate notices about the flare activity. How big is it? California’s L’Garde Inc, in collaboration with National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, will be giving the project its final shape. They intend to build a solar sail, measuring 15,543 square feet and 1, 444 square meters. It will be used for gathering orbital debris over many many years, holding the satellites even during unstable conditions. It will have the capability to locate GeoStorm solar flare tracking satellite to be located at points, approximately three times away from the earth. The demonstration mission will also illustrate the sail’s attitude control, trim control and also its passive stability. The combined cost of all the three projects to be undertaken will be around $175 million with a cost sharing basis among all partners who want to use the technology currently or who will need it in the future. The game changing activities offered by the solar sails will include capturing orbital debris and its removal from the orbit with the help of solar sail thrust. The solar sails will be integrated with satellite payloads for de-orbiting it and for unstable times, station keeping will be undertaken using propellant less thrusts. How green is it? As already mentioned the solar sails would be so designed with a whopping surface area so that so that when massive flares are caused during solar activity, their energy could be exploited for increasing the efficiency of the spacecraft and also for bringing down the costs of operation. Therefore, this system can be labeled as an energy saving propulsion system. Using the low cost technology, small satellites can be converted into space debris cleaners. According to the Space Surveillance Network, there are around 6,000 tons or 20,000 pieces of space debris in orbit that need removal. They have been lying abandoned for almost 50 years now. Satellites often fall dead and leave behind space debris and these solar powered space sails will become a critical method of cleaning up the space post defunct operations. The predecessor The first ever effort towards building a spacecraft demonstrating solar sail technology was done by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) with the launch of IKAROS i.e. interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun in 2010. It was during December 2010 that IKAROS cross passed the Venus at a distance of 80,800 kilometer and successfully entered the extended operation phase. It was the first to demonstrate deployment and control of larger solar sails in spacecrafts, integration of solar cells with the sail for powering the payload, measurement of acceleration and also it will demonstrate attitude control via variable reflective liquid crystal panels. Till date, the IKAROS is spinning at 2rpm approximately and its movements are being visualized using two cameras, DCAM1 and DCAM2.

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Size Matters: NASA to exhibit largest ever solar sail in space

How to make a wind energy generator from an old floppy drive

October 1, 2011 by  
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Shallu Sharma: Wind energy generator Generating wind energy from an old floppy drive The use of wind energy as a non-conventional energy resource is gaining importance now-a-days. Based on the availability of wind speed, various wind generating devices can be created for producing renewable energy. Given below is a similar DIY project termed as mini floppy windmill. It is quite simple in construction and could be used for charging mobile phones, MP3 players or smaller light bulbs while camping, fishing, sailing etc where power supply is not easy to access. This set-up is handy and can be used at outdoor locations. Following are the steps to create mini floppy windmill. Difficulty level: Challenging (Requires considerable experience and expertise) Time required: Around 3-4 hours Resources required: 1. Old Floppy Drive 2. Stepper motor from Floppy drive 3. Shaft with holes 4. Drill to make holes in shaft 5. Propellers 6. Two screws 7. Small electric circuit. 8. Rectifier to convert AC to DC 9. Soldering iron and tin solder paste 10. Wires for making connections 11. USB extension cable. Estimate cost: Since it makes use of recycled components, the cost depends on whether you buy an old floppy drive or have an old one with you. Instructions: 1. Take an old computer having floppy drive and open it to remove 5.25 inch floppy drive. Most of the parts for making power generator will be used from this donor floppy drive. 2. Carefully, take off stepper motor from floppy drive unit. 3. Drill two holes on a shaft to directly attach propellers of the windmill to the stepper motor with the help of two screws. 4. Now, we need to construct a propeller and a bracket. Bracket could be made of thin aluminum pipe having diameter 3 to 4mm and fix it tightly. An easy solution would be using umbrella stand that would help for easy mobility. 5. Fix stepper motor directly to the bracket using clamps. The “L” shaped metal profile could also be used. It just depends on the arrangement whether you want to fix turbine horizontally or vertically. 6. While making horizontal arrangement for wind turbine, propeller could be constructed using the pen, meter and scissors for cutting metal sheet. Sheet should be 0.8m in length and 0.8 m in width with the thickness of 0.5mm. 7. Cut out the pieces and attach them to form a propeller and fix it to the rotor of the stepper motor with the help of screws. 8. If the arrangement is being made for vertical axis wind turbine, then the propellers could be made from a plastic bucket. This is simply done by cutting the bucket from the middle and then fixing on round wooden plate. 9. Finally, the whole arrangement should be set on generator motor with screws. 10. Attach a USB connector to this mini wind generator that will enable attaching modern devices like iPod, MP3 player, phone etc to the mini floppy charger. Frequently asked questions: 1. How much energy can be produced by mini floppy generator? The mini windmill can be used to produce small amount of electricity. The wind with 10m/s speed can make it produce 5 watts of electricity. The set-up is very convenient, especially during low wind speeds. This complete set-up is a DIY project and can produce around 100 watts of electricity sufficient to charge several batteries, depending upon the speed of the wind. 2. Is the project environment friendly? Yes, this whole project of making power generator using an old floppy drive is totally environment friendly. This do-it-yourself (DIY) project is very quite simple and easy in construction. It not only helps in disposing of unused old computer floppy drive but also makes a very useful device out of it. The energy generator works completely on wind energy. Wind moves propellers of this handmade generator which in turn produces electricity that could be used to charge mobile phones and Ipod etc when power sources are not easily available. This set up can help in reducing utilization of non-renewable energy and also contribute to decrease carbon footprints. Quick tips: Though, vertical axis wind turbines are more efficient in producing energy but horizontal axis wind turbines are more portable and easy to carry for outdoor locations. The risks of deformation while packing are less and they are easy to maintain. Things to watch out for: 1. All the connections should be made carefully and rechecked to avoid any type of trouble. It is better to use one wire at a time to avoid disorder. 2. Fix the set-up tightly and tighten the screws properly to the base to avoid any type of component damage. 3. It is advisable not to rely completely on the mini wind mill as its working is completely dependent on weather conditions and wind speed. It is better to carry spare batteries for emergency uses.

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How to make a wind energy generator from an old floppy drive

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