11-year-old boy invents device to save children from dying in hot cars

July 4, 2017 by  
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Children dying in overheated cars is one of those preventable tragedies that just shouldn’t happen, and an 11-year-old boy in Texas decided to do something about it. Bishop Curry heard about a six-month-old who died in his hometown after being left inside a hot vehicle. A few hours later he had come up with his initial design for Oasis, a cooling device he hopes will one day save lives. Oasis started as a design for a fan that could be placed on a headrest. When the interior temperature of a car reached a certain level, the fan would immediately switch on to blow cool air on a child in a car seat. Curry’s father, Bishop Curry IV, told CBS News the device draws on GPS technology to determine when the vehicle is stopped. “It then detects if a child is in that car seat, and if the car is heating up. If all of those things are taking place it blows cold air on the child through an internal cooling system.” Related: 13-year-old Maanasa Mendu invents groundbreaking clean energy device that costs just $5 But 11-year-old Bishop also wanted to include a means for the child to be rescued in his design. If the fan does turn on, an antenna in Oasis will use Wi-Fi to notify the parents. Should they fail to respond, the device will then inform local authorities, using GPS to provide the child’s location. Curry IV is an engineer with Toyota , and has pitched the idea to the company. They were super impressed, so they footed the bill to send both father and son to a conference to pitch the idea to car seat manufacturers. Several have indicated interest, and Curry IV started a GoFundMe campaign earlier this year to raise money for legal and manufacturing fees. He recently posted an update saying they’ve turned in paperwork to the United States Patent and Trademark Office and are waiting to hear back. So far the GoFundMe campaign has raised over $45,000 of a $20,000 goal. You can donate here . + Help Bishop End Hot Car Deaths on GoFundMe Via Bishop B. Curry IV on GoFundMe and CBS News Images via screenshot ( 1 , 2 )

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11-year-old boy invents device to save children from dying in hot cars

MIT researchers pioneer affordable way to turn waste heat into power

June 13, 2017 by  
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Steel and glass manufacturing generates large amounts of waste heat that’s not easy to capture – devices that do the job are either prohibitively expensive or don’t work in the requisite high temperatures. But a team of three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have created a device that solves both issues at once. The high-temperature liquid thermoelectric device, which converts industrial waste heat into energy , could be a game-changer. Converting waste heat to electricity is often accomplished through solid-state thermoelectric devices, but at certain high temperatures they just don’t work, or are so expensive they can’t be used in much other than spaceships. In contrast, the MIT liquid thermoelectric device could pave the way for affordable conversion of waste heat into electricity. It includes a molten compound of tin and sulfur much cheaper than the solid-state bismuth telluride found in many commercial thermoelectric devices. That material is around 150 times more expensive than tin sulfide per cubic meter, according to MIT, and it only operates at temperatures of around 500 degrees Celsius. Related: Tiny thermophotovoltaic device harvests energy from infrared wavelengths The new MIT device, built by graduate student Youyang Zhao, operates at temperatures of 950 to 1,074 degrees Celsius. And as he changed the temperatures in which the device operated, he saw no significant performance drop. The researchers, however, don’t think most glass or steel plants would adopt the device simply to save the planet. But assistant professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore, of whose research group Zhao is a part, said they might be interested if heat management could enable them to operate at even higher temperatures – allowing them to increase productivity or lengthen the lifespan of their equipment. According to MIT, thanks to the molten compounds in the new device, managing heat at high temperatures is now a possibility. The two scientists were joined by recent PhD graduate Charles Rinzler for a paper published by ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology . Via MIT News Images via Youyang Zhao and Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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MIT researchers pioneer affordable way to turn waste heat into power

Norway’s Fleinvaer cabins offer the ultimate in off-grid living on a remote island

June 13, 2017 by  
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These isolated cabins built on a remote island in Norway take off-grid living to new heights. Located on the country’s Arctic archipelago and only reachable by ferry, the Fleinvaer Cabins offer the ultimate in solitude. The retreat consists of four cabins designed for sleeping, plus bonus accommodations in a nearby cave. The island’s cluster of cabins are supported by four dedicated structures that house a kitchen, studio, sauna, and a bath. The rest of the cabins are built for sleeping. For those looking to go a step further into nature, there’s also a cave near the sauna’s pier that can be slept in. Technically, the cabins offer enough space for 12 people, but according to the Fleinvaer website, the experience is really designed for those looking for true solitude, “Here are no shops, and no cars. Here is no stress, and no dangerous animals.” Related: Rugged eco-friendly cabins offer off-grid lodging in Norway’s wilderness To get to the island of Fleinvaer, guests must take a ferry from downtown Bodø. Basic necessities like food are organized with the hosts before arrival because there are absolutely no shops on the island . Additionally, guests are encouraged to pack few items – just some wool clothing and a pair of shorts. The cabins are also a welcome retreat for creatives . Every year, the island hosts six, week-long “Artist in Residences” programs in collaboration with the Nordland county council’s culture department. + Fordypningsrommet Fleinvaer Cabins Via Uncrate Photography by Kathrine Sørgård & Fredrik Asplin via Fordypningsrommet

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Norway’s Fleinvaer cabins offer the ultimate in off-grid living on a remote island

Henning Larsen Architects unveils zero energy-targeted civic center for Toronto

May 10, 2017 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects has won a competition for Toronto’s new 500,000-square-foot Etobicoke Civic Centre. Designed in collaboration with Adamson Associates Architects and PMA Landscape Architects , the winning proposal will have a focus on sustainability and feature municipal offices, public gathering spaces, a library branch, recreation center, and a child care center. Build Toronto and the City of Toronto hosted the design competition and evaluated proposals on their environmental sustainability, flexibility, community identity, and pedestrian scale. The competition jury commended the winning team’s proposal for its “flexibility and an iconic design well suited for the community.” The winning design also demonstrates an ability to achieve a net zero target and builds on the context and history of the Etobicoke community. Related: Designers float plan to cover Toronto’s CN Tower with clip-on condos The proposed Etobicoke Civic Centre will break down the development’s large scale using different sized building volumes that help preserve a comfortable pedestrian-friendly scale. Site analysis and local thermal studies also informed building placement to protect against the summer solar heat gain and winter winds. Comfortable microclimates are improved further with green roofs and landscaping, and the total effect will prolong the comfortable outdoor season by up to five weeks, said Henning Larsen Architects. Via ArchDaily Images via Henning Larsen Architects

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Scientists turn eggshells into eco-friendly data-storage devices

January 23, 2017 by  
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Walk on eggshells? Not these scientists. A team from Guizhou Institute of Technology is working on a way to turn ground-up bits of the breakfast byproduct into a data-storage device that could pave the way for eco-friendlier computers. The device itself uses something called resistive random-access memory , ReRAM for short, a type of non-volatile, high-density yet energy-sipping memory system that could soon supplant your flash drive as a data silo. Instead of storing a charge, like conventional memory does, ReRAM works by creating electrical resistance across a dielectric solid-state material that transmits voltage without conducting it, essentially serving as an insulator. As it turns out, eggshells have a “large resistive-switching memory,” as the scientists noted in the February 2017 issue of Current Applied Physics , where they published their findings. But don’t start sticking eggs in your USB port just yet. To create the device, they first pulverized the shells for hours into an ultra-fine, nanoscale powder, which they then dissolved in solution. Related: Scientists invent the world’s first microchip powered by biological systems The resulting paste, coated onto a substrate, became the electrolyte portion of a memory chip, that is, the part that carries the electrical charge. Whatever they did worked. The eggshell-based device was able to write 100 bits of binary code into its memory before it broke down. It’ll take some tinkering before the device can stack up against materials that can manage billions of cycles, but the promise is there. “This discovery provides for the possibility of an environmentally friendly, low-cost and sustainable material application in the next-generation nonvolatile date storage device,” the scientists said. Egg -citing. Via New Scientist Photos by Kullez and Bruce Guenter

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Scientists turn eggshells into eco-friendly data-storage devices

NatureZap uses light, instead of pesticides, to rid your garden of weeds

August 12, 2016 by  
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As concern mounts over the amount of pesticides we use, one company is pursuing a promising alternative to harmful herbicides . Global Neighbor has developed NatureZap , a device said to kill weeds with heat and light . Now the U.S. Air Force is testing out the device. NatureZap is an innovative wand-like device that shoots out a beam of heat and blue light to kill weeds. According to Global Neighbor president Jon Jackson, the device gets “about a 70 to 80 percent die-back without regrowth.” The device won’t hurt wildlife or people, and runs on batteries. Global Neighbor says the device will run for a little over a half hour before it needs to be recharged, and that weeds zapped with NatureZap die as soon as three days later. Related: Two new lawsuits claim Monsanto herbicide caused cancer As part of the Sikes Act , the military must reduce pesticide use. 412th Civil Engineering Group scientist Danny Reinke, who works at Edwards Air Force Base in California, worked on NatureZap with Global Neighbor. Reinke said NatureZap could assist the military as they work to meet Sikes Act requirements. Central State University scientist Cadance Lowell has also run independent tests on NatureZap. She presented research at the annual meeting of the Weed Science Society of America back in February, and said NatureZap works as well as glyphosate (used infamously by Monsanto) on ragweed. Plants with deeper roots like dandelions may be more difficult to exterminate with NatureZap, but Lowell said if the device is used a few times it can ultimately kill off those plants as well. Center for Biological Diversity scientist Nathan Donley told TakePart, “It if truly works, I think it will be very successful, because change cannot come quickly enough in the world of pest management. Most weed-killing chemicals in use today have been around for more than 50 years. Innovation is nonexistent in this realm.” Global Neighbor has received close to $900,000 via the U.S. government’s program Small Business Innovation Research . A few different versions of the product are available on Amazon; the NatureZap DE Cordless currently goes for $199. + Global Neighbor Via TakePart Images via screenshot and Global Neighbor

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NatureZap uses light, instead of pesticides, to rid your garden of weeds

Microsoft Bra Sends A Text If You’re Stressed and Eating Too Much

December 7, 2013 by  
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Normally we’re thrilled to see a new concept for wearable technology, but the newest offering from Microsoft has us scratching our heads in disbelief. The software giant recently unveiled a  sensor-equipped bra  that monitors a woman’s mood and stress levels. It uses this info to detect when a woman might be prone to stress-eating, and sends messages to the potential overeater through a smartphone app. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Why only women?! Men can just as easily be emotional eaters, yet the Microsoft research didn’t include so much as one male participant. Is this device sexist in addition to unnecessary? Keep reading before you decide. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: EKG bra , emotional eating , how to stop emotional eating , microsoft , stress eating , wearable technology , weight monitoring device        

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Microsoft Bra Sends A Text If You’re Stressed and Eating Too Much

HydroBee charges your gadgets with hydropower

November 25, 2013 by  
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Just float the device in a river or stream and soon enough you’ll have enough juice to charge a smartphone, GPS or other device.

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HydroBee charges your gadgets with hydropower

Pollux’NZ City Project Deploys an Open-Source Environmental Monitoring Network

April 1, 2013 by  
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An open-source environmental monitoring network is now being tested in France by CKAB , a French consulting firm and innovation lab focusing on the Internet of Things . According to Hack a Day , the project, Pollux’NZ City, is the brainchild of a pair of engineers at the firm who have been working on it as a side project for a couple of years. They have just decided to make the hardware and software open-source, with details available at a GitHub repository . Read the rest of Pollux’NZ City Project Deploys an Open-Source Environmental Monitoring Network Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: CKAB , device , DIY , electronics , Environment , environmental , france , hackable devices , monitoring , network , open source , Pollution , polluxnz city

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Pollux’NZ City Project Deploys an Open-Source Environmental Monitoring Network

Tesla Motors Turns a Profit for First Time as Model S Sales Exceed Target

April 1, 2013 by  
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Tesla Motors , the pioneering California-based electric car company, announced yesterday that sales of its Model S sedan exceeded expectations. The company expected to sell 4,500 units of the Model S in the first quarter, but by last weekend sales had surpassed 4,750. According to Tesla, the company, which has been hemorrhaging money in recent years, turned a profit for the first time in the first quarter of 2013. Read the rest of Tesla Motors Turns a Profit for First Time as Model S Sales Exceed Target Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: car company , clean transportation , electric car industry , electric vehicles , electric vehicles California , green car companies , green transportation , Model S electric vehicle , Tesla electric vehicle , tesla motors model s

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