Protect or destroy a virtual world in The Sims new eco pack

May 12, 2020 by  
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Just as real-life youth are growing up in a world where pollution will ruin their  health , neighborhoods, oceans and planet if they don’t take drastic action, so go their virtual counterparts in The Sims. Electronic Arts will issue a new eco take on its wildly popular video game series on June 5. The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle Expansion Pack introduces Evergreen Harbor, a neighborhood threatened by garbage and bad air quality. Players will see the consequences of their actions in real-time. If they add solar panels, build eco-friendly houses and use wind power, the virtual air turns from gray to blue. Make enough positive decisions, and players will be rewarded with a glimpse of the aurora borealis. They can even dumpster dive for upcycling  material. If they ignore questions of sustainability, Evergreen Harbor gets grim indeed. A trailer shows the young Sim activists making speeches, working in a maker space using 3-D printers, raising baby chicks, building eco-housing, inventing a pollution-sucking machine and dancing in a rooftop garden. Originally, The Sims came out in 2000, a spinoff of the SimCity game introduced in 1989. Players create virtual characters called Sims and make all the decisions about where they live, who they associate with and how they spend their time and money. The Eco Lifestyle Expansion Pack introduces new career options for Sims, such as civil designer and freelance crafter. Video game company Maxis developed The Sims franchise, and Electronic Arts publishes the games. The series is one of the top video games worldwide, selling almost 200 million copies. The new Eco Lifestyle Expansion gives players the chance to guide their Sims via personal decisions that have wide-ranging consequences. “We’re thrilled to give players the opportunity to explore an eco-friendly way of living in The Sims and play the change they want to see,” George Pigula, producer of The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle Expansion Pack, said in a press release. “By discovering and practicing sustainable habits, like using  solar panels  or wind turbines to power their electricity, or upcycling materials to create new furniture, players and their Sims can play with life in all-new ways.” + Electronic Arts Images via EA Games

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Protect or destroy a virtual world in The Sims new eco pack

1973 Airstream is an ‘easy-breezy’ off-grid home with a fold-out deck

May 12, 2020 by  
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Design-build firm Innovative Spaces worked with a client to bring her tiny-home-on-wheels dream to fruition by renovating a 1973 Airstream Tradewind into the Alice Airstream — a gorgeous, modern home complete with off-grid capabilities and a deck. When tasked by an adventurous client to create a new home on wheels for herself and her dog and cat, the Innovative Spaces team went to work searching for the perfect abode. Not only did the home have to be mobile, but it had to be off-grid ready as well. When the designers found a 1973 Airstream Tradewind, they knew they had the perfect trailer to get started. Related: Artist revamps dingy interior of a 1962 Airstream with vibrant florals Innovative Spaces owner Nate Stover explained that although the Airstream trailer was in fairly poor shape, they knew they had found a diamond in the rough. “The condition of these vintage trailers rarely matters for our projects, as we replace just about everything on the interior and often also do quite a bit of customization on the exterior” Stover said. “It was your typical 1970s trailer — pretty funky inside after years of sitting around.” Alas, the classic trailer was about to receive a very modern-day makeover at the hands of the creative design team. Although the exterior was in good shape, only requiring a cleanup and new coat of a Sprinter Blue Grey paint, the interior needed to be completely gutted. The first step was to lift the shell off of the chassis to ensure that the home had a solid foundation. To do so, they had to rebuild a new chassis out of aluminum, which was chosen specifically to give the trailer a durable shell. Next up, a new subfloor system comprised of gray and black water tanks, wiring and plumbing and fiberboard was installed, followed by spray foam insulation. The final and most exciting step was implementing the new interior design . The client had requested an open-concept space that included a decent cook’s kitchen and a spa-like bathroom. From there, Innovative Spaces added deep shades of blue to complement the white walls and natural tones throughout the interior. Most of the furnishings within the 165-square-foot home were designed to provide optimal comfort and functionality. The enviable kitchen includes modern appliances as well as a small dining nook at the entrance. The sofa doubles as a bed while an opaque, flower-printed privacy wall leads to the luxurious bathroom. Of course, the design also makes plenty of space for the cat and dog with custom, built-in pet beds. Although the trailer’s interior is definitely compact, the savvy layout and fresh design scheme makes the space extremely livable. When it’s warm enough to enjoy the great outdoors, the Airstream has an awesome added amenity — a drop-down deck with enough room for seating plus protective netting to keep bugs at bay. + Innovative Spaces Via Dwell Images via Innovative Spaces

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1973 Airstream is an ‘easy-breezy’ off-grid home with a fold-out deck

Brazil declares official end to Zika virus epidemic

May 12, 2017 by  
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It’s time to pack your bags! For the past 18 months, travelers have been wary of visiting Brazil due to the mosquito-borne Zika virus – and for good reason. One of the defects, microcephaly, results in babies being born with abnormally small heads. Because cases have dramatically dropped in recent months, however, officials have finally declared an end to the threat. Between January and April, 2017, the number of Zika cases dropped by 95 percent, compared to the same period a year ago. Additionally, zero people have died this year, compared to eight people between January and April, 2016. This development is what prompted officials to declare an end to the public health emergency. The Guardian reports that during the 2016 Olympics , the threat of the Zika virus was at its peak. Athletes and spectators were concerned they would contract the virus, and one female athlete – a Spanish windsurfer – says she contracted Zika while training in Brazil ahead of the Games. In response to the outbreak, Brazil launched a campaign targeted at eradicating mosquitos in the country. Those efforts have resulted in a dramatic decline of Zika cases. Though the World Health Organization (WHO) lifted its own international emergency in November 2016, Brazil has only now declared an end to the virus – which is transported by mosquitos and sexual contact. Related: Zika virus can remain in sperm for twice as long as previously thought The WHO warns that the virus is “here to stay.” Though a decline in cases is a good sign, the battle will be an ongoing one. Said Adeilson Cavalcante, secretary for health surveillance at Brazil’s health ministry, “The end of the emergency doesn’t mean the end of surveillance or assistance” to those who are affected. She added, “The health ministry and other organisations involved in this area will maintain a policy of fighting Zika, dengue and chikungunya.” Via The Guardian Images via Business Insider , Alabama Today

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Japan wants to make 2020 Olympic medals from recycled smartphones

August 23, 2016 by  
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The Rio Games may have just ended, but Tokyo is already gearing up for the 2020 Olympics – and organizers want to source materials for the gold, silver, and bronze medals from discarded smartphones and other electronics . The country’s e-waste stream could certainly provide enough precious metals to cover the demand; the problem lies with collecting the discarded devices from the public. In 2014 Japan recovered 143 kg of gold, 1,566 kg of silver and 1,112 tons of copper – an essential component in bronze – from small, discarded electronics, according to Nikkei Asian Review . Judging from London’s 2012 Olympics, only 9.6kg of gold, 1,210kg of silver and 700kg of copper were needed to make all the winning medals. Usually cities hosting the games ask mines to donate the materials, but Japan may not have to go that route. Related: Japan promises to make 2020 Olympics a high-tech fest of self-driving cars, 5G networks and more The plan does face some challenges, however – Japan has not fully implemented a system for collecting discarded consumer electronics , and a 2013 law requiring the recycling of home appliances was not as effective as lawmakers hoped. Recycled precious materials are also commonly used to produce new electronic devices, with silver being in especially high demand. A meeting was held on June 10 where Tokyo Olympics officials met with government members and representatives from a mobile phone company, precious metals company, and recycling companies. Proposals are being considered regarding how to increase public awareness of recycling programs and how to streamline the collection process in time for the Games’ arrival in Tokyo. Via Nikkei Asian Review Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Japan wants to make 2020 Olympic medals from recycled smartphones

Yacht-inspired Olympic pavilion by Henning Larsen brings Danish culture to Rio

August 10, 2016 by  
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Located on the famous Ipanema Beach, the 3229-square-foot pavilion hosts a bar, press room, and an exhibition area where visitors can learn about Danish companies and products. A white sail cloth is stretch over aluminium masts that form a large interior space. The upper corners of the structure point upwards to reference Rio’s mountaintops, as well as the iconic project of Brazil’s most famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer . Related: Renovated Siemens Headquarters in Munich now consumes 90% less energy and 75% less water At night, the structure is lit by red-colored LEDs , which, when viewed from above, reveal the outline of the Danish flag in the cross-shaped piece of clear acrylic set into the faceted roof. Denmark is the only country to feature a dedicated pavilion space at the Games. The pavilion will stay open to the public until 21 August 2016, the final day of the Rio Olympics. + Henning Larsen Architects Via Dezeen Photos by Pedro Kok

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Yacht-inspired Olympic pavilion by Henning Larsen brings Danish culture to Rio

INFOGRAPHIC: The challenges and triumphs of engineering the Rio Olympic games

August 3, 2016 by  
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On August 5, all eyes will be on Rio de Janeiro for the opening ceremonies of the summer Rio Olympics . Though the games have already been plagued by issues like poisonous water and Zika virus-prompted boycotts, the games promise to be three weeks of intense competition and inspiring performances from the world’s top athletes. As it draws near, we look at how the city is preparing to host this prestigious event, including the work of civil engineers who played a pivotal role in building the infrastructure and stadiums, and the challenges the city faces. + New Jersey Institute of Technology

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INFOGRAPHIC: The real environmental impact of the 2016 Rio Olympics

July 27, 2016 by  
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The 2016 Olympics in Rio will begin in just over a week and despite several ongoing catastrophes , the games will go on. In light of this monumental event, we thought we’d take a closer look at its environmental impact and the solutions in place. Check out this thought-provoking infographic from Green Match for an inside look. Graphic via Green Match

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INFOGRAPHIC: The real environmental impact of the 2016 Rio Olympics

New solar-powered machine converts urine into beer

July 27, 2016 by  
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“We call it from sewer to brewer,” say the creators of a solar-powered machine that turns urine into beer . Belgian scientists hope to expand the technology to remote areas needing off-the-grid methods for creating drinkable water , but not before asking festival goers to #peeforscience and a truly unique brew. Ghent University researchers developed the energy-efficient system with developing countries in mind, where solar power is optimal. By collecting urine in a heated tank and passing it through a membrane, clean drinking water is collected, as well as nutrients to be used as fertilizer . This way, both resources can be made readily available to people in need by using what is (no longer) considered a waste product. Related: Urine-powered batteries could provide cheap energy where it’s needed most The team behind the innovation featured it at a 10-day music and theater event, where the pee of thousands of festival goers was turned into 1,000 liters of drinkable water. In true Belgian fashion, the water collected from the event will be brewed into beer . The implications for both crowded, urban sporting and music events and rural areas needing access to clean water are vast. We just have to ask ourselves one question: would you drink it? Via Daily Mail Images via Pexels ( 1 , 2 )

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New solar-powered machine converts urine into beer

Norway’s 2016 Youth Olympics student housing is a passive house block clad in sustainable wood

August 28, 2015 by  
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Diller Scofidio + Renfro reveal preliminary concept for the US Olympic Museum

May 14, 2015 by  
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New York studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro has revealed their concept for the United States Olympic Museum , scheduled to open in downtown Colorado Springs, CO before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games . The renderings for the 60,000 square foot space show sweeping curved lines, elevated walkways and an extensive outdoor public plaza with views of Colorado’s Pikes Peak. The building’s spiraling shape reflects was inspired by the fluid movement of Olympic athletes and it will act as a brilliant commemoration of the Olympic games. Read the rest of Diller Scofidio + Renfro reveal preliminary concept for the US Olympic Museum Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2018 Winter Olympics , Architecture , architecture concepts , colorado springs , DS+R Architects , olympics , US Olympic Museum , winter olympics

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