Give this clock a roll and it’ll show you the time anywhere on Earth

July 11, 2017 by  
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This World Clock is something that every global citizen needs today. The simple yet incredibly clever device quickly tells you what time it is anywhere on the planet. Developed by Japanese product designer Masafumi Ishikawa , the tiny clock has 12 flat edges and a single hour hand. Each side corresponds to a city – and as you roll the clock from one side to another, the hand automatically changes its position to show the time in that location. Masafumi Ishikawa’s World Clock is made of wood and finished with austere characters. It’s a handy and highly functional object that embraces traditional Japanese taste, minimalism and essentiality. The clock’s visual clarity mirrors its functional and technological simplicity. It doesn’t have multiple displays, and there is no need to manually set the time or adjust the mechanism – simple rotation is the only physical action necessary to tell the time anywhere on earth. The trick is a simple ball bearing that sets the new position of the hand when the clock is rotated. Masafumi Ishikawa has also developed a second version of the World Clock that addresses daylight saving time shifts adopted by some countries. This DST clock features an additional ring that advances the clock’s time by one hour during the summer months for cities where daylight savings time takes place. Related: This carved wood bench hides an unexpected surprise Masafumi Ishikawa’s World Clock by received a Lexus Design Award back in 2013, and it was presented during the Milan Furniture Fair 2017 at Salone Satellite in Rho Fiera. On this occasion the designer revealed to Inhabitat that he will shortly launch a crowdfunding campaign to put this bold prototype into production. + Masafumi Ishikawa Images by Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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Give this clock a roll and it’ll show you the time anywhere on Earth

This is how hot it will be in your neck of the woods if we don’t slow climate change

July 11, 2017 by  
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Most of us know that the world is getting hotter – but it’s hard to put that into real perspective, especially when you are arguing with your climate-denying aunt (or, you know, your president). This map makes it easier by showing you how hot your city will be by 2100 if we don’t get emissions under control in comparison to another city. Los Angeles will feel like Belize City, and Chicago will feel like Juarez. And if that doesn’t scare you, consider the fact that many cities in the Middle East – like Baghdad – will be hotter than any current city on Earth. The map isn’t all bad news – it can also show you what will happen if we manage to meet the goals laid out in the Paris agreement instead of letting temperatures climb unchecked. Climate Central worked with the World Meteorological Organization to determine what cities would look like if temps climb 14.4 degrees F across the world by 2100 (or 7 degrees F if we begin to control emissions). Related: This map reveals which countries will survive climate change (and which countries are in big trouble) Climate Central also used to have a US-based map, but the organization said that they decided to create a world map because the conversation has moved away from the US now that Trump has pulled us out of the climate accord. They also decided to focus on urban areas because that is where the greatest number of people live, and cities experience the urban heat island effect, which can make them feel even hotter than more rural areas. + Climate Central via Fast Company image via Depositphotos

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This is how hot it will be in your neck of the woods if we don’t slow climate change

Otherworldly pavilion in Japan seems to float above the landscape

July 11, 2017 by  
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Japanese contemporary artist  Kohei Nawa  collaborated with art studio SANDWICH to create the ship-like KOHTEI art pavilion . The wooden building is nestled into the grounds of the Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens in Fukuyama-city, Japan as a quiet space for peaceful contemplation that seems to float above the ground. It was built using traditional Japanese techniques and materials – including bamboo nails and thousands of thin wood panels. The new pavilion is part of the Tenshinzan Shinshoji temple, which was built by the eponymous shipbuilding company as a respectful location to console the spirit of those who perish at sea. The building is clad in Japanese cypress and hovers over a rocky landscape, surrounded by greenery. Related: Ron Shenkin’s cemetery meeting space is a forest-like concrete canopy in Israel The “floating” roof design was created using the Kokera-buki technique, a traditional roofing craft that uses bamboo nails to connect multiple layers of thin wood panels as shingles. In fact, to create the KOHTEI roof, a whopping 340,000 pieces were laid by a roofing master based in Kyoto. The underlayer of the roof, the soffit, is comprised of 250,000 pieces of wooden cypress tiles. The result is a monolithic structure that – despite its abundance of sturdy wooden planks – appears to be light as a feather. Visitors to the pavilion are encouraged to walk through the building, exploring its expansive views. The flooring of the pavilion is made of large, smooth stones that represent the smoothness of the ocean. A walking path leads up to the building and weaves under the structure and out through the surrounding landscape. The path gradually leads into the interior of the structure through a small entrance of the vessel-like roof. Inside, a dark room with a water installation is barely illuminated by candlelight. According to the artist, the installation represents the immensity of the ocean and is designed to provide visitors with an opportunity to contemplate the sensibility and philosophy of Zen. + Kohei Nawa + SANDWICH Art Studio Via Archdaily Photography by Nobutada Omote

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Otherworldly pavilion in Japan seems to float above the landscape

These ancient societies know the secrets of infinite growth on our finite planet

July 11, 2017 by  
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Once upon a time, there were three scientists––a biologist, an engineer, and a chemist. Each of them loved the ocean and liked nothing better than to walk its shores and study its inhabitants. They were curious and observant, and by watching how nature really works, with an open-mind, each of them stumbled on something radically new. And we can do the same! Hit the jump for a closer look at how to achieve infinite growth on a finite planet – nature’s way. Image via Great Ecology Australian Jay Harman grew up at the beach, surfing, playing in the waves, seeking shells. He was fascinated by the spiraling patterns he saw all around him. If the fastest, most efficient way to get from point A to point B was a straight line, then why did everything seem to spiral there? He was curious, and eventually found a way to freeze a whirlpool and cast it out of metal––the form yielded a fan, a turbine , and an impeller, all far more efficient than traditional ones—and quieter and cooler as well. Today, Jay’s company, PAX Scientific, is revolutionizing the way these technologies work. Dr. Frank Fish is an engineer, specializing in wind turbines. While traveling, he paid a visit to a local aquarium, and noticed a gift shop sculpture – a humpback whale. But the bumps on the flippers were on the wrong side, obviously hydrodynamically incorrect. Being an engineer, Dr. Fish was compelled to complain to the cashier, who was skeptical. The sculptor was a well-known marine artist who almost certainly knew his whale biology. This required further thought. Dr. Fish studied the flippers more closely, then he added similar structures to his turbine blades––producing a 40 percent gain in efficiency. His company, Whale Power , now operates across California. Image via Farm1 My last story is about a chemist, Dr. Kaichang Li, who works for Columbia Forest Products , a big lumber and plywood company in Oregon. He develops plywood glues – usually toxic ones based on formaldehyde. Dr. Li liked to walk along the beach near his home, and one day he found himself thinking about the blue mussels that coated the rocks along the shore. He tried to pull one off – impossible! How did they stick underwater? His curiosity led him to chemically mimic the anchoring protein, and today, all Columbia Forest Products plywood uses this formaldehyde-free Purebond® technology. Dr. Li’s curiosity led the company to replace 47 million pounds of toxic resins, reducing pollutants 50-90 percent, improving the health of employees and customers alike. Biomimicry — the art and science of innovation inspired by nature – is changing the way we think about everything we make and do. Even the most mundane problems can be tackled with fresh eyes by simply asking “how would nature do it?” which is not so odd as it may seem. Every species alive today faces the same kinds of challenges we do – and all of them are survivors. After four billion years of evolution, only the most winning solutions are still around, each honed over countless generations of ruthless selection. These ancient technologies work, and we can apply them to our own solutions. Fortune magazine recently acknowledged biomimicry as the #1 trend in business for 2017 , and not just because it is inspiring new products like plywood or fans – nature’s ancient strategies are generating new approaches to every facet of doing business. Like manufacture. Currently, we make many things from petrochemical plastics, and 95 percent of it is discarded inside of six months – and that’s not including the carbon emissions generated by the fuel used to power the manufacture process. This is a problem: by depleting raw resources and piling up waste, this runaway process threatens the long-term success of every company and country. Many companies are working hard to reduce that waste: reducing, reusing, and recycling it. But how would nature do it? What’s nature’s manufacture process? For starters, nature builds with infinite things – sunshine and atmospheric carbon, diffuse specks of water and nutrients. Green plants convert sunlight into energy, fixing atmospheric carbon into sugars. That’s how plants grow. Leaves, wood, fruit­­, roots – all of it is carbon negative manufacture powered by the sun. Ultimately, of course, it is all eaten and used to grow other creatures. We can do the same thing. Our photovoltaic technologies constantly and exponentially improve (with a little guidance from the plants), and one company, Newlight Technologies, is capturing methane-based carbon from the air and turning it into AirCarbon, Sprint’s thermoplastic iPhone case material. Meanwhile, Interface carpet just unveiled the world’s first carbon negative carpet tiles . Imagine if human consumption was good for the planet? Why shouldn’t it be? Similarly, millions of tiny sea-anemone-like animals cluster into the world’s coral reefs, aided by an intimate algal partnership. The algae photosynthesize by day, feeding the corals. At night they rest, which lowers the ambient pH enough to allow the corals to secrete a protective cement home around the algae – much like our own cement structures. Calera, a California company, is making cement in exactly this way , gradually accreting calcite from the elevated carbon dioxide dissolved in our oceans. To most of us, CO2 emissions are a problem — accumulating at an alarming rate, irreparably changing our planet’s atmosphere. But these emissions are basically just carbon – the same stuff all living things grow from. What if we grew our materials this way as well? What if we made things the way the plants do, or the reefs? Imagine, if we reclaimed our carbon waste from the atmosphere, and put it back in the world of the living – into the biosphere? It’s easy to be cynical, convinced that humans are evolution’s terrible mistake. But there is no reason why this must be so. Plenty of societies thrive on this earth, some with the same biomass and metabolic needs as us. Some are incredibly ancient and wildly successful, in fact, and they don’t have small footprints, either. Leafcutter ants work together in teeming underground colonies, with tens of millions of strangers in vast, elaborate chambers – yet, we don’t see them choking on smog or stuck in traffic. They’ve done it this way for 70 million years, or more. Similarly, the fungal networks below ground collect diffuse molecules of nutrients and water, shuttling them to each other and the trees above them. They aren’t counting carbon credits or worrying about the Pacific Garbage Patch, and yet these densely networked individuals make up a quarter of all terrestrial biomass. What’s the difference between them and us? They succeed by building with infinite things, and feeding the life that feeds them. My favorite example of these ancient societies is the macrotermites of Botswana’s Kalahari Desert . These colonies build huge towering mound, poking as much as 30 feet above the dry plains. The termites don’t live in this structure—this is just their clever air conditioner. The termite nest itself lies far below – these creatures don’t like the heat any more than you’d like to be stuck in the Mojave Desert naked without a water bottle. Nonetheless, they thrive. Here’s how: each night, some individuals venture out onto the plains to collect scraps of grass and twigs to bring down into the nest. Like the leafcutters, they make a compost which they feed to their carefully tended fungal gardens. The fungus consumes the plants, the termites eat the fungus. It’s a partnership, and over time, it fertilizes the surrounding grass, and makes it softer, richer, and more nutritious. Antelope gather to graze it, fertilizing the soil with their droppings. Big cats and wild dogs hunt the antelope, leaving carcasses that enrich the soil further. Meanwhile, the mounds poke above the yearly floods like snorkels, sheltering all kinds of plants and animals, while soaking up precious moisture for the long, dry season ahead. Superorganism societies like these are all around us, surviving and thriving sustainably – regeneratively ––for hundreds of millions of years, through radical waves of change that have turned countless other populations into fossils. These creatures make more each generation without poisoning their world, by spilling collective value out into the larger ecosystems they inhabit. They have to do it: it’s the only way to compound their value for the future. As an evolutionary biologist and primatologist who spent nearly 30 years studying social systems, I know we can do the same – because it‘s been done before. The math is simple and universal. Botanical philosopher Michael Pollan expresses it well: “our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum… as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.” The difference between ancient superorganism abundance and our own impending scarcity is simple: they compound their wealth by building with virtually infinite things—sunlight and atmospheric carbon, diffuse specks of moisture and nutrients, trust and transparency, and the complexity, diversity, and interconnectedness of networks. There are always more of these things. Their organizations are no pyramid schemes. This is a new and deeply biological way for us to do business – and organize our entire global society – as we do the hard work of adapting to a finite Earth. This is not a recipe for despair, scraping by, or doing less harm while delaying the inevitable death spiral, nor does it require us to become an army of faceless automaton clone ants or assimilate into the Borg. Quite the contrary—this is a recipe for unbounded optimism, abundance, individuality, personal freedom, and creativity. Image via Biomimicry Institute Our success depends on staying curious and observant, studying what stands the test of time. The solutions are all around us. By feeding the life that feeds us, and building with infinite things, we can create our own regenerative cycles. We have to: it’s the only way to compound our value for the future. + Teeming: How Superorganisms Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker is an evolutionary biologist, primatologist, and biomimicry pioneer with an extensive background in leadership, innovation, and sustainability. Her book Teeming: How Superorganisms Work to Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World is available now . Forward your receipt to TeemingTogether@gmail.com to receive an exclusive TEEMING toolkit for implementing the bio-inspired changes our future success requires. Lead image via Wikimedia Commons

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40-foot shipping container farm can grow 5 acres of food with 97% less water

July 11, 2017 by  
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Communities that have to ship in fresh food from far away could start getting local produce right from their parking lots or warehouses thanks to Local Roots ‘ shipping container farms . The 40-foot containers house hydroponic farms that only draw on five to 20 gallons of water each day to grow produce like lettuce, strawberries, or kale. Popping up all around the United States, these scalable farms “grow far more produce than any other indoor farming solution on the market” according to co-founder Dan Kuenzi. Local Roots is even talking with SpaceX about using their farms in space . Local Roots’ 40-foot shipping container farms, called TerraFarms, grow produce twice as fast as a traditional farm , all while using 97 percent less water and zero pesticides or herbicides. They can grow as much food as could be grown on three to five acres. They’re able to do this thanks to LED lights tuned to specific wavelengths and intensities, and sensor systems monitoring water, nutrient, and atmospheric conditions. Related: Pop-up shipping container farm puts a full acre of lettuce in your backyard The process from setup to first harvest takes only around four weeks. TerraFarms can be stacked and connected to the local grid. CEO Eric Ellestad said in a video 30 million Americans live in food deserts , and their farms could be placed right in communities that most need the food. Los Angeles is already home to a farm with several shipping containers, and a similar one will be coming to Maryland this year. It could offer local food like strawberries in January. And Local Roots’ technology could one day allow astronauts to consume fresh produce in space. Their growing systems could offer a food source on long-term, deep space missions. Ellestad told The Washington Post, “The opportunities are global and intergalactic at the same time.” + Local Roots Via The Washington Post Images via Local Roots Facebook

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40-foot shipping container farm can grow 5 acres of food with 97% less water

Tent cabin clusters perfectly blend into the Californian forests

July 11, 2017 by  
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This family retreat hidden in the forests of Northern California is very different from your typical weekend home. Berkeley-based Envelope Architecture + Design designed the Forest House, a holiday retreat broken up into nine minimalist boxes hoisted off the ground for minimal site impact . Clad in stained timber, the cluster of one-room cabins blends into the heavily wooded landscape. Located in Mendocino County a few hours from San Francisco, the Forest House was built for a couple and their three young children. The structure’s nine tent cabins are organized within four clusters, all hooked up to plumbing and electricity, and spread out across two acres around a central concrete-paved plaza. The buildings are raised several feet off the ground on 4×4 posts for a treehouse -like effect and are carefully placed to preserve existing trees. A network of wooden paths connects the raised cabins. Related: Decrepit lumberjack shack transformed into a beautiful retreat with minimal site impact The roofs are topped with treated Army canvas anchored with nylon ropes. “The tented roofs and walls allow a connection with the natural setting—its sounds and changing seasons—while large clear and mirrored-bronze glass windows frame views of the landscape and neighboring ‘rooms,’” wrote the architects. “Wood-framed walls and floors lend warmth and support the comforts of modern living, deep within the forest. Here, the forest and house are one with indoor and outdoor rooms suspended between the treetops and canopy floor.” + Envelope Architecture + Design Via Gessato Images via Envelope Architecture + Design, © Richard Barnes

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Tent cabin clusters perfectly blend into the Californian forests

Antarctica’s Ice Loss is Significant Enough to Affect Earth’s Gravity

October 3, 2014 by  
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Scientists from the European Space Agency recently discovered that the loss of ice in Antarctica is so significant that it’s affecting the Earth’s gravity. The researchers paired data from the ESA’s GOCE satellite with data from the GRACE system of satellites and found that the Earth’s gravity dipped in the area because the ice lost so much mass. Read the rest of Antarctica’s Ice Loss is Significant Enough to Affect Earth’s Gravity Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Antarctic , antarctica , cryosat , european space agency , glacial melt , GOCE , grace , gravity , ice melt , Melting ice in Antarctica affecting Earth’s gravity , nasa , polar ice melt , west antarctic ice sheet

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INFOGRAPHIC: How You Can Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

October 3, 2014 by  
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Computer equipment and residential electronics represent 15 percent of the energy that residents consume worldwide, and that number is expected to triple over the next couple of decades unless steps are taken to improve energy efficiency . After computers, services such as lighting, air conditioning, electric heating, and large appliances are the next biggest culprits. Steps can be taken to make your building more energy-savvy , from turning off all electronics and lights when they’re not in use to taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and i mproving insulation in order to reduce heating costs. Check out the infographic after the break for more tips on how to increase the energy efficiency of your home or office building. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: How You Can Make Your Home More Energy Efficient Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “office building” , air conditioning , building electricity use , building energy efficiency , computer use , computers , electric heating , elevators , energy efficiency in buildings , green lighting , home electricity , lights , Office , turn off the lights

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Mataerial is an Anti-Gravity 3D Printer That Can Function in Space

May 24, 2013 by  
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Full color 3D printers not high-tech enough for you? How about one that can work in the anti-gravity conditions of space? Meet Mataerial , designed by Petr Novikov and Saša Joki?. Instead of extruding filament in layers, the machine pushes out polymers from a nozzle, much like a tube of toothpaste. The new technique, which they call “Anti-Gravity Modeling,” allows the polymers to harden in mid-air while also keeping the printer from clogging and adding strength to the printed structure. Read the rest of Mataerial is an Anti-Gravity 3D Printer That Can Function in Space Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printer , anti-gravity modeling , earth , gravity , Iaac , institute for advanced architecture of catalonia , Joris Laarman Studio , mataerial , petr novikov , sasa jokic , space        

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Mataerial is an Anti-Gravity 3D Printer That Can Function in Space

GravityLight Is a Cheap, Green Weight-Powered Alternative to Solar Lamps

December 13, 2012 by  
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London-based designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves — from Therefore.com – spent four years developing a light that would provide a viable alternative to kerosene and sun-powered lamps for developing nations.  GravityLight works by harnessing the power of weight and gravity, it is easy to run, low-energy, battery free and also, cheaper than solar lighting. Currently raising funds on indiegogo GravityLight’s creators are looking to test and begin mass-production on this innovative design, in the hopes of brightening peoples’ lives when it gets dark. Read the rest of GravityLight Is a Cheap, Green Weight-Powered Alternative to Solar Lamps Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , developing countries , gravity , GravityLight , green lighting , green resources , humanitarian design , Jim Reeves , kerosene , LED , Martin Riddiford , natural forces , renewable energy , social design , solar-powered , Therefore.com

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