The most shocking Inhabitat stories of the year

January 1, 2017 by  
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It’s official: 2016 was a shocking year. We witnessed the loss of far too many artists, suffered through a crushing election season, and were punished by record temperatures all across the globe. On top of all that, New York City’s Indian Point nuclear reactor leaked radioactive material into groundwater, while Water Protectors in North Dakota, were mercilessly punished by law enforcement with water cannons in sub-zero temperatures. A US advisory board suggested slaughtering 45,000 horses , and tourists punched tigers for fun in one of China’s animal “sanctuaries.” Fortunately, it wasn’t all bad. Medical hackers invented an affordable Epi-pen alternative to battle skyrocketing costs for the life-saving device, and a brilliant smog sucking vacuum cleaned the air in Beijing. Check out all of this year’s jaw-dropping stories and tell us which shocked you the most. [poll id=119]

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The most shocking Inhabitat stories of the year

Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup takes to the air to count plastic trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

October 3, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IjaZ2g-21E The concept behind the Ocean Cleanup Array is so simple that many have criticized the device as being “too good to be true,” especially given the project’s $2.2 million price tag. However, the results of a year-long feasibility study and a test run in the North Sea this summer prove the contraption works. Slat aims, though, to clean up 42 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’s plastic pollution in the next 10 years, and that goal will likely take much more than the initial crowdfunded budget. Critics say the cost is higher than the reward, but they might change their minds when they find out how big the problem really is. Related: Boyan Slat’s Great Pacific Garbage Patch expedition shows the plastic problem is “even bigger than we thought” A bird’s eye view of ocean trash The controversy exists in part because nobody really knows how much plastic trash is floating in the ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) first reported on the existence of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1988 but due to its size and location, it has been difficult to assess just how much trash is caught up in the vortex. Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project is attempting to find out, by deploying two low-speed, low-altitude reconnaissance flights from Moffett Airfield in its modified C-130 Hercules aircraft (named “Ocean Force One”) outfitted with high-tech sensors and expert spotters. The main drive behind the aerial survey is to identify and count the ghost nets, which have been deemed one of the biggest threats to marine animals . Today, Slat shared the initial findings of the first aerial survey, which took place yesterday along the northern edge of the Garbage Patch. Flight one successfully completed! Initial results will be shared at press conference Monday 11am PT. We’ll be broadcasting live here on Facebook. Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Sunday, October 2, 2016 Slat spent some time explaining the technology used to assess the Garbage Patch. “One of [the reasons we’re using such a large aircraft] is the size of our crew… Really the only way to get there is to have an aircraft with a very large range. Even with this aircraft, we had to install two additional large fuel tanks to get the range that we needed to get all the way to the Garbage Patch,” said Slat about the 1,000-mile trip to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He went on to explain that the aircraft was outfitted with “experimental sensors” being used for the first time to detect plastic in the ocean. Human observers were also on board to keep notes of their observations to aid in the expedition’s goal. They also used lidar technology (like radar, but using light) to get 3D images of objects under the surface of the water. What kind of trash is in the ocean? While it’s widely known that massive amounts of plastic trash have evaded the waste collection process and found their way into open waters, not all of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made of plastic. Ghost nets are one key exception, and they wind up floating in the ocean when fishing boats leave them behind after they become entangled on a reef, rocky sea floor, or other debris. It’s not difficult to imagine how marine creatures can become trapped in these nearly invisible nets, unable to free themselves, since that is precisely the purpose of a fishing net. Although these nets are a major threat, much of the rest of the debris found in the Garbage Patch is small, confetti-like pieces of plastic and other materials that have been broken down over time, simultaneously making it easier for marine creatures to ingest them and making it more difficult to catch them with a cleanup net. Aerial Expedition – Ocean Force One Tour Take a tour aboard the Ocean Force One, which is set to map the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this weekend. Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Thursday, September 29, 2016 Inhabitat had the chance to speak with Boyan Slat about the project. Based on what you are seeing so far, how are you feeling about the prospect of cleaning this up? “Sometimes there is a lot of talk about this just stuff being just small pieces or there not being a garbage patch, I think it is just sort of very hard to deny when you look at it out of the door of an aircraft and you just see this stuff everywhere…There is a lot of stuff out there, it is certainly more than we thought. As time goes by we actually start to start to feel more and more confident that we will be able to clean it up.” Slat estimates that 100km of array could clean up 50% of the patch, but the team is working on improving that. “We’re really trying to optimize the design, to make it higher. We’re always asking the question how can we make it more efficient, how can we make it faster, how can we make it cheaper.” Related: World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016 When will the Ocean Cleanup Array tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Despite ongoing criticisms, Slat remains confident that his Ocean Cleanup Array is an effective solution to one of the biggest environmental disasters on the globe, and his team is looking forward to a full deployment in the Pacific Ocean by 2020. In the meantime, a series of expeditions are being conducted to measure the size and scope of the Garbage Patch in order to plan cleanup efforts. A ‘Mega Expedition’ of 30 vessels ventured across the center of the Garbage Patch in the summer of 2015 and worked to create the first high-resolution map of the trash vortex. The ongoing Aerial Expedition will cover some 2,316 square miles, an area 300 times the size of last year’s research mission. A Pacific Pilot test program is slated for the second half of 2017, inching closer to the 2020 launch date. You can watch the entire press conference here: NOW LIVE: Aerial Expedition press conference Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Monday, October 3, 2016   + The Ocean Cleanup Project + Boyan Slat Images via NOAA News ,  The Ocean Cleanup Project , and  NOAA Marine Debris  

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Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup takes to the air to count plastic trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

5 life-changing projects take home top honors in world’s largest design awards

August 27, 2015 by  
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Inhabitat is reporting live tonight from Helsingor, Denmark where the world’s largest design prize was just awarded to five different projects that have the potential to impact people’s lives in a positive way across the globe. With a total prize of €500,000, the INDEX: Awards is the only design competition that focuses specifically on projects that are functional, usable, desirable, and above all, that improve people’s lives. A whopping 1,123 nominations were received from 72 countries, which were finally whittled down to five winners by a jury in five categories: community, work, home, body and play and learning. So without further ado, the winners are… Read the rest of 5 life-changing projects take home top honors in world’s largest design awards

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5 life-changing projects take home top honors in world’s largest design awards

World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016

June 1, 2015 by  
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While still in his teens, Dutch inventor Boyan Slat conceived of an Ocean Cleanup Array that he believed could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste currently polluting waters around the globe. Now just two years after we broke the news of Slat’s groundbreaking—and somewhat controversial —idea, the very first Ocean Cleanup is in development, and is set to be deployed in waters between Japan and South-Korea in the second quarter of 2016. Read the rest of World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , dolphins plastic , environmental destruction , great pacific garbage patch , japan pollution , ocean cleanup , Ocean Cleanup Array , Ocean Plastic , plastic biofuels , plastic pollution , plastic waste , south korea pollution , teenage inventor , Tsushima island , worlds largest floating structure

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World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016

Sunflower House’s quirky cube cluster soaks up the Mediterranean sun

June 1, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Sunflower House’s quirky cube cluster soaks up the Mediterranean sun Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cadaval & Solà-Morales Architects , Costa Brava , double-height space , modern house , Sunflower House , Sunflower House by Cadaval & Solà-Morales Architects

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Sunflower House’s quirky cube cluster soaks up the Mediterranean sun

Anish Kapoor’s Decension swirls like a vortex in the floor of an old movie theater

June 1, 2015 by  
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World renowned artist Anish Kapoor has transformed a disused movie theater in Italy as part of his most recent artwork exhibition. Located in San Gimignano, the installation piece has transformed the floor of the aging building into a mysterious vortex of swirling black water. Entitled “Decension,” the work appears to perpetually drain into the unknown as a way to force viewers to imagine the space beyond what is seen. Read the rest of Anish Kapoor’s Decension swirls like a vortex in the floor of an old movie theater Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptive reuse , Anish Kapoor , Decension , eco design , Galleria Continua , green design , San Gimignano , sustainable design

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Anish Kapoor’s Decension swirls like a vortex in the floor of an old movie theater

Help the Ocean Cleanup Array Save the World’s Oceans From Plastic Pollution – Donate Now!

September 2, 2014 by  
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Plastic pollution is a global problem – the world’s oceans are filled with millions of tons of plastic particles that choke sea life and release hazardous toxins as they decompose. 19-year-old Boyan Slat has come up with a brilliant solution that could rid the seas of plastic pollution – and it’s proven by a year-long feasibility study – but he needs your help to make it a reality! Boyan’s Ocean Cleanup Array crowdfunding campaign has raised over 1.6 million dollars – but it has just 10 days left to hit its $2 million funding goal – so donate today to help clean the world’s oceans of plastic pollution! DONATE TO CLEAN THE WORLD’S OCEANS! > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , Boyan Slat array , cleaning plastic , cleaning trash , crowd sourcing ocean array , Crowdfunding , crowdfunding ocean array , garbage patch , interview , Ocean Array , ocean cleaning , ocean cleanup , Ocean Cleanup Array , Ocean Plastic , Ocean plastic cleanup , ocean trash cleanup , pacific garbage patch , sea patch , sea plastic , the ocean cleanup

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Help the Ocean Cleanup Array Save the World’s Oceans From Plastic Pollution – Donate Now!

Volkswagen Announces $36,265 Price Tag for 2015 e-Golf Electric Car

September 2, 2014 by  
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Volkswagen just announced the pricing details for its first electric car to be offered in the United States! The 2015 e-Golf will offer a 115 horsepower electric motor and a 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery – and it’s set to arrive in November with a price tag starting at $36,265 before any federal or state tax credits are applied. Read the rest of Volkswagen Announces $36,265 Price Tag for 2015 e-Golf Electric Car Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: electric car , electric motor , green car , green transportation , volkswagen , vw , VW e-Golf , vw electric car , VW EV , vw golf

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Volkswagen Announces $36,265 Price Tag for 2015 e-Golf Electric Car

Scientists Create Complete Organ from Scratch – Inside a Mouse!

September 2, 2014 by  
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Oh, the mighty mouse – the tiny creature on whom humanity’s experiments have saved countless lives, and they’re up to it again. This time, scientists at the University of Edinburgh have managed to grow a fully functional organ inside a mouse, which opens up the possibility that one day we might be able to manufacture compatible organs for transplant from scratch – without the need for human donors. Read the rest of Scientists Create Complete Organ from Scratch – Inside a Mouse! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: artificial , edinburgh , glad , Grow , inside , mouse , organ , thymus , transplant , university

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Scientists Create Complete Organ from Scratch – Inside a Mouse!

Rehabilitated Shipyard Reuses Old Boats as Shops and Offices in Amsterdam

September 2, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Rehabilitated Shipyard Reuses Old Boats as Shops and Offices in Amsterdam Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brownfield , De Ceuvel , eco design , green design , recycled houseboat , soil cleansing plants , space&matter , sustainable design , urban oasis Amsterdam

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Rehabilitated Shipyard Reuses Old Boats as Shops and Offices in Amsterdam

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