Cities in Scotland to start universal basic income trials

December 27, 2017 by  
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Select residents of  Glasgow , Edinburgh, Fife, and North Ayrshire will soon begin receiving unconditional monthly payments as part of a Scottish universal basic income experiment. Universal basic income (UBI) is a policy that offers direct unconditional income for all citizens to ensure that everyone benefits from a basic standard of living. UBI is currently being tested in Scotland, as well as countries like Canada and Finland, and has attracted £250,000 (~$334,500) in public funding for feasibility studies. The selected cities must submit their plans for locally implementing the basic income program by March 2018. Proponents of a basic income claim that it will be necessary to implement UBI in some form in order to compensate for the major economic disruption and potential job losses from increasing automation due to advanced artificial intelligence . While the idea is still controversial, it is being increasingly taken seriously in cities and countries around the world. “It might turn out not to be the answer, it might turn out not to be feasible,” said Scotland ‘s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. “But as work changes as rapidly as it is doing, I think its really important that we are prepared to be open-minded about the different ways that we can support individuals to participate fully in the new economy.” Related: Wind power supplied 124% of household electricity needs in Scotland from January through June Scotland is not alone in its endeavor to understand how UBI might feasibly function. California , the Netherlands, Ontario, India, Italy, and Uganda all took steps in 2017 towards someday being able to implement a UBI system. In California, this work is being supported by companies like Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s largest start-up accelerator. “In a world where technology eliminates jobs, it will mean that the cost of having a great life goes down a lot,” tweeted Sam Altman, president at Y Combinator. “But without something like basic income, I don’t think we can really have equality of opportunity.” Via ScienceAlert Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Cities in Scotland to start universal basic income trials

Historic White House tree to be chopped down

December 27, 2017 by  
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The Jackson Magnolia that has adorned the White House South Lawn since the 1800s is coming down. Brought by President Andrew Jackson from Tennessee, and said to be planted in memory of his wife Rachel who died not too long after his 1828 election, the tree is slated for removal later this week. According to CNN , First Lady Melania Trump made the call as the tree is reportedly too decayed to stay in place. The Jackson Magnolia is the oldest on White House grounds, reported CNN. There have been many efforts to preserve it over the years, such as a cabling system. United States National Arboretum specialists came in at the request of the White House to assess the tree, and CNN obtained documents that said, “The overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support. Without the extensive cabling system, the tree would have fallen years ago. Presently, and very concerning, the cabling system is failing on the east trunk, as a cable has pulled through the very thin layer of wood that remains. It is difficult to predict when and how many more will fail.” Related: Washington DC’s national monuments are getting slimed White House officials fear the tree could fall when President Donald Trump’s helicopter takes off nearby. The First Lady’s director of communications Stephanie Grisham told CNN, “After reviewing the reports, [Mrs. Trump] trusted that every effort had been made to preserve the historic tree and was concerned about the safety of visitors and members of the press who are often standing right in front of the tree during Marine One lifts,” adding the First Lady asked that wood from the Jackson Magnolia be preserved. CNN reported offshoots of the tree have grown to around eight to 10 feet tall at an undisclosed location nearby, and there are plans for a new Jackson Magnolia to be planted in place of the old. Via CNN Images via U.S. Pacific Command and achuertas on Flickr

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Ai Weiwei to build 100 fences in NYC to shed light on immigration issues

March 28, 2017 by  
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As debates over immigration policy and the refugee crisis continue to rage across the United States, Ai Weiwei , the Beijing-born provocateur, has revealed his plans to raise more than 100 wire security fences across New York City. On view from October 12 through February 11, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”  will be a commentary on the barriers, both psychic and physical, that divide us as a people. The multi-site installation, which is expected to span locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, will be one of Ai’s largest public art projects to date. Indeed it’s the most ambitious to be commissioned by the Public Art Fund , which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. “Ai Weiwei transforms an ordinary architectural element into a series of striking installations,” said Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund. “’Good Fences Make Good Neighbors’ invites us to consider the role of the fence in a modern society as well as our own relationship to the object in question: Does this fence serve a purpose? Does it feel imposed or like it belongs? What does it separate me from? What side of the fence am I on? Does it protect me, or do I feel constrained?” Ai’s exhibition takes its name from “Mending Wall,” a poem by Robert Frost about a stone wall that separates the narrator’s property from his neighbor’s. The pieces will appear to grow out of the urban landscape in unexpected contexts, Baume said, including on rooftops, the spaces between buildings, and on bus shelters. Related: Wool art installation repurposed into blankets for Syrian refugees For Ai, who lived in New York for a time, the political is personal. “I was an immigrant in New York in the 1980s for 10 years and the issue with the migration crisis has been a longtime focus of my practice,” Ai said. “The fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbor,’ which are connected to the current global political environment. But what’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same. Some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more.” + Ai Weiwei + Public Art Fund Via the New York Times

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Ai Weiwei to build 100 fences in NYC to shed light on immigration issues

Tesla to start taking solar roof orders in April

March 28, 2017 by  
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk is continuing in his quest to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by announcing via Twitter on Friday that the electric carmaker and clean energy storage company will start taking orders for its solar roof shingles in April. The solar roof shingle product will be offered by Tesla’s SolarCity division. Tesla aquired the solar panel maker last November. Musk’s vision of a Tesla-powered home includes the solar roof turning sunlight into renewable electricity used for immediate use or storage in a Powerwall battery used to charge a Tesla electric vehicle in the garage and provide residential power when the sun sets. The solar tiles integrated into the roof include three layers — the color louver film in the middle that makes the solar tiles invisible from the street level but fully able to take advantage of the sun from above; the tempered glass on top that is durable and impact resistant; and of course on the bottom layer the high efficiency solar cell . The glass comes in four tile styles — tuscan glass, slate glass, textured glass and smooth glass. Related: Elon Musk says Tesla’s solar roof will be cheaper than ordinary roofs “The base of the proposition would be, would you like a roof that looks better than the normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less, and by the way, generates electricity?” Musk told investors in November. “It’s like why would you get anything else? Maybe there’s a reason. I’m not sure why.” According to an estimate in Consumer Reports , an installed textured glass tile solar roof should cost around $73,500. However, Consumer Reports added $2,000 a year to the value of the roof from the free electricity generated with solar. Over the 30-year solar roof lifespan, that is a $60,000 value, significantly offsetting the upfront costs. + Tesla Solar Via Greentech Media Images via Tesla

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Tesla to start taking solar roof orders in April

The Tesla Model 3 could feature an ice-melting solar roof

November 3, 2016 by  
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Elon Musk just announced that the already amazing and affordable Tesla Model 3 will feature the same photovoltaic glass technology used in the company’s recently unveiled solar roof system . According to Musk, the technology could be used to create a car roof that defosts ice and melts snow while continuously generating energy from the sun. The CEO dropped some huge hints during a conference call regarding Tesla’s merger with SolarCity, where he also described the creation of a special Tesla glass division. The Model 3 , expected to be released in 2017, is already making waves as the company’s first affordable electric vehicle . The surprising price of $35,000 (before tax incentives) and the estimated 215 mile driving range are enough to consider trading in your gas-guzzler, but the addition of a solar roof is the cherry on top. While Musk did not come right out and say how the new technology would be integrated in the Model 3, his tweets seem to paint a pretty clear picture: “Solar glass tiles can also incorporate heating elements, like rear defroster on a car, to clear roof of snow and keep generating energy.” Related: Tesla, Solar City launch groundbreaking new solar roof product Referring to the ability to incorporate heating elements directly into the glass solar panels, Musk all but gives away the plans for a paneled roof and windshield that can defrost and melt snow efficiently. He also gave reassurance that the system is “strongly net positive ,” so melting away frost consume a minimal amount of energy. The merger between Tesla and SolarCity will not only benefit customers set on powering their homes with renewable energy, but also the everyday driver who wants to cruise around in an affordable, solar-topped EV. + Tesla Via Futurism Images via Tesla

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The Tesla Model 3 could feature an ice-melting solar roof

IKEA announces new Tom Dixon collaboration that could redefine how we use our homes

June 9, 2016 by  
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IKEA just announced a collaboration with designer extraordinaire Tom Dixon that will help redefine how you use your home. Recognizing that people no longer want to use their spaces for one purpose – a living room is no longer just for socializing, a bedroom is no longer just for sleeping – Dixon is taking cues from an IKEA classic to bring us something completely new. The company is also collaborating with HAY to redesign the iconic blue bag and on a few furniture pieces for the home. Dixon’s design is still “top secret” according to the designer. But he did reveal that it would be a piece that would be comfortable and could be used in multiple ways every day. Dixon said he looked at the KLIPPAN sofa and noted that it, like most sofas today, is made using crude manufacturing methods involving staples and “ugly” bits of wood. He wants to challenge that. He said the new piece will be stripped back to the platform and will feature a few designs based on that basic piece. The new piece will feature aluminum, and Dixon revealed a piece of that platform – made right in Sweden – will be used on a bed, which Dixon says everyone needs, whether they are “in prison, or in hospital… or on their deathbed.” But when you don’t need a bed, the piece could be transformed into a sofa. It will comprise a completely new way of constructing comfort and could conceivably be one of the few pieces of furniture you would need to have in your home. Related: IKEA launches indoor garden that can grow food all year-round Dixon hopes the piece could replace KLIPPAN altogether and last for generations. He likened the concept to his own sort of IKEA hack – taking something that already exists and turning it into something new. Dixon says that he wanted to call the piece “Tom,” but IKEA has other plans, of course. IKEA also announced a collaboration with Danish designers HAY , which revealed a new design for the iconic blue and yellow IKEA bag at Democratic Design Days 2016. This is the first time the well-known bag is getting a facelift. HAY also plans to create a few additional pieces that build on IKEA’s sustainability. Both collections will launch in 2017. Images via Kristine Lofgren for Inhabitat and IKEA

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Google isn’t ‘feeling lucky’ after Mountain View city council chokes HQ plans

May 6, 2015 by  
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We sort of thought that  Google  was well on their way to owning the world, but it seems that isn’t really the case, especially in Mountain View, California, where plans for a sprawling green headquarters campus have been dashed by a few newly-appointed city council members. In a vote earlier this week , the council considered construction requests from Google and LinkedIn (among others) and—in news of the “whoah”—LinkedIn won. Google already has rights to about 700,000 square feet of land in the area in question, located just north of Highway 101, and had requested an additional 2.5 million square feet of land across four sites. Interestingly, Google’s initial ask was more than the city had to divvy up in the first place. The council members had only 2.2 million square feet of land to dole out, so it was clear at the outset that someone wouldn’t get their way. The Tuesday evening vote awarded LinkedIn with 1.45 million square feet of the requested 1.6 million, while poor Google was granted only 515,000 square feet —a mere crumb compared to their lofty plans. With this news, the hot shot design team Heatherwick Studios  and Bjarke Ingels Group  (BIG) will have to make serious cuts to their original design, which included an enormous greenhouse and an indoor cycling track, among other sprawling luxuries. Unless someone can convince the folks at LinkedIn to turn tail, it looks like Google may have to get used to not being the biggest dog in the fight. Learn more about the original plan for Google’s sprawling campus here , and stay tuned for details as the plans are updated to reflect the much smaller footprint. Via Forbes Images via Google Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: big , Bjarke Ingels Group , Google , google headquarters , google HQ , google hq design , google hq plans , google mountain view , Heatherwick , heatherwick studios , new google hq , thomas heatherwick

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Hager Partner and nps tchoban voss collaborate to design a green-roofed rec center near Berlin

March 25, 2015 by  
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The city swimming baths at Nauen, a town just west of Berlin, will be transformed by a new green-roofed entrance building and recreation park designed by nps tchoban voss  in collaboration with Landscape Architects Hager Partner . The prize-winning design comprised of two flowing structures joined by an insulated living roof will update the old baths and allow year-round use of the site. Keep reading after the jump to check out the plans. Read the rest of Hager Partner and nps tchoban voss collaborate to design a green-roofed rec center near Berlin Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Architecture , berlin , Eco Architecture , german architecture , german green building , germany , Green Building , green design , green roof , green roof germany , hager partner , new berlin architecture , nps tchoban voss , public swimming pool germany , swimming pool architecture

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Hager Partner and nps tchoban voss collaborate to design a green-roofed rec center near Berlin

VIDEO: Google’s new California headquarters is a greenhouse utopia by BIG and Heatherwick

February 27, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Earlier in the week, we brought you news that Heatherwick Studio and BIG are collaborating on the design of Google’s new Mountain View campus . And now, Google has just published a video in which the two architecture stars discuss their plans for the upcoming Googleplex, and give a sneak peek at renderings for and models of what looks to be a stunning biosphere-filled utopia for the Silicon Valley giant. Read the rest of VIDEO: Google’s new California headquarters is a greenhouse utopia by BIG and Heatherwick Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: big , biosphere , bjarke ingels , California , campus , Google , googleplex , green design , greenhouses , Heatherwick Studio , silicon valley , sustainable design , thomas heatherwick

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U.S. considers allowing hunter to kill nearly extinct black rhino

December 23, 2014 by  
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“Killing it to save it” seems to be the misguided logic a Texas man is using to justify his plans to hunt a Black Rhino in Namibia. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is evaluating the hunter’s application for a permit to import the carcass of an endangered black rhino back into the U.S. Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 for the right to kill a black rhino from the Dallas Safari Club , according to The Guardian . Knowlton told WFAA “I’m a hunter… I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino. If I go over there and shoot it or not shoot it, it’s beyond the point.” Read the rest of U.S. considers allowing hunter to kill nearly extinct black rhino Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: animal conservation , animal ethics , animal extinction , black rhino , critically endangered animals , endangered animals , extinct animals

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