Simba Snoozeliner night bus will let passengers sleep on their way home

December 15, 2017 by  
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We doze off on public transportation 27 times a year, according to James Cox, CEO of the UK -based sleep brand Simba . So they came up with a more comfortable alternative: the Simba Snoozeliner, a bus with 14 sleep pods outfitted with Simba mattresses, noise-canceling headphones, and liver-cleansing milk thistle. A steward would even be on hand to wake people up at their stop. Shift workers or late night partiers could hitch a ride and take a nap on the double decker Simba Snoozeliner, designed in collaboration with Andersson-Wood Architects . Each sleeping pod on the night bus would be equipped with a Simba Hybrid Mattress, a duvet and pillow, and eye mask. Travelers could really get cozy after taking off shoes and coats – there’s storage aboard for those, as well as valuables. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel Other amenities seem to be targeted at those who may have had a tad too much alcohol, including free mineral water and revitalizer kits with milk thistle and vitamin C. Scent infusions aimed at inducing sleep or busting hangovers are also available in each booth, and travelers can buy smoothies or coffee. Living walls with peace lilies, Boston ferns, and snake plants inside the bus will also lend to a tranquil atmosphere. All this might sound like a dream come true, but Timeout London pointed out a few downsides: for one, there might not really be enough time between embarking and disembarking for travelers to really get a good sleep. They also wonder what would stop the Snoozeliner from becoming a big party bus. Simba pointed out in their press release many people are nervous about riding on public transportation at night: three in five worry about encountering antisocial or drunken behavior, and two in five are afraid they’ll be the victim of a crime. There’s the question of if the buses will ever really hit the roads at all. Cox said in the statement, “We know that there will be lots of red tape to wade through, but are looking forward to firming up meetings with local authorities in the New Year.” Simba aims to launch their service in fall of next year, offering trips starting at £8.50, or around $11, and want the buses to run on eight routes in four cities across the UK. + Simba + Andersson-Wood Architects Images courtesy of Simba

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Simba Snoozeliner night bus will let passengers sleep on their way home

Minimalist Revugia retreat is nestled amidst Germany’s Black Forest

December 15, 2017 by  
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Revugia is new wilderness retreat designed for Germany’s Black Forest and Harz Mountains. It consists of a series of beautiful cabins and treehouses designed to have minimal impact upon the environment. Designed by architect Matthias Arndt, founder of lichtecht , for German developer TIDEVAND Bau , the resort will be built using wood, natural stone and glass. The Revugia resort will offer 50 suites in the main building and over 30 additional lodgings spread throughout the forest. Its architectural style champions simplicity and minimalist forms so as not to draw attention away from nature. Related: Inflatable spiky pinecone-shaped roofs top this forest resort in Latvia Revugia will offer spaces for recreation as well as venues for corporate events, meetings, presentations and seminars. It is expected to break ground in the second half of 2018, and is slated to open near the end of 2019. + Lichtecht + TIDEVAND Bau Via Fubiz Images by lichtecht

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Minimalist Revugia retreat is nestled amidst Germany’s Black Forest

Retractable solar sails to help power "world’s most eco-friendly cruise ship"

December 15, 2017 by  
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Peace Boat has been sailing the world since 1983, laboring to build a culture of peace through education. Now they have unveiled a new Ecoship , designed by Oliver Design , that could take to the seas in 2020. A closed-loop water system, whale-inspired hydrodynamic hull, and retractable solar sails are among the features that make this vessel, according to Oliver Design , the “world’s most eco-friendly cruise ship .” Cruise ships aren’t typically known for sustainability . The average ship generates around 80,000 liters of sewage every day, and with outdated filter systems, minimally-treated sewage is often dumped into the water. Japan-based Peace Boat set out to create an alternative: an energy efficient , nature-inspired vessel that obtains some power from 10 retractable wind generators and 10 retractable photovoltaic sails. Their goal is zero discharge and almost zero waste operations with a closed waste loop and closed water loop. Related: Norwegian billionaire funds world’s largest yacht to scoop up plastic Spain-based Oliver Design came up with plans for the 60,000 metric ton ocean liner that can fit 2,000 passengers. A plant kingdom aboard will span five decks, absorbing surplus water and capturing carbon dioxide, with organic onboard waste serving as compost. Vertical farms will produce vegetables for voyagers to eat. The Ecoship should see an around 40 percent carbon dioxide reduction compared with a typical cruise ship built before 2000, and around 30 percent against current designs. There will be kinetic floors and 750 kilowatts of solar power generation on the vessel. The ship’s hybrid engine can also obtain power from liquefied natural gas or diesel. The liner should see a 20 percent cut of propulsion energy and 50 percent cuts on electricity load, according to Ecoship . The vessel will host Peace Boat’s educational journeys, but will also serve as a floating laboratory committed to research on the ocean , climate , and green technologies. It’s set to be delivered in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. + Peace Boat + Ecoship + Oliver Design Via Oliver Design and Ecoship Images via Oliver Design and Ecoship

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Retractable solar sails to help power "world’s most eco-friendly cruise ship"

Millions of insect species will go extinct before we even discover them

December 14, 2017 by  
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Only 200 years ago did humans begin to systematically categorize the species, and within that relatively small stretch, we’ve recorded about 2 million species of plants, animals, fungi. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. By some estimates, we still have another 2 million to uncover, and by others, there are upwards of 100 million left to be classified. However, with deforestation, sprawl, and, above all, climate change putting the planet in jeopardy, scientists believe millions of species will die off before we will even encounter them. And the implications of this are far-reaching. For several decades, scientists have warned that we are headed into, or may even be experiencing, the sixth mass extinction . As The Guardian notes , there have been five other instances like this in the past, including the end-Cretaceous extinction, which led to the demise of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. However, to know for certain if we’re amidst doom and gloom, scientists need to determine the rate at which species are disappearing, and when human activity is factored in, how by how much this rate increases. Related: Plummeting insect population signals potential “ecological Armageddon” Previous studies have deemed humans to indeed be major drivers, possibly causing animal species to go extinct “up to 100 times” faster because of human activity, as one  team of American and Mexican scientists  found. However, Terry Erwin, a world-renowned tropical entomologist, says that the data that has historically been used in these studies is wholly incomplete and “biased towards a very small portion of biodiversity.” Rather, if scientists want an accurate picture of existing conditions, they need to look beyond vertebrates to invertebrates like worms, snails, spiders, octopuses, and most importantly insects, which account for about 70 percent of the Earth’s living creatures. Indeed, only one in 200 of all known species is a mammal. With that said, to determine the true rate of extinction of species on Earth, you need to determine the scale of the insect kingdom—and this is the biggest challenge. While the scope of the insect population is still being explored, The Guardian does cite a “breakthrough” that’s offered some insight into what we’re dealing with. In 1982, Erwin headed to a rainforest in Panama with the goal of determining how many species of insect lived on average across one acre of forest. He chose one tree, which he draped in sheeting and used blasts of insecticide to fog the bugs out. Over several hours, as the insects evacuated the tree onto the sheeting, Erwin was able to collect 1,200 species of bugs, of which he later determined more than 100 of which were exclusive to that one tree. From those findings, he averaged that there are about 41,000 different species per hectare of rainforest, and in turn 30 million species worldwide. The estimates, however, he now deems conservative and suspects the number could actually be between 80 and 200 million, but adds that tens of thousands of them are probably disappearing annually without us even knowing. Of no surprise, climate change is being pinned as the fundamental driver of the great insect die off. Scientists have even noticed drops in the virgin forests of Ecuador and places where insecticides aren’t being used and humans have not cut down a single tree. As the Guardian writes, based on data collected, Erwin and his collaborators have found that the Amazon rainforest has been slowly dying out over the last 35 years. “[If the forest goes out] everything that lives in it will be affected,” he told the site. The disappearance of insect life on Earth would surely mean the end of all life on Earth. Insects are responsible for the planet’s course of evolution from flowering plants to food chains and are key to keeping those systems functioning. As EO Wilson, a celebrated Harvard entomologist, and inventor of sociobiology, tells The Guardian, humanity would last all of a few months without insects and other land-based arthropods. “After that, most of the amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals would go, along with the flowering plants. The planet would become an immense compost heap, covered in shoals of carcasses and dead trees that refused to rot. Briefly, fungi would bloom in untold numbers. Then, they too would die off. The Earth would revert to what it was like in the Silurian period, 440m years ago, when life was just beginning to colonise the soil – a spongy, silent place, filled with mosses and liverworts, waiting for the first shrimp brave enough to try its luck on land.” Via The Guardian Images via MaxPixel and Wiki Commons

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Millions of insect species will go extinct before we even discover them

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