‘Acoustic lighthouses’ could warn birds about wind turbines

March 14, 2018 by  
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Birds and humans don’t always co-exist peacefully — each year millions of the small animals fly into buildings, wind turbines , cell towers, and even planes. William & Mary behavioral biologist John Swaddle is working to translate understanding of bird behavior into technology that could hopefully save their lives, including an Acoustic Lighthouse that would guide birds around man-made structures. Here’s how an acoustic lighthouse might work: a directional speaker mounted on a structure like a wind turbine would project a sound warning birds. While flying, birds align their bodies on a horizontal plane for ideal aerodynamics, according to Swaddle . And as their eyes are on the sides of their heads, they’re looking down, not where they’re flying. The sound would essentially prompt them to slow down, and when slowing down, birds lower their tail feathers, moving their bodies “from the horizontal plane to a more vertical position,” according to William & Mary, so they can see the structure and soar around it. Swaddle said, “It’s a bit like someone texting while they’re driving. If you honk your horn at them, they’ll look up.” Related: Painting Wind Turbines Black Could Prevent Thousands of Bird Deaths Every Year “The fundamental knowledge of how birds behave and respond to sound helps us derive these new technologies and solutions,” said Swaddle. He’s also developed a concept called Sonic Nets, intended to disrupt gatherings of birds in places like airports, parking lots, or crop fields. Swaddle recently spoke at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting on reducing strike risk between birds and wind turbines and airplanes , and protecting crops, through an understanding of bird behavior. The journal Integrative and Comparative Biology published a paper written by Swaddle and former William & Mary graduate student Nicole Ingrassia on the acoustic lighthouse concept in 2017. + William & Mary Via Science Magazine Images via DepositPhotos , William & Mary video screengrab

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‘Acoustic lighthouses’ could warn birds about wind turbines

This hand-built island is the start of Copenhagens parkipelago of floating public spaces

March 14, 2018 by  
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A tiny wooden island floating in Copenhagen harbor is bringing life and interest back to the city’s waters. Australian architect Marshall Blecher and Magnus Maarbjerg of Danish design studio Fokstrot designed CPH-Ø1, an experimental floating island park buoyed by recycled plastic bottles that could bring about more floating public spaces all along the city’s waters. Created as a prototype for the Copenhagen Islands project, the 215-square-foot timber island is punctuated by a single linden tree and is temporarily located in Sluseløbet. Launched last year with support by Kulturhavn365, CPH-Ø1 first served as a resting area for adventurous Copenhageners who are invited to moor alongside the island by boat or kayak. The public space also doubles as a small events venue and, according to Dezeen , will host a lecture series next month about the future of harbor cities. CPH-Ø1 was constructed by hand in Copenhagen’s boat building yards using traditional wooden boat building techniques with locally and sustainably sourced materials. Related: Copper-clad Copenhagen landmark boasts Denmark’s most energy-efficient laboratories CPH-Ø1 is the first in what the designers hope will be a ‘parkipelago’ of nine islands that offer creative public spaces in the harbor, particularly in forgotten and unused areas. Future iterations may include a floating sauna island, floating mussel farms, floating gardens, and even a floating sail-in cafe—all of which will be open to the public. The islands can be connected together or float separately. + Copenhagen Islands Via Dezeen Images via Fokstrot

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This hand-built island is the start of Copenhagens parkipelago of floating public spaces

3 Luxe Products for Safe, Sound Sleep

March 12, 2018 by  
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Sleep: It’s joyful. It’s relaxing. It’s essential. It’s a struggle … The post 3 Luxe Products for Safe, Sound Sleep appeared first on Earth911.com.

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3 Luxe Products for Safe, Sound Sleep

This kinetic installation uses sound to visualize the worlds CO2 emissions

February 7, 2018 by  
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The CarbonScape installation by Chinese artist Chris Cheung (aka h0nh1m) , mimics the sounds of jet engines, ship horns, steam, chimneys, and other carbon emitters, blending them together into an immersive soundscape .  The sounds are visualized by a bamboo forest-like field of tubes and black ‘carbon’ balls. The result is a piece of art that speaks to the effects of fossil fuel use and industrialization on our planet. The kinetic soundscape installation consists of 18 tracks of synthesized sound samples. The artist collected these noises from the sound sources where a  carbon footprint is left, for example, the sound from the jet engine, steam from a factory or the horn of the ship. These tracks are blended into a unified soundscape. As the sounds are emitted, black balls rise and fall to represent the carbon in a particular part of the planet. Related: Amazing Hive comes alive with sights and sounds in Washington, D.C. CarbonScape uses data acquired from the NOAA ( National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ) to help bring the visualization to life. According to their findings, in 2017 the concentration of CO2 soared to its highest of the past three million years. The data show that this increase can be largely attributed to industrialization and the use of fossil fuels . + h0nh1m ? CarbonScape (PV) from h0nh1m on Vimeo .

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This kinetic installation uses sound to visualize the worlds CO2 emissions

Australian researchers store light as sound for the first time

September 18, 2017 by  
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Photonic computers could run 20 times quicker than today’s laptops if microchips could process data in speedy photons. Now, they might be able to. For the very first time, researchers from two Australian universities have found a way to store light waves as sound waves in a microchip – a breakthrough that brings us closer to the super-fast computers of the future. Light-based computers could revolutionize computing. They won’t generate heat , or use as much energy as today’s computers. Light-based information sent across cables today is converted into electrons, which are slow, but storing light waves as sound waves allows the information, which computer chips can still read, to travel more quickly. Normally, light would pass through a microchip in two to three nanoseconds, but when it’s stored as sound, it can remain on a chip for an additional 10 nanoseconds, allowing data to be processed. Related: Newly discovered form of spiralized light breaks everything quantum physics says about photons The animation above breaks down the process. Photonic data enters the microchip as a yellow light pulse, and interacts with what’s called a write pulse that’s blue. That generates an acoustic wave where the data is stored. Then, another light pulse, called the read pulse, accesses the data stored in the acoustic wave and transmits it as light. Project supervisor Birgit Stiller of the University of Sydney said in a statement, “The information in our chip in acoustic form travels at a velocity five orders of magnitude slower than in the optical domain. It is like the difference between thunder and lightning.” Their system also works on a broad bandwidth, so Stiller said they can store and retrieve information at different wavelengths at the same time. The journal Nature Communications published the research online today. Two researchers from Australian National University joined three from the University of Sydney for the study. Via ScienceAlert and Phys.org Images via PublicDomainPictures.net and Louise Connor/University of Sydney

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Australian researchers store light as sound for the first time

New study shows a 1-in-20 chance climate change will cause a complete societal collapse

September 18, 2017 by  
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Most of the world’s human population, and the health of ecosystems across the planet, could face an existential threat by the end of the century if rapid, forceful action is not taken to combat climate change . According to a new study published in  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , there is now a 1-in-20 chance that climate change will cause an “existential/unknown” warming effect, defined in the study as a global temperature rise of 5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, that would have a devastating impact on humanity while wiping out 20 percent of life on Earth. Even as climate change is apparent in the present, its worst impacts will be felt by future generations. “To put in perspective, how many of us would choose to buckle our grandchildren to an airplane seat if we knew there was as much as a 1 in 20 chance of the plane crashing?” said co-author Veerabhadran Ramanathan of University of California San Diego. “With climate change that can pose existential threats, we have already put them in that plane.” In addition to the 5 percent chance of complete societal, and perhaps species, collapse, the scientists estimate that, if action is not taken, there is a 50 percent chance of a 4 degree temperature rise by 2100, far surpassing the 2 degree goal set by the Paris accord. Related: Caltech scientists speed up carbon sequestration process by 500 times The study is not all doom and gloom. The scientists describe several actions that can and must be taken, including achieving peak global emissions by 2020 and carbon neutrality by 2050, ending the use of short-term climate pollutants like hydrofluorocarbons , and removing carbon and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through sequestration , reforestation and other methods. The study was utilized by 33 policy and science experts in crafting a related report which further details actions that can be taken now. Whether the advice will be taken remains to be seen. Via Scientific American Images via Christopher Michel and Ian D. Keating

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New study shows a 1-in-20 chance climate change will cause a complete societal collapse

Blind "bird man" of Uruguay recognizes 3000 unique bird songs

June 13, 2016 by  
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In the warmer seasons and biomes of the Earth, birds envelop the sonic landscape with uniquely composed songs and calls that identify the species present, even if unseen. Bioacoustics and ornithological expert Juan Pablo Culasso has so refined his ability to recognize these sounds that he is now able to differentiate between 720 species of birds by ear. 29-year-old Culasso was born blind, though able to sense changes in light, and has always relied on his ears to explore the world around him. Culasso also possesses the rare gift of absolute, or perfect, pitch, which enables him to identify a particular note simply by hearing it. Through his unique abilities, Culasso can identify over 3,000 unique bird sounds. Perfect pitch is less about the ear than it is about the brain’s capacity for identification and interpretation. “It’s not that these people hear more, they hear the same as anyone else,” says Alicia Munyo, head of the phonology department at Republica University in Montevideo, Uruguay. “It’s that their brain has a great capacity to interpret sounds and their nuances, much more than normal people do.” Culasso recalls his perfect pitch in childhood, in which he could identify the musical note for sounds made by stones tossed into the water. His father introduced his young son to the world of birds by reading aloud encyclopedia articles that were accompanied by audio cassettes of bird sounds. Related: Shocking study reveals 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic Culasso, encouraged by field work with an ornithologist, began recording bird sounds as a teenager. “At that moment, I felt as if I had been doing this forever without knowing it. I fell in love with that task,” he says. Culasso has used his skills to produce nature documentaries, assist scientific studies, and in 2014, was granted a $45,000 prize from Nat Geo TV. Most of this money was invested in audio equipment, so that Culasso can better complete his work. He also recently completed a two month expedition in Antarctica. “I keep adding sounds to my list,” he says. “In Antarctica, I recorded sea lions, seals and a melting iceberg.” Via Phys.org Images via Juan Pablo Culasso  and Flickr

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Blind "bird man" of Uruguay recognizes 3000 unique bird songs

Tips for hiding sustainability reporting from interested stakeholders

September 18, 2015 by  
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Don’t miss this sound, serious advice from a sustainability professional on how to be nefarious.

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Tips for hiding sustainability reporting from interested stakeholders

Princeton University Scientists Use a 3D Printer to Create a Bionic Ear

May 3, 2013 by  
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Princeton University scientists have invented a new medical device that would have Ridley Scott nodding in recognition. By using live cells and metal nanoparticles, the researchers were able to use a 3D printer to create a bionic ear with an integrated coil antenna. The fully-functioning organ receives radio waves, and it could potentially improve upon the human body’s sense of hearing. Read the rest of Princeton University Scientists Use a 3D Printer to Create a Bionic Ear Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printer , antenna , bionic ear , cartilage , cells , hearing , michael mcalpine , nano letters , nanoparticles , Princeton university , radio waves , ridley scott , Sound , tissue        

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Princeton University Scientists Use a 3D Printer to Create a Bionic Ear

Top four iPhone speakers that don’t need additional electricity

September 22, 2011 by  
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Pratik Basu: Koostik iPhone Speakers When it comes to iPhone speakers, we mostly prefer electricity-free options. Not only does it excludes the hassles of not having miles of wiring lying messed up on the floor, but it also makes it easy to carry along and be used outdoors. The speaker which does not need additional electricity usually utilizes the iPhone’s speakers and amplifies the sound through unique acoustic designs of the body itself to boost the sound to almost four times the sound offered by the iPhone’s speaker. Many unique designs have come up in the market. Here’s a look at some interesting iPhone speakers that don’t need additional electricity. 1. Phonophone Phonophone iPhone Speakers The Phonophone is a classy looking speaker for the iPhone which resembles an old gramophone. It is more whimsically described as a “Sculptural Audio Console” by its users. Made from ceramic glass, it has a brilliant white finish to it. It is quite a work of art and would stand out as quite the center of attraction. The immaculate shape and structure of the speaker serves its purpose and amplifies the sound coming from the iPhone speakers up to 4x (60 decibels) and offers rich clear sound. However, with the price tag of $450, the Phonophone is an expensive product which makes it less likely to be popular amongst the masses 2. iBamboo iBamboo iphone Speakers The iBamboo speaker is a one foot long length of bamboo which has a slot carved out on it on its top where your iPhone fits in perfectly. This foot long shoot of bamboo is carefully chosen and laser carved and then hand shaped into a desired shape. The bamboo shoot not only looks sleek and pretty but serves a purpose too. When you are playing your music, the sound reverberates through the pipe and gets amplified making it a rich music listening experience unlike no other. The sound coming out from each side creates a stereo effect which is characterized by an airy sound which reminds you holding a shell to your ear. The producers of the iBamboo says that no two products are the same as the different density and texture and shape of the bamboo shoots offer a varied sound quality, which is terrific nonetheless. As far as for all the eco conscious buyers out there, this fits their bill quite well as the iBamboo is easily recyclable. The iBamboo, with a price tag of $25 comes in as a pretty good deal as an inexpensive iPhone speaker. 3. Koostik Koostik iPhone Speakers The Koostik iPhone speaker has a compact look which is made out of a chunk of wood and carved into shape. It comes in many wood choices, namely walnut, cherry or Birdseye maple. Each offers a unique sound. The Koostik speaker utilizes the iPhone’s own speaker and channels out its sound through two hollowed out, hemispherical sound chambers present in the front of the wood carved body. It works just like a hollow body guitar. It acoustically amplifies the sound coming from your iPhone speakers up to four times. The rich acoustic sound makes it perfect for listening to soft mellow music. It is priced at $85. 4. Trumpets-Turned-Speakers Trumpet-turned Speakers iPhone Speakers Christopher Locke is the creator of this one of a kind iPhone speaker system. It’s an ingenious use of salvaged trumpets and machine parts to create a speaker which uses the sound from the iPhone speakers and amplifies it through the trumpet and makes for a wonderful sound texture. The speaker comprises of brass, steel and stainless steel and is a piece of art which makes for a pretty looking showpiece in your home too. The speaker comes for the price of $400.

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Top four iPhone speakers that don’t need additional electricity

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