Innovative retractable glass roof can convert a mall into an outdoor space at the touch of a button

July 11, 2017 by  
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Large complexes such as shopping centers, hotels, conference centers aren’t exactly known for their energy-efficient design , but it doesn’t have to be that way. Working under the motto of “indoor comfort, outdoor freedom,” Turkish company Libart has created an innovative retractable ceiling system helps large spaces conserve energy use by letting in natural light and air circulation during good weather and shutting out the harsh weather – essentially converting the complex into an outdoor space at the touch of a button. Large shopping malls and retail complexes have typically been dark, cave-like spaces that don’t allow for much natural light. Libart’s flexible architectural system changes that by bringing natural elements into virtully any space, or according to the company. Large glass panels flood the interior with natural light and illuminate the space naturally, drastically reducing the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning. Perfect for a variety of uses, the attractive sliding glass structures can cover the interior during inclement weather or completely open to enjoy sunny days. Related: Sliding Walls Transform This Tokyo House Into an Office The retractable glass ceiling, referred to as “modern architecture in motion”, is a clean, minimalist structure that enhances almost any interior space, large or small. Custom made, the glass ceiling can be used for any number of buildings, from shopping centers and luxury hotels to industrial warehouses and conference centers. + Libart Images via Libart

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Innovative retractable glass roof can convert a mall into an outdoor space at the touch of a button

The Hatchery announces new $30M food incubator for ‘global culinary capital’

July 11, 2017 by  
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A food incubator planned for Chicago’s East Garfield Park could provide much-needed economic growth for a struggling community. Nearly 40 percent of households there live below the poverty level, according to the Chicago Tribune . But the $30 million facility, being built by The Hatchery , could create 150 jobs in its first year, and in five years offer 900 jobs. The organization expects to break ground on the facility later this year. The Hatchery is a non-profit food business incubator started by three Chicago organizations: Accion Chicago , IFF , and Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago . They offer financing, production space, and other resources for startup food businesses, and the new $30 million facility could help them assist even more people in the community. Related: Rooftop wheat fields elevate Chicago’s urban farming scene to exciting new heights 75 to 100 entrepreneurs will be able to start their businesses in The Hatchery’s planned space, which will be around 65,000 square feet. The City of Chicago is providing around $8 million for the venture, largely through tax increment financing, and large food companies like Kellogg Company and Conagra Foods have also pitched in undisclosed amounts. Shared kitchen spaces will help businesses get on their feet, and as they grow they’ll be able to rent one of the 56 private production spaces. Event spaces, meeting rooms, and food storage will also be found inside The Hatchery, where entrepreneurs will be able to receive coaching and training. Accion Chicago will relocate their headquarters to the new facility. Locals will be able to obtain job training or go to food classes there. The space will also host a neighborhood market. Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the project in a press release, saying, “Chicago is the global culinary capital and The Hatchery will give our local entrepreneurs access to food and beverage companies that operate across the world.” Construction is slated to begin in October or November of this year, and the space could open in 2018. + The Hatchery Chicago Via the Chicago Tribune Images via The Hatchery Chicago Twitter and The Hatchery Chicago Facebook

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Germany generated 35% of its electricity with renewables in first half of 2017

July 11, 2017 by  
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Good news! In the first half of 2017, Germany derived 35.1 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources , according to the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE). In a press release , the country’s trade body announced that Germany has successfully met its 2020 target for “share of gross electricity consumption.” It helped that from April 30 to May 1, the country generated 85 percent of its energy needs using renewable wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power. Germany has steadily increased its production of clean electricity over the past few years. In the first half of 2015, for instance, the country generated 32.7 percent of its energy needs from renewables , and 32.7 percent in the first half of 2016. Though the new record is positive news , progress in other sectors has been slow, specifically in the transportation and heating sectors. Said Haraold Uphoff, the acting director of BEE, “The power generation in Germany is progressing far too slowly.” Fortunately, the country is well on its way to producing 45 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2040, and 60 percent by 2050. The report details a jump in offshore wind energy in the first half of 2017. As Clean Technica reports, onshore wind energy grew “from 34.08 TWh in the first half of 2015, to 34.71 TWh a year later, but jumping to 39.75 TWh in the first half of this year. Offshore wind also jumped, from only 2.15 TWh in the first half of 2015 to 8.48 TWh this year.” Solar PV, as well, has seen incremental increases in growth. In 2015, output has increased from 19.50 Two in 2015 to 21.74 in the first half of 2017. Related: Germany, Denmark, and Belgium to boost offshore wind 5-fold within the next decade Time and again, Germany has proven its commitment to bettering the environment by taking action to meet goals outlined at the Paris Climate Change Conference . Their most recent effort includes signing a joint statement on climate cooperation with California earlier this month. The agreement was a “reaffirmation of joint ties” between the two to continue working on the persistent issue of global warming. Via Clean Technica Images via Pixabay

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Germany generated 35% of its electricity with renewables in first half of 2017

Pence vows America will put boots on the face of Mars in near future

July 7, 2017 by  
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During a speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, Vice President Pence made a bold promise that in the near future, the United States of America will send astronauts to both the moon and Mars. Now the chair of the National Space Council — which was revived this last Friday – Pence explained that new, ambitious goals will ensure America becomes a leader in space exploration  once again. “Here from this bridge to space, our nation will return to the moon and we will put American boots on the face of Mars,” said Pence. He then applauded the space organization’s efforts to make “science fiction ‘science fact.” Pence made sure to pay homage to Donald Trump, as well, who he referred to as a “champion” who will “usher in a new era” of American space leadership. According to CNN , Pence then noted the importance of space exploration for American national security interests. He also reaffirmed President Trump’s desire, which was revealed during his inaugural address in January, for the US to “unlock the mysteries of space.” He said, “I can assure you that under President Donald Trump , American security will be as dominant in the heavens as we are here on Earth.” Plans to reconvene the National Space Council before the end of summer were also shared. Reportedly, the Council will be comprised of many experts who are sourced from government agencies, such as the military , private industries, and academic institutions to enhance the present space policy. Related: NASA unveils 6 prototypical deep space human habitats for Mars and beyond Originally established in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, the National Space Council was discontinued in 1993. One individual pleased with President Trump’s executive order to revive the Council is NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. Said Lightfoot, “The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.” Support from the White House is undoubtedly a positive achievement for the NASA, which already has plans to send humans — specifically teachers, farmers, and engineers — to Mars by 2030. With the revival of the National Space Council and a renewed vigor to investigate the “final frontier,” America may very well become a leader in space exploration. Via CNN Images via  Schriever Air Force Base , Pixabay

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New research shows there may be 10 planets in our solar system

June 23, 2017 by  
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Don’t get your hopes up – scientists aren’t making Pluto a planet again just yet. But the number of possible planets that we haven’t discovered was recently bumped up to two. Last fall researchers published a study on the mysterious Planet Nine , which could explain the unusual tilt of the sun. Now University of Arizona (UA) scientists think they may have found evidence for yet another planetary mass object – and it could be closer than Planet Nine. Planet Nine – which scientists think might be 10 times Earth’s mass – could be lurking out past Pluto’s orbit. But Planet Nine might not be all we’ve missed in our solar system . Kat Volk and Renu Malhotra of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at UA think they’ve found an unknown planet that’s between the mass of Earth and Mars. What gave this potential planet away was the fact it could be controlling the orbital planes of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) – a group of space rocks. Related: New research suggests an unseen 9th planet may be tilting the solar system In the Kuiper Belt, the furthest away of the KBOs don’t orbit the sun with orbital tilts scientists would expect. Instead, they’re tilted away by around eight degrees, suggesting a mysterious something might be warping their orbital planes. Volk, lead author on a study slated for publication in the Astronomical Journal , said in a statement, “The most likely explanation for our results is that there is some unseen mass. According to our calculations, something as massive as Mars would be needed to cause the warp that we measured.” Why haven’t we yet stumbled across this potentially rather large planet? Volk and Malhotra say we haven’t searched the whole sky for distant objects in the solar system – Planet 10 may have been hiding among the densely packed galactic plane. We might catch a glimpse of Planet 10 when the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope – an instrument operated by a consortium including UA – is completed, possibly in 2020. Via Futurism and the University of Arizona Images via Heather Roper/LPL

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Astrophysicist warns asteroid strike is not a matter of if, but when

June 22, 2017 by  
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We humans have done a pretty good job of trashing the Earth all by ourselves, but we don’t often stop to consider external threats – like asteroids . A 1908 asteroid explosion over Tunguska, Siberia ravaged 800 square miles, and Queen’s University Belfast astrophysicist Alan Fitzsimmons said another asteroid collision is simply a matter of time, which could have devastating consequences if we remain unprepared. He said most of us don’t think about asteroids as a threat to our existence. We now remember the day of the 1908 asteroid strike as Asteroid Day . It’s June 30, and Fitzsimmons is joining other experts like physicist Brian Cox and International Space Station astronaut Nicole Stott to call attention to the threat. Fitzsimmons says it’s not a matter of if an asteroid will impact the Earth, but when. He said a strike like the Tunguska one today could demolish a mayor city – and a larger asteroid strike could be even more devastating. Related: NASA rolls out new asteroid detection program to defend Earth from destructive meteors Fitzsimmons said in a statement, “Astronomers find Near-Earth Asteroids every day and most are harmless. But it is still possible the next Tunguska would take us by surprise, and although we are much better at finding larger asteroids, that does us no good if we are not prepared to do something about them.” He said experts have gotten much better about detecting Near-Earth Asteroids, and have found more than 1,800 objects that could be potentially hazardous. But there are more out there – and we need to be prepared. Fitzsimmons is part of a European Research Council-funded project, NEOshield-2, whose mission is to figure out how to deflect the hazardous asteroids. Asteroid Day events will be live streamed here . There will be conversations with space agencies like NASA and a Neil deGrasse Tyson-narrated video series on scientists laboring to protect Earth from asteroids, to name a few. The organization says it will be the first 24-hour live broadcast about space ever. Via Queen’s University Belfast Images via Asteroid Day

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Astrophysicist warns asteroid strike is not a matter of if, but when

132-year-old lobster returned to ocean after living in tank for 20 years

June 22, 2017 by  
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Did you know it’s National Lobster Month? Residents in Hempstead, New York are celebrating the occasion by releasing a captive lobster back into the ocean . Louie the Lobster is 132 years old, but he has spent the last couple of decades living at Peter’s Clam Bar in Long Island . Louie, who could’ve fetched a fair sum at 22 pounds, will get to live out the rest of his life in the wild. Louie lived in a tank at Peter’s Clam Bar for around 20 years. Owner Butch Yamali obtained the lobster when he bought the restaurant four years ago. He says a customer recently tried to purchase Louie for $1,000 for a Father’s Day dinner, but Yamali couldn’t take the money, saying Louie has become like a pet to him. Related: 95-year-old lobster saved from the supermarket gets to live out his days in an aquarium And apparently he’s happy to see Louie find a new home in the sea. Hempstead held a pardoning ceremony for the lobster as he was lowered into his new home in the Atlantic Ocean . In a ceremony for Louie, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino said, “Today I’m announcing an official pardon for Louie the Lobster. Louie may have faced a buttery fate on a seafood lover’s plate, but today we are here to return Louie to a life that is better down where it’s wetter.” While sending animals to the wild from captivity right away isn’t always the best idea, Louie did live in the ocean for over 100 years before he was caught. Lobster Institute executive director Robert Bayer said, “He’ll be just fine. There aren’t many predators who want to eat a big old lobster like that. Hopefully, he finds a mate – and lives happily ever after.” Around a year ago Larry, another incredibly old lobster who’d been living at Peter’s Clam Bar, also found a new home in the ocean. Via TreeHugger and Fox 5 New York Images via Peter’s Clam Bar Facebook

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Scientists may have found evidence for a parallel universe

May 19, 2017 by  
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A parallel universe may not just be a quirk of science fiction anymore; scientists think they may have found evidence for the idea of a universe other than our own. It all has to do with a strange Cold Spot, which researchers haven’t had an easy time explaining; some even suggest it could actually be an optical illusion. But new research reveals something far more bizarre may be going on. NASA first discovered the baffling Cold Spot in 2004. The Cold Spot is 1.8 billion light years across and, as you may have guessed, colder than what surrounds it in the universe. Scientists thought perhaps it was colder because it had 10,000 less galaxies than other regions of similar size. They even thought perhaps the Cold Spot was just a trick of the light. Related: ‘Largest-ever’ new map of universe shows 1.2 million galaxies But now an international team of researchers think perhaps the Cold Spot could actually offer evidence for the concept of a multiverse. The Guardian explains an infinite number of universes make up a multiverse; each having its own reality different from ours. These scientists say they’ve ruled out the last-ditch optical illusion idea. Instead, they think our universe may have collided with another in what News.com.au described as something like a car crash; the impact could have pushed energy away from an area of space to result in the Cold Spot. Physicist Tom Shanks of the University of Durham said in a statement , “We can’t entirely rule out that the Spot is caused by an unlikely fluctuation explained by the standard model. But if that isn’t the answer, then there are more exotic explanations. Perhaps the most exciting of these is that the Cold Spot was caused by a collision between our universe and another bubble universe.” If more research backs up this new idea, “…then the Cold Spot might be taken as the first evidence for the multiverse – and billions of other universes may exist like our own.” Eight scientists from institutions in the United Kingdom, Chile, Spain, and the United States collaborated on a study recently published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society . Via The Independent , News.com.au , and The Guardian Images via Pexels and Pixabay

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Send your loved one’s ashes to space – on one of Elon Musk’s rockets

May 17, 2017 by  
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Sending a deceased family member or loved one’s ashes into space may seem like an impossibly grand gesture, but San Francisco-based Elysium Space makes it possible. They’ve offered interstellar burials for a few years now, but yesterday they announced their Elysium Star II memorial spacecraft will hitch a ride on none other than one of Elon Musk’s rockets. And it costs less than the average cost of a funeral with a price tag of $2,500 . Elysium Space partnered with launch company Spaceflight in November, and yesterday announced ashes will be aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 on Spaceflight’s SSO-A rideshare mission. They’ll blast off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. According to Elysium Space, the memorial spacecraft – their dedicated satellite containing cremated remains – “will be deployed in a Sun-synchronous orbit, ensuring it will pass over every location in the world.” Related: The moon can be your final resting place for just $12,000 A loved one’s ashes are placed in a capsule, which is marked with their initials. The capsules and personal messages are also included in the memorial spacecraft. The satellite containing ashes will voyage among the stars for around two years before reentering the atmosphere and burning up – like a shooting star, according to Elysium Space. For those two years loved ones will be able to track the spacecraft in real time on a free app. 100 participants are booked, according to the company, and among them are United States military veterans and aerospace enthusiasts. CEO Thomas Civeit said in a statement, “We are honored to assist families in achieving their dreams, riding on one of the greatest rockets in the world. The historical launch provides the perfect conditions to make this memorial spaceflight an exceptionally meaningful experience for all participants.” Via CNBC and Elysium Space Images via Good Free Photos and Elysium Space Facebook

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Amber-tinted glass clads Gienckes extraordinary concert hall in Latvia

April 22, 2017 by  
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At the heart of the building lies the Great Hall, a venue that holds up to 1,000 guests for performances by the resident Liepaja Symphony Orchestra or other acts. The space is primed for acoustic perfection and is visually pleasing as well. Sunlight is piped in via sun tubes to give the space a natural glow and the seats’ fabric mimic the variation in hues created by light shining through the amber glass. Related: The world’s first sustainable dance club opens in Rotterdam The hall is also home to the Liepaja Conservatorium, a ballet studio, and an experimental stage. Students and teachers of the arts can also meet and share their imaginative creations in the various instruction and rehearsal rooms available. For the public, a bar and music club attracts those interested in a night on the town and a dose of local culture. It’s no doubt the Great Amber Concert Hall will entertain and inspire for years to come. + Volker Giencke Via Frame Images via Indrikis Sturmanis and Aigars Prusis

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