French Bio Chemist Pierre Calleja discovered that Micro Algae eats CO2 – i.e. car exhaust – and then uses that energy power to create light. This technology was recently tested in a parking lot to clean air – it can capture and filter one ton of CO2 per year – and used the pollution as an energy source to create light. This technology is currently being used to light and filter the air in an underground parking garage, but this would work great in urban areas, and revolutionize cityscapes.
Many books are written on how to put your extroverted self out there to be better, stronger, faster! so it’s great to find a book with a different take on how to help give voice to those on the more introverted side. The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D, is a book that focuses on pointing out the unique thinking patterns and skills that introverts bring to problem solving and life. An introvert is someone who gets their recharge energy from being alone, whereas an extrovert is someone who gets their recharge energy from being out in the excitement with other people. An example might be going to a dinner party: an extrovert will be revved up after all the Continue reading →
This body heat powered flashlight was invented by Canadian 10th grader Ann Makosinski. Using no batteries, electricity, or cranking, just the difference between her warm hand on metal and the colder air flowing through a hollow plastic tube, the heat energy difference (thermoelectric effect) lights up the LED bulbs.
Ms. Makosinski is a finalist this year in the worldwide Google Science Fair. Take a look at her simple and practical flashlight design.
A new business model – Beast Fit Nation – offers free grueling workouts with one catch – you have to promise you’ll do three random acts of kindness after you leave. Local sponsors pay for the gym. If you’re not from Portland, they’ve got free workout videos on their web site, music playlists, sports news, and more for you to enjoy.
On a walk through our neighborhood yesterday, I saw a cute wooden box, and inside it was a little free library of books! If you like little things, and you like to read, you might like the idea of installing a little free library near your house for the neighbors to enjoy.
The mission of the Little Free Library:
To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations
To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world – more than Andrew Carnegie–and then more.
Toymaker, adventurer, and philanthropist Sir Torquil Norman is designing a lightweight flat-pack truck for developing nations (and others interested in simple, easily repairable truck design). Manufactured by UK-based Global Vehicle Trust (a charitable subsidiary of Mr. Norman’s), most of the truck’s panels are interchangeable and the parts are quick and easy to repair/replace. They are being designed to use the fewest possible components so they’re quick and easy to ship and build at location as well. The truck can motor through up to 30 inches of water, has good stability, runs on diesel, and the engine can also be used for pumping water, sawing wood, or running a generator. Sounds like a workhorse for farms, too. See this Gizmag article for further information.
Check out this innovative new product design: The Window Socket– just attach the solar conversion plug onto a sunny window, and it will harness solar energy. A small converter converts sunshine into electricity you can carry with you, and can freely use as a plug when you’re in the car, on a plane, outside, camping, etc. It’s like having an electric socket in your pocket! Check out detailed information here.
Teaching and learning from each other has never been easier. Skillshare is a global marketplace for classes, where you can learn real-world skills from anyone, anywhere. Skillshare powers thousands of creative, collaborative classes on everything from programming to design to crafts.
A team of scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University have developed a material known as Multi-use Dioxide. Research shows it can be used to produce hydrogen and clean waste from wastewater, double the lifespan of batteries, create antibacterial wound dressings, and more. Plus it’s a low cost alternative to Platinum. Here’s a quote from Professor Sun from the article at the NTU website: “While there is no single silver bullet to solving two of the world’s biggest challenges: cheap renewable energy and an abundant supply of clean water; our single multi-use membrane comes close, with its titanium dioxide nanoparticles being a key catalyst in discovering such solutions. With our unique nanomaterial, we hope to be able to help convert today’s waste into tomorrow’s resources, such as clean water and energy.”
A new invention water heater system will improve hot water heating efficiency by using cold water. It works similar to a heat pump, but instead of using the air temperature difference, it uses the water temperature difference of fresh cold tap water. Inventor Hal Slater and a research team from the University of California tested prototypes in three home areas with different temperatures of cold tap water: a coastal home, a mountain home and a desert home, then compared the performance of the monitored machines for a year. They found the warmer the outside temperature, the more efficient the heat to extract. When the inside and outside water and temperature were similar, the system basically reverts to an electric water heater.
Test results showed an improvement in water heating efficiency by as much as 50% over leading heat pumps, and believe that with a few tweaks efficiency could be increased by 100% – as efficient as the best solar water heaters, but without a solar panel.
Maybe you’re looking for a new job. Maybe you’ve been out of the work force awhile and aren’t sure how your skills might transfer to today’s workforce. If so, the site My Skills My Future might be a fun little foray into seeing possibilities. You just type in a current or past job title, and then push the Find My Career Matches button. You can search by zip code, state, etc. to narrow down your job search. I sent the site link to a few of my friends, and then thought I should post it here as well. Even if you’re happy in your job, it’s fun to see what other jobs are available in your skill set…it might remind you of how valuable you really are. The U.S. Department of labor sponsors the site, which probably explains why the jobs are for the most part good paying and provide benefits.
Inventor Peter Dearman of London has invented a car that is powered by liquid air: no gas, no batteries. He says the technology has been around for a while, and that since we’re running out of fossil fuel, it’s time to offer a non-toxic solution. It won’t produce any emissions because it’s only air – just using heat from the atmosphere and liquid air. An engineering company in Europe is creating a state-of-the-art version of Inventor Dearman’s prototype car later this year.
Liquid air can be used for more then powering cars. It is currently being used on the outskirts of London in a power plant storing wind energy at night to be used during the day to power local houses. The United States has more than $100 billion earmarked for investment in energy storage over the next 10 years, so this technology could be coming to a town near you.
When asked why he has spent 40 years inventing various technologies that he hopes will help save the planet, Dearman shrugged and said “Why not?’
What if your light switch could also hold your keys, mail, bags, or hat? Wouldn’t it be great to not always be searching for your keys, and to know where you put your mail (and not have it get buried under all the junk on your kitchen table?) Product designer Justin Porcano took a look at the basic light switch – something we all have in every room with wall holes already drilled – and came up with something better: Walhub. Take a look at the video here.
Breathtakingly beautiful pictures, along with inspiring words including: “Today is not just ‘another day’ – it’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.”
This video explains in detail How To Have a Good Day. Watch and enjoy.
When we were kids we lived in a rural area where my dad used to take regular dump runs to throw out our trash. We kids sometimes would go along for the ride and help dad toss stuff from the back of the truck into the heaping pile of steaming garbage, and occasionally drag new junk home in it’s place (much to mom’s disapproval). Well, the Freecycle Network is a present day version of dump recycling – except it’s much cleaner and you dig through a computer site instead of a junk pile. The Freecycle Network is a world-wide phenomenon where people give away stuff – stuff they don’t need/want/use, or they otherwise might throw away – and other people who want it come pick it up. This recycling allows less Continue reading →
The city of Lima Peru doesn’t get much rainfall, but they can get humidity as high as 98%. The University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) has partnered with advertising agency Mayo-Draft FCB to create a novel way for residents to not only get unpolluted drinking water (their local wells are often polluted), but also to show prospective students that they could make the world a better place by becoming an engineer. The billboard catches humidity in the air and turns it into filtered drinking water, and is capable of producing 96 liters (over 25 gallons) of water every day for the locals or travelers needing a drink. This video outlines the project:
Went to a meet-up for intuitive-based-personalities this past Thursday, and it was GREAT! The talk was on practical tools for dream building using intellectual and spiritual platforms. We also listened to a pre-recorded talk by Dr. Joe Dispenza discussing the science behind ones thoughts creating ones life.
The meet-up organizers Michael and Jennifer suggested a free personality test at Human Metrics that is similar to the Meyers-Briggs test. I’m an INFJ. If you’ve never taken this little quiz, it might help answer some questions for you, pinpoint your strengths, as well as help you not beat yourself up about what you perceive as your weaknesses.
You’ve heard about 3D printing, right? It’s not just for industry anymore. Anyone can now design and print their own custom items. If you have an idea for a new product, Shapeways 3D Printing lets you model your design with their software, upload it to their site, choose the materials you want your item to be made of and what price you’d like to sell it for. Then Shapeways will SELL your item for you on their site, and you’ll get a cut from the sale. How cool is that? Check out the site to see examples.
Low tech farming in India is far outpacing GMO and pesticide intensive farming. The super yields are from a growing method called System of Rice (or root) Intensification (SRI). This method has also dramatically increased yields of wheat, potatoes, sugar cane, yams, tomatoes, garlic, and many other crops, and is considered one of the most significant developments of the past 50 years for the world’s millions of small-scale farmers and the two billion people who depend on them.
Nobel prize-winning economist Jospeh Stilglitz visited the area in India using this system and was amazed, saying “If any scientist or a company came up with a technology that almost guaranteed a 50% increase in yields at no extra cost Continue reading →
Voice Talent and co-owner of the Hughes/Taylor audio production company.
Encouraging thought leaders (those with innovative and sometimes odd, simple, practical ideas) through Better Ideas Now.
Creating Free fashion, frugal fun through Swap Positive.