"It begins with this obvious observation: Whales poop. In fact, they poop mightily."
Over at NPR, Robert Krulwich has an amazing story about people who study whale poop, and what it teaches us about food webs, trophic levels, fecal recycling, and whales pooping themselves into existence.
Bonus: Want another ecological whale tale? Check out the amazing animated tale of what happens to a whale after it dies. Whale Fall: An ecosystem born in death.
(via Krulwich Wonders…)
Taken from the recent report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this fascinating map show regional trends in global climate change. Note that the regional symbols indicate increasing, decreasing, or (when arrows point both directions) more erratic patterns of heat, precipitation, and droughts. In fact, the general trends are clearly toward greater climate volatility.
Source: IPCC WGII AR5 Summary for Policymakers, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, 2014
Paul Higgins: During my initial veterinary degree I did a project on the biomechanics of kangaroo motion and it is amazingly energy efficient and powerful
FESTO: BionicKangaroo - energy-efficient jump kinematics based on a natural model
FESTO guarantees amazement. Every time. Their latest creation is a bionic kangaroo, which copies the unique natural and energy-efficient movements of the marsupial. The balance between the jumps is stunning. Well done. Again.
Actually, they upload their videos instantly on Youtube, but they are taking their time with this one. You can watch a video here on their website. I didn’t want to steal it, so if it is available on youtube, I’ll post it here.
With the BionicKangaroo, Festo has technologically reproduced the unique way a kangaroo moves. Like its natural model, it can recover the energy when jumping, store it and efficiently use it for the next jump.
Technical implementation of a unique form of movement
On the artificial kangaroo, Festo intelligently combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology to produce a highly dynamic system. The stable jump kinematics plus the precise control technology ensure stability when jumping and landing. The consistent lightweight construction facilitates the unique jumping behaviour. The system is controlled by gestures.
Mobile energy supply on board
Festo paid particular attention to the mobile energy supply on the artificial kangaroo. For this purpose, the team even developed two different concepts – one with an integrated compressor and one with a mobile high-pressure storage device.
A quick look at some of the wondrous work in robotics done by Festo.
German engineering firm Festo is creating a robot army. Sounds scary, right? But there’s no need to fear a “Skynet”-type apocalypse quite yet, because these robots want to do good by making laborious tasks easier in the factories of the future. And they’re using nature as their inspiration.
Festo summarizes the motivation behind their research on their website: “Gripping, moving, controlling and measuring – nature performs all of these tasks instinctively, easily and efficiently. What could be more logical than to examine these natural phenomena and learn from them?”
*Always re-blog indescribable Festo inflatables
How Ray-Ban And Oakley Could Bring Google Glass To The Masses
GOOGLE HAS SIGNED A LANDMARK PARTNERSHIP WITH LUXOTTICA, MAKERS OF RAY-BAN AND OAKLEY, TO BRING MORE STYLE CHOICES TO GLASS.
Full Story: FastCodesign
Sand Babel: Solar Powered 3D Printers Building Desert Skyscrapers With Sand
From 3D Print:
Sustainable, green construction in areas where people would never dream about living, is something that 3D printers could one day make possible.
A Chinese team of designers, including Qiu Song, Ren Nuoya, Kang Pengfei, Bai Ying, and Guo Shen designed the Sand Babel Towers, which are a unique concept group of buildings that can be constructed in the desert, with cranes, and 3D printers. The actual design was submitted to eVolo’s 9th Annual Skyscraper Competition, and received an honorable mention. The competition challenged artists, architects, and designers worldwide, to imagine future towers that address a dense, energy and water-scarce world.
|—||Brian Behlendorf, Internet pioneer and board member of several non-profits and for-profits, predicted that people will feel the information network has become a “new sense” by 2025. (via pewinternet)|
For today’s Newsweek Rewind, we feature the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which occurred twenty-five years ago, on March 24, 1989. One of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, Exxon Valdez released over 10.8 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, contaminating 1,300 miles of the coastline and killing thousands of birds, eagles, otters, and other native animals. Despite over a billion dollars being spent on cleanup, the region still hasn’t fully recovered, even a quarter of a century later.
The spill was covered extensively in Newsweek’s September 18, 1989 issue, with reporting by Harry Hurt III, Lynda Wright, Pamela Abramson in articles by Jerry Adler and Sharon Begley. The feature What Exxon Leaves Behind paints a grim picture. “Nearly six months after one of its giant tankers spilled millions of gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound, Exxon is preparing to end its cleanup operation. It has been a colossal and humbling effort: Exxon has found that what man has defaced not even the world’s largest oil company can repair.”
Consumers in the West typically take for granted the purchases they make every day that are out of the reach of others in poverty. The ‘buy one, give one’ model aims to tackle this problem by matching small purchases and donating them to those in need, such as bus tickets through Detroit’s WeRide program, or a pair of shoes through the popular TOMS brand. Operating on a much grander scale, Canada’s World Housing is now using the model to help build shelter for families in the poorest parts of the world. READ MORE…