Off-grid living: the emergence of a disconnected lifestyle - we are talking about electricity here... -
A key piece of the jigsaw came in another statement last month: Tesla Motors are now committing to a huge increase in battery production, bringing down the cost of energy storage capacity by over 50%. The power grid is like a giant battery and up to £500 per year of our energy bills is paying for the maintenance of that battery. Morgan Stanley calculates that Tesla’s batteries will only cost an off-grid household £350 per year, rendering the Utility company business model obsolete. “Our analysis suggests utility customers may be positioned to eliminate their use of the power grid,” says the Morgan Stanley report, Clean Tech, Utilities and Autos. “We expect Tesla’s batteries to be cost competitive with the grid in many states, and think investors generally do not appreciate the potential size of the market.”
(Source: futuramb, via emergentfutures)
The Power Of Poop: A Whale Story
"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…)
REGIONAL TRENDS IN GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
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
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.
By 2025, it will become more apparent that personal digital devices have become the uncredited third lobe of our brain, and network connections more like an extension of our own nervous system, a new sense, like seeing and hearing. Questions about our rights over our own devices and connections will treat them more like parts of our bodies and beings than some third-party thing that is a privilege to own or something we merely rent. It will force us to redefine what being human means — and what personhood means, in terms of the law, representative government, and every other issue. — 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)
Buy a house, give one to a family in need
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…