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World’s First Wave Powered Boat

by Justin Thomas •

Ken-ichi Horie, a 69 year old Japanese sailor, is planning a solo 4,350 mile trip from Hawaii to Japan using an innovative wave powered boat. If successful, the trip would earn him a Guinness record while simultaneously proving the viability of wave powered propulsion.

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Windows That Double As Solar Panels

by Justin Thomas •

MIT researchers have announced that they have created “organic solar concentrators” that could make windows become powerful solar panels in as little as three years. The concentrator is mixture of two or more dyes painted onto a pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb light across a range of wavelengths, re-emit it at a different wavelength and transport it …

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The Greenest Cell Phones of 2008

by Justin Thomas •

Most cell phones don’t even come close to being green — their chargers are energy inefficient, they contain hazardous chemicals, and they not are designed for upgrading or easy recycling. Recently though, some the big players in the field like Nokia and Sony Ericsson are making moves towards green design. As far as assessing which phones are greenest, the best …

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Fuel Cells Being Used To Power Japanese Homes

by Justin Thomas •

Masanori Naruse jogs every day, collects miniature cars and feeds birds in his backyard, but he’s proudest of the way his home and 2200 others in Japan get electricity and heat water – with power generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. The technology – which draws energy from the chemical reaction when hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water. Developers …

12

Nightclub Illuminated With 100% LED Light

by Justin Thomas •

The Barcode nightclub was built in a disused brick Victorian railway arch in Vauxhall, south London. The entire nightclub is illuminated using only LED lights, and the sound system is also energy efficient. The architect, Woods Bagot claims that the system consumes “less electricity than the power used to boil a kettle”. If they could just give a watt hour …

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The World’s Smallest Lightbulb

by Benjamin Roman •

As LED lights and fluorescent bulbs become increasingly mainstream, scientists at UCLA’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have developed a groundbreaking new variation of Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb. But don’t expect to find this bulb in your local hardware store anytime soon – unless you normally bring an electron microscope along to do your shopping.

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Self-Rejuvenating Prehistoric Plant

by Justin Thomas •

This plant, the Club Moss (Selaginella Lepidophylla), has been around for 290 million years. It pre-dates the dinosaurs, and survived through their destruction, it also made it through the ice age and continues to thrive to this day in the 21st century. It can dry up and hibernate for as long as 50 years at a time. During this time …

Book Review: Portable Houses

by Justin Thomas •

When some people vacation, they take their homes with them. Those are the people Irene Rawlings and Mary Abel write about in Portable Houses, a book devoted to all sorts of movable shelters and the people who created or renovated them. The examples featured in the book range in elaborateness from a canvas miner’s tent to a Boeing 737 jet …

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Sewage In, Clean Water Out: “Living Machines”

by Justin Thomas •

The people in the photo above are walking through the coils of a “Living Machine” in Emmen Zoo, Netherlands. It is a machine that filters and cleans 260,000 gallons of wastewater per day using nothing but plants. The water that comes out is drinkable.