Environmental Issues

Simple, cheap purifying device provides clean water for 150,000 Kenyan students

Image via LifeStraw.

Lack of clean water is a big problem in many poor areas of the world, and it’s also one of the most easily solvable major problems (not saying it’s easy, just that it’s relatively easy, compared to say curing malaria, which is another big problem in many poor areas). A new, innovative yet simple purifier has been installed in 301 schools…

Environment, News, Nutrition

First Vegan Butcher Shop in the U.S. Set to Open in Minneapolis

Image via The Herbivorous Butcher.

Butcher shops are very traditional – they’ve been around for ages, and they’re probably the best place to get quality, cheap meat. But meat consumption is also cruel and not environmentally friendly, and I’m very happy to see more and more vegetarian establishments across the world. Such is the case with this Vegan Butcher shop – the first of its…

Design, Renewable Energy

New Silent Wind Tree Turbines Make Energy Production Beautiful

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Among the more common arguments against wind turbines you usually have noise and ugliness. Personally, I really don’t find wind turbines ugly and studies have found that generally wind turbines are very quiet but hey – this is the general perception. For these reasons, French engineers have spent three years developing beautiful and quiet urban versions of wind turbines – the results…

Chemistry, News, Physics, Renewable Energy

Graphene membrane allows mobile Fuel Cells to harvest Hydrogen straight from Air

In simple terms, graphene, is a thin layer of pure carbon; it is a single, tightly packed layer of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Image: Wikimedia

A team of UK researchers led by none other but  Nobel Laureate Andre Geim – one of persons involved in graphene‘s discovery in 2004 – has shown that the wondrous two dimensional material graphene can used as a proton exchange membrane in fuel cells. The find took everybody by surprise since no one expected graphene could allow protons to pass through…

Animals, Environment, News

City ants are garbage eating, rat-fighting machines

ants city garbage

Ants often get a lot of bad rep for being “pests” in the city, but a new study has shown that ant populations are actually very helpful in urban environments. Scientists researching the behavior of ants have found that they dispose of garbage with remarkable efficiency, keeping rats and other garbage-dependent pests at bay. “Urban green spaces provide ecosystem services to…

Design, Environment, Great Pics

The world’s first underground park, New York City is taking shape [Image Gallery]

The 116-year-old abandoned trolley terminal.

In case you didn’t know, developers from New York are working on creating the world’s first underground park using innovative solar technology to illuminate an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of New York City. The project will only be finished in 2018, but it is already starting to take shape, as you can see below: If these images…

News, World Problems

Uncontacted Amazon tribe raids neighboring village; raises fear of retaliation

Inhabitants of the Peruvian Amazon village of Colombiana, who were recently raided by a neighboring Amazonian tribe. Photo: C. FAGAN, UPPER AMAZON CONSERVANCY

The past couple of months have been really tense for the people who are often times labeled as coming from ‘uncontacted’ tribes. The truth of is most of these tribes are often times intruded upon by neighboring communities and, worse and most dangerous of all, illegal loggers and drug traffickers. As such, tribesmen have come out in the open, forced upon…

Animals, Health & Medicine, News

Our early ancestors first metabolized alcohol 10 million years ago, a find that helps shape primate evolution

alcohol consumption

Have you ever wondered why you crave for a drink from time to time or why you can drink alcohol in the first place, for that matter? Our ability to ingest and metabolize ethanol can be traced back to a common primate ancestor who lived some 10 million years ago, according to US researchers who sequenced key proteins from 19…

Animals, Videos

Adorabile Video: Wolf Puppy gets the Hiccups

Nikai-Wolf-Pup-537x358

We’ve got more in common with wolves than maybe we’d like to admit – as is the case with the annoying hiccups. Probably the most adorable hiccuping I’ve ever seen, this video was posted by the NY Wolf Conservation Center: Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm – the sheet of internal skeletal muscle that extends across the bottom of…

News, Physics, Renewable Energy

A new way to harvest solar energy using metal nanoparticles and plasmon resonance

An ultra-sensitive needle measures the voltage that is generated while the nanospheres are illuminated. Credit: AMOLF/Tremani - Figure: Artist impression of the plasmo-electric effect. - See more at: http://www.caltech.edu/news/new-technique-could-harvest-more-suns-energy-44923#sthash.IukitP4G.dpuf

Solar cell technology has improved dramatically over the past couple of year, yet it will be a long time before multi-junction cells – then kind that can reach efficiency well over 40% – will become affordable to small home owners or even large scale installation. New methods are always explored, however, each with its own angle to harnessing solar energy, benefits…