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Articles tagged with: green

EARTH, WATER »

[27 Dec 2011 | No Comment | 17,593 views]
Not Quite Coral: A New Type of Cement Made from CO2 and Water

 
When I was a small and intensely young person, my parents would drive me down the California coastline to a town called Carmel near Monterrey Bay, where we would hang out on the beach and frolic amongst the slowly rotting kelp and aggressive sea gulls, eat burgers at Flaherty’s Seafood Restaurant (which specializes in seafood, not land food – I was five), and weave in and out of various art galleries until we were tired enough to return to our hotel and fall asleep.

Image courtesy citi-data.com
One time down in Carmel …

WOOD »

[12 Oct 2011 | No Comment | 6,216 views]
Paper Foam: It’s Foam … Made of Paper.

 
There’s this place where I live called “Jimmy’s Food Store” and it is, as you might expect, a store where food is sold.  But oh what food it is!  Italian comestibles dripping with Italian deliciousness, sold with Italian gusto to Italians and non-Italians alike.  At Jimmy’s Food Store you can get an Italian meatball sandwich that will bring tears to your eyes. You will literally be crying as you eat it because it is so tasty, and you’ll be crying after you’ve eaten it because you’ll be so sad it’s …

FEATURED, WATER »

[4 Oct 2011 | No Comment | 15,114 views]
New Smart Glass: Waaaaay Smarter than Old, Not Smart Glass

 
Glass is the best. Glass is the friend who drives you to the airport without complaining, who helps you move your fourteen-ton couch in exchange for beer, who tells you that you’ll regret the neon green mohawk when you look back at your wedding photos. Glass goes the extra mile. Without glass we’d either live and work in rooms devoid of daylight or we’d punch holes in the walls and our homes and offices would be full of weather, confused seagulls, and the occasional ambitious praying mantis.  It would be chaos.
Now imagine if glass could go …

Uncategorized »

[4 Aug 2011 | One Comment | 6,295 views]
Actuated Matter Workshop Part 1: Intro

Last week I found myself in Zürich, Switzerland, which in itself is somewhat unusual for a person who typically lives and works in the great state of Texas.  To add to that, while installed in said location I experienced one of those intensive periods of excitement and discovery that only happen when you toss yourself and an over-stuffed rolling suitcase headlong into a foreign country and participate in a workshop in order to learn how to screen print electroluminescent lamps (and also to learn that, although they are healthier, multigrain croissants are simply not as delicious as the …

WATER, WOOD »

[13 Jul 2011 | One Comment | 4,257 views]
I Heart MIT’s New Flexible, Printable Solar Cells

My desk at work sits across from an ancient beige laser printer the size of a Volkswagen, which pretty much unceasingly spews toner particles, artfully arranged on tabloid- and letter-sized sheets of paper, out of its graceless plastic maw. I bring this up because the adjacency has driven me to resent general workday printing even more than the occasional trip to the plotter (which, if you have never tangled with a large-format printer, makes a fourteen hour trip on Aeroflot sound appealing by comparison).
I resent the noise of the printer, …

METAL »

[24 Jun 2011 | No Comment | 4,686 views]
Got Heat? Got Metal? MAKE ELECTRICITY!

I admit that my understanding of generators is pretty hazy, but I think the general idea is to wave magnets in front of conductive wire in an orderly fashion in order to produce a flow of current.  Once you have an electric current the door to a world of unmitigated awesome opens up and all of a sudden you have light when the sun has set and the ability to microwave popcorn.

Image courtesy todayifoundout.com
A fascinating new metal alloy material under development by researchers at the University of Minnesota, led by Professor Richard James, works …

METAL, WATER »

[17 Jun 2011 | One Comment | 4,516 views]
Reynobond with Ecoclean: Smog-eating Metal Cladding

When I sat down to write this post I realized that it’s the 100th installment of materials information that I have submitted to the Interwebs, which, if this were a sitcom, would mean that I’d have a sheet cake with “Congratulations – 100 Posts!!!!” written in frosting set set out on a table, and the key grip would be elbowing the best boy out of the way for the corner piece with the biggest frosted rose on it.

Image courtesy ursulinesmsj.org
But since there’s no cake, I’m going to write about a …

WOOD »

[8 Jun 2011 | No Comment | 5,928 views]
Tensotherm with Nanogel: for Light, Insulated Tensile Roof Structures

Despite the fact that I usually run away screaming when faced with difficult calculations, I loved my structures classes in school. I liked building and destroying model bridges and learning how to manage earthquakes, but what I loved the most was thinking about tension and compression because I could feel those forces act on my body.
No really – it isn’t like learning about the War of Jenkins Ear, where you have to imagine being alive in the 1700’s and fighting with a large group of Spanish and British soldiers and …

FIRE »

[22 May 2011 | No Comment | 2,723 views]
Get the Glow: Duo-Gard Lumenatrix Backlighting System

I have a secret theory, based on anecdotal evidence supplied by my over-active imagination, that glowing architectural surfaces encourage people to spend more money.  I wonder why glowing, shiny objects are so alluring to human beings? It’s not like we have gizzards.  At any rate, if glowing surfaces do encourage people to open their wallets and part with the brass, it is quite a good thing because artificially illuminated glowing architectural surfaces cost a great deal to construct AND require supermegakilotons of energy to run.

Image courtesy thenewyorkgreenadvocate.blogspot.com
The Lumenatrix Backlighting System …

FIRE »

[27 Apr 2011 | No Comment | 2,739 views]
MIT Scientists Enlist an Army of Viruses to Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

For a long time I believed all viruses to be evil due to their pernicious habits: causing common colds, infecting people and spreading influenza and other viral diseases, and wiping out hard drives with grim efficiency.  A group of researchers at MIT decided to give viruses a chance to show a softer side, and they found out that “going viral” can benefit solar cell technology by improving its efficiency by one third.
Scientists have been working with carbon nanotubes (essentially, rolled up sheets of graphene) to encourage solar cells to convert …

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