Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
 

Thought you had heard about all of the new technology, I bet.  Well, there’s a new monitor on the market called Spire.  It measures your breathing patterns and uses them to draw conclusions about your state of mind. The company says Spire is the first wearable to monitor breathing in an attempt to track mental health.

“It’s very hard to stay mindful throughout our chaotic and always connected day,” Jonathan Palley, Spire’s CEO, told The Huffington Post via email. “The design of the Spire experience is not to interrupt you every time you’re tense, but to bring mindfulness and awareness streaks of tension/focus/calm within this chaos.”

blog spire

The unit costs $149.95 USD and interacts with an iPhone app that pops up notifications throughout the day. One example cited is a businesswoman rushing around who enters an elevator. She pulls her phone out and sees there’s a notification from the Spire app: “Your breathing suggests you’re tense. Take a deep breath?” She does, and then the app informs her that she’s become focused.

This just might solve the problem you have when you don’t have any ideas for a birthday or holiday gift for that special someone.  Do you think this new product would or could improve someone’s life?

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UC Merced’s Mobile App Challenge will run again this year, supported by Students for a Smarter Planet. Here is a video from last time.

 

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Those of a certain age will fondly remember the recorded messages left for Jim Phelps and his Impossible Missions team which self-destructed after being listened to.  And who hasn’t seen a TV episode or movie where a character is forced to eat a hastily scribbled message to keep others from reading it?  In the new digital age, pressing the delete key can wipe your thoughts from a screen so they are never actually communicated.  Maybe there are certain things that shouldn’t be kept forever…

Whether you think it’s a good thing or not, the printed page will fade over time, but here’s a twist on making the printed page cease to exist in a much shorter period of time!  From FOXNews Tech:

Scientists invent erasable printer paper

The “paper” (actually a film made of glass or plastic, Engadget reports, though a paper version is in the works) comes in red, blue, and green, and the printing process bleaches it where text doesn’t appear, instead of adding ink where it does. Exposure to oxygen eventually “erases” the text by returning the bleached sections to their original color.

American businesses are so entrenched in keeping hardcopy as ‘backup’; this game-changer could eliminate the rows of filing cabinets that people feel are key to their work function.  Reducing waste is a key component in becoming a Smarter Planet!

Any other potentially stagnant office materials that spring to mind? Can you bring your scientific knowledge to the party to find a reusable spin for their usage?

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January, 22nd 2015
11:28
 

Along with all of the latest buzz about asteroids following the December 3 launch of Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft, NewScientist has published an article describing the advances that have been made in space farming.

If you want to start a space farm, head for an asteroid. It seems there’s enough fertilizer zipping around the solar system to grow veg for generations of space colonizers – and researchers are already beginning to grow viable, edible plants in space.

Wieger Wamelink and colleagues at the Alterra research institute, part of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, reported this year that they grew a veritable salad – wheat, tomato, cress and mustard – for 50 days with no added nutrients. The plants even grew better in the simulated space soil than controls grown in poor quality Earth soil.

Asteroid soil is highly nutritious for plants, according to Michael Mautner of Lincoln University in New Zealand. He has grown edible plants directly in material from c-type asteroids, which fell to Earth in meteorites. He simply ground up the meteorite and added water.

I found this cute ad:

blog space garden

How does your garden grow?

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January, 21st 2015
6:32
 

Medical technology keeps advancing.  Lenses have been produced to magnify, concentrate light sources, for photographic applications, and a host of other usages.  Benjamin Franklin is credited with the invention of bifocals, which gave ‘new vision’ to the reading population of the 1700s.  Contact lenses came along in the 20th century to replace glasses worn on the bridge of one’s nose.  Eye surgery to correct vision impairment has been steadily changing over the past quarter century.

Here’s a story about a new intraocular lens that may be “music to the eyes” of our aging population (you’ll have to pardon the rather bad pun I’m using…I couldn’t resist!)  Introducing the

TECNIS® SYMFONY EYE LENS

 

WHAT ARE INTRAOCULAR LENSES?  An intraocular lens, or IOL, is a lens that is surgically implanted to replace the natural lens of the eye, following cataract extraction. There are numerous styles of IOLs.  The Symfony lenses are made of plastic and should, in theory, last a lifetime.

TECNIS Symfony lensVisit the TECNIS site for more information about the product and its availability in the U.S. and abroad.

If you’re pursuing a career in the burgeoning healthcare field, what advance will you bring to our future?

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