Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
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If you aren’t already aware, the population of elderly inhabitants of our planet has grown by leaps and bounds as medical improvements have extended life span way beyond the expectancies of previous generations.  If you think these ‘older folks’ are technology dummies, take a look at this hip Italian granny – and her vid screen companion!

Robot offers company and security to 94-year-old grandmother

Visit the company site, too, for more project details and contact information:  GiraffPlus

(GiraffPlus is funded by the European Community’s Framework Programme Seven (FP7) under contract #288173. FP7 – ICT – Challenge 5: ICT for Health, Ageing Well, Inclusion and Governance. Duration: 01.01.2012 to 31.12.2014)

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July 25th, 2014
2:13
 

Take a cue from a beloved American childhood story – - “The Little Engine That Could” used the power of positive thinking to achieve her goal and climb the seemingly insurmountable hill that stronger trains than she had failed to scale.  Like the little train, globally we should all be reciting her mantra of “I think I can, I think I can, …” – and we will!

100% Of Dutch Electric Trains Could Run On Renewable Energy BY 2018

See articles on this topic in other publications from around the world (…and maybe find a way to combine your passion for transportation and a paying position within one of the companies/consortiums they mention?)

 

And, if youLittle Engine‘ve never read this charming book, click on the pic for a quick literature lesson  (nice work Professor Plotnick, University of Illinois at Chicago!!)

 

 

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July 19th, 2014
5:57
 

What the heck is a mollusk, you may ask…  Well, it is any of a large phylum (Mollusca) of invertebrate animals (as snails, clams, or squids) with a soft unsegmented body usually enclosed in a calcareous shell.  Now on to the point of this blog post…

Camouflage is essential to many life forms – it is the key to their continued survival.  The Cuttlefish is one such creature; another water dweller having adaptive coloring capabilities is the Pencil Squid.  Scientists are hoping to capitalize on their investigation of the amazing ‘blend with your surroundings’ capability of these (admittedly rather unattractive) marine dwellers to increase the chances of survival for humans in combat.  [One side observation on my part, camouflaged or not, a backbone is going to be necessary for the soldier if he is being called upon under these circumstances!]

Research is being done at Harvard and UC Irvine, among other institutions and corporations globally.  To paraphrase one of the researchers on the goals of studying these marine life forms and their transmutability: “we’re…seeking to make shape-shifting clothing — the stuff of science fiction — a reality.”

There are a few different slants on the story – take a swim through them…  cuttlefish

Dinner Plate Squid used to Develop Color-changing Camouflage  (for some of us, dinner may take on a whole new ‘flavor’ – watch the video; soooo awesome!!!)

“Chameleon of the sea” reveals its secrets  (wow-imagine looking at that face in the mirror every morning)

Relying on speed, squids and cuttlefish do not have a thick, heavy outer shell. Their shells are reduced to lightweight internal bones. In squids, the bone is thin and pencil-like. In cuttlefish, these are flat surfboards riddled with tiny gas-filled chambers. Each of these creatures has eight ‘arms’ or tubers and they propel themselves by jetting water.  For more detailed info on this unusual creature go on over to Wild Fact Sheets

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Check out this post by Lawrence Bonk.  I confess to having more than my fair share of footwear in my closet – like many women, I guess.  Self-Lacing Sneakers …not likely to be a purchase I’d make for myself, but fun to contemplate!  Wearable tech is a big rage – are you wearing any?  Or better yet, designing any?  Maybe clothing/accessories will be the career path for you at Nike

sneakers

Take a look at some of Lawrence’s other posts on new stuff that’s hitting the market:  http://www.crunchwear.com/author/lawrence

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July 14th, 2014
6:14
 

For naturalists, the decline of the bee population worldwide has been more than alarming – it’s a threat of epic proportions.  Studies are ongoing and much research is underway to determine the causes (pesticides? pollution? disease?) for the drop in numbers of these marvelous pollinators so vital to Earth’s sustainability.

Watch the video to see the ‘backpacks’ being used in Australia to provide clues to buzzing behavior -  (Think about it the next time you stir honey into your tea!)

Bees fitted with tiny sensors to help scientists study their decline

For more on research studies in Australia, visit the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) website

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