Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Cities
March 25th, 2015
5:35
 

Air-conditioning and heating are undergoing a ‘face-lift’ around the world.  The push is to make these systems ever more efficient, while decreasing their destructive impact on our planet’s environment.   Now there’s a way to keep your own personal surroundings at a temperature that’s suited distinctly to you…read all about it here:

CloudsPersonal Cloud

 

Follows You Around,

 

Keeps You Cool

 

This “really cool” tech, named Cloud Cast, is part of ongoing work by the SENSEable City Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

The real-time city is now real! The increasing deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years is allowing a new approach to the study of the built environment. The way we describe and understand cities is being radically transformed – alongside the tools we use to design them and impact on their physical structure.

Studying these changes from a critical point of view and anticipating them is the goal of the SENSEable City Laboratory, a new research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Take a look, too, at their information on turning up the heat for yourself: Heat Spotlight Warms You, Not the Room.

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This story featured in Smithsonian almost brought actual tears to my eyes.  While a chocolate flavor crisis is not at the top of most peoples’ minds, my love of that particular food-stuff is unquenchable. Sooo – I thought I’d share this article, as well as links to some of the organizations that are working to keep chocolate chocolatey.

We’ve done a LOT of tinkering with food – chemicals, cloning, grain-free, organic, gluten-free, etc., etc.  Undeniably, food shortages remain a CONSTANT source of concern world-wide.  “Waste not, want not” are words to live by – but, if foods become “Taste not”, will that lead to ‘want not’, too? That’s the concern of food manufacturers…

What cookery wizardry can you add to the recipe?  If you can bring out some new technology that’s safe for the Earth and helps save the flavor of foods, you’re sure to be popular!

How to Save the Chocolate Tree

Without Sacrificing Flavor

 

Choco splash

Check out these programs dedicated to being “flavor savers”

Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative—a partnership between the FCIA and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

Wilbert Phillips-Mora is head of the Cacao Genetic Improvement Program at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica.

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March 20th, 2015
11:31
 

Have you ever pondered how much waste is generated when we do our grocery shopping?  From the large plastic bags at the checkout counter (which you’ve likely replaced with a reusable alternative) to the plastic produce bags, plastic containers for bulk items, and plastic packaging for all of the processed and portion snacks we love.

Not only are we perpetuating the plastic waste, but we typically only have a choice to buy food in bulk.  For example, say you want to make a recipe for savory chicken with thyme.  Your choice is to buy a plastic container of thyme or a VERY large bunch of it – enough to make the chicken recipe for a banquet party (which goes bad before you can come up with enough recipes to use it up!).

Not only does 23% of food waste end up in our landfills, but a high percentage end up in our oceans threatening marine life.  Consumer’s packaging may be used only once, but it truly lives for ever, polluting our environment.

We need more choices when grocery shopping so we can make a difference in our destiny.

blog package free

The zero waste grocery store trend is only just starting in the U.S.; so far there is only one completely waste free store in the U.S., In.Gredients in Austin, Texas.

East Berlin introduced the no package store when Original Unverpackt opened.

It may take a cultural change for some to get over their germaphobia, but in the long run, it will greatly impact our future for the better.   Together, we can turn this tide against food waste.

Would you shop at a supermarket without packaging?

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…brought to you by

 

IBM Deep Thunder

 

The weather is an ever-changing source of fascination for everyone – no matter which part of the planet you inhabit.  The seasons go round, and with these cycles, weather takes on different aspects.  You can get the weather report from your TV, radio, smart phone or a myriad of other sources.  But, generally, these are localized reports and pertain to traffic conditions, school/business closures and the like.  In other words, how the stuff going on outside your door is going to affect you personally.

Deep Thunder is a more complex system -  it “focuses on the operational problems that weather can present to businesses in very specific locales—challenges that traditional meteorology doesn’t address.”  The roots of this technology date back to 1995, when IBM and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) joined forces to take on the challenge of targeted forecasting.  Read the full story by clicking the picture below:

Deep Thunder

As our planet continues to evolve, and we seek new ways to be Smarter in all our business decisions and use of the Earth’s resources,  Deep Thunder may be a big player for strategists seeking to ensure best outcomes.  Are you thinking of going the route of entrepreneurship?  Perhaps Deep Thunder will serve to aid you in making choices about whatever project you’re seeking to establish!

 

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Amusement park rides have traditionally been for… well… amusement.  They draw in flocks of families with children, those of a certain age seeking to recapture the fun they had as youngsters, and tourists visiting a particular locale seeking something other than the quiet of a museum to put a spark into their vacation travel.

Here is a concept that’s being explored by the Netherlands to turn an icon of the amusement park into an energy-producing vehicle with a multiplicty of purposes.  Besides producing electricity, the circular construction will also house apartments and a hotel, as well as other possible businesses!

Take a spin inside The Dutch Windwheel

Read more about it here:  Windwheel Roller Coaster Generates  Electricity

The bladeless wind turbine would rely on technology called an electrostatic wind energy convertor, which was developed at Delft Technical University.

 

How utterly wild would it be to actually LIVE inside this structure?  Since the turbine is bladeless, you’d be surrounded by comfort and quiet…a pretty nice combo for an apartment dweller.  What ‘unusual’ architecture will you contribute to the new look for the Smart Cities of tomorrow?  (Click the pic above if you want to see more about the future of building)

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