Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

We consider our electronics very disposable -  when a newer model comes out, we dispose of the old one.  “Urban mining” is the term coined to recover valuable metals such as gold, silver, copper and palladium from the growing mountains of e-waste currently threatening to overwhelm the planet.

BlueOak Resources is banking on a robust business when they open their new “urban mining” refinery plant in Osceola, Arkansas. Production will begin by the end of 2015, bringing 50 technical jobs to the area.

The dumping of e-waste represents the loss of millions of tons of valuable resources. We currently spend upwards of $12Bn per year searching for virgin ore deposits, while the most concentrated sources of coveted metals is literally put to waste.

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Recovery of this e-waste can be a boon as a source of rare earths and other critical metals used in alternative energy technologies such as wind turbines, hybrid vehicles and fuel cells. According to one recent article, “the use of rare earths in electronic gadgets has risen so much that their concentration in computers is actually higher than that in mines.” At present, however, less than 1% of rare earths contained in discarded products are recovered by recycling.

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A possible career choice…


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August 7th, 2014

Travel on a bike is fun and healthy.  Traveling with a bike can be exhausting and hazardous to your health (keep in mind the angry looks and comments you endure from those who are unintentionally whacked by you toting your green transportation onto a subway, train, bus, … you get the idea).  And trying to get a bike into an electric car for a trip to the mountains is the equivalent of solving the riddle of the Sphinx.

Ta da!!! – this way cool alternative (which may or may not make it to the mass market), but is SO AWESOME!

Lucid Design’s Full-Size Bike Fits Into a Tiny Circular Backpack!


And check out Lucid’s website for information on their other products and projects.  Based in India, their collective creativity is mind-blowing.  And their excitement in what they do is obvious – catch their spirit and build it into your own work!


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With fierce competition for few job openings, it’s no wonder so much has been written about how best to present yourself through your cover letter and résumé.

Let’s face it, there is a whole industry that will tackle that task for you — for a fee.  But, to be truly effective, we know that each job listing requires a customized set of these documents.  That requires good résumé-writing skills.  And we can perfect these skills if we just invest some time and apply good advice.

Check out what has published about writing cover letters

Slater Victoroff, Executive Director at Indico, has published what he defines as résumé blunders that challenge conventional résumé style.

He advises that we should spend 2-3 hours selecting a perfect set of “go to” fonts before even starting to write.

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Use serif fonts if you are certain that it will be read on a page, and sans-serif fonts if it will be read on a screen (serifs help guide the eye on paper, but just confuse the eye on screen where the resolution is lowered).

Another tip is to send your resume in PDF format – some .doc or .docx résumés become unreadable via mobile or other computer platforms and will be passed over if too difficult to open.

10 résumé blunders to avoid

See how your résumé stacks up…..

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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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If you are familiar with any of the various tellings of the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, you’ll understand what an extraordinary leap forward this invention provides to those who are blind or have visual impairments.   And, what a boon they can be to those who provide care and instruction for those with visual conditions.

“Braille is a very important part of the world for the estimated 39 million blind and visually impaired individuals around the globe.”

Computerized Glove Teaches Braille


This technology is being developed in a partnership between experts behind Google Glass and Georgia Tech‘s revolutionary “Piano Touch

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