Archive for the ‘The Earth’ Category

Floating “Lilypad Cities”

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Based on the design of a lilypad, they could be used as a permanent refuge for those whose homes have been covered in water. Major cities including London, New York and Tokyo are seen as being at huge risk from oceans which could rise by as much as 3ft by the end of this century.

This solution, by the award-winning Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut, is designed to be a new place to live for those whose homelands have been wiped out.

The ‘Lilypad City’ would float around the world as an independent and fully self-sustainable home. With a lake at its centre to collect and purify rainwater, it would be accessed by three separate marinas and feature artificial mountains to offer the inhabitants a change of scenery from the seascape.

Power for the central accommodation hub is provided through a series of renewable energy sources including solar panels on the mountain sides, wind turbines and a power station to harness the energy of the waves.

–>Link to Vincent Callebaut Architecte LILYPAD

–>Link to article @ dailymail.co.uk

MIT Claims 24/7 Solar Power

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

A liquid catalyst was added to water before electrolysis to achieve what the researchers claim is almost 100-percent efficiency. When combined with photovoltaic cells to store energy chemically, the resulting solar energy systems could generate electricity around the clock, the MIT team said.

“Solar cell makers can add super-cheap electrolyzers to their system so that they work 24/7 — during the day making hydrogen and oxygen, then at night recombining it in fuel cells to generate electricity,”

–>Link to article

Monolithic Domes: durable, energy-efficient

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008


Simply defined, the Monolithic Dome is a super-insulated, steel-reinforced concrete structure that can be designed for virtually any use: office or business complex; school; church, synagogue or temple; gymnasium or sports arena; theater or amphitheater; airplane hangar; factory; bulk storage facility; house or apartment complex; military installation, etc.

Generally, the construction cost of a Monolithic Dome is less than that of a conventional building of the same size with similar fittings and fixtures. A streamlined construction process and the use of only four major ingredients contribute significantly to the dome’s economy. Those principal ingredients or materials are an Airform, polyurethane foam, rebar and concrete.

An Airform is an inflatable fabric structure, made of PVC coated nylon or polyester fabrics. When inflated, the Airform determines the shape and size of the finished building, and it remains on the structure as its roof membrane.

–>Link

How many intelligent civilizations could there be in our galaxy?

Monday, July 21st, 2008

The Drake Equation was devised by Dr. Frank Drake in 1960, in an attempt to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact. The main purpose of the equation is to allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors which determine the number of such extraterrestrial civilizations.

Plug your own numbers into the equation with this interactive Flash:
–>Link to The Drake Equation

The Encyclopedia of Life

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

This is the very beginning of our exciting journey to document all species of life on Earth.

Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about all life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

–>Link to eol.org

Carbon Neutral Eco-boat Smashes Global Circumnavigation Record

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Earthrace is a 78 foot alternative fuel powered wave-piercing trimaran; part of a project to break the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powerboat—and to do so using only renewable fuels.

Earthrace started her attempt to set a new world speed record for a powerboat to circle the globe from Vulkan Shipyard, Sagunto, Spain on Sunday 27 April 2008, 13.35 GMT/14.35 CET. She crossed the finish line on 27 June 2008 at 12.24.00 GMT/14.24.00 CET.

The previous record was 74 days 20 hours 58 minutes 30 seconds*. This record was set by UK boat ‘Cable & Wireless Adventurer’ in 1998.

Earthrace smashed the record by almost 14 days, completing almost 24,000 nautical miles in just 60 days 23 hours and 49 minutes!

–>Link to Earthrace website

–>Link to NPR Science Friday segment

The Long Now Foundation

Friday, July 18th, 2008

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996 to creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span. The trend might be coming from the acceleration of technology, the short-horizon perspective of market-driven economics, the next-election perspective of democracies, or the distractions of personal multi-tasking. All are on the increase. Some sort of balancing corrective to the short-sightedness is needed - some mechanism or myth which encourages the long view and the taking of long-term responsibility, where ‘long-term’ is measured at least in centuries.

–>Link to The Long Now Foundation

–>Link to The 10,000 Year Clock

–>Link to Seminars About Long Term Thinking
–>Link to Seminars About Long Term Thinking - Podcast

The Moon Transits Earth

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

The Deep Impact spacecraft was the one that smacked a chunk of copper into a comet so that we could see what materials were below the surface. After the impact, the spacecraft kept going (with the mission renamed EPOXI), and it’s being used to do all sorts of interesting observations.

In late May, 2008, it turned its cameras back to Earth and observed us over the course of a several hours. During this time, from EPOXI’s point of view, the Moon passed directly in front of the Earth!

–>Link to Bad Astronomy

Arcosanti: An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Arcosanti is an experimental town that began construction in 1970 in central Arizona, 70 miles (110 km) north of Phoenix. Architect Paolo Soleri, using a concept he calls arcology (a portmanteau of architecture and ecology), started the town to demonstrate how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing the destructive impact on the earth.

–>Link to Arcosanti website

Moon Water Found, Raises Questions About Origin Theory

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Water found in moon matter counters the long-held belief that Earth’s satellite is bone dry, researchers announced today.

Geologists used new technology to coax water molecules from volcanic glasses brought back decades ago by two Apollo missions.

The researchers believe the water was ejected along with magma when “fire fountains” erupted more than three billion years ago from the moon’s surface.

The finding raises new questions about the long-standing “giant impact” theory, which holds that the moon was formed more than a billion years prior to that when a Mars-sized body slammed into Earth and sent debris into orbit.

–> Link to article


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