1,400 miles on Nothing but Hydrogen



Hydrogen Hyundais Cross Europe, Longest Hydrogen Journey Ever (via Gas 2.0)

As an alternative to oil, hydrogen seems so promising, and yet so impossible. The only emissions from hydrogen fuel cells is water. Alas, the expense and lack of infrastructure mean they’re pretty much just a pipe dream for now. But over in Europe, two teams of drivers have driven hydrogen-powered…

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Universe in a Sphere



Universe in a Sphere (via redOrbit)

Universe in a Sphere Our entire observable universe is inside this sphere, with a radius 13.3 billion light years, with us at the center. Space continues outside the sphere, but an opaque glowing wall of hydrogen plasma hides it from our view. This is our best image so far of what this plasma sphere…

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Calculating Your Water Footprint



The Importance of Calculating Your Water Footprint (via sustainablog)

If you consider yourself eco-minded, then you’re probably comfortable bandying about words like carbon footprint, solar panels and electric cars. “Water footprint” should be part of your green vocabulary as well. Water shortages are hitting the headlines as summer creeps across North America,…

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3 of the World’s Most Ambitious Green Buildings

sustainablog –

The race to go green has driven the construction of several enormous projects around the world. Some have failed, while others have been resounding successes. While some people have made changes in their own lives to go green, such as driving more fuel efficient cars and switching to organic produce…

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Young People Tire of Old Economic Models

ethicalmarkets.com –

At the recent United Nations conference on “gross national happiness,” a scattering of young participants looked on with a clear sense of urgency as mainly graying dignitaries, economists, scholars and others pondered ways to gauge progress that go beyond traditional monetary measures. One was Christopher Stampar, a sophomore from the University of Miami who works for the nonprofit group Nourish 9 Billion. He received one of the most enthusiastic rounds of applause when he let it slip that he was 19.

Also on hand was Michael Sandmel, who is graduating this year from New York University and involved with the organization U.S. Youth for Sustainable Development. After the one-day session, which included briefings from economic luminaries including Jeffrey Sachs and the economics Nobelist Joseph Stiglitz, he reacted this way in an e-mail message:
It’s great to see new paradigm slowly making its way into the mainstream. I think this is demonstrated quite well by the comments made by professors Sachs and Stiglitz, neither of whom, even four years ago, I would have expected to reference the Easterlin Happiness Paradox or the Planetary Boundaries Framework.

But he added that his generation was not taking a transition for granted, pointing to the student-organized Transition to a New Economy conference that had just been (at) held Harvard:

We had around 140 attendees from universities around the country. Many of us study in mainstream neoclassical economics departments where interdisciplinary ecological-economics, and the questioning of G.D.P. growth as a primary (or, depending on who you ask, desirable) objective, is still very much fringe thinking. I don’t attempt to speak for all of my peers, but I know that many of us share an enormous frustration with the way in which our supposedly leading institutions teach us about the economy in a way that is myopic, ahistorical, and devoid of nearly any critical conversation about sustainability or human well-being. This is particularly troubling as we regularly see our schools accredit future leaders in business, finance, and government, sending them into a world of 21st century problems with a 20th century toolkit. Many of us have been involved in our local Occupy movements, including Occupy Harvard, and have been trying to use the crisis as an opportunity to push an agenda of plausible alternatives to unsustainable and inequitable finance-dominated capitalism. Many of us will be getting together again in June for the Strategies for a New Economy conference at Bard College and will be in Brazil for the Rio+20 conference and the events surrounding it.

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We and the Earth are largely made up of water – which can be changed with our thoughts!

Water…

The Earth is largely made up of it.
As are we…

And yet about it we know significantly little.

This is a picture of a water crystal after pronouncing the word LOVE to it. Isn’t it amassing?

Until the groundbreaking work of a pioneer Japanese researcher whose astonishing discovery about water, documented photographically, changed most of what we didn’t know…and led to a new consciousness of Earth’s most precious resource.

Dr. Masaru Emoto was born in Japan and is a graduate of the Yokohama Municipal University and the Open International University as a Doctor of Alternative Medicine. His photographs were first featured in his self-published books Messages from Water 1 and 2. The Hidden Messages in Water was first published in Japan, with over 400,000 copies sold internationally.

What has put Dr. Emoto at the forefront of the study of water is his proof that thoughts and feelings affect physical reality. By producing different focused intentions through written and spoken words and music and literally presenting it to the same water samples, the water appears to “change its expression”.

Essentially, Dr. Emoto captured water’s ‘expressions.’ He developed a technique using a very powerful microscope in a very cold room along with high-speed photography, to photograph newly formed crystals of frozen water samples. Not all water samples crystallize however. Water samples from extremely polluted rivers directly seem to express the ‘state’ the water is in.

Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

The implications of this research create a new awareness of how we can positively impact the earth and our personal health. The success of his books outside Japan has been remarkable. Dr. Emoto has been called to lecture around the world as a result and has conducted live experiments both in Japan and Europe as well as in the US to show how indeed our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions as humans deeply impact the environment.

read more > What the Bleep

 

How Water Works – do you know?

In its purest form, it’s odorless, nearly colorless and tasteless. It’s in your body, the food you eat and the beverages you drink. You use it to clean yourself, your clothes, your dishes, your car and everything else around you. You can travel on it or jump in it to cool off on hot summer days. Many of the products that you use every day contain it or were manufactured using it. All forms of life need it, and if they don’t get enough of it, they die. Political disputes have centered around it. In some places, it’s treasured and incredibly difficult to get. In others, it’s incredibly easy to get and then squandered. What substance is more necessary to our existence than any other? Water.

Read More:  How Stuff Works

What To Buy Organic: The 8 Most Buzzed-About Organic Foods

What Should We Be Eating?

If you try to Google for information on the food that’s most important to buy and eat organic, it’s a tad confusing. Every list seems to focus on a few different things, usually driven by nutrition and meal plan bias. So rather than dig through a lot of conflicting lists, I thought it would be interesting to see what organic foods consumers discuss the most.
organic food

I was amazed to see that these main food categories all have similar volume. As consumers, we’re buzzing about a wide variety of organic foods. Interestingly, animal products are the big winners, even if by a small margin. There has been ample coverage, mostly in books and films, on the state of the meat and dairy industry in the US; perhaps there is slightly more consumer awareness that drives these conversations.

Per Capita Buzz

I thought it would also be interesting to look at volume of conversation per capita to see if there are any states that stand out in their conversation around, or awareness of, organic. 

The standout regions are the West Coast and Northern New England/New York State. Indiana, Wyoming, and Georgia were also standouts (though worth noting that Wyoming had a total of 94 mentions to Texas’ 1,000+).

Noteworthy Themes

Apparently, as consumers we talk about chicken more than beef. And we’re really interested in information that includes scientific backing, or at least mentions scientists. Also interesting that the UK’s Organic Trade Board, tweeting under @whyiloveorganic, pops up.

While I don’t have the answer to what exactly are the best products to buy organic, I will be interested to see how these trends change over time. Right now, the volume of conversation is lower than I expected, at just over 100,000 mentions in 6 months in everything from tweets to recipe blogs to Facebook conversation. I think we will see volume growth as consumers continue to get more education on the importance of organic, and brands like our client, Horizon Organic, have the kind of distribution that make organic increasingly accessible.

This article was originally published on Capture The Conversation.

Leaf-Mimicking Design Boosts Output of Solar Panels

e360 digest

Leaf Mimicking Solar Panel

By adding microscopic folds onto the surface of photovoltaic materials, a design variation borrowed from a natural leaf, researchers say they have been able to boost the solar output of flexible plastic solar cells by 47 percent. According to the scientists, who published their findings in the journal Nature Photonics, the folds acted as a sort of “wave guide,” channeling light waves and increasing the material’s exposure to light. “I expected that it would increase the photocurrent because the folded surface is quite similar to the morphology of leaves, a natural system with high light harvesting efficiency,” said Jong Bok Kim, a researcher from Princeton University and lead author of the study. “However, when I actually constructed solar cells on top of the folded surface, its effect was better than my expectations.” And since the researchers used relatively inexpensive plastic materials — as opposed to the more expensive silicon commonly used in panels — they hope their findings will help lead to a cheaper and efficient source of solar power.

Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
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A New View of the Tarantula Nebula

NASA

To celebrate its 22nd anniversary in orbit, the Hubble Space Telescope released a dramatic new image of the star-forming region 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula because its glowing filaments resemble spider legs. A new image from all three of NASA’s Great Observatories–Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer–has also been created to mark the event.

The nebula is located in the neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud, and is one of the largest star-forming regions located close to the Milky Way. At the center of 30 Doradus, thousands of massive stars are blowing off material and producing intense radiation along with powerful winds. The Chandra X-ray Observatory detects gas that has been heated to millions of degrees by these stellar winds and also by supernova explosions. These X-rays, colored blue in this composite image, come from shock fronts–similar to sonic booms–formed by this high-energy stellar activity.

The Hubble data in the composite image, colored green, reveals the light from these massive stars along with different stages of star birth, including embryonic stars a few thousand years old still wrapped in cocoons of dark gas. Infrared emission data from Spitzer, seen in red, shows cooler gas and dust that have giant bubbles carved into them. These bubbles are sculpted by the same searing radiation and strong winds that comes from the massive stars at the center of 30 Doradus.

Image Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/L.Townsley et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI; Infrared: NASA/JPL/PSU/L.Townsley et al.