There’s a long running joke going around about earning a “wasted” college degree in basket weaving… often including some other equally “useless” factor. “Underwater” basket weaving often tops the list. It’s a good thing for us that Nathalie Miebach didn’t listen to these silly presumptions and combined a dual curriculum of Astronomy (learnt at Harvard University) and basket weaving (studied with a local artisan). The result was the highly complex sculptures we have here, literally weaving together astronomical, weather and climate change data into her work. [Read more...]
It’s not often you run across designers with as broad a reach as Kelli Anderson. This artist/designer and self-described “tinkerer” is always working out new ways of making images and experiences for her friends and clients… and simply to entertain her inquisitive mind. [Read more...]
After Japan’s tsunami, much of the positive light shed on nuclear energy since Chernobyl has vanished. It is likely hard to find many people with confidence in the safety of nuclear energy these days. Concerns ranging from waste, to meltdowns, to terrorist attacks have nuclear power on par with apocalypse and while those concerns are blown wildly out of proportion, they are still valid. Nuclear power has gotten a bad rap over the years, but a rebirth is on its way.
In comes TerraPower. The company’s mission to develop a sustainable and economic nuclear energy system while greatly reducing proliferation risks and creating new options for converting low-level waste into vast energy resources, puts the company in a world that many would deem as science fiction. Their new technology is still in development, but boasts the ability to turn nuclear waste (depleted uranium) into vast sources of power. TerraPower projects their traveling wave reactor (TWR) to turn an 8-metric-ton canister of depleted uranium into 25 million megawatt-hours. That is enough power for 2.5 million households for an entire year. [Read more...]
People around the world have aspirations to create happily sustainable, affordable communities, but often the lack of construction grade tools and vehicles derail their efforts: enter the Global Village Construction Set. The project was started by Open Source Ecology, a network of farmers, engineers and supporters. Together they are bringing to life a modular, DIY, low-cost, open source, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts. That’s a mouthful, but this big project is making great progress and getting much deserved attention. [Read more...]
In this captivating TED talk, biologist Mark Pagel expounds on his very intriguing theory of how and why the human species developed such a complex system of language, furthering and setting us apart from the other inhabitants of the planet. He then looks at the future of communication, asking why the worlds 7000-8000 languages came into existence and wonders at what will become of them in our ever more communicative and global world. [Read more...]
Looking like she snatched the aurora borealis and brought it to major cities for all to enjoy, the flowing art of Janet Echelman was the subject of her recent TED Talk (which can be found at the bottom of the post). Built out of high strength fishnet, her pieces are made to last and to withstand all that nature has to fling at it. [Read more...]
Recently enlightening people at TED, Bill Gates talked about America’s troubled state funded school system. In his impassioned talk he highlighted what he says are state budgets filled with corruption and accounting tricks designed to hide true spending on government health and pension programs. He says “the bottom line is, we need to care about state budgets, because they are critical for our kids and for our future.”
Highlighting the drastic changes that are occurring in society centering around the roles of the sexes, the people at TED Talks recently organized a series titled TEDWomen. This series of talks highlight the ways that women are now shaping the world in ever greater ways; bringing new insights and perspectives to both the business and domestic front. Today, we bring you five videos from the series starting with a talk by Tony Porter on what it really means to be a man.