Who knew a kite could power thousands of homes?

from DVICE by Kevin Hall

Who knew a kite could power thousands of homes?

To effectively gather electricity from wind power, you need a strong breeze going. Along those lines, a company called KiteGen Research figures that wind currents only get strong the higher you go — so why not just go up to 2,600 feet?

It kind of comes off as an idea you’d see in a Pixar movie — or even straight out of a child’s mind — but KiteGen has been using 200-foot-square kites hovering at 2,600 feet in the air to generate electricity, according to Popular Science: “As the kite’s tether unspools, it spins an alternator that generates up to 40 kilowatts. Once the kite reaches its peak altitude, it collapses, and motors quickly reel it back in to restart the cycle.”

KiteGen has plans to expand its scope and test a 1,500-square-foot kite by 2011, which — if all goes well — the company hopes could generate enough to keep 9,000 homes powered.

PopSci, via Neatorama

A-cero Wins Research Center for Renewable Energy Sources in Murcia, Spain

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

Madrid-based international architecture firm A-cero, under the direction of principal Joaquín Torres, has recently won the architectural competition for an academic center that researches renewable energy sources. The building that blends in with the surrounding landscape aims to reach highest goals in sustainable architecture. The international competition was organized by the commission of Education, Formation and Employment of the Murcia region in Spain.

Research Center for Renewable Energy Sources by A-cero

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A-cero’s competition-winning design for an academic research center for renewable energy sources in Murcia, Spain

Here is a project description from the architects:

A complex of 9,000 m2 constructed that there constitute teaching areas (lecture rooms and workshops), library, audio-visual, auditorium, administrative area, restoration, facilities and services and parking.


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Research Center for Renewable Energy Sources by A-cero

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The winning project presented by A-cero, raises the centre as a landscape operation blurring the limits between architecture and free space. The horizontal plane of the plot bends producing a new orography marked by fissures that will be the spaces of access to the centre and exterior spaces of the teaching areas. The resultant geometry north – south looks for the orientation for the interior program. The surrounding one (walls and covering) triangulated specializes and diversifies adopting different solutions as orientation and conditions of use. The idea is that it is possible to cover the “covering” as a park where there coexist green areas (indigenous vegetation and gardens) with areas destined for solar, photovoltaic panels, and other systems of clean energies and energy saving.

Research Center for Renewable Energy Sources by A-cero

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Research Center for Renewable Energy Sources by A-cero

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Research Center for Renewable Energy Sources by A-cero

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Floor Plan and Section Sketch

It is finally a project of clear commitment of respect to the environment and with high sustainability grade. What the architecture Studio A-cero that Joaquín Torres directs with his collaborating associate Rafael Llamazares, he has betting for years of research and development of ideas that promote this concept of sustainable architecture.

Images: A-cero

The Desperate Puppy In The Window, Digitised

from Gizmodo Australia by John Herrman

Projected against a shop window in New York, Sniff is a 3D animated dog. He’s just a computer-generated rendering, sure, but he’s got personality — he reacts to your gestures, follows you around, and presented with a group, chooses favourites.(more…)

Honda Debuts Electric Version of World’s Best Selling Motorcycle

from Green Options by Andrew Williams

Take a look at the first picture of what Honda hopes will become the future of motorbikes. The Honda EV-Cub is an all-electric version of the company’s top selling Super-Cub, and could be on sale as early as next year.

Details are scant about the new machine, but sources say that the retro looking EV-Cub will be two-wheel drive to offer riders more stability and traction.

Read more of this story »

New York City Starts “One Year, One Thousand Green Supers” Green Building Program

from Green Options by Lucille Chi

New York City plans to train one thousand superintendents on green buildings this year. City managers of commercial and high-rise residential buildings now have the chance reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city on a sky high level.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg took part in the program, “One Year, One Thousand Green Supers” which was also approved by the U.S. Green Building Council and the Building Performance Institute. It’s also made possible by the Thomas Shortman Training Fund. This is part of NYC’s huge goal to reduce their building-generated carbon footprint.

Read more of this story »

Reusable Rocket Plane Launches From Commercial Spaceport

from Wired: Autopia by Jason Paur


One of the giants in aerospace has successfully flown a reusable rocket plane aimed at developing an inexpensive orbital delivery system. The unmanned winged vehicle flew on October 10 and is part of an ongoing Lockheed Martin program to demonstrate the viability of low cost, quick turnaround space delivery systems.

Lockheed Martin is working with UP Aerospace on the project. UP Aerospace provided the launch services for Saturday’s flight, the third in a series of test flights that have so far been kept under tight wraps and out of public view. The Lockheed Martin/UP Aerospace team is operating from the growing Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The prototype vehicle is thought to be similar to the roughly eight foot long, 200 pound rocket plane seen during earlier flights. Lockheed Martin’s Slater Voorhees told Space.com the flight on Saturday was successful, “we’re trying to understand various technologies of systems and how they play together” he said.

Little is known about the vehicle, including what kind of motor is being used. A picture from Lockheed Martin (above) shows a canard configuration rocket plane ascending a launch rail from a 2008 flight. Lockheed Martin has not provided details about the program.

UP Aerospace provided the launch services for the test flight, marking the third launch for various customers this year. The company is perhaps best known for a rocket launch that sent the ashes of Star Trek’s James ‘Scotty’ Doohan and Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper on a sub orbital ride back in 2007.

The company’s launch facility is one of several being developed at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Other companies including Virgin Galactic are also planning to use the desert launch complex, billed as the world’s first purpose built commercial space facility.

Photo: Lockheed Martin via Space.com

9:43 AM (3 hours ago)

ron arad: mediacite in liege, belgium

from Designboom – Weblog

a rendering of the médiacité in liège, belgium by ron arad

the construction of the médiacité in liège, belgium is now complete.
the layout plans and sketches of the complex were designed by architectural firms
chapman taylor
and RTKL, with public spaces and buildings designed by ron arad
(with support of architectural firm jaspers-eyers). the futuristically shaped pier,
which combines the latest technologies and materials, has earned the reeam international
environmental accreditation which is a first for belgium in this category of building.
the new space accommodates economic, retail, cultural and leisure activities. the project,
along with the new gare des guillemins (train station) by santiago calatrava and the opening
of grand-curtis – a mega-museum housing gems from the heritage collections of liège – last year,
are all drivers for economic redeployment and cultural regeneration within the city.

the inauguration ceremony is set to take place on tuesday, october 20th, 2009.

detail of the futuristic form

the view from inside

A green tour of the Google campus

from The Official Google Blog by A Googler

We care about a clean energy future and that’s a commitment that starts at home. In honor of Blog Action Day 2009 and this year’s climate change theme, we wanted to walk you through some of the green features of our global headquarters here in sunny Mountain View, California.

  • Getting to work: We’ve got a shuttle service that brings employees from around the Bay Area to the Googleplex every day. These shuttles are outfitted with wi-fi and fueled by B20 biodiesel. And employees who bike, walk, skip, hop or otherwise self-power to work can earn points that translate into a donation from Google to their charity of choice.
  • Turning on the lights: The rooftops at our headquarters are covered in 9,212 photovoltaic solar panelsthat produce 1.6 MW of electricity — enough energy to power about 1,000 California homes.

  • Healthy buildings: The facilities at our main campus use sustainable building materials that are environmentally friendly and healthier, such as “cradle-to-cradle” certified products designed to never end up in landfills, fresh air ventilation, daylighting, and whenever possible, PVC- and formaldehyde-free materials.
  • No, we’re not kidding: We’ve been known to use goats instead of lawn mowers to graze the fields surrounding our campus.
  • Getting around town: We have a fleet of 8 plug-in vehicles that Google employees can use free of charge to run errands during the day. (In the summer of 2008 our Google.org RechargeIT initiativelaunched a controlled driving experiment, and our plug-in hybrids achieved more than 90 MPG!) Shared bicycles are also scattered among our buildings for Googlers to use for short trips around campus, reducing the need for cars during the work day.
  • Waste not, want not: Waste from our Mountain View cafes is separated and the organic component is composted. As a result, we’ve reduced waste sent to landfills, reduced greenhouse gases and recycled nutrients leading to improved soil quality without chemicals. And any disposable plateware and cutlery we continue to use in the cafés is now compostable.

Check out this website to learn more about Google’s green initiatives, and thank you to Blog Action Day for orchestrating the ” largest-ever social change event on the web” yet again.

Posted by Anthony Ravitz, Real Estate & Workplace Services

Multitouch light switches from the future

from DVICE by Charlie White

Multitouch light switches from the future

These light switches look like they belong on a space station. The Basalte Sentido switch glows with a cool blue LED; touch any part of it, and it reacts with a white backlight. Multi-touch different quadrants to control four separate lights individually or separately, and the backlight glows a warm gold. Basalte offer three other styles that are equally impressive.

We’ve seen some fancy light switches before, but these beat all. These Red Dot Award-winning switches come in various shapes and configurations, and you can custom design your own. They all work with low voltage lighting, and are available in Europe for now. Not to worry, these amazing multitouch switches will be commonplace 10 years from now.

Earth And Jupiter Captured In The Same Photo Taken From Mars

from Gizmodo Australia by Adam Frucci

This is a photo of the Earth and its moon and Jupiter and its moons. In the same frame. It’s taken from Mars, and it’s humbling and incredible. Be sure to click the picture to see its full scope. [Reddit] (more…)

State of world fisheries and aquaculture

from mapmaster>

State of world fisheries and aquacultureDrawing on research and statistical data since 2000, experts at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver have shown that catches reported by China are largely overestimated, concealing a substantial decline in world catches since the middle of the 1980s.random?d=yIl2AUoC8zA random?d=qj6IDK7rITs random?i=Nw-BDlDRTok:W-NnfbjCV0M:gIN9vFwOqvQ random?i=Nw-BDlDRTok:W-NnfbjCV0M:F7zBnMyn0Lo random?i=Nw-BDlDRTok:W-NnfbjCV0M:V_sGLiPBpWUrandom?d=cGdyc7Q-1BI random?d=dnMXMwOfBR0 random?i=Nw-BDlDRTok:W-NnfbjCV0M:wF9xT3WuBAs random?i=Nw-BDlDRTok:W-NnfbjCV0M:JEwB19i1-c4