18 Mar

The small land area available to residents of the Netherlands means that expanding into the surrounding ocean is necessary in order to support a growing population.

The Dutch have done this throughout history by building dikes to reclaim land. However, that model of land reclamation might not be viable nowadays.

One possible contemporary solution: The building and maintaining of floating islands, as envisioned by the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN).

The organization's artificial, floating island consists of sizable triangles that interlock in modular ways. In terms of structure, the MARIN islands function along the lines of Italian Floating Piers and walkways, albeit on a huger scale. According to MARIN, its version of floating islands could wind up covering areas as much 3.1 miles (5 km) wide. They could also be used for many different purposes, including fishing and seaweed-harvesting facilities, renewable energy configurations, docks for the loading and unloading of ships, and public spaces.

16 Mar

As more people flee their homelands due to civil strife, natural disasters, or simply the desire to live and breathe free of oppression, citizens and governments of destination countries find themselves faced with myriad problems: Where will the newcomers be housed? How will they be fed? Is it possible for huge throngs of people to assimilate into another culture within a short period of time? Is it even desired, on anyone's part?

Even if there could be agreement on those as well as other pressing issues concerning refugees, how effectively could policies be communicated across language barriers? How can refugees make their needs and wishes known?

Translators Without Borders (TWB) may offer at least a partial solution. The non-profit organization was originally founded in 1993 in France as Traducteurs sans Frontières by Lori Thicke and Ros Smith-Thomas as a way to connect translators from around the world to trusted non-profit organizations whose missions encompass the areas of education, nutrition, and health.

14 Mar

When it comes to traveling, some say half the fun is getting there. Many others, however, find traveling burdensome and uncomfortable, especially if it involves a long flight. Often travelers arrive at their destination feeling achy and exhausted, taking the enjoyment out of the fun they’d planned to have.

But a new pillow may help with that. A Kickstarter campaign from a company called Vasco introduces a neck pillow that offers heat, massage, or a combination of both to make any trip more relaxing. With six massage modes and three heating modes, the pillow has something for every traveler’s individual preferences.

12 Mar

When 4G cell phone technology launched in 2010, it promised more reliable networks and better sound quality. Now, eight years later, it seems cellular networks are long overdue for a move to the next generation, which will bring faster download speeds and better video call quality.

That long-awaited upgrade seems to be just around the corner. The biggest brands in mobile have recently announced they’ll be releasing 5G phones in 2019, including LG, Sony, and HTC. Each of these phones will reportedly feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5GR modem, which will give phones the technology they need to support 5G.

10 Mar

Taking a flight means first getting from your home to the airport, either by car, train, or bus, then walking into the airport, where you have yet another wait to board the plane. But a new invention out of Switzerland could provide passengers a seamless travel experience, taking them from home to their destination without having to change vehicles at all.

The concept is called Clip-Air, and it can best be compared to a shipping container. Clip-Air is a capsule that can be attached to a single flying wing, which can carry multiple capsules in one flight. Clip-Air can also be used to transport cargo, expanding the possibilities for aircraft design.

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