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23 Apr

Waterfront property can be extremely expensive. The land itself sells for a premium. But a new eco-friendly solution can give homeowners a house without the land, resting atop the water. Known as the EcoFloLife WaterNest, the homes are approximately 328 square feet and made almost entirely from recyclable materials.

But eco-friendliness is only part of the WaterNest’s appeal. Since these homes rest atop water, they feature waterfront views and natural lighting, thanks to built-in skylights. Additionally, the homes utilize natural energy sources due to photovoltaic panels that are built into the roof of the building. The panels are able to provide as much as four kWp of electricity to the home.

21 Apr

Discarded plastic bottles are a serious risk to the environment, with the World Economic Forum reporting that by 2050, the Earth’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish. But a new invention from a product design student in Iceland offers an innovative solution. AriJónsson’s revolutionary water bottle actually decomposes once it’s been tossed in the trash.

While water is still inside, the bottle holds its shape. However, as soon as its contents are empty, the bottle begins to decompose. The technology works because the bottle is made from a mixture of algae and water, which relies heavily on water inside in order to retain its shape.

19 Apr

Cue up theme music from your favorite outer-space TV show.

The recent sightings took place about 40,000 feet over southern Arizona. Which isn't too terribly far from Roswell, New Mexico, site of other supposed UFO sightings stretching back decades. (Extraterrestrial visitors strangely have a thing for desert landscapes.)

According to released FAA recordings related to the incidents, a pilot flying a Learjet toward California said, "Was anybody above us that passed us like 30 seconds ago?"

In reply, an air traffic controller at the FAA's Albuquerque Air Traffic Center in New Mexico said, "Negative."

The pilot answered, "OK, something did."

17 Apr

While necessary to preserve food and beverages, refrigeration requires a steady stream of electricity to maintain a constant temperature. And that power supply, in turn, stresses the environment. It only makes sense, then, to seek out alternative forms of keeping edibles cool without hiking the temperature of the planet.

Here are a few, courtesy of New Atlas:

  • Look In Below: Before the advent of modern refrigeration, people stored food beneath the surface of the ground. Residents of Northern Canada, for instance, constructed storage areas beneath the permafrost. Some were the size of modest dwellings. Permafrost levels are going deeper into the ground, thanks to global warming. In turn, people have adapted the original model.
15 Apr

How large?

The project, named Tropicalia and planned for Northern France, is expected to cover 215,278 sq ft (20,000 sq m), or almost five aces in total.

Instead of glass, the project will use an air-filled plastic substance that's been used in projects such as the United Kingdom's Eden Project and the National Aquatic Center in Beijing.

The structure will allow for a natural greenhouse effect that will maintain a steady interior temperature of 82.4° F (28° C). However, it is expected that some kind of ventilation will be needed to prevent overheating; it's possible that excess heat could be transmitted to the area near the dome or even stored.

According to a report from New Atlas, the dome's interior will feature animals native to tropical regions, such as fish, turtles, hummingbirds, caimans, and butterflies, as well as abundant green plant life, including exotic flowers. Visitors can navigate a 0.62 mile (1 km)-long footpath through a meticulously landscaped area dotted with pools, bridges, aquarian basins, and waterfalls. The dome will also include a place for scientists, guesthouses, veterinary clinic, restaurant, and hotel.

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