“Urban Future” – where urban mobility isn’t a straight line

Urban Future sees cars and pedestrians safely sharing the same road

While the lines between science and science fiction are constantly being blurred, those between sidewalks and urban streets haven’t been.  At this year’s Design Miami/ international design show, one display showed this too is an idea that’s about to change.

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The Benefits and Challenges of Smart Meters

Editor’s Note: This is the second of three stories about the Smart Grid, its components, and the issues related to its implementation.

The Smart Grid is a catch-all name for a number of technological fixes to the current electricity grid that would merge new technologies with changing energy needs and drive U.S. electricity generation, transmission, and distribution into the 21st century, according to Don Van Dollen, IntelliGrid programs manager for the Electric Power Research Institute.

A key component of the success of the Smart Grid is the SmartMeter.

For more on the issues surrounding SmartMeters, see http://bit.ly/rAzPGl.

Farm Sanctuary and the National Conference to End (the cruelty of) Factory Farming

Factory farms confine animals in cages so small they can't even turn around

For those who don’t know – and many consumers don’t – much of the meat products that Americans eat come from factory farms. These “factories” are places where an often staggering number of animals such as chickens and turkeys are forced to endure extremely cramped confined spaces their entire lives, often stacked on top of each other – tighter than shelving in a garage – with no room to move around or nest in, much less any dirt to peck at. And cows and pigs endure even worse, many never seeing grass in their lifetime.

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New dolphin species identified off Australia

Australian researcher identifies this new species of dolphin

Dolphins are for many a creature filled with mystery and a bit of whimsy. Whether you remember the now iconic Flipper or have actually had the thrill of swimming with dolphins, these highly intelligent marine mammals evoke a heart-felt response that’s part wonder and part joy.

An Australian researcher has successfully identified a new species of dolphin that makes its home off the coast of Australia.

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Green Auto Racing

The Tesla Roadster shows what an electric supercar can really do on the track

Within the world of motorsports, there is a steadily growing awareness that the industry needs to be more green. NASCAR is moving slowly in that direction at a number of its tracks.

To learn about the exciting ways auto racing is greening up, go to http://bit.ly/oZpFl5.

Power shortages in Japan lead to innovative air conditioned clothes

This battery operated jacket keeps you cool no matter what the temperature

In the wake of the devastating disasters that rocked Japan earlier this year, power shortages have abounded. With summer’s sweltering heat, one entrepreneur has seized the opportunity to have his quirky invention take hold.

Created by Hiroshi Ichigaya, a former Sony technician, Kuchofuku or air-conditioned clothing –  jackets and clothes with built-in electric fans – may not be high fashion, but they definitely make a difference in beating the heat.

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Charge it up – with a convenient solar charging station

The cost of transportation just keeps going up. No wonder we’re seeing more alternative vehicles on the road. From mopeds to bicycles,  Zipcars,to electric vehicles, all of us are looking for ways to get from our garage door at point A to our necessary point B a lot less expensively.

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The next sustainable source of rubber – dandelions?


Could a dandelion's milky liquid be a sustainable resource for rubber?

Ford Motor Company. has been working with researchers at Ohio State to create a new sustainable resource for rubber. Odd as it may seem, that source could well be the innocuous dandelion weed.

The sticky, milky white  liquid that seeps from the roots of the Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-haghyz) is currently being grown at OSU’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. If successful, Ford could use this substance as a method to improve the impact strength of plastics.

Russian dandelion could be the next sustainable source of rubber

It could then be used in things like  floor mats and interior trim if it meets Ford’s standards for durability,

Whoever thought that dandelions could prove durable, much less a potential enhancement and/or replacement for rubber? Sort of makes you think twice about pulling up those weeds.

Online Resource Lets Builders Choose Energy Efficient Roof Colors

PPG Industries, a leading manufacturer and supplier of architectural coatings and specialty products, has launched an online database that will help architects and owners select the most energy efficient roofing color to create “cool roofs”.

Cool roofs are a key factor in helping buildings reduce the need for air conditioning during warm weather, reducing overall utility costs.

For more on this story, see http://3.ly/5S3U.

UK releases new anti-greenwashing guide

New UK report to help businesses avoid greenwashing

The UK, which this author personally believes is leaps ahead of the US in its implementation of green practices, has taken another step forward by releasing the Green Claims Guidance. This report – an update of guidelines released in 2003, is a toolkit to help companies avoid greenwashing.

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