Category Archives: Social Issues

Solar-Powered Trash Compactors

“These new landfill-crunching compacting bins are entirely powered by
the sun and are able to accept close to eight times as much waste as a
regular trash can. Pretty cool, we thought – especially once we found
out that they are calling the new bins Big Bellys and that they stand to save the city close to 12 million dollars over 10 years!”…. Via Inhabitat

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Give a Laptop Get A Laptop

I found the concept really interesting when it originated and to see Amazon bring to the mainstream in time for Christmas is laudable <’s Changing The World>

Technical Details

  • Dual mode sunlight-readable display screen, 1200×900 resolution
  • Video and still camera
  • Rugged water resistant low power laptop, no hard drive
  • Open Source, Linux OS, encourages community involvement and self-exploration
  • Standard WiFi as well as ‘Mesh’ networking that allows laptops to communicate with each other with or without a network infrastructure

See more technical details

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Filed under Bannaga, Beyond 5G, Global Issues, Innovation, Product Development, Smart Living, Social Issues, Technology and Gadgets

MIT researchers boost the power of solar energ

“Sunlight has the greatest potential of any power source to solve the world’s energy problems, Daniel Nocera, the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy at MIT, said in an earlier interview. In one hour, enough sunlight strikes the Earth to provide the entire planet’s energy needs for one year, he added.

The problem, however, is how best to harness that energy”…. <More>


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Good for You, Good for the Planet

Power Button, image credit Paul Randall via Flickr, under Creative Commons-licensed content.

“Good for You, Good for the Planet’s Jorge Alonso Garcia says that nearly “100%” of electronic devices remain on standby mode after they’ve been turned off. “This is so that they can be quickly turned on again,” he explains.
So What Does the Device Do?

100%Off, the device designed by Good for You, is a microprocessor which uses algorithms to detect a decline in the flow of electricity being sent to an electronic device or appliance. Once 100%Off has detected a decline, it completely shuts the device or appliance off. (The amount of time 100% off waits before a complete shutdown of the device is configurable through programming.)”….<More>

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The Green Revolution 2.0

The WSJ’s Continuing the Green Revolution by NORMAN E. BORLAUG, the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize:

“Today, with the tools of biotechnology, such as molecular and marker-assisted selection, the ends are reached in a more organized and accelerated way. The result has been the advent of a “Gene” Revolution that stands to equal, if not exceed, the Green Revolution of the 20th century”…. <More>

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A Modern, Green House for $100,000! 08 Builder Spec Plans 100K House - Postgreen Flickr Slideshow Dec 21 Updated Plans - Postgreen Flickr Slideshow preferred-all frontFloorplanDraft by postgreen.

GreenByDesign had an interesting post on a company called PostGreen who is attempting to build a house for $100,000 called the 100K house it is a little on the small side and not strictly a prefab. Also, the 100k budget covers “the hard construction budget only. The price of the land and all soft costs are separate” which sorta defeats the purpose

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Bringing Broadband to Africa Via Satellite

“What caught our attention was a map with a bunch of red lines representing the fiber that runs around the world,” says Mike Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global, the broadband and cable company partly owned by media mogul John Malone. The map showed large areas, primarily in and around Africa, with little or no fiber. “It was a compelling illustration of what this network will fill,” says Mr. Fries, adding that Liberty’s Denver office will help develop the project”…. <More>


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Filed under Bannaga, Beyond 5G, Cut The Wire (Wireless Technology), Global Issues, Social Issues, Technology and Gadgets, The Environment, Wireless Technology

Notorious Crimes: Leopold and Loeb

Bobby Franks“They drove the dead Bobby Franks (14 years old) to a nearby preserve, and, after Leopold poured hydrochloric acid over the boy’s face and genitals (he had heard that a body could be identified by its genitals), they stuffed their victim into a drainage pipe. But for Leopold’s glasses falling out of his pocket and onto the ground, the decisive clue in the apprehension of the murderers, they would doubtless have brought the crime off successfully.

Neither killer showed any remorse after being captured and indicted for murder. Kidnapping had been involved; they had sent a ransom note to their victim’s family. But money wasn’t their true motive. Perfection was. Leopold and Loeb dreamed of committing the perfect crime, and they found philosophical backing for their desire in Nietzsche’s notion of the Übermensch. Leopold wrote to Loeb: “A superman . . . is, on account of certain superior qualities inherent in him, exempted from the ordinary laws which govern men. He is not liable for anything he may do.”…. <More>

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Employee Motivation: A Powerful New Model

“Motivating employees begins with recognizing that to do their best work, people must be in an environment that meets their basic emotional drives to acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend. So say Nohria and Groysberg, of Harvard Business School, and Lee, of the Center for Research on Corporate Performance. Using the results of surveys they conducted with employees at a wide range of Fortune 500 and other companies, they developed a model for how to increase workplace motivation dramatically”…. Full Article available for purchase via HBR <Here>

A Brief free summary by KM Space ties it all knowledge management …

“The authors put forth four drives that underlie motivation.The authors then tie these drives into levers that the organization can use to lever”.


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17 Social Shopping Sites Compared

“Take a look at 17 social shopping sites and look at the type of traffic and audience they attract.

Users of social shopping sites share information about products, deals and prices. Some allow you to create shopping lists that you can share with your friends. Recent data from Hitwise suggests that while social shopping only accounts for a small percentage of web activity, visitors to these sites increased by 477% over the course of a year. So just who make up the typical audience of these sites? From looking at the demographics, it seems that the audience covers a fairly wide spectrum”…. <More>

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Google & Your Brain

“The human brain is almost infinitely malleable. People used to think that our mental meshwork, the dense connections formed among the 100 billion or so neurons inside our skulls, was largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. But brain researchers have discovered that that’s not the case. James Olds, a professor of neuroscience who directs the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University, says that even the adult mind “is very plastic.” Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. “The brain,” according to Olds, “has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions.

As we use what the sociologist Daniel Bell has called our “intellectual technologies”—the tools that extend our mental rather than our physical capacities—we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of those technologies”….<More>

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MIT Discovery Could Unleash Solar Revolution

“In a revolutionary discovery that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn’t shine.

Until now, solar power has been a daytime-only energy source, because storing extra solar energy for later use is prohibitively expensive and grossly inefficient. With yesteday’s announcement, MIT researchers have hit upon a simple, inexpensive, highly efficient process for storing solar energy”…. <More>

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Two New Drugs Promise Long Longer Healthier Living“The new drugs are called sirtuin activators, meaning that they activate an enzyme called sirtuin. The basic theory is that all or most species have an ancient strategy for riding out famines: switch resources from reproduction to tissue maintenance. A healthy diet but with 30 percent fewer calories than usual triggers this reaction in mice and is the one intervention that reliably increases their life span.

But most people cannot keep to a diet with a 30 percent cut in calories, so a drug that could activate the famine reflex might be highly desirable. Dr. Leonard Guarente, an M.I.T. biologist who founded the field of sirtuin biology, thinks the famine reflex is mediated through the sirtuin enzymes. Dr. Sinclair, his former student, discovered that sirtuins could be activated by drugs. The most potent activator that emerged from his screens was resveratrol, a natural substance found in red wine, though in amounts probably too low to be significant for health.

“The Sirtris drug being tested in diabetic patients is a special formulation of resveratrol that delivers a bloodstream dose five times as high as the chemical alone. This drug, called SRT501, has passed safety tests and, at least in small-scale trials, has reduced the patients’ glucose levels.

The other drug is a small synthetic chemical that is a thousand times as potent as resveratrol in activating sirtuin and can be given at a much smaller dose. Safety tests in people have just started, with no adverse effects so far….resveratrol has doubled muscular endurance, lowered the bad form of cholesterol, protected against various bad effects of a high-fat diet and suppressed colon cancer. New reports are confirming some of these benefits, but others are ambiguous or puzzling. “…. <More>


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Sharp TV Gets 100% of Its Power From the Sun

“The TV uses about one-fourth the power and has about one-third the annual energy consumption of a conventional CRT TV with the same screen size. Compared to today´s LCD TVs, the low-power prototype uses about one-third the power, and about one-half the annual energy consumption. This extremely low power consumption allows the TV to be powered from one of Sharp´s triple-junction thin-film solar cell modules, with a surface area of about the same size as the LCD screen. The company plans to market the TV and solar energy system as a combination pair”….<More>

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Speak Your Mind-Controlling The Machine Voicelessly

“The video above shows the system placing the first public voiceless phone call on stage at a recent conference held by microchip manufacturer Texas Instruments.

“Michael Callahan, co-founder of Ambient Corporation, which developed the neckband, demonstrates the device, called the Audeo,” says New Scientist”…. <Article-More>

From The Devloper’s Website ”

The Audeo is being developed to create a human-computer interface for communication without the need of physical motor control or speech production. Using signal processing, unpronounced speech representing the thought of the mind can be translated from intercepted neurological signals”…. <Ambient Corporation>

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Filed under Bannaga, Industrial Design, Innovation, MEDIACASTS (MP3, Movies, Podcasts), Neurotechnology, Product Development, Products, Science, Smart Living, Social Issues, Technology and Gadgets, Video

Prefab: PreFab Home Kits Sometimes Aren’t So Fabulous

“Among the least-expensive choices are kits sold by Rocio Romero, a home designer in Perryville, Mo. Her $36,000 kit provides a shell and blueprints for a boxy, 1,150-square-foot dwelling clad in galvanized steel — but homeowners have to supply windows, doors, roofing and interior finishes. Ms. Romero has sold 154 houses since launching the line in 2003.”…. <More>

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The Emerging Brain Fitness Software Market: Building Better Brains

Scientific, technological and demographic trends have converged to create an exciting new market in brain fitness, where software and online applications can assess and train cognitive abilities. That equates to a sharper mind and better memory retention contributing to healthier aging.  There is currently a $400m worldwide market with high growth ahead predicted.

This video is lively and informative:

· What results are scientists discovering from the use of Brain Fitness tools?
· Who will use brain tools and why?
· What is the market potential for new companies entering the brain fitness market?
· What kind of brain fitness applications are being developed?

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Windmill That Can Provide Fresh Water From Seawater Directly

The combination of windmills and desalination installations is already commercially available. These windmills produce electricity from wind power, the electricity is stored and subsequently used to drive the high-pressure pump for the reverse osmosis installation. The storage of electricity in particular is very expensive. Energy is also lost during conversion.

In the TU Delft installation, the high-pressure pump is driven directly by wind power. Water storage can be used to overcome calm periods. The storage of water is after all a great deal cheaper than that of electricity”…. <More>

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Prefab: Port-a-Bach Portable Cabin from Atelier Workshop in

“The Port-a-Bach, from Atelier Workshop in New Zealand! It reminds me of BARK’s All-Terrain Cabin, in that it is created from a 20ft. shipping container

The Port-a-Bach portable cabin sleeps two adults and two children, is power, water and sewer independent, has one wall that folds down to create an open living space and folds back up to secure the unit for storage or relocation.

Via It has a kitchen and complete bath, and can be hooked up to external services, as well”… Via the Excellent The Excellent


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Statistics: Knowledge Wealth of Nations Part 1

This website has amazing statistics that lists all nations. It is surprising to me for example that Cuba tops all Nations in educational spending…

#1   Guinea-Bissau: 86,430.675 per 1,000 people  2001 
#2   Gambia, The: 39,339.247 per 1,000 people  2001 
#3   Gabon: 35,699.28 per 1,000 people  2001 
#4   Serbia and Montenegro: 1,015.98 per 1,000 people  2001 
#5   Canada: 399.557 per 1,000 people  2001 
#6   Djibouti: 105.113 per 1,000 people  2005 
#7   Niger: 98.232 per 1,000 people  2005 
#8   Congo, Republic of the: 94.081 per 1,000 people  2005 
#9   Comoros: 91.474 per 1,000 people  2000 
#10   Burkina Faso: 90.868 per 1,000 people  2005 
#11   Mali: 82.307 per 1,000 people  2005 
#12   Sudan: 81.924 per 1,000 people  2000 
#13   Eritrea: 69.975 per 1,000 people  2005 
#14   Côte d’Ivoire: 69.499 per 1,000 people  2003 
#15   Burundi: 63.575 per 1,000 people  2005 
#16   Solomon Islands: 57.746 per 1,000 people  2003 
#17   Angola: 57.084 per 1,000 people  1998 
#18   Liberia: 55.924 per 1,000 people  2000 
#19   Namibia: 55.539 per 1,000 people  2005 
#20   Ghana: 51.072 per 1,000 people  2005 
#21   Mauritania: 42.436 per 1,000 people  2005 
#22   Rwanda: 41.278 per 1,000 people  2005 
#23   Pakistan: 40.464 per 1,000 people  2005 
#24   Mozambique: 40.391 per 1,000 people  2005 
#25   Maldives: 38.114 per 1,000 people  2005 

The NAtion MAster Web Site

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