Sony’s wearable, pocket-sized air conditioner is finally available for sale!

Summer is not for everyone – sure it is nice when you are at the beach but is it nice to feel like you are being roasted like a turkey when its not Thanksgiving? I personally thrive in the snow but keeping on brand with being unprecedented like 2020, I have found myself in lockdown in India which means I am currently dealing with a hot, humid, tropical climate and it feels like I am an iPhone on 1% battery. What people like me need is Sony’s Reon Pocket air conditioner, which is FINALLY on sale, to keep us cool, calm, and collected!

A portable, wearable, air conditioner is no more a thing of futuristic TV shows. The Reon Pocket is a smartphone-controlled personal gadget that was designed to be compact and cool. It works using thermoelectric cooling and can cool the user’s body temperature by 13 degrees celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit) and raise your temperature by about 8 degrees Celsius (about 14 degrees Fahrenheit). Reon sits on the base of your neck in a special undershirt designed for it. It uses the Peltier effect which means a temperature difference is created by applying a voltage between two electrodes connected to a sample of semiconductor material. The heat is absorbed or emitted when you pass an electrical current across a junction to either lower your temperature or increase it without bulk or noise.

It is sleek, minimal and comfortable as a piece of wearable tech. Like any smart device of our times, Reon’s functions can be controlled via Bluetooth. Set to the desired temperature using the mobile app which also features an automatic mode. It only weighs 85 grams and can be charged with the common USB-C port. The only downside is that the battery lasts for just two hours on a single charge but that is enough time for you to run all errands or enjoy a picnic before you start to melt.

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How green sand could capture billions of tons of carbon dioxide

The green sand beach Papakolea, Hawaii

The green sand Papakōlea Beach in Hawaii.

Scientists are taking a harder look at using carbon-capturing rocks to counteract climate change, but lots of uncertainties remain.

PROJECT VESTA

A pair of palm-tree-fringed coves form two narrow notches, about a quarter of a mile apart, along the shoreline of an undisclosed island somewhere in the Caribbean.

After a site visit in early March, researchers with the San Francisco nonprofit Project Vesta determined that the twin inlets provided an ideal location to study an obscure method of capturing the carbon dioxide driving climate change.

Later this year, Project Vesta plans to spread a green volcanic mineral known as olivine, ground down to the size of sand particles, across one of the beaches. The waves will further break down the highly reactive material, accelerating a series of chemical reactions that pull the greenhouse gas out of the air and lock it up in the shells and skeletons of mollusks and corals.

This process, along with other forms of what’s known as enhanced mineral weathering, could potentially store hundreds of trillions of tons of carbon dioxide, according to a National Academies report last year. That’s far more carbon dioxide than humans have pumped out since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Unlike methods of carbon removal that rely on soil, plants, and trees, it would be effectively permanent. And Project Vesta at least believes it could be cheap, on the order of $10 per ton of stored carbon dioxide once it’s done on a large scale.

But there are huge questions around this concept as well. How do you mine, grind, ship, and spread the vast quantities of minerals necessary without producing more emissions than the material removes? And who’s going to pay for it?

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This 3D printed house reduces carbon emissions and takes 48 hours to build!

The construction industry contributes to 39% of global carbon emissions while aviation contributes to only 2% which means we need to look for alternative building materials if we are to make a big impact on the climate crisis soon. We’ve seen buildings being made using mushrooms, bricks made from recycled plastic and sand waste, organic concrete, and now are seeing another innovative solution – a floating 3D printed house!

Prvok is the name of this project and it will be the first 3D printed house in the Czech Republic built by Michal Trpak, a sculptor, and Stavebni Sporitelna Ceske Sporitelny who is a notable member of the Erste building society. The house is designed to float and only takes 48 hours to build! Not only is that seven times faster than traditional houses, but it also reduces construction costs by 50%. No bricks, cement, and concrete (responsible for 8% of CO2 emissions alone!) are used which means it reduces carbon emissions by 20% – imagine how much CO2 could be reduced if this was used to build a colony. A robotic arm called Scoolpt designed by Jiri Vele, an architect and programmer, will be used in 3D printing and can print as fast as 15 cm per second.

 

The 43 square meter home will have all the essentials – a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom. It will be anchored on a pontoon and is designed in a way that owners can live in it all year round. Prvok is partially self-sufficient and is equipped with eco-technologies that enable it to recirculate shower water, use a green roof, and host reservoirs for utility, drinking, and sewage water. Each detail and element of the house has been thoughtfully added after making sure it can last for 100 years in any environment. Prvok is an example of what the future of hybrid houses that work for you and the environment could look like.

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These hungry superworms happily munch through plastic

 

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A superworm can eat about eight times more than other plastic-ingesting insects.

Recycling seems like a simple cure for our plastic addiction: just take the plastic we have and make it into new items. But problems abound. Current technology mostly creates plastic of a lower quality than it was before, many types of plastic aren’t recyclable at all, and much of the plastic is floating in the ocean, not even in the recycling stream. So it’s vital that we find new ways to break down plastic, and scientists have just discovered one: a superworm that can eat about eight times more than other plastic-ingesting insects like mealworms.

Superworms are actually beetle larvae, and commonly sold at pet stores as food for reptiles and fish. In a paper recently published by the American Chemical Society, researchers Jiaojie Li, Dae-Hwan Kim, and their team detail how they placed 50 superworms in a chamber with two grams of polystyrene. After 21 days, the superworms had consumed about 70% of the polystyrene.

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New study : Every electric car brings $10,000 in life-saving benefits

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Converting all cars and SUVs in the Greater Toronto area into electric vehicles would cause 313 fewer deaths per year, an estimated social benefit of $2.4 billion. That’s the high-level finding of a study published today by Environmental Defence and the Ontario Public Health Association.

EV drivers cite numerous reasons for ditching a gas car and buying an EV: lower operating costs, high resale values, quick and quiet acceleration, and mitigating climate change. But what’s more compelling than saving human lives?

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These drones will plant 40,000 trees in a month. By 2028, they’ll have planted 1 billion

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One of Flash Forest’s prototype drones.

We need to massively reforest the planet, in a very short period of time. Flash Forest’s drones can plant trees a lot faster than humans.

This week, on land north of Toronto that previously burned in a wildfire, drones are hovering over fields and firing seed pods into the ground, planting native pine and spruce trees to help restore habitat for birds. Flash Forest, the Canadian startup behind the project, plans to use its technology to plant 40,000 trees in the area this month. By the end of the year, as it expands to other regions, it will plant hundreds of thousands of trees. By 2028, the startup aims to have planted a full 1 billion trees.

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The Fibonacci Sequence is everywhere- Even the troubled stock market

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The Fibonacci Spiral

 The curious set of numbers shows up in nature and also in human activities.

On Friday, as the U.S. stock market closed out its worst week since 2008 amid coronavirus-related turmoil (before recovering somewhat early this week), investors were left with a glaring question: Is it all downhill from here? Amid such economic turbulence, some market researchers look to a familiar, powerful set of numbers to predict the future.

“Fibonacci retracement” is a tool that technical analysts use to guide their outlook about buying and selling behavior in markets. This technique is named after and derived from the famous Fibonacci sequence, a set of numbers with properties related to many natural phenomena. While using these numbers to predict market movements is a lot less certain than using it to calculate sunflower seed patterns, the appearance of the sequence in the field of finance is yet another testament to its power in capturing the human imagination.

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The coronavirus is showing us how clean the air can be if electric cars were the norm

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With all the loss of lives and financial destruction that the coronavirus has brought us, it’s hard to look at silver linings from this crisis, but there’s one that’s becoming obvious: cleaner air.

It might not last for long, but it’s giving us a glimpse at what we could experience if the world was to rapidly transition to electric transportation.

With shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders all over the world, passenger car traffic has been way down and people have been burning way less petrol.

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Americans on the move to escape the coronavirus

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Lisa Pezzino brushes her teeth at her retreat in Big Sur, Calif., 140 miles from her city home in Oakland.

The mass migration looks urgent and temporary but might contain the seeds of a wholesale shift in where and how Americans live.

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Back home in Oakland, California, Lisa Pezzino and Kit Center built a life that revolved around music and the people who make it – the musicians who recorded on Pezzino’s small label and performed in places where Center rigged the lights and sound equipment.

Where they are now, deep in the redwood forest near Big Sur, 140 miles south along the California coast, there is mostly the towering silence of isolation. A tiny cabin, an outdoor kitchen, just one neighbor. This is life in the flight from the virus.

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Helicopter drone is made to drop bombs on forest fires

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The QilingUAV JC260, loaded up and ready to go

 One of the good things about drones is the fact that they can safely be flown in conditions that would prove hazardous for crewed aircraft. That’s where the JC260 unmanned helicopter comes in, as it’s designed to fight forest fires.

Created by Chinese manufacturer QilingUAV, the JC260 can be equipped with two of the company’s retardant-filled “fire extinguishing bombs.” Dropped separately or in unison, each of the bombs can reportedly cover a flaming forest area of 50 cubic meters (1,766 cu ft).

Lift is provided by two sets of counter-rotating rotor blades, measuring 3.6 m (11.8 ft) in diameter. These are powered by two 34-hp water-cooled gasoline engines, taking the aircraft to a claimed cruising speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). One tank of gas should be good for a flight time of three to four hours.

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Dallas Exterminator treats ‘5 to 10’ ride share cars a week for bed bug infestations

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 If the shady business practices, abuse of drivers or straight-up possible negligent homicides don’t make you pause before hitting that Uber or Lyft app, maybe this will: at least one Dallas exterminator is doing big business killing bed bugs in ride-share vehicles.

Dallas is up there in terms American cities experiencing bed bug infestations. Both Orkin and Terminix place the city in the top 10 most buggy cities in America, according to WFAA. The news station spoke to Don Brooks, owner of Dallas-based Doffdon Pest Control about the problem.

“Quite frankly, they’re not racist at all and they don’t care about how much money you have,” Brooks said. “They’re bloodsuckers.”

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Planet Plastic : How Big Oil and Big Soda kept a global environmental calamity a secret for decades

 

Recycling Company, SKM, Declared Bankrupt In Melbourne

Every human on Earth is ingesting nearly 2,000 particles of plastic a week. These tiny pieces enter our unwitting bodies from tap water, food, and even the air, according to an alarming academic study sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, dosing us with five grams of plastics, many cut with chemicals linked to cancers, hormone disruption, and developmental delays. Since the paper’s publication last year, Sen. Tom Udall, a plain-spoken New Mexico Democrat with a fondness for white cowboy hats and turquoise bolo ties, has been trumpeting the risk: “We are consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic each week,” Udall says. At events with constituents, he will brandish a Visa from his wallet and declare, “You’re eating this, folks!”

With new legislation, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020, Udall is attempting to marshal Washington into a confrontation with the plastics industry, and to force companies that profit from plastics to take accountability for the waste they create. Unveiled in February, the bill would ban many single-use plastics and force corporations to finance “end of life” programs to keep plastic out of the environment. “We’re going back to that principle,” the senator tells Rolling Stone. “The polluter pays.”

The battle pits Udall and his allies in Congress against some of the most powerful corporate interests on the planet, including the oil majors and chemical giants that produce the building blocks for our modern plastic world — think Exxon, Dow, and Shell — and consumer giants like Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Unilever that package their products in the stuff. Big Plastic isn’t a single entity. It’s more like a corporate supergroup: Big Oil meets Big Soda — with a puff of Big Tobacco, responsible for trillions of plastic cigarette butts in the environment every year. And it combines the lobbying and public-relations might of all three.

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