Circumnavigational Wonder

The world’s first circumnavigation by an aircraft powered only by the sun was just completed this week. The Solar Impulse 2, created and flown by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, landed in Abu Dhabi after 23 days of flight time – spread over the course of 17 months and 42,438 km (22,915 nmi) of Northern Hemisphere territory.…

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Industrial Reforestation

I haven’t yet made peace with the notion of drone swarms in civilian life, whether they are for deliveries or photography or oil pipe monitoring or any number of ostensibly benign and useful activities. I suppose at some point I’ll just get used to them as they multiply, much like I did with the now-ubiquitous…

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The Hand Tree

I like gadgets as much as the next person, and I certainly understand the appeal of turning to nifty electronics for green objectives. Not only do some of the gadgets look cool and do cool things, they also monetize green goals by making products that can help drive employment and the economy. All good things.…

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Catching Fog

Fog is little more than an earth-bound cloud. When I picture fog harvesting, I have an image of people moving quietly through dense fog, using loose linen bags to scoop against the water-laden air around them. But why would anyone harvest fog? It’s not as if enough of it would ever stay in the imaginary…

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The Taste of Shape

There’s no denying that the utensils we use, the presentation we choose and the serving methods employed affect how we experience what crosses our palate. That’s as true for lemon tart as it is for champagne. Champagne glasses, like those for many other beverages, have undergone a transformation over the centuries. From the mugs or…

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Ode to Joy(rides)

Every time I go to the Geneva International Motor Show, one of the world’s major automobile shows, I have the vague expectation that I will see something that will exceed expectations, break the rules, extend the boundaries. So far, no luck. The 84th year of the show, which is closing today, is said to have…

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Mycotecture

A few years ago, a fellow in the French village where we live showed us his old family house and business. The large stone building, dating back to the early nineteenth century, was in two side-by-side sections. On one side, the spacious restaurant; on the other side, a three-story rustic home. The structure had been…

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Plant Plastics

An Australian company named Zeoform has been in the news recently for its patented technology of producing a new kind of plastic that uses neither fossil fuels nor toxic chemicals in its production or materials. The input materials are water, and anything from landfill fiber-based material such as old newspapers or used clothing. The end…

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Mobile Gardens

Bus-top gardens, the planting of gardens on the elevated flat space of urban bus tops, is a nice subversion of how we usually think of gardens. Namely, we think of gardening as a place-specific activity. Rooted in place, not to put too fine a point on it. So why drive gardens around on the daily…

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Lion Lights & Big Enemies

“Me and the lions, we are enemies. Big enemies. We can never forgive one other anything.” Richard Turere Richard Turere is a young Maasai boy who lives on the outskirts of Nairobi National Park, and up until recently, he was responsible for looking after the family cattle. He invented a simple and inexpensive solution to…

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