Monday, 31 August 2009

You Breathe. You're Conscious

Image: YPI
© The Prem Rawat Foundation

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Solar Powered Plane Could Stay In Air For 5 Years

Odysseus is the name of the solar-powered concept plane that was recently unveiled by Aurora Flight Sciences. This autonomous surveillance craft will be able to fly above the earth for up to five years straight, deriving power solely from its solar panels.

The craft is a combination of three planes made up of 164-foot-long, wing-shaped structures, which would be launched separately and then combine once in the calmer air of the stratosphere. When fully assembled, it will measure 492 feet in width and will be able to travel at 140 mph at an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet.

Power will be provided by solar panels lining the top of the plane and the craft itself is capable of autonomously changing its shape in order to maximize sunlight exposure.

Although it's designed to be a surveillance platform, the Odysseus could also have civilian applications. John Langford, Aurora CEO, imagines it as an atmospheric buoy, monitoring storm development, climate change or the health of the ozone layer. Either way, he says, it would demonstrate the potential of solar power and serve as a testbed for green aircraft technology. "If we can build an airplane that can stay up for five years with nothing but sunlight," he says, "what else can we do?"

Monday, 24 August 2009

Turkish Student Wins Stockholm Junior Water Prize

The Stockholm Water Foundation and the Stockholm International Water Institute awarded 18-year-old Ceren Burcak Dag of Nisantasi, Turkey the 2009 Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Cerek won the honour for developing an innovative method for generating energy through piezoelectric pulses from falling raindrops.

The young woman competed with a record-breaking field of more than 8600 projects from around the world. The award ceremony was held at the 2009 World Water Week which was held in Stockholm from 16 - 22 August.

The World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual meeting place for the planet’s most urgent water-related issues. Organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), it brings together experts, practitioners, decision makers and leaders from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions.

The jury also awarded Diplomas of Excellence to Emily Elhacham of Israel and Mary Zhao of Canada (seen below with Ceren Burcak Dag) for their respective projects Detecting water contamination chemical sensors using metal nanoparticle networks and Grasping water: A novel method of inducing precipitation using the Ice Nucleating Protein.

Photos: Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

World Humanitarian Day 2009

August 19, 2009 is the first World Humanitarian Day. The Day was designated last December by the UN to increase public understanding of humanitarian assistance activities worldwide as well as to honour humanitarian workers who have lost their lives or been injured in the course of their work.

The international community will pay tribute to the brave humanitarian workers who devote their time and energy to come to the rescue of innocent victims of war and natural catastrophes across the world. August 19 was chosen as it was the day six years ago when a bomb attack in Baghdad killed 22 UN employees, among them their chief Sergio Vieira de Mello.

In the last decade more than 700 humanitarian workers have died while striving to help those most in need in some of the world's most hostile environment. Thousands more have endured bombing, kidnapping, attacks, hijacking, robbery and rape.

A small exhibition of photographs collected from humanitarian hot spots around the world was launched in the UN Secretariat lobby on 17 August 2009. You can see some of the work displayed here.

You can also watch this short video Delivering Aid Despite The Risks

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Truck Farm Veggiemobile

Amazing! These guys from Brooklyn, New York have started their own Truck Farm! Not what you'd normally think of as a green vehicle, but they use a 1986 Dodge Ram to grow rows of vegetables. They call themselves Wicked Delicate and they're producing a series of music video shorts with lyrics. Watch this short 'teaser'.

Getting Truck Farm started, holes had to be drilled into the bed for drainage. Alive Structures, an NYC-based company that specializes in rainwater management helped with a root barrier, erosion blanket, drainage mat and cups which are usually reserved for green roofs. Last, but not least, the soil that lies in Truck Farm’s bed is not just regular dirt - it is a special lightweight blend of styrofoam, gel, organics, and clay.

A truck that drives your veggies to customers to pluck straight out of the soil with their own hands!

You can watch the whole series of Wicked Delicate shorts here. Below is Episode 1. The music's great, too!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Raising Money For Your Chosen Cause With SocialVibe

I've just started helping to raise money for the World Food Programme with SocialVibe. SocialVibe is a network where you can choose a cause and a sponsor, who donates money to your cause depending on the number of points you make.

There are a variety of causes to choose from, related to Hunger & Poverty, Environment, Peace & Human Rights, Animals etc. Once you have chosen what you would like to support, you choose a sponsor from the list given. Finally, you create a badge which you can place on your site or social network pages. You can see mine for WFP below and on the left sidebar.

You get points from people visiting through your badge and from a number of other ways on the site itself. All these points translate into hard cash, which your sponsor donates to your cause. It seems a really great way to raise money, and SocialVibe was the Blogger's Choice Winner, Non-Profit Causes and People's Choice Runner Up, Non-Profit Causes in the 2009 Mashable Open Web Awards.

symposio invites you to

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