If the typical beach vacation – the one where you spend several days on the beach reading bad fiction and soaking up sun – has lost its allure, the Ukraine would like to make a suggestion: come soak up radiation and some real human drama at Chernobyl, the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history.
The World Wildlife Federation announced the creation of its first file format, WWF, designed as a replacement for PDF. It's essentially identical to PDF, except for one key difference: It can't be printed. The WWF hopes this will reduce unnecessary paper use, or at least bring some attention to the fact that lots of paper use is unnecessary.
The forbidding sands of the Sahara might seem an unusual place for farming. But if you’re farming silicon to make solar panels, the conditions in the Sahara are more or less optimal. At least, that’s the thinking behind the Sahara Solar Breeder Project. The plan, a joint project proposed by Japanese and Algerian universities, would use the desert’s immense supplies of sunlight and sand to “breed” solar power plants and solar panel factories.
The "life is persistent" argument is often used to bolster the idea that life exists elsewhere in the universe. While that remains to be seen, the notion certainly keeps proving true here on the home planet. Scientists have found life thriving in near superheated ocean vents, in inhospitable parts of Antarctica, and in the depths of subterranean oil reservoirs.
Researchers at the University of Newcastle in the UK have created a new kind of concrete glue that can patch up the cracks in concrete structures, restoring buildings that have been damaged by seismic events or deteriorated over time.
It's still hard to know just how big an Atlantic hurricane is going to get or where it might make landfall until just days before it strikes, but meteorologists have long been able to predict with fair certainty how many hurricanes will be spawned in the next hurricane season.
Getting into a climate change debate on Twitter could be even more exhausting than it sounds now that a software developer named Nigel Leck has automated the process. Tired of arguing with climate change deniers in 140 character quips, the programmer wrote a script to do it for him. Chatbot @AI_AGW scans Twitter every five minutes searching for hundreds of phrases that fit the usual denier argument paradigm. Then it serves them up some science.
Back in July, two all-electric, driverless vans set out from Italy bound for China, an 8,000-mile trek through two continents, several countries, and endless driving variables like traffic, weather conditions, and roadway conditions.
The old adage says "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." So in an energy economy where electricity is costly in both an economic and environmental sense, it makes sense to try to reduce your energy suck across the board in any way possible.