By Steve FeatherstonePosted 07.17.2012 at 10:10 am 19 Comments
On April 26, 1986, two powerful explosions tore through Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, flipping the reactor's giant 2,000-ton concrete lid into the air like a coin. White-hot chunks of the nuclear core rained down on adjacent buildings, setting fires and peppering the ground outside. Remnants of the core burned for 10 days, churning a thick plume of radioactive isotopes equivalent to 400 Hiroshima bombs high into the atmosphere.
By Patrick Di JustoPosted 07.16.2012 at 5:31 pm 13 Comments
Twenty years ago, Mitchell Joseph set out to solve one of the great challenges of the modern age: how to make a can of beer that could cool itself. He designed a can that used and released the coolant HFC-134a. His prototype worked—it cooled liquid dramatically in a matter of minutes—but there was a hitch. HFC-134a is a greenhouse gas 1,400 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Popping one of Joseph's cans was the environmental equivalent of driving 500 miles, and it was illegal under EPA regulations. Suffice it to say, his original design never made it into production. This year, Joseph introduced the ChillCan, a completely legal self-chilling can that reduces a drink's temperature by 30ºF in three minutes.