Why is a Wisconsin scientist using science fiction-like stories to talk about global warming? According to Quest, the public broadcasting science series, the goal of “Yahara 2070” is to get local communities in the Yahara watershed, a 386 square-mile (1,000 square-kilometer) area surrounding Madison, into constructive discussions about adapting to the effects of climate disruption. Rather than do it solely via the usual high-level scientific lingo, however, limnologist (fresh water scientist) Steve Carpenter worked with a writer and an illustrator to create four human-scale visions of the region's future, based on the best current scientific data and trends, as well as interviews and workshops with people living in the watershed.
Engineer Andrew Maxwell-Parish has identified the element every tip jar lacks: Wu-Tang Clan’s masterpiece “C.R.E.A.M.” (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me”). Using a 3-D printer, a laser cutter, an Arduino microcontroller, a speaker, a battery, and other parts, he turned a tin can into a receptacle that plays part of the track every time money goes inside.
The eternal competition to build the world’s tallest building has yielded striking landmarks and spectacular rivalries, both of which have escalated in the past century. With its building boom that started in the 1980s, China may have been a late entry, but it’s a force to be reckoned given its penchant for drama and its tenacity. But its most recent entry, announced last week, has the potential to blow all the others out of the water: the paired Phoenix towers will be built on an island and combine every sort of green technology, both feasible and far-fetched. Plus, they’ll be bright pink.
Don’t let NASA monopolize robotic exploration of the solar system. Using a couple of gear motors, solar panels, and leftover LEGOs, you can build a sunshine-powered robot that ambles around a strange landscape: your backyard. Obstacles such as rocks and curious children can’t be avoided, since there’s no software or sensors to control the steering, but this project is a fun introduction to solar-powered electronics.