The most outdoor fun Joy had this summer was riding a Segway on a Chicago architectural tour, gliding around the museums on a path bordering Lake Michigan. Segways are electric scooters that respond to your body movements, You stand upright and hold a handlebar; lean forward and you go. At $7,000 we’re not about to buy one but an alternative will be out soon for half that.
Science.Time.com has science articles from Time Magazine. We read about the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, an oxygen-deprived area of water. It was predicted that this year’s dead zone would be the size of New Jersey. Now it’s only the size of Connecticut.
Buycott is an Android and iPhone app for finding out the company behind a product you’re buying. We scanned the barcode on a bottle of Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice and saw that the parent company, Roll International also owns Paramount Farms, which owns a lot of nut companies. Pom Wonderful owns Fiji Water, and many other companies.
This struck us as a way for the computer to power its own desk lamp. The $25 Satechi “USB LED Bottle Lamp” fits into the opening of any bottle and includes a cord you plug into a USB port to power the lamp. If you don’t have an open USB port, you can plug it into an electrical outlet using an adapter. The bottle lamp’s shade is frosted white and there’s a silver on/off button. If you need light elsewhere, lift it out and drop it into another bottle. We can imagine a whole room of these. The LED light has no mercury and lasts up to 50,000 hours. The lamp consumes 1.2 watts, much less than an incandescent or […]
Popsci.com has an article on what to do with the miles of junk floating in the Pacific. It’s called, “Plastic-Eating Drone Could Swallow Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” An electric boat would tow a net to scoop the debris. We haven’t gotten to the part yet, where something comes along to scoop up the nets.
Wash your clothes in a pollution-eating laundry detergent, and you’ll decrease your city’s smog, according to a report in the Scientific American. The “CatClo” detergent coats clothes with nano-particles that convert nitrogen oxide pollution (caused mainly by traffic) into harmless byproducts. More info at Catalytic-Clothing.org. You clean the air (in your own small way) just by walking around. Sitting around doesn’t count.
Ultra-thin laptops are often called “ultrabooks” and look a lot like the Mac Air. They’re popular because of their light weight and long battery life. They use solid state drives (memory chips), so they’re fast and you don’t need to carry discs. The downside for many models is if the battery needs replacing, you have to send it back to the manufacturer. Only the Sony Vaio T13 and HP Elite Book Folio 9470 have user replaceable batteries.