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Solar Plane Sets Flight Record

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26-hour flight confirms viability of emissions-free air travel.

An experimental airplane with 12,000 solar cells and the wing span of a Boeing 777 passenger jet completed its first test flight of more than 24 hours on Thursday, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night. Pilot and project co-founder Andre Borschberg flew the Solar Impulse to 28,000 feet above the Jura Mountains, reaching top speeds......read more

Packaging Problems

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Recent Kellogg's cereal recall highlights growing awareness of chemicals leaching into food products.

Kellogg has recalled around 28 million boxes of cereal after the discovery that a potentially harmful chemical in the packaging may be leaching into some products. Recalled cereals include Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops, and Honey Smacks, all of which have been found to possess a strange flavor and smell upon opening the boxes. The recall comes in the midst of growing public and government......read more

SHFT Sampler 7-7-10

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From swimsuit architecture to biodiesel desalination, here are your weekly links from around the web.

In London, the "seriously water stressed" UK capital confronts summer water shortages with a creative — and very British — solution: A new bio-diesel desalination plant that will run partly on used vegetable oil from fish-and-chip shops. Also in London, the newly erected Speedo Swimsuit Pavilion is made from obsolete swim suits. True story. Upgrade the grid: The US......read more

Wash Lamps

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Alex Kovatchev finds a useful function for old washing machine drums.

Yanko Design hips us to these fantastic lamps from designer Alex Kovatchev. Looking a lot like industrial-style modern lighting, Wash Lamps are actually made from a washing machine drum (the part you put your clothes in). The holes in the barrel that send water through the machine work to send light around the room. Pretty nifty!...read more

Ars Natura: The Art of Reflection

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Yunior Marino reflects on the rhythms of nature.

A small but influential gallery in Mexico called MYTO, which helped launch Fabian Pena to MAD fame (amazing exhibit through October in New York), represents several other inspiring Latin American artists. One of my newfound favorites is Cuban Yunior Marino. Marino creates “photographic paintings” framing, cropping and assembling simple photographs of nature into epic mental......read more

Vertical Gardens Proliferate

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But do the functional benefits meet the aesthetic aims?

From fully vegetated federal building in Portland, to a vertical cube garden in Spain, to a DIY vertical garden made of recycled bottles, the green wall movement is in full swing. A recent article in the New York Times reports on the trend, noting that improvements in technology are making vertical gardens much more attractive to architects and engineers. There's little argument that they......read more

The Plastic Problem

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BPA and other everyday toxins are being linked to major health problems. How can policymakers protect us?

If you're reading this, chances are you've been exposed to bisphenol A (BPA). A key ingredient in many modern plastics, the chemical compound has been used since the 1940s in everything from baby bottles to goggles to lining for food containers. In recent years, animal studies have demonstrated links between BPA and a host of ill health effects, including breast and prostate cancer. ......read more

Sir Richard's Condoms

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Condoms for a cause.

Sir Richard's is all about saving the world, one condom at a time. The Boulder, CO-based company's line of Fair Trade-certified prophylactics offer protection not only for the purchaser, but for also for a lucky sex participant in the developing world. For each condom purchased in the United States, the company donates one to a developing nation. Manufactured at one of the only two......read more

The Misinformation Highway

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Lance Steagall on the need to put climate change misinformation—in all of its forms—on ice.

It is generally agreed that there are two major impediments to passing climate change legislation in the United States: misinformation, and the claim that any serious attempt at tackling the problem will cripple the economy. A recent report, however, suggests that the two are really one and the same. The report, based on a study conducted by the Australian government, found that energy......read more

Collapsible Shipping Containers

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Cargoshell aims to revolutionize global shipping.

Aside from the Internet, no single invention might be as important to globalization as the shipping container. No joke. Before that advent of standardized containers in the 1950's, trans-oceanic shipping was hugely labor intensive and slow, because every ship and air shipment presented a brand new challenge. By contrast, standard shipping containers they allow cargo to be moved in massive......read more

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