Mattel’s Eco-Friendly Barbie House

This just in, Barbie is getting an eco-friendly dream house, after Mattel and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) unveiled the number one entry of the AIA Architect Barbie® Dream House™ Design Competition.

Pimped out with solar panels, operable bamboo flooring and shading, the dream house has a low-flow toilet and sink fixtures, all of which are built from locally sourced materials.

The new Barbie house will also get a 1,500-square-foot entertaining space and open kitchen, client-meeting space and even, this is my favorite, a separate library, a full-floor “inspiration room,” greenhouse on the roof, and a landscaped garden for all of Barbie’s pets.
Ting Li and Maja Paklar designed the house. They are both recent Harvard graduates.

Mattel does not have any plans to turn the blueprint into either a real mansion or a dollhouse, the experts however say that the house would sell for around $3.5 million if a life-sized version were built. Instead, Mattel will build a $1,000 donation in their names to the

Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia.

The Barbie House competition comes only one month after Barbie got dumped by Ken in a Greenpeace International campaign for raising awareness of Mattel’s packaging, supplied in part by Asia Pulp Paper; that reportedly sources materials from Indonesia’s depleting rainforest.

Ever since then, reported the Los Angeles Times, Mattel has finally agreed to halt work with its sub-supplier APP until once they have done more investigation.

Organic Plastic Conducting Electricity

Only a few weeks ago, we reported on the new technology of organic computers. Here’s something similar: organic plastic that conducts electricity. Why plastic? Because it’s cheaper, thinner, lighter, and faster than silicon. This technology is already available in some gadgets. One is the new Sony Walkman.

organic circuitWord to the wise: “Organic” here does not mean that it was farmed using sustainable methods. It means, simply, that it is carbon based, which is the actual scientific definition of the term organic, since way back when in the 18th century, people thought organic material could only be extracted from organs. Well, it can, but it can also be synthesized. Hence, “organ”ic. We’ve since kept the term.

What’s going on now, though, is that the material is being refitted with something that allows both positive and negative charges to run through it. For some reason I do not pretend to understand since I am not an electrical engineer, until now it could only carry negative charges. But we all know that without positivity, the world isn’t such a happily charged place.

“The organic semiconductors developed over the past 20 years have one important drawback. It’s very difficult to get electrons to move through,” said Samson Jenekhe, a professor of chemical engineering. “By now having polymer semiconductors that can transmit both positive and negative charges, it broadens the available approaches. This would certainly change the way we do things.” Uhh…good. Whatever that means. Just keep the good news coming.

One kind of plastic can transmit protons, and another, electrons. Making a material that can transport both requires carefully layering two complicated patterns on top of one another, but now they’ve figured out how to do it with just one material.

The material would allow organic transistors and other information-processing devices to be built more simply, in a way that is more similar to how inorganic (usually meaning silicon based) circuits are now made. The group used the new material to build a transistor and the results show that both electrons and protons move through the device quickly.

The results represent the best performance ever seen in a single-component organic polymer semiconductor
This means much faster, lighter, cheaper computers. And then of course maybe Judgment Day and Nuclear War a la the Terminator series, but whatever. That’s a long way off.

Printer Runs on Used Coffee Grinds, No Electricity

I can’t wait until this bad boy comes out. I’m getting my hands on one of these immediately. The thought of using old coffee and tea grinds to print my next paper gives a whole new meaning to the idea of coffee stains on your homework.

RITI PrinterThe RITI printer was invented by Korean Joen Hwan Ju, and has not yet made it to market, but word is now exploding about it. Here’s what you do: Drink a cup of coffee (not instant) and put the grinds into the ink cartridge on the top. (Drinking the coffee not required for printing.) Add some water. Move the cartridge back and forth with your hand, and watch as your document gets burned in very precisely-patterned coffee stains into a readable document with words on it. Take the cartridge out and wash it. You’re done.

You can also use tea schmutz. After an English breakfast, take your teabag, rip it open, pour the contents into the ink cartridge and do the same thing.

Advantages: Leftover coffee and tea is generally a bit cheaper than a $50 ink cartridge. No electricity means you get some forearm workout and save power. Finally, you paper smells like coffee and/or tea. Just make sure that whatever color fluid you’re using doesn’t smell too bad.

Disadvantages: It’s slow, so if you have to print up thousands of flyers, don’t use this unless you’ve got forearms of steel and about 3 weeks of free time to do nothing but move tea dregs back and forth.

Wet, Wet Air – Time to Take Out the Water

EWA SivanWorried by drought? Well, stop it. Put it this way. Have you ever noticed that when you put an ice-filled glass outside on a humid day, water starts appearing on the outside? This is humidity from the air condensing on the glass. There are countless gallons of water wisping around the air even in the driest of climates, let alone those cities that make you drown helplessly in sweat like a hairless ape.

An Israeli Company appropriately named EWA (Extraction of Water from Air) has engineered a creation that sucks out gallons of water a day at 85% energy efficiency. This means most of the energy used in the cycle is reused in the next cycle, making it extremely efficient.

Since the condensation of high energy water vapor into lower energy liquid water means the extra energy has to go somewhere, it’s simply reused in the form of heat to power the machine itself. Hence the energy efficiency.

EWA’s earnings have skyrocketing from a mere $100,000 when it started to a predicted thousand times more at $100 million this year.

Their CEO Dr. Etan Bar explains, “One cubic kilometer of air contains 10 to 40 thousand tons of water — enough to supply at least 100 thousand people with all their water needs, or enough ‘safe’ drinking water for two million.” EWA’s device will produce anywhere from a few hundred liters of water per day to 1,000 cubic meters of water in a single plant.

We’re waiting…and in the mean time, we’ll take quick showers.

Scanning Your Way To Better Health with Biophotonic Scanners

A lot of information is being shown these days relating to how products high in anti-oxidants are very beneficial to increased longevity and better health. A new medical scanning device, know as the Biophotonic Scanner, marketed by a known multilevel marketing company, is alleged to be able to measure the amounts of anti-oxidants in your body which help slow down the ‘aging process’ in body cells, and can add as much as 10 years to a person’s normal lifespan.

For those who not aware, anti-oxidants are defense mechanisms against elements known as “free radicals” – those harmful agents found in air pollution, radioactive microwave and cell phone emissions, X-Rays, and even from sunlight (now more present than ever). To give an example of how free radicals react on human cells, place a sliced apple on a dish and within an hour it will already begin to turn brown. That process, as well as rust on iron and corrosion on other metals is known as oxidation and is the same destructive process that occurs in you body and causes deterioration of body cells, leading to old age and death.

By placing your hand on the bio-phonetic scanner, it measures in an instant your body’s anti-oxidant defense level, which in a healthy person should read about 40,000 carotene antioxidant molecules per scan. Carotene is a substance which causes certain vegetables to have their natural color; like carrots, for example. Stored in the body, carotenes produce certain essential vitamins, such as vitamin A, which are essential to good health. These carotenes are one of the main ingredients of anti-oxidants, which protect your body cells like lemon juice keeps an open apple from changing color.

Smokers and people who are exposed to heavy air pollution, including industrial pollution, auto emissions, etc., have much lower levels of carotene antioxidant molecules in their bodies, usually between 12,000 and 16,000 per scan. People who are very sick with chronic and terminal illnesses, may have practically no carotene anti-oxidants at all!

While the Biophotonic Scanner is a useful tool for measuring a person’s present anti-oxidant level it is unfortunately being used in order to market high price dietary and vitamin supplements, which are being claimed to be of much better effectiveness than what is normally available in pharmacies and health products stores. One can find products with virtually the same ingredients, at a much lower price, by simply going to a good quality health supplements store or pharmacy and seeking their advice for purchasing a good quality dietary supplement product which contains a full range of multi-vitamins and essential minerals.