This week on TreeHugger, new sea toys for the super rich; is the liquid terminator becoming reality?; printers that don't use ink or paper; pictures of Earth get Tweeted from space, and more!
New "Underwater Plane" Plane From Virgin Offers Deep Sea Rides for the Super Rich
Virgin Limited Edition has come up with a new exclusive submarine built to "fly" in an airplane-like manner down to depths as far as 40 meters. It's the the Necker Nymph, a three-person "aero-submarine" and it's the latest toy for the super rich. And of course, it makes an eco-claim.
Using Mobile Phone Towers to Reduce Sewer Overflow... What?
Cell phone towers may be used to measure rainfall in real-time; the rain interferes with the radio signals, and this interference can be measured with "greater spatial resolution than traditional point measurements provided by rain gauges." How is this green? Well, in general it could provide better data about our planet and changing rain patterns, but on the more practical level, it could help reduce the dumping of polluted water in lakes and rivers.
Feeding the Grid By Bike: Electricity Generating Gyms (Video)
There's something very charming about Dan and Denise Rojas of Green Power Science. Not every energy project they pursue is the most practical in the world, but from huge DIY solar collectors to solar flash cooking an egg in ten seconds, you certainly couldn't blame these guys for a lack of experimentation. And now they are tackling one of those perennial questions that keeps popping up in our comments box-couldn't gyms be tied up to the grid to create power?
New Pictures of Earth Tweeted From Space
In what is perhaps the final frontier for Internet access, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi shared photos he had taken of Earth from the International Space Station viahis Twitter page. In addition to scenic locations and sprawling urban centers, Noguchi's photos provide some of the first looks of Haiti's capital, Port-Au-Prince, justweeks after it was devastated by the recent earthquake.
Move Over OLEDs: Scientists Create Cheap, Fully Recyclable Lighting Material
Swedish and American researchers have just developed a fully recyclable lighting component with what Science Daily is terms a "new super material": graphene.
Greener Gadgets 2010: What's the Greenest Gadget of The Year?
The Greener Gadgets competition has begun. Gearing up for the Greener Gadgets conference in New York City on February 25, the Consumer Electronics Association has kicked off a competition to see what is the greenest gadget idea of the year. Will it be the Orange Solar Tent, which charges up your camp site? Or AUG, a barcode system that helps you find locally produced goods? Or will it be Corky, a computer mouse made of cork that is charged by the movement of your hand? You get to decide! Check out the 18 entrants and find out how to vote.
Highgear Solarpod, A Snappy Little Solar Charger
Ski magazine included this in their January list of "Stuff We Like", and it does seem kinda nifty. The SolarPod is a small, lightweight solar charger, than can fill its 3.7V 650 mAh Lithium-Ion battery in eight hours of direct sunlight... But the aspect most appealing to me is the karabiner style clip, that allows it to be readily latched on to stuff.
LED Flashlight Combines Solar and Pull Power So You're Never In The Dark
Solar powered flashlights are great, but you have to wait for a charge. Pull-cord flashlights are great but you have to work for a charge. But what about one that combines both so if you're short on light or short on energy, you still get a charge? The ECOPower Solar Pull Light combines two sources of reliable alternative energy to make sure you've always got a light in a pinch.
Waste-Less Desktop Printer Uses Plastic Paper and Heat for Erasable Document Printing
Going paperless is always on the top of mind when it comes to greening an office. But it's tough to ditch paper in all cases. There could be a solution to this bind. A new printer called the "PrePeat" uses sheets made of heat-sensitive PET and can print, then erase and reprint on the same page over and over, eliminating the need for ink cartridges and plastic. Sound like a dream come true for a green office? Maybe - but it has quite a price attached to it. Check out how it works in a video.
Is Liquid Terminator Robot One Step Closer to Reality?
Hydrogels are not new. Contact lenses and replacement skin are just two examples of uses of these high-water content gels. But hydrogels currently suffer from problems like being too brittle or quite soft. This week in Nature, scientists announce the invention of a new type of hydrogel, one that could replace plastics and... it is self-healing. Imaginative souls will immediately speculate on the amazing applications materials engineers might dream up. Visionaries have gone so far as to compare this new hydrogel to the liquid robot from Terminator 2. What is the trick?
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.