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April 2008
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June 2008

Can a Shark's Tail & Kelp Play a Role in the Planet's Energy Future?

Biowavestream1_2 A fascinating example of a next-generation power source mimicking the genius of nature is the Australian firm BioPower Systems, which  has developed Biowave and the bioSTREAM: an ocean power system that harnesses energy from both wave and tides by mimicking the motion of underwater plants and fish in the ocean currents to generate electricity.

Biomimicry is a new science that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example of this “innovation inspired by nature.”

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Was Stonehenge Originally A Burial Ground?

Stonehenge_3482 Simply one of the most fascinating archaeological mysteries of human history is that surrounding Stonehenge. No one is really quite sure why it exists, who built it, where it came from, what it did, or any other question you might try to pose. Was it a moon temple, an observatory? No one knows, although the latter may possibly be discounted on the grounds of believability.

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Is There a Solution to the "Continent of Plastic" that Pollutes the Pacific?

Trashpattern_2 The UN Environment Program estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter in every square mile of ocean, and a swirling vortex of trash twice the size of Texas has spawned in the North Pacific.

Plastic bags, once icons of customer convenience, cost more than 1.6 billion barrels of oil per year and leave the environment to foot the bill. Each year the world produces 500 billion bags, and they take up to 1,000 years to decompose. They take up space in landfills, litter our streets and parks, pollute the oceans and kill the wildlife that eat them.

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The IMDB for Music?

Appexpanded_2 Soundflavor has relaunched as a consumer-friendly database of song information that will provide users with a one-stop-shop for song information, videos, and recommendations in an attempt to create an IMDB-like solution for music.

The site make it easy to find a particular song or artist. Users can browse and filter their searches by genre, decade, or even by the subject of the lyrics. After choosing a song, you are presented with a mashup of related information, including artist bios from Wikipedia, recent news headlines, store links to purchase the song, and flickr photos.

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Will the Mars Phoenix Mission Clear the Way for Manned Missions?

Nasa_mars_earth_500px_2If organic compounds are present on Mars, they're more likely to have been preserved in ice, which is why NASA targeted the Phoenix mission for the planet's high northern plains, where they predicted about six inches of soft red soil should cover the ice so the digger shouldn't have to probe too deeply.

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Twittering From Mars -NASA's Tiny URL

Mars_2 Social networking has started spreading through space.  The Phoenix Lander (which I suspect you may perhaps have heard of) has its very own Twitter account, and thousands are already following its far flung messages.

Twitter is status-message network, stripping down the entire web community scene to the simple message "What are you doing now?"  And if anybody has a more interesting answer to that than the Phoenix they're either lying or on fire.  The 140 character limit enforces sharp, interesting updates (countering the endless verbiage that plagues sites like livejournal), while allowing links to other interesting content - like, for example, brand new images of the Martian surface.

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Apple Planning a Solar-Powered iPod & iPhone

Iphonemaps_2 "We want to see solar go beyond major power generation. The iPhone is one example."

Michael Filler, CalTech photovoltaics expert.

Apple is reported to be working on solar-powered versions of the iPhone and iPod. Now, how cool is that! Call it fortuitous, or yet another example of Steve Jobs' marketing genius, given the high price of oil, the news couldn't be more timely.

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Will the World's Power Future Come From Solar?

Solar_in_field_3 The solar market today is like the computer industry of the eighties. The microchip was a great invention, but until Microsoft and Macintosh found a way to bring it to the consumer, it had a limited impact. So believes PayPal-founder-turned-green-entrepreneur, Elon Musk, who predicts that in 30 years solar will be the single largest source of power in the U.S., and possibly the world.

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Ancient Egyptian Army Headquarters Located

Soldier5_2 Archaeology is often a hidden passion of many, and though the old adage – we learn from history so that we don’t make the same mistakes again – might be overused, it is nonetheless true. However not all historical and archaeological finds are bent solely on helping us understand ourselves; some are just fascinating.

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