Category Archives: Natural Life

New Way to Generate Electricity From The Sun

UCLA Professor invents new way to generate electricity from the sun

Bringing light to darkness sounds good.  But using darkness to create light is something out of a manual for wizards.  Until now.

Now, it’s an idea out of the pages of a scientific journal.

It starts with a round piece of polystyrene, a thermoplastic polymer made, not by wizards but by America’s petrochemical companies.

In case you’re wondering, polystyrene is made from the petrochemicals benzene and ethylene. And of course, petrochemicals are made by breaking apart molecules of petroleum and natural gas which get turned into chemical building blocks that are found in thousands of products we use daily.

That round piece of plastic is painted black so it looks sort of like a hockey puck, sitting on a dish.  At night, when the air cools down, the top side of that “puck” loses heat faster than the bottom side.  Add a thermoelectric generator, and you can turn that difference in temperature between top and bottom into electricity. No grid, no transmission towers, no expensive infrastructure needed.  No sun needed either.  Sorry solar panels.

Now, we’re not necessarily talking megawatts or kilowatts of electricity. We’re talking watts, period.  But around the world, close to a BILLION people don’t have any electricity at all so even something that just keeps a light on at night, could be a big deal.

In fact, that’s how this idea got started.  University of California Los Angeles Professor Aaswath Raman was on a trip in rural Africa, and didn’t realize he was passing through one particular village at night, until he was already in it (and heard people), because there was no light of any kind.

So what he came up with is a potentially simple, sturdy source of electricity that can bring light to the darkness from the darkness, no magic wand required.

Importance of The Parrot Fish

PARROT FISH ARE IMPORTANT!!

i feel sorry for the parrot fishes! Yes this fish can be eaten, but for us divers this is a big No No!!! There are important reasons why we should not eat them and we should educate the fishermen to stop catching these beautiful fish! Please do spare them … the ocean needs them to regenerate. Read below to be educated. They’re lots of fish you can catch in the sea. They can sell and cook the other fish, but leave the parrot fish!

Here is why:

Parrotfish eat algae and dead coral*. They spend up to 90% of their day nibbling. In other words, they clean the reef. This is important because most of the reefs across the tropics are being smothered by algae because there are not enough parrotfish and other herbivores out there grazing.

After all that eating, get this: They poop fine white sand – lots of it! Each parrotfish produces up to 320 kilograms (700 pounds) of sand each year.

Their numbers are so depleted, and algae levels are so high, that they cannot be fished sustainably right now anywhere in the Caribbean. These flamboyant, algae-eating, sand-pooping fish need to be left in the water. And when they are left to chomp away, they do a brilliant job. A massive new report concludes that reefs where parrotfish were abundant in the 1980s are the reefs that are healthy now.

There is a reason for their existence so please let’s not eat them … To our Govt. Please educate our fishermen… Say no to catching parrot fish! Let’s not buy parrot fish so they won’t catch them anymore.

Please share..

 

Source – FB

Project in Morocco combines Hemp Architecture and Solar Energy

A team of organizations has completed construction of a ground-breaking eco-building in Morocco that combines hemp construction with a high-tech solar energy system for total independence from the electrical grid.

The SUNIMPLANT project, designed as a single-family dwelling, was created as an entrant in the recent “Solar Decathlon” organized by the United States Department of Energy and Morocco’s Centre de recherche en Energie solaire et Energies nouvelles. The biannual international competition challenges teams of students to design and construct solar-powered buildings. The most recent edition was hosted in Ben Guerir, Morocco, the first time the competition has been held on the African continent.

Advanced ‘space ship’

“This ‘space-ship’ is advanced in time and reflects a turn not only in North Africa but in hemp construction, which doesn’t have comparable prototypes anywhere in the world,” said Monika Brümmer, a German architect and natural builder who led the project.

While the building was designed as a stimulus for rural development, the technology also has application in urban settings, Brümmer noted.

Owner at Spain-based Cannabric, Brümmer is also a co-founder of Adrar Nouh (2017), an NGO which promotes the use of indigenous hemp stalk for rural development and sustainable employment in Morocco’s impoverished High Rif. Adrar Nouh was started in 2017 by Brümmer and Abdellatif Adebibe, a Moroccan expert in alternative development in the Rif region.

Monika Brümmer

The challenge was to create a hemp composite using vegetable-based bio-resins, avoiding technical or synthetic components, Brümmer said. The cylindrical envelope of the circular building, with minimal exposure of the 24 exterior panels, gives interior comfort through optimal damping and thermal phase shift, and osmosis of the components in the hempcrete formulation, Brümmer said.

Nature meets high-tech

Built for around $120,000, the building’s price tag was less than half the cost of the most expensive buildings in the competition. Additional features of the 90 sq. m. SUNIMPLANT building include:

• A double skin façade that employs a mixture of hemp, earth, pozzolan and lime, all sourced locally; and bio-composites incorporating hemp technical fibers that were produced via vacuum injection technology.

• A spherical, aerodynamic outer skin comprising 24 semi-flexible photovoltaic panels. Sponsored by DAS-Energy, the panels are exposed to all faces for their use of sun and light, with maximum 40% losses.

• Curved bio-composite panels made with hemp wool, which increase the performance of the photovoltaic panels by protecting their back side against the weather extremes of the semi-arid region of Ben Guerir, where temperatures reached 42°–46°C (107°– 114°F) in the shade during the construction phase last August and September.

• High-performance glass from French glassmaker Saint Gobain.

International cooperation

Brümmer said even greater performance could have been achieved if original plans to install hemp-clay boards for the internal partitions and floors, and other minor modifications, had not been abandoned due to funding constraints.

Adrar Nouh contributed the architectural design, developed the hemp materials and cooperated in the construction of the building. Other participants on the SUNIMPLANT project were Morocco’s National School of Architecture and National School of Applied Sciences, both based in Tetouan, Morocco, and Germany’s Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics.

Read the full article at HempToday

Is There Such a Thing as Pyramid Power ?

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Hey guys, today we are going to look at an experiment called ‘Pyramid Power’. Do Pyramids have some kind of mysterious powers? All around the world, ancient builders created pyramid-shaped structures in places like Egypt, India, and Mexico, etc. Do they have some unknown effect on our bodies? Some people claim that the Pyramidal structure itself is very special and has some strange powers. In this experiment, I am going to test, if Pyramid Structures have strange effects or not. So, I have created a Pyramid made of Granite. The base is made of one granite slab and I can lift this whole thing up and you can see that it is hollow inside, just like Egyptian Pyramids. What is the idea? I am going to cut some fruits and vegetables and put some pieces inside the Pyramid, and I will leave some pieces outside the Pyramid. And I want to find out if there is any difference in how they decompose over a period of time. Just think of the apple as a Human Body, and we can see what happens. I want to make this experiment as scientific as possible, so, I have also created a granite house. It has windows and a door, but they are all going to be shut closed. It has a granite slab as a base and the top can be removed and closed. Now, what is the need for this granite cube? This is important to determine if the shape of the pyramid has anything to do with the preservation or growth of cells & not the material. Look at the Pyramid & the House. These 2 objects are made of the exact same material and have almost identical volume of air inside. The only difference is the shape. So if there is a difference in deterioration, we can conclude it is because of the SHAPE of the objects, since the materials, the volume inside and control materials are the same. Now, here I have an apple, a banana, a potato and an egg plant, also known as brinjal. I am going to cut all of them into 4 pieces and I am going to leave one piece outside, in open air, one piece inside the stone house, and one piece inside the Pyramid. Don’t ask me what happens to the 4th piece, there is a surprise reveal, if you watch till the end of the video. While these fruits and vegetables will tell us about how degradation happens in these three settings, it does not show about growth of the body. So, I wanted to study this, and decided to take a few small cups, fill them with soil and put fenugreek seeds inside them. I will put one inside the stone house and one inside the Pyramid, but I will not leave one outside, because if I leave one outside, it will get light, while the other 2 structures are totally dark. So this is how the entire set up looks today. And this is Day 1. So I am going to come and see how everything looks after 24 hours. Day 2 – Day 7 – Various stages of decomposition shows if Pyramids have special powers or not!

Detroit Is Now America’s First 100% Organic, Self-Sustainable Neighborhood

Agrihood–it sounds like a trendy buzzword from the coffee bars of New York or San Francisco. In fact, that is where it’s from. The term ‘agrihood’ was copyrighted by Rancho Mission Viejo, a Southern California real estate brand. While their agrihood, and others like it are for the super-rich, there’s a new game in town. In 2016, the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative introduced the first urban ‘agrihood’–in a Detroit neighborhood where average home prices are less than $25,000. (1

The ’Hood

MUFI’s agrihood includes a “two-acre urban garden, a 200-tree fruit orchard, a children’s sensory garden, and more,” according to their press release. The urban garden alone boasts more than three hundred varieties of vegetables. Their food is organic, and they use marigolds to keep bugs away. It’s surrounded by a variety of homes, some vacant, some not. One of these vacant buildings, three stories and 3,200 feet, will be adapted into a community resource center with two commercial kitchens. In addition, they plan to open a healthy food café. But that’s not the only project they have underway. They’re restoring vacant homes into student housing, turning homes into shipping containers, and renovating a basement into a water cistern. Their goal is, again, according to their press release, “redevelopment and growth…through alternative and cost-efficient models,” and this neighborhood is where MUFI is focusing. (1, 2)

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

With ‘agrihoods’ originating in high-end luxury developments, what is the company behind this Detroit neighbourhood like? MUFI is an entirely volunteer-run nonprofit organization. Over the four years they’ve been working on this urban agrihood, 8,000 volunteers have poured over 80,000 hours of work. According to their sources, this is the equivalent of four million dollars worth of labor. They bring free food to 20,000 households, local churches, and food banks. The amount? Fifty thousand pounds of food was donated between 2012-2016. Tyson Gersh, the co-founder of MUFI, says that they’ve ”grown from an urban garden that provides fresh produce for our residents to a diverse, agricultural campus that has helped sustain the neighborhood, attracted new residents and area investment.” (1,2)

The People of the Agrihood

Most importantly, for the urban agrihood, the goal is to work with the existing residents to build. That’s why they have additional projects in the area. Quan Blunt, MUFI’s farm manager, stresses the amount of cooperation with the community. “Community members can use our tools, our lawnmower. Whenever we get large numbers of volunteers [for the farm], we go first to the block club president to see what she needs done,” he says. “The goal here is to strengthen the community.” Additionally, Blunt has a multitude of ties to the area. He grew up in Detroit, and his grandmother was raised in the neighborhood where the urban agrihood now resides. Blunt graduated from Michigan State University in the fields of Food Science and Environmental studies. His motivation is to give back to his home and the people in it. “People deserve fresh food,” Blunt says. “I believe good nutrition can help people reach their potential.” (1)

It’s local agri-efforts like these that may inspire other communities to source food locally.

50 Years Off Grid

In 1968, Charles Bello and his wife, Vanna Rae, moved onto 240 acres of redwood forest looking to live a simpler life off the land. They had spent their savings to purchase the land so they got to work building their home themselves. Their first structure was a panelized A-frame that they erected in 5 days (with help from a couple family members). Total cost was $2,800. The property is a half-hour drive down a dirt road and it was bare land when they arrived so Charles and Vanna Rae built their own infrastructure: roads, bridges and went decades without refrigeration nor phone (they eventually installed PV panels and cabling for phone lines). After 15 years in the A-frame, they built a cabin in the woods and there they lived for a decade until the trees began to block out their views. In 1991 Charles (who once apprenticed under famed architect Richard Neutra) designed the Parabolic Glass House. With a curvilinear wood roof and two curved walls of windows, the home feels enveloped in trees. Charles and Vanna Rae built it for $8,500 with timber they milled themselves, using salvaged materials for everything from doorknobs to stoves. The couple relied on photovoltaics, solar thermal and gas for power and a dug-in greenhouse attached to the home provided much of their food. By canning and preserving, they could go for months without going to a grocery store. Their two boys were homeschooled. The couple supported themselves selling Christmas trees. Nearly all the old growth trees on the property were logged in the early 20th century, but Charles has spent the past half century restoring the land. He and his wife set up the Redwood Forest Institute in 1997 to manage and preserve the forest. He has carefully selected 1,000 trees to be preserved for 2 millenia as the next generation of old growth. Now, 87 years old and a widower, Charles is determined to find successors; he hopes to find three couples who want to settle on the property (currently worth about 4-6 million dollars) in exchange for continuing as stewards of the land. He is currently building glamping guest houses that he hopes will help fund the enterprise. His website now advertises “seeking caretaker ASAP”, someone “wanting to get away from it all and live a more simple down to earth lifestyle”. http://savetrees.org/seeking_caretake…

Two New Species Of Crab Were Discovered In Indonesia

The carnivorous Geosesarma hagen enjoys its meals from insects living on the ground in the dense bottom vegetation. The adults are about 13 millimeters wide. They have bright orange claws and vivid colors that can extend through out their backs too. Although some of their backs will remain brown. They were named after the Rolf C. Hagen Group of Companies, which is a major pet supplies company in Germany that supported the research of these crabs.

Two New Species Of Crab Were Discovered In Indonesia

Unlike the hagen, the dennerle live under and between rocks among vegetation on the slopes of a small valley, eating grasshoppers, larvae, and plant detritus.

Two New Species Of Crab Were Discovered In Indonesia

The adults are usually a little bit larger at 14 millimeters wide. These received their name after the German company Dennerle, which also supported their work.

Two New Species Of Crab Were Discovered In Indonesia

In Indonesia, the selling and trade of these specific crabs has been going on for over a decade. But researchers have never actually named this new crab species before. One researcher states “They start collecting in areas where scientists may not have made any expeditions so far, and suddenly the market is formed with some animals that no one has ever given a name.” Are you a crab fan? Would you want one of these unique crabs as a pet?

Source – BuzzNick