Pollution Dress is Stylin’

A fashion designer has made a dress with a CO2 detector in a dress then lights up using LEDs depending on the concentration of CO2 in the area.

The Climate Dress is made of conductive embroidery, over hundred of tiny LED lights inserted into the embroidey, a CO2 sensor and an Arduino Lilypad microprocessor. The LEDs visualize the level of CO2 in the nearby surroundings and are powered trough the embroidery!
For The Climate Dress we used soft conductive thread that has a similar consistence to the kind of thread used for traditional and industrial embroidery production. This way it is possible to make embroidery that become more than an esthetical element in clothing and interior textiles.

The embroidery becomes functional conveying electricity and computer information and thereby give “power to the dress”. The dress senses the CO2 concentration in the air, then accordingly creates diverse light patterns varying from slow, regular light pulsations to short and hectic. The technology, which integrates ”soft circuits” into the production of embroidery, is an innovative process. It is the result of a fruitful collaboration between Copenhagen based design studio diffus, Swiss embroidery company Forster-Rohner, the Danish research-based limited company Alexandra Institute and finally the Danish School of Design.

See the dress here.

How CoP-15 Changed the World

Depressed about the Copenhagen Accord? While the action on climate change may have been less than you were hoping for, Worldchanging.com has an article explaining how the conference signaled a different kind of sea change. According to Alan Akisson, this was the first major event where developing nations had voices as loud as the developed, in a truly democratic process.

The Earthquake in Copenhagen truly marked the end of one historical era, and the beginning of a new one. It is an era of more democratic global governance (at least in the sense of how power, actual and perceived, is dispersed among nations). An era of continuous struggle to understand what is happening to our planet, and continuous effort to share that understanding. An era of nations being forced to collaborate, more and more closely, and over several decades, on planetary management. In the hindsight of future history (especially environmental history), CoP-15 will likely loom large indeed as an inflection point, a time when everything changed — or rather, was finally seen by all as changed.

Read the whole article

How California Tracks the Air That They Breathe

California has a law that dictates the quality of air, but that needs to be tracked so it can be enforced. Here’s a video about how Berkeley Lab keeps track of the air.

Last March, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Marc Fischer boarded a small airplane loaded with air monitoring equipment and crisscrossed the skies above Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Instruments aboard the aircraft measured a cocktail of greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, methane from livestock and landfills, nitrous oxide from agriculture, and industrially produced gases such as refrigerants.

The flight was part of the Airborne Greenhouse Gas Emissions Survey, a collaboration between Berkeley Lab, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of California, Davis to pinpoint the sources of greenhouse gases in Central California.

The airborne survey is intended to improve inventories of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn will help scientists verify the emission reductions mandated by AB-32, the ambitious legislation passed by California in 2006 to slash the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020.

“In order to comply with AB-32, we need to know where the gases are coming from and how much,” says Fischer, a scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

Keep reading.

Self-Cleaning Solar Panels

Solar panels work best outside and as a result nature tends to get dust, dirt, grime, and such on the panels which lower the efficiency of the panels. Now some researchers have accidentally found a way to have self-cleaning solar panels to cut back on maintenance costs and increase efficiency.

Molecular microbiology and biotech professor Ehud Gazit and his team research ways to control peptide atoms and molecules. People with Alheimer’s disease have a peptide called beta amyloid found in the plaques that form in their brains. While working on self-assembling nano-tubules in the lab, the scientists made an interesting discovery.

They got the peptides to self-assemble in a vacuum, forming tiny tubes that look like grass. The resulting nanocoating repels dust and water, which would be useful for protecting desert solar arrays, reducing maintenance. Plus, the material has potential as a super-capacitor, which could give lithium batteries more kick. The assembly technique is detailed in Nature Nanotechnology

Keep reading about it at Discovery.

Mobile Tech Makes Donating Insanely Easy

It’s the giving time of year, and MobHappy has a short writeup on new technology that allows people to donate to charities, simply by sending a text. This is a great advancement, because it shortens the gap between intention and action where a lot of charitable dollars are lost.

Today, mGive works with over 200 charities, enabling mobile users to donate money quickly and easily via shortcode. And it’s been successful: one campaign, featuring Alicia Keys and conducted during the American Idol TV show saw 90,000 donors raise $450,000 in just minutes. Donors have given about $1.5 million via mobile so far in the US; this exceeds the first year of online donations, and those now amount to some $18 billion per year.

Unfortunately the service is currently only available to our US friends.

Read the rest of the article

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