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Environment

Japanese Advertisers Save Electricity & Impress Consumers with 'Powerless Ads'

“Longer, Lower, Wider”, “New & Improved”, “Supersize It!”... in the world of advertising, bigger has always been better. Not any more, as the new Japanese trend towards conservation and frugality changes the country's marketing culture.

Cool Kids: Environmental Artists Put 193 Baby Cribs on Himalayan Ice

A very 'cool' environmental awareness art project at the foot of a fast-retreating glacier in the Himalayas involved nearly 200 baby cribs emblazoned with the flags of all the world's nations.

Solar Power Blossoming In Japan's Northeast Thanks to PayPal Founder's Donation

A new solar power plant financed by a donation arranged by PayPal founder Elon Musk will bring safe, renewable electricity and hope for the future to a tsunami-ravaged town in northeastern Japan.

Radioactive Water Decontamination Improved by NIMS Scientists

Researchers at Japan's NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science)  have discovered a new nanoscale silica material which is highly effective in removing radioactive strontium and radioiodine from contaminated water.

A Computer That Grows On You - Literally

It's hot, and food is getting more expensive. The solution? Buy a new computer, of course! Designer Omer Deutsch merges the fields of technology with biology, creating Seconday Growth, a computer that uses water to cool itself down while also providing an innovative way to increase your yield of fresh garden vegetables or decorative ivy. Perhaps a flowering wisteria would be nice?

Solar Cookers Save Power in Lhasa, Tibet's 'Solar City'

Cheap and effective solar power is hot, especially in Lhasa, Tibet, where clear air and up to 3,000 hours of sunlight annually conspire to create the perfect environment for homegrown solar cookers and water purifiers.

Shared Island between China and Russia to Become Eco-Tourist Zone

The recent agreement between China and Russia officially demarcating their 2,670-mile (4,300 km) long shared border was highlighted by an environmentally-friendly bonus: the disputed island of Heixiazi will now be shared by the two neighboring nations and jointly developed as an eco-tourism travel destination.

Honey I'm Home! Beekeeper Battle is the Calm Before the Swarm

The thrill of victory, the sting of defeat? In one of the more unusual endurance contests out there, a pair of Chinese beekeepers competed to see who could carry the heaviest load of live bees.

Geothermal Power Gets Hot as Japan's Nuclear Plants are No Longer Cool

Old & busted: Japan's nuclear plants. New hotness: geothermal power plants! Proponents of sustainable, non-polluting geothermal energy see an opportunity to grab their place in the sun as Japan deals with fallout (so to speak) from the nuclear crisis centered on the Fukushima Daiiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

China's 'Bigfoot' Leaves Big Footprints in Chinese Cornfield

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti... and now, the Shennongjia Wildman? Said to inhabit a mountainous, heavily forested area in central China, this legendary red-haired creature has once again made the news by leaving what appear to be footprints in a Chinese farmer's field.

Pacific Ocean Mud Holds a Wealth of Suddenly Not-So-Rare Earth Minerals

If the recent discovery of vast deposits of rare earth minerals on the floor of the Pacific Ocean pans out, the use of the word “rare” to describe these essential high-tech elements may prove to be the mother of all misnomers.

New Radiation Fluorescent Plastic Made From Plastic Soft Drink Bottles

A new type of radiation fluorescent plastic created by a Japanese research team from treated PET plastic soft drink bottles could lead to the manufacture of cheap, effective, visible dosimeters in the event of a nuclear accident.

Super Combo Ramen Fork Spork Keeps Your Noodles Soupy

This cool designer ramen “spork” allows slurpers to gulp their noodles with a spoonful of soup on the side. Besides dispensing with wasteful disposable chopsticks, the souped-up spork adds a dash of artistic taste to any bowl of delicious hot ramen!

China's Farmers Could Grow Foods Naturally Enriched in Selenium

Chinese geologists have announced that over 28 percent of the soil in the Chinese island province of Hainan is naturally enriched in Selenium. Farm produce grown in selenium-enriched soils incorporate this important trace element, offering health-conscious consumers a safe, environmentally-friendly way to improve their health.

China's New Icebreaker Will Paint the Poles Red

If you thought China had cold feet when it comes to polar exploration, think again. The country's State Oceanic Administration has announced that the launch of a new icebreaker in 2013 will give China the ability to monitor both the arctic and the Antarctic environment at the same time.

EV Roadside Assistance Charger Vehicle Gives You a Boost in the Boondocks

So you want to drive an EV (electric vehicle) but worry about being stranded when the power runs out... it's a valid concern that puts off many potential EV buyers. Now a pilot project from Nissan and the JAF (Japanese Auto Federation) is addressing the issue by testing an EV Roadside Assistance Charger Vehicle.

Chinese Caterpillars Stop Cargo Train In its Tracks

Get lost, Godzilla. Keep quiet, Kung Fu Panda. When it comes to feats of strength formidable enough to impress Frank Costanza on Festivus, you've got to give it up to millions of Chinese caterpillars.

Cat Allergy Finding Sparks Potential New Drugs For Allergies & Asthma

You've heard the commercials for allergy treatments; they all promise relief  from the symptoms of allergies.  But now, researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK have found the secret to what causes a very common allergy - cat allergies.  Their discovery could lead to a whole new class of drugs that attack allergies at their first point of contact, so that symptoms of allergy and asthma never develop at all.

 

Helter Shelter: A Cheap Portable House made from Packing Materials

The problem of temporarily housing refugees from natural disasters is being addressed by students from Nanjing Forestry University in Nanjing, China, who have created a cheap, lightweight house made from common packing materials.

Monitor Your Power Usage on your Monitor With Sassor's ELP Lite

Japanese homeowners can keep tabs on their domestic power consumption this summer with the “ELP Lite” Energy Literacy Platform device from Sassor. The compact hardware/software combo sends realtime energy use data to be displayed on a website or a handy iPhone app.