Photo credit: ExtremeTech.com
As reported by ExtremeTech.com, Michigan State researchers have invented transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC), which are fully transparent solar cells that can turn every window and screen into a power source.
“The researchers — and Ubiquitous Energy — are confident that the technology can be scaled all the way from large industrial and commercial applications, down to consumer devices, while remaining affordable. So far, one of the larger barriers to large-scale adoption of solar power is the intrusive and ugly nature of solar panels — obviously, if we can produce large amounts of solar power from sheets of glass and plastic that look like normal sheets of glass and plastic, then that would be incredible.”
Through the persistent joint efforts of private entities, international institutions, donor governments and charities, humans are winning the fight against some debilitating, long-neglected tropical diseases!
“International institutions such as the World Bank and World Health Organisation (WHO) teamed up with donor governments and charities. By 1999 the Gates Foundation, a charity set up by Bill and Melinda Gates, was funding work in lymphatic filariasis and schistosomiasis, a debilitating ailment caused by a parasitic worm transmitted by freshwater snails.
By then the long-running effort to eradicate guinea worm led by the Carter Centre, a foundation set up by Jimmy Carter in 1982, had gained pace. The worm’s larvae are ingested in dirty water and grow internally to as long as a metre; they emerge, agonisingly, through the skin over several weeks. The only treatment for an established case, even now, is to speed up this expulsion by gradually winding the worm’s emerging body on a stick. But public-information campaigns about the need to filter drinking water and keep sufferers away from water sources, where they might pass on the infection, have brought new cases down from an estimated 3.5m a year globally in 1986, when eradication efforts started, to 25 last year.”
Guys, this two-seater flying car can transform from a car into an airplane in just 3 minutes! It can reach land speeds of 99 mph and fly a distance of 466 miles. As a parent, I’m so happy to be able to show my free-thinking, big-dreaming kid this additional proof of the limitless capabilities of human ingenuity. I could see her eyes light up with the sparkle of possibility!
To my pilot friends and family members (Mom, Kirk, Dan, Madisson)- interested in flying one of these someday??
As I have traveled frequently around the country over the last few weeks, I am seeing more and more of the little free bookshares where neighbors can share and receive used books. These little bookshares are a free and easy way to
1) Share knowledge and enjoyment,
3) Build community.
According to the nonprofit Little Free Library, there are now more than 50,000 of these little libraries in more than 70 countries. (And that is just the ones that have registered.)
If you don’t see one near you, why not start one in your own neighborhood today? After all, it would give you something to do with the old books you have lying around, and (bonus!) you and your family would get to enjoy new literary surprises every day!!
And while I’m on the subject of free books, don’t even get me started on how wonderful the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is! This project sends specially selected books for free to children ages 0 to 4 all over the country. Dolly’s website says it best–
“Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.”
So much love to you, Dolly! And thanks for our books. We’re so excited to receive them each month and, as parents, we so appreciate the support in cultivating a love for reading in future generations.
A teenager in France had his sickle cell disease completely reversed due to a cutting edge new gene therapy. According to one doctor, “essentially they’ve given him his life back.”
This type of gene therapy has potential for treating, and even reversing, multiple conditions. A huge THANK YOU to all of the scientists out there working on ways to save lives and advance the human condition!
This woman in Houston stopped to talk to a man and found a way that she and the community could help raise his life up. This is a great reminder of how much we have to give once we slow down to give something our attention. As the announcer says, this man’s life and the lives of those around him were forever changed “All because she stopped to talk.”
(Shout out to my dear friend Kathy for bringing this to my attention.)
When Mary Catherine Lewis found out that a friend of hers had blood cancer and needed a donor, she took action. Using her skills and talents in organizing and outreach, she got involved with a local organization and has since been instrumental in putting together 5 Donor drives in her community, trying to attract the most likely genetic matches to the patients in need. And it worked! So far her drives have led to donor matches for at least two patients in need and probably more.
Mary Catherine is a talented, driven and hardworking person. But what I really love about this story is how it shows the difference that one individual can make. It doesn’t take money or fame, just an idea and the courage and dedication to put that idea into action. Truly inspirational.
The full article from her church newsletter is available at http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/periodicals/.
Thank you Mary Catherine!
As bike riding, bike commuting and bike sharing are growing quickly in the DC area, somebody noticed that some kids in the city were getting left behind. In wards “with high concentrations of low-income families,” officials noticed that “less access to bicycles, fewer bike lanes and no bike shops means that fewer children there are learning how to ride.” (I’ll add to that list the fact that there are relatively fewer safe places to ride as compared to the suburbs.) As a result, a surprisingly high number of kids in the city did not know how to ride, especially in schools serving the poorest neighborhoods.
With help from the District Department of Transportation and private donations, the school system purchased 1,000 bikes that it is loaning out on a rotating basis to each of the DC public elementary schools for use in a four-week training unit.
I have seen the kids out learning at parks around town and on the National Mall. The sentiments expressed by the kids in this article express the feelings of my own DCPS first grader on Capitol Hill- she has the (unsubstantiated) notion that all of the other kids know how to ride a bike except for her. We’re so glad that DCPS is making sure that none of the students grow up feeling that way for long. This is a fantastic program to equip students, no matter their neighborhood or background, with the tools for a healthy lifestyle and lifelong eco-friendly, urban-friendly fitness habits!
Boy, I sure hope this is true!
True or not, I think we can all agree that it is indeed good news that chocolate cake exists in the universe for us to delight in from time to time!
Has anyone thought of looking into whether banana milkshakes are good for you?