“Men and their works have been a disease on the surface of their plane… you cannot go on forever stealing what you need without regard to those who come after.” READ MORE: Dune at 50: Frank Herbert’s Environmentalist Legacy | Flavorwire
IF YOU WANT to teach your kid about ecology, sustainability, or the future of interactive education, take them to the New York Hall of Science and head for the giant virtual waterfall.
The massive digital faucet feeds the ecosystems of Connected Worlds, a cutting-edge installation that aims to teach youngsters about environmental science by immersing them in it. It’s an interactive simulation big enough to walk around inside—virtual reality that’s not piped into a headset but projected onto a real physical space.
Kids can shape the environment through a clever combination of physical and digital interaction. READ MORE: The Key to Digital Learning? Bring It Into the Real World | WIRED.
The above map is the result of a painstaking and admittedly quixotic effort to catalog the country as it has been described in the American road-tripping literature. It includes every place-name reference in 12 books about cross-country travel, from Mark Twain’s Roughing It (1872) to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (2012), and maps the authors’ routes on top of one another. You can track an individual writer’s descriptions of the landscape as they traveled across it, or you can zoom in to see how different authors have written about the same place at different times. READ MORE: The Obsessively Detailed Map of American Literature’s Most Epic Road Trips | Atlas Obscura.
If it wasn’t already clear through common sense, it’s become painfully clear through science that sitting all day is terrible for your health. What’s especially alarming about this evidence is that extra physical activity doesn’t seem to offset the costs of what researchers call “prolonged sedentary time.”
In response some people have turned to active desks—be it a standing workspace or even a treadmill desk—but the research on this recent trend has been too scattered to draw clear conclusions on its benefits (and potential drawbacks). At least until now. A trio of Canada-based researchers has analyzed the strongest 23 active desk studies to draw some conclusions on how standing and treadmill desks impact both physiological health and psychological performance. READ MORE: Everything Science Knows Right Now About Standing Desks | Co.Design | business + design.
Researchers at the University Of Tennessee At Knoxville have confirmed what my kids believe they already know – that some video gaming can be as physically intense for younger gamers as playing outside.
Before you let your toddlers have a four-hour Minecraft session, however, check out the methodology [hint “active gaming”]. READ MORE: Study Finds That Active Video Gaming May Be As Good For Kids As Playing Outside | TechCrunch.
We’re one step closer to biodegradable gadgets. These computer chips are made almost entirely out of wood. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin, Madison teamed up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory to fashion the new semiconductor chip. The paper was published today in Nature Communications.
See, most of a computer chip is composed of a “support” layer that cradles the actual chip. The research team replaced that support layer’s non-biodegradable material with something called cellulose nanofibril (CNF), which is flexible, wood-based, biodegradable—all things that can make a device way less hazardous.
Image credit: University of Wisconsin
If you think cameras are ubiquitous now, wait until this catches on. Researchers at Columbia University announced today that they have build the world’s first self-powered video camera. By leveraging the technology that powers both digital imaging and solar panels, they’ve made a prototype model that draws energy from the ambient light in a well-lit room. READ MORE: World’s First Self-Powered Video Camera Unveiled | Discovery News.
The winners of the 2015 American Institute of Architects Library Awards reflect how libraries are adapting—how they’re investing in technology and trying to reframe themselves as vital community gathering spaces. This year’s winners include a children’s library that teaches kids to grow their own food, a university library that has ditched half its collections to create collaborative work spaces, and libraries that are at the heart of catalyzing redevelopment in their neighborhoods. And they prove that even buildings filled with thousands of objects created from dead trees can be environmentally friendly.
READ MORE AND VIEW SLIDESHOW: 6 Buildings That Are Redefining The Library | Co.Design | business + design.
Also See: 2015 AIA / ALA Library Building Awards
CDs may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think of the Library of Congress, but it houses more than 500,000. The extensive collection includes everything from music to maps and labs where researchers are destroying CDs to learn how to preserve them, CBS News Jim Axelrod reports.
In 1982, Billy Joels album “52nd Street” was the first commercial compact disc to be released. Since then, hundreds of billions of CDs have been sold worldwide. Once the latest music technology, the CD is now a collectors item, replaced by digital downloads. But those who built up music libraries in the 80s and 90s may wonder how long will those discs work? Fenella France, chief of preservation research and testing at the Library of Congress, is hoping to figure that out.