environment
Dyson Imagines Massive Floating Rubbish Vacuum to Suck up Man's Plastic Crap

James Dyson's sketched out the idea of a new form of sucking machine, one so large it requires a barge to house it. The idea being to set it free and let it "mine" rivers of all the floating plastic junk that's been chucked into them since man first invented plastics. Read More >>

environment
Do Cow Farts Actually Contribute to Global Warming?

There are currently approximately 1.3 to 1.5 billion cows grazing, sleeping, and chewing their cud at any given time on planet Earth. And these 590-kilo (average weight for both a beef and dairy cow) animals eat a lot. Much like humans, when they eat, gas builds up inside of their guts and has to be expelled. (See Why Beans Make You Fart) Cows fart and burp… a lot. The result is a large amount of methane being introduced into the atmosphere. Read More >>

environment
UN: Ships Need to Shut Up So Whales and Dolphins Can Hear

The noises made by the gargantuan boats that move our stuff from one continent to another are ruining marine life. So this week, new regulations have been issued by the International Maritime Organization, the sea-faring agency of the United Nations, asking shipping companies to turn down the volume. Read More >>

environment
Shipping Containers Lost at Sea, and the Search for Flight MH370

Just how many large mysterious objects can there be floating at sea? That's what many of us have wondered after the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines 370 turned up piece after piece of ocean junk. Read More >>

environment
Hypnotic Flapping Wing Turbines Keep Working in the Gentlest Breeze

There have been many proposed alternatives to the spinning propeller blades used on wind turbines installed all over the county, but none as unorthodox as Festo's new DualWingGenerator. Inspired by the company's work on winged flying robots, the design keeps working when winds are as slow as nine miles per hour. Read More >>

environment
The US Grows the Most Productive Plants in the World, Says NASA

Remember learning about America's "amber waves of grain?" Probably not, you're from the UK, but over yonder it's a lyric from a well known patriotic song. As it turns out that the United States' bread basket—a.k.a., the Corn Belt—is even more productive than previously thought. In fact, during its growing season, it's the most productive land on Earth, according to new NASA data. Read More >>

money
The US Government Would Save £240 Million if it Just Switched Typefaces

Of the many schemes to make the government more efficient, this is probably the only one that involves typography. A teenager in Pittsburgh has calculated that by simply switching the typeface used in government documents from Times New Roman to Garamond, it would save taxpayers $400 million (£240 million) in ink. Read More >>

booze
Miserable Winter May Trigger UK "Cider Drought"

Get the pints queued up, as there might be a run on that nice kind of apple juice that's so easy to glug down. The National Association of Cider Makers suggests brewers may struggle to find enough apples this year, after the wet winter over saturated many of the apple trees used to create the brew. Read More >>

environment
Stock Up on Suncream as Killer Heatwave Summers Will Increase

The odd heatwave is treated like the Second Coming in dreary old Britain. But will we welcome blistering summers when they become the norm? A new Met Office report suggests that European summers will swelter as standard come the year 2040. Read More >>

giz explains
How Global Warming is Dissolving Sea Life (and What We Can do About It)

The last time Earth's oceans were this acidic, a six mile-wide sulphur-rich space rock had just smashed into the Yucatan Peninsula, unleashing a deluge of acid rain that exterminated all sea life in the the top 400 metres of the water column. Now, some 65 million years after the Cretaceous extinction, human activity is threatening to similarly decimate the ocean's ecosystem—this time, from the bottom up. Read More >>

science
New Light-Emitting Solar Cells Could be Used as Smartphone Displays

In the future, the glass that coats our skyscrapers could also serve as the power plant that keeps the lights on. This is not news. However, with an amazing new material being developed in Singapore, that same glass could also turn your city's windows into skyscraper-sized displays. Read More >>

environment
25 Years After Exxon Valdez, the US Still Isn't Ready for the Next Big Spill

A quarter of a century ago, after the Exxon Valdez's captain downed one too many drinks and left a third mate in charge, the oil tanker struck a reef and bled 41.6 million litres of oil across 1,300 miles of Alaska's coastline. But the catastrophic oil spills have continued in the US—and they're still not prepared to handle them. Read More >>

environment
Google and Microsoft Helping the White House Track Climate Change

The White House has announced that it's teaming up with Google and Microsoft to centralise its climate change data—and make it more accessible for public and researchers alike. Read More >>

research
Animals See Power Lines as Terrifying Bursts of Light

We've known that most critters try to avoid power lines, but until recently scientists were pretty much in the dark when it came to why. Now, it turns out that to animals, power lines and pylons look like terrifying bands of glowing, flashing bursts of light. Read More >>

environment
3D-Printed, Flexible, Hyper-Sensitive Solar Panels Coming to a Manbag Near You

The future of micro-solar may have been created by technicians at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, who claim to have built a low-power solar solution that's as flexible as cloth and could lead to a future in which solar trousers generate enough power to trickle charge your iPad as long as you splay your legs wide enough in the general direction of the light. Read More >>

environment
NASA-Backed Study Says Humanity is Pretty Much Screwed

Hope you've enjoyed civilised life, folks. Because a new study sponsored by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center says the world's industrial societies are poised to collapse under the weight of their own unsustainable appetites for resources. There goes the weekend...and everything after it. Read More >>

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