Monthly Archives: January 2009

save the sea kittens!

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I’m not entirely sure whether this is brilliance or insanity (or both), but Peta is starting a movement to rename fish “sea kittens.” “Nobody would hurt a Sea Kitten,” according to their site, which encourages visitors to petition the US Fish and Wildlife services to stop promoting the hunting of the little creatures.

Something’s Sea Kitten-ey here..

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human centered design

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Apparently it’s been around for a few months, but this is the first I’ve seen of IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit. Intended to help NGO’s working with smallholder farmers apply human-centered thinking to their work, the HCD Toolkit breaks down the innovation process into 3 distinct phases: Hear, Create, and Deliver. Each of the three phases has a unique workbook, with separate sections for the Design Team and the Facilitator.

IDEO has done a few Design for Social Impact projects, but it seems as though they’ve recently chosen to move their Social Impact work towards education, rather than invention. It’s good to see them open up their process to the public, and I’m excited to see how it is received by the development community. So far only IDE has tested it, but some successful case-studies would surely make it more valuable…

filamentality

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Although their website needs some love, 3E Technologies has some pretty bright ideas about lighting.

Their Double Filament bulb is a new take on an old idea, doubling the life expectancy of traditional light-bulbs. Since the filament of an incandescent bulb usually breaks long before the housing, and since the filament represents only a small material and financial part of the whole bulb, 3E has created a double filament bulb so when one breaks, a flip of a switch will activate the second, doubling the lifespan.

And to address a similar problem with CFL’s, 3E came up with a similarly brilliant technology. Their Smart Lite is a mighty-efficient CFL, made all the greener by their reusable ballast. The glass part of a CFL lasts an average of 10,000 hours, while the ballast has an average lifespan closer to 50,000 hours. By allowing users to replace just the glass piece and reuse the ballast, 3E is saving materials, energy, money and frustration. 

Bright ideas, indeed.

c’mon, gimme some credit!

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Obama announced today, as he’s been alluding for several weeks now, that serious, immediate action is necessary if we’re to repair our economy. And with an interface that owes a bit to the Obama campaign, Uncrunch America is taking matters into their own hands, and trying to do just that.

Uncrunch allows visitors to “invest in america,” by investing in credit-worthy borrowers that have been turned down for loans because of the credit crunch. To be honest, there’s not enough information on the site to assure me of it’s legitimacy, but it’s an interesting idea nevertheless. Reminds me of Virgin Money , but with a timely recession theme.

the roof, the roof, the roof is all white!

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Old article, but interesting nevertheless. Apparently if the 100 largest cities in the country painted their roofs white and paved their roads with a lighter colored, more reflective substance, enough light would be reflected to save $1billion annualy. And, more importantly, it would reflect enough light to significantly counteract the effects of global warming. Every little bit helps…

via Treehugger