The title of youngest, biggest Apple fanboy and technologist has been spoken for by a precocious five-year-old named London. His mother sweetly explains how her first iPhone ignited an obsession in London (or as she refers to him, the “Little Techie”) with all things related to Apple. As a result, their home is strewn with “at least 50 iPhone and iPods made out of paper, icons and applications built out of LEGOS, and cardboard laptops and broken keyboards filling his toy bins and bookshelf.” And luckily for us, these creations are now archived and displayed at a Tumblr all its own, Little Techie. I personally love the paper craft designed ones, such as this detailed iPad, but unsurprisingly LEGO bricks figure prominently in many of his models.
Keep killing your houseplants because you forget to water? Or wasting gas because you never remember to check your tire pressure. We’ve got solutions for both, and more, in this week’s green tech finds.
Forget to water your plants?: Yep, there’s now an app for that. The Koubachi Wifi Plant Sensor tells an app on your phone when your houseplants need some water.
As evidence that the conceptual idea behind iPad and other tablet devices is not a new invention, the April 1935 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics featured the above design of a fancy man (look at that jacket!) leisurely reading with the courtesy of a machine. The magazine explained, “It has proved possible to photograph books, and throw them on a screen for examination, as illustrated long ago in this magazine. At the left is a device for applying this for home use and instruction; it is practically automatic.” And anticipating the multimedia functionality found in the iPad, the article also pointed out that “You can read a ‘book’ (which is a roll of miniature film), music, etc., at your ease.” The best part about the above illustration is that there are two plain old books printed on paper resting on the table. So neglected. So old school. I wonder if the fancy man was nervous when he made his purchase like I am before I buy an Apple product because I’m cynically positive the company will release a better version two months later. “What? The iPad of 1936? CRAP! I just bought this a month ago. I can’t even return it.”
If they’re in the wild, you can count them with a drone. If they’re in a zoo, you can give ‘em an iPad. Monkey business and more in this week’s green tech finds.
Wash your own diapers and grow your own soap: Cloth diapers have big environmental advantages, but they also require a lot more effort than disposables. The Swish is a diaper washing system that not only runs on solar power, but also uses greywater to grow soapnuts. (via Earthtechling and @crispgreen)
Type-o-Matic: Feeling frustrated by the aesthetic limitations of your email account? Drop a line to ‘Type-o-Matic,” a wacky new service that types up your emails on vintage typewriters and postmarks them for a small fee. They say it’s terrific for “special correspondence,” but I think it would be kind of funny to use it for more mundane messages, like “check out this YouTube video.”
I have a thing for notebooks. But after years of notebook accumulation, no real pattern or trend has emerged. I collect them indiscriminately—a pink Moleskine here, a cool, cloth-wrapped volume there, some funky vintage find from a flea market. Sadly, most of them sit blank and dusty on a bookshelf in my office, silently pleading for a simple doodle or To-Do list. Alas, my fascination with notebooks doesn’t seem to have come with any real dedication to journaling.
But the creative minds behind new iPad app, Clibe, have come up with a space-saving digital solution for notebook nerds…
If you caught my recent post on letterpress wiz Alan Kitching or the bit on my personal blog about how letterpress, specifically the tactile qualities of rolling bright, glossy ink over weathered, wood type is like porn for me, then you know why the iPad app LetterMPress is nothing less than titillating. Sadly, I don’t own an iPad (donations…
Lots of apps this week… for Freecycling, sharing your juice with electric vehicles drivers, and teaching the kids about rainforest ecosystems.
- Organize your Freecycling: Like to search for used treasures on service like Freecycle and Freegle? The Trash Nothing online app allows you to organize your activities at various recycling groups.
- i-Tree 4.0 is out: OK, this won’t garner the attention of the iPad 2, but the latest update of the US Forest Service’s i-Tree online tool for urban and community forest analysis features new applications for tree placement planning for individual land parcels, and “modeling the watershed-scale effects that vegetation has on local hydrology and water quality.”
An electric unicycle, iPad recycling, and creating your own bike lane on the go… this week’s green tech finds.
- California farmers leading the way on renewables: According to the USDA’s new On-Farm Renewable Energy Production Survey, “California farms and ranches now make up more than 20 percent of all operations in the nation with solar, wind and methane digester use.” (via Calfinder’s Residential Solar blog)
- Harvesting energy from slow tides: That’s the concept behind Minesto UK’s Deep Green technology, a “kite-like device [which] is tethered to the seabed and is steered by a rudder, which allows it to adjust the speed at which water enters the turbine.” The UK’s Carbon Fund has awarded Minesto £350,000 to test the device.
Alexander Fury and shoes by Alexander McQueen Alexander Fury, the fashion director of SHOWstudio, talks inspiration and digital media at the eye of the fashion storm. Love’s first video for iPad application stars Elle Macpherson in bouffant and lingerie. FFF goes to Istanbul and India. Clary Sage brings fashion to organic yoga wear.
Japanese magician Uchida Shinya posted this YouTube (subtitled) video where he uses an iPad with some magic tricks to briefly describe and explain the past, present, and future of human communication. The slight of hand tricks are pretty cool, but if you want to ruin the fun, just read the spoiler comments or watch it…
A bit of a weird, carnivorous motif running through this week’s green tech finds… check out the fly-eating clock, and nuclear wasted-eating material modeled on Venus fly traps…
How green is the iPad? Apple has the spotlight this week with the launch of its new tablet computer. MNN and The Daily Green take a look at its green features.
The Fly-Catching Clock: If common items like clocks and coffee tables could also catch pest (from flies to mice), and digest them into biofuel, would you find that revolutionary… or gross? British designers Jimmy Loizeau and James Auger created some designs along these lines to get people thinking about “using living things as fuel.”