national parks

Best of Kickstarter, 11/28

Best of Kickstarter, 11/28

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

TECH

Portals:  Sure, we all feel pretty modern and fancy about our touchscreen technology (last week, I played Fruit Ninja for two uninterrupted hours in a turkey stuffing-induced daze), but the future isn’t about what you do on the screen – it’s what you do underneath or inside it. Using green screen technology, grad student Jayne Vidheechar designed a set of “portals” that allow users to interact with different objects in a myriad of environments and settings.

Twine: Feel like everyone is text-addicted? Soon, even your laundry machine will be sending you text messages. If you don’t believe me, check out ”Twine,” a clever new gizmo produced by freaky MIT geniuses that enables you to receive notifications from pretty much any object in your house…

Travel to a national park… by train

Travel to a national park… by train

Planning a trip to a national park or monument this summer? You may not need to make flight reservations or pack everyone into the car: Amtrak’s new Parks in Your Backyard site helps you plan a trip using rail and public transportation.

Launched earlier this month, the new mini-site exists to make national park travel greener: “Passenger rail and national parks have rolled through history in tandem since the 1880s,” said Dean Reeder, National Tourism Director of the National Park Service. “By facilitating visitor access to the many wondrous experiences available in many of our nation’s parks, Amtrak helps us advance the values of sustainable tourism.”

Coastal treasures: 5 marine national parks

Coastal treasures: 5 marine national parks

[caption id="attachment_25533" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Ballena Marine National Park, Costa Rica"][/caption]

Last week, King Carl-Gustav of Sweden presided over the ceremonial opening of the country’s first marine national park, Kosterhavet. If you’re like me, you tend to associate the phrase “national park” with mountains, forests, canyons, and even geysers… but countries around the world recognize the value of the coastal and marine ecosystems, and are designating similar protected areas. A quick search yielded these treasures:

Balancing renewable energy projects & public lands stewardship

Balancing renewable energy projects & public lands stewardship

America is on the verge of a renewable energy gold rush. Hundreds of applications for wind and solar projects have been filed on public lands. I think this is long overdue. We need sustainable energy to help us reduce global warming pollution, and we need it fast. But if we don’t handle this boom carefully,…