The universe is not only strange but stranger than we can imagine

Environment

Plastic grass could cover buildings to produce energy from wind

Bendy plastic strips generate power as they flail in the wind, harvesting energy for the home where wind turbines are impractical

 

“The answer , my friend, is blowing in the wind.” Well, maybe not quite the way Bob Dylan had in mind, but still…

Right now we apparently have “too much oil,” at least in the short term. But in the long run, and for many reasons (pollution, finite supplies, political considerations), we need to get away from fossil fuels. What better solution than harnessing the energy of the wind? But acres and acres of huge eggbeaters flailing against the sky and whacking any birds unfortunate enough to come into range, are not an ideal answer. How about if wind power could be harvested unobtrusively? Enter this great idea — tiny strips of artificial grass, each harnessing a tiny amount of the wind’s energy as they bend and sway in the breeze.

It’s a lovely solution — neat, localized, wildlife friendly, non-polluting… As long as your goats don’t try grazing, you’re energy self sufficient. Too cool

Source: Plastic grass could cover buildings to produce energy from wind | New Scientist

Waxed to extinction (and nobody cares!)

"Crabs" -- one species whose passing few people will regret.

“Crabs” — one species whose passing few people will regret.

We’re pretty well used to reports of species walking the gangplank towards extinction as humans destroy their natural habitats.  In most cases, the loss is tragic — but this story of environmental disaster has a comical sort of twist.

The creatures in question are  pubic lice (also known as “crabs”). The threat to their environment is known variously as Brazilian waxing or bikini waxing, a practice so common that  the little crablike vermin are threatened with extinction. Although exact numbers are (for obvious reasons) hard to come by, sexual health clinics report dramatic drops in crab infestations, presumably thanks to this new grooming trend.

In the grand scheme of things, no doubt crab lice are as much a miracle of nature as, say, leopards or dolphins. But it will be hard for most people to shed a tear at the passing of these little beasties, should they be waxed into oblivion.

Categories