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How Texas Wind Power Inspires Performance Art
November 16, 2011 10:54 AM - Lauren Craig, Matter Network

The stories of Texas’ wind farms are commonly told in terms of acres and megawatts. Artists Laura Zak and Kim Cypert, however, want to dig deeper into the cultural and social impacts of the state’s booming wind industry. Zak and Cypert are working on a performance art show incorporating insights from the digital wind energy oral history collection at Texas Tech University’s Special Collection Library, in Lubbock. The collection, which includes interviews with farmers, landowners, wind developers, municipal leaders and environmentalists, documents the experiences of those affected by wind energy development in Texas.

Solar Design From MIT Does Double Duty
November 11, 2011 10:24 AM - Pete Danko, Matter Network

MIT researchers say a hybrid solar-thermoelectric system they’re working on would provide a big advantage over conventional solar cells or solar thermal systems, particularly for household use: the ability to produce heat and electricity simultaneously. They propose accomplishing this mean feat through a clever reconfiguration of the standard parabolic trough.

In Europe, Aviation Biofuels Reach the Runway
October 25, 2011 03:27 PM - Mackinnon Lawrence, Matter Network

Ahead of the latest round of climate change talks to be held in Durban, South Africa later this year, most countries, with the exception of European Union member states, Australia, and few others, have failed to advance national initiatives to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Despite broad-based agreement on the need for a post-Kyoto international agreement on climate change, a constellation of forces, including the so-called Climategate affair of 2009 and persistent economic uncertainty, have led to a shattering of international consensus. Earlier this year, both EU and United States negotiators said that a new legally binding deal emerging this year in Durban is not realistically possible.

Solar Bonsai Tree Lets You Charge In Style
October 24, 2011 05:27 PM - Kristy Hessman, Matter Network

If you don’t have a green thumb, but love your electronics, the Electree could just be the perfect house plant. The Solar Bonsai Electree was created by French designer Vivien Muller and recently appeared on the Red Ferret tech blog. The bonsai-inspired tree has 27 solar panels at the tips of its branches that capture the sun’s rays and uses them to charge your electronics.

A Green Super Yacht on Steroids?
October 21, 2011 01:07 PM - Pete Danko, Matter Network

There was the Super Nova 60, the world’s first carbon neutral megayacht. Then there was the 72-foot Emax Excalibur, which represented the first step in the maritime industry towards the production of post-carbon yachts. But forget about those — the folks at Sauter Carbon Offset Design and their building partners Ned Ship Group say the latest in their series of green yacht concepts is "the fastest and greenest superyacht in the world."

Prius Plug-in Versus Volt: Which Costs Less to Drive?
October 18, 2011 03:51 PM - John Gartner, Matter Network

Now that Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been officially announced, we can begin the comparisons with the other plug-in electric vehicle with an extended driving range, the Chevrolet Volt. The underlying question is which is more important to consumers: electric driving range, or total vehicle fuel efficiency?

10 Ways to Recycle Vinyl Records Creatively
October 7, 2011 01:54 PM - Sonia Tracy, Matter Network

There is something about a vinyl record that presents a classic and timeless feel. Perhaps it is the nostalgia associated with it or even the crispness of the sound when it’s played. Whatever the case, the record will forever be a symbol of the golden ages of music. But times have changes now, and the convenience of modern formats has trumped this feel — not to mention that not every record you might have lying around is a classic. Everyone has found themselves with more than one embarrassing addition in their collection that they will never listen to and just allow it to sit around, collecting dust.

Non-Toxic Beauty: Do You Know What’s In Your Lipstick?
October 5, 2011 08:09 AM - Joanna, Matter Network

Adding a touch of lipstick to your outfit will add some color to your face and can even accentuate your smile. However, that glamour comes with a price. The average woman will ingest about 6 lbs of lipstick in her lifetime. That’s a whole lot of unnatural ingredients to process in your body! To help you understand a bit more in what lipstick is made out of, here are some of the harmful ingredients you will come across in the product.

World’s Oldest Car Powered by Steam Heads to Auction
October 4, 2011 04:56 PM - Christopher DeMorro, Matter Network

We can probably debate what counts as the world’s first real automobile, since the De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout is more of a train without tracks than an actual car. This over-named vehicle is up for auction, and ran not on gasoline that would come to define the car”Žbut on steam power.

Billionaires Get Behind Cleantech Funding
September 28, 2011 11:16 AM - Richard Martin, Matter Network

It's the fall, and the discontent of American billionaires, like that of New York Mets fans, is rising. Not only has laconic investment guru Warren Buffett demanded that the U.S. levy more taxes on the privileged, i.e., super-wealthy people like him; but also another group of billionaires (or at least hundreds-of-millionaires) has stood up to demand a more active role for government in creating a cleantech energy economy for the 21st century.

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