Cost-Competitive Tesla Powerwall

Image Credit: Tesla

Image Credit: Tesla

Energy consultancy CME has calculated that a Tesla Powerwall 2.0 and rooftop solar panels are cost-competitive to traditional grid power. The consultancy’s study looked at a hypothetical home located in Adelaide, Australia, where the assumed power use would be around 4,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. Taking into account the ten-year lifespan of a Powerwall 2.0 and the twenty-year lifespan of rooftop solar panels, the study found that the price powering a home equipped with these technologies was lower than the price of using grid power before discounts. In the future, solar powered homes could be the norm as countries shift away from fossil fuel sources toward renewable energy.

Source: Inhabitat

Germany Rolls Out First Zero-Emissions Trains

Image Credit: Dezeen

Image Credit: Dezeen

If current testing is successful, zero-emissions trains could soon replace traditional diesel-fueled trains on one German train line. The Coradia iLint, a train developed by French company Alston, is powered by a hydrogen fuel tank. The tank converts hydrogen and oxygen from the air into electric power, emitting only water vapor instead of CO2. The trains have backup lithium ion batteries onboard to store excess power produced by the engine. These trains arrive as Germany pushes toward zero emissions by reducing the use of fossil fuels, with the German legislature moving to ban internal combustion engines by 2030.

Source: Dezeen

Get Face-to-Face with Anthropomorphic Rocks at Japanese Museum

Image Credit: Sankei Photo

Image Credit: Sankei Photo

In the town of Chichibu, Japan, travelers can pay a visit to the Chinsekikan, a museum containing over 1700 rocks that appear to have human faces. Notable jinmenseki (which means rock with a human face) lookalikes include Elvis Presley, E.T., and Donkey Kong. There are so many rocks that the owner, Yoshiko Hayama, occasionally invites visitors to help name the facelike formations. Explore more photos of these curious rocks on Yukuwa.net.

Source: This Is Colossal

A VR Tour of London’s Underground Tunnels

 

Image Credit: The Guardian

Image Credit: The Guardian

TheGuardianVR has designed a virtual reality (VR) experience in which one can walk through the historical sewer that winds below London. The second of its two available VR projects, “Underworld” is meant to be experienced using a headset, which promises to truly immerse the user in this 360-degree world. “Subterranean London” is the “interactive preview” designed to communicate the history of the tunnels and to begin giving viewers an understanding of the nature of “Underworld” without purchasing a headset.

Source: The Guardian

Sound Researchers Map NYC Noise Pollution

Image Credit: Elvert Barnes

Image Credit: Elvert Barnes

To combat noise pollution, researchers from NYU and Ohio State University are using a listening software called “UrbanEars” to record snippets of city sounds. The researchers hope to use the recordings to identify sources of noise in New York City, where the data can then be used by noise inspectors to better respond to noise complaints. Eventually, the data will be input into an app called Urbane, which will allow residents to interact with the noise information. By recording short sound clips of the course of a year, the software will generate a large random sample of overall noise pollution in the city. Eventually, this could lead to a better understanding of the relationship between noise and the social and economic problems the city faces.

Source: Next City

A Skin-ny Room

Image Credit: NEON

Image Credit: NEON

Archinect reports that NEON’s flesh-like interactive installation explores the idea that human skin and architectural enclosure can become uncannily similar. It is said that the inhabitant will lose “all sense of where their body ends and architecture begins. It is intended that this approach will create a strong physical and emotional connection between the inhabitant and the architectural space.”

Source: Archinect

Photos Portray the Hidden Life of the Amish

Image Credit: Michael Hanson

Image Credit: Michael Hanson

Photojournalist Michael Hanson’s images of Amish communities give insight to the rural, low-tech life of the religious order. Hanson’s work focuses primarily on people who produce food, which led to his interest in photographing Amish farmers and homemakers. The images show the everyday life of the Amish, from mornings harvesting tomatoes to an afternoon at a livestock market. The images reveal the contrast between the Amish and the rest of the country; although the images invoke a sense of community, they also portray the isolation experienced by some people who chose to leave the religion.

Source: The Washington Post

Bricklaying Robots Create Undulating Wall in Shanghai

Traditional materials and robot technology come together in a Shanghai exhibition space designed by Archi-Union Architects. Bricks salvaged from the original building were used to create the center’s inviting new façade. By combining dilapidated historic materials with an advanced technological approach to bricklaying, Archi-Union succeeds in creating a space that communicates with both the old and new in this rapidly developing section of Shanghai.

Source: Dezeen

Bike Thieves Beware!

Image Credit: Dezeen

Image Credit: Dezeen

The SkunkLock is a bicycle lock that releases a rancid scent when punctured with a cutting device. Aiming to thwart bike thieves, the lock produces a scent so horrible that it induces vomiting. Those who developed the design claim that, because the SkunkLock does not cause any permanent damage, it is legal to utilize in the United States. According to Dezeen, this project has received enough financial backing so that locks will be available for purchase in summer 2017.

Source: Dezeen

Mending the Broken Earth

Image Credit: Estelle Chrétien

Image Credit: Estelle Chrétien

French artist Estelle Chrétien’s newest earthwork evokes memories of stitched-up injuries or unraveling clothing. “Ground Operation”—which features a split section of turf seemingly stitched back together with a white cord—instills in the viewer the importance of mankind’s role in molding the earth. Chrétien juxtaposes small-scale handicrafts with the kinds of agricultural and infrastructural interventions that change the landscape. According to Chrétien, the earthwork “…questions our relationship to natural resources,” helping us to realize our impact.

Source: The Creators Project

10,000 Glowing Books Fill a Toronto Street

Image Credit: Inhabitat

Image Credit: Inhabitat

A group of Spanish artists known as Luzinterruptus took over a Toronto street to create a stream of glowing books. The installation, titled “Literature vs. Traffic,” aims to create an oasis of literature in the midst of a bustling city, creating a place where visitors can read, reflect, and “succumb to the humble power of the written word.” Luzinterruptus illegally carried out the installation in New York and Madrid before obtaining permission from Toronto to fill the streets with books donated by the Salvation Army. The seemingly floating books remained on the city street until visitors dismantled the exhibit, each taking home a piece of the tranquil river.

Source: Inhabitat