If you happen to be in Washington this week, take a walk down to the Mall and check out the Solar Decathlon where teams from 20 universities and colleges are vying to design and build the best solar house. I strolled through it Saturday with my family and saw some pretty cool (and warm) stuff.
Modular, boxy and sometimes metallic in appearance, solar houses don’t look like anything I’ve ever lived in. It’s no surprise that the roofs are covered with solar panels. Check it out for yourself in the Solar Decathlon’s Daily Journal and Blog. And there’s a nifty photo gallery to check out plus a current list of leaders. The competition goes through this Sunday, Oct. 20.
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
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