Inside a shipping container currently en route to a school in Puerto Rico, a solar microgrid is ready for deployment: as soon as the container arrives, the system, from a startup called BoxPower, can be assembled and begin providing power in less than a day. advertisement advertisement The system, designed for use both immediately after disasters and to make communities more resilient to future disasters, is easy to rapidly install. “We jokingly call ourselves the IKEA of microgrids because there is some assembly required, but it is color-coded, pre-cut, and pre-drilled,” says Angelo Campus, CEO and founder of California-based BoxPower. “And anyone who can assemble an IKEA dresser can assemble our solar array on top of the container. It doesn’t require any heavy equipment or machinery.” Campus began working on the project as an undergraduate at Princeton, where two of his professors had worked with Engineers Without Borders after the 2010 … [Read more...] about This single shipping container can start powering a small renewable grid in less than a day
Wildfire butte county
Manhattan is the densest area in the U.S., and one of the densest in the world. That’s because while there are 2 million people who reside on the island, that number doubles to 4 million during the workday, when people from the surrounding counties and states pour into the city. advertisement A new interactive by the data viz designer and researcher Justin Fung shows this remarkable mini-migration over the course of a single day. Using a mix of data from the 2010 Census, the MTA’s turnstile database, and a previous NYU study, Fung was able to create block-by-block estimates for the population of Manhattan at any given time. Fung first became interested in compiling this kind of data set after Hurricane Sandy, when he began to wonder if there are good estimates for how many people are actually in Manhattan at particular times, which would help with emergency planning. He was in graduate school at Columbia University at the time for operations research, and created … [Read more...] about This Gorgeous Viz Reveals The Invisible Heartbeat Of N.Y.C.
Every Costco-level oenophile knows that wine is not just fermented grape juice. It’s a way to taste the terroir of the vineyard–the soil, rain, sun, breeze, and more. Most wine labels overlook this, focusing on a simple text logo accompanied by a short description about blackberry notes and counties in California. But a new vineyard called Brute, spotted by Prosthetic Knowledge, makes its weather the forefront of the brand. At the vineyard, in Hamburg, Germany, sensors collect data on wind, rain, and temperature. That’s turned into a real-time data visualization developed by branding firm Landor and creative director Patrik Huebner. It lives online, as a fairly standard, pointillist information cloud. Each bottle also has a paper wrapping that depicts the visualization–the season of weather that led to the wine’s harvest. The bottle literally advertises the conditions in which the vines and grapes were grown. You probably can’t … [Read more...] about This clever bottle visualizes the terroir of the wine within
Hydraulic fracturing, the contentious natural gas drilling method, has long been thought to have detrimental health effects on people living nearby (Just check out this disturbing piece on what it’s like to live near a shale well). advertisement advertisement A recent study should make anyone who is worried about fracking’s health effects even more concerned: Researchers have found that fracking fluid contains a number of hormone-disrupting chemicals, which are linked to birth defects, cancer, and infertility. Published in the journal Endocrinology, the study examined 12 endocrine-disrupting chemicals (both suspected and known) found in fracking fluid–which typically contains over 700 chemicals in total–in a lab. “We found that the majority disrupted estrogen or androgen signaling,” says Susan Nagel, the lead author of the study and a researcher in obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health at the University of Missouri. Next, the … [Read more...] about Chemicals Found In Fracking Fluid Could Give You Cancer
A month ago, the Melbourne-based skincare company Frank Body announced on Instagram that it would be launching a new body scrub that leaves your skin with a sparkly glow. The brand isn’t a fan of kitschy product names, so it marketed the powder (which came in an iridescent pouch) simply as a “Shimmer Scrub.” But the Aussie company didn’t realize that its latest offering had a built-in pop culture hook. Right now, the best way to sell American millennial women anything vaguely shiny, glittery, or colorful is to “unicornify” it. That demographic is mad for the mythical horned creatures: Searches for “unicorns” reached an all-time high in the month of April. advertisement advertisement “Unicorn was not a word that we would have used to describe the scrub,” Jess Hatzis, cofounder of Frank Body, tells Fast Company. “But it just so happened that its release … [Read more...] about The Unicorn Craze, Explained