Tech Furniture With a Twist

If it sounds as if we have turned into popular but dull television show QVC, we haven’t, you won’t find any of the following sublime pieces of furniture on that or any other mass-produced channel. As tech is produced in greater volumes, there is one question which remains constant, what do you do with the eventual waste within a perpetual upgrading cycle? Well, according to the below items, you can achieve quite an array of dazzling re-imaginings of classic products.

So, what do we have first? Below is a table, but not just a standard run of the mill Ikea flat-packed piece, but a coffee table which has been constructed out of circuit boards.  This amazing item was the brain child of David Maloney of Glendale, Wisconsin. In 2009 he saved a series of circuit boards for a potential craft project which turned into a table. He achieved the design by building an internal structure to mount the boards before crafting the frame from Black Walnut wood; wow is my impression, I would love to own this.

Next up is a chair/stool, Chilean Designer Rodrigo Alonso created the N+EW (No More Electronic Waste) art product in 2007. He collected components which had been blended into bits before placing them into a mould. He then filled the gaps between them with an epoxy resin which permanently encased the waste in a translucent form that can be used as a stool. The top of the stool looks to be the earth at an angle, again, an amazing design which re-imagines the whole concept of electronic waste.

Next up is a round table with a difference, a clever individual by the name of Joe Grand of Grand Idea Studio in Portland, Oregon, created a table from a 26-inch diameter hard drive platter from a 1960s mainframe computer. Today an average standard consumer based hard drive can hold around 3TB of data with Laptops holding around 1TB as standard, this disk could hold a huge 9MB of storage, which is tiny compared to today. Hopefully, the round edge is not sharp.

Last piece of tech furniture porn arrives courtesy of a 1987 Apple Mac II in the form of a sofa, or 25 to be precise, each mac was worth a staggering $5,500 dollars each, so that’s 25 x 5,500 = $137500. Of course, this price doesn’t account for inflation or the dirt cheap a price which these computers can now be found for. It’s an eye-catching piece of furniture, but maybe not the most comfortable.

Thank you bradlands, thenewsisbroken, grandideastudio and ralonso for providing us with this information.

Europe Mismanages Disposal Of Discarded Electronics

A ticking timebomb is in the form of the correct way to dispose electronic waste, the globe is producing unit upon unit of the latest gadget which in turn pumps chemicals and materials into these devices. The turnaround from purchase to waste is even shorter than ever and protocols need to be implemented with the aim of recycling, which decreases the environmental impact on the plant as possible.

Unfortunately, A European Union Funded project in conjunction with Interpol, the United Nations University, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, the WEEE Forum, the Cross Border Research Association, Zanasi and Partners and Compliance and Risks has found rather poor statistics.

They have found in Europe, “just 35% (3.3 million tonnes of 9.5 million tonnes) of used (but still functioning) and waste electronics and electrical equipment discarded by companies and consumers in 2012 wound up in official collection and recycling systems”. What happened to 6.2 million tonnes? It’s not like companies made it disappear, (reads more information) OK it is like companies made it disappear as the rest of the waste was “either exported, recycled under non-compliant conditions or simply thrown in waste bins”.

Responsible manufacturing and consumers who buy these electronics need to bear in mind disposal when throwing away items. The raw materials are toxic, think chlorofluorocarbons in fridges or Benzene and n-hexane which are chemicals thought to cause cancer and nerve damage, not such a problem? These chemicals have been used in the production of Apple products up until 2014.

Of course, as this report illustrates, an unknown but damaging factor is the criminal gangs who thrive off the illegal waste supply chain in some countries. Disposal of electronic waste is essential considering the amount which is being manufactured with the ratio increasing year on year, hopefully, more can be achieved in this area to decrease humans carbon footprint on the earth.

Thank you economictimes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of open-electronics

Machine That ‘Uncooks Eggs’ Used to Improve Cancer Treatment

A machine invented by an Australian scientist that can “unboil an egg” by unfolding the proteins in egg whites back to their natural state has been hailed as a potential game-changer for the targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment.

The machine, the vortex fluidic device was invented by Professor Colin Raston from Flinders University works by using mechanical energy by spinning molecules at a phenomenal speed (up to 5000 rpm!) to control chemical processes. So far it has been used to “unboil” an egg by uncoiling the albumen proteins and returning them to their natural state, making them active again in a clear liquid.

The device may be able to assist in the delivery of chemotherapy drugs according to a report published by Nature.

“The machine dramatically improves the attachment of the platinum-based cancer drug carboplatin to nano-sized delivery tubes called vesicles. Carboplatin works by binding to cancer cells, inhibiting their DNA synthesis and cell division. The authors of the paper expect that the use of nano-tubes for delivery will allow for a more targeted release of the chemotherapy drug.”

“The hope is that by releasing carboplatin faster at lower pH levels, patients will be able to receive lower doses for more effective treatment.”

It also minimises drug waste. Up to half a tonne of manufacturing waste can be generated by the production of just one kilogramme of anti-cancer drugs.

“Much of the drugs end up in the sewerage system and [could] create superbugs in our environment,” Dr Raston said.

Thank you to TheAge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Parade

Watch Bill Gates Drink Water Made From Poo

Ever since Bill Gates retired from his day-to-day role at Microsoft, most of his attention has been focused on his philanthropic efforts with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of those efforts is to provide safe and clean drinking water to as many people as possible. In this case he’s showing us how water can be made from excrement.

Yes, poo. In the video bellow, we get a demonstration of how human waste can magically be turned into perfectly drinkable water thanks to incredible developments in water sanitation technology. The same machine also converts waste into electricity that can be transferred back to the power grid.

“If we can develop safe, affordable ways to get rid of human waste, we can prevent many of those deaths and help more children grow up healthy,” – Bill Gates.

Source: TechCrunch

First ‘Poo Bus’ Gets to Work in Bristol

A bus entirely powered by human and food waste has gone into service.

The waste is converted into bio-methane gas through a process called anaerobic digestion, with gas being able to propel the ‘Bio Bus’ for up to 186 miles. The Bath Bus Company, the people behind the new bus, estimate that their new bus will ferry 10,000 people between Bristol Airport and Bath city centre.

Mohammed Saddiq, General manager of GENeco, the organisation the creates the gas, told the BBC:

“Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.”

Now I’m sure we’ve all travelled on some smelly buses, but let’s hope there’s never a fuel leak on this one, because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to get a bus smellier than a leaking ‘poo bus’.

Source: BBC News

 

Hitachi Is Developing a Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

Nuclear power is one of the safest methods of power generation, in theory. In the real world it however looks different, especially when the structures aren’t maintained or natural disasters hit, or both at once like in Japan. A more immediate problem is the waste generated by these power reactors and the thousands of years it takes to break down and stop being hazardous.

As it is now we bury our nuclear waste under ground, in mountains and deep under the sea, which isn’t very smart. This isn’t a solution that is bearable in the long run, in any way. On a personal level I’d really like to see them all shut down once and for all. We also hear one report after another about leaks in the storage facilities and radioactive material leaking into our water and and food supplies.

To make this situation a bit more manageable, Hitachi, in partnership with MIT, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley, is working on new reactor designs that use transuranic nuclear waste for fuel; leaving behind only short-lived radioactive elements.

Most people believe radioactive waste to be some green glowing goo, but that is far from reality. The real problem isn’t the “hot” stuff as that will burn out in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. It’s the mildly radioactive elements with an atomic number greater than 92. These elements, such as plutonium, have half lives measured in tens of thousands or even millions of years. That makes storing them a very long-term problem, and is a particular difficulty in countries like the United States that don’t recycle transuranium elements by fuel reprocessing or fast-breeder reactors.

What Hitachi and its partners are trying to do is to find ways to design next-generation reactors that can use the low-level transuranium elements as fuel, only leaving the high-level elements to quickly (relatively speaking) burn themselves out in no more than a century or so. The idea in itself isn’t new and some modular nuclear reactors already use nuclear waste as fuel. But what sets Hitachi apart is that it’s looking into designs based on current boiling-water reactors that are known as Resource-renewable Boiling Water Reactors (RBWR) and are being developed by Hitachi and Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy Ltd.

The idea is to develop a new fuel element design using refined nuclear waste products along with uranium that can be installed in a standard boiling water reactor. This would not only make such reactors more economical to build, but would also use decades of safety and operations experience to achieve efficient nuclear fission in transuranium elements. Hitachi says that it’s already carried out joint research with its partners starting in 2007 and is now concentrating on the next phase, which deals with more accurate analysis methods, as well as reactor safety and performance, with an eye toward practical application of what’s been learned.

Thank you Hitachi for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Hitachi.