Yep, you guessed it, another month of headline dumps from my list of cool technological advancements coming down the pipeline. Let’s jump right into it folks!
Government research suggests that the wonder material graphene could be used to clean the world’s drinking water by punching holes in it with the greenhouse gas of much controversy, methane. Like graphene, nanofibers have a wide range of potential uses if the production costs can come down – here is an idea that might do this. Rare-earth metals are important components of many modern products but they are expensive – this research could reduce their cost by simplifying the recycling.
Paddlewheels embedded with bacterial spores can generate energy from evaporation which if scaled up could be a significant source of renewable energy over large bodies of water. Or perhaps we could harvest energy from the millions of rolling tires on our roads? Talk about an eye catching idea, how about this 1,600-foot solar tower that could power your city. Splitting water efficiently and renewably is one of the holy grails of energy, could this research do it finally?
Do you like bacon, if so you will love this bacon-flavored seaweed! Maybe that spoiled milk in your refrigerator could be turned into fabrics. I think this idea is too good to be true, ice cream that does not melt, really?! If it’s not milk, then I know you have coffee grounds that could capture carbon. No coffee, what about corn cobs we could use to filter water with then? Darn, I give up unless you have used diapers we could convert to plastic?
You know your mom told you that talking on cell phones causes cancer, well maybe she was right, check out this research. Your mom also told you to be clean in the bathroom, well some zoos are using poo to power their needs! Say good bye to this 10,000 year-old ice shelf thanks to the continued ravages of global climate change – which by the way may have started in the 1940s. Here is an interesting conundrum for environmentalist, is it okay to feed cows more hormones to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during milk production?
- The January 2016 NOAA global climate reports confirms that the streak continues! And this not a good streak folks as it was the hottest January in the 137-year record, meaning it was also the ninth month in a row to break a temperature record. It was also the 14th month in a row to rank in the top three warmest years for a given month. And finally, it was the second hottest month ever recorded, second only to December 2015.
- The Salvation Army was founded on March 10, 1880 and in honor of this event, my Google Search of the month was, “Salvation Army and GIS.” And what I found is a bit unique for this section of the News Snippets as typically I feature an academic publication here, but hey, why not offer a bit of shameless advertising for the GIS field as it can help you get a job even with the Salvation Army. You can see in this job description for their Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Impact and Analytics Manager that GIS is one of the requirements. Yay GIS!
- From last month’s review of Providence, Rhode Island’s GIS resources, we head down south with a review of South Carolina’s largest city’s online mapping tools which would be Columbia, narrowly edging out Charleston according to 2010 US Census data. And well to say that the online resources are lacking would be nice – the actual Columbia GIS homepage is simply a text placeholder. You can download static PDF maps here. The County of Richland which contains Columbia offers this WMS with a few countywide layers but that looks to be it, ugh.
Brock Adam McCarty