Hacker Musician Turns E-Waste Into an Awesome Instrument

Read the full story in Wired.

We tend to think of musical instruments in fixed terms: that’s a guitar, this is a saxophone, that’s a synthesizer. Colten Jackson, however, plays an instrument that’s hard to classify. The Illinois musician hacked together what he calls the Hard Rock Guitar out of e-waste: six obsolete hard drives, and an old keyboard number pad, powered by an Arduino board. At Jackson’s command, it emits a range of synthy, ambient tones. If he wants to change the notes or scales, he need only tinker with the software. “Instruments are this free-form art; they just have to make sound,” he says. “Whatever you start with, whether it’s garbage or e-waste, it lends itself to something.”

ScienceCinema Has a New Look

ScienceCinema has a fresh new look.  What hasn’t changed is the coverage of over 3,400 videos and audio files produced by DOE laboratories and other research facilities, with audio indexing and speech recognition technology.  Users can search for specific words and phrases, and precise snippets of the video where the search term was spoken will appear along with a timeline.  Users can then select a snippet or a segment along the timeline to begin playing the video at the exact point in the video where the words were spoken.

ScienceCinema delivers the precision searching already common in text-based databases.  The new version of ScienceCinema was released in May 2014 with a revamped user interface that conforms to specifications provided in other OSTI products such as SciTech Connect and DOepatents.

NIST test house exceeds goal; ends year with energy to spare

Read the full story from NIST.

The net-zero energy test house at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in suburban Washington, D.C., not only absorbed winter’s best shot, it came out on top, reaching its one-year anniversary on July 1 with enough surplus energy to power an electric car for about 1,440 miles.*

Animal Planet Live webcams

Animal Planet Live bills itself as your online home for the most interesting live animal cameras. My favorite is the Bunny Cam (naturally), but they have a plethora of other animals represented. The channels also include social media streams and scheduled chats (the Bunny Chat is on Wednesdays from 2-2:30 Central).

What Consumer Attitudes Mean for Business’ Sustainability Efforts

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Highlights from a panel debate on what lies behind corporate decision making and the implications of consumer attitudes for business ambition on sustainability.

The panel included Justin Keeble, managing director for sustainability, Accenture; José Lopez, Nestlé SA executive vice president of operations; Rob Myers, managing director, Ipsos Marketing; and Dr. Jonathan Rowson, director, Social Brain Centre, RSA.

Video: REEcycle: Renewing the Rarities that Drive Our Lives

Rare earth elements are some of the most expensive and essential ingredients for many clean ‪energy‬ products such as ‪wind‬ turbines, thin film ‪solar‬ cells and batteries for electric vehicles. The student startup, REEcycle, from the University of Houston swept this year’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, taking home all three awards for its innovative method of reclaiming rare earth elements from magnets in electronics. Watch REEcycle’s video below to learn how the ability to recycle rare earth elements is essential to keep up with the increasing demand for clean energy products:

To learn more about the winning team and the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition:

Video: Let’s Go All-in on Selling Sustainability

The big blue buildings of Ikea have sprouted solar panels and wind turbines; inside, shelves are stocked with LED lighting and recycled cotton. Why? Because as Steve Howard puts it: “Sustainability has gone from a nice-to-do to a must-do.” Howard, the chief sustainability officer at the furniture megastore, talks about his quest to sell eco-friendly materials and practices — both internally and to worldwide customers — and lays a challenge for other global giants.