Monthly Archives: October 2006

Solar Power Your iPod, Revisited


Some of you [I hope] saw the post recently about getting a solar charger for your iPod. Well, if the 80 bucks is too much for you, or you’re more of a MacGyver ninja, you can make your own by following this crazy SOB’s directions.

[DISCLAIMER: MNP is not responsible for any foolish things you do to your expensive electronic gear. For instance, if this causes your iPod to explode and ignite your entire dojo…well, that’s what you get for being cheap.]


Link for this DIY craziness, thanks to Joe for the heads-up.

Brockton MA: Nation’s Largest “Brightfield?”

Wow. Aparently, Brockton MA is dedicating the largest ‘brightfield’ in the nation today. A ‘brightfield’ is a brownfield that has been converted into an open space for solar arrays. The city even has plans of expanding on the site, moving it across the street to another, similar, site – which would push them upwards of 1 megawatt of power.

Heres more info at Schott, article at Sustainablog
[Ed: This has nothing to do with Brockton, MA, nation’s largest crackfield]

0-14: New Commercial Tower in Dubai

Well, for lack of a better way to put it…Dubai is on some crazy ish [check out this gallery of architecture in Dubai]. This new tower, 0-14, was designed by Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture P.C. and developer Shahab Lutfi. The 22 story building will house over 300,000 square feet that is enclosed by a facade which is perforated with over 1,000 openings [damn]. Not only is it pretty fly looking, but its also structural, while allowing for natural lighting and ventilation within the highrise [can you say passive solar and chimney effect?].

Interested? Find out more at Archinect, which is where I got these images in the first place…

Stephen Colbert : Monarch “On Notice”


As those who frequent the site may have noticed, we have had a few posts [also here & here] about a great American hero and ninja extraordinaire: Stephen Colbert. Well, in an effort to do our part, and fight the good fight, we here at MNP are requesting that Stephen do his civic duty [and maybe give us a shout for the free press he gets here] and place the Monarch Butterfly [at least those in North America] ‘On Notice‘.

While seemingly harmless [and orange] at first glance, the Monarch is a menace to this great nation. Every spring they fly north into the United States from Mexico. Once here, they feed on our plants and flowers, and lay there eggs….only to return again to Mexico for the winter to lamp in the sun while sippin’ margaritas [maybe not] on the beach.
Whats to be done? Well, a giant butterfly net along the border would be good, for starters…

Do your part!! Email Stephen yourself here [don’t forget to link to this post].
Make your own ‘On Notice’ board here.

Solar Power your iPod [among other things]


Going for about 100 bucks [ninja, thats not bad…it powers your gear with the sun, son], the Soldius1 from EarthTech Products is designed to charge you iPod, cell phone, PDA, whatEVER, in about 2-3 hours [once again…ninja, that ain’t long…powered by the sun]. And to top it off, if you buy it from EarthTech, you get 10 free iTunes downloads [which have recently been established as the greener way to cop music_downloads, not just iTunes]. Even comes in various colors, so your iPod, charger, and sneakers can always match [mine always do].
buy yours here
links via Treehugger

UCX Architects? Urban Cactus

The proposed structure, dubbed ‘Urban Cactus’, is a 19 story residential building containing 98 units, which are stacked and rotated in such a way as to allow each unit to have [basically] a two story exterior garden/terrace space. Designed by UCX Architects with Ben Huygen and Jasper Jaegers, the building will be located in the Vuurplaat section of Rotterdam, on the harbor.

Link [with some more image] via archidose

[Ed: I wanna live in that thing!]

Fun in the Sun


So I thought about trying to explain this in my own words, but I realized that treehugger says it best:

There are all kinds of mechanically operated blinds and vents that need power to operate are are complex to build. Inventor Greg Blonder has a better idea: take the principle of the bimetal strip (found in thermostats) where bonding two materials of two different coefficients of expansion bend or change according to temperature; make it out of plastic: “a plastic analog of the bimetallic strip is possible- which I’ve named “c))motion”. Plastics have ten times the expansion coefficient of metal, and thus exhibit ten times the range of motion for the same range of temperatures. Plastics can be colored, stamped, rolled out into sheets the size of football fields, never rust and are very inexpensive.” Patent it and think of all kinds of useful and fun things to do with it. Think of a window with a blind that rolls down when the sun comes out ; a roof venting system that opens automatically when it gets warm; Schmoo and Scoop, two toys that don’t do anything but move strangely in the sunlight. Watch the movies of them all at C))Motion Design.