Archive for the ‘Offbeat news’ category

Spain’s EuroBasket 2007 to be a carbon neutral event

August 14, 2007

gb.jpgVia: The Guardian and CO2-Solutions (Reuters) – The basketball European championship in Spain next month will be a carbon neutral event, organisers have declared.

“For the first time in Spain, a sporting event has taken up the challenge to calculate the emission of greenhouse gases during a tournament to be able to offset its emissions to produce a neutral balance,” the organisers said in a statement on their Web site (Eurobasket 2007).

For the event to be carbon neutral all its emissions must be offset, which involves paying someone else to cut greenhouse gas emissions on your behalf, with the aim of not adding to the world’s stock of gases blamed for global warming.

The organisers have enlisted the help of a Spanish company called CO2-Solutions to help devise strategies that reduce the amount of CO2 they produce from their activities and to calculate emissions before, during, and after the event.

Allied to this, organisers have worked to impress on individuals their responsibility to help reduce their carbon footprint, to recycle waste and to promote the use of public transport for the event.

EuroBasket 2007 takes place from Sept. 3 to 16 with the final in Madrid.


Non-stop power from micro wind turbines

March 19, 2007

I enclose an extract of an interesting story by Claudia Blume (full story here), picked up at VOA News (Hong Kong): 

Engineers at the University of  Hong Kong and a private renewable energy company have developed a new micro wind turbine that can generate electricity even if wind speeds are as low as two meters per second.

wind_turbine_eng_195_eng_18mar07.jpgMicro wind turbines (Courtesy of VOA News)

“We never stop this machine and they never stop because there is always one meter per second wind – 365 days, 24 hours a day, they keep working,” said Lucien Gambarota – the main inventor of the technology. 

They are ideal for crowded cities because they can be installed on rooftops and balconies.  

Their design is simple: plastic gearwheels, each about 25 centimeters in diameter, are linked to one another and turn, moved by the wind. Groups of gearwheels can be arranged in an array of shapes and sizes. The energy generated by the turbines is stored in a battery, which then powers electrical appliances.

The wind turbine is easy to install and comparatively cheap. At the moment, a set of 20 gearwheels costs about $25. Gambarota says the price will go down once the turbines are being mass-produced.

See also another version of the story, from CNN, here

Plant a tree, make a difference

February 28, 2007

One Planet – One Heart – 8 Million Trees

A fellow blogger, Mateosquared features a story about this interesting project. You may also read about it at the U.N. Environment Program (1 billion trees campaign)

tree-nation_logo.gif is a new community website, run by an international team, based in Barcelona, Spain. 

Together with people willing to participate like me and you, they will create a park by planting 8 million trees in the shape of a giant heart in the Saharan desert, to fight Poverty, Global Warming and Desertification. 

Using the latest in mapping technology, people all over the world can choose an exact spot to plant a tree on a virtual map, and a real tree will be planted in the same place in the real world. Soon each tree will be given a unique GPS code that you can use to locate and see your tree.  The virtual trees all have profiles so you can wander around checking out other trees and seeing what’s inside.  You can express yourself with the Tree-Blogs, contribute suggestions, share photos, make contacts and debate on environmental issues.  

Tree-nation will create its park in Niger, the poorest country in the world according to the Human Development Index (177/177 developing countries, 2006), and one of the most affected by desertification.

New ways of getting content to your cell phone

February 14, 2007

This cool site: M-trends talks about the innovative Spanish startup Futurlink.  At this year´s 3GSM tradeshow in Barcelona, Futurlink presents Wili-co-ITS,  a new way to get content like music to your cell phone directly from the point-of-sales, say a Mac Donald´s.  So,  in the near future, whenever you go to get a burger, instead of a Bionicle action figure, you may end up with the new song from the Black eyed peas.

This technology works  through an interactive touch screen with an advanced Bluetooth and Wi-Fi application platform.