‘Frack U, Mexico!’ Is Educating The People Of Mexico On Benefits Of Fracking. [Video]

Hola a nuestros vecinos mexicanos y futuro fracking BFF. No puedo esperar para llevar a su gas natural y echar a perder su agua subterránea! [BB]

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Sprāv – The Wireless Smart Shower Meter That Will Tell You When To Get Out. [Video]

Sprav - The Smart Shower Meter.Ok, who’s in for shortening their next shower? For the few that did raise their hands, Sprāv is the product for you. Designed by students from Case Western Reserve University, Sprāv is a wireless water meter that gives you control of your water and energy consumption. Sprāv attaches to the arm before your shower head and uses green, yellow and red lights to let the shower taker know how long they’ve been showering. The goal of the changing lights is to encourage users to shorten their showers.

We’ve seen shower shorteners in the past (ie Waterpebble) but what makes the Sprāv different is its ability to track your shower and instantly report to you how much you are saving by changing your showering habits.

Sprāv is now on Kickstarter. [Sprāv]

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Thanks For The Diarrhea Climate Change.

Pepto Bismol family of products.Led by Kathleen Alexander, an associate professor of wildlife at Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, a team of researchers studying arid Botswanna have found a surprising link between the spread of diarrhea and dry weather:

“Many experts say contaminated water is a principal cause of the spread of diarrheal disease. The WHO says it “mostly results from contaminated food and water sources. Worldwide, around one billion people lack access to improved water and 2.5 billion have no access to basic sanitation.”

Yet the researchers’ findings indicated that water was only one of several factors to consider. “Our analysis suggests that forecast climate change increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation for the region are likely to increase dry season diarrheal disease incidence, while incidence in the wet season is likely to decline,” Alexander said.

Diarrheal case incidence peaks in both seasons in Botswana, with cases 20 percent more frequent on average in the dry than the wet season.”

Just what we’re not looking forward to: a warmer, drier, and stinkier future. [The Daily Climate via Grist]

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Using A Beer Can To Jubblingly Boost The WiFi Signal In Your Home.

The Minute Hacks: How To Boost Your Wifi Signal is not a recent video or a new solution but we like that it’s only one minute long and reuses a beer can. Now, I just need my beer can to arrive. [Treehugger]

Large Old Style beer can.

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Utah Div. of Oil, Gas & Mining’s Earth Day Poster Contest Theme: Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas & Mining?

Clean energy rally in UtahStealing a page from the Westboro Baptist Church’s handbook on being dickish, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining is now promoting a poster contest for elementary school age kids with a “Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas & Mining?” theme and the winners will be announced at (drum roll)… an Earth Day Awards luncheon on April 26. The timing is no accident and the contest sponsor list is a veritable who’s who of the fossil fuel industry operating in Utah (Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Arch Coal Sufco Mine etc.). Here are more details about the contest from Climate Progress:

“Any child in Utah between Kindergarten and sixth grade is eligible. The contest’s primary objective is ‘to improve students’ and the public’s awareness of the important role that oil, gas, and mining play in our everyday lives. Last year’s contest winners made posters that detailed how dependent we have become on fossil fuels. To their credit, the grand prize winner detailed both ways we use products created by fossil fuels and ways we can reduce our consumption.

The children were not asked to make posters about the climate impacts caused by those same fossil fuels: drought, wildfires, and warmer winters.”

Fair enough. The contest by itself is not too extreme – especially when Utah’s economy depends so heavily on the fossil fuel industry. But what is unfortunate is that they’re making it a state-sponsored Earth Day Poster Contest that is about everything Earth Day isn’t – the benefits of oil, gas & mining. It’s like they’re attempting to hijack Earth Day. Why do it? Maybe they’re just dicks.

In related news: Monty Burns wants to promote the positives of nuclear power with a poster contest for the schoolchildren of Springfield. Finalist will be announced on August 6 and the winners will be announced on August 9. [Climate Progress]

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Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose: Former Grain Silo Jubblingly Converted To Student Housing.

Grünerløkka Student House - Oslo Norway.Instead of ending up in one of those YouTube demolition compilation videos, a grain silo in Oslo Norway was converted into a 19 story student housing structure. The Grünerløkka Student House was recycled in 2001 and has 226 residences. From Inhabitat:

“Residents of Grünerløkka Studenthus enjoy excellent views of Oslo, as the 174-foot structure towers over its surroundings. The building consists of mostly studios and one-bedroom apartments, and unsurprisingly, most of the rooms are round. The unique building has become an architectural icon, and it won the City of Oslo’s Architecture Prize in 2002.”

It’s great to hear stories about a carefully designed building that reuses an existing structure. In a way, they trump newly constructed LEED Platinum rated buildings. [Inhabitat]

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