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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Australian Study Finds That Groups Opposing Wind Farms Are The Cause Of Wind Farm Sickness.

Wind farm sickness.

Do you speak cow? The anti-wind farm lobby may need you to spread the word.

According to a study from Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at Sydney University, the spread of the non-illness known as wind farm sickness is via anti-wind activists and lobbyist. From the Guardian:

“[Professor Chapman’s] report concludes that illnesses being blamed on windfarms are more than likely caused by the psychological effect of suggestions that the turbines make people ill, rather than by the turbines themselves.”

Sounds like the anti-wind lobby is sending out wind farm syndrome Mary and wind farm syndrome Harry to use some magic, a little voodoo and the power of suggestion to spread the unrecognized, not-illness. Sounds about right. [Guardian]


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What Would It Take To Power New York State On Only Wind, Water And Sunlight?

Wind, water and sunlight power.

“We must be ambitious if we want to promote energy independence and curb global warming,”
Study co-author Robert Howarth, Cornell University

Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, a senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy, led a study to calculate what it would take to power the State of New York by 2030 with only renewable energy generated from wind, water and sunlight. Currently, almost all of New York’s power comes from gas, oil and coal.

Based on power demand forecasts for all industries, here’s what Professor Jacobson and his team determined would be needed:

  • 4,020 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 12,770 offshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 387 100-megawatt concentrated solar plants
  • 828 50-megawatt photovoltaic power plants
  • 5 million 5-kilowatt residential rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 500,000 100-kilowatt commercial/government rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 36 100-megawatt geothermal plants
  • 1,910 0.75-megawatt wave devices
  • 2,600 1-megawatt tidal turbines
  • 7 1,300-megawatt hydroelectric power plants, of which most exist

Looks like a lot and it is but it’s an investment. If installed, renewable energy would be the fuel source for vehicles, home heating and all industries in the state – it would be powering everything. Check out the full article on the study and find out how the plan, if implemented, would save billions in pollution related healthcare costs and help mitigate the future costs of climate change. [EurekAlert via e360]

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Solarclave Sterilizes Medical Equipment In Remote Areas Using Sunlight.

Solarclave from MIT's Little Devices groupIn hospitals, an autoclave is an electric-powered device that is used to sterilize medical equipment and supplies. The Solarclave, designed by MIT’s Little Devices group, is an autoclave that is solar-powered and can be used cheaply and repaired easily by remote clinics in developing countries. Here’s a description of the Solarclave from the Little Devices group:

“With a bucket, a pressure cooker, and 140 pocket-sized mirrors, IIH researchers have invented a device that uses sunshine to sterilize surgical tools. Solarclave provides reliable surgical sterilization for rural clinics outside of the grid – enabling healthcare workers to provide basic, life-saving services for patients.”

And here’s how it works (SmartPlanet):

“Under a clear sky, the system takes 45 to 60 minutes to heat up to a sterilizing temperature (250 degrees Fahrenheit) and then 20 minutes to carry out the sterilization cycle.”

The final design of the Solarclave was modified based on feedback from rural users in Nicaragua. [SmartPlanet]

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