Portland Now Generates Electricity From Turbines Installed In City Water Pipes

Water flowing through the city’s pipes will generate electricity like a dam with none of the environmental consequences.

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You’d be forgiven if the phrase “Portland goes green with innovative water pipes” doesn’t immediately call to mind thoughts of civil engineering and hydro-electric power. And yet, that’s exactly what Oregon’s largest city has done by partnering with a company called Lucid Energy to generate clean electricity from the water already flowing under its streets and through its pipes.

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Congress Directs NASA to Build a Deep-Space Habitat Prototype by 2018

Nestled in this year’s omnibus spending bill are tens of millions of dollars earmarked for a key step to getting us to Mars.

Image via NASA

By now, the fact that NASA is slowly ramping up efforts to someday put a person on the surface of Mars is a fairly incontrovertible fact. What is still up for debate, however, is exactly how the space agency plans to accomplish that interplanetary feat. Now Congress has put a price tag—and a time limit—on one of the key components of a trip to the red planet, ordering NASA to set aside at least $55 million for the development of a prototype “habitation augmentation module” by 2018.

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How a Browser Add-On Aims to Help Women in the Workplace Stop Selling Themselves Short

The Just Not Sorry Chrome extension is more than just a way to drop bad writing habits—it’s a tool for female empowerment.

Image via (cc) Flickr user Poldavo

We all use tempering words and phrases like “I think” and “I’m no expert,” to some degree (see, I did it right there). They seem harmless, but ultimately serve to dilute our ability to project confidence and communicate with authority. Now a new browser extension is helping us clean up our language, one wishy-washy word at a time.

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Now You Can Explore the British Museum Without Ever Leaving Home

Thousands of priceless artifacts are available to the public like never before, thanks to a partnership between the exhibition space and Google.

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There’s plenty to dislike about the internet. The proliferation of vile hate speech, its tendency toward mob behavior, and the fact that I still can’t watch Netflix without weird pixilated buffering, thanks to my lousy Wi-Fi connection. But, negatives aside, the internet remains one of the most powerful forces in the history of humankind—able to bring the world, and its peoples, together in ways we are only just beginning to understand. Take, for example, London’s British Museum.

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In France Even the Power Plants Run on Cheese

A small city in the French Alps has turned to the power of dairy to generate its electricity.

Image via (cc) Flickr user chiotsrun

In the Savoie region of France, residents in the small city of Albertville see cheese as more than a dietary staple. It’s what keeps the lights on. There, reports Smithsonian, the electrical potential of cheese—specifically, a nice piece of Beaufort—has been harnessed by a newly opened local power plant and is used to provide power to hundreds of homes.

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Is This 3D-Printed Car the World’s Most Sustainable Automobile?

Why the LM3D might be the last vehicle you ever need to buy.

Image via Local Motors

Imagine buying one car that could last a lifetime, not simply by being rugged and dependable, but by being endlessly modular and upgradable. That, in essence, is the idea behind the LM3D—a new model from car company Local Motors that’s expected to be available for sale in 2016.

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