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“Selfie Arm” Lets You Pretend To Have A Friend

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Remember those ubiquitous photos that guy took of his girlfriend holding his hand as they traveled around the world on all sorts of adventures? If not, let’s refresh your memory.

follow-me-project-instagram-pt2_02They called it “Follow me to” and the duo amassed quite a following, getting coverage in all sorts of publications.

But what if you don’t have a significant other and you’re sick of seeing all those cheesy photos on Facebook and Instagram? For those riding solo through life, there’s now an answer.

Introducing the selfie arm. It’s like the selfie stick, just way creepier.

aricsneedesignboom08-818x791Nevermind it looks like you’re holding the hand from The Adams Family; your mother will just be proud you seem to be sharing the moment with someone special.

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The selfie hand comes courtesy Aric Snee and Justin Crowe, an artist/designers duo who experiment with human/technology relationships. Unfortunately the product remains a working prototype for now, but we think they should pitch this one to the Shark Tank as it might just have a market…

 

 

Breakthrough Solar Device Turns Saltwater Into Fresh Drinking Water

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Here in California we’re entering our fourth consecuitive drought year. The snowpack in the Sierras was a dismal 2% of where it should have been last time I checked, and the swimming holes in my favorite spot, the Yuba River, will most likely be puddles. With so much of our drinking water coming from natural springs and relying on the snowmelt each winter to replenish reservoirs, we need to find alternative ways to get these resources.

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image: MIT

One promising technology comes in the form of desalination. Several large facilities exist in CA and elsewhere around the world, but they’re incredibly expensive and not all that efficient. What about your everyday civilian who wants to do the same? Options are limited thus far, but this solar powered device engineered by some brilliant minds at MIT just won the 2015 Desal Prize, a competition ran by USAID that aims to bring water solutions to developing countries. Desalination is especially important for these areas, as indicated here

It works by using solar panels to capture energy that’s stored in a bank of batteries that power an electrodialysis machine which removes salt from water.

For those of us who aren’t electrodialysis experts:

“Electrodialysis works by passing a stream of water between two electrodes with opposite charges. Because the salt dissolved in water consists of positive and negative ions, the electrodes pull the ions out of the water, Winter says, leaving fresher water at the centre of the flow. A series of membranes separate the freshwater stream from increasingly salty ones.”

Audi Turns Water Into Diesel

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In a move taken straight from the Jesus miracle playbook, Audi has successfully converted water and carbon dioxide into an ethanol diesel fuel they call “e-liquid”. The breakthrough isn’t actually a new process, and the German automaker uses the Fischer-Tropsch process which has been known by scientists since the 1920s, but the context of this announcement makes for exciting news in today’s modern world where there’s a huge demand for clean, renewable fuel sources.

The breakthrough comes on the heels of a commissioning phase that lasted just four months. Audi teamed up with clean tech company Sunfire to develop the fuel in a Dresden facility. To demonstrate its suitability for everyday use, Federal Minister of Education and Research Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka put the first five liters into her official car, an Audi A8 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro.

The breakthrough signals a big step toward developing cost-effective renewable fuel, and the announcement added they achieved a 70% efficiency in the process, a figure that’s surprisingly high. No word yet on what the next step will be, but we hope they can bring this to market at a fair price per gallon.

Rescued Pitbull Helps Autistic Boy Hug His Mom For The First Time

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True dog lovers know their furry companions come programmed with a “pay it forward” attitude, but few examples demonstrate that as well as this good-natured pitbull. Amanda Granados is the mother of a young boy with Asberger’s Syndrome, and until recently she and her son Joey couldn’t share simple physical connections of a hug and kiss, or even holding her hand.

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Photo courtesy Best Friends Animal Society

That changed when they adopted Roxy, a beautiful Pit Bull Terrier with a goofy attitude and a fondness for giving big wet kisses. Joey now holds his mother’s hand, and feels comfortable offering her a kiss and a hug. The unconditional affection Roxy showed Joey made a huge impact on his behavior, and shaped his life for the better.

“I didn’t have too many friends growing up, but then we got Roxy and I’ve been able to make friends ever since,”

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Photos courtesy Amanda Granados

There’s limited research on the effects of animals on children with Autism, but a 2014 study revealed that dogs can give children with autism a special kind of companionship that allows them to learn responsibility and suggests the connection helps encourage positive social behaviors.

 

 

 

City Bus Turned Offgrid Motorhome For The Nomadic Adventure Seeker

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Every craftsman brings their own vision to a new project, with different ideas of what “finished” really means. Projects like this often remain in a state of flux, constantly evolving, but in the case of this offgrid motorhome, we think the owner has crossed the finish line in style.

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The La Chancita bus began its life as a 1966 Mercedes-Benz bus that spent its time as a city bus in Buenos Aires. Since then, Manu Fombeurre has overseen a dramatic transformation of the bus, turning it into a rolling home with room to sleep five, a fully equipped kitchen, shower, toilet, and wood burning stove.

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The entire interior was gutted and transformed into a sleek wood-paneled beauty with all the creature comforts you’d want in a motorhome.

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The transformation took place over nine months, and the finished Chanchita now serves as a base for adventure lovers looking to travel in style to remote wilderness locations. Faction Skis serves as the primary sponsor for the bus, and they contract rentals to interested parties – whether looking to hit a remote surfing destination in the summer or take an epic ski trip in the winter, the Chanchita channels the spirit of adventure that Argentina is known for. We can imagine they have a pretty good life, which might be made all that much better with something like this portable hot tub hammock for camping.

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Want to learn more about the Chanchita, or schedule your own tour? Check out their website.

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