SolarEdge and Tesla team up to tackle distributed PV storage

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Two leaders in renewable technologies are collaborating on a home battery solution that will enable individual solar power producers to store surplus energy at point of generation for later reuse. Electric car maker Tesla Motors and SolarEdge Technologies, manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) inverters, have teamed up to create an inverter solution that will allow for grid and […]

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Always recycle, like the smart kids do.

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Take four minutes to get smart about what happens when you fail to recycle plastics. Emphasis intended on the word “fail” because you know better than to toss the stuff in with regular trash. You also know what a plastic ocean gyre is.  And you’ve seen the stomach-turning photo of that turtle whose adult shell […]

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Sunshine turns an Iranian mosque into a kaleidoscope!

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Spectacular images of a mosque in Iran have been flying around the internet of stunning Islamic architecture washed in rainbow-bright hues. The forms are familiar – pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, surfaces covered with dazzling tiles. But the magic occurs at daybreak, when sunlight streams through stained glass windows, turning the interiors into a stunning kaleidoscope. […]

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Students make AMENDS for a better Middle East

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The American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at California’s Stanford University (AMENDS) is a student-led initiative that enables young change agents from across the Middle East, North Africa, and United States to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and, through Ted-style talks, broadcast their experiences and learn from each other. This is a story about a platform for […]

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Is Egypt in denial about Nile phosphate pollution?

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A barge carrying 500 tons of phosphate capsized in Upper Egypt last week after a run-in with a bridge foundation.  According to Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, the ship flipped after colliding with the Dandara Bridge in Qena, about 40 miles north of Luxor, dumping 1 million pounds of phosphate into the Nile River. Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation (MOI) Hossam Moghazi […]

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Palestinian rappers tackle MidEast sexism

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“I am the dishes, the ironing, I am everything, I am nothing. But remind me: Who are you?” So plays the hook of a new feminist anthem released by the Palestinian rappers, DAM. The video for “Who You Are” plays on sexist attitudes by having men and women switch domestic roles typical in the Middle East, but also familiar […]

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Cultivate your own “pocket park” with a 3D planted garden

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Wearable Planter is an art and design studio based in Atlanta, Georgia where owner Colleen Jordan creates tiny vases that blur the line between housewares and accessories. The geometric 3D-printed vessels (a/k/a “jewelry for green thumbs”) are water-resistant. Plant one with a bonsai-sized succulent or lilliputian flower arrangement and celebrate spring with a live plant in […]

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Syrian refugees share their graphic stories

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The population at Jordan’s Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees has dwindled. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) counts current residents at 83,000, down from over 200,000 in April 2013. People are relocating to communities across Jordan, electing to return to Syria, or simply bailing out of the refugee program. Meanwhile, those that remain – many in […]

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Meet the innocent looking doll who’s been around the block

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There’s a new toy on the shelf that’s been whipping up online comments that accuse its maker of radically challenging expectations of femininity, enforcing oppressive gender norms, and preaching conformity over experimentation. Some say she’s racist, as there are no dolls-of-color in her line.  Others point to a liberal tree-hugger theme, as they are dressed for back-packing and camping. Living in […]

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Bio-Pyramid turns Egyptian pyramid into a desert-reversing skyscraper!

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Seven designers teamed up on a project to transform an ancient Egyptian pyramid into a green skyscraper that works to reverse desertification. Their Bio-Pyramid concept won an honorable mention in the 2015 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, an award that recognizes outstanding ideas that challenge the way architecture relates to both natural and built environments. Could up-cycling the Great […]

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When will the Middle East wake up to green roofs?

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Vive la France!  The country recently passed legislation that requires rooftops on all new commercial buildings to be at least partly covered with solar panels or rooftop gardens. French environmental activists had sought to mandate full green roof coverage for all new buildings, but the new law allows commercial owners the option to install roof-mounted solar panels […]

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Capture your loved ones in custom glass planets?

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An artist in northern California (need we add, “where else but?”) is making tiny glass beads meant to look like planets or solar systems encapsulated within delicate glass beads. What makes her creations especially otherworldly is the secret ingredient – cremated human remains caught in dramatic and colorful swirls for eternity. So do we now switch the funereal sentiment […]

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Eco-friendly concrete now mandatory in Dubai

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Dubai has taken a giant step forward in greening up the city with its decision to move away from ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for all new buildings.  As of April 1, OPC use is limited across the emirate; building permissions are reliant on developers specifying eco-friendly Supplementary Cementing Materials (SCMs). The new requirement aims to give residents […]

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Yemen: More Than Its Current Events (PHOTOS)

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Spectacular images of the Republic of Yemen have captured its vibrant and unique culture, pristine wilderness, and well-preserved antiquities, but don’t get too excited about traveling there soon. International security controls have choked tourist access, so Sanaa joins Damascus, Gaza and Baghdad as another fascinating place I’ll not get to visit despite my relative proximity living here […]

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Ikea rolls out 10,000 flat-pack refugee shelters

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IKEA and UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) emerged from two years of research with a prototype shelter suitable for refugee families anywhere.  It features an innovative roof that reflects 70% of the sun’s rays during the day yet retains heat during the night, and it’s fitted with solar panels that power an […]

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An alternative to standing desks: is it on The Level?

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Is sitting the new smoking? Nature designed human bodies to be in constant movement throughout the day, but when modern office jobs plant us in seated positions, only our fingertips get a workout.  Now there is compelling evidence that prolonged sitting kills, even if you exercise regularly. In fact, the paradigm that moderate physical exertion, such as […]

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Today is a once-in-a-century Pi Day!

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Today is Pi Day.  Celebrated around the world every March 14th (3/14), the day focuses on the mathematical symbol that represents the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, approximated as 3.14159. This year’s Pi Day is a once-in-a-lifetime event; it will be 100 years until we experience 3/14/15 9:26:53 again – that’s pi to […]

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Caveman found living in Jordan mountains!

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For the past two decades a 70-year old man lived in a cave in northern Jordan, alone with no water or power or reliable access to food, exposed to the elements and wild animals. An unidentified caller contacted radio station Amen FM to alert them to the modern caveman. Last Thursday the kingdom’s Public Security Department […]

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