Water that Can Tweet

  The Voice of Water. Secure Waters Inc. has robots that test water and use socialmedia to share the results. I don’t know if they caught wild robots and trained them to do this stuff, or if they built them specifically for these tasks, but I know they have at least one. It’s in Ladybird Lake, and it started tweeting today, but it might not be there much longer. Remember when terrorists were going to poison our water supply? Me either, but I can’t forget a time when “the media” wouldn’t stop shouting about the inevitability of such an attack. That crap fueled a lot of fear and uneasiness, which helped drive the creation of some pretty damn versatile technology. Secure Waters expanded upon some of that stuff and now they’re trying to put it to work with what they call the AquaSentinel. The AquaSentinel can be deployed to salt or freshwater environments. Once there, it uses light to monitor the photosynthesis process in green algae, and it doesn’t require chemicals or frequent maintenance. If the sentinel detects a pollutant or an unfamiliar condition, it draws a water sample into onboard storage and tells its human overlords to take a look. This sucker has won multiple awards, it’s quickly becoming a decorated veteran. You can help keep Austin’s aquatic point man in the water by donating to their Indiegogo campaign. Also check out the reports submitted by your local robot ally by following his-her-its Twitter feed, @AustinAQS I know that Austin cares about water, can you help us keep this AquaSentinel in our city? @stupidgregg Update: The Indiegogo campaign has...

Chip Giller from Grist: The Importance of Humor and Storytelling

Founder and editor of Grist Chip Giller gave a great 15 minute preso. Before I try to surmise his presentation, I have to say that this talk really resonated with me. Also, it seemed to really flow along with the collective ideal that ecological matters need to be presented in a more riveting and human way. I think these discussions need to be incorporated into mainstream culture, so that eventually it won’t be uncommon to hear a conservative middle class family in Kansas discussing environmental issues (I can dream can’t I?). Chip’s talk centered around how humor and storytelling can help with the green cause. As is the case with many fascinating people, his childhood was atypical in the sense that he was focused and exhibited a higher than average level of maturity. I’m sure he went through the same types of things we all went through during adolescence and beyond, but what he dwelt on in the beginning of the talk was his focus on journalism at a young age. In high school he did in-depth journalism on green stuff, and found that nobody really paid much attention so no changes actually took place. Thennnnnn he founded  Grist in 1999 and used humor and storytelling, which produced results, unlike his high school experience.  70% of the users say they make changes to their lifestyle based on the information found within the site. Now that is something. He then went on to talk about some very fundamental axioms regarding human existence, the main being that storytelling is hardwired into our biology. We tell stories to entertain, to laugh, and to cry. Following...

SXSW 2013 Oct. 7 Keynote Robin Chase – Quick Notes

Robin Chase has been busy. She’s the founder and CEO of Buzzcar, founder and former CEO of Zipcar and GoLoco. She also happens to be on and has been on multiple advisory boards. Check all that out here. With this post I’m going to simply list out some of the key points and statements made by Robin in the keynote. If anyone who attended the keynote finds anything erroneous please let me know by sending an email to hi@b2me2.com. ————— – Information was taken from the World Bank report on climate change. Some notable information taken from the World Bank site: “The report says today’s climate could warm from the current global mean temperature of 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels, to as high as 4°C by 2100, even if countries fulfill current emissions-reduction pledges.” She delved into a bit more by throwing out some numbers about how the climate is changing rapidly,  as opposed to how it has changed historically. Rather than simply regurgitate numbers, it would be best to read the reports (PDF): Turn Down the Heat – Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience Turn Down the Heat – Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided – Robin then went on to discuss something she has already spoken about in other media forums, including TED and Vimeo. “Companies like Buzzcar are commonly described as “peer-to-peer,” but Chase prefers the phrase “Peers Incorporated,” which implies not only sharing among members of a network, but also the involvement of a corporation as a go-between.” – Taken from http://blog.ted.com/2012/12/17/11-fascinating-peer-incorporated-businesses/ Following is her TED talk: – A primary example of a “peers incorporated” organization...

Ron Finley SXSW Eco 2013 – Tomato Gang Wars & Food Prisons

For those who don’t know about Ron Finley, he’s the now world-famous L.A. (Los Angeles) gardener. To give you a brief synopsis, the guy was fed up with the food options that were available to him and his neighbors in South/Central L.A. Fast food and dialysis centers for diabetes patients were rampant as hell…so he planted a garden in the city, and invited people to take the food as they needed it. He also got people involved in planting their own organic goods. The best way to really learn about this dude is to watch his TED talk: Ron Finley TED talk Okay, now onto the talk he gave at SXSW Eco 2013. Ron started off the talk by saying that we shouldn’t expect some amazing keynote, right after cracking some jokes Finley style. He then launched right into talking about food injustice. Growing up, one time Finley got off on the wrong stop…Rodeo Drive. The place was packed with Gucci, Rolls Royce, etc. Growing up in South/Central he didn’t realize just what he was being deprived of, which included not just Rolls Royce’s and Gucci handbags, but HEALTHY FOOD. “When I grew up in the 1800’s..” Ron threw in for some good comedic relief in front of a predominantly white audience. *Side note, being at this event made me realize that this is way too much of a white dominated field. I’m not saying there wasn’t variety in the audience, but it all still vaguely reminds me of going to a church in NE. Somethin’s gotta change there folks, am I right? With the advent of fast food,...

SXSW Eco Welcome: Christiana Figueres

  Scott Wilcox took the stage, starting off the event. After the initial introduction, Christiana was then on the big screen. She wasn’t able to make it to speak live, but had put together a nice video for those in attendance. She went over the fundamental aspects of climate change, and how we factor in the equation of undoing environmental damage caused by us (collective human race). I’m assuming she means damage that started with the industrial revolution, though she didn’t specify. The basic message from Christiana is that we all, from the private sector, to big government, have a call to...

SXSW Eco Shepard Fairey keynote (Live Blog)

The live blog is done! SXSW Eco Shepard Fairey spotlight  Following is what transpired (in reverse order): 15:03 15:03 That was fast. Big standing ovation.   Well Jeremy, how bad did we screw that up? 15:02 “We’re frequently made to feel inferior if we don’t overconsume.” — fucking brilliant   15:01 15:01 Earlier Fairey said, “Urban Outfitters are conservative assholes.” That’s good to know, Damn, he’s almost out of time. – Stupidgregg   15:01 15:00 Awesome – he’s a philanthropist AND he made some artwork showing non-threatening polar bears.   14:59 Fairey ijoked about how “Communal Use” is frequently condemned being labled as “communism.”  – Stupidgregg   14:59 14:58 14:57 Rock Hill Preservation   14:57 Fairey explained his belief that sometimes it’s really important to do the right thing because it’s the cool thing to do, not because they feel guilty. Edit: I totally effed this. He was talking about motivating people. He explained that using “cool” as a motivator, instead of guilt, is important. – Stupidgregg   14:56 14:55 One of my favorites, “The Toxicity Inspector” (below) was inspired by the way politcians (Cheney)  misrepresent “things.” Kinda’ like the Patriot Act? – Stupidgregg   14:55 14:53 “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.”   14:53 Philosophy 5: Sometimes the most powerful weapon against propaganda is absurdity.   14:52 On his piece for Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist. He doesn’t do commercial art very often, but when he does, he tries to sneak his agenda into it. The work has two meanings, violations of what the Statue of Liberty symbolizes, and global warming. – Stupidgregg   14:52 He doesn’t need to do...
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