Transparent Solar Panels Developed at Michigan State University

photo source: Richard Lunt/Michigan State University – no copyright infringement intended

Imagine a city that’s actually a vast solar energy harvesting system. A team of Michigan State University researchers has developed a technology that can turn transparent surfaces, from building windows to cell phones, into solar collecting surfaces – without obstructing the view.

Watch the video and read all about this groundbreaking invention here…

I imagine my cellphone cover glass being able to collect solar energy while I’m exposing it to daylight. Wouldn’t that be just a genius strike? This and a lot more now seems possible, since reacherchers from Michigan State University developed this incredible  see-through version of a solar panel.
Go read all about this groundbreaking new invention in this article by The Open Mind Staff Contributor.


Art Project “In Your Face” against microplastic in cosmetics and cleaning products

Art Project “In Your Face” against microplastic in cosmetics and cleaning products

Photo Source: Ranga Yogeshwar: Physiker, #Scientists4Future – Luisa Neubauer: Akivistin #FridaysForFuture – Dieter Hallervorden: Schauspieler © Saskia Uppenkamp





Art meets science, meets politics! 

We must strongly oppose the pollution of our oceans with all available means. Now!



Ocean.Now! is a young NGO, who aims to raise awareness of the damage being done and condition of our seas through public relations and dialogue between science, art and politics.

By using art, we want to viscerally highlight current environmental problems in the oceans and, thereby, stimulate dialogue between politicians and citizens and, in particular, make decisions makers in politics and society think twice. The destruction of the source of all life on earth, the oceans, demands that we fight vigorously NOW.

For this reason, we cooperated with the artist Swaantje Güntzel for our first project (autumn/ winter 2018). Together we used her piece “Microplastics II”, which illustrates the destructive character of microplastics, and projected it onto politically significant locations within Berlin to attract attention to our petition under the motto #banmicroplastics.

Currently, we are collecting donations for our second project being held on the “World Day of the Oceans”, where we are exhibiting a special art installation associated with our petition against microplastics in cosmetics and cleaning products. Until now, our petition has over 30,000 supporters and we hope to further increase awareness of microplastics and our petition by an additional media-effective art installation, which will be presented offline around Berlin and online, on social media.

Moreover and as part of the handing over of our petition, we are planning a gathering of politicians, scientists and art to create awareness through education; because there is no time to leave next generations to set the course for tomorrow!


photo: all rights by





Sign the petition and help to legally abolish all microplastics in cosmetics and cleaning products!


“We have to convince the people in the world that they should tell the politicians that they’re concerned.”
– Sir David Attenborough


Ocean. Now! is a collective accelerating ocean protection. We work with the medium of art to end the destruction of the Ocean. Now!


  • 50% of all oxygen on earth is generated by the ocean
  • The ocean absorbs 90% of our global warming
  • 33% of the global population survives due to ocean proteins


Sign our open letter to the ministry of the environment!

Here’s an excerpt:

“Sehr geehrte Umweltministerin Svenja Schulze,

wir fordern Sie auf: Verbieten Sie den Zusatz von Kunststoffen in Kosmetik und Reinigungsmitteln – und zwar generell. Das heißt nicht nur die gemeinhin bekannten Mikroplastikkügelchen, sondern auch flüssige, gel-, pasten- und wachsartige Kunststoffe müssen verboten werden.”


Click here to sign petition…


Tapirs could be key in helping degraded rainforests to bounce back

Tapirs could be key in helping degraded rainforests to bounce back

An intersting article by MONGABAY

  • A new study has found that lowland tapirs spend more time in degraded forests than in pristine Amazon rainforest.
  • They also defecate and deposit three times more seeds in these degraded areas.
  • The results indicate that tapirs may help human-affected forests recover and grow back.

Tapirs may help rainforests recover after destructive human use and increase the amount of carbon they hold, new research has found.

The study, based in the Brazilian Amazon, found that these fruit-eating mammals spend significantly more time in burned forests than those that are relatively untouched. As a result, tapirs leave behind more seeds in their droppings in these “degraded” landscapes.

“The role that tapirs play in seeding degraded forests is another good reason for conserving this last representative of the megafauna of South America,” Lucas Paolucci, the paper’s first author and an ecologist at Brazil’s Federal University of Lavras and the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, said in a statement.


A lowland tapir crosses a road in Brazil. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

Paolucci and his colleagues reported their findings in the journal Biotropica on Feb. 25.

Related to horses and rhinos and about the size of large pigs, Brazil’s lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris), also known as the Brazilian tapir, is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. The slow-reproducing animal doesn’t rebound well from intensive hunting, and its forest habitat is dwindling.

But because it’s big — stretching to 2.2 meters (7 feet) long and weighing in at 250 kilograms (550 pounds) — it can ferry around many different types of seeds, including large ones, which it then deposits in the forest with its dung.

Until now, however, most scientists have investigated this “seed dispersal” in more pristine forests. Paolucci and his colleagues wondered about the impact of tapirs in degraded forests.


A lowland tapir in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil. Image by Bernard DUPONT via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

At the team’s study site in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, the researchers went hunting for tapir droppings across three plots of forest, each with a different level of impact. Other researchers had burned the forest in one of the plots nearly every year between 2004 and 2010. In another, they had set experimental fires every three years. As a control, Paolucci and his colleagues also included a third plot that hadn’t been burned at all.

Tapirs defecated a lot more and distributed more than three times as many seeds in the burned plots than they did in the untouched forest, the scientists found. Data from airborne lidar surveys, which use laser pulses to map out the three-dimensional structure of the forest, confirmed that areas with more open canopies tended to have more dung clumps.

A set of camera traps also revealed that tapirs frequented the burned plots about twice as often as the closed-canopy forest. The authors of the study say they believe the small sprouts that bolt from the earth, thanks to more light hitting the forest floor in the burned plots, may attract the tapirs.


A tapir in Brazil. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

Tapirs carried a variety of different seeds into these degraded forests, and they were in remarkably good condition. More than 99 percent of the nearly 130,000 seeds that the researchers found in the tapirs’ dung made it through unscathed, meaning they at least had the potential to germinate. And the seeds came from 24 different plant species, suggesting that tapirs contribute to the diversity of species growing in a given area.

The team said their data suggest that tapirs are important to helping forests grow back through natural regeneration, which is “the cheapest and usually the most feasible way to achieve large-scale restoration of tropical forests,” they write.

They also suggested that tapirs, in their own way, could help fight climate change.

“When we think of climate and forest solutions, tapirs aren’t the first thing that comes to mind,” Paulo Brando, one of the study’s authors and an assistant scientist at Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, said in the statement. “[B]ut our study shows they play a critical role in forest recovery by dispersing the large‐seeded species that eventually become large trees, meaning they contribute indirectly to maintaining forest carbon stocks.”

Banner image of a lowland tapir by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.


Naveda, A., de Thoisy, B., Richard-Hansen, C., Torres, D.A., Salas, L., Wallance, R., Chalukian, S. & de Bustos, S. (2008). Tapirus terrestrisThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T21474A9285933. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T21474A9285933.en. Downloaded on 20 March 2019.

Paolucci, L. N., Pereira, R. L., Rattis, L., Silvério, D. V., Marques, N. C., Macedo, M. N., & Brando, P. M. (2019). Lowland tapirs facilitate seed dispersal in degraded Amazonian forests. Biotropica. doi: 10.1111/btp.12627

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A library full of abandoned books

A library full of abandoned books

The library, located in the Çankaya district of Ankara, was founded after sanitation workers started collecting discarded books.
For months, the garbage men gathered forsaken books. As word of the collection spread, residents also began donating books directly.
Initially, the books were only for employees and their families to borrow. But as the collection grew and interest spread throughout the community, the library was eventually opened to the public in September of last year.
“We started to discuss the idea of creating a library from these books. And when everyone supported it, this project happened,” said Çankaya Mayor Alper Tasdelen, whose local government oversaw the opening of the library.
Today, the library has over 6,000 books ranging from literature to nonfiction. There is also a popular kid’s section with comic books and an entire section for scientific research. Books in English and French are also available for bilingual visitors.
The library is housed in a previously vacant brick factory at the sanitation department headquarters. With an aged brick façade and long corridors, the space was ideal for a library.

read full article here…

Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2019

Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2019

WHEN  Monday, May 13, 2019 – 2pm



Symposium Global Award for Sustainable Architecture™ 2019 with the conferences of the 5 laureates


The Global Award, created by the architect and scholar Jana Revedin in 2006, every year rewards five architects who contribute to a more equitable and sustainable development and build an innovative and participatory approach to meet the needs of societies, whether they are experts in eco-construction or self-development actors for whom sustainability is synonymous with social and urban equity. The originality of the prize is to federate them in a unifying scene, enriching the global debate. Attentive to emerging scenes, interdisciplinarity and experimental learning, the Global Award is recognized as a discoverer of 21st century architects : Wang Shu, Alejandro Aravena, Carin Smuts, Francis Kéré, Al Borde, Assemble, Rotor, Bijoy Jain or Marta Maccaglia.

At the Centenary of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus, the Global Award 2019 honors the multidisciplinary and social-reformatory aim of the Bauhaus: “Architecture is science, art and crafts at the service of society.”

Each year the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture ™ recognizes five architects who share both the principles of sustainable development and a participatory architectural approach to the needs of society, in both the northern and the southern hemispheres.

The Global Award was created in 2006 by the architect and scholar Jana Revedin, in partnership with the Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine and the member institutions of its international scientific committee. In 2010 it was put under patronage of UNESCO.

The work carried out during the past ten years has assured the undisputed international recognition of the Global Award, proving its scientific independence and uniting the award winners in an avant-garde community of collective research and experimentation of architectural and urban self-development projects.

The Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine guarantees the cultural promotion of the prize by publicizing the work of the architects and their contribution to the global debate. Given the cultural and political importance of this movement, since 2017 the Cité produces the Global Awards, counting on its founder prof. Jana Revedin as the president of its scientific jury.


The Global Award scientific jury is composed by :

  • Jana Revedin, Founding President Global Award, Paris
  • Benno Albrecht, IUAV, Venise
  • Marie-Hélène Contal, Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine, Paris
  • Spela Hudnik, International Architecture Biennale, Ljubljana
  • Deniz İncedayı, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul




The Founding Principles

Sustainable design is the catalyst for a new participative approach in architectural und urban planning processes. The very fundamentals of a project: durability, flexibility, economic, technical and ecological adequacy, cultural and social acceptance are being readdressed respecting society’s new concerns, fighting inequality, cultural disrespect and unreflected functionalism.

The Global Award Community, which consists of the 60 contemporary architects and teams from around the globe who have received the award, works towards a sustainable architectural ethic and fosters research, experimentation and transmission in the fields of sustainable architecture, urban renewal and academic social responsibility. It defines architecture as an agent of empowerment, self-development and civic rights.




Lauréats 2019 :







The Global Award scientific jury honors for their groundbreaking approaches:

– Prof. Dr. Werner Sobek for his innovation and transmission excellency, directing the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design ILEK Stuttgart (Germany) in succession of Frei Otto and Jörg Schlaich.

– Prof. Ersen Gürsel for his lifelong context- and society-concerned Design-pedagogy at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul (Turkey), the school that since 1933 offered a home to major exponents of the Bauhaus movement – Bruno Taut, Martin Wagner and Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, on the run from Nazi-persecution.

– Rozana Montiel (Mexico), Ammar Khammash (Jordan) and Jorge Lobos (Chile) for their dedication to interdisciplinary scientific researches as well as artisanal and artistic approaches to architecture and the public, making them understandable, desirable and affordable for all.

The Symposium 2019 will be followed by a presentation of the books:
Sustainable Design VII – Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2018, Marie-Hélène Contal, Jana Revedin; Ed. Alternatives-Gallimard, 2019
Building with the immaterial, under the direction of Jana Revedin, Ed. Alternatives-Gallimard, Manifesto collection

The Confetti Foundation – a non-profit organisation to make hospitalized children smile !

The Confetti Foundation – a non-profit organisation to make hospitalized children smile !



The foundation was started with the hope that families will be able to shift their focus from their child’s sickness for just 30 minutes and celebrate. Although the party is not a cure, it will be a welcome distraction and a good reminder that every child deserves to be celebrated. 

Through the partnership of children’s hospitals, pediatric oncology clinics and pediatric Hospice facilities in the United States, The Confetti Foundation’s goal is to provide a themed birthday party, positive memories, and normalcy during a difficult time. 


The idea for The Confetti Foundation was developed when event designer Stephanie Frazier Grimm’s Godson was born 8 weeks premature with many complications. Stephanie’s friend spent hours every day driving to her hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit caring for “Baby C” as he gradually grew stronger. 

During those long drives, Stephanie and her friend would talk about their families, the weather, their jobs, the good times they had in college, and anything else that served as a much-needed distraction. One conversation led to Baby C’s hospital “buddy”, who was celebrating his 1st birthday. His entire life had been spent in the walls of the NICU.

Stephanie questioned what happened when children are in the hospital on their birthdays. Were they given a party? Who was responsible for getting all the decorations? After weeks of research, it was determined that all children were given a present from the hospital, but not matching decorations to have a themed birthday party. This was the responsibility of the families.

Having spent her own 13th birthday in the hospital and the fear of Baby C having to spend many birthdays hospitalized, she set out to make a positive change of how children’s birthdays were celebrated if they were hospitalized.

In  January 2014, The Confetti Foundation was an official 501c3 non-profit organization and started supplying themed birthday party kits to children who had to spend their birthday in the hospital.

Through the party kits, children of all ages are celebrated and honored on their special day.

read all about this great non-profit organisation here…

all photos belong to The Confetti Foundation –