Back to the Future II is one of those movies that continue to influence our imagination even though it was released way back in 1989. It foretold a bunch of advancements that we would have by the year 2015, some of which came very close to coming true, some not so much. The movie also inspired a nanotechnology scientist at the University of Central Florida’s NanoScience Technology Center, Associate Professor Jayan Thomas, to try and create solar powered textiles. And he has now succeeded, so something like self-lacing shoes as worn by Marty McFly in the movie could well be available soon.
Thomas has successfully developed solar-powered filaments, which are able to harvest energy from the sun and store it. They can also be woven into textiles to create smart textiles, which would basically be a type of wearable solar-powered batteries. These batteries could then be used to charge our gadgets, while they’d also be able to perform various other functions. […]
Ecobubo, a Portuguese startup, has recently completed a tiny dwelling of the same name that’s made of cork. The primary function of this tiny house is to serve as a nature escape for two, since the home is located in the woods and lacks the space and amenities, which would make it suitable as a full-time home. […]
While living in small spaces is still quite a novelty for most people in North America, it is quite an accepted practice in most of the rest of the world. Especially in China, where livable space is hard to come by in most urban areas. This tiny, L-shaped home recently completed in Beijing is a great example of tiny home architecture done right. […]
Fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are going to love this tiny home. The so-called, and very aptly named, Tiny Hobbit House on Wheels is exactly that, a Hobbit-worthy abode that’s also towable. It was designed by the company Incredible Tiny Homes and looks awesome.
The Tiny Hobbit House on Wheels rests atop a 20 ft (6 m)-long trailer and boasts of a total floorspace of 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m). The exterior is clad in cedar shake siding, while entry is gained via a custom-made circular door. This is also the only opening in the whole house, since it has no windows. This was requested by the customer who commissioned it. The home also features a curved roof. […]
The so-called Enki stove was made by the Italian firm of the same name. It’s a biomass stove, which can cook anything under the sun while converting the fuel materials into biochar. It was created for camping adventures, but it would do equally well for picnics and backyard cooking.
The biomass stove comes in two versions, namely Enki Wild and Wild+. It is a so-called pyrolytic stove, since the fuel materials aren’t burned directly, but rather first converted into gas that is then burned. For this reason, it can also be called a gasifier stove, and it creates a smoke-free flame. It’s also designed to be fed small biomass scraps such as twigs and bark. Furthermore, the waste material it produces can also be successfully used for carbon sequestration and building healthy soil. It is not, however, meant to be an indoor, daily-use stove alternative. However, for barbecues, camping trips and picnics, it’s an excellent choice, and much better than charcoal or gas fed cookers. […]
US-based freelance photographer Mandy Lea has been travelling the country in a teardrop trailer for the past two years, capturing amazing shots of nature along the way. She decided on this change in lifestyle after realizing the day job was burning her out, while her true passion—photography—was getting neglected. So she traded in the “normal” life for a nomadic one and has yet to regret it. […]