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Plugged In

Plugged In

More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives

Technology for the rest of us

As you've no doubt read, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is stepping down from the company he co-founded three decades ago. Tim Cook will take over the reigns for the long-term, and has served as COO since 200...

August 24, 2011 — David Wogan

The Earthquake App -- circa 1859

Okay, so we all had a swell time: the floor starts jiggling like a jello-mold, and those of us who didn't run outside ran to Twitter, and it was on .

August 24, 2011 — Scott Huler

David MacKay: Sustainable Energy - without the hot air

This weekend, I rediscovered the work of David J.C. MacKay, a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. Dr. MacKay has a PhD in Computation and Neural Systems (from Cal Tech) and conducts research in machine learning, information theory and communication systems...

August 23, 2011 — Melissa C. Lott

Wind catchers - an elegant cooling design

Keeping with this month's "cities" theme, I want to share a rather cool passive building design that has been around for centuries. Long before LEED Platinum ratings and green building programs, ancient persian architects were developing ways to keep cool in crowded cities baking under the sun...

August 17, 2011 — David Wogan

Awake in the City

Okay, so pretty much all of us live in cities now, or we soon will; that's a given. There's lots of good to come from that and plenty to worry about too.Something that people don't think about much, though, is that so many of us take urban living as an excuse to turn off our senses: when it’s time to observe our surroundings, to pay attention in that naturalist, scientist way, we jump in a plane or a car and go out yonder somewhere: state park, national park, even a local farm,where we whip out a Peterson’s Guide and wax lyrical over identifying a scarlet tanager or a rufous-sided towhee.Except, no: that’s exactly wrong...

August 16, 2011 — Scott Huler

Rail-to-Trail Revitalization

Once only visited by graffiti artists and the destitute, defunct train tracks were dingy causeways to be avoided. All this is beginning to change. In cities where open space is limited, expensive and scattered, developers and city planners are increasingly seeing old railroads for their hidden potential – land ripe for redevelopment, greenspace and multi-use planning...

August 12, 2011 — Robynne Boyd

10 Calories in, 1 Calorie Out - The Energy We Spend on Food

In December, I attended Michael Pollan's lecture at the University of Texas’s Bass Concert Hall. My friend, Katie, had called me that morning to ask if I would be interested in joining her for the lecture - she knew that I had read three of Pollan's books on food and had also found out that there were $10 student tickets to be had for the lecture...

August 11, 2011 — Melissa C. Lott

Guest Post: Tighten up your house, but not too much...

The following is a guest post written by Joshua Rhodes and Brent Stephens, PhD students at The University of Texas at Austin. As a part of their research, they work on two different aspects of buildings, with Josh focusing on energy use and efficiency and Brent focusing on indoor air quality...

August 9, 2011 — Melissa C. Lott

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