EAM

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Nintendo unveils Labo, DIY cardboard add-ons for the Switch

If you thought <i>Minecraft</i> was the best thing for kids on the Switch, get ready for Nintendo to (once again) blow your mind. Behold Labo, a set of DIY tools built on cardboard sheets that turns the console into a powerhouse of play. Make a piano, with the Switch's screen for music! No, wait, a …

Crucial

Rotational 3D printing spins out stronger structures

Harvard engineers have demonstrated a new 3D printing technique that allows the arrangement of short fibers in the printed material to be finely …

How Portland Is Sourcing Hydropower From Its Drinking Water

The method has little environmental impact and uses existing infrastructure. So why isn’t it more popular?<p>Portland, Oregon—known to some as “Bridge City”—has an intimate relationship with the water that flows beneath it. During hot summer months, residents cool off by floating down the Willamette …

This Ingenious Artificial Island Will Collect Wind Energy And Divert It to Shore

Awesome.<p>The winds of change are blowing towards renewable energy, and nations are becoming increasingly more creative in how they can capitalise on …

Is climate change making hurricanes worse?

<b>The past year has been a busy one for hurricanes.</b><p>There were 17 named storms in 2017, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes (category 3 or higher) - an above average year in each respect.<p>The 10 hurricanes formed consecutively, without weaker tropical storms interrupting the sequence.<p>The only other …

Weather

What Would It Take to Fix New York’s Subway?

We asked experts what they thought it would take to improve New York City’s subway system. Here are six suggestions.

New York City

More studies examine role of climate change in Hurricane Harvey | Ars Technica

Something like 15 percent more rain fell because we’ve warmed the place.<p>The story explaining the incredible flooding in Houston during Hurricane …

NASA advances Schlieren photography technique for studying booms of supersonic aircraft

<b>NASA</b> has conducted a test to validate its capabilities of capturing the sonic boom produced when an aircraft moves from subsonic speeds to supersonic …

China will allow self-driving car tests on public roads

China is opening up its roads to self-driving cars. The Beijing Municipal Transport Commission released a statement today saying that on certain roads and under certain conditions, companies registered in China will be able to test their autonomous vehicles.<p>Last year, Chinese authorities banned …

TOP 10 schools and educational buildings of 2017

<b>see designboom’s TOP 10 stories archive:</b><p><b>educational architecture is a powerful tool for stimulating creativity, as well enhancing concentration,</b> …

Chiang Mai

The Grenfell Fire Report Shows There Is No Time For Complacency On Cladding Regulations

People living in tower blocks are afraid<p>AFP<p>Today’s interim report on fire regulations in relation to the Grenfell Tower fire confirms what many of us …

Scientists Have Developed Glass That Heals Itself When You Press It Together

This could be the last time your phone looks like this.<p>If you're like most of our readers, you're probably reading this right now on your mobile, …

Nanotech

Solar-powered floating rig can harvest hydrogen from seawater

Hydrogen is a clean fuel source, but current methods of producing it, often by converting natural gas, can undo any environmental benefit. Producing …

Durable canvas cloth with embedded solar cells generates 120 watts per square meter

Tents, sun shades, and canopies could generate renewable energy with Norway-based Tarpon Solar‘s photovoltaic canvas. The company’s flexible …

Clean Energy

Massive 25-ton floodgates are being installed in New York City — and it looks apocalyptic

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012, water flooded both car and train tunnels. The water did extensive damage to the electrical systems and wall and ceiling panels of the tunnels. Some train lines were delayed or closed for months. Now, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is …

MTA

Ultra-thin, curved concrete roof generates solar power - Futurity

Check out video and images that show how an incredibly thin and curvy concrete roof came together.

Energy

Sea levels could bring greater storm damage to NYC - Futurity

Bigger and stronger storms could strike New York City as sea levels rise—but those storms may be less frequent. See the maximum storm surge map.

Fiber optic lines can double as earthquake detectors

You might not need an extensive sensor network or a host of volunteers to detect earthquakes in the future -- in fact, the lines supplying your internet access might do the trick. Researchers have developed technology that detects seismic activity through jiggling in fiber optic lines. Laser …

New satellite photos reveal the California wildfire's shocking damage from space

Flames have consumed more than 170,000 acres of land, killed at least 23 people, destroyed thousands of homes, and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate. Napa and Sonoma counties — the heart of California wine country— are especially hard-hit.<p>Officials have yet to determine the origin of …

California
Extreme Weather

This Swedish startup found the answer to more efficient solar panels… in algae?

Solar panels are quite an inefficient form of renewable energy – only around 20 percent of incoming sunlight is turned into energy. However, with a little help from millions of years of evolution and some algae, solar panels could start to shape up.<p>Founded in 2014, Swedish Algae Factory is an algae …

Clean Energy

Earth - The secret of how diamonds are made

<i>Join over six million BBC Earth fans by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.</i><p><i>If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter called "If You Only Read 5 Things This Week". A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Earth, Culture, Capital</i> …

Drone fleets are set to scour Houston devastation for insurance companies

Buzzing drones are hovering above hurricane-ravaged Houston, and they’re being piloted by newly trained insurance agents.<p>After Hurricane Harvey …

Glass Blocks Are Cool Again: Here’s Why You Should Care

Designers are reimagining the once-dated material for a bright future ahead<p>When you hear the phrase “glass block,” the mind immediately wanders to neon-accented icy interiors of the ‘80s. And don’t worry, those decor trends have been left in their decade, hopefully never to be seen again. But to an …

Interior Design

A new leather material is not only super strong, it's also paper-thin

Whether it’s NASA’s futuristic chainmail or shape-shifting textiles that change form on demand, we are massive geeks when it comes to cutting-edge …

Why Energy-Harvesting Clothes Will Be Such a Huge Deal

Newfangled fabrics can mop up energy that otherwise would be wasted.<p>Clothing today is mostly about covering up. In the future, it might also be about powering up — literally.<p>Researchers across the country are working to develop fabrics that harvest energy from your body movements and use it to …

Engineering
Astronomy

Silicon Valley is on a quest to grow the perfect diamond

For centuries, people have gone to great lengths and extraordinary costs - from the baked Namib Desert to the ice-locked Canadian tundra - to pull …

Goodbye petrol – scientists have found a new limitless energy source

A major scientific breakthrough has been made after scientists got one step closer to finding a limitless supply of clean energy.<p>A new way has been …