Maker Faire 2011: Modular Guitars by Praxis Turn Just About Anything Into a New Guitar

Praxis Guitars

Praxis Guitars are made to be modular, with all of the electronic components within one plate that can be swapped out on different bodies or different necks. They’re made from recycled and salvaged materials, whenever possible, and since it’s possible for you to reattach pieces to different bodies, you can also upcycle old items and give them a new life. For instance, even an old schoolbook was transformed into a body.

Not only are the materials and concept TreeHugger-friendly, but so too is the whole business model.

For More Check Out: Maker Faire 2011: Modular Guitars by Praxis Turn Just About Anything Into a New Guitar : TreeHugger.

B-cycle hits the streets of Madison

Trek will launch its public bike-sharing program, B-cycle, Sunday with four bike kiosks. Thirty-two more kiosks, housing a total of 350 bikes, are planned by next month.

The initial locations are all downtown, close to the Capitol Square: Wisconsin Avenue and East Mifflin Street, South Hamilton and West Main streets, North Park and Spring streets, and West Wilson Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, says Trek spokesman Eric Bjorling.

Three different passes­ — daily, weekly and annual — are available to rent the bikes with a credit or debit card at the kiosks. The rates are still being discussed.

via B-cycle hits the streets of Madison – Isthmus | The Daily Page.

Google Has Now Invested Over $400M In Clean Power

Google Wind Power

  • World’s Largest Oregon Wind Farm: Google is investing $100 million in the world’s largest wind farm, the 845 MW Shepherds Flat project under construction in Oregon.
  • North Dakota Wind Farm: Google is investing $38.8 million into 169.5 megawatts worth of wind projects developed by NextEra Energy Resources in North Dakota.
  • East Coast Wind Farm Backbone: Google has invested part of the fund for an east coast transmission line that is meant to link offshore wind farms, and which recently got an approved rate of return for the project at 12.59 percent.
  • Wind Power from Iowa Wind Farm: Google’s first deal for its subsidiary Google Energy — which can buy and sell power on the wholesale electricity markets — plans to buy wind power from 114 MW of wind energy via a wind farm in Iowa owned by NextEra Energy Resources.
  • Wind Power from Oklahoma Wind Farm: Google’s second deal via its subsidiary Google Energy is to buy 100 MW of power from a wind farm that’s under construction in Oklahoma by NextEra Energy Resources.
  • BrightSource’s Solar Thermal Project: Google plans to invest $168 million into a solar thermal project being built by startup BrightSource Energy in California’s Mojave Desert.
  • Solar German Project: Google is investing €3.5 million ($5 million USD) into a solar photovoltaic farm in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany, which is near Berlin.
  • Greentech Startups (these are small investments): Google (through a combo of Google Ventures and has invested in at least nine “greentech” startups, including battery maker ActaCell, electric vehicle maker Aptera, efficient car maker Next Autoworks, geothermal company Alta Rock, neighbor-to-neighbor car sharing company RelayRides, weather insurance company WeatherBill, smart grid company Silver Spring Networks, biofuel maker Cool Planet Biofuels, and efficient power gear conversion tech startup Transphorm.

For More: Google Has Now Invested Over $400M In Clean Power: Cleantech News and Analysis «.

Legendary Air Force Thunderbirds Give Camelina Jet Biofuel a Workout

thunderbirds use biofuel

It’s showtime for camelina, a modest, weedy little plant that has started to make a big splash in the biofuel world. The U.S. Air Force took camelina under its wing a couple of years ago and tested it out on the A-10C Thunderbolt II, and it must have done pretty well because for the first time ever a camelina based jet fuel has been used by the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s official aerial demonstration team. The decision to use camelina for the Thunderbirds is significant because it underscores the U.S. military’s evolving mission of bringing new sustainable technology to the civilian world. Appropriately enough the first show with camelina took place for the Joint Services Open House last week at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

For More: Legendary Air Force Thunderbirds Give Camelina Jet Biofuel a Workout – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views.

Welcome To Nature Reel

Hey everyone, welcome to our new site! Sarah and I came up with the idea to share interesting stories, links, and ideas that we find  on the internet that impact our communities near and far. Primarily we will be focused on positive content that centers around the environment, sustainability, and other words of activism. We may also post tips, tricks, and general geek wisdom that may be beneficial to your everyday life in this fast paced world of technology as the yin to the natural yang.

The site is in the beginning stages and will have a facelift in the near future as we continue to build on our ideas.

May 26th Natural Step Webinar

May 26th Natural Step Webinar

Enlisting Others: Bringing About Participation in Sustainable Community Planning with guest speaker Sarah James

via May 26th Natural Step Webinar.

This is a great organization for people that are interested in promoting and creating sustainability in the Fox Valley.      I am looking forward to coordinating a booth with students from the Fox River Academy at the upcoming “Green Market” that will be taking place once a month at Appleton’s local Farmers Market.

I will keep in touch with our growing progress!


Arbor Makes Pop Art Adorned Skateboards Out of Bamboo and Sustainable Wood

arbor Hybrid skateboard

arbor Hybrid skateboard

Skateboarding has always been a green way to get from point A to point B – whether boarders think that’s an important point or not. The folks over at Arbor are making this alternative mode of transportation even more green by making decks, trucks and wheels of sustainable materials like bamboo. The boards are just as durable as wooden decks, and have awesome art options just like regular decks.

For more: Arbor Makes Pop Art Adorned Skateboards Out of Bamboo and Sustainable Wood | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Turtles follow the sun even before they have muscles

turtle embryo

turtle embryoAlthough turtles have a limited control over their internal body temperature, they do respond to temperature differences in complex ways. These include things like basking in the sun to raise their temperatures, responding to the cold by hibernating, and even determining the sex of their offspring via the ambient temperature that the eggs develop as. So, it’s not a shock to find out that turtles start physically responding to temperature differences before they even hatch from an egg. What is surprising is that these responses occur before there’s much in the way of a skeleton or nervous system to support it.

For More: Turtles follow the sun even before they have muscles.