Recreational cannabis grow rooms, outfitted with 24-hour LED grow lights, are becoming common in U.S. cities where marijuana farming is legal. Ben McLeod/Getty Images Not a lot of legitimate scientific research involves growing marijuana plants in a garage, but that's what it took for William Vizuete, associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, to begin to untangle the problem of whether the booming cannabis industry in Colorado is affecting air quality in Denver. As more states legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use (as of 2018, 33 states and Washington D.C. have decriminalized the drug in some form or fashion), studies suggest marijuana farming impacts the environment in a variety of ways, from wildlife habitat fragmentation to its extreme energy and water requirements. But until Vizuete and a Ph.D. student went to Denver and bought and monitored 12 marijuana … [Read more...] about How a Booming Legal Marijuana Industry Could Harm Air Quality
Applied industrial technology
Dear God.That's my first thought as I wriggle into the black, skin-tight catsuit. I look ready to perform motion-capture for Lord of the Rings. I pull the leggings up over my waist, then I take a quick selfie to really check myself out. Oh boy.The garment, known as a Zozosuit, clings to my skin without remorse. It shows everything. The chocolate gut. The pancake biceps. The junk in the trunk and the tucked family jewels. This is a devastating self-burn. Why would I do this to myself? Now playing: Watch this: The Zozosuit might change the way we buy clothes 4:28 The Zozosuit is the brainchild of Yusaku Maezawa, a punk drummer turned Japanese billionaire entrepreneur and founder of Japan's biggest online fashion retailer, Zozotown. He also happens to be a big fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat and, thanks to Elon Musk, he's set to be the first private citizen to go to the moon. Having been struck by an inability to find clothes that fit him perfectly (he cites his short stature for … [Read more...] about Zozosuit: The bizarre spandex bodysuit revolutionizing the fashion industry
The construction industry hasn't yet been revolutionized by robotics as much as other industries like automotive manufacturing, but that may change. Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61 Today, robots do everything from paint automobiles on the assembly line to perform surgery on human patients. But one big industry that hasn't yet been transformed by automation is the construction industry, which still utilizes humans to perform both the grunt work and the skilled labor required to erect houses and giant office towers. Anywhere you have unsafe, boring, or drudgery work, you can have a machine do it. Scott Peters, Construction Robotics But with fewer young workers going into building trades, 86 percent of builders in the United States reported last year having trouble filling those jobs. That's happening even though more than half are increasing their wages to recruit and retain the workers they need. And the labor shortage may not ease any time soon; the median age of construction … [Read more...] about Robots Are Rare in the Construction Industry, but That Could Soon Change
The humble egg sits at the intersection of food ethics, philosophy, lifestyle and modern industrialization. Kai Schwabe/Getty Images You've probably heard of a vegan — someone who sticks to an animal-free, plant-based diet for ethical reasons. And there are vegetarians, of course, who avoid meat but would consider an egg a great source of protein. But have you heard of a veggan? That's somebody who is vegan, except they eat eggs. Your reaction to this news probably lands somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle of outrage, apathy and a giant, exaggerated eye roll. But for people who spend a lot of time thinking about the ethics of eating, eggs can be a sticking point: chickens lay eggs regardless of whether they're fertilized by a rooster. And since an unfertilized egg doesn't have any prospects for hatching into a chicken, and the chicken probably doesn't have any plans for it other than getting the thing out of its cloaca, it should be up for grabs, right? Hurting no one? Well, to … [Read more...] about If Hens Lay Eggs Anyway, Why Wouldn’t Vegans Eat Them?
Advances in technology are important (and inevitable), but they leave outdated equipment in their wake. lorenzoantonucci/iStock/Thinkstock A disruptive technology is an innovation that uproots an established technology, or a revolutionary product or service that spawns a new industry [source: WhatIs.com]. Disruptive technologies are sometimes described as being simultaneously destructive and creative because they make old products — and sometimes even entire industries — obsolete, creating new ones in their place [source: Christensen, Howard]. Disruptive technologies have the power to change the way we work, live, think and behave. Imagine this: You're in your driverless car, on the way to a conference. Giving voice commands over the Bluetooth connection in your vehicle, you direct your smartphone to initiate a video call with a colleague. You remind her to bring the medical device prototype that you manufactured using a 3-D printer. You end the call and take out … [Read more...] about What’s a disruptive technology?