Category: lohas

Living healthy and sustainable lives.

Future Technologies

I take a lot of online classes for someone who has been out of school for a while. Two classes (one I am currently still taking) are Emerging Technologies (looking at futurism and how libraries can prepare for the future) and TechniCity, which delves into how technology may solve issues in communities.

Now, I want to clarify that my view of technology is that it is an enhancement and not a replacement to the analog life. That means that as an enhancement, the resource that is being enhanced must be fully functional without the enhancement. The infrastructure must be sound, and the technology is the icing on the cake. I took this idea from my web development knowledge regarding javascript. You MUST have a good DOM or underlying structure that can work without the interactive layer in order to build a good website. You cannot use javascript to patch up all the holes, or you are going to have problems.

That said, some new technologies and ways of conducting daily business I have noticed recently that has potential to change the world:

Non-stick coating: This has been in development for something serious than just ketchup bottles, but the science has a lot of ramifications for different aspects of city and personal life. Food containers could be much more reusable, and anything else that could be damaged from water could have it slide right off.

Zero-waste Grocery Store: No plastic and packaging is allowed (and this is where that non-stick container option would be ideal), which would dramatically cut back on garbage and recycling as a good deal of our waste is generated in the kitchen (where most of the garbage cans are located).

Trash-sensored cans: Speaking of garbage and recycling, these “smart” cans could not only be available for public use but also private use to reduce unnecessary pickups or additional pickups. Also, public cans can have compactors to make them even more efficient.

Let’s get a little more serious now.

Scanadu: It might remind you of something from Star Trek. This device is allows individuals to perform personal body scans to ensure vitals are okay. This can greatly improve timely medical treatment and less cost for the user as a doctor may not need to intervene until vitals are off.

SCiO: And to aid in maintaining one’s personal vitals comes SCiO, which can scan food and give you nutritional information. Not only food, but medicines could be scanned and reduce the number of medical incidents (taking the wrong medication).

Feeling a little more Star Trek-like now? Just wait, here are some more recent innovations that may truly change life.

Printable solar cells: If you haven’t heard of the 3D printer movement out there (3D printers have a long way to go, but there’s some really neat new ones coming out that can make food (getting your ingredients from that package free grocery store) and 3D objects built from liquid resin (can you say Terminator 2?). Aaaaanyway, how about a printer that can print solar sheets?

Spray-on solar power: So, solar panels are a bit obvious, and even printing out your own still leaves a bit of a style-to-be desired. How about take any surface and make it possible to generate energy without “adding” to it. Retro-actively “converting to” alternative energy may just get as easy as spraying your existing surfaces.

Solar windows: Why stop at those solid surfaces, why not install your new windows with solar power built INTO them? Every inch of your house could gather solar energy, and just think of how much power a skyscraper could generate…

Solar roadways: And speaking of collecting a lot of solar energy, what about all those roads that go on forever across the country? Not only could they gather energy where no power is now available, but they could be built to melt snow and ice off the roads with that energy, or use built in LEDs to create warnings for drivers (the video can be annoying, but the possibilities listed are great). I hope you are as excited for this technology as I am!

Power-generating tires: So the road is probably not going to power your car, but your TIRES might be able to. Goodyear has a concept for a tire that generates electricity. Say “hellooooo” to that Tesla (or any electric) car that can take you across the country.

These can all really change how we gather and use energy, but what about natural disasters?

Tokyo Flood Prevention: Japan has a lot at stake being an island nation right next to some serious seismic activity. As glaciers continue to melt, we should all be concerned (and try to reverse it as much as possible). But Japanese engineers have developed a fantastic system for flood prevention that all flood risk areas need to consider (and hopefully build!).

There’s so much more, especially related to transportation and environmental initiatives, but I wanted to share these ones specifically.


Bamboo is one of the best resources ever! I would rank it next to water in usefulness. It is among the fastest growing plants, very easily replenishable, and can produce more oxygen than a tree. And it is a grass! It can be:

  • food (I usually use bamboo shoots in stir fry) and drink
  • woven goods such as towels and bedding (already have the towels that are absolutely fantastic and want two more, sheets and blanket are upcoming) and clothing (on my wishlist are bamboo pajamas and robe)
  • household items and furniture such as bowls, plates, utensils, vases, tables, and chairs
  • building material for flooring, etc.
  • paper
  • and more I can’t imagine

The bamboo materials I have already are very durable, and I am excited to try sheets, blankets, and pajamas! Herr and I are discussing planting some bamboo as well. We have a side yard that does not get used, so a bamboo screen would be nice outside the study window. Bamboo goodness… 😀

Soda Pop

Life has only gotten busier with the return of the Internet. I’ll be providing some Web based training throughout next week, then I’ll move into a huge project rebuilding an e-commerce Web site. I do not do commercial sites, so this is going to be stressful and difficult. Herr is still on a half-strike right now, so I have been washing dishes and whatnot as well. I think that is stressing me out the most. I feel irritated with him half the time, then irritated with me the other half. He doesn’t work, so why can’t he take care of the house? But then why don’t I help out more in general? I can’t talk to him either, because he’s extremely sensitive about it. For anyone who knows me, they realize I am on the edge of breakdowns frequently at the moment.

Good news is Herr has a job interview on Monday. It isn’t the best income, but with him being active, I’ll feel more inclined to participate around the house. We also just finished the third season of Sailor Moon (he’s been humoring me by watching it with me, but it takes a lot longer because he can only handle so much at a time) – two more seasons left! 😛 It’s good for me though; I typically do stretches while watching. I have seen it before and it’s a good amount of time.

My colleague just posted some amazing results after a year of focusing on eating right and exercising. Over 25 lbs. in a year! Since we moved to Germany, I have started eating and drinking food I had long ago banned: soda, chips and dip, and other junk food. It’s hard to avoid here. Germans drink carbonated beverages. Water is more expensive than beer and soda. We have dinner parties and people bring chips. I’m going to take a pro-active step and say no more. We have easy access to a fruits and vegetable store, meat and cheese store, and a good grocery store. I have to start feeling more comfortable reading and learning German names for food so I can buy some things too. I’m also considering an Amazon grocery list set up. I don’t know if they’ll ship things overseas though. Something to look into.

I’m ready to lose this extra weight I’ve gained. I need new clothes and my older clothes to fit me again. We’ve started exercising more, but I need to step that up. It hurts though, and we have to leave at 5 a.m. to fit it in. I am aiming for a minimum of 10 lbs. with hopes of 15 lbs. Healthy food, moderated food consumption, and maybe even meditation to help with the stress, here I come!

Dream Car.

BMW released a lovely green car apparently this year that I am thinking I want. Really bad. It’s called the Hydrogen 7.
BMW Hydrogen 7.
Luxury, style, and an every day car with green stamped on it. I have to look into it more (I just browsed the article, mostly the photos… :D), but I am so happy I don’t want to spoil the moment with facts and details. 😛