Friday, September 27, 2013

Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt


Today's YEOW will take you to an underground chapel in a salt mine!

If opulent isn’t an adjective you’d immediately associate with the mining profession, then you’ve clearly never had a peek inside Poland’s Wieliczka Salt Mine. The subterranean marvel (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) has been operational since the first shafts were dug way back in the 13th century, but the decor has come a long, long way in the subsequent years. And now, thanks to Google, we can explore it from afar.

In addition to the more traditionally rugged excavation routes, Wieliczka's underground landmark is home to elaborate chapels, crystalized chandeliers, and art galleries, all carved out of common sodium chloride. The reverent treatment nods to a not-so-distant past where salt was a hot commodity, valued in a way that went way beyond a few casual sprinkles over dinner.
Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt
Visitors can take a hard-hat tour of the mine, but in lieu of an IRL visit (or for those who prefer to travel pants-less from the comfort of their own home), Wieliczka recently became the latest World Wonder to get the Google Street View treatment. It joins a veritable greatest hits of amazing spots around the globe being preserved in this incredibly accessible way. Quick click to an explorer’s hut in Antarctica abandoned since 1912? Heck Yeah. Scroll around the Cinque Terre villages that dot the Mediterranean sea? Yes please. Hold your breath at the unbelievable underwater views of the Great Barrier Reef? Go on.
Explore the Wieliczka Salt Mine here (and a few less polished pics below, via the official site), but please: Don’t lick your screen.
Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt
Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Time + Mushrooms = Insulation

The creation of a Start Up from a RPI student is leading to a new building technology. 

The Green Island, NH, company has developed a renewable, high-performance, and cost-effective replacement for plastic foams. Ecovative uses mycelium (mushroom “roots”) to bond together agricultural byproducts like corn stalks into a material that can replace plastic foam.After selling the product as a packaging replacement for Styrofoam, Ecovative grew a tiny house from the material. "We see this as a proving ground for the $21 billion rigid board foam insulation market," the company says.

Check out the YouTube Link below to learn more about this company and how sustainable their project is.

Keep an eye on this technology as it grows!  How long do you think until we will be detailing it in documents and writing specs???  Where will it go next???

The company is winning sustainable and technology competitions right and left.  the co-founder Eben Bayer is doing Ted Talks and becoming a spokesperson on the company.  The next time you here about Evocative  remember you heard it here first!

Have a great Friday!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Capturing the Sun's Energy

This week's Y.E.O.W.
Capturing the Sun's Energy
Whether We Mean to or Not

Mosaic Inc., a California-based company has come up with a new business model to allow individuals to finance solar projects across the country, think "kickstarter" for green energy.   Projects include arrays atop affordable housing developments and schools, as well as a large project with the U.S. Military which is currently under way.  Individuals can invest in the projects for as little as $25.  Nearly $3 million has been invested in over a dozen projects nationwide.  These investments are structured like loans, as the projects generate electricity, and hence revenue, Mosaic repays the investment with interest.

One of Mosaic's projects from their website.
This seems like a great idea considering all the examples we have of the awesome power of the sun, including one that recently popped up in the U.K.

Earlier this month a partially completed skyscraper in London managed to melt a portion of a parked car and start a fire at a local barber shop.  The building - designed by internationally renowned architect Rafael Vinoly (website) - is a dramatic edifice with curved exterior walls.  Built at 20 Fenchurch Street in London's financial center, the 38-story skyscraper is known locally as "the Walkie-Talkie" for its unusual shape.

The apparent problem came to public attention when businessman Martin Lindsay told reporters that his Jaguar's mirror, panels and hood ornament had all melted from the concentrated sunlight reflected off the building.

The melted vehicle in question.
The developers are taking the concerns seriously and have indicated that the problem lasts about two hours a day and is expected to continue for another two weeks or so.

Just imagine if Mosaic set up a project across the street.
Possibly Mosaic should just follow Vinoly's  projects around the world as this is not the first case of hot and bothered neighbors.  Learn more about his "Vdara Death Ray" in Las Vegas that made news in 2010.

Speaking of dangers, there are risks associated with the sorts of investments that Mosaic is offering.  The returns can be slow to roll in, not to mention panels can break.  This isn't an investment to make if you want big returns quickly.  That is, unless you've snagged a spot near a Vinoly.  

To learn more about Mosaic visit their website: 

or read the following articles:

Pictures provided by:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Worlds Best Airport Plans - It Gets Even Better than Before

World’s best airport plans to get even better

Plans for Singapore's swanky new addition were designed by Moshe Safdie, the architect behind Marina Bay Sands.

Singapore announces mega expansion plans for Changi Airport to increase passenger capacity - and enjoyment

Just when you thought Singapore's Changi Airport couldn't rub its global supremacy in any deeper, the "world's best airport" announces plans to add another impressive facility that will improve passenger experiences and boost capacity.

Code-named “Project Jewel,” the mixed-use architectural looker will take over a 3.5-hectare plot of land and will feature shops, restaurants and a huge indoor garden with its own waterfall when it opens in 2018.

A statement from Changi says terminal 1, which will lose a car park in the redevelopment, will also be expanded to allow more space for the arrival hall, baggage claim areas and taxi bays.

All the other airports might as well give up now. Being stuck in transist can't possibly get any better than this.

Project Jewel was designed by a consortium of architects led by Moshe Safdie, the man behind another Singapore icon - Marina Bay Sands. It will serve as a link to connect terminals 1, 2 and 3.

"When completed, Project Jewel, together with terminal 4, will boost Changi Airport's handling capacity to 85 million passenger movements a year, to cater for Changi's growth into the next decade," an airport spokesman said.

In 2012, Changi Airport handled 51 million passengers a year, an increase of 10% over 2011. It currently has a capacity of 66 million per year.

Construction is set to go ahead on terminal 4 by the end of the year on the old Budget Terminal site and due to open in 2017. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ?announced during his annual National Day rally speech over the weekend that planning is underway for a new terminal 5, which would double Changi Airport’s current capacity when it opens in the mid-2020s.

Airport officials confirmed a T5 project is in the works, but would not release further details.
Why all the accolades?

Crowned the best airport in the world at the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards in Geneva in April, Changi has gained a reputation for its attentive passenger experience and wide selection of entertainment services.

The airport offers free city tours to all travelers on a stopover of five hours or more, while facilities include an onsite swimming pool, gardens, nature trail and cinemas.

For more information see link below: