MIT project tries to turn trash into a game
November 9th, 2011
04:16 PM ET

MIT project tries to turn trash into a game

By John D. Sutter, CNN

Here's the problem with recycling: It's boring.

But maybe it doesn't have to be. A Boston company called Greenbean Recycle is trying to make the act of keeping bottles and cans out of the landfill into a fun, competitive and engaging game for students at MIT.

The new company, which won an innovation prize this week from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has converted a beefy recycling machine on MIT's campus into a point tabulator of sorts. When students approach the high-tech trash can to dump in their recyclables, they punch their phone number on a touch screen. A bar-code reader in the machine counts the number of cans, bottles and the like that the person has dropped off - and then uploads that data to Greenbean's website. FULL POST

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Filed under: Innovation • Tech • Thinkers
Airlines experiment with algae- and cooking-oil-powered flights
November 9th, 2011
11:40 AM ET

Airlines experiment with algae- and cooking-oil-powered flights

By John D. Sutter, CNN

On Tuesday, algae took a United plane from Houston to Chicago.

And on Wednesday, Alaska Airlines was scheduled to fly from Seattle to Washington D.C. - on cooking oil.

But does this signal, as Alaska Air says, "aviation's next era, where sustainable biofuels can provide a viable alternative to conventional fuel"? FULL POST

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Filed under: Innovation • Tech
November 9th, 2011
08:50 AM ET

Blind man uses his ears to see

By John D. Sutter, CNN

Camden, Maine (CNN) - Follow Daniel Kish out onto a dock and ask him about the view.

"There's this pylon here and there's an object about 20 feet away - here - and another one, about 50 feet away," says Kish, overlooking a bay in coastal Maine during the recent PopTech conference, where he was a featured speaker. "I guess those are boats. I can't tell from this distance, really, but they're solid and we're on the water - so it stands to reason."

Kish is completely blind - he lost sight in both eyes by age 13 months. Yet he uses his ears to see. When he walks around unfamiliar places - he loves hiking - he clicks his tongue and then listens as that sound bounces off nearby objects.

Read the full story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Innovation • Thinkers