Global food production


According to a snappy new video developed by the World Wildlife Fund, roughly one-third of the world’s landmass is currently being used to produce food to feed the more than 7 billion occupants (some significantly better than others). By 2050 this number is supposed to double (66%) and with it come a number of challenges, not the least of which is the harsh reality that we simply might not have enough non-urbanized, arable land to support the population based on current food production techniques and technologies.

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1,000 posts

1000On Friday, November 18, 2011 The Road Not Taken crossed the symbolic 1,000 post mark thanks to the loyal readership.  It only took 20 months or approximately 1.6 posts per day.  In honor of this dubious outstanding accomplishment, I’ve included the top 100 posts (and pages) of all time.   Continue reading

So you think energy is expensive?

Empty fuel gaugeIf you’re like most people in the known universe, the global economic crisis has reached your doorstep in one way or another.  For many years, energy prices have been a bone of contention here in the United States. Continue reading

Making HVAC sexy

The folks over at Nest Labs are doing something truly innovative and even sexy in the field of HVAC.  Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (or HVAC as it is called by insiders) is responsible for keeping most of the U.S. civilized in the dead of winter or during the sweltering heat of summer.  It is also responsible for roughly half of the average household’s energy expenditure in a given year – roughly $1,100.  If you’re like most people, the thermostat is your interface point for more than 99% of your interactions with your HVAC system. Those interactions range from putting the system on permanent “hold” (a recent Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study found that as many as 50% of households are set this way) or trying to program it using a kludgy interface that conjures painful memories of trying to set the clock on the VCR in 1983. Continue reading

7 billion lives

7 Billion ActionsIf there’s one thing that can be said about this highly connected world that we – as members of the “developed countries” – live in it is that technology has afforded us the ability to “shrink” the planet.  As recently as 20 years ago a comparatively small number of people had email addresses or used the Internet and the Web as we know it was non-existent.  If you wanted knowledge you went to a library and if you were in search of news you could pick up a newspaper or watch your local newscast.  Today there are seemingly limitless options for understanding what is going on in far flung places like Tuvalu, Malta, or Palau.  Additionally, we have a higher degree of exposure to the terrible plights that face many people in the “developing countries” such as civil war, drought, famine, and disease. Continue reading

Brilliant interactive billboards

As companies become more comfortable and innovative with interactive outdoor advertising, we’ve come to see some pretty brilliant experiments.  Recently I posted about the eco-friendly Coca-Cola billboard in Manila and the San Diego-based Newcastle beer billboard, although the latter is decidedly analog it certainly interacted with the passersby.  Below you’ll find a few additional brilliant interactive outdoor advertisements that transcend many of the traditional marketing disciplines such as display, experiential, and obviously social.  Enjoy.

I have seen the future (of EVs) and it is good

I have seen the future (of EVs) and it is good || “Tesla Releases Teaser Video Of Pre-Production Model S EV”

So it is no secret that I’m a big fan of Tesla’s products although I have been skeptical at times of their viability of a business, although that challenge may be solved with the announcement of the $100 million deal with Toyota to produce elements of the RAV4 EV. It is also no secret that Elon Musk and I both knew each other during our undergraduate years at the University of Pennsylvania, so I will try to avoid sounding like a Tesla “fan boy” in declaring that I am absolutely going to be one of the first people to pick up a Model S.

Check out this sneak peek of the cars working out at a California test track.

Automakers have to comply with CAFE standards by 2025 but how?

Automakers have to comply with CAFE standards by 2025 but how? || “Technologies that will get automakers to 54.5 mpg”

Can group buying help renewable energy succeed?

Can group buying help renewable energy succeed? || “Can the Groupon Model Help Scale Solar?”

Solar Energy

What can we learn from the end-Triassic mass extinction?

What can we learn from the end-Triassic mass extinction? || “Mass Extinction Easier to Trigger Than Thought”