New Form of Farming Revolutionizes the Way We Eat
By 2050, the world population will reach almost 10 billion people, at least 66 percent of whom will live in urban areas.Water-scarcity issues are rampant and will only increase, and the ability to feed humanity is a vital issue that must be tackled now.Thankfully, technological innovations are giving hope to addressing this catastrophic problem.Texas-based Mouser Electronics created a program this year called Shaping Smarter Cities that features engineering marvels throughout the world that are helping solve humanity’s most pressing problems.The company makes electronic components that engineers of any level can purchase online to make the projects of their dreams.In this video, (http://bit.ly/2grhOWD) their celebrity spokesperson, Grant Imahara, visits Tokyo, Japan, where more people live than in the entire state of Illinois — too many mouths to feed for traditional farming to take on alone. The city presents an ideal testing ground for vertical/urban farming.Mouser shows how a vertical farming facility can efficiently provide fresh food for the densely populated city.The food produced there yields 50-100 times more per square meter than traditional farming. And the indoor setting allows for almost complete control of weather conditions and temperature. Even the water gets recycled to reduce the drain on resources. The end result? Up to 99 percent in water savings.This video is one of many in Mouser’s Empowering Innovation Together initiative.Since its creation last year, incredible engineering feats have been spearheaded through their electronic components partners — with projects ranging from bringing superhero technology to life to 3D printing a semi-autonomous car with drone technology.The focus of this year’s program is about solving tough problems that impact humanity as a whole.To watch more awe-inspiring videos, visit http://www.mouser.com/empowering-innovation
Futures for All – Online Resource Makes Financial Markets 101 Fun
Futures Fundamentals helps educators and students tackle complex economic topics(NewsUSA) – Did you think about futures markets when you ate your breakfast this morning? How about when you filled up your car with gas? Or paid your mortgage?You might not even know what derivatives are, but the fact is that the economy wouldn’t work without them.When banks need to determine how many loans they can offer at a particular interest rate, they use futures markets. When airlines need to guard against surges in fuel costs or cereal producers look to protect themselves from shocks to the supply of corn or grains, they turn to futures as well. Futures allow institutions to mitigate the potential damage caused by unexpected events or fundamental shifts in supply and demand.And because these financial tools are so critical, the derivatives industry recently joined forces to broaden the scope and reach of Futures Fundamentals. This new free resource, which can be found at www.FuturesFundamentals.org is helping learners of all levels understand how these markets work and why they matter."With futuresfundamentals.org we now have a resource for market users, policy makers, educators and students, as well as the general public around the world, to better understand how risk management markets work and why they matter to all of us, every day," says Walt Lukken, President and CEO of FIA, the leading global trade organization for the futures, options and centrally cleared derivatives markets worldwide"Futures Fundamentals is the perfect gateway to our markets – one which makes the learning process fun and helps prepare the next generation of market users."Futures Fundamentals breaks down the who, why and what of futures markets in an accessible and fun way. The site is divided into three sections, each featuring the role of derivatives as told through stories, interactive infographics, videos and quizzes.Activities first break down key financial concepts, including microeconomics and supply and demand. Visitors then learn how familiar tasks, such as buying a home or car, are affected by futures markets. In addition, after those initial lessons, visitors can try their hand at a trading simulator. Even more importantly, the site also provides teachers with modules to teach these economics lessons in their classrooms, all online and at no cost.Check out Futures Fundamentals for your classroom or business at www.futuresfundamentals.org and follow the site on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay up to date on new content as it is added.
Florida Continues High-Tech Boom with Biotech Business
The aerospace industry is getting a boost in manufacturing its parts, making them safer and stronger, through a revolutionary new approach called 3D printing or "additive" manufacturing – a process which was invented at MIT in the late 1980s.In the traditional method, companies start with a hunk of metal (or other material). Using milling machines and other tools, they cut or drill away material in order to create the desired part.In contrast, 3D printing builds parts layer by layer, adding material in just the right places to create the precise shapes needed.For aerospace companies, this 3D printing or "additive" manufacturing offers the promise of making parts that are better and stronger, enabling them to build airplanes and rockets that are safer, more reliable, and better performing. GE uses 3D printing to build jet engine fuel nozzles, for instance, instead of welding together 20 small pieces. Technology Review recently named additive manufacturing one of its 10 "Breakthrough Technologies."But this new industrial revolution is being held back by a thorny problem. Tiny variations in parameters like temperature or raw material composition can subtly alter how each layer of material is laid down. As a result, it is extraordinarily difficult to build identical top-quality parts every single time.The industry has recognized this problem, and is working hard to solve it. The most promising approach is meticulously monitoring all the relevant parameters as a part is being built, then processing the information to determine if the part meets all standards. That will ensure repeatability, consistency, and reliability.Several companies are working on this idea, but one leader is Santa Fe, NM-based Sigma Labs, Inc (NASDAQ:SGL. Sigma has developed sophisticated software that monitors the 3D process as a part is being built, and determines whether the product meets quality standards. Its Process Quality Assurance™ software is now being used in pilot projects at major aerospace manufacturers.
How to Have the Smartest Home on the Block
With all the talk about smart technology and connected homes, you may be wondering why you should take notice. After all, it is not that difficult or inconvenient to turn your lights on and off.According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), smart technology is not just about convenience. It is not even just about lighting. It is also about energy efficiency and safety. Efficiency Smart technology allows you to connect your home’s electronic devices to one device, such as a phone, tablet or computer. Having a connected home means you have the ability to adjust your thermostat, open and close window shades, and activate your security system remotely, or program those devices to operate automatically at pre-set times. Safety Efficiency is important, but safety is paramount. With the ability to connect to your home’s devices from anywhere in the world comes the peace of mind of not wondering if your security system is activated and knowing your outside and inside lights will be on before you arrive home after dark. Convenience Home automation apps make it a snap to change your room into the perfect setting for different activities. For example, for movie night, a system like Lutron’s Caseta Wireless can be pre-programmed to adjust all the lights in your family room to set the scene for a great movie-watching experience.If installing and operating smart technology equipment sounds complicated and expensive, it’s not. According to the ALA, there are some simple and surprisingly inexpensive options available on today’s market.A number of ALA-member manufacturers, including Legrand, Lutron Electronics, Philips and Acuity Brands Lighting offer reasonably priced, easy-to-install automation products designed to make your home more comfortable, convenient and safe. In many cases, it just takes simple retrofitting of an existing dimmer switch.Erik Anderson, national sales manager for Lutron Electronics, explains that the Caseta Wireless is very retrofittable into existing homes. "All you have to do is take your existing dimmer or switch out of the wall and replace it with a Caseta dimmer or switch, add a smart bridge and you have the ability to control it from an app, or from voice control with Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri," says Anderson.For added ease, Lutron’s Caseta Wireless system can be integrated with Apple, Amazon or Google platforms for use inside your home. And when you are outside, an app or geofencing allows you to adjust your inside and/or outside lights, even before you arrive home. That will make your home welcoming to you and your guests.To learn more about making your home smarter, stop by your local ALA-member lighting showroom to see the latest technology for home environment automation. Go online to DesignVideos.Lighting to view a video from Lutron as well as lighting-trends videos from other ALA-member lighting manufacturers. Find more about all things lighting at AmericanLightingAssoc.com.