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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Science Tidbits

Cash Cow Car Unveiled in San Diego U.S. researchers unveiled the converted Scion xB, the first electric car to be paid to participate in the grid. The small, boxy Scion can be plugged in the driver’s home, and power companies pay up to $30 dollars an hour to draw electricity from it. This creates a win-win situation, where drivers actually make money from their cars and power companies don’t have to use coal-generated power plants when they need a boost. If this idea of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) catches on, scientists predict that the U.S. could significantly shrink its carbon footprint.  Virtual Island Purchased for Record Amount 27-year-old Australian graduate student David Storey, who goes by the name ”Deathifier,” paid $26,500 for Amethera Treasure Island, a place that exists only in the virtual world of Entropia. Although you might be dismissively snickering at the apparent extravagance, the island turns out to be a pretty good investment. Storey expects to make as much as $100,000 in revenue a year from hunters who pay taxes to use his island, prompting Guinness World Records to label Amethera “the most valuable object that is virtual.” The virtual goods market in the U.S. is estimated to reach 1.5 billion dollars this year, not too shabby for an industry that has most people shaking their heads or raising their eyebrows. Besides, virtual tourism is eco-tourism. Geckos Inspire Powerful Adhesive Apparently sticky little lizards are good for more than just selling car insurance. The millions of tiny little hairs on geckos’ toes are the inspiration behind more than 50 patent applications in gecko-adhesion technology. Prototypes of the adhesive tape are said to be stronger than anything available on the market today and leave no residue. Professor Kellar Autumn, who does research of the technology at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, said he was able to stick his 8-year-old daughter to a window using the tape. No word yet on whether the gecko tape could be used for walking up side down on the ceiling, or running across walls. Hell Has Frozen Over; Wal-Mart Goes Green Wal-Mart announced plans to cut a significant 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2015. Of course, Wal-Mart itself won’t be doing much. The company will achieve its goal by pressuring suppliers to rethink packaging, use different fertilizers, and take other measures to increase efficiency and reduce emissions for the entire lifecycle of their products, from raw materials to recycling. But don’t get too excited yet. Though the initiative is in the right direction, critics argue that suppliers will likely respond to Wal-Mart’s pressure by cutting corners and lowering product quality even further. Either way, global warming is happening and the world’s still screwed.

 

About the Contributor
Shira Kaminsky served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years Editor-in-Chief: Spring 2012; 2012-2013 Managing Editor: Fall 2011 Arts Editor: Fall 2010