More reasons why you should turn off the TV and take your kids outside

Whether you want to avoid setting your kids up for a fatter, less healthy adulthood, or wish to inspire them to careers that embrace nature, there are many reasons why turning off indoor distractions is a good idea.

A child is only small for a few short years, but those early years are extremely important. The way in which parents guide and direct their children at the beginning of their lives has a long-lasting effect and can influence what kind of adults those children become.

There is mounting evidence that unplugging from technology is one of the greatest favours a parent can do for their child. Contrary to what big tech companies would have you believe, putting a small child in front of the TV or giving them an iPad for hours on end can have more of a detrimental effect than a positive one.

An interesting study was recently published in Britain, spanning 32 years. Researchers used data from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which followed the lives of 17,248 people born in England and Wales in a single week in 1970. When the kids were 10 years old, their parents provided information about their TV-watching habits, whether they played sports, and what their heights and weights...


Solar battery is powered by light and air

One of the things you hear a lot about when discussing the future of clean technology is that renewable energy can't be rolled out on a massive scale without reliable energy storage being installed along with it. Many researchers are working on grid-scale batteries and other energy storage technologies, but what if a technology could both generate clean energy and store it simultaneously?

Claiming to have achieved just that, Ohio State University researchers have developed a solar battery that operates both as a solar cell and energy storage device and could potentially cut renewable energy costs by 25 percent.

“The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy,” said OSU professor Yiying Wu. “We’ve integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost.”

The key to the device is a dye-sensitized mesh solar panel that allows both light and air in. The battery basically breathes, it takes in air when it discharges and releases it when it charges.

The device consists of the mesh solar panel, which acts as the first electrode, beneath that is a thin sheet of porous carbon that is the...


It's sixty years since the first portable transistor radio went on the market and started a revolutlon

When one thinks of the most significant dates in our technological development, October 18, 1954 doesn't pop up there at the top of the list. It should; 60 years ago the first portable transistor radio went on sale. The Regency TR1 was the first consumer device to use transistors. According to Fortune Magazine, " If you owned one, you were the coolest thing on two legs."

The big radio companies weren't interested in the transistor. Don Pies, son of the co-founder of Regency, writes on his Regency TR1 website:

...the industry giant companies of 1954 completely missed the opportunity to market transistorized products. At the time, vacuum tubes were king - Bell Labs' 1947 transistor invention was not taken seriously by the major radio manufacturers…RCA, Sylvania and Philco felt transistors were just a novel idea for hobbyist.

That, of course, is the innovators' dilemma, the failure to "to adopt new technology or business models that will meet customers' unstated or future needs." Pies notes that at IBM, Thomas Watson handed out TR-1 radios to any engineer who complained about using transistors instead of tubes. It seems so obvious now that the smaller,energy efficient transistor...



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