Spacious and green: inside Norwich’s award-winning new council houses

By Anne workforce / October 12, 2019

For residents of eco-friendly Goldsmith Street, heating bills could be as little as £150 a year

After two years living in a third-floor flat in Norwich, Alex Jenkins, her partner and two young sons moved into a new council house in December. They are not alone in their adoration for their home, with its two large bedrooms, sunny back garden and high ceilings.

Goldsmith Street, a development of 105 brick properties on the outskirts of the city centre, on Tuesday became the first social housing project to be awarded the Stirling architecture prize. The judges hailed the development, owned wholly by the city council, as a “modest masterpiece”, saying it represented “high-quality architecture in its purest, most environmentally and socially conscious form”.

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Read more: theguardian.com

Inside Copenhagen’s race to be the first carbon-neutral city

By Anne workforce / October 12, 2019

Green growth and ‘hedonistic sustainability’ have helped keep the public on board as the Danish capital seeks to reach its goal by 2025 – and so far it’s all going according to plan

“We call it hedonistic sustainability,” says Jacob Simonsen of the decision to put an artificial ski slope on the roof of the £485m Amager Resource Centre (Arc), Copenhagen’s cutting-edge new waste-to-energy power plant. “It’s not just good for the environment, it’s good for life.”

Skiing is just one of the activities that Simonsen, Arc’s chief executive, and Bjarke Ingels, its lead architect, hope will enhance the latest jewel in Copenhagen’s sustainability crown. The incinerator building also incorporates hiking and running trails, a street fitness gym and the world’s highest outdoor climbing wall, an 85-metre “natural mountain” complete with overhangs that rises the full height of the main structure.

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Read more: theguardian.com

The best space heaters for your home, dorm, or office

By Anne workforce / October 11, 2019

 

A great space heater can make the bitter cold of winter bearable, and the Trustech Ceramic Space Heater is our top pick because it’s affordable, programmable, and it heats up quickly.

If you don’t have central heating, or do but don’t want to use all that energy, then a space heater is a great way to ensure you keep nice and warm during those long winter months. Space heaters will keep you warm in your frigid office, that one cold room in your house, or your chilly dorm room.

There are plenty of space heaters to choose from, so you might have to do a little research to find the right one for your needs. Thankfully, we’ve done the research for you to find the best space heaters you can buy. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Room size: You’ll want to think about the size of your room. Space heaters can often only do so much, and if you’re trying to heat a huge room, you may want to consider buying a larger space heater. Likewise, if you’re largely going to use the device in a smaller room, then perhaps save some money and energy and go for a smaller space heater.
Energy efficient models: Additionally, some space heaters are built specifically to be energy-efficient and buying one of those options means you could save a little money on your monthly energy bill. Plenty of those energy-efficient heaters are high-quality, too, and they will heat your room just as well as any non-energy-efficient heater.
Portability: While you may not be taking your space heater out of your house often, you may still need to move it from room to room. If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure that it’s relatively easy to move.

Last but not least, you’ll want to consider what the space heater looks like. Sure, that may not be as important as offering heat, but the fact is that a space heater could well become a piece of furniture in your house, and as such, it should be able to fit in with the rest of your furniture reasonably well.

Here are the best space heaters you can buy:

Best space heater overall: Trustech Ceramic Space Heater
Best small space heater: Lasko 754200 heate
Best high-end space heater: Dyson AM09 heater
Best space heater fan: Vornado AVH2 Plus heater
Best stylish space heater: Honeywell UberHeat Ceramic Heater

Updated on 10/10/2019 by Caitlin Petreycik: Updated formatting, prices, and links. 

The best space heater overall
Trustech

The Trustech Ceramic Space Heater puts out warm air within three seconds of being switched on and can be programmed to run from one to 12 hours.

If you’ve got a cold office, bedroom, or nursery on your hands, when do you want your space heater to get to work warming it up, in a few minutes, or right this very second? While the Trustech Ceramic Space Heater might not be able to help warm things up in one second, give this plucky little unit three seconds, and you’ll begin to feel warm air.

Its ceramic heating elements warm up quickly and its built-in fan starts blowing out heated air that can rapidly raise the ambient temperature in a midsized room.

The Trustech space heater can produce air cooled down to 59º Fahrenheit (ambient temperature permitting) or as warm as 85º Fahrenheit, and it can be programmed to run for anywhere between one and 12 hours, or simply left switched on.

Don’t worry about it overheating, either, as it has an automatic shutoff feature that kicks in if it reaches too high a temperature. It will also shut down if tipped over. While running, the heater can be focused in one direction or set to oscillate, evenly heating a larger space.

And what’s that you say? Your Trustech Ceramic Space Heater must be broken because it keeps on blowing air for 30 seconds after you switched it off? Nope, that’s just another safety feature. It blows cool air across its heating element for a half a minute after switched off to ensure minimal risk of injury or fire.

Just note that a few Amazon reviewers did complain about its noisy fan and the less than intuitive temperature control button, which requires cycling all the way up to the top temperature to reach lower temps. — Steven John

Pros: Heats up rapidly, oscillation option, multiple safety features

Cons: Noisy fan, clunky temp control button

The best small space heater
Lasko

The Lasko 754200 heater isn’t just super affordable, it’s also easy to use and offers a number of different modes and adjustable thermostat.

The Lasko 754200 heater is all the heater you need. Even though it is small and relatively basic, this tiny space heater can warm an entire room quickly. It’s also super compact and easy to store when you’re not using it, making it perfect for use in smaller apartments, dorms, and offices. Lasko’s heater is so cheap that you could get one for each room in your house if need be and still not pay as much as you would for an oil-filled radiator.

It’s a simple looking space heater that should fit in fairly well. At the very least, it’s small enough that it won’t dominate the room. It’s also pretty compact, coming in at only 9.2-inches tall, so it’s easy to move from room to room.

In terms of features, Lasko kept it simple. You get variable temperature settings and a variety of heating modes. The power switch doubles as a way to control the different modes and there’s also an adjustable thermostat so you can customize the temperature. The different modes include high heat, low heat, and fan only.

Insider Picks guides editor Malarie Gokey tested the Lasko heater in her New York apartment when a major cold snap kicked in, and she loved it. It easily heated up most of her one bedroom apartment and it was the perfect size to use in her tiny bathroom to keep it cozy.

The only downsides are that the heater doesn’t offer some of the timing and programming features that you might get from other heaters, and because it’s fan-operated, it might be a little loud at times. Other than that, Lasko’s heater is a great buy.

Pros: Extremely affordable, easy-to-use basic features, portable, warms up any room or office

Cons: Fan-based so could be noisy, a little basic

The best high-end space heater
Dyson

The Dyson Bladeless Heater isn’t just a great heater and air conditioner — it’s beautifully designed, too, so it’ll fit well in any room.

Dyson may be best known for its vacuums, but the company makes other things, too – like great space heaters. This heater may, in fact, be the most futuristic heater on the list, boasting an excellent design that will fit well in any room.

The Dyson AM09 bladeless heater uses what Dyson calls “Jet Focus,” which pushes air out in a precise and narrow path. In other words, instead of heating the whole room at once, this heater blasts hot air in one direction, so you can point it at you to keep nice and toasty. You can, of course, choose to have it heat in all directions instead, but if you need a quick blast of hot air, you’ll have Jet Focus mode up your sleeve. You’ll also get a sleep timer, so you can set a time for the heater to switch off on its own.

Perhaps one of the best things about this heater is the fact that it isn’t just a heater. It’s also an air conditioner, so you can use it during the summer to keep nice and cool, too. According to reviews, while it does produce some noise, it’s not overly loud. That’s because of its aerodynamic diffuser, which helps cut down on the fan noise.

While the Dyson AM09 heater is a great option, there are a few downsides to consider. For example, it’s a pretty expensive heater, and if you lose the remote, you won’t have access to some of the features like the sleep timer. Still, it has been pretty highly-reviewed.

Pros: Well-designed, lots of features, included remote

Cons: Expensive

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

The best juicers you can buyThe best espresso machines you can buyThe best women’s bathrobes

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Carbon taxes have to rise sharply to avoid climate crisis, says IMF

By Anne workforce / October 11, 2019

Fund says governments could use money to help vulnerable people or invest in green energy

Avoiding dangerous global heating will require governments around the world to impose stringent taxes on fossil-fuel usage that will mean a 43% jump in household energy bills over the next decade, the International Monetary Fund has said.

The Washington-based Fund said the battle against climate change could only be won if the average carbon tax levied by its member states increased from $2 (£1.63) a ton (907kg) to $75 a ton.

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Read more: theguardian.com

David Pocock and Wallabies teammates lead sporting charge on carbon emissions | Andrew Stafford

By Anne workforce / October 10, 2019

Exclusive: Pocock convinces Bernard Foley and Dane Haylett-Petty to join him in encouraging the sports industry to play a bigger role in sustainability

Wallabies flanker David Pocock, along with Rugby World Cup teammates Bernard Foley and Dane Haylett-Petty, have announced their partnership with a scheme that aims to compensate for the carbon emissions associated with travel.

Earlier this year, musician Heidi Lenffer, from Australian band Cloud Control, launched FEAT. (Future Energy Artists), an initiative that would allow Australian musicians to invest in a solar farm in south-east Queensland.

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Read more: theguardian.com

Green Star Energy won’t switch off fraudulent account

By Anne workforce / October 10, 2019

The firm’s slogan is ‘take back control’, but I can’t stop it sending debt collectors

I have had ongoing issues with Green Star Energy. When my bank detected fraudulent activity on my account, Green Star was one of the payees. My compromised bank account was refunded and closed, and my credit file updated. Green Star confirmed that a fraudulent email address had been used to set up an account in my name and promised to investigate, but in the year since then I have heard nothing except for letters threatening to send debt collectors.

I am 24 and have always lived with my parents who have been with Scottish Gas for 10 years. Green Star has, on numerous occasions, told me it can’t give me any information about the account as I can’t confirm the email address – which it has already told me is fraudulent.

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Read more: theguardian.com

Amager Resource Centre review – green energy goes off-piste

By Anne workforce / October 8, 2019

Bjarke Ingels’s splicing of power plant and ski slope confirms the Danish architect’s transition from enfant terrible to global brand

If you look out from the summit of Copenhagen’s new-made alp, you see a landscape of artifice – wind turbines, the bridge to Sweden, the sea canalised into old docks and harbours, the city itself, all set against a level horizon with which the thing on which you are standing is, at 85 metres high, in notable contrast. Around is ex-industry awaiting regeneration. Diggers are clawing at the bulky wreck of a nearby decommissioned waste-to-energy power station, its replacement being housed inside the aforesaid aluminium-clad and concrete-framed alp.

Below you a slice of replica Swiss meadow swoops steeply down, then veers left and out of sight. Its grass grows through a green plastic mesh, the brush-like finish of which gives the same coefficient of friction as snow. Which means you can ski down it, even when it’s verdant. Knobbly concrete tracks, for people who like running up and down mountains, wind through vegetation, with flues and extracts popping up here and there. An external climbing wall rises the full height of the main structure. A glass-walled lift, for those who like to take the easier route to the top, offers glimpses of mighty machines inside.

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Read more: theguardian.com

6 space-themed novelty items we totally forgot about

By Anne workforce / October 8, 2019

5115914061_19407be3e6_hFlickr Creative Commons/Brian

Space-themed novelty items were popular through the latter half of the 20th century and into the early 2000s. 
Some have been discontinued, but many, like Tang, Moon Boots, and freeze-dried foods, are still around today in limited form.
Here are a few of the space-themed items that once captured the national imagination — and our wallets.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

World Space Week is upon us.

In honor of the annual UN-backed holiday, which runs from October 4 to October 10 this year, Business Insider has compiled a list of some of the lesser known items brought to us by the great space race.  

Adults who grew up in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, during the heyday of the space race and NASA’s Space Shuttle program, are probably familiar with a bevy of space-themed products capitalizing on the national fervor around the US space program. 

From Moon Boots to dehydrated ice cream, these space-themed novelty items were once all the rage.

And though some have been discontinued, the memory of their absurdity lives on.

And who knows, perhaps they’ll be revamped and available once again to the public as the next great space race gears up in our time.

Here are six space-themed oddities you may have forgotten about.

1960s kids might remember snacking on Space Food Sticks.
Pillsbury

If you’re of the silent or baby-boomer generations, you might remember Space Food Sticks.

These caramel, chocolate, and peanut butter-flavored snacks had their origins in the space food cubes developed by the Pillsbury Company for a NASA mission in 1962. Space Food Sticks hit grocery store shelves in 1969, according to General Mills’ history of the product.

While they may not have the same branding anymore, in a sense, Space Food Sticks never went away. They live on in the form of now ubiquitous energy bars made by dozens of food manufacturers. The brand faded by the 1980s but was purchased and subsequently re-released in 2006 to science and space centers and novelty shops.

Tang drink mix is associated with 1960s space travel, even though it wasn’t actually designed for astronauts.
Flickr Creative Commons/Brian

Tang is probably the novelty product most associated with the space program, with many people thinking it was developed by or for NASA.

That’s actually a common misconception, according to the agency itself

The powdery drink mix was, however, forever immortalized when John Glenn took the drink on the Friendship 7 orbital spacecraft in 1962, and has been associated with the space program ever since  — even though Buzz Aldrin hated the stuff, according to NPR

Given the product’s notoriety, it might be hard to argue we’ve forgotten about it. Although, when was the last time anyone you knew tossed back a cold, refreshing Tang?  

Believe it or not, though, the drink lives on internationally, making $900 million annually for producer Mondelez International. It’s most popular in Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico, according to the company

Moon Boots captured the imaginations of avid skiers and snow bunnies in the late ’70s.
Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

Fashioned after the actual moon boots worn by Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon, the Moon Boot debuted in the early 1970s to capitalize off space-race fever. 

Developed by outdoors company Tecnica as aprés-ski footwear, Moon Boots came into vogue at the height of the Cold War, and have occasionally popped up again over the decades whenever a retrofuturist fashion trend resurfaces, according to The New York Times.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

An adorable photo shows 9 astronauts and cosmonauts hanging out in the International Space Station. Here’s why the orbiting lab was so crowded.The ocean on Saturn’s moon Enceladus contains the building blocks of life, NASA data reveals16 recently discovered exoplanets could offer our best chance of finding alien life outside the solar system

SEE ALSO: 9 of the biggest pivots in tech history, from Nintendo to Instagram

DON’T MISS: 14 animals that are surprisingly legal to own as pets in the US


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Google signs up to $2bn wind and solar investment

By Anne workforce / September 21, 2019

Tech giant’s push for greener energy prompts biggest renewable energy deal in corporate history

Google’s chief executive has revealed plans for the biggest renewable energy deal in corporate history.

Sundar Pichai said the clean energy deal will include 18 separate agreements to supply Google with electricity from wind and solar projects across the world.

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Read more: theguardian.com

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