The interesting Spanish company ABEGNOA has, apparently, a research department doing investigations into the use of Nanoparticles in new materials.
There are of course difficulties working on the nano scale and also following the effects and changes, but the rewards are incredible. In Spanish.

Invasion of the MassDots

A little Starwars related satire on highway expansion near Boston



Walmart probably has more market and supply chain transformation potential than the USGBC. It’s worth paying attention to the “sustainability” and green marketing decisions they make.

Originally posted on Environmental News Bits:

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In Marc Gunther’s recent article about Walmart and its efforts to make toy production more sustainable, he calls the Walmart supplier Sustainability Index “the biggest environmental initiative in the company’s history,” and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) agrees. He also questions whether “Walmart is taking this too far””and “how the world’s largest retailer is exercising its market power.”

With a 25-year track record challenging companies to make decisions that are good for the environment and the economy, we at EDF are used to asking such tough questions.

That’s precisely why we have an EDF office based in Bentonville, Ark., dedicated solely to working together with Walmart to advance sustainability. Because we don’t take money from the company, we can push hard to achieve the kinds of transformational change of which it is capable.

When it comes to the Sustainability Index, we’re on board. And here’s…

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March 31, 2013


Behavior change could be THE sustainability issue…

Originally posted on Environmental News Bits:

Call for Abstracts: Due end of Monday, April 15th, 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time.
Submit online

Selection criteria
The Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC) Conference brings together a range of academics, practitioners, and policy-makers from a variety of fields engaged in energy and climate efforts to provide the latest and most relevant behavioral research, best practices, and methodologies.

The BECC 2013 Organizing Committee is seeking abstract submissions from a wide variety of disciplines and sectors, including, but not limited to:


  • applied anthropology
  • social psychology
  • behavioral economics
  • organizational behavior
  • political science
  • communications
  • cognitive sciences.

Sectors / Issue Areas:

  • buildings (residential and commercial)
  • technology design and usage
  • transportation
  • urban design
  • sustainable consumption (e.g., food, water, and waste).

Abstracts should be no more than 500 words in length and offer new research findings and/or documented examples of behavior change pilots, programs, or trials.

Abstracts should not be a discussion topic…

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Why different agencies create mixed bag of resources, and it’s hard to follow…Better Coordination among Federal Programs Needed to Allocate Testing Resources

Originally posted on Environmental News Bits:

Energy Efficiency: Better Coordination among Federal Programs Needed to Allocate Testing Resources. GAO-13-135, March 28.
Highlights -

Wind Energy: Additional Actions Could Help Ensure Effective Use of Federal Financial Support. GAO-13-136, March 11.
Highlights -

Manufactured Homes: State-Based Replacement Programs May Provide Benefits, but Energy Savings Do Not Fully Offset Costs. GAO-13-373, March 28.
Highlights -

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January 31, 2013

Originally posted on Environmental News Bits:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Register at

This webinar will detail the Energy Literacy Framework, which identifies concepts every citizen should know to be energy literate.  With this document, Department of Energy (DOE) aims to empower energy educators to apply an interdisciplinary, systems-based approach to teaching the physical, natural and social sciences necessary for a comprehensive understanding of energy. The Energy Literacy Framework was developed through a series of workshops and an extensive review and comment process involving the 13 federal partner agencies which make up the U.S. Global Change Research Program and many other education partners. With the Energy Literacy Framework complete and in print, work continues involving education partners to advance energy education with audiences from K-Gray.  Learn more about the Energy Literacy Framework ( and energy education resources now available.

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2013 Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop
Telluride, Colorado, June 30 -July 20, 2013
We are now accepting proposals for Topic Areas in the 2013 Telluride Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop. We support topics and projects in neuromorphic cognition, particularly those that involve solving challenging ‘everyday’ tasks that incorporate domain-specific knowledge, exploration, prediction, and problem solving. In particular, we are interested in projects that hold promise for addressing Grand Challenge types of problems that do not have strong solutions of any form, neuromorphic or not. These Challenge problems should feature long-duration sensorimotor problems that involve autonomous cognitive decision making. Examples might include tasks such as learning a new language, navigating through an unknown environment to locate an object or reach a desired location, adaptively manipulating unknown or complex objects in the service of a task, playing a game requiring inference of hidden information or long-term planning and learning, etc. Proposals related to hardware technologies that aim to bring these capabilities to reality are also encouraged. Topic proposals that aim to solve a particular problem using the multidisciplinary experience of participants will be favored over topics that simply gather a large number of people working within a discipline, or using a single technology, or approach.
Topic areas for this summer’s Telluride Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop will be chosen from proposals submitted to the organizers.
Important: Due to the nature of our NSF grant (primary funding source), two topic areas are already established: “Interpreting actions of manipulation” and “Human-robot cooperation in the identification of speakers and exploration of space”. We will also have a “Future hardware technologies” tutorial/projects group.
Topic areas can span a large field; we are looking for leadership in planning activities and inviting good people in a field. Although past topic areas have tended to be very broad and discipline-oriented (e.g., cognition, audition, vision, robotics, neural interfacing, neuromorphic VLSI, etc.), application-oriented topic areas (e.g., sensor fusion, game-playing robot, object recognition, sound localization, human robot interaction, etc.) are especially desirable.
Topic area leaders will receive housing for themselves and their invitees, and limited travel funds. Topic area leaders will help to define the field of neuromorphic cognition engineering through the projects they pursue and the people they invite. They shape their topic by inviting speakers and project leaders (the invitees) and by initiating topic area project discussions prior to the workshop.
Teams of two organizers are required. One of the organizers should be an attendee of a previous Telluride Workshop (in any capacity) and has stayed at the Workshop for at least one week.
Pre-workshop topic area choices and study assignments.
Before the workshop begins, each topic area will be required to prepare and distribute study materials that constitute: 1) an introductory presentation (e.g., pptx, video, review paper) of the fundamental knowledge associated with the topic area that everyone at the workshop should be exposed to, and 2) a few critical papers that the participants in the topic area should read before the workshop. The topic area should 3) begin a serious group discussion of the projects (e.g., via Facebook, Skype, email, etc).
The maximum 2-page proposals should include:
1. Title of topic area.
2. Names of the two topic leaders, their affiliations, and contact information (email
3. A paragraph explaining the focus and goals of the topic area.
4. A list of possible specific topic area projects.
5. A list of example invitees (up to six names and institutions). No commitments necessary.
6. Any other material that fits within the two-page limit that will help us make a smart
Send your topic area proposal in pdf or text format to with subject line containing “topic area proposal”.
Proposals must be received by January 16, 2013; proposals received after the deadline may still be considered if space is available.
Resources limit the workshop to roughly 2 additional topic areas, each with 5 invitees. If your proposal for the topic area is not accepted, we will work with you to see if there is a natural way to include your ideas (and you) into the accepted topic areas. We hope to have significant turn-over each year in the topic areas and leaders to ensure fresh new ideas and participants.
See the Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering ( for background information on the workshop and for past workshop wikis.
We look forward to your topic proposals!
Deadline: January 16, 2013
The Workshop Directors:Cornelia Fermüller (University of Maryland), Ralph Etienne-Cummings (Johns Hopkins Univ.) Shih-Chii Liu (University of Zurich and ETH Zurich), Timmer Horiuchi (University of Maryland)


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