Touring a Green Building

Touring a Green Building

emerging technologies, energy, environment, Uncategorized
This afternoon, I joined the Earth Ethics Committee of the Washington Ethical Society and friends for a tour of the Camille Kendall Academic Center of the Universities at Shady Grove (Rockville, MD). When this building received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, it was the largest building ever to receive this designation. The building is one of three main academic buildings on this suburban campus, which serves as a branch location for nine Maryland universities. Students at USG specialize in one of several career-oriented programs geared toward meeting the needs of regional businesses. One of the first things you notice as you enter is the terrazzo glass flooring, made from blue and green recycled glass and concrete. Just off the lobby is a cafe. The catering…
Read More
Where Do We Go From Here?

Where Do We Go From Here?

emerging technologies, legal issues, public perceptions
Last in a three-part series on unmanned vehicles (see Part 1 and Part 2) At present, unmanned aerial vehicles — "drones" in popular parlance — are used for military surveillance and strikes, civilian environmental and wildlife monitoring, and scientific research purposes. Private citizens use remotely operated toy airplanes and helicopters for entertainment, and sometimes to spy on their neighbors. ("So This Is How It Begins: Guy Refuses to Stop Drone-Spying on Seattle Woman" by Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic, May 13, 2013) "What we don't have now is tabloid paparazzi drones chasing celebrities, pizza delivery drones enticing packs of dogs Pied Piper-like down the street, or advertising drones cluttering the night sky. This could change after September 2015, the deadline is given in the 2012 FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Modernization…
Read More
What Is a Drone?

What Is a Drone?

conference report, emerging technologies, explorations, research enterprise
Second posting in a three-part series (see previous post) Recent news stories have familiarized us with military drones bearing names like Predator and Reaper. Popular television shows feature tiny spy drones, conjuring images of CIA black ops. You could be forgiven for assuming that drones are a new and pernicious misuse of government power. But what are drones, really, and how are they being used? The word "drone" is a popular term for any one of several types of unmanned vehicles that fly, swim, or travel over land. Most drones have some type of human guidance, whether it's a kid at the other end of the kite string or a soldier or sailor sitting at a control panel hundreds of miles away. The variety of functions and capabilities is reflected…
Read More
Don’t Drone Me, Bro

Don’t Drone Me, Bro

conference report, emerging technologies, public perceptions
by Nancy McGuire (wordchemist.com) (Washington, DC) A quick news search on the word "drone" pulls up associated words including "strike", "attack", "secrecy", and "protest". Polls and surveys indicate that the word "drone" triggers an anxious response, based on military-heavy news coverage and fears of the various things that drones have come to symbolize. Often, these responses are based on factors not specific to the drones themselves — government intrusion, loss of privacy, and the possibility of attack. These points surfaced throughout the day during "The Drone Next Door", a May 7, 2013, event hosted by Future Tense. Speakers and panels including journalists, legislators, academics, think tank fellows, representatives from industry and advocacy organizations, law enforcement officers, and scientific researchers discussed all things drone-related: what are they used for now, how…
Read More