The US and China Start Getting Serious About Climate Change

You know climate change is no longer undeniable when the two biggest polluters of the world finally agree start getting serious about it.


Earlier this week the US and China issued a joint presidential statement regarding their action plan on climate change.  It’s a reaffirmation of the historic Joint Announcement on Climate Change which they agreed on November of last year.  Since then the two nations have been busy taking key steps in achieving their united goal.

Death to the smokestack. (Image from

Death to the smokestack.
(Image from

This here is a very significant pledge for three important reasons.

For one, it will set the tempo for the upcoming UN Paris talks happening this November.  For years, developing nations have been waiting on the two giant nations to make the big move, something that never happened in UN talks of years past.  If any clear commitment was going to be made, it should naturally come from the very nations who contribute to climate change the most.

For another, this commitment is necessary to reach …

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Sex Robots and the Brave New World of Desire

Sex robots are upon us.  They’re, well… excuse the pun, coming.

Already one company, TrueCompanion, has spent roughly a million dollars on the development of Roxxxy, a life-sized interactive sex robot.  Thus far, regular sex dolls in the market have only been mere playthings, with idealized bodily proportions and always accessible orifices.  These sex dolls are essentially lifeless objects, alive only in the user’s imagination, becoming inert once more after they’ve been used.

The perfectly agreeable and idealized Roxxxy at your service.

The perfectly agreeable and idealized Roxxxy at your service. (Image from

But not Roxxxy.  Imbued with artificial intelligence, Roxxxy is, as her slogan claims, “always turned on and ready to talk or play.”  In this way, she transcends her role as a mere sex doll, she now has the potential to become—true to her company’s name—a True Companion.  That’s very possible considering the rate at which AI technology proceeds.  Just this week, a computer called Giraffe, taught itself how to play chess and became master in it in just three days.  True, Siri and Cortana may be lightyears away from the wonderfully aware and shrewd OS that is Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) in the film Her (2013), but who knows what new heights of awareness those two will reach in the next few decades, or even a couple of years?

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3-D Printer for Glass Unveiled.  Here’s to Smarter Glass Façades for Green Buildings 

Last August, the MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter Group headed by Neri Oxman, in partnership with the MIT Glass Lab and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, unveiled a fascinating novel way to 3D print glass previously not possible.

Yes, glass—that awesome material which inspires ephemerality and mysticism, fragility and elegance—can now be 3-D printed.

Oxman and her team uses a platform called G3DP, which can print optically transparent glass to such geometric precision that they influence the play of light passing through.  G3DP uses two heated chambers for this purpose: the upper chamber is a kiln that heats glass to more than 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lower chamber is where glass continues to be heated and then cooled down, a process called “annealing.”  Then the syrupy glass is oozed out of an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle that moves around accordingly.  We’ve seen concrete being piped out to 3-D print walls and other structures,…

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Why the Proposed LEED for Existing Multifamily Buildings Makes Sense

In the past, the challenge was to maximize the tiny cramped space of condo units making it modernly and elegantly minimal yet fully livable. That’s all been done. The new challenge is to make them sustainable every square feet that matters.


It’s voting time (August 11-Sept 11) for USGBC’s (U.S. Green Building Council) proposed rating system, unveiled last April. It’s a new suite of ratings call LEED v4 O+M: Multifamily.

High-rise condominiums in land-strapped Singapore (Image from Wikipedia)

High-rise condominiums in land-strapped Singapore (Image from Wikipedia)

Early on when LEED v4 was launched, new categories of projects—such as data centers, schools, warehouses, and hospitality—were made eligible, each tailored with their own set of guidelines …

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Why LEED v4 Is Good for Green Hotels

Back when BEE was still working on naked Stables, it was still LEED 2009.  Targeting a LEED platinum certification, the resort merged 5-star luxury hospitality with pure honest-to-goodness sustainability.

It wasn’t until 2013, with the launch of LEED v4, that the hospitality sector (among other new markets such as data centers, warehouses and distribution centers, schools) would have its own distinct set of green building standards.  And since then, hotels have had a new humbling goal to aspire to, to set themselves apart from the competition.  Luxury hotels that gracefully include sustainability in their bottom line mean serious business especially for eco-conscious clients.

Set amid lush forests, the peaceful retreat that is naked Stables.

Set amid lush forests, the peaceful retreat that is naked Stables.

LEED v4’s Impact on Green Hotels

Thanks to LEED, USGBC’s

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