Unbound: No 46 – Sustainability Edition ☀️ 

 March 28, 2021

By  Barbara

Minute Read

It’s almost impossible to visualize a quintillion. Written out, it looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Perhaps it’s best to think of it as one billion billion.

In February, the Canadian Bitcoin mining company Bitfarms announced that its five warehouses of mining computers crossed the landmark of collectively making one quintillion Bitcoin verification calculations per second.

In the business, that is known as one “exahash” per second.

In cryptocurrency mining, the miner who is first to find the next elusive “hash” number is currently rewarded with 6.25 Bitcoins.

The hash system forms the backbone of blockchain technology, the system on which Bitcoin is built.

4 Min Read →

In 2020, Rob Davis got Jordan Macknick hooked on the idea of a LEGO solar farm.

Davis is the director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy at Minnesota-based Fresh Energy. Macknick is a senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Together, they co-chair the research and outreach committee for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovative Site Preparation and Impact Reductions on the Environment (InSPIRE) project.

The InSPIRE project has 30 solar farms across the country that serve as research sites on how low-impact solar development can improve soil health, retain water, nurture native species, produce food, and provide even-lower-cost energy to the community.

Both fathers to kids who love LEGOs, Davis and Macknick thought a solar farm kit was the perfect way to educate about low-impact solar. “Solar has primarily been pictured as a standalone system,” Macknick said. “But energy, water, and food are basic and interconnected necessities of life. Solar farms can be designed to mutually benefit these systems. Our LEGO solar farm design can help visualize this different way of thinking for kids and adults.”

3 min read →

Stylists are great for when you’re deeply confused.

When I moved to New York in 2009, I had 11 southern sundresses, lots of flip-flops, and no clue. I needed a crash course, and I figured the money I spent on a professional would pay me back many times over just by steering me clear of poor experimental purchases. I found a stylist on Craigslist, a tall, thin woman in her late twenties who was (as you would expect) infinitely cooler than me and who could barely hide her disdain for my naive earnestness. No matter, I wasn’t paying her to be my friend; I was paying her to be honest.

Which she was. In addition to telling me which items really needed to go, we went on a shopping trip together to fill in the holes in my wardrobe. I still have a navy and camel striped skirt from Top Shop she picked out for me. She really did nail a timeless version of my style (even though at the time I was already suspicious of Top Shop, a hunch that proved to be depressingly correct this year during the pandemic.)

3 min read →

⭐️ NASA - Best Photo from Last Week

Exploring the Earth's Water
Last Updated: Mar 22, 2021, Editor:  Yvette Smith

NASA has investigated humanity's impact on a number of our home planet's natural resources and recently explored our impact on freshwater resources. Scientists have now completed the first global accounting of fluctuating water levels in Earth’s lakes and reservoirs – including ones previously too small to measure from space. 

The research, published March 3 in the journal Nature, relied on NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2), launched in September 2018. 

ICESat-2 sends 10,000 laser light pulses every second down to Earth. When reflected back to the satellite, those pulses deliver high-precision surface height measurements every 28 inches (70 centimeters) along the satellite’s orbit. With these trillions of data points, scientists can distinguish more features of Earth’s surface, like small lakes and ponds, and track them over time.

This image is of Lake Mead, which was formed by the creation of the Hoover Dam and lies on the Colorado River just south of Las Vegas. 


Learn more about NASA research on our planet's most valuable resource.

Image Credit: National Park Service

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About the author 


An award-winning CTO and VC Fund Manager helping entrepreneurs and investors understand emerging technology.

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