The world’s biggest movie set?

You think of ghost towns as places that once were busy and full of citizens, only to be emptied out when whatever made them rich dried up. The city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, however, never achieved any commercial success, and is full of empty tower blocks and part finished public spaces. It is home to only 2% of its projected population.

Just think of the films you could shoot here. Something creepy with a not quite functional future vibe to it. Gattaca with a far East twist or one of the planets of Serenity.

Ford shot a commercial there, but it’s just begging for more screen time than that.

Spray bacteria on the desert to halt its spread – New Scientist

Planting hardy grasses helps keep sand in place, but the wind can still whip away particles between the grasses. So Chunxiang Hu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’s Institute of Hydrobiology in Wuhan has developed an alternative approach. She coats planted dunes with a mixture of photosynthesising cyanobacteria that can thrive in the semi-arid environment.

Grown in nearby ponds, the cyanobacteria are trucked into the desert every few days and sprayed over the dunes, where they form sticky filaments that hold soil particles in place and prevent them from being blown away. Cyanobacteria get their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis, and as part of the chemical reactions involved, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere and provide the organic matter the soil needs to be productive.

Spray bacteria on the desert to halt its spread – environment – 02 January 2014 – New Scientist.

Photovoltaic costs to drop sharply

The Worldwatch Institute estimates that the cost of photovoltaic cells may drop by as much as 40% in the next few years. One factor contributing to this is the increase of manufacturing of photovoltaics in China, such as the new facility announced by Suntech, a key supplier of building integrated solar products.

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Green China

Chin has the potential to be one of the countries worst hit by- as well as one of the prime causes of- global warming. So, thankfully, there is a growing Green awareness in the country, with solar water heaters popular in even the poorest areas and efforts to curb pollution before it kills too many rivers and destroys too much land. It can’t hurt the expanding economy that they’re moving more directly to efficient systems either.

via BoingBoing

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