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Personal flight possible

source: Top Tech Inventions Shaping 2011

Image source: Engadget

Martin Jetpack

Ask just about anybody (that doesn’t have a fear of heights) what superpower they wished they had- and I’ll bet the ability to fly would probably top the list. Personal flight will become possible thanks to the Martin Jetpack (which is not a jet or rocket-powered) and will sell for a hefty sum of $100,000.

The Jetpack, designed by Glenn Martin of New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft Company, uses a premium gasoline engine with 200-horsepower and two ducted fans to provide lift. It can reach a speed of 60 miles per hour, an altitude of 8,000 feet, and fly for about 30 minutes on a full fuel tank.

Unlike earlier devices called “jetpacks”, the Martin Jetpack is the first to be considered a practical device. Initially designed with the leisure market in mind, commercial demand for the Martin Jetpack has seen the research and development program focus on readying the product for use in a number of sectors including emergency response, defense and recreation, with numerous applications in each sector.

Watch this mega hunk of carbon-fiber in action:

Filed under: Information, Innovation, Inspiration, New Ideas, New Invention, , , ,

iPhone-Tech firms aim to keep wayward walkers on path

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Todd Atwood says he doesn’t worry too much about accidents when walking down the street using his iPhone to make calls, send text messages or check his e-mail.

But he’s seen the consequences of paying more attention to the gadget than what’s ahead.

“I saw someone walk right into a sign,” recalled the 32-year-old Silicon Valley resident. “She didn’t hurt herself but she was startled. She dropped her phone, then her friends starting laughing at her. It was funny but I guess it could’ve been more serious.”

While using a cell phone while driving has triggered the most alarm bells and prompted laws in several states, experts say, pedestrians are also suffering the consequences of mobile distraction — tripping on curbs, walking into traffic, even stepping into manholes as they chat or type while walking.

To help these sidewalk stumblers step out more safely, technology companies are now stepping in, creating applications that do everything from make a smartphone screen transparent to transform speech into text.

Whether the technologies will prevent injuries and embarrassment remains to be seen, they are being welcomed as a move in the right direction.

“I don’t think we’re going to eliminate people from walking into things outright and of course we want people to be responsible, but what we’re trying to do is eliminate the friction point … and give the user back a little mental bandwith,” said Travis Bogard, the executive director for product management and strategy at San Francisco-based Aliph, which makes bluetooth earpieces.

Aliph’s Jawbone earpiece incorporates voice-to-text technology which eliminates the need to glance down at the keypad to send an e-mail or text message. It also has caller ID that speaks to the wearer so he or she doesn’t have to pick up the phone to see who is calling and a function that allows wearers to call up their contacts using their voice rather than fingers.

“All of this gets rid of the need to touch your phone, which causes your eyes to move away from what’s in front of you,” Bogard said.

Other programs also on the market aim to make it easier to type while walking. They tap into a smartphone’s camera to beam an image of what’s in front of the user over the message screen so typers can see what’sahead. They include Text Vision, Type n Walk and Email ‘n Walk.

“See-through screens, yes, would solve part of the problem,” said Clifford Nass, a professor of communications at Stanford University and one of the authors of a study on multitasking. “But there’s still a second problem, which has to do with engagement of the brain.”

Same goes with voice-to-text technology, Nass said.

“It can help a little bit but the fundamental problem is that we’re stuck with brains that can’t do all that much when we’re doing other things,” he said.

Two years ago, the American College of Emergency Physicians issued an alert warning of the dangers of text messaging while walking, driving, biking and in-line skating based on anecdotal evidence from physicians.

Manhattan physician Mark Melrose said he’s seen his share of near-misses on the city’s busy sidewalks and heard of bad accidents.

“A personal friend almost walked right into a manhole while looking at her phone,” he said. “Another friend was actually run over by a bike messenger. She wasn’t paying attention, walked into the street and the bike messenger walloped her.”

An Ohio State University analysis found that for the past few years, the number of emergency room visits resulting from pedestrian cell phone accidents has doubled year-on-year. The study showed that in 2008, just over 1,000pedestrians visited emergency rooms for injuries like walking into a pole while texting or spraining an ankle after falling down while talking on a cell phone.

Jack Nasar, a professor of city and regional planning who supervised the study by his graduate student, Derek Troyer, said there were likely even more accidents that were never reported because people won’t admit that’s how they were injured or the injuries didn’t warrant a hospital visit.

“The bottom line is that you’re phased out, less aware when you’re looking at a phone,” he said.

Peter Loeb, an economist at Rutgers University who studied the effect of cell phones on pedestrian fatalities, said cell phones can actually keep people safer because they get ambulances to the scene faster.

But, his study also concluded that once a certain number of phones exist in the market, the benefit disappears.

“As more and more people use cell phones, the distraction effect is overwhelming,” Loeb said.

Exacerbating that is texting, which has grown exponentially in recent years. The wireless industry association CTIA reported that the number of text messages sent by its members’ customers increased from 32.6 billion in the first six months of 2005 to 740 billion in the first six months of 2009.

At least two states, New York and Illinois, have considered laws limiting the use of personal electronic devices by pedestrians but no bills have been passed.

Most lawmakers and experts agree that Big Brothering the sidewalks is impractical. They instead encourage public outreach and see promise in the technological innovations, including ones that don’t involve phones themselves, such as special crosswalk lights to grab walkers’ attention better.

“For pedestrians, it’s primarily themselves that they put at risk, not others, so that does separate this from driving,” said state Sen. Joe Simitian of Palo Alto, who sponsored California’s hands-free driving law. “At some point, however, we do have to accept personal responsibility.”

Read more via: http://www.ushour.com/tech-firms-aim-to-keep-wayward-walkers-on-path/

Filed under: Mobile Technology, New Ideas, New Invention, Technology,

Longevity Genes Found; Predict Chances of Reaching 100

By Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News


There’s still no way to predict whether you’ll live to be a hundred—but scientists are getting closer.

A newly discovered suite of 150 “long life” variants in about 70 genes allows scientists to guess, with 77 percent accuracy, whether a person can live into their late 90s or longer, a new study says.

(Get a genetics overview.)

These long-life gene variants, the authors speculate, may suppress genes associated with ailments often linked to aging, such as dementia and heart problems.

“This is just a genetic predisposition,” cautioned study leader Paola Sebastiani, a biostatistician at the Boston University School of Public Health. “It doesn’t mean that you’re going to live to be a hundred. Many things can happen in life.”

Naturally, lifestyle choices, environment, and plain good luck will always play major roles in determining life span—as they may have for the 23 percent of centenarian test subjects found to lack the telltale gene variants.

Maybe this minority “lived long simply because they had some tricks and avoided risk factors,” Sebastiani said. “Perhaps they didn’t smoke, didn’t eat much red meat, or just lived healthier lives.”

Billed as the world’s largest scientific study of centenarians and their families, the New England Centenarians Study has collected data on more than a thousand Caucasian centenarians since 1995. Further studies will extend the research to other ethnicities, beginning in Japan, home to an inordinate number of centenarians.

In industrialized countries only about 1 in every 6,000 people will reach a hundred years of age. Just one in every seven million becomes a “supercentenarian,” reaching 110. Eighty-five percent of all centenarians are women.

(Pictures: “The Secrets of Longevity.”)

From Centenarian Genes to Personal Fountains of Youth?

The new discovery, which the authors call a first step, may lead to people being able to learn in advance how long their bodies are predisposed to last.

Also, further studies of the 150 gene variants could yield advances toward personalized genomics and predictive medicine—particularly in regard to age-related ailments, the study team said.

The research has already revealed one surprise in this respect.

It’s long been known that exceptional longevity runs in families, so many researchers have supposed that the long-lived might be lacking gene variants associated with age-related diseases.

But the new data show that centenarians have just as many of the disease-associated variants as other people. That means the longevity-related variants may somehow cancel or trump the variants associated with such ailments, according to the new study, to be published Friday in the journal Science.

However they do it, the centenarian gene variants generally appear to hold off disability and disease until the last years of lifes. Ninety percent of people who live to be a hundred remain disability free until about age 93, the researchers said.

(Also see “Yeast Life Extended Ten Times; Offers Hope for Humans.”)

Longevity: More Than Just Genetics

Demographer Dan Buettner has spent years studying the world’s longest-lived people and the places where they live, which he’s dubbed blue zones. (Preview Buettner’s article “The Secrets of Long Life.”)

Buettner praised the new research and said it’s long been known that people who reach a hundred not only live well but also have won the “genetic lottery.”

“But genes and environment are inextricably interwoven,” he said.

For example, environmental factors such as food, water, and air quality can shift rapidly, meaning the set of genes that helped today’s centenarians live longer might not have the same benefit to babies born this year, said Buettner, a grantee of the National Geographic Society’s Expeditions Council. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)

(Related: Buettner on the longevity lessons of a small Mediterranean island.)

Buettner believes genetic interventions could someday help slow the aging process—but that remains far in the future, he said. For now each of us must live with the genes we’ve been dealt, which means those hoping to live longer should look at their lifestyles.

“What we know now is that the average American could probably add about ten years of life expectancy and slow the biological clock,” he said.

Eating better, and less, is a big part of the equation, he added. Other aspects are physical activity and mental focus—Buettner believes that people with a strong sense of purpose in their lives can live about seven years longer than those who don’t have one.

“To take advantage of any possible future genetic interventions,” Buettner said, “your best strategy right now is to optimize your lifestyle.”


Read more via: http://preview.tinyurl.com/33bu3vr

Filed under: Health Tips, Healthy Living, Inspiration, New Ideas, Travel and Lifestyle,

Preparing for iPhone 4 launch day

NEW YORK–Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a guest appearance at a press conference here Wednesday where Google, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless unveiled the new version of the popular Android Droid smartphone.

Schmidt took the stage first and touted the importance of the smartphone category.

It’s that time of year again when throngs of people line up, sometimes days in advance, for the latest and greatest version of the Apple iPhone.

Thursday is the official release date for the iPhone 4. And from the looks of things, this year could be the biggest of all iPhone launches.

AT&T says that demand for the iPhone 4 is 10 times what it was for the iPhone 3GS. And Apple says it took 600,000 preorders for the new phone through its sales channels.

The iPhone 4 goes on sale Thursday, though the white version won't be available.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET )

The iPhone 4 goes on sale Thursday, though the white version won’t be available at first.

If history is any indication of what to expect, initial sales of the iPhone 4 are likely be a doozy. Apple sold more than 1 million iPhone 3GS smartphones the first three days it was on sale. The original iPhone sold about 270,000 units during its first weekend in June 2007, while the iPhone 3G sold around 1 million when it launched in July 2008.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the iPhone 4, which is the fourth generation of iPhone, the “biggest leap since the original iPhone” was launched in 2007. With a new homegrown processor like the one used in the iPad, a bigger battery, a 5-megapixel camera that can record video in high definition, and a new FaceTime video chat application, the iPhone 4 is expected to be a hotter device than all previous iPhones.

Unfortunately, for customers waiting to get their hands on the new phone, there are already signs that supply may not keep up with demand. On Tuesday, AT&T announced that only preordered iPhone 4s will be in stock in its retail stores Thursday. Anyone looking to buy an iPhone 4 at an AT&T store without having preordered the device will have to wait until June 29.

AT&T’s preordering system also crashed over and over on June 15, the day the iPhone 4 was made available for preorder. Potential customers attempting to buy the phone saw error messages as they tried to process their orders.

So what is an expectant iPhone 4 user to do? Check out this FAQ to get a better handle on what will be happening on launch day. For updated information from AT&T, the company suggests checking out its Facebook page.

by Marguerite Reardon and Erica Ogg

Read more via: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20008509-266.html?tag=mncol

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, Technology,

Motorola Droid X unveiled, ‘made for video’

Attendees to Wednesday’s New York press conference get a rundown of the new Droid X’s features.

(Credit: Bonnie Cha/CNET)


Motorola Droid X

“This is not a toy or app engine,” he said. “It is a powerful kind of operating system. What is happening now is that people are thinking mobile first instead of desktop first.”

He cited the importance of a robust wireless network, as well as hardware with fast processors and big screens. But Schmidt said Wednesday’s event is notable not just for the announcement of the new Droid, but for the emergence of the entire category of device.

Indeed, the new Droid X epitomizes this. The newest version of the Google Androidphone made by Motorola offers an HDMI output, a 4.3-inch display, and 720p video capture. The device also comes with faster processors that will offer faster Web browsing. And it has an 8-megapixel high-definition camera.

John Stratton, executive vice president of Verizon Wireless, said the device is made for video. And there will be new apps designed to take advantage of these features, including a deal with Blockbuster to provide movies for purchase or rent.

The Droid X will cost $199.99 after a $100 rebate and will go on sale starting July 15. Unlike AT&T, which has switched to tiered pricing for its iPhone, Verizon said it will keep its unlimited mobile data plan for smartphones, which costs $30 a month.

The new Droid X also offers Wi-Fi hot spot capability, which allows users to connect up to five additional Wi-Fi devices to the Verizon 3G network. This feature will cost $20 extra a month for 2GB of data for the month. If users exceed the 2GB, they will pay 5 cents per megabyte.

Verizon is altering its upgrade policy to sweeten the deal for current customers looking to upgrade to the Droid. It will allow any Verizon Wireless customer whose contract expires in 2010 to upgrade to the Droid when it comes out on July 15.


Executives at Droid X kickoff

Google CEO Eric Schmidt joins executives from Adobe, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless onstage at the kickoff for the new Droid X. From left to right: Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe; Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Google; Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola; and John Stratton, executive vice president of Verizon Wireless.

(Credit: Marguerite Reardon/CNET)


By Marguerite Reardon

Via: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20008606-266.html?tag=nl.e498

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, Technology, ,

Smart Clothes may Save your Life

Printed sensors on the elastic band of your underwear could monitor your sweat through chemical-sensing electrodes, and diagnose changes in your health.

Why put them in underwear? The elastic gives the best contact with the skin.

They could even trigger the release of drugs. For example, if an accident victim went into shock, the sensors could be programmed to administer a pre-determined treatment.

By http://www.ideaconnection.com

via: http://www.ideaconnection.com/new-inventions/smart-clothes-may-save-your-life-03693.html

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, , , ,

Phones running hot after radiation warnings

LOS ANGELES: San Francisco is set to require mobile phone makers to warn customers that the gadgets are bathing them in radiation.

The city’s Board of Supervisors has approved the unprecedented law in a 10-to-1 vote, and it is expected to be signed by the mayor, Gavin Newsom, who has endorsed the measure.

The law requires makers of mobile phones to display in stores details of the levels of radiation emitted by different handsets in the same way that restaurants show the number of calories in food and drinks.Failure to comply will incur a $US300 ($347) fine.

In particular, shoppers must be shown estimates of how much of the radio wave radiation from each mobile phone model is absorbed into the body of the person using it.

If signed by Mr Newsom, the law would take effect early next year and be the first of its kind in the US.

San Francisco, one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the US, was also the first big city in the country to ban plastic bags in supermarkets.

Sophie Maxwell, the local politician who introduced the mobile phone law, said it was intended to ”help people make informed choices”.

But opponents within the mobile phone industry said it would mislead customers into believing some mobile phones are safer than others.

They argue that safety is already ensured by the regulator, the Federal Communications Commission, which imposes a maximum specific absorption rate of 1.6 watts a kilogram on all phones sold in the US.

The debate over the health dangers of mobile phones remains unresolved.

A $US24 million United Nations study released last month was considered inconclusive. Its authors said because cancers can take decades to develop there was no way to estimate the risk.

Agence France-Presse; Telegraph, London

Via: http://www.smh.com.au/world/phones-running-hot-after-radiation-warnings-20100617-yjt3.html

Filed under: Mobile Technology, New Ideas,

Airborne Wind Turbines?


Yes, the day is not far off when reaching for sky is the new motto for generating cost-effective renewable energy. Initially it was considered to be technically non-viable to tap high-altitude winds. But today, technically-advanced materials and innovative computer know-how are giving new life to this scheme with innovative autonomous aerial structures using wind energy to generate power.

Joby Energy, Inc. model:
Joby Energy Inc., exploring wind turbine technology, has developed a computer-controlled multi-winged kite-like structure which floats around 2000ft height for generating power. Mr Bevirt is the inventor of this aerial kite. The DC power generated is transferred to ground through tether to a ground station to be converted to AC power ready for consumption via a power grid.

Advantages of high altitude wind turbines:
Extolling the virtues of these autonomous aerial power generators, Mr. Bevirt said, “Operating at five times the height of a conventional turbine increases both wind speed and consistency resulting in more power, more often.” Professor William Moomaw, Director,
Centre for International Environment and Resource Policy at Tufts University, Massachusetts, agreed, “The higher speeds at the greater altitudes should produce significantly more electricity.”

Mega source up above:
Actually statistics is strongly in favor of these air-borne wind turbines because globally tropospheric winds carry nearly carry potential to produce 870 terawatts of energy whereas our total demand put together is only 17 terawatts. Along with Joby Energy Inc., other companies like Kitegen focusing on power kites, Magenn Power’s Air Rotor System called (MARS) with a helium filled blimp design and Sky WindPower with flying electric generators are trying to tap this mega source to produce clean and cost effective power.

Tread with care:
US Federal Aviation Administration has asked the flying altitudes restricted to 2000 ft or less in spite of the potential to reach heights up to 35,000. Also Professor Mick Womersely, Director of Sustainability, Unity College, Maine, expressed the obvious concerns about possible hazards and reliability of these prototypes.

Reassurance about safety:
Mr. Bevrit confirmed about the safety measures like ability to ground the turbines in gale-force-type winds, multiple motor designs to circumvent motor failure and on-board stand-by batteries to land the system in case of tether malfunction. He assured that road-testing in sparsely-populated areas with good strong wind is being planned and all safety measures will be paid attention to.

Joby Energy’s aim:
Joby Energy aims to create enough systems to power 150 homes (about 300kW) and move on to larger systems producing 3MW or more. In Mr. Bevirt’s words, “Our goal is to deploy airborne wind turbines globally to produce cheap, consistent, and abundant electricity for a prosperous planet.”

By: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY NEWS

Source:  http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/airborne-wind-turbines/

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, Technology

Car Converts to a Bedroom, Office and Gym

SAIC’s SheLL concept is exploring what else can be  done with an automobile to make it more useful when  you’re not driving it, and what other roles it can fulfil  when it is parked.



The vehicle is not only an automobile, it also transforms into a bedroom, office and gymnasium. As we said, this is a concept from far-left-field

The SheLL concept also explores new materials and how they can be used to reconfigure spaces. Inspired by folding fans and paper lanterns, SAIC has applied elastic membrane technology to the vehicle’s bodywork, so that the Shell is elastically adjustable and capable of adapting itself to various applications and meeting different user requirements.

The SheLL will also connect seamlessly to buildings and public facilities by way of what is expected to become a standard interface for vehicles – a docking station so it can supplement the home or office with another working or living space.


Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention,

Brain Vacuum Reverses Stroke Damage

A new tool developed by researchers, the Penumbra  System of Continuous Aspiration Thrombectomy,  vacuums out clots from blood vessels in the brain, and  can reverse the effects of stroke if used within in a few  hours of the incident.

The process involves threading a tiny catheter into a blood vessel up from the groin to the neck, at which point an even smaller catheter emerges and goes up into the brain.

The procedure only works on victims of massive strokes, so patients must receive a CT scan as soon as possible.

Source : http://www.ideaconnection.com/new-inventions/brain-vacuum-reverses-stroke-damage-03661.html

Filed under: New Ideas, New Invention, Research, Scientific Study,

Mira EV Travels 1000km on Single Charge


Mira EV has created a world record with completing 1000 km run on a single battery charge non-stop, powered by Sanyo’s lithium-ion battery systems. This experiment took place on the world’s longest race course in Japan, in Shimotsuma. Organized by Japan Electric Vehicle Club, this long marathon driving was accomplished by a relay team of 17 auto-racers from a training school in Ibraki, Japan.

Restrictions triumphed:
Electric vehicles have long been handicapped for long-distance travel by the limited battery power. But now Sanyo’s lithium-ion battery technology has made it possible for Mira EV to travel 1003.184 km without a recharge. Traveling for 27.5 hours, at 40 mph average speed, from May 22 to May 23, 2010, the trail run by Mira EV was powered by putting together 8320 cylindrical lithium-ion 18650-type batteries.

Beating own record:
Fame is nothing new to Mira EV. It had already once run for 555.6 km nonstop without recharging last November. This was acclaimed as world record in April. But now in May, beating its own record, almost doubling it, Mira EV has created a feat worthy enough to be recorded in Guinness World Record now, by traveling 1000 km on a single charge.

Sanyo strong on its mission:
Sanyo will continue with its work on lithium-ion battery. With Mira EV’s triumph, the future of electrical cars looks very bright. And Sanyo is still going strong on its mission of making a ‘low-carbon society’ possible and help in making zero-emission cars a reality.

Visit link: http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/mira-ev-1000km/

Filed under: New Ideas, New Invention, , ,

Sorsogon State College-studes find diode effective power saving device

by M Moraleda and D Deri/SSC/PIA Sorsogon

Sorsogon City (11 June) — In the light of crafting ways to minimize electric power consumption, the fifth year electrical engineering students of the Sorsogon State College here, have finished a research study on Light Emitting Diode (LED) as an alternative electronic component in designing a lighting device.

The design proposed by Zendy Dematera, Dyronne P. Ajas, Gissell C. Dogillo and Rusan James Freo was adjudged best among the six competing groups and was given credit by the SSC in its recognition ceremony last March.

Engr. Joselito S. Orticio, who handles the students, said that the study was one of the requisites in their subject as well seminars and field trips where the students were exposed to.

“The research is only limited to the utilization of white LED which can possibly be an efficient source to replace the usual lighting system for domestic use,” said Orticio.

The four researchers, after conducting the study, found out that it is possible to create a LED light bulb which can be directly connected to a 230V/.AC.

It was also proven to be energy-saving due to its low power consumption, producing a light output of 120.6 lumens and a power of 1.2 watts.

“It is also advantageous because its materials are more durable compared to the typical compact fluorescent lamps and bulbs which have fragile components. Furthermore, though costly, it has a longer lifespan and contains no mercury unlike other usual bulb designs,” said the researchers.

Since it has poor illumination, they recommended the use of an efficient reflector that will suit the design of the bulb. “It is also imperative to utilized high-powered LED to make it a more effective lighting device,” they also said. (SSC/PIA Sorsogon) [top]

Filed under: Campus Talk, Natatanging Sorsoganon, New Ideas, New Invention, People who inspired Us, Research, We will make you SHINE!, What's Happening Here?, Youth,

Marine sponge drug extends breast cancer survival

CHICAGO (AFP) – – A new agent derived from a marine sponge can extend the survival rates of women with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer who already received extensive standard therapy, a new study unveiled Sunday found.

The synthetic component called eribulin mesylate mimics a component found naturally in sponges and can prevent cell division, which causes cells to self-destruct, said study authors who presented their findings at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.

In a randomized international trial, British researchers assessed the survival rates of 762 patients, treated either with eribulin or another therapy, almost always chemotherapy, and found the new therapy extended median overall survival by about 2.5 months.

“Until now, there hasn’t been a standard treatment for women with such advanced breast cancer. For those who have already received all of the recognized treatments, these are promising results,” said lead study author Christopher Twelves.

“These findings may establish eribulin as a new, effective option for women with heavily pre-treated metastatic breast cancer,” said Twelves, head of the Clinical Cancer Research Groups at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine in Britain.

Filed under: Health Tips, Medicine, New Ideas,

Domestic Transformer

Guys, here’s another amazing show of design by Gary Chang,  an architect from Hongkong who decided to design a 344 sq. ft. apartment to be able to change it into 24 different rooms. This video clip will show you his brilliant design that will features the futuristic sliding panels and walls system to maximize the limited space of an expensive apartment. Which he called it as “Domestic Transformer.”

 

Video Credit: PlanetGreenTV

Filed under: Green Living, Home Living, New Ideas

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