The Chukudu Is a Small Ride That’s a Big Wheel in Congo

Despite its odd appearance, a chukudu goes amazingly fast and can carry heavy loads; an owner can earn up to $10 a day — a huge amount for the Congolese — transporting a variety of goods. And more than that, it can help liberate the women of this region from some of the backbreaking work they face every day. Imagine if the chukudu and international aid organizations worked together to help move Congolese women along the road toward embracing their rights.

Photos: Abby Ross

(via African Digital Art)

In our ongoing conversation about the future of energy, we’ve been sharing some great stories from energy disruptors that we captured on the ground at ARPA-E’s Energy Innovation Summit.

Here is today’s quick take: Michael Lynch, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of  OPX Biotechnologies, explains how researchers will develop and optimize a unique, engineered microorganism that produces a biodiesel equivalent fuel from renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide, at costs of less than $2.50 per gallon. Water will be the primary byproduct. The project will draw on OPX’s proprietary genomics technology and NREL’s improved microorganisms for hydrogen utilization and carbon fixation for rapid metabolic engineering. The team will investigate the catalytic conversion of this microbial biodiesel into additional fuel molecules, most importantly jet fuel.


How the world of 1950 looked in 1925: infographic

Airships above you, cars below ground; clean pedestrianised streets, beautiful elegant high-rise living… how exotic the far-off year of 1950 must have seemed to readers of Popular Science Monthly in 1925, when the infographic below was published. Rediscovered by the wonderful Retronaut (Slogan: “the past is a foreign country. This is your passport”) it probably says more about 1925 than it does about 1950. 


Energy, Form, Motion: Massoud Amin (by AlphachimpStudio)

An illustration of Massoud Amin's 2009 PopTech talk on the Critical Need for a “Smart” Energy Grid. Massoud wants to make our energy infrastructure more sustainable and secure. The complex systems researcher from the University of Minnesota believes this requires networking energy into a “smart” grid that incorporates alternative energy. This will provide national as well as environmental and financial security.

Watch: Massoud Amin: A Smart Grid