What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Designing Better Home Protection Against Wildfires

September 4, 2013, 3:30 PM
Shutterstock_112221542

What's the Latest Development?

Scientists at California's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have created an experimental temporary gel coating that, when sprayed on a home with wood siding, could protect it from wildfires more successfully than other coatings currently available. In tests, the gel outperformed its peers both in terms of moisture retention -- a coating that stays moist longer does a better job of holding off fire -- and heat resistance. It was also less likely to slide ("slump") off the siding than other coatings. Details appeared in this month's Agricultural Research.

What's the Big Idea?

With the frequency and intensity of wildfires predicted to increase in the future, researchers and others are stepping up their efforts to find effective ways to protect structures from damage. Although the gel is made up of water and two all-natural and affordable ingredients commonly used in firefighting -- sodium bentonite clay and cornstarch -- its formulation and subsequent test results may represent a possible breakthrough, one that ARS plans to patent. Best of all, says team leader Greg Glenn, "[i]n a best-case scenario, all you might have to do is wash the coating off your house after the fire."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Phys.org

 

Designing Better Home Prote...

Newsletter: Share: