Solar Roadways: Efficient, Cost-Effective, Scalable

We could literally pave the road in renewable energy.


One year ago, the Netherlands constructed a bike path made of photovoltaic cells, connecting Amsterdam and its suburbs. It was a pilot program to test and show the possibility of solar roadways as a profitable solution.

"If we can additionally incorporate solar cells in road pavements, then a large extra area will become available for decentralized solar energy generation without the need for extra space ... and just part of the roads which we build and use anyway," says Sten de Wit from the SolaRoad consortium in an interview with Fast Co.

The team plans to build on the experience they gained through the pilot program. The initial prototype was pricey. However, the team is looking for a solar road to pay for itself within 15 years of use. As technologies improve, cost goes down.

Elon Musk has demonstrated this kind of product planning with his Tesla series. He has already stated that Tesla will be moving into the third stage of its development plan, producing a mass-market car. It's expected to be priced at $35,000 and roll out before 2020.

“That was the goal with Tesla ... to try to serve as a catalyst to accelerate the day, the day of electric vehicles.”

Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

Big Think Edge
  • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
  • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
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Why believing in soulmates makes people more likely to "ghost" romantic partners

Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?

Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • Ghosting, or the practice of cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is a controversial method of dumping someone.
  • People generally agree that it's bad form, but new research shows that people have surprisingly different opinions on the practice.
  • Overall, people who are more destiny-oriented (more likely to believe that they have a soulmate) tend to approve of ghosting more, while people who are more growth-oriented (more likely to believe relationships are made rather than born) are less tolerant of ghosting.
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Scientists reactivate cells from 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth

"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."

Yamagata et al.
Surprising Science
  • The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
  • Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
  • Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
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Think of the closest planet to Earth... Wrong! Think again!

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
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