Episode #1216

Creative Minds Go Green

Originally aired: April 18, 2008

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Creativity is on display in the design of this energy-saving light bulb. Creativity is on display in the design of this energy-saving light bulb.

To celebrate Earth Day, Kurt Andersen looks at creative approaches to our environmental challenges. President Obama is still pushing on environmental issues even in the face of Congressional gridlock. We hear from scientists, engineers, and artists developing cutting-edge solutions that just might change their corners of the world entirely.

Special thanks this week to producer Sarah Lilley. Funding for our series on Creativity and Science is provided by the Sloan Foundation.

Solar Power Cart

Mouna Andraos has been fascinated by street vendors since her childhood in Lebanon.  She’s an artist and designer with no engineering background, but she has created a working portable street generator that uses a crank and a solar cell to charge cell phones and laptops.  Ada Lee Halofsky hit the New York City streets...

Slideshow: Power Cart

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Bacteria Biofuel

Frances Arnold is a biochemical engineer at Cal Tech working on one part of the energy crisis.  Her team is altering the genetic codes of bacteria to evolve a strain of organisms than can digest grass and excrete biofuel.  She tells Kurt Andersen about the process called "directed evolution."

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Cal-Earth

In Hesperia, California, architect Nader Khalili created a housing movement for the future. Khalili, who passed away in 2008, prototyped his dome-shaped adobes on a commission from NASA for a lunar colony.  Then he realized that his "superadobes" could take root on Earth.  Studio 360's Eric Molinsky visited...

Slideshow: Cal-Earth

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Coney Island Sunshine

The New York subway system has one of the best environmental designs of recent years: Coney Island's Stillwell Avenue terminal, one block from the Atlantic Ocean, is topped by a state-of-the-art photovoltaic glass roof.  Kurt Andersen took the F train to the last stop to check it out with...

Slideshow: Stillwell Avenue Terminal

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William McDonough: Godfather of Green

William McDonough is a grand old man in the young field of green architecture.  In the 1970s, he built the first "green roof" in America — a corporate headquarters with a meadow on top — and is now working on a sustainable building for NASA.  Kurt Andersen asks him about the...

Slideshow:  William McDonough's Green Designs

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Joni Mitchell: Paved Paradise

Joni Mitchell's song "Big Yellow Taxi," from 1970, is the closest thing we've ever had to an environmental anthem.  Mitchell told us how she's bothered by green...

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Eco Art

Photographer Brandon Ballengée spends his days hunting for frogs with extra legs and missing eyes. He's an eco artist, and by seeking out these mutant anomalies, he hopes to bring environmentalism to new...

Slideshow: Brandon Ballengée's Eco Art

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Monopoly Redesign: High Finance Edition

We're assembling a top-notch team of advisers for our Monopoly redesign. This week Kurt Andersen called finance expert William Cohan to find out how to make the rules of the game more representative of capitalism in the 21st century. Cohan is a former investment banker and the author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World ...

Bonus Track: Kurt Andersen's full conversation with William Cohan

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Comments [6]

Leela from NYC

While I greatly enjoyed your Creatie Minds Go Green episode, I found it frustrating that you chose to highlight an artist who kills animals to make his point, however good that point is, rather than someone who actually heals with their work. I'd like to direct you to the work of Patricia Johanson:

http://patriciajohanson.com/

an artist whose work interacts with and heals the natural world. She's very interesting!

Apr. 24 2011 02:57 PM
Hindi Iserhott from Portland, OR

RE: Creative Minds episode; the Joni Mitchell song, "Pave Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot". There is a movement throughout the United States of ripping up the asphalt and planting gardens and creating green spaces. In fact, there is a group in Portland, OR, called Depave, www.depave.org in which I was an organizer for several years. I have moved on but the group is still active, helping more than 5 communities a year tear up the asphalt to bring life back to the soil. The experience provides children and adults with an opportunity of reconnecting with the dirt and experiencing the feeling of empowerment of having a part in making their world better.

Apr. 24 2011 12:09 PM
Bach from Canada

Russ....Tom Waits
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XrFpubOSfE

Apr. 24 2011 12:05 PM
Russ from Florida

What was the music and who was the singer in the Coney Island segment? Is there a link to a site that shows playlists for NPR programs?
thanks

Apr. 24 2011 10:50 AM

Great show as usual, thanks (^_<) Oh, I would love to leave in one of those Cal-Earth housing. Very minimalist.

Apr. 23 2011 08:48 PM
Patty from St. Louis

Monopoly - land on a homeless shelter - make a donation or volunteer time (put some sort of value on philanthropy); land at an old house - pay for earth-friendly / energy efficient home - charge more - next person lands (instead of adding housings); land on "$__ increase in property taxes to help public schools;" Pass go collect town's "Person of the Year" award.

Apr. 23 2011 03:09 PM

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