No wifi, no go



  • What are three things that you can’t live without?
  • How has technology changed the way people behave?

Man has 3D-printed vertebrae implanted in world-first surgery | Mashable Asia


Read more here:

Mobbs is certain the use of 3D-printing in medicine will increase exponentially. “There’s no doubt this is the next big wave of medicine,” he said. “For me, the holy grail of medicine is the manufacturing of bones, joints and organs on-demand to restore function and save lives.”


An architect figured out how to build houses from plastic waste | Tech Insider


Other video in source:

This one innovation could help resolve two of the world’s biggest issues: homelessness and pollution. Oscar Andres Mendez and his team at Conceptos Plásticos have created a way to take discarded plastic and rubber and create stackable bricks with them. These bricks snap together to create quick and easy housing.

Compare with this house built from plastic bottles:


  • Who might benefit the most from these innovations?
  • How likely are they to become popular?

The largest wind farm in US history just got the green light | Business Insider


Unlike fossil fuel energy, which produces 90% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, wind turbines do not pollute the air. The potential for offshore and onshore wind energy generation is huge in the US — the cost of deploying wind energy has dropped by 90 percent since the 1980s, thanks to strides in wind technology and policy, according to the US Department of Energy.

  • What are some reasons why alternative forms of energy are used less than fossil fuels?
  • What are some advantages of wind energy?
  • Disadvantages?

Jay Chou Says ‘No’ to Sharksfin Soup | WildAid


Other videos (spoken English, but Chinese subs):

  • Do you buy animal parts from endangered animals?
  • How would using celebrities help to increase awareness of important matters?

Innovative Water Carrier in Africa | Tech Insider


Water remains an issue for many communities around the world.

  • Does your country have similar issues?
  • Could this help your country in any way?
  • What better ways are there to help?

The Dystopian Lake Filled by the World’s Tech Lust | BBC



Hidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.

Dozens of pipes line the shore, churning out a torrent of thick, black, chemical waste from the refineries that surround the lake. The smell of sulphur and the roar of the pipes invades my senses. It feels like hell on Earth.

You may not have heard of Baotou, but the mines and factories here help to keep our modern lives ticking. It is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of “rare earth” minerals. These elements can be found in everything from magnets in wind turbines and electric car motors, to the electronic guts of smartphones and flatscreen TVs. In 2009 China produced 95% of the world’s supply of these elements, and it’s estimated that the Bayan Obo mines just north of Baotou contain 70% of the world’s reserves. But, as we would discover, at what cost?

We reached the shore, and looked across the lake. I’d seen some photos before I left for Inner Mongolia, but nothing prepared me for the sight. It’s a truly alien environment, dystopian and horrifying. The thought that it is man-made depressed and terrified me, as did the realisation that this was the byproduct not just of the consumer electronics in my pocket, but also green technologies like wind turbines and electric cars that we get so smugly excited about in the West. Unsure of quite how to react, I take photos and shoot video on my cerium polished iPhone.

You can see the lake on Google Maps, and that hints at the scale. Zoom in far enough and you can make out the dozens of pipes that line the shore. Unknown Fields’ Liam Young collected some samples of the waste and took it back to the UK to be tested. “The clay we collected from the toxic lake tested at around three times background radiation,” he later tells me.

Article is pretty long, and very descriptive (i.e., not academic), but it might be a good resource for teacher’s reading.

  • How often do you change your mobile phones?
  • What are some negative impacts of technology?
  • Does new technology have any impact on the environment?
  • What can be done to alleviate the problem?