Helping out the honeybees

Does the bee die-off freak you out? It should. Bees are essential pollinators and they’re a huge part of why we have fruits and vegetables to eat. California farming without bees would be a disaster. But between April 2015 and 2016, the United States lost 44% of its bee population.

Now, at least one invention is helping. It’s a clever concept — a foldable, easy to set up, baited hive that attracts swarms and keeps them in the area, so farmers can be a little more assured that they’ll be able to continue to grow our food.

It’s another example of how design thinking can make a huge difference in the world. Check it out.

Artificial intelligence on your wall

Nest Intelligent ThermostatHave you seen the new Nest Learning Thermostat? Designed by some of the guys who brought us the iPod, it’s a simple, smart and beautiful way to control your environment and save energy. It learns as  you use it. You can set it remotely with your smart phone.

Clearly it’s another step toward the robot hive taking over our homes and our lives. Ah, well, that’s a small price to pay for coolness, right? And, dammit, the thing is gorgeous.