Today was an interesting day, to say the least. We went to two places today. First the Weizmann Institute, a university designed for only those who have degrees beyond under-grad in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, etc. Second we went to the Hiriya
Garbage Dump Recycling Plant, which is being turned into a big park. So it was a pretty diverse day.
At the Weizmann Institute we meet extremely brilliant professors who specialize in topics such as nano-technology, sustainable energies and plant sciences. Most of the professors were way over my head, but I did gain some insight into the challenges they find for finding (searching) for information. I even wrote a piece at Search Engine Land named BioNumbers – Specialty Biology Answer Search Engine. Check out the engine at BioNumbers, hosted now at Harvard.
In fact, at least two of the professors we met when to Harvard. One built a onion like molecule that is the strongest thing on earth (stronger than a diamond) but also bends in all ways (very flexible) as a lubricant. It can last forever and can be used to be put in new cars so that no oil changes are ever needed. His issue, is producing the stuff fast enough for those that demand it. Another professor does research on sustainable energy (a popular Google topic these days) and he personally wants to educate the public about the myths and inaccuracies out there on the issues. We also met a professor who studies how plants works, specifically photosynthesis and carbon fixation. He was also the one that built BioNumbers. We then went to the labs and saw some cool machines that did a bulk of the work.
To dumb things down a bit, we then went to a closed down garbage dump that is turning into a park. There is a good article on this place at the New York Times named Recycling in Israel, Not Just Trash, but the Whole Dump. Several cities around the area bring their waste to this dump daily, and it is then shipped out to the south. In fact, they closed it down because the mountain would get in the flight path of the big Israel Airport and geese might have been an issue. The tourist part of the place was the education on recycling and creating less waste. They hold tours there often to educate, mostly children, on the topic. Plus they are building a park on top of the garbage that was already there (sounds weird to me, but it works). Honestly, the place doesn’t smell too good.
I’ll have videos of all of this in a couple weeks.