20 stunning sun-powered homes that are getting ready to battle it out in this year's Solar Decathlon - including Team New York's prefab Roof Pod, Canada's TRTL solar shell house, and China's Y Container home. We also brought you exclusive photos of the recently unveiled 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero, while the Empire State Building soared to new heights as it achieved LEED Gold certification. In other NYC news, we covered an underground park in the Big Apple which is to be illuminated entirely by fiber optics. Vincent Callebaut also unveiled plans for an incredible self-sufficient skyscraper for Taiwan, and we learned that scientists are planning to build a fake volcano for climate change research.
It was also a hot week for energy-generating tech as Intel unveiled a solar laptop chipset that can be powered by a desk lamp and MIT developed a tiny kinetic generator that can produce 100 times more power than previous devices of its kind. Meanwhile, Google invested in the power of pig poop and researchers rolled out a new inexpensive, powerful, and lightweight jelly battery that could one day power laptops and electric vehicles. Energy infrastructure also got a boost as a UK competition showcased six designs for next-generation power pylons, and New Mexico announced plans to build an entire city for the sole purpose of testing green technologies.
In other news, this week we spotted several pulse-pounding electric vehicles: a streamlined carbon fiber jet ski and an incredible mirrored motorcycle. We also went back to the future with a look at Nike's new pair of LED studded kicks, and we spotted a slick set of retro robots made from salvaged materials. Finally, we shared a bevy of tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle -- check out these seven gadgets that can improve your health and five ways to green your home entertainment system.