In the continuing quest to develop high-rise farms in cities, designer Brandon Martella has designed a vertical farm and residential tower for downtown San Diego that could grow up to 10 percent of the city's produce. Construction is also set to begin next month on a 32-story modular tower -- the tallest modular building in the world -- at Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards mega-development, and the MTA is exploring subway plug balloons and lockdown systems to help protect the transit system from future storms. Estonian firm Salto Architects have developed Fast Track, a springy trampoline sidewalk that lets you bounce down the street, and in perhaps the most outlandish development proposal of all, SpaceX founder Elon Musk hopes to establish an 80,000-person colony on Mars.
Ever wish you could control things with your mind? It might not be that far off: InterAxon has developed a brainwave-sensing headband that monitors your thoughts. In another futuristic technological feat, scientists have developed a self-filling water bottle that harvests water from the air. Meanwhile researchers at Washington State University have produced 3D-printed moon rocks that could be used to build structures on the surface of the moon, and a 3D printing startup called Defense Distributed says it will share downloadable plans for 3D-printed plastic guns over the internet.
In renewable energy news, this week researchers at MIT announced plans to create a "solar energy funnel" that could harvest energy from a much broader spectrum of sunlight than existing solar panels. Scientists at Rice University developed a new type of solar energy technology that creates steam from icy-cold water, and the folks behind the HydroICE project have figured out a way to develop a solar-powered combustion engine that could reduce solar costs by 75 percent. Saudi Arabia announced that construction will begin next year on an enormous solar farm as part of its $109 billion investment in solar energy, and designer Vivien Muller launched a Kickstarter campaign for her nifty bonsai-inspired solar charger.
December is here and the holidays are rapidly approaching -- to help you get a leg up on the gift-giving season we've packed over 300 presents into our 2012 Green Holiday Gift Guide -- including Gadget Gifts ranging from a water-powered clock to a folding electric bicycle and a beautiful bamboo keyboard. We also helped you get set to celebrate with tips to green your holidays with eco-friendly decor and eight great energy-saving LED Christmas lights.