A new streetlamp powered by … algae?

The glowing, neon green lamp you see above is the invention of
French biochemist Pierre Calleja, who had the crazy idea of using algae to
power otherworldly, tube-shaped streetlamps that double as homes for this growing gloop. In a talk at TEDxLausanneChange, he explains the process behind the invention.

You may remember photosynthesis from biology class — if not, Wikipedia will remind you: “Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the sun, into chemical energy that can be used to fuel the organisms’ activities.” But can photosynthesis help us light our sidewalks and roadways? Calleja thinks so.

He and his team at FermentAlg developed this lamp to double as a habitat for microalgae, which absorb solar energy and consume carbon dioxide. These lamps are designed to store the energy made from this process, so that when placed in unlit places, they can continue to shine.

These beautiful lights are not only practical, but their symbiotic technology could help in the fight against rising carbon emissions and climate change.

For more on Calleja’s work, check out his talk below:

(Photos: Pierre Calleja and Reuters)

Une playlist de TEDx en français: 4 TEDx Talks in French

Welcome to this week’s playlist en français! We have scoured the Francophone world to bring you exciting talks ranging from Bordeaux beats to child language acquisition and more.

TEDxement vôtre- enjoy!

TEACHERS: Did you know it’s possible to create a virtual lesson from a TEDx Talk? At TED-Ed you can quickly flip any of these talks. Check out these questions we whipped up for Claire Nouvian’s talk and find out more about how to make your own TED-Ed lessons.

BEATBOX: Beasty at TEDxBordeaux
Move over Tom Thumb, Beasty’s in town! Watch this awe-inspiring beatboxing display at TEDxBordeaux that has already had nearly 150,000 views.

Laisse la place Tom Thumb, Beasty est là ! Regardez cette démonstration époustoufflante à TEDxBordeaux qui a déjà été vue 150 000 fois.

Cumul des mandats: Hamou Bouakkaz at TEDxAlsace
In this laugh out loud talk at TEDxAlsace, Algeria-native Hamou Bouakkaz describes his trajectory into politics, despite the prejudices he faced in his community for being both blind and Arab.

Dans cette intervention désopilante à TEDxAlsace, Hamou Bouakkaz, natif d’Algérie, décrit son parcours en politique, en dépit des préjugés auxquels il a été confronté dans sa communauté, du fait d’être à la fois arabe et aveugle.

Mais comment font-ils pour apprendre une langue? Sharon Peperkamp at TEDxVaugirardRoad 2013
Did you know that babies begin to recognize their own names from as early as 4 or 5 months old? Learn about the fascinating field of child language acquisition and other linguistic wonders in Sharon Peperkamp’s talk at TEDxVaugirardRoad.

Saviez-vous que les bébés commencent à renconnaître leur nom dès l’âge de 4 ou 5 mois ? Découvrez le domaine fascinant de l’acquisition du langage chez l’enfant et d’autres merveilles linguistiques dans l’intervention de Sharon Peperkamp à TEDxVaugirardRoad.

Les eaux cachées: Joseph Lukawski at TEDxRabat
At TEDxRabat, Fulbright scholar Joseph Lukawski uses clips from his visually stunning documentary to discuss the state of the water system in Fes, Morocco.

À TEDxRabat, Joseph Lukawski, titulaire d’une bourse Fulbright, utilise des extraits de son documentaire visuellement stupéfiant pour discuter de l’état du réseau hydrographique à Fès au Maroc.

Structures that breathe, shake, and die: Philip Beesley at TEDxUW

Philip Beesley is an architect, a three-time TEDx speaker, and a leader in furthering the spellbinding, new concept of “living architecture.” In his talk at TEDxUW in Canada, "Building living architecture," he explains some of the processes behind his work creating "living" structures, which include using protocells to create "self-generating skins" for buildings, fitting cellphone vibrators to suspended "bladders" that shake and mimic the movements of the Earth’s floor, and employing microprocessors to enable materials to track human movement and quiver and contract in response.

Below, watch his entire talk, which provides more insight into the creation of these sculptural installations that respond to stimuli, interact with surroundings, grow, and die:

Above, images from two of his installations — the latest, Radiant Soil, which is part of the ALIVE / EN VIE exhibition at Espace EDF Fondation and will be on display until September 1, 2013, and Endothelium, which displayed at the UCLA Art|Sci Center + Lab 2008 Symposium.

(Photos: © PBAI and © PBAI - Radiant Soil - ALIVE/EN VIE, Espace EDF - Paris, France - 2013)

TEDxVaugirardRoad: Words worth spreading

The theme of TEDxVaugirardRoad in Paris was “Les Mots pour le Dire,” or in English, “The words to say it.”

Before the break organizers asked attendees, "What words inspire you? What words do you use to express yourself?" At hand were pre-printed cards with various words, and blank cards to fill in with a word of one’s own choosing. Lines were strung all around the venue, and during the break attendees were invited to attach words to the lines with clothespins to form sentences, remix other compositions, or have their word stand alone.

What were the most-used words? Love. Say. Words. Better. Share. Joy.