Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 2.49.32 PMIt’s hard to see the latest solar panel technology — which is kind of the point.

Researchers at Michigan State University developed a new type of solar panel that is almost completely transparent. It harnesses solar energy using organic molecules, which glow when exposed to sunlight.

The panels utilize infrared light with tiny photovoltaic strips around the edges of the pane. These are miniaturized versions of the more standard solar panel you might see on a solar farm or a rooftop.

But the infrared light being used is invisible to the unaided human eye, so the panels appear transparent.

But the infrared light being used is invisible to the unaided human eye, so the panels appear transparent.Previous translucent solar panels more closely resembled stained glass or tinted windows because of the embedded photovoltaic layers. Richard Lunt, a member of MSU’s research group, says they are looking to improve the experience.

Currently, the new panels convert about 1% of the light that passes through them to energy. The world’s most efficient panels convert 40%.

The MSU team is aiming for 5% efficiency in the near future.

 

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Bu3yuneIUAA_gQUMischa Badasyan is a 26-year-old gay man who sometimes feels lonely and unfulfilled from the sexual interactions initiated by hookup apps like Grindr and sites like GayRomeo.

Badasyan is also a Russian-born, Berlin-based performance artist who, beginning in September, will have sex with a different man every day for an entire year. The controversial piece, titled “Save the Date,” will explore the feeling of emptiness so pervasive in today’s hookup culture, especially for gay men.

For his piece, Badasyan takes inspiration from French philosopher Marc Auge, specifically from his theory of contemporary culture’s “non-place.”

Non-places are supermarkets, shopping malls, airports and other largely anonymous spots where people lose a sense of identity and feel like they don’t belong,” Badasyan explained to Arts.Mic. “In these places, you don’t have to talk to anyone or feel a sense of belonging. That creates loneliness.”

Badasyan plans to use dating apps and websites to meet up with a variety of strangers, all men, in these types of non-places. The performance artist will explore what occurs at the nexus of anonymous sex and anonymous spaces. “Eventually I’ll be like a non-place,” he explained. The artwork will explore the contemporary phenomenon of being with so many people, physically or sexually, and yet feeling alone.

Although Badasyan accepts the possibility he may not achieve his goal of one sexual partner a day, he is determined to do his best. He’s cited Sophie Calle as an influence, who similarly toed the line between documentary and performance with a heavy dose of sexuality.

This project has also been compared to Tehching Hsieh‘s year-long performances. In 1978 the Taiwanese artist spent a year locked in a wooden cage and in 1980 he punched a time clock every hour on the hour for an entire year.

Badasyan has already signed up for internet sex sites to facilitate the serial performance; he’s also been tested for STDs and has found himself a condom sponsor. The final pieces of the puzzle are the men themselves. Badasyan hopes to acquire a small token from each sexual partner, acquiring 365 objects throughout the performance and thus making “all of the non-places into a place.

Although corners of the internet have been critical of Badasyan’s artistic experiment thus far, we wonder if this ire will compare to those who actually have sex for the sake of art. “Generally, I’m not going to tell my dates about this project,” the artist told Vocativ. “What if I tell you I just had sex with you for an art project? People won’t like that. It’s horrible, actually.”

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aquos_crystal_1It looks as though new wireless plans are the only thing that Sprint is announcing this week. This afternoon, Sprint announced that Sharp’s new AQUOS Crystal smartphone is coming to its network.

Obviously, the first thing to catch your eyes is the smartphone’s 5” edge-to-edge 720p display. The display features virtually no bezel along the side or the top of the device. The only real bezel left is below the screen, which means that you’d most definitely want to be careful when using the AQUOS Crystal without a case.

So your next question might be, “Where’s the earpiece?” The entire screen of the phone acts like a giant earpiece thanks to its Direct Wave Receiver.

Once you get past the snazzy looks and trick earpiece, things get decidedly more ho-hum. The smartphone includes a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor with 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage (although a microSD slot is included), 2040 mAh battery, HD Voice support, Harman Kardon Clari-Fi audio technology, and photo duties are handled by 8MP rear and 1.2MP front-facing cameras.

The Sharp AQUOS Crystal comes in black or white, and will be available for $239 (no contract) on Sprint’s wireless network. You can also pickup the phone for $10/month using Sprint Easy Pay or for $149.99 using Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile.

Unfortunately, Sprint hasn’t announced a launch date for its latest smartphone offering.

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