Throwable ‘seed bombs’ sprout wildflowers that support our dwindling bee population

You’ve probably already heard that the world’s bee population is rapidly disappearing, but did you know that there may be something you can do about it? A San Francisco-based startup called Seedles is on a mission to grow one billion wildflowers, which will hopefully help the bee population bounce back. Since bees are crucial pollinators in the Earth’s delicate ecosystem, the availability of almost everything we eat and drink depends on their wellbeing.

Bees aren’t the only pollinators in our ecosystem, but along with animals like birds, butterflies, and certain insects, they are responsible for coating their bodies in pollen before spreading the dust from plant to plant. But as civilizations have progressed and the natural landscapes of generations past have all but disappeared, the decline of wildflowers has led to the decline of bees. Fruits and vegetables depend on the bees for pollination, so do the crops in foods you might not find in the produce aisle, like cereals or baked goods. Even the coffee and tea many cultures around the world drink regularly are intimately tied to the health of the global bee population.

That’s why Seedles is selling “seed bombs” – packages of mixed organic compost materials embedded with completely natural wildflower seeds. Each seed bomb is the size of a nickel, and costs about $1 for a single “bomb” or $9 for a full guerrilla gardening kit. For the best results for your wildflowers and the environment at large, Seedles recommends you plant flowers local to your region. The wildflowers to choose from include Blue Flax, California Poppies, Texas Bluebonnets, and more. Once the flowers you planted begin to take root and blossom, you will have helped the environment in more ways than the naked eye can see.

Seedles is aiming to plant one billion wildflower seeds with their seed bomb activism. The company has already passed the 35 million flower mark, but Seedles admits it didn’t come up with the seed bomb concept. The term dates back through decades of green-thumbed activism. Since tilling soil on private property is probably a bad idea and is often illegal, Seedles encourages people to plant seed bombs in their own homes, local gardens, or even abandoned lots.

Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Features

Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.