08/29/07 - The open-source approach to clean energy
Robert Rohatensky came up with the idea of an "energy tower" -- a solar heat pump system for generating (baseload) electricity year round. But instead of refining the concept behind closed doors on his own, Rohatensky has decided to take an open-source approach. He's inviting anybody who is interested to participate in the development of this approach. "The hope is that with an open philosophy that the project shows similar Rapid Application Development and success as Linux and other Open Source Software projects and provides a system that can meet future energy requirements in a sustainable manner." The energy tower would have a hot air cycle where the ambient air is warmer than the ground and a cold air cycle where the ambient air is colder than the ground. The approach relies on the storage of heat in the ground and convection processes that turn turbines to create electricity. You can read the details on the site. Rohatensky doesn't want money. He wants input. "The energy problem and the project to solve it are large and complex and require sources from many fields," he writes on his site. "The initial design and prototype require engineering resources, but there are many portions of the project that require diverse skills from administration, project management, software and web development, marketing, financial organization or even just fresh baking." He welcomes anyone interested in donating time and skill -- anyone who sees merit in the proposed system and wants to help. So, if you're an engineer, techie or strategic thinker with time on your hands and a desire to help, drop Rob a line at firstname.lastname@example.org - Solar Heat Pump - (via tyler.blogware.com)
08/29/07 - Bleeding, not inflammation, is major cause of early lung infection death
Researchers believe they have discovered why a bacterial lung infection is so lethal in the early stages, and it's not what medical authorities had thought, according to research published August 23 in the journal Immunity. The study reveals for the first time that a toxin released by bacteria causes severe bleeding in the lungs by patients with pneumococcal pneumonia. It is the bleeding, the authors argue, not inflammation as once thought, which makes the infections deadly. The same study also reveals why antibiotics often fail to help prevent early death. Also called pneumococcus, the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae infects the upper respiratory tracts of the elderly and young children mostly. There are 500,000 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia annually in the United States, with about 40,000 of them fatal, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. "Pneumococcal infection is characterized by fluid build-up in the lungs, and breathing difficulty is the reason that most infections become lethal early on," said Jae Hyang Lim, Ph.D., DVM, instructor in Microbiology & Immunology at the Medical Center and first author on the paper. "The medical establishment had for years believed that the breathing difficulty was brought on by inflammation: the swelling and fluid build-up caused as immune system proteins rushed to the lungs to fight the infection. A medical mystery emerged, however, when our studies revealed that such inflammation was actually lower during the early time period when most people died." The newly published study reveals for the first time that a toxin released by S. pneumoniae causes severe bleeding in the lungs. Normally, competing regulatory pathways maintain a balance between the competing tendencies of blood to either become thinner (more likely to leak bleed out of vessels) or thicker (more likely form blood clots that choke off blood flow through blood vessels). Blood clots can represent either a dangerous blockage of blood flow, or a protective mechanism that prevents unchecked bleeding, all depending on a careful balance.
08/29/07 - Soaring to 6,000ft: the DIY rocket
A do it yourself rocket named 'The Corpulent Stump' and weighing in at 110lb, soared almost 6,000ft into the air when it blasted off from Fairlie Moor in Ayrshire. Travelling from 0 to 100mph in just over a second and reaching speeds of 469mph, it became the most powerful non-commercial rocket to be launched in Britain before it crashed less than a minute later two miles from its starting point onear Largs. The Stump was designed by IT worker Richard Brown, 39, who built his rocket from scratch, based on a computer model. He spent £4,000 perfecting it and £650 on the launch - it cost about £100 for every second it was airborne. There are only two places in Britain - the Ayrshire site and one in Devon - where engineers are allowed to launch their rockets to such heights. John Bonsor, who started the event, said: "It's getting to the point where it's possible for amateur groups to reach the fringes of space. "Some use the same boosters used on space shuttles."
08/29/07 - Crushed Glass to Be Spread on Beaches
Faced with the constant erosion of Florida's beaches, Broward County officials are exploring using recycled glass - crushed into tiny grains and mixed with regular sand - to help fill gaps. It's only natural, backers of the idea say, since sand is the main ingredient in glass. "Basically, what we're doing is taking the material and returning it back to its natural state," said Phil Bresee, Broward's recycling manager. The county would become the first in the nation to combine disposal of recycled glass with bolstering beach sand reserves, Bresee said. Sand is a valuable commodity in South Florida, where beach-related business generates more than $1 billion a year for Broward alone. Sand to replenish eroded beaches is typically dredged from the ocean floor and piped to shore - about 13 million tons of it since 1970 in Broward. That's enough sand to fill the Empire State Building more than 12 times over. But with reef preservation restricting future dredge sites, sand is becoming scarce. And the price is rising as construction and fuel costs rise and dredge operations are pushed farther offshore. The glass-sand idea grew from the unintentional consequences of an ocean dump site off Northern California near Fort Bragg. Beginning in 1949, garbage - including lots of glass - was dumped over a cliff into the ocean, said Charles Finkl, a marine geologist with Boca Raton-based Coastal Planning and Engineering. Finkl said that while organic material degraded over the years, the glass broke up and became smooth as it tumbled in the surf. The area is now known locally as Glass Beach. Another dump site in Hawaii produced similar results, Finkl said. "You talk about glass beach and people have images of sharp glass shards but it's not that way at all," he said. Recycled glass also has been used for beaches along Lake Hood in New Zealand and on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.
08/29/07 - Product Could Heal Soil After Fires
The millions of acres scorched by wildfires and left susceptible to mudslides could be shored up by spreading inexpensive granules that a lawn care entrepreneur says will keep soil in place when the rainy season arrives. U.S. Forest Service scientists have been testing a product that bonds the clay inside soil to form a "net" to help vegetation recover. Called PAM-12 and developed by a Green Bay lawn care company called Encap, the product is a synthetic chemical that looks like salt and is wrapped in recycled paper. Already this year, nearly 7 million acres have burned across the country, and about 40 fires of at least 500 acres each were raging this week, most in Montana and Idaho. After smoke infiltrates soil, the ground tends to repel water instead of absorb it. So rain stays on the surface and carries away topsoil and nutrients when it cascades downhill. PAM-12 can help prevent that by causing the dirt to form tiny clumps and opening pores for water to soak into. The result is soil that's more absorbent and less apt to be washed away, even on slopes as steep as 60 degrees. PAM-12 costs about half as much as current treatments. Agricultural straw costs about $1,000 per acre, while PAM-12 costs about $500 per acre.
08/29/07 - SUN’S RAYS TO DRIVE Aerial Landing Field - October 1934
RECENT experiments in the conversion of the sun’s rays into electric power have led to an unusual idea in aerial equipment. It is a dirigible that not only would get its power from the sun but also provide space for a landing field in the air. The ordinary cigar-shaped dirigible would in effect have a slice taken from the upper half of the gas bag. This would provide a large deck on which could be mounted solar photo cells, an airplane runway, and a hangar. Planes could land on the dirigible, floating over the sea, to refuel for trans-ocean passenger service. Another unusual feature of this design, in addition to the landing field, is the use of sun rays to power the motors of the dirigible. Scientists estimate that the sun can develop as much as 86,300 kilowatts or 115,000 horsepower per hour in an area of a square mile. Photo cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity. When this can be done on a practical basis, the roof of an ordinary house can be used to develop electricity for the home.
08/29/07 - Energy Kills, Energy Cures Campaign Launches
The Energy Kills, Energy Cures Campaign has launched supporting the interconnected solution to fighing poverty environmental degradation. The Energy Cures Campaign, a grassroots social and environmental call-to-action, launched across the world motivating people to stop the inherent cycle between poverty, dirty energy and its drastic affect on the environment. Worldwide, 1.6 billion people are without any access to electricity, with an additional 2.4 billion people subjected to rely on dirty fuels for every day use. Typically, dirty energy sources are all that is accessible to impoverished nations. Releasing dangerous particles into the atmosphere, not only does the consumption of this energy have a negative environmental and health impact, there is a significant social-economic one as well. “Statistics show that if a child stays home to collect firewood for cooking, instead of going to school, it is most likely their child will also be forced into a similar reality,” says Gina Rodolico of Energy Cures and Director of Communication for E+Co, the non-profit organization and catalyst behind the Campaign. “And if this child's mother spends four hours of every day hauling water for her family's daily use, the chances for escaping poverty practically vanish. But by investing in local, clean energy entrepreneurs and their businesses, we can develop a sustainable solution to multiple challenges.” As a grassroots movement to support clean energy advancement across the globe, the public's direct involvement is crucial to the overall impact of this initiative. By visiting EnergyCures.org, real life stories and projects of the entrepreneurs illustrate how individual support has a tremendous impact on community. For instance, a tax-deductible donation of $8.33/month (a total year contribution of $100) equals the cost of five clean, efficient cookstoves in Tanzania. An E+Co-supported enterprise, Toyola, distributes these $20 cookstoves to local families. Not only is the local entrepreneur establishing a revenue stream, with use of a cookstove each of the five families save $35 annually in fuel costs. A savings of $35 per family is a significant impact for a country with a per capita GDP of $610. The Energy Cures Campaign seeks to end world poverty while protecting the planet.
08/29/07 - Companies to Introduce Lower-Cost Algae Production System
Diversified Energy Corporation (DEC) has formed a partnership and licensing arrangement for an algae production system invented by XL Renewables, Inc. The system, called Simgae (for simple algae), utilizes common agriculture and irrigation components to keep costs to a minimum. Capital, operations and maintenance costs for large-scale algae systems have been a barrier to adoption for algae-based fuels processing, according to Diversified. The Simgae approach promises 1/2 - 1/16th the capital cost, profitable oil production costs at $0.08 - $0.12/pound, and low operations and maintenance requirements.
08/29/07 - Iraq corruption whistleblowers face penalties
Cases show fraud exposers have been vilified, fired, or detained for weeks. One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted. Or worse. Corruption has long plagued Iraq reconstruction. Hundreds of projects may never be finished, including repairs to the country’s oil pipelines and electricity system. Congress gave more than $30 billion to rebuild Iraq, and at least $8.8 billion of it has disappeared, according to a government reconstruction audit. Despite this staggering mess, there are no noble outcomes for those who have blown the whistle, according to a review of such cases by The Associated Press.
“If you do it, you will be destroyed,” said William Weaver, professor of political science at the University of Texas-El Paso and senior advisor to the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. “Reconstruction is so rife with corruption. Sometimes people ask me, ‘Should I do this?’ And my answer is no. If they’re married, they’ll lose their family. They will lose their jobs. They will lose everything,” Weaver said. They have been fired or demoted, shunned by colleagues, and denied government support in whistleblower lawsuits filed against contracting firms.
08/29/07 - Radio Static Used as Weather Warning - December 1924
Wireless Fan’s Jinx Harnessed by Power Company to Tell in Advance When Rain Clouds Will Increase Demand for Lights. STATIC electricity, the bugbear of the radio fan, has been harnessed in a big electric-light plant to give automatic warning, hours in advance, of an approaching storm whose dark rain clouds will cause a sudden demand for an enormously increased volume of current. The radio warning is based on the fact that summer storms are accompanied by electrical disturbances covering a much larger field than the storm itself. These static manifestations are so strong that they whistle, wail and howl through the earphones or loud speaker of a receiving set and drown out ordinary broadcasting. In converting the static into signals, an ordinary antenna mounted on the roof of the power house is used, while the detector itself consists of a short-circuiting switch, spark gap, coherer, relay and battery; a bell, which also acts as a deco-lierer; a condenser and a ground connection. The oscillating current set up by the static travels to and from the ground through the spark gap, coherer and condenser. The outfit is arranged so that the bell automatically varies its signal as the storm approaches. From two to five hours before it arrives, the hell rings at intervals of from five to fifteen minutes. The difference in the advance signal depends on whether the storm is following a straight or roundabout course. The operator in charge of the lighting system regards the ringing at intervals merely as an advance warning, and pays no further attention to it, for it is always possible that the storm may change its direction and pass around the city. As the clouds approach, however, the bell rings oftener, until, when the storm is less than two hours away, the bell begins striking every half minute. The reserve boilers are then ordered into service, auxiliaries of additional generating units are started, and the generators themselves begin turning over at low speed. A half hour before the storm is due, the bell unites its periodic strokes with a continuous ringing, though the sky may still remain clear as far as the eye can see.
08/29/07 - Functional MRI Poised to Create New Industries
While fMRI dates back to the early 1990s, hitherto it has been used mainly by doctors in hospitals to make diagnoses. The commercialization of brain scanning is a recent development, spurred by the refinement of the technology. Omneuron, which Dr. deCharms founded in 2001 and whose research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, uses fMRI to teach people how to play with their own heads. Other entrepreneurs are working on ways to deploy fMRI as a lie detector, a tool for conducting marketing research or an instrument to make brain surgeries safer and more precise. Omneuron, a start-up in Menlo Park, Calif., has created technologies that teach sufferers to think away their pain, and plans to similarly treat addiction, depression and other intractable neurological and psychological conditions. Using large scanners to measure blood flow to different parts of the brain, the technology makes the brain’s activity visible by revealing which of its parts are busiest when we perform different tasks.
08/29/07 - 'Science Guy' Boo'd in Texas for Stating Scientific Fact
Bill Nye, the harmless children's edu-tainer known as "The Science Guy," managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.
08/29/07 - As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes
No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo. But just as the speed and scale of China’s rise as an economic power have no clear parallel in history, so its pollution problem has shattered all precedents. Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Chinese cities often seem wrapped in a toxic gray shroud. Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union. Environmental woes that might be considered catastrophic in some countries can seem commonplace in China: industrial cities where people rarely see the sun; children killed or sickened by lead poisoning or other types of local pollution; a coastline so swamped by algal red tides that large sections of the ocean no longer sustain marine life. China is choking on its own success. The economy is on a historic run, posting a succession of double-digit growth rates. But the growth derives, now more than at any time in the recent past, from a staggering expansion of heavy industry and urbanization that requires colossal inputs of energy, almost all from coal, the most readily available, and dirtiest, source.
08/29/07 - Does America need a Recession?
The late Rudi Dornbusch, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, once remarked: “None of the post-war expansions died of old age. They were all murdered by the Fed.” When the Fed cut its discount rate on August 17th, it admitted for the first time that the credit crunch could hurt the economy. The markets are betting it will soon cut its main federal funds rate. Economists are arguing vigorously about how much damage falling house prices and the subprime mortgage crisis will do. But there is one question that is rarely asked: even if a downturn is in the offing, should the Fed try to prevent it?
08/27/07 - Milestone in magnetic cooling
The first milestone in magnetic cooling has been achieved. Between 5 and 10 degrees of cooling - this was the success criteria for the first milestone in a project involving magnetic cooling at Risø National Laboratory. And the figure is currently at 8.7°C (47.66F) - this means that a refrigerator at room temperature (20°C - 68F) can be cooled to almost 11°C - 51.8F. Of course, this is not quite enough to keep the milk cold, but the project’s test setup also has only the one objective of conducting research in different materials, varying operating conditions and the strength of the magnetic field. Magnetic cooling technology exploits the fact that when a magnetic material, in this case the element gadolinium, is magnetised, heat is produced as a by-product of entropy. The principle of entropy is that there will always be a constant amount of order/disorder in a substance. When the magnet puts the substance in “order”, it has to get rid of the excess disorder - and this becomes heat. Conversely, when the magnetic field is again removed, the substance becomes cold. The heat is transferred to a fluid that is pumped back and forth past the substance inside a cylinder. The end that becomes cold will be located inside the refrigerator and the warm end will be outside.
08/27/07 - 2003 article - Acoustic Refrigeration
The most common chemical refrigerants, chlorofluorocarbons (commonly known as CFCs), are ozone rippers, banned by a 1996 international convention. But their replacements, hydrofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HFCs and HCFCs, are also global-warming villains. So the two organizations turned to a team lead by Steven Garrett, a Penn State professor of acoustics -- and former drummer -- who has been working for years to build a refrigerator that relies on sound waves, rather than toxins, to take the temperature down. How is that possible? To oversimplify, blasts of sound from a speaker create pressure. And when this pressure is applied to a gas in an enclosed space -- as it is in Garrett's design -- the gas heats up. The heat is then transferred through a series of woven stainless steel screens, taken into a heat exchanger, and carried out of the system. "It's a little like a (firefighters') bucket brigade, carrying heat from one to the next to the next," said Matt Poese, a Penn State research associate working with Garrett. The Penn State fridge cranks up to 173 decibels -- hundreds of thousands of times louder than what actually hurts people's ears. But from the outside, it's no noisier than your typical icebox. The noise generated by the Penn State fridge can only be reached when the gas is under tremendous amounts of pressure -- 10 atmospheres worth. If the gas escapes, the pressure dissipates and the sound dies down.
08/27/07 - Study Supports Link Between Diabetes, High-fructose Corn Syrup
Researchers have found new evidence that soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup may contribute to the development of diabetes, particularly in children. Drinks containing the syrup had high levels of reactive compounds that have been shown by others to have the potential to trigger cell and tissue damage that could cause the diabetes, a growing epidemic.
08/27/07 - James May asks what's next for the motor car?
(Really good article about the history of cars. - JWD) An hour in a Model T Ford is enough to make you wonder how this car lark ever caught on the way it did. The Model T was designed and built "for the great multitude", as Ford himself put it, and showed that cars might, after all, be accessible to ordinary people. It pioneered the moving production line, and put the planet's most forward-thinking people on wheels. It was an integral part of America's pioneering attitude. The car, unlike the aeroplane or the ship, was never turned into a significant instrument of war, so never benefited from the quantum technological leaps that war tends to force upon anything useful to its pursuit. In times of war, car factories are among the first industrial concerns to be commandeered for the production of other things. By the year 2000, there was compelling evidence to suggest that the car of the future might run on electricity generated by an on-board power station in the form of a hydrogen fuel cell, and might be steered and managed entirely - even autonomously - by computer.
08/27/07 - Patent Changes
Examination Support - Patents filed after Nov 1st will be allowed only 5 independent claims and 25 total claims without requiring added examination support, specific filing support will be required for applications with more than this number of claims. Continuation Limits - A common means to extend the life of a patent is to file a continuation with new claims on the invention which can be better tuned to the market’s adoption of the technology and a new, later date of filing and expiration. The PTO now requires details for how applicants must file continuances providing why claims weren’t filed with the original patent. Multiple Applications on the same Filing Date - The PTO also has increased the filing requirements for applications referring to the same priority or filing date to add more clarity to applications referring back to the same applications.
08/27/07 - Firm's innovation could allow drill platforms, naval bases at sea
An Urbana-based company is hoping to sell clients on an invention that could keep huge platforms afloat in deep water. Conceivably, the device could make possible drilling platforms, mobile ports and even military bases in the middle of the ocean. The idea behind VersaBuoy dates back about seven years, when a group of oil companies asked Jon Khachaturian to devise a way to keep a platform stable during a deep-water lift. Versabar Inc., is based in the Houston and New Orleans areas and has provided rigging systems for 30,000 lifts. To solve the oil companies' problem, Khachaturian had to figure out how to keep a platform stable in water that's 4,000 to 6,000 feet deep, where 15-foot swells are common. The solution was to support the deck with four columns extending down from each corner of the platform. That would reduce the motions caused by the ocean swells. Water could be pumped out of the columns, resulting in upward pressure. The pressure would lift the platform off its transport barge and keep it stable. Khachaturian devised an articulating joint at the top of each column. That allows the columns to be moved by the waves, while the platform remains relatively motionless. Khachaturian thought VersaBuoy was a neat idea, but other business ventures didn't give him enough time to devote to it. That's where his brother came in. With oil prices rising the last couple years, the Khachaturians realized oil companies would be more interested in pursuing deep-water ventures. They figured the time might be right for VersaBuoy. More info at vbuoy.com
08/27/07 - AI system predicts medicine's hidden powers
Treatments for new or drug-resistant infectious diseases may already be in our medicine cabinets, say the molecular biologists responsible for developing an artificial-intelligence system that can predict unknown antibiotic properties of existing drugs. Many drugs have unexpected or secondary effects - most famously Viagra, Cherkasov points out. Originally developed to combat high blood pressure and angina, Viagra turned out to be effective at treating erectile dysfunction in men. More mundanely, the commonly used cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin also acts as a potent antibiotic. Artem Cherkasov says he and his team have created an artificial-intelligence system that can tell an antibiotic drug from one that's not with high accuracy. They first trained the system by feeding in the structures of thousands of known antibiotics, as well as drugs without any bacteria-killing abilities. The system then uses this information to examine the structure of drugs it hasn't seen before and predict whether they will kill bacteria or not. Cherkasov says the system throws up all kinds of unexpected results. When the system identifies a potential antibiotic, there is often no way of knowing how it actually works. "The chemical structures of compounds we identify usually look nothing like known antibiotics," he adds. "But we don't really care how it works. We just need some first line of defence." Researchers could do this computational work in preparation for new diseases which would give them a database of candidate antibiotics. Then when a new disease emerges, the drugs could be quickly put to the test, to see if they kill the microbes, he suggests.
08/27/07 - Letter from Utopia
We have never met, yet we are not strangers. In a certain sense, you and I are close kin… I am one of your possible futures. If all goes well, you will one day become me. Should that happen, then I am not only a possible future of yours but your actual future, a coming phase of you. I want tell you about my possible life, how wonderful it is, so that you may choose this future for yourself. Although this letter is in the singular, I am really writing on behalf of my contemporaries, and we are addressing ourselves to all of your contemporaries. Among our numbers are many who are possible futures of your people. Some of us are possible futures of children that you have not yet given birth to. Some of us are possible artificial persons that you may one day create. What unites us is that we are all dependent on you to make us real. You could think of this note as though it were an invitation to a ball - a ball that will only take place if people turn up. We call the lives we lead here “Utopia”. The challenge I put before you is one of self-transformation. To grow up. This is not only about technology, but technology is necessary to participate in this way of life. If you want to live and play on my level, you need to acquire new capacities. To reach Utopia, and experience life here, you must discover the means to three fundamental transformations. (via alfin2100.blogspot.com/)
08/27/07 - Swatch founder Hayek aims for cheap, clean small car -- again
The man behind the micro-sized Smart car, the head of Swiss watch group Swatch, wants to develop a fuel cell engine for an affordable "green" vehicle, a company spokeswoman said Friday. A spokeswoman confirmed a report in Swiss magazine Hebdo, which reported Swatch chairman Nicolas G. Hayek as saying: "I want to do everything within my powers to accelerate the development of alternative and renewable energy." The project echoes Hayek's original plans in the 1990s to make the "Swatchmobile" or Smart car, an innovative and attractively designed but affordable electric-powered small vehicle. However, the concept was watered down by Hayek's second industrial partner, German car giant Daimler. Daimler resorted to petrol or diesel power for the Smart and sold it at a premium price for a small car, prompting the Swiss entrepreneur and watchmaker to pull out of the venture. The main technological challenges for fuel cell engines are reducing the cost of expensive metals needed for the batteries, making hydrogen available at lower prices and improving the stocking of gases.
08/27/07 - Top idea provides cold comfort for car owners
After two years of painstaking research and experiments on several thousand ordinary umbrellas, Zhou and her colleagues invented a car sunshade. Zhou's brainchild can reduce the temperature inside a sedan parked in the sun by 20 to 30 degrees Centigrade. It has two national patents and has been named as an energy-conservation product by local government. Usually the temperature inside an idle sedan in the sun is estimated at 50 to 70 degrees. "When the engine is started, it takes a long time before the temperature drops via the air-conditioner," she said. "It is a waste of time and gas. "I recommended the car sunshade to some of my friends who later told me that about 50 to 60 liters of gas could be saved in one summer by using the product." Zhou's invention is rectangular and covers the body of a sedan from the engine to the trunk. However, the large object is only half a meter long and weighs just 1.8 kilograms when folded up. A special feature of the sunshade is that its frame is made of the material used in fishing rods. "We adopted this material as it is flexible, firm, rust proof and won't scratch the surface of the sedan." Besides six small hooks to fix the sunshade onto the sedan, Zhou made a special design on the bottom of the sunshade handle. "I install a lock at the bottom in case of theft and use a kind of special rubber to stick the lock onto the windshield," she said. "The material is powerful enough to sustain a weight of 80 kilograms so that it can ensure the safety of the sunshade."
08/27/07 - Gamma Rays From Thunderclouds
Gamma rays have been detected at a Japanese nuclear plant, whose origin was thunderclouds high overhead (abstract, article PDF). The theory is that showers of electrons caused by cosmic rays, when they encounter the high electric fields present in thunderstorm clouds, can be accelerated to energies above 10 MeV and result in bremsstrahlung photons detectable on the ground.
08/27/07 - Woodland Park company makes diesel engine more efficient, cleaner
Eddie Sturman’s goal is to help save the planet. Woodland Park-based Sturman Industries, which the couple founded in 1989, has created a digital control system for diesel engines. The Sturmans say their system improves fuel efficiency, horsepower and torque, reduces exhaust emissions and lowers the cost of diesel engines in everything from motorcycles and cars to construction equipment and ships. The Sturmans have spoken previously about separate components of their camless engine system, such as the fuel injectors, valves and microprocessor controls. “What we’re doing is a really different approach than what’s been used in the past,” said Eddie Sturman, who said he developed the foundation of his digital technology working on NASA’s Apollo space program. Industry experts have seen converting fuel to motion, known as combustion, as uncontrollable because of the speed at which that occurs, he said. “We challenged that idea - digital valves can control the fuel and air during combustion - so you get more energy and you need less fuel,” he said. Sturman’s engine can run on up to 100 percent biodiesel fuel or regular diesel, and the digital technology improves fuel efficiency by 50 percent over regular diesel engines, triples power and shaves $2,000 to $12,000 off the engine cost typically spent on meeting government emissions standards, Eddie Sturman said. More info at sturmanindustries.com/
08/27/07 - Make a Remote Camera Trigger
Build a remote camera trigger this weekend with publishing company Wiley's free instructional PDF. The guide offers detailed instructions (44 pages worth, in fact) for making wired, delay, and interval triggers that so you can take pictures without holding and pressing the shutter button on your camera-allowing you to set up your camera and snap shots without disturbing the subject or position of the camera. If you've been looking for ways to improve or extend your photo portfolio, a remote trigger could open up a whole new world.
08/27/07 - Solar waves make Earth ring like a bell
Sounds generated deep in the fiery depths of the Sun make Earth, its atmosphere, and even its magnetic field ring like many cosmic bells. The vibrations in the Sun have two causes: pressure waves and gravity waves, which are referred to as p-mode and g-mode, respectively. Scientists hope to use the g-mode waves to study the interior of the Sun, in the same way that seismic data can provide an insight into the inner workings of Earth.The solar wind carries the field into interplanetary space, where space probes like Ulysses can pick up the signal. The solar wind also interacts with the Earth's magnetic field, causing it to vibrate in sympathy. From our magnetic field, the signal is picked up by our many technological systems, as well as the planet itself. The researchers add that the tones are far beyond the edge of human hearing, some 12 octaves below the lowest detectable note. While orchestras tune up to the A above middle C, at around 440 Hertz, the Earth rings at a much more stately 100-5000microHz. That is one vibration every 278 hours, or 11.5 days.
08/27/07 - Planetary Time Jumps
(Too many scifi movies or weak watch batteries perhaps? - JWD) About 2001, some observations were made by myself and others. An irregularity of time flow was observed. Over several months, I asked questions of people located all over the world. Have they observed some strange time effects ? The answer was YES. After some deliberation, both myself and a fellow researcher concluded that our entire planet was experiencing a Planetary Time Jump, or PTJ. These jumps have been noticed by people in many strange ways. These include a change in solar position, repeated events, and even missing events. A physical observation observed, was related to quartz clocks and watch time, verses AC line powered clock time. Over just one month, the Quartz clock was found to be about 4 to 6 minutes SLOWER than the time on a satellite TV or AC powered clock. Geographical location effect was not significant. Note that these three types of time keeping use totally different methods to keep time. Television time is derived from an atomic standard. This provides the precision required by the FCC to generate the video signals.
08/27/07 - Catching the beetle that causes bee hives to collapse
"The small hive beetle is an exotic pest that originates from South Africa and was found in Florida in 1998. It has now spread throughout the eastern and mid-western United States, causing considerable damage to honey bee colonies." So says Peter Teal, at the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, US. As a consequence, the hive beetle is causing a considerable headache for the US beekeeping industry. Most of the damage is done by the beetles' larvae, which feed on honey and pollen. Larval excrement also causes honey to ferment, making it inedible to bees. In highly infested colonies where larval feeding is extensive, bees tend to leave, causing the hive populations to collapse. So, Teal and colleagues have designed a trap to beat the beetle: a box that sits at the bottom of the hive covered with a mesh that is large enough to allow beetles through, but prevents bees from entering. The trap contains pollen and honey sprinkled with yeast that causes it to ferment, releasing smells that attract the beetles, which then get stuck inside. The Florida team says that although the trap may not eradicate hive beetles, it should allow bee keepers to control their numbers, and reduce damage.
08/27/07 - Weight loss spam
Spammers must stop sending unwanted and illegal e-mail messages about hoodia weight-loss products and human growth hormone anti-aging products the Federal Trade Commission alleges don’t work. At the FTC’s request, a district court judge ordered a halt to the e-mails and to product claims that the FTC charges are false and unsubstantiated.
08/27/07 - The Great Iraq Swindle
How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury. Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush's war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity -- to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up. And just maybe, reviewing this appalling history of invoicing orgies and million-dollar boondoggles, it's not so far-fetched to think that this is the way someone up there would like things run all over -- not just in Iraq but in Iowa, too, with the state police working for Corrections Corporation of America, and DHL with the contract to deliver every Christmas card. And why not? What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureaucracy. This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profiteering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure -- American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole.
08/27/07 - Electronic books with musty book smell launched
A survey of 600 college students conducted by pollster Zogby International found that 43 per cent of students identified smell, either a new or old smell, as the quality they most liked about books as physical objects. Six out of 10 students also preferred buying used textbooks over new or electronic textbooks even though e-books are generally a third less expensive. E-books sales have been slow to take off. In an attempt to persuade college students to try e-textbooks, website CafeScribe.com said it was launching "the world's first smelly e-book." CafeScribe Chief Executive Bryce Johnson said that from September the company will send every e-textbook purchaser a scratch and sniff sticker with a musty "old book" smell. The survey, conducted between August 15 and 21, found three out of 10 of students associated "mustiness" with the books they most loved, although 16 per cent associated best-loved books with the smell of "freshly-ground coffee." "By placing these stickers on their computers they can give their e-books the same musty book smell they know and love from used textbooks -- without any of the residual DNA you often find stuck to the pages of used textbooks," Johnson said in a statement.
08/25/07 - Concentrator for more Efficient Solar Cell Power
Following a successful high-volume run of its new breakthrough solar panels, International Automated Systems, Inc. has been conducting tests to identify the parameters of its new product. The new panels have delivered an exciting performance that is in line with preliminary expectations. IAUS’s unique thin-film solar panels have a solar insolence transmittance efficiency of nearly 92%- virtually the highest transmittance physically possible of any material. These breakthrough solar panels have shown a conversion of solar energy from the sun into temperatures of over 1,300 degrees F. Initial IAUS data has demonstrated that IAUS’s new solar panels focus as high as 30% more solar energy onto its receiver than traditional solar power trough systems typically achieve. Recent advancements will likely increase this number again to more than 50%. IAUS’s solar panels have an estimated life-span of greater than fifty years when properly maintained, and are inexpensive to replace. Low-cost energy produced by IAUS’s new patented and patent-pending solar technology can be used to generate electricity or produce clean fuels such as hydrogen and green methanol (gasoline replacements) at a competitive price. Many experts had predicted that no solar power technology would likely accomplish this milestone before the year 2025.
08/25/07 - China hails car trial a 'success'
A four-day scheme that took 1.3 million cars off Beijing's streets reduced air pollution by 15-20%, officials in the Chinese capital say. Moving around the city was also easier during the test period, with the speed of vehicles up by more than 50%. Four types of pollutants, including carbon monoxide and small particles, were tested over the four-day period, which ended on Monday. Mr Du, who bicycled to work during the car ban, could not say whether the improved air quality would have made the atmosphere good enough to run a marathon. Fewer private cars on the road meant more people used public transport. Passenger numbers were up by 15%, it was revealed. This meant buses - there were 800 more of them on the roads - could travel at 20 km/h (12mph) instead of the usual 14 km/h (9mph). Chinese officials also had a kind word for the 6,500 police officers on duty during the four days, many of whom had "overcome fatigue" to ensure the test went off smoothly. During the test period, odd-numbered cars were banned on Saturday and Monday, while cars with even-numbered registrations had to stay off the roads on Friday and Sunday.
08/25/07 - Sony Develops 'Bio Battery' Generating Electricity from Sugar
Sony today announced the development of a bio battery that generates electricity from carbohydrates (sugar) utilizing enzymes as its catalyst, through the application of power generation principles found in living organisms. Test cells of this bio battery have achieved power output of 50 mW, currently the world's highest level for passive-type bio batteries. The output of these test cells is sufficient to power music play back on a memory-type Walkman. In order to realize the world's highest power output, Sony developed a system of breaking down sugar to generate electricity that involves efficiently immobilizing enzymes and the mediator (electronic conduction materials) while retaining the activity of the enzymes at the anode. Sony also developed a new cathode structure which efficiently supplies oxygen to the electrode while ensuring that the appropriate water content is maintained. Optimizing the electrolyte for these two technologies has enabled these power output levels to be reached. The bio battery does not require mixing, or the convection of glucose solution or air; as it is a passive-type battery, it works simply by supplying sugar solution into the battery unit. The cubic (39 mm along each edge) cell produces 50 mW, representing the world's highest power output among passive-type bio batteries of comparable volume. By connecting four cubic cells, it is possible to power a memory-type Walkman (NW-E407) together with a pair of passive-type speakers (no external power source). The bio battery casing is made of vegetable-based plastic (polylactate), and designed in the image of a biological cell.
08/25/07 - Russia's Ultimate Water Blaster
A team from Special Materials Ltd of St Petersberg have been working on what they describe as 'non-lethal weapon based on electro-hydrodynamical effect.' They're making a hand-held water cannon capable of blasting the target off his feet at close range. The basis of their invention involves a brief but intense electrical discharge in water as 'an effective source of high and super pressure waves' which then drive water through a nozzle. In a paper delivered at the European Symposium on Non-Lethal Weapons , the team conclude that: The assessments done have shown the possibility of designing a portable self-contained unit of 1 - 3 Kg [2 to 7 lbs] that will generate a liquid jet with kinetic energy of up to 100 Joules. Such a jet will provide a damage effect at 5m [17 feet] distance. The prototype weapon fired a 12g (about half an ounce) blast of water at 60 meters/second (200 fps) in tests, but this is only the start. What they're working towards is something that will compete with bean-bag rounds and other kinetic energy weapons, and like them will be able to knock down a taget at twenty feet. The makers report that at 12 feet the spot diameter was about a foot, so impact would be spread over a much wider area than with a solid round, and will that much less risk of damage. The effect should be more like getting his by a sack of rice rather than a baseball bat. This should be an improvement over bean-bags, which are generally canvas bags filled with shot or similar, and though generally non-lethal they can certainly injure. A water projectile could produce the same level of impact force but without the risk or broken ribs or other damage including penetrating injury that can result from bean bags. One police force flatly states in their press release that "The bean bag round is designed to cause injuries in order to save lives."
08/25/07 - Recover Files from Damaged CDs and DVDs with CD Recovery Toolbox
Windows only: Freeware application CD Recovery Toolbox finds and retrieves files on scratched or otherwise damaged CDs and DVDs. Under normal circumstances, a badly scratched disc might show up as completely unreadable by your computer. CD Recovery Toolbox can read the undamaged portions of the disc and display the data that's still accessible. From there, you can extract whichever files and folders you want. The application doesn't promise access to every file that you originally burned to the disc, but it will recover as much as it can read. CD Recovery Toolbox is freeware, Windows only. I don't have a sufficiently damaged disc on hand, so if you have a chance to test the program's performance, let us know how it worked for you in the comments.
08/25/07 - TubeStop Extension: stops YouTube ads
The TubeStop Firefox extension that I wrote in order to stop YouTube videos from auto-playing also has the serendipitous side-effect of removing ads from YouTube videos. Since YouTube is only serving ads through the player on their main site, and not on the embeddable/syndicated player, and TubeStop works by replacing YouTube's native player with the embeddable version, you won't see any ads when you're using TubeStop.
08/25/07 - Quickly Remove Backgrounds with Photoshop
Remove the background from any photo quickly and easily in Photoshop with weblog ThemBid's quick and dirty tutorial. Using Photoshop's Extract filter, trace the area you want to extract with the highlight tool and then color in the traced section using the fill tool. Excluding a few of the finer points, that's about all there is to it, and it works surprisingly well. Following previous Photoshop guides I've used the pen tool for this sort of extraction, but clearly the Extract filter offers the quicker and easier route. This is a great technique to have in your Photoshopping toolbox.
08/25/07 - Partition and Image Your Hard Drive with the System Rescue CD
You've just reinstalled Windows from scratch-again-but this time you want to preserve your sparkling clean setup for instant restoration down the road. Instead of dropping cash on Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image, burn yourself a free, bootable Linux-based System Rescue CD. The System Rescue CD includes open source tools GParted and Partimage, which can create a new partition and save your fresh Windows installation as a restorable image for the price of zero dollars. Never stare at those creeping Windows installation progress bars again: with the System Rescue CD, you can have that fresh new Windows feeling any time you need it. Here's how. (via lifehacker.com)
08/25/07 - Space Resort Opens in 2012
The Galactic Suite Project, run by directors Xavier Claramunt and Marsal Gifra, aims to offer travellers the “most thrilling and transcendent experience ever” with a stay on board their orbital luxury getaway. Upon arrival at the first ever (in our solar system at least) space resort, guests will be able to experience a new world of sensations including weightlessness, star gazing, amazing views of planet Earth with 15 sunsets in a day - not to mention being aboard a spaceship that takes you from 0 to 28,000kmh in 10 minutes. Each journey is likely to take 18 weeks including time for training, the stay at Galactic Suite and return spaceship transfers. The project is due for completion in 2012 and tickets will be on sale from as early as 2008. The price will be slightly more affordable that the current cost for a walk in space (US$35 million), with a three-day stay estimated at around €3 million (US$4 million). Claramunt and Gifra believe the trip is a bargain considering “this is the first package deal, as it includes transport from the tourist’s home to the Caribbean island, the training required for journeys into orbit, the flight to the hotel and three nights accommodation in the Galactic Suite”. The Galactic Suite Project was set up in Barcelona in January 2007 by various architects, aerospace engineers and industrial engineers from Spain and the US. The founders have already made initial contact with Japanese and UAE private investors interested in investing in the project which will require US$3 billion to complete. The aim of the project is to develop an “orbital hotel chain” with modular space accommodation based on the concept of how a grapevine grows that will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 300 miles (450 km). The design and position in relation to the equator will allow visitors to orbit the Earth 15 times every day - and to see 15 sunrises!
08/25/07 - Former state employee wins reverse discrimination case
Mark Pasternak said he lost his state job helping troubled youths because he couldn’t stand working under a black boss who called him racist names like “cracker,” “polack” and “stupid white boy.” Pasternak was dismissed from his position as a youth worker with the state Office of Children and Family Services in 1999. But today, he feels some relief and vindication. After a rare reverse racial discrimination trial in Buffalo’s federal court, a jury Tuesday awarded Pasternak $150,000. Jurors found that his former boss, Tommy E. Baines, discriminated against him racially and created a hostile working environment.
08/25/07 - 100mpg at 100mph
Introducing the VentureOne, a revolutionary 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in Hybrid vehicle. This unique 2-passenger flex-fuel Hybrid vehicle will achieve 100 miles per gallon, accelerate from 0-60 in 6 seconds with a top speed of over 100 mph, yet at a retail price of under $20,000. Carver Engineering was faced with the challenge of designing a slender vehicle that would not fall over, as most slim vehicles were prone. Their solution was to make the vehicle do what two-wheeled vehicles did, tilt when cornering. However, due to the size and weight required to make the vehicle enclosed, the tilting operation could not be left to the driver’s control. Therefore, an automatic system that takes over the balance control was required in order to maintain the ideal tilting angles under all imaginable driving conditions, such as at all speeds and accelerations and during rapid emergency maneuvers, and also on slippery or slanting road surfaces. The result was DVC technology, a hydro-mechanical system that splits the steering input from the driver into a front-wheel steering angle and a tilting angle of the chassis.
08/25/07 - The Science of Out-of-Body Experiences
Get ready to see yourself in a new light. Two papers released this week by the journal Science describe what seem to be the first lab-induced out-of-body experiences in healthy people. Using goggles hooked up to video cameras, and sticks to poke and stroke, researchers subjected study participants to a variety of visual and physical cues to confuse their brain about their body's location. Sound a bit impractical? Consider, then, how the studies relate to humankind's most enduring question: what makes us ourselves in the first place? "I'm not really interested in out-of-body experiences," says Henrik Ehrsson, one of the study's authors and an assistant professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. "I'm really interested in in-body experiences: how the brain keeps and updates a model of the world and the body. To have a perception of your own body is the foundation of self-consciousness."
08/25/07 - Larry King Poll on Religion (no Muslim?)
08/23/07 - 130mpg Hydraulic Car
The piston of the free-piston internal combustion engine pumps hydraulic fluid into the accumulator. It stores the energy by compressing the gas bladder inside. The engine will be turned off automatically when the accumulator is filled - and turned on again shortly before it becomes empty. The pressurized fluid drives the wheelmotors, one in each wheel. Their driving power is continuously variable from zero to maximum speed. The wheelmotors are reversed during braking and become pumps. They are powerful enough to stop the car like disk brakes, while recuperating the entire braking energy. The energy is stored in the accumulator and used again for driving. The ‘round-trip-efficiency’ during braking is 70% to 85%. The energy is stored in the accumulator and will be used again to drive the car. (via alfin2100.blogspot.com)
08/23/07 - The creative power of many vs. the power of one
Keith Sawyer’s “Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration” is an intriguing look at the role of collaboration in creativity and innovation. It will likely challenge your understanding of how innovation happens and how a culture that encourages innovation can be developed within your organization.
The main theme of the book is that although most of us think of innovation as the result of the work of a “lone genius,” that is often not the case. Instead, the book presents the case for creativity and innovation as being group-based and collaborative in nature.
08/23/07 - Beefing up the BigBelly business
The high-tech trashcans are among hundreds produced by Needham-based Seahorse Power Company and shipped to street corners as near as Newton and as far away as the Middle East and Australia. Three years after founder Jim Poss built the world’s only curbside solar-powered trash compactor from scratch, his company is about to launch a slimmer, sexier BigBelly. “This is not just a receptacle,” Bruce Todtfeld, vice president of marketing, said as he stood beside the newest generation. “It’s a more efficient system of municipal garbage collection.” By automatically compacting using a solar-powered ram, the BigBelly keeps sidewalks clear of overflowing litter and reduces the number of trips municipal workers have to make to empty the curbside cans. The machine requires no electricity and little maintenance, and has a mailbox-like lid that keeps pests and human hands alike out of the trash compactor. It also comes with a hefty price tag: $3,600 to $3,900 for the old model, or $3,600 to $4,200 for the new one.
Needham bought one machine in 2005 and a second last year using DPW funds. With only two machines, Hoyland said he hasn’t seen a huge savings in time and money, but has noticed that the town’s BigBelly trash compactors help keep the sidewalk clean and pests out. The BigBelly, which holds four to five times as much garbage as a traditional trash can, can help reduce emissions from diesel-powered garbage trucks used to collect curbside garbage. “You’re sending a really inefficient vehicle to pick that up,” said Todtfeld. With the BigBelly compactors, “instead of picking up something four or five times, you’re picking it up once." According to green-energy advocacy group Inform Inc., the typical municipal garbage truck gets less than 3 miles per gallon. In all, American garbage trucks use more than 1 billion gallons of diesel gasoline a year, or 20 million gallons a week. The BigBelly also collects compacted trash in an inner plastic bin, so it doesn’t need a plastic bag. Its solar panels can operate in ambient light, such as on a cloudy day. Poss said the BigBelly has also stood up well to the rough life of the streets. Maintaining the machines costs, on average, $5.50 per unit, per year, including vandalism.
08/23/07 - Local engineer's plan to zap pest-plant gains positive results
Bob Holland of Throapham House, just outside Dinnington, is well aware of the problems that Japanese knotweed has given to gardeners for decades. His septic tank was once damaged as a result of the rampaging plant. Various methods of control have been tried in the past, with varying success. Now Bob thinks he may just have the answer - in the shape of an electrical device which will stop the pest-plant in its tracks.
08/23/07 - Aluminum pellets may facilitate hydrogen-powered car, but…
A professor at Purdue University in the US has developed a method for extracting hydrogen from water using an aluminum alloy. He believes this method could be used to power cars, although he recognizes that there are significant hurdles that need to be overcome before this break-through becomes a commercially-viable alternative to gasoline. "The hydrogen is generated on demand, so you only produce as much as you need when you need it," said Woodall. According to Woodall, the technology could be used to drive small internal combustion engines in various applications, including portable emergency generators, lawn mowers and chain saws. He also believes that the process could, in theory, also be used to replace gasoline for cars and trucks. Hydrogen is generated spontaneously when water is added to pellets of the alloy, which is made of aluminum and a metal called gallium. Researchers have shown how hydrogen is produced when water is added to a small tank containing the pellets. Hydrogen produced in such a system could be fed directly to an engine, such as those on lawn mowers. "When water is added to the pellets, the aluminum in the solid alloy reacts because it has a strong attraction to the oxygen in the water," Woodall said. This reaction splits the oxygen and hydrogen contained in water, releasing hydrogen in the process. The gallium is critical to the process because it hinders the formation of a skin normally created on aluminum's surface after oxidation. This skin usually prevents oxygen from reacting with aluminum, acting as a barrier. Preventing the skin's formation allows the reaction to continue until all of the aluminum is used. Woodall said that because the technology makes it possible to use hydrogen instead of gasoline to run internal combustion engines it could be used for cars and trucks. That's the good news. Now for the bad news. Woodall admits that in order for the technology to be economically competitive with gasoline, however, the cost of recycling aluminum oxide must be reduced. "Right now it costs more than $1 a pound to buy aluminum, and, at that price, you can't deliver a product at the equivalent of $3 per gallon of gasoline," Woodall said. Woodhall does have a solution for this problem. He believes the cost of aluminum could be reduced by recycling it from the alumina using a process called fused salt electrolysis.
08/23/07 - Predicting Asthma attacks
Days before the muscles around asthmatics' airways tighten, their breath carries a tell-tale sign that an asthma attack is imminent -- and a University of Pittsburgh professor's invention seeks to catch that clue in time to save lives. An inexpensive inhaler-sized device, yet to be manufactured, could measure levels of nitric oxide -- a gas that increases in the breath of people whose airways are becoming inflamed -- and could help stop an asthma attack before it starts. Star's device consists of a tiny sensor fitted into a small, hand-held tube that a person can breathe into. It is powered by a watch battery and displays results on a small screen. The sensor is made of a one-atom thick sheet of graphite rolled into a tube 100,000 times smaller than a human hair. The battery runs a current through the nanotube. In the presence of even minute amounts of nitric oxide, the current changes, which allows a person to track nitric oxide levels.
08/23/07 - Underwater turbines set to generate record power
By the end of the year, twin underwater turbines should be generating 1.2 megawatts of electricity off the coast of Northern Ireland in a landmark demonstration of tidal power technology. The underwater turbines look and work very much like wind power turbines. Each blade is 15 to 20 metres across and is mounted on an axis that attaches to a 3-metre-wide pile driven into the seabed. Tide-driven currents will move the rotors at speeds of between 10 and 20 revolutions per minute, which the company claims is too slow to affect marine life. The turbines will drive a gearbox that will, in turn, drive an electric generator and the resulting electricity will be transmitted to the shore via an underwater cable. The Strangford Lough tidal generator is intended purely as a demonstration project. Eventually, MCT intends to build farms of turbines consisting of 10 to 20 pairs each. Each turbine requires a piece of equipment called a jack-up barge for installation. The barge anchors itself to the sea floor and drills a hole that sets the turbines in place.
08/23/07 - Cow-powered fuel cells grow smaller, mightier
Cows could one day help to meet the rise in demand for alternative energy sources, say Ohio State University researchers that used microbe-rich fluid from a cow to generate electricity in a small fuel cell. This new microbial fuel cell is a redesign of a larger model that the researchers created a few years ago. The new cell is a quarter of the size of the original model, yet can produce about three times the power, said Hamid Rismani-Yazdi, a doctoral student in food, agricultural and biological engineering at Ohio State University. Experiments showed that it took two of the new cells to produce enough electricity to recharge a AA-sized battery. It took four of the first-generation fuel cells to recharge just one of these batteries. Rismani-Yazdi is the lead author of a new study of cellulose-based microbial fuel cells. The source of power for these fuel cells comes from the breakdown of cellulose by a variety of bacteria in rumen fluid, the microbe-rich fluid found in a cow's rumen, the largest chamber of a cow's stomach. To create power, researchers fill one compartment of a microbial fuel cell with cellulose and rumen fluid. “Energy is produced as the bacteria break down cellulose, which is one of the most abundant resources on our planet,” said Rismani-Yazdi. Indeed, cellulose is plentiful on most farms, as harvesting usually leaves plenty behind in the form of crop residue in fields. Other prime sources of cellulose include waste paper and items made of wood.
08/23/07 - Sleep Invention Puts You To Sleep or Wakes You Up On Time
Dreamhelmet forms a barrier between you and the outside world, providing a comfy pillow and reducing light and sound; Jim de Cordova, the inventor, calls this low tech triple sensory input reduction 'The shady tree effect.' The Dreamhelmet has received praise from travel professionals and everyday users alike for helping them sleep at home or while traveling. Secret pockets 'HiPockets' hide money and valuables, and contain a free set of foam earplugs. These pockets also hold the secret to the Dreamhelmet's unique ability to awaken its owner at the desired time. Each Dreamhelmet sale now includes a free alarm watch that fits in the pockets. This personal alarm, when placed in one of the pockets, awakens only the user. The full-function fob alarm stopwatch also comes with a carabineer clip and a compass. Dreamhelmet also transforms to a wrap-around earmuff pillow, or into a warm cover for the hands and forearms. Dreamhelmet helps keep automobile drivers safe by making it easy for them to nap along the road, or to stay warmer if stranded. The Dreamhelmet keeps campers' heads warm and safe from mosquitoes. Sport fans can keep hands warm or have a pillow to soften a cold bleacher. The company also has a camouflage military version it hopes will one day be standard equipment for all U.S. soldiers to help them sleep in barracks and field. All information is on the company website: www.dreamhelmet.com 100% cotton cradles the head and a choice of several attractive fabrics grace the outside. The Dreamhelmet costs $29.95 plus shipping. The direct 24 hour order number is (888) 918-5630.
08/23/07 - Video Newspapers
Hollywood needs pricey special effects to make Harry Potter's magical world come to life. But one bit of movie magic, Harry's full-motion-video newspaper, may not be so far from reality. In this ScienCentral News video we see that prototypes of these displays have already been successfully demonstrated in the lab. Purdue University's David Janes is using nanotechnology to create a high-tech display that could be used for a newspaper that updates itself, complete with moving pictures. "So instead of seeing a static picture on your newspaper headline, you would actually see a character talking at you. Certainly I think this would be a way to do that," says Janes. It also happens to be transparent, so manufacturers could be embed it in clear surfaces like windshields, or even your eyeglasses, because everything from the nanowires to the electrodes has been fabricated using transparent oxide materials. If you're sitting on a train or on an airplane, you could just watch videos directly through your eyeglasses, and not have a separate display you carried with you," says Janes. "E Ink" uses electrical signals to rearrange miniscule particles of black and white pigment to create text or images. Like Janes' technology, this E Ink can be applied to a plastic substrate, allowing for super-thin, flexible displays. It is also daylight readable, just like books or newsprint. In the lab, they have developed a video version of the display.
08/23/07 - Bedini Products Website
Although there is no solution to reconstituting a shorted battery cell, a severely sulfated battery can be "Radiantly" charged back to a near new condition. Conventional chargers cannot break through the sulfated
layers that normally form through conventional charging and discharging cycles. After becoming so sulfated they can no longer be charged, most old batteries are recycled or discarded as worthless. Our innovative new process now makes it possible for you to recover these unchargeable batteries, with replacement costs typically between $60.00 to $6000.00 depending on your battery type. We have recently developed several different charging systems which are unique and available to different market segments for industry and consumers alike. / Products - Daily use of the Genesis Charging System on new batteries will keep them working like new and old batteries will become like new after repeated cycling. This all equates to longer run times and extended battery life. The amazing effects of Radiant charging will result in less energy consumption, less battery recycling and 30% or more available stored power. The above pictures represent a 1000 amp-hour highly sulfated forklift battery, that could not be conventionally charged. In just six cycles we can clearly see that the sulfation has started to break-up and is returning active material to the battery plates. This battery is currently operating at over 50% of its original capacity, and will continue to increase over repeated cycling. Unlike any other charging systems, this battery can now be placed back in service and run a complete eight-hour shift before recharging is necessary. With continued charging and discharging cycling the Radiant charger will slowly break through the sulfated layers until the battery reaches its optimal performance level. / r-charge.com - Someone named Rick kindly provided this URL for actual sales of Bedini products where you can buy them. Click on 'Products'. Thanks Rick! / Low Power Desulfator plans and Lead Acid Battery Desulfation Pulse Generator - DIY plan URLs courtesy of Bill Beaty at Amateur Science.
08/23/07 - Plain soap as effective as antibacterial but without the risk
Antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps and, in fact, may render some common antibiotics less effective, says a University of Michigan public health professor. In the first known comprehensive analysis of whether antibacterial soaps work better than plain soaps, Allison Aiello of the U-M School of Public Health and her team found that washing hands with an antibacterial soap was no more effective in preventing infectious illness than plain soap. Moreover, antibacterial soaps at formulations sold to the public do not remove any more bacteria from the hands during washing than plain soaps.
08/23/07 - Nitrogen overload concerns ecologist
On an overcast day in April, Stuart Weiss stood in the rolling hills of a Bay Area nature preserve and lifted a bag of nitrogen-based fertilizer to his shoulder. The heavy sack, the Menlo Park ecologist explained to the small crowd gathered before him, symbolized the unprecedented release of nitrogen into the Earth's air, land and water and the insidious environmental changes the potent fertilizer is causing globally. At Edgewood Park in Redwood City, where he stood, nitrogen in vehicle exhaust from a nearby freeway has led to the local demise of a threatened butterfly population, according to research Weiss conducted. The link he established between the exhaust and the butterflies' decline attracted international attention among the growing federation of scientists studying "nitrogen pollution." "I call it the biggest global change that nobody has ever heard of," Weiss said at the spring event. "The planet has never seen this much nitrogen at any time." Human activity releases 125 million metric tons of nitrogen from agricultural activities and fossil fuel combustion a year, compared with 113 million metric tons annually from natural sources, according to a 2007 United Nations report called "Human Alteration of the Nitrogen Cycle." Not only is the glut of nitrogen disrupting ecosystems, polluting waters and harming human health, but it's also a silent partner with carbon dioxide in changing the Earth's climate, the report said. Despite the countless initiatives under way to reduce carbon-dioxide levels to slow global warming, some scientists warn that those efforts will prove moot unless nitrogen releases also are lowered. "We won't solve global warming without addressing nitrogen," said Elizabeth Holland, a senior scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. "The changes to the nitrogen cycle are larger in magnitude and more profound than the changes to the carbon cycle," Holland continued. "But the nitrogen cycle is being neglected."
08/23/07 - Pellets of power designed to deliver hydrogen for tomorrow's vehicles
Developing a method to safely store, dispense and easily "refuel" the vehicle's storage material with hydrogen has baffled researchers for years. However, a new and attractive storage medium being developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists may provide the "power of pellets" to fuel future transportation needs. PNNL scientists are using solid ammonia borane, or AB, compressed into small pellets to serve as a hydrogen storage material. Each milliliter of AB weighs about three-quarters of a gram and harbors up to 1.8 liters of hydrogen. Researchers expect that a fuel system using small AB pellets will occupy less space and be lighter in weight than systems using pressurized hydrogen gas, thus enabling fuel cell vehicles to have room, range and performance comparable to today's automobiles. "With this new understanding and our improved methods in working with ammonia borane," said PNNL scientist Dave Heldebrant, "we're making positive strides in developing a viable storage medium to provide reliable, environmentally friendly hydrogen power generation for future transportation needs." A small pellet of solid ammonia borane (240 mg), as shown, is capable of storing relatively large quantities of hydrogen (0.5 liter) in a very small volume. PNNL scientists are learning to manipulate the release of hydrogen from AB at predictable rates. By varying temperature and manipulating AB feed rates to a reactor, researchers envision controlling the production of hydrogen and thus fuel cell power, much like a gas pedal regulates fuel to a car's combustion engine. "Once hydrogen from the storage material is depleted, the AB pellets must be safely and effi ciently regenerated by way of chemical processing," said PNNL scientist Don Camaioni. "This 'refueling' method requires chemically digesting or breaking down the solid spent fuel into chemicals that can be recycled back to AB with hydrogen."
08/23/07 - Caffeine may keep elderly women sharp
Women who reported drinking heavy amounts of caffeine, did better on the tests on average than those who drank less. Men experienced no visible benefit. From Science News: Although the study's design precluded investigating the possible mechanism for a gender difference, (researcher Karen) Ritchie notes that at least one animal study published by others "suggests there's an interaction between caffeine and the [female] sex hormones estrogen and progesterone." If caffeine's protective effect works by interacting with receptors for estrogen on a women's cells, this might explain another preliminary observation by the French team: that among heavy caffeine consumers, women over age 80 faced half the risk of significant cognitive decline during the study than ladies 65 to 80 did... One disappointing observation, Ritchie notes, is that even heavy caffeine intake didn't reduce the risk of developing outright dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease.
08/23/07 - People buy small cars even though they can be deadly
Americans are buying more small cars to cut fuel costs, and that might kill them. As a group, occupants of small cars are more likely to die in crashes than those in bigger, heavier vehicles are, according to data from the government, the insurance industry and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). If the switch to smaller, lighter vehicles continues to grow, the result could be anywhere from dozens to thousands of traffic deaths that would have been avoided in bigger vehicles, according to fatality records and safety forecasters. The number depends on how many bigger, heavier vehicles ultimately are replaced by smaller, lighter cars.
08/23/07 - Body clock might stop during hibernation
The body's clock may lose track of time during winter hibernation, scientists have found in a species of hamster. The genes responsible for regulating circadian rhythms in the brain normally follow a 24-hour cycle, with their activity waxing and waning in step with day and night. But what happens during hibernation? Brain activity resembles that of deep slumber, and the body slows its metabolism to a crawl. The internal temperature of arctic ground squirrels, for instance, can plummet below freezing. It's thought that hibernation evolved from sleep as a way to save energy during lean winter months.
Some studies have hinted that factors such as body temperature continue to oscillate up and down in a daily cycle during this winter period, although not nearly so much as during normal conditions. But no one had tapped directly into the brain or looked at the genes that control the body clock to see what was happening there.
08/23/07 - Freecorder Toolbar - Free Sound Recorder
Freecorder Toolbar is a revolutionary new browser-based audio recording program, combining state of the art recording technology, ease-of-use, and some great browser enhancements. And best of all, it's 100% FREE! Here's some of the benefits of Freecorder Toolbar: * Records what you hear from your PC's speakers. * Records from the microphone or line-in inputs on your PC. * Unique Sound Separation Technology eliminates background noises. * Easy-to-use Record, Stop and Pause functions. * See recordings happening with the cool Visualizer. * Saves recordings as MP3 or WAV files.
08/21/07 - Swiss and Spanish Solar Hydrogen Agreement
A CHP solar concentrator and furnace unit. The furnace is at the end of the arm. Clean Hydrogen Producers (CHP), an early stage company based in Switzerland, has signed an agreement with Grupo Ibereólica, a multi-national alternative energy company based in Madrid, Spain, outlining the planning, permitting and appraisal of CHP’s Solar Water Cracker technology in Spain and Mexico. The CHP Solar Water Cracker is a system which concentrates sunlight to heat a furnace to the point where it splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can be sold or run through a fuel cell to generate energy. This energy can then be sold back to the grid.
08/21/07 - Inventor's 'kool' idea
"I don't know if you remember computers back then, but the computers ran pretty hot," says Marceau, who is provost of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa. So he set about cutting up a piece of glass to use as a plate on which to place his computer. Over the next six years he would update the design, change the materials, and experiment with his invention -- though at that time he didn't know he even had an invention on his hands. In 2001, a work friend bought a laptop and Marceau found himself telling his colleague about the plate. "When I said it, it struck me that I had an invention. It took me six years to realize somebody else might be interested in this thing," Marceau says.
The invention -- called the Koolplate -- just received a U.S. patent, after Marceau applied for one in 2003. Made of aluminum and 50 mm thick, the Koolplate is designed to protect laptop users if a desk or table isn't available. The aluminum helps shield computer users from electromagnetic radiation emitted by some laptops, he says. The invention is useful for commuters who use their computers on the bus or train, Marceau says. Six students from the school's bachelor of commerce program made the Koolplate their fourth-year project this year, with a focus on getting it to market. The Koolplate could be available around September, at $30 to $35, Marceau says.
08/21/07 - A Human Anti-Aging Pill in Ten Years
Sinclair's basic claim is simple, if seemingly improbable: he has found an elixir of youth. In his Australian drawl, the 38-year-old Harvard University professor of pathology explains how he discovered that resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine, extends life span in mice by up to 24 percent and in other animals, including flies and worms, by as much as 59 percent. Sinclair hopes that resveratrol will bump up the life span of people, too. "The system at work in the mice and other organisms is evolutionarily very old, so I suspect that what works in mice will work in humans," he says. While Sinclair was in Guarente's lab in the late 1990s, he discovered that sir2 prevents aging in yeast by slowing down the accumulation of ERCs, circular strands of DNA that build up in organisms as they age, eventually killing them. Around the same time, others in Guarente's lab made another crucial discovery: that a link may exist between sir2 and a molecule critical for metabolizing food, called NAD. The connection suggested that the longevity gene might be related to diet--specifically, Guarente postulated, to caloric restriction. A nutritionally complete diet containing 30 to 40 percent fewer calories than normal had long been known to extend life span in some animals, ramping up cell defenses and slowing down aging. A study in Cell from the lab of Johan Auwerx of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Illkirch, France. Auwerx's team, which was partially funded by Sirtris (Auwerx is on the company's scientific advisory board), had given mice even higher doses of resveratrol--400 milligrams per kilogram. These mice stayed slender and strong on a high-fat diet, with the energy-charged muscles and reduced heart rate of athletes. The number of mitochondria in their cells increased, which improved the cells' energy output.
08/21/07 - Get Eight Watch Batteries From a 12-Volt Battery
Do-it-yourselfer Kipkay did a little investigating and found that beneath the shell of a run-of-the-mill 12-volt battery was eight watch batteries. Considering watch batteries cost between $4 and $6 a pop, finding eight of them in a $2 battery makes for quite a savings. I guess this isn't surprising since 9-volt batteries are filled with six AAA batteries.
08/21/07 - A Step in the Right Direction
Medicare will stop paying the costs of treating infections, falls, objects left in surgical patients and other things that happen in hospitals that could have been prevented. The rule identifies eight conditions - including three serious types of preventable incidents sometimes called ``never events'' - that Medicare no longer will pay for. Those conditions are: objects left in a patient during surgery; blood incompatibility; air embolism; falls; mediastinitis, which is an infection after heart surgery; urinary tract infections from using catheters; pressure ulcers, or bed sores; and vascular infections from using catheters. ``Our efforts in this arena and in other payment rules are to ensure that CMS is an active puchaser, not passive payer, of health care,'' Jeff Nelligan, a spokesman for the agency, said Saturday. He said the rule ``underscores our drive toward quality, efficiency and integrity in the hospital setting.'' Hospitals in the future will be expected to pick up the cost of additional treatment required by a preventable condition acquired in the hospital. ``The hospital cannot bill the beneficiary for any charges associated with the hospital-acquired complication,'' the final rules say. Medicare provides coverage for about 43 million elderly and disabled people. The Medicare program's expenses totaled about $408 billion in 2006; costs are expected to rise rapidly in coming years.
08/21/07 - Plastic Car Will be World’s Cheapest
The car maker Tata Motors has not divulged many details about the car other than its shockingly low sticker price of 100,000 rupees, or 1 lakh in Indian currency. That's just over £1200, less than half the price of the lowest-priced cars on India's market today. Supposedly, the 1 Lakh Car - Tata has yet to release its official name - will be a 4-door as big as a Volkswagen Rabbit, much of it will be plastic, and it will have a rear-mounted 30-horsepower engine. By comparison, a Rabbit has about 150 horsepower. Tata is counting on it being a mega hit. It better be, analysts say. A huge volume of sales is necessary to make up for the car's tiny profit margin of less than 3%. But its success could spell trouble for India's urban planners and environmentalists who say a drastic increase in car ownership could overwhelm the country's already crowded roadways and worsen its air quality.
08/21/07 - Let the Sun Shine In
Too much energy is wasted by converting it. We could cut energy use by as much as 30% in 10 years by removing some links from the energy chain. Even the most advanced photovoltaic solar panels convert just 20% of the available sunlight to electricity. The resulting direct current (DC) then must undergo conversion to alternating current (AC), losing another 20%. If that AC goes on to light an incandescent bulb, which is only 5% efficient, you end up using a fraction of 1% of the original sunlight as room light. (Even switching to compact florescent bulbs, which are 15% efficient, makes little difference in overall energy efficiency.) But if you were to simply leave sunlight as light-via proper skylights, window orientation, and louvers-nearly 80% of the light ends up as illumination. The more links we put in the energy conversion chain, the greater the losses and the more improbable and inappropriate the solution. We need, wherever possible, to keep light as light and heat as heat and food as food. And as much as we enjoy endlessly debating which approach to take, the best solutions may very well be those closest to home. We could begin by siting new buildings for optimal exposure to sunlight and properly designing them to best capture daylight via skylights and windows. Though still a rarity in the U.S., such design practice has become much more common in Europe. With proper insulation, such structures also require very little energy to heat. Similarly, we could install heat exchangers-simple, low tech devices that operate with 90% efficiency-much more widely. Office building architects, for example, increasingly use heat exchangers to help separate sources of heat and cold, thus eliminating double heating and cooling. Even if you can't avoid mulitiple conversions entirely, there are ways to minimize the number of conversions. For example, we could also find more opportunities to break the DC/AC conversion cycle. Refrigerators and other appliances that operate on DC are becoming available and, with the certain arrival of economical LED lighting, which operates on DC, direct DC solar-power-to-DC-end-use shortly will become much more practical.
08/21/07 - Video - Turn a pencil into an emergency light source
A pencil lead and a connection source is all you need, and voila! Emergency light source. It's an excellent option if you've ever been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire and you don't have your handy dandy emergency car kit packed. (via lifehacker.com)
08/21/07 - 3D Animations in Mid-Air Using Plasma Balls
Japanese boffins are now making animations by creating small plasma balls in mid-air. The technology doesn't use vapor or strange gases, just lasers to heat up oxygen and nitrogen molecules: up to 1,000 brilliant dots per second, which makes smooth motion possible. They could be used as street signs, advertising or to create giant plasma monsters to destroy entire cities.
08/21/07 - The greening of IT: Why less is more
A day doesn't go by without another software, hardware or electronics firms professing its newly found green credentials. Not only can this be misleading, it distracts us from what we really need to do so save our fragile earth: consume less, reuse more. The problem with the greening of IT is that - admittedly this is a generalisation - the underlying goal is to get you to buy more: new servers with more energy-efficient processors, intelligent sensors for data centre coolant systems, server virtualisation software, low-power monitors, tools that turn off dormant computers and so on. Do more to impact less. In 2006 Guardian columnist George Monbiot wrote: "If the biosphere is wrecked, it will not be done by those who couldn't give a damn about it, as they now belong to a diminishing minority. It will be destroyed by nice, well-meaning, cosmopolitan people who accept the case for cutting emissions but who won't change by one iota the way they live."
08/21/07 - Max Water Cranks Moisture Out of the Air
Inventor Max Whisson has figured out a way to extract water from air using Max Water, a wind-powered contraption he named after himself. Max Water uses the concept of condensation, where lower temperature allows less water to hang around in the air, and Whisson says that will amount to 10,000 liters per day dripping from this single rooftop device. Man, that's a lot of water. Those interested in this device better be mighty thirsty, though, because they'll have to shell out $43,000 for one of these babies. But if you've ever been in a region where there's no water, spending $43K is a whole lot better than dying of thirst. If this idea really works as well as its inventor says it does, economies of scale will make that high price a temporary hurdle.
08/21/07 - Deflector Shields to Maximum
A microwave-generated plasma shield was patented today under the name "Pseudo surface microwave produced plasma shielding system." The shielding system might be usable "as a stealth system from RADAR and SONAR, a protection system from weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and a weapon system to generate and launch plasmoids as a plasma gun," as well as a type of propulsion system, and as an alternative heating method to the "conventional combustion method that uses petroleum based fuel in the combustion chamber of an engine."
08/21/07 - Reagan Writes About George W.
(Even Reagan realized it!!! - JWD) From the new Reagan Diaries. President Reagan writes about an encounter with soon-to-be president George H.W. Bush: Find the kid a job. - May 17, 1986. 'A moment I've been dreading. George brought his ne're-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.'
08/21/07 - Body Heat Used to Power Electronics
It used to be that human-generated electricity meant riding a stationary bicycle, or some such thing, to power a generator. But couch potatoes take note: simply sitting around could one day generate enough electricity to power electronic devices. Spies and his team improved upon semiconductors called thermoelectric generators that produce electrical energy in the face of temperature differences. Normally, a difference of several tens of degrees would be required in order to generate enough power, but the differences between the body's surface temperature and that of its environment are only a few degrees. That produces about 250 millivolts, while electronic devices require at least one or two volts. Spies and his team devised a solution. They incorporated a component into the circuit called a charge pump. The pump temporarily stores the incoming millivolts until they reach 1.8 volts. At that threshold, an internal transistor turns on and delivers the higher voltage to a component that can transfer the electricity to a device. "Only a very small part of the thermal heat flow can be converted into electrical power," said Ueltzen. And for that reason, the technology may only work for applications that don't require a lot of energy. The technology has already been shown to work on a wireless sensor that could be used to constantly monitor a patient's temperature and send the information to a nurse's station. It could also be used to power a hearing aid or to supplement the battery power on larger electronic devices, such as a sports watch or a mobile phone. And because the circuit essentially converts waste heat into energy, it could have applications outside the body. For example, it could be used to convert the heat from radiators, refrigerators, or air conditioning systems into energy that can be reused by a building. Spies and his team plan to have an optimized prototype by the end of the this year and think they can get the 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch device down to 1/5 inch on its side.
08/21/07 - Can a jet fly on pond scum? New Zealanders think so
It seems as if you can make an eco-friendly fuel out of just about any organic matter: corn, table wine, and, now, algae. According to a report out of New Zealand, Boeing, Air New Zealand and biofuel developer Aquaflow Bionomic are at work on a secret project: to make an organic fuel out of wild algae extracted from sewage ponds and other fetid watering holes.
08/21/07 - Scientists hail ‘frozen smoke’ as material that will change world
Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300C. Scientists are working to discover new applications for the substance, ranging from the next generation of tennis rackets to super-insulated space suits for a manned mission to Mars. Aerogel is nicknamed “frozen smoke” and is made by extracting water from a silica gel, then replacing it with gas such as carbon dioxide. The result is a substance that is capable of insulating against extreme temperatures and of absorbing pollutants such as crude oil. Mark Krajewski, a senior scientist at the company, believes that an 18mm layer of aerogel will be sufficient to protect astronauts from temperatures as low as -130C. “It is the greatest insulator we’ve ever seen,” he said. Aerogel is also being tested for future bombproof housing and armour for military vehicles. In the laboratory, a metal plate coated in 6mm of aerogel was left almost unscathed by a direct dynamite blast. It also has green credentials. Aerogel is described by scientists as the “ultimate sponge”, with millions of tiny pores on its surface making it ideal for absorbing pollutants in water. Kanatzidis has created a new version of aerogel designed to mop up lead and mercury from water. Other versions are designed to absorb oil spills. Dunlop, the sports equipment company, has developed a range of squash and tennis rackets strengthened with aerogel, which are said to deliver more power. Mountain climbers are also converts. Last year Anne Parmenter, a British mountaineer, climbed Everest using boots that had aerogel insoles, as well as sleeping bags padded with the material. She said at the time: “The only problem I had was that my feet were too hot, which is a great problem to have as a mountaineer.” However, it has failed to convince the fashion world. Hugo Boss created a line of winter jackets out of the material but had to withdraw them after complaints that they were too hot. Although aerogel is classed as a solid, 99% of the substance is made up of gas, which gives it a cloudy appearance. Scientists say that because it has so many millions of pores and ridges, if one cubic centimetre of aerogel were unravelled it would fill an area the size of a football field. Its nano-sized pores can not only collect pollutants like a sponge but they also act as air pockets. Researchers believe that some versions of aerogel which are made from platinum can be used to speed up the production of hydrogen. As a result, aerogel can be used to make hydrogen-based fuels.
08/21/07 - Turning garbage to energy has downsides, critics say
Drastically reducing the amount of garbage going to landfills while creating a clean energy source in the process - it sounds like the perfect solution to the world's environmental woes. But critics argue that the process of heating garbage to create a gas that can then be used to produce heat and electricity - a process known as garbage gasification - is an unsustainable solution to the problem of overflowing landfills that will ultimately cause more harm than good to the environment and human health. "We have to remember that incinerators and gasifiers don't destroy the elements that go in, all they do is recombine them in new ways, some of which are more hazardous than what was going in in the first place." Garbage gasification is a two-step process. First, solid waste is heated anaerobically, or without oxygen, to extract a synthetic gas. That gas is then burned to produce heat or electricity that can be added to a city's regular grid. The byproducts include ash and, depending on the plant's emission controls, greenhouse gases and other particles that can be hazardous to human health. Paul Connett, a retired professor of chemistry with St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., says gasification is no different from incineration, and anyone who believes otherwise is being "hoodwinked." "Basically what you're doing is destroying materials that we should be sharing with the future. We buy things today, we destroy them tomorrow. That's a non-sustainable way of living on a finite planet." In addition to greenhouse gases, gasification creates what Connett calls "toxic nano-particles" which, when inhaled by humans, can cause degenerative diseases that affect tissues, including the brain. "When you incinerate, you're converting tons and tons of material into trillions of tiny particles, and those tiny particles by definition contain every toxic element that we use in commerce," he said. But despite critics' warnings, the technology seems to be growing in popularity, and two major Canadian cities are moving ahead with projects to convert their garbage to energy.
08/19/07 - Hoax - August 27th - ONCE IN OUR LIFETIME...
There's a rumor about Mars going around the internet. Here are some snippets from a widely-circulated email message: 27th Aug the Whole World is waiting! Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will cultivate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65M miles of earth. Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am. It will look like the earth has 2 moons. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it again. / Only the first sentence is true. The Red Planet is about to be spectacular. The rest is a hoax. Here are the facts: Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter this year on October 30th at 0319 Universal Time. Distance: 69 million kilometers. To the unaided eye, Mars will look like a bright red star, a pinprick of light, certainly not as wide as the full Moon. Disappointed? Don't be. If Mars did come close enough to rival the Moon, its gravity would alter Earth's orbit and raise terrible tides.
08/19/07 - New Stirling Engine Insights
The Air Engine Stirling Cycle Power for a Sustainable Future Contains Previously Unpublished Insights into the Pressure Wave and Thermal Lag Engines. Research and Markets has announced the addition of “The Air Engine: Stirling Cycle Power For A Sustainable Future” to their offering. The air engine: Stirling cycle power for a sustainable future - * Contains previously unpublished insights into the pressure-wave and thermal-lag engines * Addresses the need to reduce harmful gas emissions whilst sustaining economic growth * Design implications are discussed. Two centuries after the original invention, the Stirling engine is now a commercial reality as the core component of domestic CHP (combined heat and power) - a technology offering substantial savings in raw energy utilization relative to centralized power generation. The threat of climate change requires a net reduction in hydrocarbon consumption and in emissions of 'greenhouse' gases whilst sustaining economic growth. Development of technologies such as CHP addresses both these needs. Meeting the challenge involves addressing a range of issues: a long-standing mismatch between inherently favourable internal efficiency and wasteful external heating provision; a dearth of heat transfer and flow data appropriate to the task of first-principles design; the limited rpm capability when operating with air (and nitrogen) as working fluid. All of these matters are explored in depth in The air engine: Stirling cycle power for a sustainable future. The account includes previously unpublished insights into the personality and potential of two related regenerative prime movers - the pressure-wave and thermal-lag engines.
08/19/07 - Ionic Wind to cool hot computer chips
Researchers at Purdue University have demonstrated an 'ionic wind engine' that promises to reduce the heat generated by semiconductors at a faster rate than is possible with traditional cooling technologies. The experimental cooling device consists of an anode - a wire with a positive charge - positioned 10 millimeters above an array of cathodes, which are negatively charged. As current runs through the device, the cathodes discharge electrons towards the anode. When these electrons collide with molecules in the air, they produce ions with a positive charge that are drawn back to the cathodes, creating an ionic wind that increases airflow on the surface of a mock chip. The ability to increase airflow on the surface of the chip allows it to cool faster. Conventional cooling devices are limited by the fact that air molecules closest to the surface do not move, and molecules move progressively faster the further away they are from the surface, Purdue said. "This phenomenon hinders computer cooling because it restricts airflow where it is most needed, directly on the chip's hot surface," the university said. Purdue said the ionic wind engine can increase the rate at which a chip cools, called the heat transfer coefficient, by up to 250 percent. Details of their findings will be published in the September 1 issue of the Journal of Applied Physics. The next step in Purdue's research into ionic wind engines involves reducing the size of the ionic wind engine from millimeters to microns, or millionths of a meter, so that it can be used on production chips, the university said. / Cool Science Kits - Innovative and educational science and electronic kits and projects.
08/19/07 - Amphibious Flyer from Italy
It’s an amphibious flying boat that’s just as happy taking off and landing on water as on land with its retractable wheels. You can tow it around on a trailer, and like the best of late-night TV exercise equipment, it folds for easy storage. This purpose-built little 2-seater is effortlessly easy to fly, handles like a dream and offers a very affordable, practical and exhilarating way to explore the local lakes and coastlines with maximum thrills for minimum fuss. The Ramphos is a slightly confused-looking air/land/sea vehicle - imagine a hang-glider that’s crashed into a boat with retractable wheels. This configuration may look odd, but it allows pilots the option of taking off and landing either on a nice flat runway or a body of water, opening up a lot of interesting sightseeing opportunities around the coastline and making it one of the most practical leisure vehicles around. Takeoff from the water is a breeze - get up to about 30-40 knots and work the control bar forward and back to break free from the water surface. From standstill to airborne can take as little as 8 seconds in the right conditions and the Ramphos will launch in waves up to 50cm or so. Once in flight, it cruises at around 50 knots and the topless wing makes it stable and easy to fly. “Hands off and the Ramphos was completely stable,” noted Australian imported Rod Tyson, “the controls were precise and you don't need to be a gorilla to make the thing change from a right turn 45 degree bank to a 45 deg left bank.” The landing gear doesn’t rely on any electronics - you simply pull on the brake lever to release a locking mechanism, and push the landing gear downward with a lever. Clear covered ports on the floor let you visually confirm the wheels are down and locked before they hit the ground. Landing on water is even easier than on a runway, allowing you the opportunity to drop the jaws of unwary locals as you swoop in from the sky, land in the water and drive straight up the beach. Price ranges from $27,000 and up depending on upgrades and shipping costs. (via alfin2100.blogspot.com)
08/19/07 - Make A Solar Water Heater For Under $5
You can use these instructions to build a device that will actually heat enough water to use in the home, but it would require modifications. Not only is it creating hot water using completely renewable energy, but it is also created from recycled scrap parts like the coolant grill from a refrigerator. If you do try this out, be warned that it can really heat up water quickly, and to quite an impressive temperature, "A word of warning, this panel works VERY WELL. We tested it on a very sunny day and within seconds the water coming out of the panel was hot enough TO SCALD. I burned my fingers. This very hot water is only formed when the water inside the panel is allowed to sit for about a minute without moving. If the water is moving (do to the gravity siphon) the water exiting the return pipe is about 110 degrees, and while hot, will not burn you."
08/19/07 - Honda Bringing 62.8mpg Diesel to US In 2010
Honda plans to bring a clean-diesel Accord to the States by the year 2010, where it will get 62.8 mpg (on the highway, give or take) and pretty much kick ass. The problem, mostly, to this point, has been that diesel engines produce and emit too much pollution to pass air-quality & emissions tests. That all started to change with the introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel to the States, but automakers have been slow to assimilate. The introduction of a car like this is great news as consumers can get hybrid-like (or better!) mileage from a conventionally-priced car and can further curb greenhouse gas and particulate emissions (and say so long to foreign oil) by pumping some biodiesel into the tank. Could the US be the new Europe (where half the cars run on diesel)? This could be the first step in the right direction.
08/19/07 - Duh! Using Sink Water To Flush The Toilet
Large scale LEED projects sometimes install massive systems to treat and re-use greywater (water from sinks that has been used for washing, as opposed to sewage waste, which is termed black water) for flushing toilets. Now, you can do the same thing in your very own home! The Aqus system collects the water from a bathroom sink and filters and disinfects it before it gets re-used as flush water for an adjacent toilet. (There is nothing that would prevent this from being used in a large-scale LEED project either.) "Our system is expected to save between 10 and 20 gallons of fresh water per day for two person bathrooms with normal activities. This represents between 3,650 and 7,300 gallons of fresh water saved per year. An equal amount of wastewater cost is also saved." This would mean an annual savings of $40.88 to $81.76 (based on an average rate of $5.60 per 1,000 gallons) from using a device like this. The Aqus system can be retrofitted to an existing toilet without great difficulty (the company likens it to the difficulty of installing a new toilet and/or an over-the-stove microwave oven). It can be connected to a standard 1.6 gallon two-piece toilet.
08/19/07 - Windows With Water Reduce The Need For Cooling By 70%
We all know double glazing drastically reduces heating and cooling costs as well as noise levels. Still, glass heats up in the summer which is far from attractive when you're inside a glass building. However, nobody wants to give up the beauty of such building from the outside nor the luminosity they provide inside and so glass is becoming more and more popular in modern architecture. The fact that glass heats up causes big problems in hot countries like Spain, especially in the summer, and leads to more and more air conditioning, not a very eco installation. Luckily it seems innovation has entered those glass facade windows by adding water. A group of researchers at the Polytechnic University in Madrid (UPM) are developing a system to cool the windows by adding a 1cm slot through which the water circulates on the inside to absorb the heat of the sunbeams. The spin-off project of the UPM is called Inteliglass. With its installation, buildings with glass facades could save up to 70% on air conditioning.
08/19/07 - New EV Battery Unveiled
A San Francisco-based company says it's scaling up to deliver a new, longer-lasting electric and hybrid vehicle battery pack in volume. Device Conduit Technologies says its DCT RackPack Massively Intermoduled Battery (MIB) pack can finally deliver 100 to 300 mile range to electric and hybrid vehicles at affordable prices. The pack uses large numbers of "ordinary batteries," the company said, without specifying their quantities or chemistries, in "new energy containers managed wirelessly so that your car can talk to you and administrate your vehicle, home and portable power."
08/19/07 - Portable Hydrogen Generator (Power on the Go)
Houston-based Trulite is developing a portable hydrogen-powered generator, the KH4. Pour water into the unit, and it will crank out 150 watts of power, and 200 watts at its peak. While that won't run your house, it's enough to recharge power tools or a laptop or run a small appliance, according to company CEO John Goodshall. A target audience for the device will be contractors, particularly ones who work on downtown skyscrapers. Power tools regularly sap their batteries. To get around the problem, contractors either carry spare batteries, which can be expensive, or recharge them with gas generators. The fumes and noise of the gas generators, however, are often incompatible with downtown building requirements. Thus, Trulite hopes that contractors will opt to carry its unit instead. And for those people who bring a generator to a campsite to watch TV, a portable hydrogen generator will eliminate the noise. / Approximately $2,000. The cell produces 150 watts of continuous generating capacity and up to 200 watts of peak capacity. It carries two regular power outlets, and a DC outlet. The device uses dry sodium borohydride fuel, which is a dry powder that contains hydrogen. By dousing water on to the powder, Trulite’s technology releases the hydrogen, a source of energy. When in a canister, it is safe (you can fire a bullet through the canister and it won’t explode, for example) and can be left indefinitely - you can pick it up a few years later and it still works, according to the company. The KH4 also contains advanced lithium ion batteries that work together with the fuel cell to support intermittent and peak power requirements.
08/19/07 - Using a well for nearly free Air Conditioning
I noticed that the water from our well is really cold, under 50 degrees. I built this heat exchanger to take advantage of that cold source for use in the house in the summer...the only actual cost is the power to run the box fan that moves the air through the copper piping. How well does it work? We hit a high temperature in July of 112F, hottest that I can remember. The temperature inside was 76F with the cooler running all the time.
08/19/07 - Save YouTube videos for any device with vConvert
Web site vConvert.net grabs videos from YouTube and converts them to compatible formats for your iPod/iPhone, mobile phone, PSP, and more. What's more, if you only want the audio from a video, vConvert can convert just the audio to an MP3. We've seen desktop apps that promise the same conversions (and one other web site), but if you don't want to install an application to handle this simple transcode, vConvert is a very good and simple alternative. Just give it a YouTube URL, select what you want to convert it for, then click Convert and Download. After a minute or two of processing, you should see a download link for the video.
08/19/07 - Software Scam Awards
The worthlessness of some download sites' "5-star" awards. Andy Brice, a UK-based software developer, packaged up a little text file full of the words "This software does nothing" as an EXE and named it "awardmestars." So far his self-proclaiming useless program has garnered sixteen 5-star awards from download sites he submitted it to. Brice concludes that many of the download sites are "just electronic dung heaps, using fake awards, dubious SEO and content misappropriated from PAD files in a pathetic attempt to make a few dollars from Google Adwords."
08/19/07 - TSA's "Behavior Detection Officers"
Newsweek commentary on the TSA's latest attempt to make air travel safer: the rather ominously named "Behavior Detection Officers" now working in a dozen US airports, and slated to go nationwide in 2008. They are trained in the discipline of reading "micro-expressions." The editorialist calls that a pseudo-science, but in fact it's a well-understood skill that can be taught and learned. A cursory look at this TSA program might put one in mind of Orwell's "facecrime," and that's the road the Newsweek writer goes down. Yet some who bemoan the security theater historically run by the TSA point to the gold standard of airport security, Tel Aviv airport, and wonder why TSA officers can't act more like the Israelis. Bruce Schneier wrote recently about one reason why the Israeli security model isn't completely transplantable to these shores: scale. And here's Schneier's take on behavioral profiling from a year ago. That's what the BDOs will be trying for: scrutinizing intent instead of pocket knives. Let's just hope they don't get swamped with false positives.
08/19/07 - A Call For Imprecatory Prayer (Cursing your enemy using prayer)
(Fascinating...bear in mind, "prayer = A reverent petition made to God, a god, or another object of worship." However, in fact, it is focused intent in an attempt to will a change in reality. See Dweller regarding Suerni race.) Press release: Pastor Wiley Drake Calls for Imprecatory Prayer against So-Called Religious Liberty Watchdog Group. In light of the recent attack from the enemies of God I ask the children of God to go into action with Imprecatory Prayer. Especially against Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I made an attempt to go to them via Matt 18:15 but they refused to talk to me. Specifically target Joe Conn or Jeremy Learing. They are those who lead the attack. (You can see their press release attack at www.au.org ) Imprecatory prayer, is now our duty. Now that all efforts have been exhausted, we must begin our Imprecatory Prayer, at the key points of the parliamentary role in the earth where we live. / OK, I'll bite. What in the hell is imprecatory prayer? imprecate - verb (used with object), - cated, - cating. to invoke or call down (evil or curses), as upon a person. Related forms: imprecator, noun, imprecatory, adjective. - Synonyms curse, execrate, anathematize, accurse, denunciate. - Antonyms bless. In other words, he wants us to pray that God will put an evil curse on the folks at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I guess that's a lot more acceptable than using voodoo. (via j-walkblog.com)
08/19/07 - Lunar "ark" proposed
Researchers at the International Space University (ISU) in France propose that NASA's planned lunar base should also include a "biological and historical archive" of human civilization. The idea is that this "ark" would preserve humanity's history if the Earth is destroyed by an asteroid or comet. From National Geographic: Laying the foundation for "rebuilding the terrestrial Internet, plus an Earth-moon extension of it, should be a priority," (ISU's Jim) Burke said. The founders of the group Alliance to Rescue Civilization (ARC) agreed that extending the Internet from the Earth to the moon could help avert a technological dark age following "nuclear war, acts of terrorism, plague, or asteroid collisions." (Read: "Killer Asteroids: A Real But Remote Risk?" [June 19, 2003].) But the group also advocates creating a moon-based repository of Earth's life, complete with human-staffed facilities to "preserve backups of scientific and cultural achievements and of the species important to our civilization," said ARC's Robert Shapiro, a biochemist at New York University.
"In the event of a global catastrophe, the ARC facilities will be prepared to reintroduce lost technology, art, history, crops, livestock, and, if necessary, even human beings to the Earth," Shapiro said. (via boingboing.net)
08/19/07 - Humax Hair VeilNew technique to replace, restore or repair hair. The technique is unclear since the page is in Japanese(?). But it appears to involve a branched hair implant method to cover and fill in bald spots.
08/19/07 - Video - 1994 Cheney saying Iraq is Quagmire
(Is this what a few heart problems will do, cause you to change your mind so drastically? - JWD) Video of and interview with Vice President Cheney in 1994 saying that invading Iraq would create a quagmire. (This video aired on C-Span)
08/17/07 - 15 minute Quick charge 130 mile duration Altair Nano-battery
"Altair has come up with a much better battery technology. Their invention is the most exciting part of these cars," Paul Guttman said. "It's really a breakthrough in battery technology." Guttman said the new technology allows batteries to run cars for 130 miles before being recharged. He said it only takes 15 minutes to charge a battery and it costs about $3 if charged at night. "The daytime is when power is expensive; people have lights and air conditioning and other things running all day," he said. "But if you charge it at night ... it translates to 130 miles per gallon to today's gas prices." Another benefit to electric cars, Guttman said, is that maintenance is very low - all that might be needed over time is tire and body repair. "There's no oil filters, no air filters, no exhaust pipes -- the maintenance costs compared to a gas car are significantly lower," he said. "If you think about it, it's going to cost you about $3,500 to $4,000 for every 30,000-mile tune-up for a gas car." Further information on the electric cars and battery technology can be found at www.phoenixmotorcars.com and www.altairnano.com.
08/17/07 - A renewable energy idea that could hold water
Farmer and inventor Fred Sundermann has come up with an idea that he claims will revolutionise renewable energy generation. Mr Sundermann, an inventor for decades, is looking at a prototype of his latest invention, the S-Turbine. Unlike similar water turbines around the world, he says, the S-Turbine makes it impossible for water to escape without being turned into energy. "They use turbines in Holland and France but they get no power out of them because they're built like a fan," he says. "It's low-speed, the water just goes around them and they won't turn it. "It (the S-Turbine) has to block the water, it has to block the water to get past." Early small prototypes of the S-Turbine have produced 1 kilowatt hour of energy and, according to Mr Sundermann's team, this would increase exponentially in larger models and stronger tides as the energy output of the turbine doubles for every three knots of water passing through. The turbine sits on the sea or river bed. Weir Services, a company that makes turbines for oil rigs and wind energy, big plans have also been drawn up for a major project in Port Phillip. It calls for 36 of the turbines to be installed 25 metres under water, which could produce 1260 megawatts of power per hour - the equivalent of a medium-sized coal-fired power station.
08/17/07 - Homemade Fuel Cell motorcycle
Introduced at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) in Albuquerque, Oakville's Ben Gulak and Hamilton's Jason Morrow based their invention on the science behind the Segway. The bike features two wheels mounted close together, which raise and lower to turn the vehicle as the rider leans from side to side using accelerometer technology common in consumer devices like the Nintendo Wii. To start the bike, the rider leans forward and sits up straight to stop it. At a top speed of more than 60 km/h, that might take some daring on a busy road, but the concept is solid. The frame above the wheel is modified from a Yamaha R6 sports bike, with other materials salvaged from projects by Gulak's late grandfather-an engineer who willed his entire workshop to Ben after his death in 2004. Electric wheelchair motors power the bike with help from Brampton electrical engineering company Veltronics, which amped the wheelchair drive horsepower by 40%. The cycle is reminiscent of the very sexy Bombardier Embrio concept, though the latter features a chunky single rear wheel and a second front wheel that drops when the bike comes to a stop. The boys told Canoe that their invention-which they also call the Uno-is smoother and more maneuverable than the Embrio. What is particularly important for future development is that this fuel cell motorcycle is free of emissions, which would make it especially appropriate for cities, along with its tiny size. The Tango is only one metre tall and 122 centimetres long.
08/17/07 - Austin inventor says battery-powered car is answer to high gas prices
'Tritrack' car would run on fixed guideway and on streets. From his garage in western Travis County, Jerry Roane is trying to reduce global warming, improve air quality and cut the commute from the Capitol to the airport to about three minutes. Beneath his home, looking like a beaten-up dinghy, sits the 20- foot-long prototype of Roane's TriTrack automobile, which he built out of a composite material similar to aircraft skin. On paper, at least, the car will run at 180 mph on a fixed guideway, not unlike a superfast monorail. As a "dual-mode" vehicle, it would be able to leave the guideway and travel on regular roads at about 20 mph. Roane envisions his car gliding along a 14.5-inch-wide triangular fixed guideway built 17 to 23 feet above the ground. He says it could go from 40 mph to 180 mph in 9.3 seconds. "It wipes anything on the road today," he said. "It's not as scary as you might think because you're high and it's a smooth ride." It has yet to move an inch under its own power, though; some Girl Scouts had to push it into position at an event a couple of years ago at the University of Texas. Roane said the 300-pound, battery-powered TriTrack would have virtually zero emissions and retail for $10,000. He estimates it would cost $170,000 per mile to construct the guideway. "It was $150,000, but the price of steel went up," he said. Roane said he conceived of the TriTrack when he couldn't afford to put gas in his 1968 Firebird during the oil embargo. Decades later, he is faced with having to raise $250,000 to get his prototype road-ready. (This week, he got an estimate for the windshield: $5,000.) He's confident he can do it.
Family to travel New York canals in boat fueled by sunshine
Canadian Monte Gisborne’s solar-powered boating invention, departed from Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and buzzed quietly into Canada’s capital city of Ottawa six days later, without a roar or a ripple to be seen or heard. Not a drop of oil was burned in the process and the Gisborne family, including wife Denise and daughter Deanna, seemed rested and comfortable as they greeted media and government at Dow’s Lake Marina near Hartwell’s Lock. The family stayed aboard the boat during the entire trip, cooking meals and sleeping under the solar array. “I think that the main difference between our Rideau cruise and those made by others is public perception,” said Gisborne. “People expect to give up so much by ridding themselves of oil, but that really wasn’t the case here at all. We enjoyed ourselves equally or perhaps more than those who miss so much over the roar and smell of a gas motor, or barely see anything due to the blur of the landscape and wildlife going by. Most creatures are skittish and tend to scatter when a faster and louder boat goes by.” The Loon is a solar-assisted boat, meaning that it can take advantage of shore electrical power to help keep the batteries topped up. The Gisbornes would do exactly as gas boats do and plug into a power outlet readily supplied by the marinas and lock stations they docked at overnight. Each day would start with a fully-charged pack of batteries and end with about half of a charge still left. “At no time ever did we feel uncomfortable that we would get stuck without a charge,” Gisborne said. “That notion simply goes away with experience.” All onboard devices such as a fridge, kettle and microwave also got their energy from the same batteries. / Additional information - Kingston to Ottawa is 196km and driving takes 2 hours and five minutes according to Google Maps. So to take 6 days for a 2 hour trip is rather 'looney'.
08/17/07 - Barley straw planter helps clear water
When all else fails, turn to what reliably works. In this case, it's barley straw, which can keep water in lakes and ponds crystal clear. Placed in water, barley straw attracts microbes that break down the straw and consume phosphorus that would feed the algae that makes the water cloudy. In return, you get clean water and a better habitat for songbirds, fish and other wildlife. Now there are decorative barley straw planters to help you keep backyard ponds and streams clean. The planter consists of a foam ring surrounded by formed barley straw. Place an ornamental plant in the center and you have something pretty to look at while it does the job for you. The planters are available for $12.99-$20 in three sizes, based on the gallons of water you want to treat. To order, visit www.summitchemical.com or call toll-free, 800-227-8664.
08/17/07 - Chemical pattern imprinting
For Professor Eshel Ben-Jacob and his graduate student, Itay Baruchi of Tel Aviv University's Department of Exact Sciences, the goal is to find treatments for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. With the use of chemical stimulation, Ben-Jacob and Baruchi discovered that they could trigger a man-made network of neurons to imprint patterns - the same process by which the brain creates memories. This discovery marks an early but crucial step toward the invention of a computer chip with the capability to create and store information the same way our own brains do. By linking the network of neurons to software which reads the neural activity, the network and the computer can work together to carry out tasks of which computers are currently incapable. "Computers don't have cognitive function because they lack plasticity - they are fixed," Ben-Jacob said in an office lined with bookshelves where science texts and science fiction novels stand side by side. "We're therefore thinking of adding features to computers to make them more flexible and adaptable, like human brains." It's the connection between the computer and the neural network, which would communicate with one another, that creates a new kind of machine. Ben-Jacob elaborates: "The network won't replace the computer but it will do the softer cognitive functions of decision-making, interaction with the environment, and sound recognition." According to Baruchi, biological computing might also lead to technology that Microsoft has been working to achieve, without success: handwriting recognition, made possible by virtue of the biological system's ability to detect patterns. "The ability of the regular silicon-based computer to detect patterns is very low, and it needs a very sophisticated algorithm. With the biological system it's very easy, because humans and animals can easily detect patterns," said Baruchi, who has been working with Ben-Jacob for seven years. In order to conduct experiments, neurons are placed in a Petri dish that is studded with electrodes on its base. The neurons spontaneously form a communicative network, and their activity generates pulses of voltage which are recorded by the electrodes. The electrodes are, in turn, connected to a computer that monitors and records the resulting patterns on its screen. Scientists have long known that an artificial network of brain cells will create spontaneous patterns of activity, but they had not found a way to add new patterns. The common methods of experimentation on artificial networks of brain cells have been electrical stimulation and chemical stimulation. Baruchi explains that in his work with Ben-Jacob, chemical stimulation made sense because "neurons stimulate one another with chemical cues - so we thought we would [stimulate them] in the same way."
08/17/07 - 9 Digital Camera Settings for Every Photographer to Discover
Part of getting the best value out of your digital camera is knowing exactly how it works, and photographers often spend a lot of time and money on trying to achieve an effect in their photos that is a lot easier than it looks. Friday we explored digital camera settings for beginners, with digital camera settings for intermediate photographers covered yesterday and advanced photographers covered today. All three parts are included in this final article. Please note that most of these settings can be found on midrange to advanced digital cameras. Entry-level digital cameras typically have only the most basic features, leaving most of the decision-making to the camera itself. Nevertheless, reviewing this section may give the beginning photographer an idea of the functionality available today. More and more digital cameras are getting more and more features, so expect settings like these to become more commonplace soon.
08/17/07 - 12 hour Glow in the Dark paint
The idea is to help light the way for people stranded in buildings as well as for emergency responders trying to rescue them. To demonstrate the product, Ahler sat in a lit stairwell. When we turned off the lights, the handrail and facing of the steps began to glow a bright green. "If the stairway were painted like this, then you would have absolutely no problem finding your way out," Ahler said. Chief Yurt is also a specialist in disaster rescues for Jefferson County. He says the glowing paint would help rescuers trying to get into buildings as well as the people stranded inside. "It's like a runway," Yurt said. "Like when a pilot lands, he is looking for the lights, and we are looking for doorways at each level of a structure." Safety Glow USA has also developed a thread material and paper that uses the same properties of the paint. According to the inventor, the paint will glow up to 12 hours after the introduction of any light source. If you would like more information on the photoluminescent paint, visit the company's website: www.safetyglowusa.com.
08/17/07 - No Investors for two novel energy generators
In a state that considers itself a pacesetter in renewable energy, inventor Rick Dickson said he can't generate a spark of local interest in two mind-bending, patent-pending inventions. The first is a "human kinetic energy generator," which harvests vibrations in the environment through an orbiting satellite rotor and converts them into millivolts of electricity. Dickson claims it could be used to recharge batteries in iPods or trickle charge the lithium batteries in such medical implants as pacemakers. His second invention, the "hydrosphere," uses water pressure to generate electricity in standing water. Dickson likens it to "a spherical and enclosed hydroelectric dam," but without the concrete, spillways and fish ladders. He says it also might someday -- before the fossil fuels disappear -- provide inexpensive and unlimited electrical power. Arundeep Pradhan, who heads the office of technology and research collaboration at OHSU, admitted there wasn't much collaboration available for inventors who can't bring their own resources to the table. Because OHSU is invested in its own faculty projects, Pradhan suggests Dickson is better off petitioning the Small Business Administration for grant money. Dickson agrees. But he's desperate. Here he is, he said, "on the cutting edge of passive power harvesting energy research," and he feels like a guy toting a cardboard sign at a freeway off-ramp. And wouldn't you know? The inspirations just keep on comin'. Dickson's latest invention is an environmentally friendly wind-power generator. Instead of a turbine blade, the "wind tree" is armed with branches and leaves, crafted from a NASA material that generates piezoelectricity, and harvests wind almost as well as the real thing.
08/17/07 - Man Keeps Healthy by Zapping Self with Electricity
Zhang Deke, 71, a retired worker in Altay, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Northwest China, has a special way to keep fit. He has 220 volts of current pass through his body. Zhang, who controls the voltage, once cooked a fish which he held in his hand as the current flowed through his body. He has used electrical current to treat people suffering from rheumatism, arthritis and kidney pain. Zheng was examined at Xinjiang Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1994 and experts said that he has a physical dysfunction, but did not give details.
08/17/07 - 'Cool farms' mask the extent of global warming
You've heard of urban heat islands. Now researchers have confirmed the existence of their opposite: cool farm patches. In areas of intensive irrigation, such as the Central Valley in California, US, these "cool farms" have counteracted global warming, say Céline Bonfils and David Lobell of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. But they warn that a reduction in irrigation could spell the end of the relief that these regions have enjoyed. Bonfils and Lobell compared irrigation and temperature data for California between 1915 and 2000, during which time the area of irrigated land in the Central Valley doubled. They found that maximum daytime temperatures in the area were between 0.9 °C and 1.6 °C cooler during this period than areas that were only modestly irrigated. Extrapolating back to when irrigation began in 1887, they calculate that intensively irrigated parts of the Central Valley are 1.8 °C to 3.2 °C cooler than they would otherwise have been.
08/17/07 - BadPsychics.com
Do you really want to thwack someone between the eyes when they start doing cold reading on a room full of credulous people seeking some sort of closure with dead friends and relatives? Do you get aggravated by con artists who will offer to do a psychic cleansing for a measly $100 USD? Would you enjoy seeing the public humiliation of someone who claimed to cure cancer with the power of their mind? If you answered yes to any of these, then you may find some vicarious joy on BadPsychics.com, or at least a few laughs.
08/17/07 - The Beam that Flips the Switch for Autism
It sounds like a science-fiction version of stupid pet tricks: by toggling a light switch, neuroscientists can set fruit flies a-leaping and mice a-twirling and stop worms in their squiggling tracks. Some day, the remote-control technology might even serve as a treatment for neurological and psychiatric disorders. These clever techniques involve genetically tinkering with nerve cells to make them respond to light. “We can start to sort of speak the language of the brain using optical excitation,” Dr. Deisseroth said. The brain’s functions “arise from the orchestrated participation of all the different cell types, like in a symphony,” he said. Laser stimulation can serve as a musical conductor, manipulating the various kinds of neurons in the brain to reveal which important roles they play. This light-switch technology promises to accelerate scientists’ efforts in mapping which clusters of the brain’s 100 billion neurons warble to each other when a person, for example, recalls a memory or learns a skill. That quest is one of the greatest challenges facing neuroscience. The channelrhodopsin switch is “really going to blow the lid off the whole analysis of brain function,” said George Augustine, a neurobiologist at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Electrode stimulation is the standard tool for rapidly driving nerve cells to fire. But in brain tissue, it is unable to target single types of neurons, instead rousing the entire neural neighborhood. “You activate millions of cells, or thousands at the very least,” said Ehud Isacoff, a professor of neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley. All variety of neurons are intermixed in the cortex, he said. More recently, Dr. Isacoff, with Dirk Trauner, a chemistry professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and other colleagues engineered a high-speed neural switch by refurbishing a channel protein that anchors in the cell membrane of most human brain cells. The scientists tethered to the protein a light-sensitive synthetic molecular string that has glutamate, a neurotransmitter, dangling off the end. Upon absorbing violet light, the string plugs the glutamate into the protein’s receptor and sparks a neuron’s natural activation process: the channel opens, positive ions flood inside, and the cell unleashes an electrical impulse. In the near term, Dr. Deisseroth predicts that the remote-control technology will lead to new insights from animal studies about how diseases arise, and help generate other treatment ideas. Such research benefits could extend beyond the realm of neuroscience: The Stanford group has sent DNA copies of the “on” and “off” light-switch genes to more than 175 researchers eager to try them in all stripes of electrically excitable cells, from insulin-releasing pancreas cells to heart cells.
08/17/07 - Psychotronics to control people
In North Korea, the Service for Security and Control of Foreign Policy conducts experiments with special oscillators that can modify functions of human organs. In Pakistan, special services can use a special device that can cause dysfunctions of human organs and physiological systems and even cause people’s death. The Spanish intelligence finances studies of the effect of physical factors on human organs and human brain with the view of making devices to cause dysfunctions of organs and mental transformations. Main goal of all these studies is to find new methods and forms of impact upon human psyche, to manipulate large groups of people and to enlarge the resources of human consciousness, Boris Ratnikov says. Many countries posses information about secret use of a distance impact upon individuals and large groups of people. And these are not at all mere experiments but also practical application of technologies for various political and military purposes. Such technologies grow more perfect thanks to scientific and technological innovations. Boris Ratnikov says that he once saw a KGB’s classified document about potential threats and a psychotronic generator. The document said that the mechanism of a psychotronic generator is based upon the resonance of response functions of human organs, the heart, liver, kidneys and brain. Every human organ has its individual frequency response. When this frequency is used to affect the organ with E-field radiation this may cause acute cardiac decompensation, renal failure or inadequate behavior. Such attacks are usually targeted at unhealthy organs and may in some cases be lethal. It is said that the KGB spent millions of rubles during the Soviet era to conduct studies on a distanced medical and biological action of special radiation on troops and population. How did people first estimate that human brain can be affected from outside? In 1853, famous chemist Alexander Butlerov was the first in the world to originate a scientific hypothesis to explain the phenomenon of hypnosis. Butlerov assumed that human brain and nervous system are emitting sources and that movements of nervous currents in the organism are identical to the interaction of the electric current in conductors. The scientist said that the electroinduction effect explained how signals going from the brain of one person to other man’s brain emerged. Physiologist Ivan Sechenov also supported Butlerov’s hypothesis. He added that emotions and close relations between people, especially between twins, intensified the effect of mental force interaction. Academician Vladimir Bekhterev set up the world’s first Institute of Brain and Mental Activity. In the late 19th- early 20th centuries Bekhterev conducted experiments on electromagnetic justification of hypnosis applied to animals and humans. In his works Bekhterev wrote that he discovered a mental mechanism of super-sensitive contact that emerges on special terms between a human and an animal and allows to mentally operate the animal’s behavior with the help of movements and emotions.
08/17/07 - Silicon Nanocrystals for Superefficient Solar Cells
Research shows that silicon can wring two electrons from each photon of incoming light. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in Golden, CO, showed that silicon nanocrystals can produce two or three electrons per photon of high-energy sunlight. The effect, they say, could lead to a new type of solar cell that is both cheap and more than twice as efficient as today's typical photovoltaics. As in earlier work with other materials, the extra electrons come from photons of blue and ultraviolet light, which have much more energy than those from the rest of the solar spectrum, especially red and infrared light. In most solar cells, the extra energy in blue and ultraviolet light is wasted as heat. But the small size of nanoscale crystals, also called quantum dots, leads to novel quantum-mechanical effects that convert this energy into electrons instead. By generating multiple electrons from high-energy photons, solar cells made of silicon nanocrystals could theoretically convert more than 40 percent of the energy in light into electrical power, says Arthur Nozik, a senior research fellow at NREL. In contrast, today's flat rooftop solar panels are at best just over 20 percent efficient and are theoretically limited to about 30 percent efficiency. Concentrating sunlight with mirrors or lenses could raise that figure to about 40 percent, but the same approach could boost the efficiency of a silicon-nanocrystal solar cell to well over 60 percent, Nozik says. What's more, solar cells made of silicon nanocrystals could prove to be cheap, giving them a significant advantage over other approaches to high-efficiency solar cells. For example, advanced "multijunction" cells have shown efficiencies of more than 40 percent. But these require complicated manufacturing processes that combine expensive semiconductors optimized for different parts of the solar spectrum. Silicon nanocrystals, in contrast, are relatively easy to make, even compared with the material in conventional solar cells, the best of which are made of very large, single crystals of silicon.
08/17/07 - Clean a scratched CD or DVD with a banana
You already know you can smooth a scratched optical disc with toothpaste, Pledge or Brasso, but if you don't have any of those around the house, turn to your fruit bowl. After the jump, watch a short video demonstration of how to rub a scratched CD or DVD smooth with a banana, its peel and some glass cleaner.
08/17/07 - Scientists harness power of dry air
Chinese scientists claim to have discovered a new clean energy source - simply by using dry air. The discovery could have positive implications for parts of northern and western China, which have dry climate conditions, according to scientists at Tsinghua University. "The breakthrough makes it possible to use dry air, instead of electricity, to cool down the water and the indoor air, and be applied at least to power large-scale air-conditioning equipment in office buildings," Jiang Yi, director of the university's architecture science department, who leads the research project, told China Daily.The premise sounds simple enough: dry air absorbs moisture, and in doing so causes the air's temperature to drop. So far trials in some large buildings had been successful. "Believe me, the air looks tranquil but it is imbalanced thermodynamically when it is dry," said Jiang, who is also an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The process does not produce electricity, but provides a means to allow less reliance on electricity. The technology could be compared to a solar hot water heater, whereby water is continuously heated as long as there is sunlight. Currently the air-powered air conditioners can keep room temperature between 25 and 28 C, and scientists are still working to expand the range.
08/17/07 - U.S. Following fate of Rome - a wake up call
The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon. David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”. These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt. Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”. / U.S. Heading For Financial Trouble? - 60 Minutes - "I would argue that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility," Walker tells Kroft. He calls it a fiscal wake up tour, and he is telling civic groups, university forums and newspaper editorial boards that the U.S. has spent, promised, and borrowed itself into such a deep hole it will be unable to climb out if it doesn’t act now. As Walker sees it, the survival of the republic is at stake. "What’s going on right now is we’re spending more money than we make…we’re charging it to credit card…and expecting our grandchildren to pay for it. And that’s absolutely outrageous," he told the editorial board of the Seattle Post Intelligencer. "President Bush would argue that the economy is in pretty good shape, unemployment is down, the deficit is actually less than expected," Kroft remarks. "The fact is, is that we don't face an immediate crisis. And, so people say, 'What's the problem?' The answer is, we suffer from a fiscal cancer. It is growing within us. And if we do not treat it, it could have catastrophic consequences for our country," Walker replies. The cancer, Walker says, are massive entitlement programs we can no longer afford, exacerbated by a demographic glitch that began more than 60 years ago, a dramatic spike in the fertility rate called the "baby boom." Beginning next year, and for 20 years thereafter, 78 million Americans will become pensioners and medical dependents of the U.S. taxpayer. "The first baby boomer will reach 62 and be eligible for early retirement of Social Security January 1, 2008. They'll be eligible for Medicare just three years later. And when those boomers start retiring in mass, then that will be a tsunami of spending that could swamp our ship of state if we don't get serious," Walker explains. Part of the problem, Walker acknowledges, is that there won't be enough wage earners to support the benefits of the baby boomers. "But the real problem, Steve, is health care costs. Our health care problem is much more significant than Social Security," he says. Asked what he means by that, Walker tells Kroft, "By that I mean that the Medicare problem is five times greater than the Social Security problem." "Any politician who tells you that we can solve our problem without reforming Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is not telling you the truth," Walker told an audience at the University of Denver.
08/17/07 - Mexican nursing homes
For $1,300 a month - a quarter of what an average nursing home costs in Oregon - 70 year old Jean Douglas gets a studio apartment, three meals a day, laundry and cleaning service, and 24-hour care from an attentive staff, many of whom speak English. She wakes up every morning next to a glimmering mountain lake, and the average annual high temperature is a toasty 79 degrees. "It is paradise," says Douglas, 74. "If you need help living or coping, this is the place to be. I don't know that there is such a thing back (in the USA), and certainly not for this amount of money." An estimated 40,000 to 80,000 American retirees already live in Mexico, many of them in enclaves like San Miguel de Allende or the Chapala area, says David Warner, a University of Texas public affairs professor who has studied the phenomenon. There are no reliable data on how many are living in nursing homes, but at least five such facilities are on Lake Chapala alone. "You can barely afford to live in the United States anymore," said Harry Kislevitz, 78, of New York City. A stroke victim, he moved to a convalescent home on the lake's shore two years ago and credits the staff with helping him recover his speech and ability to walk. "Here you see the birds, you smell the air, and it's delicious," Kislevitz said. "You feel like living." Many expatriates are Americans or Europeans who retired here years ago and are now becoming more frail. Others are not quite ready for a nursing home but are exploring options such as in-home health care services, which can provide Mexican nurses at a fraction of U.S. prices. Residents such as Richard Slater say they are happy in Mexico. Slater came to Lake Chapala four years ago and now lives in his own cottage at the Casa de Ancianos, surrounded by purple bougainvillea and pomegranate trees. He has plenty of room for his two dogs and has a little patio that he shares with three other American residents. He gets 24-hour nursing care and three meals a day, cooked in a homey kitchen and served in a sun-washed dining room. His cottage has a living room, bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom and a walk-in closet. For this Slater pays $550 a month, less than one-tenth of the going rate back home in Las Vegas. For another $140 a year, he gets full medical coverage from the Mexican government, including all his medicine and insulin for diabetes. The language barrier can be daunting, and Mexican food can be very different, some residents said. Some residents said they miss home and find it hard to make friends with Mexican residents. "It's a very nice place, but it's lonesome," said Polly Coull, 99, of Seminole, Fla., a resident at Alicia's Convalescent Nursing Home in Ajijic. Mexican entrepreneurs are doing their best to prepare for a tide of Americans.
08/17/07 - Rescue files with a boot CD
"Just because your computer can't boot up Windows from your hard drive doesn't mean you can't boot it up with another operating system on another disk just long enough to rescue your important files."
08/15/07 - Ships Becoming Largest Source of Emissions
According to Europa, in the EU ships are fast becoming the biggest source of air pollution. Unless more action is taken they are set to emit more than all land sources combined by 2020. A 2003 study found that large ships generate 30 percent of global nitrogen emissions and 16 percent of sulfur emissions from all petroleum sources. Despite the fact that ships are more energy efficient than other forms of commercial transportation, marine engines operate on extremely dirty fuels. Most large ships use the dirtiest and least expensive diesel available, bunker oil. Shipping is a small contributor to the world total CO2 emissions (1.8% of world total CO2 emissions in 1996). (via thefraserdomain.typepad.com)
08/15/07 - China to map 'every inch' of the moon
(With Russia trying to claim the North Pole, this is an interesting development that will lead to mischief. - JWD) The NSA (National Space Administration) also made no bones about China's commercial interest in space, telling reporters that the Moon holds the key to future generation of energy. Ouyang Ziyuan, head of the first phase of lunar exploration, is quoted on government-sanctioned news site ChinaNews.com describing plans to collect three dimensional images of the Moon. He also outlined plans to exploit the vast quantities of Helium-3 thought to lie buried in lunar rock. "There are altogether 15 tons of helium-3 on Earth, while on the Moon, the total amount of Helium-3 can reach one to five million tons," he said. "Helium-3 is considered as a long-term, stable, safe, clean and cheap material for human beings to get nuclear energy through controllable nuclear fusion experiments. If we human beings can finally use such energy material to generate electricity, then China might need 10 tons of helium-3 every year and in the world, about 100 tons of helium-3 will be needed every year." The country's space programme is split into three phases - the first is "circling the Moon", the second "landing on the Moon", and the third "returning to Earth".
08/15/07 - Earth will feel the heat from 2009: climate boffins
Chuck out your thermals: global warming is coming, and it isn't waiting for 2100. A new climate model predicts that by the end of this decade, there is an even chance that global temperatures will be hotter than 1998, the warmest year on record. The model, developed by scientists at the Met Office in the UK, suggests that the next couple of years will see temperatures stall, but after 2009, the thermostat will go up. It is the first climate model capable of making useful* short range predictions. The hope is that by thinking of climate change on a more short term basis, the researchers will be able to make useful predictions about likely extreme weather events such as floods and droughts a year or two in advance. This would give governments and other agencies time to prepare. The model allows researchers to look at the predicted rise in global temperatures for the finer details - the wobbles above and below the steadily increasing trend-line. For example: 1998 was a record breakingly hot year. But it was also an El Nino year, and the effect of that current shifting should be accounted for. So, what is the outlook? For the next two years, we can expect these systems to keep a lid on the heat. Nevertheless, the team said overall temperatures would rise, and the further into the future the model looks, the better the odds of a record breaking year. By 2014, they say global temperatures will be up by a third of a degree.
08/15/07 - What's old is new again with wind power
The Germany Embassy in Ottawa alerted me to a company called SkySails Gmbh & Co. KG, which believes it can dramatically reduce the fuel consumption of modern ships by attaching a "kite wind propulsion system" to the vessel. "Annual average fuel costs can be lowered between 10 to 35 per cent depending on actual wind conditions and actual time deployed. Under optimal wind conditions, fuel consumptions can temporarily be reduced up to 50 per cent," according to the company's Web site.
08/15/07 - Tectonic Plates Act Like Variable Thermostat
Like a quilt that loses heat between squares, the earth's system of tectonic plates lets warmth out at every stitch. Heat flowed out of Earth's mantle at a high rate 60 million years ago, when small tectonic plates made up the Pacific basin. The reason, the authors said, is that much of the heat from the mantle escapes near the ridges between newly formed plates. Those areas are thinner and allow more heat to pass. The smaller the plates, the greater the heat loss from the mantle on which they float, said geophysicists from the University of Southern California, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Several small plates have more area close to the ridge -- and allow more heat to pass -- than one large plate, explained lead author Thorsten Becker, assistant professor of earth sciences at USC.
08/15/07 - War as Business
If you think the U.S. has only 160,000 troops in Iraq, think again. With almost no congressional oversight and even less public awareness, the Bush administration has more than doubled the size of the U.S. occupation through the use of private war companies. There are now almost 200,000 private "contractors" deployed in Iraq by Washington. This means that U.S. military forces in Iraq are now outsized by a coalition of billing corporations whose actions go largely unmonitored and whose crimes are virtually unpunished. In essence, the Bush administration has created a shadow army that can be used to wage wars unpopular with the American public but extremely profitable for a few unaccountable private companies. How many? During the 1991 Gulf War, the ratio of troops to private contractors was about 60 to 1. Today, it is the contractors who outnumber U.S. forces in Iraq. As of July 2007, there were more than 630 war contracting companies working in Iraq for the United States. Composed of some 180,000 individual personnel drawn from more than 100 countries, the army of contractors surpasses the official U.S. military presence of 160,000 troops.
08/15/07 - The Personal Air Vehicle Competition 2007
NASA has awarded $250,000 to participants of the Personal Air Vehicle competition, one of the seven NASA Centennial Challenges. The competition promotes the use of self-operated, personal aircraft for fast, safe, efficient, affordable, enviro-friendly, and comfortable on-demand transportation as a future solution to America's mobility needs. Four teams competed for overall best performance and prizes for noise reduction, handling, efficiency, short takeoff, and top speed. The contest took place Aug. 4-12 at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Sonoma, Calif. At no cost to NASA, the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency Foundation, known as the CAFE Foundation, administers the challenge. The foundation is a nonprofit group of flight test engineers in Santa Rosa, Calif.
08/15/07 - Magnets Drive High Speed Suspension Trains Thru Air
ELEVATED trains whizzing at tremendous speed from city to city, powered solely by electromagnetic lines of force, is the new and startling method of rapid transportation now being developed by German engineers. A war against friction losses has long been waged by scientists; and this electromagnetic rapid transit project now promises to end the conflict. No wheels are to be used for traction. The cars are drawn forward, in one scheme by powerful electromagnets, in the other by huge solenoids. Cars on the solenoid railway are to be equipped with giant magnetic rings, as illustrated on the opposite page. Power is switched on to the solenoids automatically as the car progresses by means of photo-electric cells operating at moment beams are intercepted. Speed of the electromagnet cars is regulated at the central power station by a revolving switch which cuts the magnets in the circuit like electric lights in a display sign. Connections through wireless enables operator to give stop or start signals.
08/15/07 - Discover your Purpose in Life
What to do with my life? This is a powerful question most of us ask ourselves at some point in life. What is it that I should do with my life? What is my purpose in life, my passion? This website is dedicated to helping you find answers to these questions.
08/15/07 - The PC Decrapifier
So, you're the proud owner of a new PC....Your brand spanking new PC boots up only to greet you with a plethora of pop-up advertisements pestering you to pay for anti-virus software or sign up for a music service. Your desktop is littered with website links for 'special offers.' The system tray is already full of programs that continuously use your internet connection to make sure that you're 'up to date.' "When did I ask for this?" you ask. Well, you didn't and that's where the PC Decrapifier comes in. The PC Decrapifier attempts to remove all of the crap on your PC that you never asked for or wanted...you choose what to uninstall, then sit back and let the PC Decrapifier work its magic. The PC Decrapifier is a program free for personal use to help the average [Windows XP/Vista] user combat this problem. It is also available for PC technicians at a small fee to use as a tool in their everyday business to save a tremendous amount of time.
08/15/07 - Batch process images with FastStone Photo Resizer
Windows only: Image processor FastStone Photo Resizer can edit, correct, crop, rename, and watermark your digital images in batch mode-that is, in big bunches all at once. This impressive little utility can: * Convert and Rename images in batch mode * Resize, crop, change color depth, apply color effects, add text and watermark. * Rename images with sequential number. Better than Picasa's batch edit and cheaper/easier than Photoshop, Photo Resizer looks like a must-have for prolific home digital photographers who want to resize and watermark their photos before, say, uploading to Flickr or emailing to friends and family. Photo Resizer is a free download for home use, Windows (XP and Vista) only.
08/15/07 - Welcome to the Idiocracy
We live in a generation of citizens hanging on to the poor speech patterns of a president, while eating freedom fries and waiting with bated breath for the subsequent news update about Anna Nicole Smith or Paris Hilton. The general populace is now too tired and dull to stand up for their rights; simply because if they do, they will miss out on the new installment of American Idol or Fear Factor. Stupidity and ignorance, it seems, has become a prevalent problem of epidemic proportions. We are becoming an idiocracy.
08/15/07 - Turn your printer and scanner into a copy machine with iCopy
Windows only: If you bought your printer and scanner separately, free, open source application iCopy combines the two to create a one-click copy machine through the magic of software. After you install iCopy, you need to select your scanner, printer, and set whatever copy settings you want. Then just place the document you want to copy in the scanner and click the blue button to make a copy. iCopy is free, requires Windows, .NET 2.0 or above, a TWAIN-compatible scanner, and a printer.
08/15/07 - What Do Working Women Want? A Wife
Now that women have solidly earned their place in the work force, many find themselves still yearning for something men often have: wives. "The thing I most want in life is a wife. I'm not kidding," said Joyce Lustbader, a research scientist at Columbia University, who has been married for 29 years. "I work all day, sometimes seven days a week, and still have to go home and make dinner and have all those things to do around the house." Working women, whether married or single, also see their lack of devoted spousal support as an impediment to getting ahead in their careers, especially when they are competing against men who have wives behind them, whether those wives are working or staying at home.
08/15/07 - A Non-Toxic, Paper Battery / Supercapacitor
"Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a combination battery/capacitor by infusing carbon nanotubes and electrolytes into a paper substrate. The material can be folded, rolled up, or molded to any convenient shape with no effect on power capacity. Operating temperature range is -100 to 300 degrees F. One of the co-authors is quoted: 'We're not putting pieces together - it's a single, integrated device. The components are molecularly attached to each other: the carbon nanotube print is embedded in the paper, and the electrolyte is soaked into the paper. The end result is a device that looks, feels, and weighs the same as paper.'"
08/15/07 - Fish that feed on dead skin cells are a nice spa treatment
According to this article in a Chinese newspaper, beauty-seekers in Southern China (and other parts of the world) are soaking themselves in pools filled with a type of small fish that eat human skin: Garra Rufa, a type of small tropical fish, also nicknamed Chinchin Yu, nibble fish or simply doctor fish, are put in hot springs. As they can live and swim freely in at least 43-degree-hot waters, they are naturally used for the treatment of skin diseases in such spas. When placed in the spa, these fish can feed themselves on the dead cells of the human body, since they only consume such cells, leaving the healthy skin of the human body to grow. The whole process is reportedly free of pain. It won't hurt and the bather might feel a pleasant tingling on his or her skin.
08/15/07 - DEA fines American Express bank customers $55 million
Reason's Hit & Run blog reports that the DEA thinks American Express Bank International hasn't done a good enough job of monitoring its customers for drug-money laundering activities, so the DEA is fining the bank (which means, ultimately, its customers) $55 million. It's always good to remember that in order to make it marginally more difficult for Americans to get high, not only are you footing the $1.9 billion bill it costs the DEA to raid homes, pay snitches, arrest doctors, spray poison across Latin America, and storm medical marijuana clinics each year, you also pay your bank to spy on your financial transactions on behalf of the U.S. government. (via boingboing.net)
08/13/07 - Solar
Balloon technology could cut cost of solar energy 90% by 2010
Because solar installations traditionally require a large surface area to capture as much sunlight as possible, solar arrays often take up real estate, occupying land used agricultural production and other purposes. Without government subsidies, solar is not presently viable in many areas. Now an innovative startup is developing a solar design that may put these issues to rest by reducing the need for costly polysilicon and real estate. "Inflatable concentrators gather light and focus it onto photovoltaic cells, increasing the energy impacting the cells many times over," the CoolEarth website explains. "Series of concentrators are suspended on support and control cables stretched between poles. By suspending the concentrators, vast areas of land can be easily converted for solar-energy production with limited environmental impact. The ground beneath the concentrators remains free for other uses, such as farming or ranching." The firm notes that its design "costs 400 times less per collected area than conventional mirrors, can withstand 100 m.p.h. winds, and can protect the mirror surface and receiver from rain, insects, and dirt," issues that can significantly reduce the productivity of solar cells. Cummings says each balloon, measuring two meters (6 1/2 feet) in diameter, can generate 500 watts of electricity and will eventually cost less than $2. With low maintenance and replacement costs, he believes the system will significantly reduce the cost of solar energy from the current price of around $4 per watt of installed capacity to levels where is competes directly with fossil fuel-based energy sources. The technology will offer new economic opportunities for farmers who will be able to "farm" electricity in addition to their crops. "Solar farms generate energy inexpensively-and generate profit for their operators," the CoolEarth web site notes. "We are confident that our minimum-material design and use of commodity materials will cut the cost of photovoltaic electricity in a 1 megawatt installation to 29 cents per watt by 2010. At that price, solar farming is a highly attractive option for land-holders. We can then expect free-market forces to drive the spread of clean solar-energy generation." "The big advantage of our system in rural areas is the abundance of area that is easy to access and maintain (far easier than up on a rooftop), the ease of setting up large power plants (at roughly eight acres per megawatt of electricity), and less resistance from homeowner associations," Cummings explained via e-mail. CoolEarth Solar says its inflatable mirrors are 400 times cheaper than polished aluminum mirrors, cost $2, can be repaired with tape, and are replaceable in 15 minutes.
08/13/07 - eBox Electric Car
The eBox is a new electric car from AC Propulsion. We designed it to meet the needs of urban and suburban drivers who want smooth, quiet, powerful, efficient, clean, convenient, and fun-to-drive transportation. The eBox will satisfy those drivers because it is powered by AC Propulsion's patented drive system technology that delivers an unprecedented combination of both power, at freeway speeds, and efficiency, when the going gets slow. The eBox's unique lithium ion battery, made from 5,088 small cells, stores more energy with less weight than other EV batteries so the eBox is light, responsive, and well-balanced even though the interior offers space for five comfortable people or for the many other items that people need to move around town. Well-built and fully-equipped, the eBox creates a serenity for its passengers, a serenity borne of the many virtues of electric transportation. At AC Propulsion, we can't take credit for those virtues, but we can take credit for putting them on the road in the eBox. We are proud of the eBox. Since our founding in 1992, it is the best EV we've built. We build the eBox by converting a Scion xB 5-speed to electric power. We chose the xB after looking at every small car on the market. The gasoline Scion xB costs less than $15,000 well-equipped and weighs less than 2400 pounds. The xB is huge inside so it meets the needs of a lot of people and it appeals to fleets. Scion is a Toyota brand and the Scion xB is built with Toyota quality. Not everyone likes the looks of the xB, but as the basis for a great EV conversion, the xB has the look of a winner. Range 140-180 miles / Acceleration 0-60 mph ~7 secs / Top Speed 95 mph / Charge Rate 30 minutes for 20 to 50 miles / Full Charge 2 hrs (fast), 5 hrs (normal)
08/13/07 - New LED Puts Incandescents, Fluorescents to Shame
Seoul semiconductor has created a light emitting diode that emits roughly 240 lumens and claims the highest efficiency (amount of electricity to amount of light) of any light source. Fluorescents hit 70 lumens per watt, incandescents max out at 15, but this new LED emits roughly 100 lumens per watt. The results, if and when this technology gets cheap enough for the mass market, will be smaller, more efficient light sources, and lights that can exist in far different form factors than the current bulb or tube shapes. The devices also have applications in consumer electronics, specifically LCD back lights and projectors. LEDs with similar efficiencies have been produced at universities, but this is the first time a corporation has begun creating these superefficient LEDs. Seoul Semiconductor says that, while this advancement is significant, they're moving forward with even more efficient LEDs. They expect, for example, a 145 lumen per watt LED by 2008, which would double the efficiency of standard compact fluorescents. We just have to wait and see how expensive they are.
08/13/07 - Guess the Candidate
Which Republican candidate: * is consistently winning online opinion polls by ridiculous margins (even after polls are reset)? * has the most heavily trafficked website by a large degree, and is easily the most viewed candidate on YouTube? * has raised more money than all but two candidates (one of which is paying for his campaign with his own money)? * might have more volunteers than any candidate in history? * continues to get a tiny amount of airtime on major networks in spite of the above? The dichotomy between what’s going on online versus what’s going on in the mainstream media is simply shocking. I’m really curious to see if the online success will translate into a victory in Iowa on the 11th.
08/13/07 - Ron Paul places 5th in questionable Iowa Straw Poll
After a very long delay before releasing the Diebold results due to a “voting machine malfunction“, Ron Paul came in 5th place with 1,305 votes. Keep in mind the person charged with oversight of this poll is none other than one of Mitt Romney’s paid staffers, Mary Mosiman, who just happens to be the County Auditor. Convenient. Also noteworthy is the fact that one of Romney’s key fundraisers was recently indicted for mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice. So the idea of his campaign conducting fraud is not out of the question. All this comes after the Iowa GOP’s decision to demand $184,000 from Ron Paul’s campaign if any sort of verification of the vote was requested, which amounts to nothing less than extortion. Folks, this is what anyone that wishes to take on the trillion dollar industry called the federal government faces. They will stop at nothing to make sure the idea of freedom and less government does not progress; including lies, fraud, vote tampering and whatever else is necessary.
08/13/07 - "Air Shower" Device Could Cut Shower Water Use by 30%
The scientists have developed a simple 'air shower' device which, when fitted into existing showerheads, fills the water droplets with a tiny bubble of air. The result is the shower feels just as wet and just as strong as before, but now uses much less water. The researchers, from CSIRO Manufacturing Materials Technology in Melbourne, say the device increases the volume of the shower stream while reducing the amount of water used by about 30 per cent. Given the average Australian household uses about 200,000 litres of water a year, and showers account for nearly a third of this, the 'air shower' could help the average household save about 15,000-20,000 litres a year. If you extend this across the population, that is an annual saving of more than 45,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The Aerated Showerhead creates the sensation of having a full and steady stream of water even though the water is now more like a wet shell around a bubble of air.
08/13/07 - Water Tower Conversion
Water towers are often "formally crude, over-engineered and top heavy" (although there are some nice ones about) and there is usually nothing under them but air. Here is a brilliant use of that space: fill it with apartments! Since the tower is often built on the highest spot of land, the views will be great. What a wonderful reinvention of an underutilized structure. In this example the architects have fitted 40 apartments and a youth centre around the tower's core, by occupying the space that sits between its hexagonal and dodecagonal structures. There are two plan types: a simple orthogonal unit; and a triangulated unit that (when paired up) shares the diamond-shaped space defined by four columns. The external form is articulated by a series of bay windows and balconies.
08/13/07 - Piping light
The most efficient use of solar power is lighting. Sunlight is already light, no energy is lost in conversion to or from electricity. Thus the success of windows and the more moderate success of skylights. But What if you need the light to get somewhere not directly connected to the outdoors. What if there's three feet of insulation between your wall and the outside, as there probably should be. You could use expensive fiber optics to move the light around. Or you could just shunt the light into a highly reflective pipe, and pipe the light into your house. Light pipes are not a new thing, but advances in inexpensive, extremely reflective materials have recently made them more viable. The people at Solatube, for example, seem to have a really great system going. The cap of the light pipe redirects light straight into the tube no matter where the sun is, and then their proprietary reflective pipe transports the light into the interior will relatively little loss of light. At the end of the tube, a refractive lens or mirror spreads the light through the interior of the building. Their system has already been installed in factories, warehouses, retail stores and homes across America. No word on cost per installation, though I imagine it varies pretty widely. I sure would like to have one in this basement office.
08/13/07 - Mark of the Beast - Chinese ID card required to live in Cities
Beijing is rolling out its ambitious plan this month to require everyone who lives in Chinese cities to carry at all times an INVASIVE ID CARD. According to The New York Times, the card will contain "name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial 'one child' policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card." (via therawfeed.com) / In China, a High-Tech Plan to Track People - At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity. Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen, a city of 12.4 million people, residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens. Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card. Security experts describe China’s plans as the world’s largest effort to meld cutting-edge computer technology with police work to track the activities of a population and fight crime. But they say the technology can be used to violate civil rights. The Chinese government has ordered all large cities to apply technology to police work and to issue high-tech residency cards to 150 million people who have moved to a city but not yet acquired permanent residency. “If they do not get the permanent card, they cannot live here, they cannot get government benefits, and that is a way for the government to control the population in the future,” said Michael Lin, the vice president for investor relations at China Public Security Technology, the company providing the technology.
08/13/07 - Smaller, Cheaper Biofuel Reactors
A new catalytic process efficiently converts biomass to syngas. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a fast way to convert sawdust and waste biomass directly into a mixture of gases that can be burned to generate electricity or made into liquid fuels such as diesel. The researchers developed a system that makes it possible to transform solids directly into a useful mixture of gases. The process begins when millimeter-sized particles come into contact with a 700 to 800 degree Celsius porous surface and instantly form a mixture of gaseous compounds. These interact with a catalyst made of the precious metal rhodium that facilitates partial oxidation reactions that both keep the system hot and convert the gases to hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This mixture of gases, called syngas or synthesis gas, can then be burned in a gas turbine to make electricity, or purified and made into a number of different fuels using well-known processes.
08/13/07 - Court rules US air travelers can't refuse security searches at airports
US airline passengers in airport security screening areas can be searched at any time, and may no longer refuse to be searched by leaving the airport, according to a ruling today by the nation's largest federal appeals court. Snip from summary at Wired News Threat Level blog: The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the circuit's 34-year-old precedent that over time was evolving toward limiting when passengers could refuse a search and leave the airport after they had checked their bags or placed items on the security screening X-ray machine. Citing threats of terrorism, the court ruled passengers give up all rights to be free of warrantless searches once a "passenger places hand luggage on a conveyor belt for inspection" or "passes though a magnetometer." (via boingboing.net)
08/13/07 - Papercraft stirling engine that runs on coffee
Astromedia is a German science gizmo company that specializes in die-cut cardboard widgets: astrolabes, sextants, telescopes, etc.. The Stirling Engine runs on a cup of coffee or an ice pack. The revolutionary concept for this hot-air engine was discovered in 1816 by the Scottish minister Robert Stirling and has been updated for today. The principle is as ingenious as it is simple: In a sealed cylinder, heated from the underside, a piston pushes the enclosed air back and forth between the hot and the cold side. The air therefore expands out and compress together every cycle and that movement is converted via a moving piston and crankshaft into rotary motion. As an energy source, any type of warmth or cooling that produces a temperature differential can be used, from an open fire to solar energy or any other unused source of heat or cold. Set this fully functional Stirling engine on a cup with boiling hot coffee (Tea or water also works of course) - give the flywheel a small push to the left - and the apparatus begins simply to pump up and down - for up to an hour! This isn't everything it can do: Set it on an ice pack or ice cubes from the freezer and turn the flywheel to the right and it will also pump up and down for an even longer time. Kit made from sturdy punched cardboard with gold stamping, complete with all accessories including laser cut aluminium plates, low-friction plastic axle bearings and spring steel bent wire. Height 16.5 cm, width and depth 12.6 cm.
08/13/07 - Coil design confines plasma in stellarator fusion reactor
NYU scientists Romeo Alexander and Paul Garabedian have published their coil design in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The group hopes that the improved design will overcome a significant challenge faced by fusion reactors: disruptions in the plasma that cause particles to escape the machine, resulting in a machine crash. "A pressing issue of our time is to develop clean and efficient energy sources," the researchers explained in their paper. "One proposed solution of the problem implements the concept of nuclear fusion of hydrogen to form helium, which does not leave radioactive wastes that are as permanent as those involved in fission." The ability of stellarators to precisely confine plasma is one of the key benefits of this type of fusion reactor. Although its biggest rival, the tokamak, is widely considered the leading candidate for fusion energy production, the tokamak’s symmetrical torus shape requires a current to be driven through the plasma to keep the particles from drifting. On the other hand, the stellarator’s asymmetrical torus shape can use twisted coils to generate a confining magnetic field, avoiding the need for a current.
08/13/07 - Vertical Gardens
The three-part system consists of a PVC layer, felt, and metal frame, providing a soil-free self-supporting system light enough to be hung on the wall, and even suspended in the air, weighing in at less than 30 kilograms per square meter. The Vertical Garden can be used as an impressive outdoor system, or can be used indoors, with the help of artificial lighting. The natural benefits of the Vertical Garden are many: improved air quality, lower energy consumption, providing a natural shield between weather and inhabitants. No matter where you live, urban or suburban, cold or hot, indoors or out, the Vertical Garden brings a little bit of green to all.
08/13/07 - PowerNanoWindows - 50% to 60% efficiency
The technological potential of adapting existing glass windows into ones capable of generating electricity from the sun’s solar energy has been made possible through a ground breaking discovery of an electrochemical and ultrasound process that produces identically sized (1 to 4 nanometers in diameter) nanoparticles of silicon that provide varying wavelengths of photoluminescence and high quantum efficiency (50% to 60%). When thin films of silicon nanoparticles are deposited onto silicon substrates, ultraviolet light is absorbed and converted into electrical current. With appropriate connections, the film acts as nanosilicon photovoltaic solar cells that convert solar radiation to electrical energy. The process of producing silicon nanoparticles is supported by 10 issued US patents, 7 pending US patents, 2 issued foreign counterpart patents and 19 pending foreign counterpart patents. Our research and development work involves integrating films of silicon nanoparticles on glass surfaces in order to convert solar energy coming through home and office windows into electricity, without losing significant transparency or requiring major changes in manufacturing infrastructure.
08/13/07 - Pre-Fab Hotel Everland
Hotel Everland, by Swiss artist-duo L/B (Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann), is a Hotel with only one room, including deluxe bathroom, a king-size bed and a lounge with a view. The hotel is prefabricated in a factory and brought to a site near you.
08/13/07 - Perfect Crystals Grown by Cancelling Out Gravity on Earth
"Researchers in the Netherlands and Japan have found a way to grow perfect crystals in 'zero gravity' here on Earth. By exploiting the way a powerful magnet influences diamagnetic materials they have been able to grow protein crystals without the defects normally introduced as a result of gravity (The same trick has been used to levitate a frog before). Normally, such crystals are grown in space, such as aboard the International Space Station."
08/13/07 - IAUS Announces Manufacturing Breakthrough for Affordable Solar
Artist rendition of IAUS lens pod which tracks the sun to maintain at perpendicular exposure. A 10 kW array will have outer ring diameter of approximately 30 feet. International Automated Systems, Inc. announced that it has successfully finished its first high-volume run of its new breakthrough solar panels. Nearly 1,000 Kilowatts of IAUS's solar panels were manufactured in a short 24-hour run. The company estimates that on a 24/7 operating schedule, an estimated 350 Megawatts of IAUS panels could be produced annually. The IAUS system consists of panels which serve as lenses to focus the sun's heat on a heat exchanger that then produce steam or other high-temperature fluid that is then passed through a simple, patented turbine which is connected to a generator to produce electricity. The patented Johnson Steam Turbine is extremely simple to make, being small and composed of very few parts. The generator component is off-the-shelf technology, e.g. from General Electric. The company is yet refining the liquid salt heat exchanger portion of the system for optimal efficiency. The company is presently accepting orders for the 10 kilowatt arrays, priced at around $30,000 USD. Adding US tax incentives makes the system even more attractive. The system can be purchased for $9,000 down, all of which can be written off as a tax break. Payments don't have to be made on the balance for six years, after which the payments can be made interest-free, or the array can be removed. The energy-generating capacity of the array can save or earn the customer around $2,000 per year. Individuals with millions of dollars can buy a solar power plant and write-off their entire tax burden, while making money on the power generated.
08/13/07 - Nickle Iron Batteries For Home Power Systems
Environmentally friendly Nickel Iron batteries are said to be the most suitable choice for home power systems, with the longest life of any battery. Efficiency stays about 80% throughout its life time. They do not sulfate, don't freeze, and are easily rejuvenated by a simple electrolyte change. No need to do frequent equalization changes as you have to do with lead acid batteries. No battery has out lasted the Nickel Iron battery in daily use for Home Power Systems. This environmentally friendly battery has been in use for over 100 years! In many cases we have documentation that there are batteries STILL is use and still producing 100% of their battery capacity after 60 years in service! This is unparalleled in the annals of battery history!
08/13/07 - The Future in a Tiny Sphere
Conventional photovoltaic technology is based on harnessing the sun's rays within a flat substrate, typically comprised by single or poly-crystalline silicon material. This arrangement is easy to design and manufacture; the only problem is that the efficacy of this technology relies on its position relative to the sun. Traditional but expensive solutions to this challenge involve motorized frames that follow the sun’s path throughout the day, requiring energy and maintenance in order to work properly. Kyosemi’s solution is based on an entirely different geometry. Their innovative new Sphelar® is a matrix of tiny, spherical-shaped solar cells. The spheres are designed to absorb sunlight at any angle, and therefore do not require motorization for tracking the sun. Based on their geometry, Sphelar cells even optimize the use of reflected and indirect light, and have been shown to convert energy with close to 20% efficiency - beyond most flat photovoltaic technologies. Its flexible disposition also makes Sphelar appropriate for applications at a variety of scales, including mobile electronic devices.
08/13/07 - The Invisible Car
CRAFTY motorist John Eady dodged speed traps by using an electronic gate-controller which jams police laser guns. Eady, 61, had the £290 gadget fitted behind the number plate of his £23,000 Range Rover after being caught speeding three times. Suspicious cops traced the company boss through his registration after getting error messages on their computers as he tore past. A court heard that, in tests, the gadget made the car invisible to speed guns. Eady claimed it was installed by mistake when he had a sat-nav system put in - but a jury heard he learned of the con via the motor trade. He denied perverting justice but was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court. He faces a hefty fine and possible ban when he is sentenced next month.
08/11/07 - BATTERY LED LIGHT: 9Vo(l)tive
Have a hard time finding a use for the other 9 volt battery you got in that 2-pack? Look no further that Richard Lawson’s charming DIY LED light: 9Vo(l)tive. Just stick one of these suckers on a 9 volt battery and you’ve got an instant LED candle. The greatest part about this glowing wonder is its size. You can take it everywhere for ambient lighting on the fly. We’ve yet to hear when the 9Vo(l)tive will go into production, but inquisitive minds should contact the designer (and if you get one of these, we naturally back the rechargeable route!).
08/11/07 - Lightning Lithium Superbike: No Emissions
From www.treehugger.com: Remember the electric Killacycle? Lightning Motors' electric motorcycle is similar, but it's made for the street instead of the racetrack. It goes 0-60 in around 3 seconds, hits close to 100 mph at top speed, and has about a 100-mile range at cruise. The bike is a Yamaha R1 that has been modified to be powered by lithium-ion batteries. The entire engine is missing. So are the tailpipes, radiator, gas cap, transmission and clutch. In their place: a wall of yellow batteries, an AC regenerative motor, an electric throttle and a three-pronged plug, which pokes out from the frame and connects to a standard outlet.
08/11/07 - Floating Lighted Bulb
(A crude version of this was posted earlier but thanks to Paul Carlson for this update. - JWD) The light bulb is levitating yet powered. It will float stably in midair and remain on for years without any physical contact, charging, or batteries. Ironically, with the levitation and wireless power circuitry both on, this entire package still consumes less than half the power of an incandescent bulb. This is not a trick or a photoshop manipulation. The bulb and the casing contain hidden circuitry [shown in figures] that uses electromagnetic feedback to levitate the bulb roughly 2.5" from the nearest object, and uses coupled resonant wireless power transfer to beam power from the housing into the bulb itself. Tesla invented wireless power transfer in the late 1890's. However this effect is still largely underutilized. I wanted to explore this effect coupled with feedback stabilization of a naturally unstable object. Details in the figures highlight the embedded circuitry and techniques used to levitate and power the bulb.
08/11/07 - South Korea Develops Hybrid 'Flying Ship'
South Korea has developed a prototype of a flying ship that could transport cargo and passengers faster than an ordinary ship and cheaper than an airplane. According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute designed and built the 12-meter-long wing-in-ground effect (WIG) craft named Haenarae X1, which travels at up to 70 mph (130 kph) and carries up to 20 passengers. In contrast, cruise ships and freighters can only reach speeds of 23 mph (42 kmh). The craft uses special wings and two 200-horsepower propellers to give it enough speed to fly one to two meters above the surface of the water. The state-run institute said it took three years to build the prototype. Commercial production of flying ships is planned in 2009. Actual models planned for commercial use will have speeds of 108 mph (200 kmh), capacity to seat 20 passengers plus cargo, and the range to travel 621 miles (1,000 kilometers). The larger production models will reportedly span 79 feet (24 meters) and will be propelled by 2,000 horsepower of thrust. The flying ships can be used to connect South Korea with China and Japan.
08/11/07 - Gas Balloons Become Freight Cars in Russian Sky Train
BY USING an airplane for a locomotive and balloons for freight cars, Russian aviators hope to solve the problem of carrying freight cheaply by air, a factor much sought for in Russia because of the vast areas isolated from railroads, highways and waterways. Freight glider trains first were thought to be the answer, but engineers were unable to overcome the difficulty of launching the loaded crafts. Recent experiments with balloon trains have proven much more successful. The balloons furnish the lifting power for the freight gondolas suspended beneath, while an airplane furnishes the towing power. In a recent flight, three freight balloons linked together by cable, were towed 70 miles in 40 minutes by a single plane. Other tests are planned.
08/11/07 - Advances In Vomit Induction
It looks like a big flashlight - but it's really a nonlethal weapon designed to make you sick. Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., of Torrance, Calif., has been granted a contract by the Department of Homeland Security to develop what it calls the "LED Incapacitator," according to a DHS online newsletter. The handheld device using light-emitting diodes to emit super-bright pulses of light at rapidly changing wavelengths, causing disorientation, nausea and even vomiting in whomever it's pointed at.
08/11/07 - Consumerism and Patio Heaters
So, in truth, discouraging people from using patio heaters won’t do much for the environment. However, it will remind us all of the dangers of ‘unnecessary’ consumption - and that seems to be the real message of the bizarre anti-patio heater movement that has emerged in the past few weeks. The patio heater has become, as Uden said, a ‘totem’: it is not actually a great danger to the environment, but it has cynically been made into a public symbol of people’s apparent greed and selfishness. These days, no form of activity can now be allowed to pass without first having its impact on the planet, its contribution to our ‘carbon footprint’, thoroughly checked by those in the know. And any solution to climate change (assuming the problem is as great as activists suggest) which focuses on adapting to rising temperatures rather than on changing behaviour is ruled out as unacceptable. Instead, we’re always left with only one option: we must constrain our lifestyles and restrain our desires. Want to drive a big car (or any car)? You’re selfish and ignorant. Want to fly around the world? That’s tantamount to child abuse. Aspiration is out; flagellation is in.
08/11/07 - Three ways to levitate a magic carpet
#1 - Scientists have levitated objects before, most famously using powerful magnetic fields to levitate a frog. But that technique, using the repulsive force of a giant magnet, requires large amounts of energy. In contrast, the latest theories exploit the natural smaller amounts of energy produced by the quantum fluctuations of empty space. #2 - Leonhardt and Philbin believe that inserting a section of metamaterial between the plates will disrupt the quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. In particular, metamaterials have a negative refractive index, so that electromagnetic light waves entering a metamaterial bend in the opposite way than expected, say Leonhardt. That will cause the Casimir force to act in the opposite direction -- forcing the upper plate to levitate. #3 - Capasso and his colleagues have also been working on an alternative scheme to harness a repulsive Casimir effect. Their calculations show that a repulsive Casimir force could be set up between a 42.7 micrometre-wide gold-coated polystyrene sphere and a Teflon plate, if the two are immersed in ethanol. "Although the Casimir force between any two substances - the ethanol and gold, the gold and the Teflon, or the Teflon and the ethanol - is positive, the relative strengths of attraction are different, and when you combine them, you should see the gold sphere levitate," he says. Capasso's early experiments suggest that such repulsion could occur, and that in turn could be used to levitate one object above another. "It's very early work, and we still need to make certain this is really happening, but we are slowly building up experimental evidence for quantum levitation," says Capasso, who presented his results at a conference on Coherence and Quantum Optics in Rochester, New York, in June. "This is a very exciting experimental result because it is the first demonstration that we can engineer a repulsive Casimir force," says Leonhardt.
08/11/07 - Elastic wire stretches out like accordion
Elastic circuits that stretch to more than twice their lengths could lead to new devices that can bend with a person's body, inside and out, developers say. On the inside, the stretchy circuits could power everything from bladder implants that sense incontinence to brain electrodes that help treat epilepsy and depression. On the outside, the elastic electronics could help advance fall-detecting bandages for the elderly, intelligent textiles that monitor health conditions, and new innovations, including stretchable thermometers and watches. Vanfleteren and his team constructed the circuits by embedding gold wires and standard electronic components in stretchy silicone film. Instead of laying down the wires in a straight line, the researchers shaped them into a snaky pattern of repeating 'u's.
When they stretched the silicone film, the wires elongated like an accordion to more then twice their original length. Embedding the wires and components in silicone not only makes them elastic, it makes them watertight. This means they can withstand moisture inside a person's body or a washing machine.
08/11/07 - Sprayable Concrete builds shelters fast
Spray Grancrete over a frame of Styrofoam, metal, wood-even woven sugarcane stalks-and in 20 minutes you have a waterproof, fire-resistant structure that has more than twice the strength of traditional concrete and can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking. A liquefied concrete-like mixture of sand, ash, magnesium oxide and potassium phosphate, Grancrete descends from a product developed to encase radioactive waste. And since it takes hours instead of weeks to build a home, it's poised to provide low-cost, high-quality shelter to the estimated one billion people who lack it. $20.50 to coat 15 square feet.
08/11/07 - Arc Furnace encased in two flowerpots
A SMALL electric arc furnace for experimental purposes can be made from two flowerpots, one 2 in. in diameter and the other either 6 or 8 in. Drill two holes opposite each other just below the lip of the smaller pot. (An ordinary steel drill will do this.) Make them large enough to receive carbon arc-light rods. Cover the hole in the bottom of the large pot and fill with sand until the top of the small one, when set firmly on the sand, is about 1 in. below the top of the large one. Now drill a hole in the large pot at the same level of those in the small one. Push a rod through the three holes and mark the point of contact on the other side of the large pot. Be sure that the rod is level and the small pot is properly centered. Drill the second hole in the large pot and push the rod through it. Now pour sand around the small pot nearly to the level of the rod. Settle this by pouring a little water on it. Pack fire clay around the rod in the spaces between the two pots, being careful to get it close to both walls. This keeps the sand from jamming the carbons, which must slide easily. Pour sand even with the top of the small flowerpot and settle it with water. Withdraw the rod and set the furnace aside to dry. Lids may be made from flowerpot saucers. Prepare the carbons by clamping a strip of brass or copper around each to furnish a good electrical contact. Tape a piece of glass tubing to one rod for adjustment as illustrated. The other rod should be held rigid while operating. The necessary resistance can be made by putting a teaspoonful of soda in a gallon of water. My furnace draws current through a 15-ampere fuse, which is safe for ordinary house wiring. To start, touch the carbons together. Dark goggles must be used. Do not touch the carbons with the bare hands. Do not use a resistance of the type described when it is hot enough to boil.
08/11/07 - Blood-staunching bandages
Loss of blood after an injury is a common cause of accidental death. In the US, for example, about 50,000 people bleed to death each year. The situation is particularly critical on the battlefield where uncontrolled bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death. So there is clearly a desperate need for a material that can quickly staunch the flow of blood from a wound. Conventional gauze bandages do not work well enough because, although they absorb blood, they do not prevent its flow. Thomas Fischer and colleagues at the Francis Owen Blood Research Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill think they may have the solution. His team has discovered that bandages made from about 65% glass fibre and 35% bamboo fibre not only absorb blood but also stimulate the body's ability to staunch the flow by triggering the release of blood-clotting factors such as thrombin or fibrinogen. They say the bandages work even better if they are themselves impregnated with blood-clotting factors.
08/11/07 - Hearing with Light
About 100,000 profoundly deaf people now hear with cochlear implants, which work by stimulating the auditory nerve with a string of electrodes implanted in the inner ear. While the devices enable many users to converse easily and use telephones, they still fall short of restoring normal hearing. Now scientists at Northwestern University are exploring whether laser-based implants could one day outperform today's electrical version. With conventional cochlear implants, electrical signals spread in the wet, salty environment of the body, muddying the signal. That makes it difficult to trigger specific populations of nerves inside the cochlea. Further complicating matters, simultaneous pulses in different locations merge with each other, stimulating the cochlea everywhere instead of in the desired locations. Engineers work around the problem by triggering only one or two of the 16 or 24 electrodes in the inner ear at a time. It's done so rapidly that the user has the illusion that all of the electrodes are firing, but the result is still a relatively crude simulation of normal hearing. To many cochlear implant users, voices sound mechanical and music sounds washed out. An infrared laser, on the other hand, can be beamed at nerve fibers with pinpoint accuracy. Furthermore, the directional nature of laser light means that optical pulses in different places won't interfere with each other. The increased precision of neural stimulation would make voices and music sound more natural, and users would be able to converse in noisy environments more easily. While it's not yet clear why infrared radiation can trigger activity in the auditory nerves, Richter hypothesizes that it heats the cells slightly, opening ion channels in the cell walls and sending an electrical signal down the length of the neuron.
08/11/07 - Your chance to view 'flying saucers' now
(Thanks to Paul Carlson for this headsup. - JWD) It’s an exciting time at James Gilliland’s ranch outside of Trout Lake - not because there’s nearly daily sightings of flying saucers, that’s been happening for years - but because a documentary about the sightings has just been released. Typically, the flying saucers appear as a shining light about the size of a dime in front of Mount Adams, 13 miles away. They come closer, moving in and out of the trees, and even overhead. And guests at the sanctuary have taken a lot of videos and still footage of the strange lights Gilliland said are ships from other planets. Gilliland’s Web site, www.eceti.org., has numerous photos and videos of flying saucers appearing over and near Sattva Sanctuary. “Most of the footage and photos on the Web site are from guests,” Gilliland said, “and if you want to argue with them about what these objects are, then you can.” Some of the videos guests have taken of flying saucers at Gilliland’s ranch can also be seen are on youtube.com. Although Gilliland allows people to come to Sattva Sanctuary to see for themselves, the strange lights in the sky, he asks for two big favors. The first is to call in advance to make a reservation. He doesn’t charge admission, but he does expect a donation. The second favor is for people “to keep an open mind,” he said. “These beings pick up on negative energy and fear,” he added, and both will keep the ships at bay. According to Gilliland, how close the ships come to the field largely depends on the emotional states and attitudes of the guests. “They are here now because we are at a crucial point in evolution, a shifting of the ages and need their help to get through some upcoming major cosmic events, and the tumultuous social, economic and physical earth changes we are seeing now that will continue to escalate,” Gilliland said on his Web site. They likely have chosen to regularly visit Sattva because of the diversity of the guests that come here, he added Saturday. “They come from all religious and spiritual backgrounds." To arrange a visit to Sattva Sanctuary, e-mail Gilliland at email@example.com
08/11/07 - Philippine Cops Post Anti-crime Videos On YouTube To Protect Citizens
Police from the Philippines' financial district in Makati City have found a cheaper and effective way to warn and protect the public against criminals. They have posted videos on the popular video website YouTube showing methods used by different criminals to victimize people. Local newspapers reported that the 15 videos, which were produced with the participation of actual criminals, show various scenarios and different methods used by syndicates and criminals to steal, rob, kidnap and rape, including how they steal ATM and credit cards. The videos narrated in the Filipino language can be viewed by typing the title "Criminal Modus Operandi" in the search field of YouTube. According to Makati City police chief Gilbert Cruz, the videos were originally recorded on DVDs but they can only produce a limited number of the aforementioned videos because it was expensive to make copies of these in that way. He said they decided to broadcast the videos on YouTube because it was free and has a wider audience. Cruz said the videos will be updated regularly and English versions will be produced.
08/11/07 - Turning Poop to Gold
"I took it to the compost and cast it in a plastic pot with Elmer's glue and I cooked it in my wife's toaster oven and that's how the idea was born," explained Cow Pots founder Matthew Freund. The cow pots are a way to make money off the manure, which has to be contained or removed to follow clean water act regulations. Keeping the manure out of the watershed is important to keep the water supply and the area ecosystems safe. The manure is treated, methane is collected, and the manure is separated into solids and liquids. The dry manure is brought to a barn where it's cast into the shape of a pot, treated and then packaged to be sold. As any gardener knows waste can be wonderful. Besides helping your garden one of the best things about cow pots is they don't smell like anything other than dirt.
08/11/07 - NASA Tests Hydrogen-Fueled BMW
NASA has completed an 8-week test of a fleet of BMW luxury sedans powered by liquid hydrogen at Kennedy Space Center. The new BMW Hydrogen 7 sedan uses the same fuel that powers the space shuttle and reduces CO2 emissions by 90 percent, according to a news release. Its engine can burn gasoline or liquid hydrogen and can switch seamlessly between the two. From the article: "One hundred BMW Hydrogen 7s have been built, and 25 are used in test programs in the US. The cars have already covered more than 1.3 million miles in test programs around the globe." / The car comes equipped with an internal combustion engine capable of running on either liquid hydrogen or gasoline and is based on the BMW 760Li. The V12 cylinder engine delivers 260 hp; the top speed of the Hydrogen 7 is 143 mph and acceleration 0-60 mph is 9.2 sec. When driving in hydrogen mode, emissions of the BMW Hydrogen 7 are virtually nothing but water vapor. Since the start of research and development in alternative fuel sources more than 25 years ago, BMW has focused on liquid hydrogen as the appropriate source of energy for the automobile. The car features a high-tech vacuum super-insulated hydrogen tank in which liquid hydrogen can be stored at the extremely low temperature of -423 ° Fahrenheit (-253 °Celsius) for a long period of time - the same insulating effect as a 17-meter-thick layer of Styrofoam.
08/11/07 - Home Sweet Cement Pipe
A Chinese man has built a house out of two cement pipes. Xin Yucai, 50, of Shenyang city, even turned down the chance to move into his daughter’s apartment he enjoyed living in his unusual home so much. The daughter says her apartment has enough space for her father but Xin still insisted on making a house of his own. “We moved once, and he took the pipe house with him.”
08/11/07 - Open PDF's in a flash with Sumatra
Windows only: The Sumatra PDF Viewer is a tiny open source portable reader that opens PDF's in the blink of an eye. Bloat and startup time is a major drawback to Adobe Reader, so we fled to the faster arms of FoxIt Reader long ago. However, at 850KB, Sumatra is way slimmer than FoxIt, and it's a single .exe file that runs nicely from a USB drive. Plus, it's open source and it's got a killer list of Gmail-like keyboard shortcuts. Sumatra PDF Viewer is a free download for Windows only.
08/11/07 - Microwave Ovens Destroy the Nutritional Value of Your Food
The microwave is the appliance of the living dead. People who use the microwave on a regular basis are walking down a path towards degenerative disease and a lifelong battle with obesity. The more you use the microwave, the worse your nutritional state gets, and the more likely you are to be diagnosed with various diseases and put on pharmaceuticals which, of course, will create other health problems that lead to a grand spiraling nosedive of health.
08/11/07 - China's iClone
Cellphones, microchips, cars, even iPhones-there's virtually no high-tech Western product that China's cloners can't copy. Pretty soon, you might even prefer their work.
The little gadget was bootleg gold, a secret treasure I'd spent months tracking down. The miniOne looked just like Apple's iPhone, down to the slick no-button interface. But it was more. It ran popular mobile software that the iPhone wouldn't. It worked with nearly every worldwide cellphone carrier, not just AT&T, and not only in the U.S. It promised to cost half as much as the iPhone and be available to 10 times as many consumers. Nearly every type of product can be - and is - cloned in China, sometimes so well that the ripped-off manufacturers inadvertently service the fakes when warranty claims come in. But the miniOne represents the vanguard of this cloning revolution. Meizu isn't aspiring merely to copy the designs of a Western manufacturer on the cheap. The company plans to give the miniOne capabilities beyond the original. Does this signal the start of something bigger in China - the years of reverse engineering serving as a de facto education for the engineers who will soon transform China into a design and engineering powerhouse? Is China on the cusp of going legit?
08/09/07 - Cameras auto-align Solar Troughs for Maximum Power output
A big star next door bathes the Earth in natural fuel, after all, so why not tap it for more of its worth? That’s the hope of engineers working on new ways to harness sunlight and make the technology more efficient and affordable. One promising idea is an alignment device that focuses sunlight over longer periods of time. The device precisely channels light on multiple, curved solar panels, squeezing as much energy from the system as possible. Rich Diver, a researcher with Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, has been testing his invention on a special breed of solar panel known as a parabolic trough, which uses curved mirrored surfaces as opposed to flat ones. The mirrors focus sunlight on a receiver tube running the length of the trough. The intense light heats oil in the tube to high temperatures, and then the oil goes through a heat exchanger to generate steam. The steam spins a turbine to create electricity - just like in a conventional power plant. Trough solar systems have a big flaw: When not precisely assembled and calibrated, they aren’t always good at focusing the sunlight. Diver said his new device could make these solar systems much more efficient, because “improperly aligned mirrors result in lost and wasted energy.” The device uses five cameras to align the mirrors so all can focus the sunlight on a central spot. When mirrors are out of whack, the sunlight scatters, and the potential loss of energy is analogous to a car with a leaking gas tank. “The whole process is very simple,” Diver said. “Once the mirrors are aligned, the energy savings starts. It’s like picking money off the ground.” If entire fields of trough systems can be fine tuned, they could become a dependable energy source for neighboring communities - and without producing greenhouse gases, Diver said. The world’s largest parabolic trough solar system is in California’s Mojave Desert. It produces 354 megawatts of power at peak output.
08/09/07 - $1 Million Prize for better Portable power supply
Calling all inventors: Build a better power source for soldiers and the Pentagon will beat a path to your door. And, pay you a cool $1 million. To lighten the heavy load of batteries carried by troops to power radios, night-vision goggles, satellite navigation units, laptops and other electronics, the military is offering prizes for building the best wearable power pack. Oh, and it has to supply the juice for four days and weigh less than 9 pounds. Second prize garners $500,000, and third place takes home $250,000. "We seek innovators -- the best and the brightest minds -- to apply their creative talents to this challenging opportunity," said William Rees, a deputy under secretary of defense. Batteries, solar cells, biomechanical, fuel cells, Star Trek's dilithium crystals, whatever works -- and meets contest rules -- are fair game for 21st century Thomas Edisons. The key factors are power output and weight. The winning entry must produce 20 watts of electricity for 96 continuous hours with power surges of up to 200 watts -- equivalent to two incandescent light bulbs -- for several five-minute periods. The weight soldiers carry into battle has risen markedly. Currently, troops on patrol may carry 20 pounds or more of batteries. That's in addition to body armor, weapons, ammo, water and food. One person's battle gear can weigh as much as 70 to 100 pounds. The Pentagon wants to lighten the load. For the official contest rules, go to the Defense Research and Engineering Web site: http://www.dod.mil/ddre/prize/.
08/09/07 - Programmable Matter
The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency is probing highly advanced IT challenges such as the Programmable Matter project, which aims to develop software that would allow physical objects to change their size, shape, color and other attributes to fulfill changing functions within, say, a military communications system. DARPA’s research is honing computer-based methods of detecting purposely hidden or naturally elusive enemy targets underground or on the high seas. The CSAC project has been driven by the increasing need to reliably assure continual synchronization of systems linked via the Global Information Grid, said Thomas O’Brian, chief of the Time and Frequency Division at NIST’s laboratory in Boulder, Colo. The lab receives DARPA funding to support the development of chip-scale atomic clocks. The tiny clocks could be deployed in hundreds of systems that military organizations at all levels rely on, including not only radios but also radars, sensors and location units that use the Global Positioning System, O’Brian said in an interview. The atomic clocks promise to make GPS systems more reliable while using little power, along with providing other helpful features, such as low weight and small size, he continued. The CSACs “are significantly more accurate than the quartz crystal units ,which have been the standard” for such timekeeping, O’Brian said. The new generation of small clocks relies on the vibration frequency of elements such as cesium and rubidium to maintain their steady timekeeping and does not involve radioactive materials. The tiny clocks can operate for as long as two days or more using the power available in a AA battery, O’Brian said. “Another aspect of these devices is that they can serve as magnetometers,” he added. As such, the CSACs could sense the presence of metallic objects, such as mines or tanks. “You could scatter them across a wide area so when a Jeep or tank drives over, they might detect it,” O’Brian said. “Or they could detect the presence of ventilating fans in [al Qaeda caves] in Tora Bora [Afghanistan].” The programmable matter project could, for instance, lead to the invention of a malleable antenna that could change its shape depending on the radio or radar to which it is connected, Tether said. “The computer science challenges are to identify the algorithms that would allow each element of the object to do its job as the object changes, while staying well coordinated with the other elements and functioning as an ensemble,” he added.
08/09/07 - Superior transmission uses drill motor to pull a Car
Blaine Staver, of Cogan Station may be on to something with his invention, the automatic gear ratio reduction system, a new type of highly efficient transmission. Staver worked on his own to secure a patent for the invention, which acts as a highly efficient transmission by supplying the perfect amount of power needed in any situation. “It can go as fast or as slow as you as want it to, and it does it with the least amount of energy that is needed,” Staver explained. Staver said gear systems in cars today work with hydraulics and his new invention does not need them. Currently, he only has one demonstration model, and he showed the Sun-Gazette the gear system had enough strength to pull the weight of a car, only using a cordless drill as a power source. Staver said he is marketing to the lawn tractor and mower industry, hopefully providing them with a more efficient transmission for those machines. Staver said he hopes it changes the way people see transmissions and wants to see his invention in cars and trucks someday. “If this invention acted as a transmission in cars, it would greatly increase fuel economy and decrease the nation’s dependency on foreign oil,” Staver said.
08/09/07 - Inventor Soars with Experimental Hot Air Blimp
Dan Nachbar is piloting a 100-foot experimental blimp. "I wanted to come up with a way to get the view without the noise," Nachbar says. "There are no walls, there's no windshield, so you're very much out in the open," Nachbar says. "We wanted flying in this aircraft to feel unlike any other aircraft." Kuehlmuss says most blimps steer like a big cruise ship - in a lumbering kind of way. But the motor mounted on the tail pivots this blimp just like the motor on the back of a small boat. And unlike many blimps, this one isn't filled with helium but with hot air. Helium is a lot more costly. But what's really different is the blimp's structure. Long, flexible, aluminum tubes run the length of the ship, and open and fold like an umbrella. Tents use the same technology. "We didn't invent the tension membrane structure, but we are the first ones to use it on a blimp," Nachbar says. The blimp cost $500,000 to develop and build. His investors are mainly family and friends. But Nachbar is confident there is money to be made in his invention by putting advertising on the side of the blimp. And he also hopes his blimp can help solve what's known as the "last mile" problem: moving things too heavy for helicopters a short distance.
08/09/07 - Converting Engine for pure Biodiesel
DIESEL has long been the farmer's and truckie's fuel, but a Geelong inventor has found a way to convert any engine to use the cheaper fuel but with a fraction of the emissions. Ron Kukler's Green Diesel Injector (GDI) technology, which was on show at Hamilton's Sheepvention yesterday, could allow car manufacturers to harness biodiesel and even help fuel the United States military. ``We've run 100 per cent bio-diesel rather than just a blend and there's no problems with biodiesel,'' Mr Kukler said of the project that he researched for more than a decade. GDI is cheaper to install than traditional diesel fuel-injection and injects fuel into the cylinder at almost eight times the pressure to ensure more fuel is burnt and less released as exhaust fumes, he said. ``They run smoother and they smell like linseed oil,'' he said of engines run with biodiesel. He had a six-cylinder petrol engine on display and was confident any engine in reasonably good condition could be converted. ``If a major manufacturer took this on...it would be cheaper than a petrol motor installation.'' Mr Kukler can convert a petrol engine to diesel for about $3500.
08/09/07 - Space Settlement or Continuous Wars
"War is not healthy for children and other living things" goes the 60's poster. It's true -- and yet we still fight wars. Why? Because war serves several important functions. One of the most important is to gain or preserve control of resources, particularly territory. For example, the European desire to expand in the 15th through 20th centuries could only take place on Earth, and inevitably sparked a long series of wars both in and out of Europe, culminating with the vast trench-warfare slaughter of World War I. Today there is an entirely peaceful and far more powerful alternative, space settlement. Space settlement is to territorial and resource wars as computer word processing is to the quill pen. Sure, you can write a book with a quill and ink pot, but why bother when you've got a PC and MS Word? Space settlement means people living and working beyond Earth, not only on the Moon and Mars, but also in giant rotating spacecraft -- orbital space settlements. In the 1970's Princeton physicist Gerard O'Neill, with the help of NASA Ames Research Center and Stanford University, showed that we can build giant orbiting spaceships and live in them [reference]. These settlements can be wonderful places to live; about the size of a California beach town and endowed with weightless recreation, fantastic views, freedom, elbow-room in spades, great wealth and true independence. Territorial and resource wars can be made obsolete by space settlement because of one simple fact: the vast majority of the resources available to mankind are not on Earth, they are in space. While exploiting space resources will be monumentally expensive, this cost is minor compared to the cost of war. A really first-class space settlement program might cost $100 billion a year, whereas the U.S. military budget is about $600 billion. Moreover, space settlement can deliver far, far more resources than even the most successful imaginable Earth-bound military. Space settlement can make resource wars a thing of the past, something we only read about in history books, because space settlement can deliver far, far more resources at far, far less cost. Less money, less death, less destruction, and infinitely less stupidity. Resources and territory are not the only reasons for war, but they cause a lot of them. The U.S. has spent far more defending oil access in the Mid-East than it would cost to build space settlements. Perhaps it's time to change direction. Perhaps it's time to make Earth a bit healthier for children and other living things. Perhaps it's time to choose life over war. Perhaps it's time to start building space settlements.
08/09/07 - European heatwaves 'have doubled'
The duration of heatwaves in Western Europe has doubled since 1880, a study has shown. The authors of the research also discovered that the frequency of extremely hot days has nearly tripled in the past century. The study suggests many previous assessments of daily summer temperature underestimated the change in heatwaves in Western Europe by about 30%. The team found that heatwaves lasted an average of three days now, with some lasting up to 13 days. This compares with an average of about 1.5 days in 1880. Paul Della-Marta, from MeteoSwiss in Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues analysed daily maximum temperature data from 54 recording stations across Europe. The heatwave experienced by Europe in 2003 had major adverse socio-economic and environmental effects. Thousands of elderly people died. Forests were devastated by fire, water ecosystems were strained, and the total mass of Alpine glaciers shrank by 10%. The authors say we can expect extreme weather events like this to occur more frequently in future.
08/09/07 - Nano-Boric Acid could Decrease Fuel Consumption 4-5%
Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have begun to combine nanoparticles of boric acid-known primarily as a mild antiseptic and eye cleanser-with traditional motor oils in order to improve their lubricity and by doing so increase energy efficiency. In laboratory tests, these new boric acid suspensions have reduced by as much as two-thirds the energy lost through friction as heat. This could result in a four or five percent reduction in fuel consumption, according to Ali Erdemir, senior scientist in Argonne’s Energy Systems Division.
08/09/07 - Study - Limitations to Ability of Trees to Bank Extra CO2
A study by Free Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) researchers found that while bathing North Carolina pine tree stands with extra carbon dioxide did allow the trees to grow more tissue, only those pines receiving the most water and nutrients were able to store significant amounts of carbon that could offset the effects of global warming. Scientists from the team presented their findings at a national meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).
08/09/07 - New Loremo LS gets 157 miles to the gallon
At the Motor Show ‘06 in Geneva, German company Loremo AG showed off it’s LS with a 2 cylinder Turbo diesel engine, 20 horse-pwer and a 160 km/h (100m/h) top speed. The kicker’s that it uses 1.5 liters per 100 km, that’s 157 miles per gallon. The car only weighs 450 kg (992 lb), but still seats four. The planned pricetag on the LS is less than 11,000 Euro ($13,000). Later, Loremo plans to release the GS, which will have a stronger engine (50 hp, 27l/100km) and a top speed of 220km/h (136m/h). / LoReMo = Low Resistance Mobile. The cars of the future will have to be more efficient, which means less consumption of resources during production and operation. Loremo stands for this efficiency. It's a simple idea: Weight and air resistance are decisive for fuel consumption of vehicles. Reducing these factors will reduce consumption. And the more you reduce the more efficient you will drive. The sensational fuel consumption of only 1.5 litres / 100 km is due to the reduction of weight and air resistance. Remembering what is essential does mean to reduce parts and material as well as to merge functions and, in doing so, also to reduce costs. You will get into Loremo by a lateral threshold - unusual, but it's as easy as stepping into a bathtub! Its innovative linear cell structure is the basis for Loremo's safety . Instead of two lateral doors there is one "gate": A frontal door opens forward before the seats, taking the steering wheel with it. In front of the dashboard, in the crumple zone, there is a small trunk. The huge rear-trunk can be used for comfortable seating of two children, once the seats are lowered. Available in 2009 - Loremo Homepage
08/09/07 - Freshly-mown lawns to mask smell of stale beer and sweat
The smell of freshly mown grass could be pumped into pubs to mask the foul odour of stale beer, sweat and drains that was previously disguised by cigarette smoke. Ocean breezes, leather and, perhaps surprisingly, tobacco smoke are some of the aromas being tested by Mitchells & Butlers, which manages 2,000 pubs. Supporters of the smoking ban introduced on July 1 insisted that pubs and bars would smell sweeter without cigarettes, little realising how much the smoke had masked the more unpleasant aspects of some crowded venues. The chain has already tried out an "ozonic" fragrance to emulate the scent of a sea breeze at four suburban pubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. "We are considering trialling the smell of leather, which suggests luxury and indulgence, and cut grass, which is clean and domestic," said Mr Devine. "I am not ruling out the smell of tobacco smoke. It is not as silly as it sounds." Such an aroma, after taking out the health hazards, "would remind people of their pub experiences in the past", he added. Rentokil-Initial, which supplies Marriott hotels with bar perfumes, is considering using the smell of mojito - the Cuban cocktail made with rum, mint and lime. Marriott wants such aromas to stimulate customers' appetites and thirsts as well as creating a 'brand' identity for the chain. Luminar Leisure, which owns 122 nightclubs across the country, has already started wafting rose scent through the air-conditioning system and is testing other smells to see which work best.
08/09/07 - The Best 80 Photoshop Text Effects on the Web
For some unknown reason, each time we try a new graphics application, we feel the uncontrollable desire to apply the most cheesy effects to beautifully designed typefaces. These so called text effects or type effects are carefully hidden guilty pleasures that most designers enjoy to try, but would never dare to apply in real life work. For those like me that love text effects and have the courage to admit it, here’s a thorough guide to the best 80 text effects available on the web. To some these may be not the best tutorials on the web, but certainly they are some of the best around. I had to eliminate those that looked nice but had very little preview images. This guide includes 78 Photoshop tutorials and 2 impressive collections of Photoshop Actions, plus 3 books on the subject. (via lifehacker.com)
08/09/07 - Laser Mapping Archeological Sites
Throughout his years in civil engineering, Ben Kacyra had been repeatedly called upon to create what are called "as-built" blueprints of big industrial operations like refineries, so safety managers could know the precise locations of critical components. "We sent scads of people into the plants with tape measures," he said, to figure out exactly where things were to create these post-construction blueprints. Kacyra said Dimsdale decided a laser would be the best tool for the job and found one that met the specs -- it emitted light with enough power to bounce off a distant object and return to a sensor, while being "eye-safe" in the event of brief, accidental exposure. The laser Dimsdale found had been developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of former President Ronald Reagan's defense program that was commonly referred to as the "Star Wars" anti-missile defense shield. Through a research agreement with MIT, Kacyra licensed a civilian version of the laser. But that was just the start. The tool needed sensors capable of timing the intervals between signal and response. Once again they turned to the defense sector, this time forging a research agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory, which had developed a high-tech stopwatch with the right stuff. There were other problems to be solved. The laser maps the surface of objects by taking millions of measurements at different angles. The complicated process creates a gnarly problem in software to reassemble that cloud of points into a blueprint. John Rick is an expert in a pre-Incan Peruvian civilization known as the Chavin, who left behind no written language and are known only through an extensive and complex set of ruins approximately 155 miles north of Lima. Rick said he has been using Kacrya's laser mapping tool for several years in an attempt to ascertain whether the site -- several giant monuments and a network of underground passageways -- had been planned by an elite or had resulted from some grassroots religious fervor. He said the laser mapper has been essential to discovering whether critical details, like the placement of stairs, were the same in structures built over a series of generations -- proof, he believes, that the Chavin elite enforced what amounts to an ancient building code. "It would take 10 lifetimes to record the data that the Kacyra instrument takes in 10 minutes," said Rick, who considers it one of the most important new tools in archaeology over the past quarter-century. Back in Orinda, Kacyra cited other projects that have used the mapping tool. One charted the dimensions of Pompeii, the ancient Roman city buried in volcanic ash. Another studied the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi of the Mesa Verde region of southwest Colorado. Making this work viewable on the Web has been a big part of his foundation's work, and Kacyra considers the images available today a mere token of what is possible -- the eventual creation of ancient virtual landscapes that people might be able to imagine strolling through the way that computer hobbyists enjoy make-believe online worlds such as Second Life from San Francisco's Linden Lab. But why stop at the computer screen? Once the blueprints for ancient wonders have been calculated and are stored in a digital file, it becomes possible to re-create at least portions of these edifices. Kacyra showed off a hand-size reproduction of an ancient frieze, scanned by the mapping tool. The dimensions of this wall decoration were fed into a rapid-prototyping machine -- a device that makes plastic replicas to order. Think of the archaeological equivalent of a reprint of a famous painting, a chance to hold a piece of history.
08/09/07 - Coley’s Cancer-Killing Concoction
On October 1st 1890, William B. Coley, a young bone surgeon barely two years out of medical school, saw one of his first patients in private practice at the New York Memorial Hospital. Coley began by poring through the hospital’s records, looking for clues from previous sarcoma cases that might lead to better treatments in the future. He soon found what he was looking for: the case of a German man who came to the hospital with an egg-sized sarcoma in his left cheek some seven years earlier. There were several attempts to excise the tumour but none of them were successful- each time the cancer came back, as aggressive as before. The final operation could only partially remove the huge mass, leaving an open wound that subsequently became infected. William B. ColeyWilliam B. ColeyThe unfortunate immigrant was deemed a terminal case. Yet four and a half months later, the man was discharged with no trace of disease. Coley personally tracked down the former patient to verify that the miraculous cure had taken place. Indeed, the man was healthy and happily settled into his new life in the United States. The records showed that after the wound became infected with a commonplace bacterium, Streptococcus pyogenes, the patient went through several bouts of fever. With each attack of fever the tumour shrank until eventually it disappeared entirely, leaving only a large scar under the left ear. Coley surmised that the infection had stimulated the German’s immune system- as evidenced by the repeated fevers- and that it was this immune response that had caused the eradication of the cancer. The story so convinced Coley that he- perhaps cavalierly- contrived to contaminate his next ten suitable sarcoma cases with Streptococcus. His initial approach was to inject a solution of live bacteria deep into the tumour mass on a repeated basis over several months. The first patient to undergo this treatment was a bedridden man with inoperable sarcoma in the abdominal wall, bladder, and pelvis. Using this experimental method, the patient was cured spectacularly. He staged a full recovery, and survived another twenty-six years before dying from a heart attack. But subsequent results were mixed; sometimes it was difficult to get the infection to take hold, and in two cases the cancer responded well to treatment but the patients died from the Streptococcus infection. After the fatalities with the ‘live’ version of his therapy, he developed an improved fluid containing killed bacteria of two different strains, Streptococcus pyogenes and Serratia marcescens. This was based on the idea that the dead bacteria would still have the immune-stimulating capability of their living brethren (in the form of purported ‘toxins’), but not share their inconvenient tendency to cause death. Streptococcus pyogenesStreptococcus pyogenesHis invention became variously known as ‘Coley’s Toxins’, ‘Coley’s Vaccine’, ‘Mixed Bacterial Toxins’ or ‘Coley Fluid.’
08/09/07 - Surviving in Space Without a Spacesuit
"The recent movie Sunshine features a scene (echoing the famous scene in 2001: a Space Odyssey) in which two astronauts have to cross from one ship to another without spacesuits. But, can you survive in space without a spacesuit? Morgan Smith, writing in Slate, asks whether this is realistic, and concludes: "Yes, for a very short time."" / The principle functions of a spacesuit are to create a pressurized, oxygenated atmosphere for astronauts, and to protect them from ultraviolet rays and extreme temperatures. Without it, a spacewalker would asphyxiate from the lack of breathable air and suffer from ebullism, in which a reduction in pressure causes the boiling point of bodily fluids to decrease below the body's normal temperature. Since it takes a bit of time for these things to kill you, it's possible to make it through a very quick stint in outer space. At most, an astronaut without a suit would last about 15 seconds before losing conciousness from lack of oxygen. (That's how long it would take the body to use up the oxygen left in the blood.) Of course, on Earth, you could hold your breath for several minutes without passing out. But that's not going to help in a vacuum. In fact, attempting to hold your breath is a sure way to a quick death. To make it for even a few seconds, Sunshine's Mace must have expelled the air from his lungs before he ventured into the starry void. If he hadn't, the vacuum would have caused that oxygen to expand and rupture his lung tissue, forcing fatal air bubbles into his blood vessels, and ultimately his heart and brain. Scuba divers are also at risk for air embolism; they're instructed not to hold their breath as they ascend from the deep sea. / Much Better article
08/09/07 - Imaginary Global Warming heating up Lake Superior
Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake, has been shrinking for years-and now it appears to be getting hotter.
Beachgoers at the lake, which is bounded by Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ontario, Canada, must walk up to 300 feet (100 yards) farther to reach shorelines. Some docks are unusable because of low water, and once-submerged lake edges now grow tangles of tall wetland plants. Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake, has been shrinking for years-and now it appears to be getting hotter. "Humans rely on the lake level because it fundamentally changes how we interact with the lake." But for most of the lake's ecosystems, water level isn't as important as temperature. "Everything in nature depends on temperature." One buoy in the lake recorded a surface temperature up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) in summer, unprecedented for a lake that's notoriously cold year-round. Rising summertime air temperatures are only part of the story, however. Milder winters mean less ice on the lake surface, and less ice means less sunlight is reflected-and more is absorbed.
08/07/07 - What the BARONS of big money do not want you to know
Arthur's wind turbine is designed to run at relatively low speeds compared to conventional horizontal axis turbines. Because of this, and the use of an annular ring that joins the tips of the many angled blades, the turbine is virtually silent. It is also capable of being accurately balanced to minimize vibration, and the blade design can make much better use of turbulent air than standard two- and three-blade turbines. A five metre (16.4 foot) diameter Hush turbine was fitted to an 18 metre (59 foot) tower in Diggers Rest in September 2003. This turbine produces enough energy to run several homes or a small factory. Unlike the 2 and 3 blade turbines, this turbine configuration will pose less risk to birds due to the semi-solid appearance of the rotor when the blades are rotating. The inventor of this turbine is now in the manufacturing phase and plans rollout of the turbine in September of 2007. I hope he considers building a plant in the United States for our use. I would like to have one in my backyard. / Hush Turbine Output Table
08/07/07 - Developers trying to harness Earth's energy in new way
While most wind turbines these days are built as propellers, Gene Kelley is convinced that wings are a better answer for capturing wind energy. Though the physics and work that has gone into his invention can get complex, the underlying concept of his "WindWing" is basic enough for a child to understand. Anyone who has stuck a hand out of a car window has felt how the WindWing works. As the hand is tilted upward, the wind pushes the hand up. As it tilts downward, the wind pushes it down. The resulting up-and-down motion, or oscillation, is what gives the WindWing its power. The wing concept could be applied to water as well. Kelley said it could apply to any flowing, fluid medium. For now, the company is focusing on the WindWing to prove the concept. He filed a patent application in 2005 and is awaiting its approval. The prototype consists of four wings on one end and weights on the other. The weighted end of the bar is short -- one foot long compared to the 10 feet on the other end where the wings sit. Kelley compares the balancing of the bar on its central support pole to balancing weight on a teeter-totter. Because the lever is built at a 10-1 ratio, the force of the wind is magnified, so that 200 pounds of lift on the wings translates into one ton of useful force. In practical application, the ratio will be determined by factors such as wind conditions and wing length. When a fan is turned on in the prototype room, the 6.7 mph breeze starts to push the wing end upward. When the wings reach the top, a position sensor is tripped and the orientation of the wings tilts downward, changing their "angle of attack." The wings are then pushed downward until they reach the bottom and the wing angle changes again. The system moves gently, with springs on the central pole that compress as the bar reaches the top and bottom of its movement and springs back to give the bar a shove in the opposite direction. That means energy isn't lost in turning the lever. The up-and-down flapping hints at one of the system's benefits over its propeller-equipped kin -- that it is less likely to kill birds. In the actual working model, a rod and pump or generator would be attached to the weighted end. As it moves up and down with the wind, it could be used to compress air, pump water or generate electricity. With the WindWing, the wings put more surface area in contact with the wind. This provides more lift, which translates into more power. The WindWing is about 40 to 60 percent efficient at getting power from the wind, W2 reports. Several WindWings could be stacked on a single tower, so that those at different levels could each be adjusted to get the most out of the different wind speeds. The angle of the wings can be adjusted so that there is a high angle for a light wind and a low angle for a strong wind.
The company is researching how many WindWings can be stacked on the same pole. The design is also scalable, so that the wings could range from the size of a conference room table to that of a Boeing 747 "jumbo jet." Those at W2 said it would take far fewer towers to get the same amount of power generated by propeller turbines. A single WindWing could replace eight to 12 propellers, Kelley said. There's also the lower cost. Because of its simple design, the WindWing would be less expensive to make.
08/07/07 - U.S. Policy Causing 'Reverse Brain Drain'
U.S. immigration policy will drive away entrepreneurs, scientists and other educated people if it doesn't change, according to Vivek Wadhwa, the executive in residence at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. The result will be a "REVERSE BRAIN DRAIN," where five years from now "the illegal and unskilled will still be here, but those that contribute significantly to U.S. competitiveness will be long gone."
08/07/07 - Funeral bosses plan to boil bodies to dust
Cemetery bosses are in talks with a British firm which plans to turn bodies to dust rapidly by submerging them in water and heating them to 150C (302F). The process - called resomation - is similar to cremation but the company claims it is better for the environment. This is because it uses less energy and does not emit any harmful chemicals. When a body is cremated, it is heated to up to 1,200C (2,192F) and lets off a number of harmful gases, including high levels of mercury. With resomation, there is also no wooden coffin to be destroyed. It would cost up to £300,000 to install a machine and the cost per funeral would be around £300 - about the same as a cremation. While the process is not yet a legal alternative to burial or cremation, the Government has said it will consider any application. The company has registered the name as a trademark. It is based on the Greek word resoma - which means rebirth of the human body. Already, up to 1,100 bodies have been treated this way in the US. The firm is holding 'resomation roadshows' at crematoriums across the country and has approached the Government in the hope that its system will be approved. In the new process a silk coffin enters a chamber and is submerged in hundreds of litres of water mixed with potassium hydroxide, an alkali. The body is then brought up to temperature. In two hours it turns into white dust. Chemically, the process is similar to - but much faster than - natural decomposition. Afterwards, the 'bio-ashes' are returned to loved ones.
08/07/07 - Rain Engineering using the Spider 5 Cloudbuster
(This is Trevor Constable's website on creating rain using cloudbuster technology. - JWD) Shown: Photo #1 - Trevor James Constable adjusts a typical Mark 5 Spider at the smog base his group operated in Reseda, California, during Operation CLINCHER. Reseda recorded zero smog Alerts in 1990, one of several communities with zero Alerts during CLINCHER. / Photo #2 - This is one of the Mark 5 Spiders fabricated in Singapore by George Wuu for his own personal use. Unit here sits in living room of Mr. Wuu’s penthouse on the southern shore of Singapore Island. This Spider worked effectively from indoors, especially in engineering rain and condensing cloud masses around Singapore. / Rain engineering operations herein exemplify practical results achieved since 1968. Successful operations have been mounted in several countries, on the high seas, and latterly, in airborne applications. U.S. projects were advance-notified to the U.S. authorities (NOAA) on the prescribed Federal forms. Projects were then executed successfully. For forty years, billions have been expended on the uncertainties of cloud-seeding. This crude chemical insult has proved futile in defeating drought, now an advancing planetary menace. Tons of cloud-seeding chemicals are injected annually into the atmosphere, descending to contaminate the life chain. Environental cleanup must simultaneously be pursued environmental cleanup. An environmentally pure technology has been developed by practical men, to deal with drought effectively. No chemicals or radiation in any form are employed. Etheric rain engineering accesses and technologically employs the chemical ether, which permeates and controls the atmosphere via the ether's mighty, yet gossamer-subtle flows. Long-standing classical theories have been obsoleted by substantial video proof now available of the ether's physical existence. Orthodoxy's "etherless" universe has become old history. A dynamic new era has opened. New-design geometric translators have finally permitted AIRBORNE operations - a long-awaited breakthrough. Drought reversal over large territories became feasible. Airborne tests in Hawaii, and in Malaysia, reveal a stunning potential. Chemicals or electric power are not required. The techniques are simple, environmentally pure - and effective.
08/07/07 - The 'Visual Ray' method of Cloudbusting
(This is a form of hexerei, a Pennsylvania Dutch hexing technique which I used to play with in my mid teens. I used to bet my boss I could make it rain and I nearly always won, but often had a headache afterward. Look into a cloud and think disperse and it will dissipate. Look at the edges of the cloud and think grow and it will. It requires concentration and sustained thought. - JWD) By siphoning orgone energy either away from clouds or directing it into clouds, you could dissolve or build up clouds-at will. Merle said that Trevor could control the weather to such a degree that he could create a squall line of rain showers just ahead of his ship and keep it moving forward, but never touch the ship. "OK, exactly how?" says I. "With the Cloud Buster" says he. Merle then went on to explain that Trevor's Cloud Buster sort of looked like a Gattlin' Gun with a thyroid problem. In a Cloud Buster, a series of 1 to 12 very long tubes are mounted parallel to each other and held attached to a tripod with a full turret swivel. The entire tube assembly can also be pivoted from horizontal to full vertical. Some sort of 'resonant tuning box' is connected to the rear end of the tubes and a very long wire is also connected from the end of the tubes and trailed into the sea water. By pointing the Cloud Buster at a cloud, you could draw off its orgone energy and direct it into the tubes and then into the water, for which it has a very strong affinity. Somehow (Merle couldn't remember how), Trevor was able to reverse the process and 'upload' orgone into the clouds and cause them to build up. If he kept on building them up, he could create a thunderstorm; and he often did. Merle mentioned that Trevor wrote all about this and other fascinating things in a marvelous book called "The Cosmic Pulse of Life". / 1. Pick a day when you have a number of small, cotton ball looking, fair weather clouds. 2. Decide on the cloud you want to dissipate and have someone photograph, videotape, or at least witness what you are about to do. The experience is exhilarating and it should be shared. 3. Resolve within yourself that you're going to evaporate the cloud with your visual ray and understand that you will draw the orgone energy that was residing within the cloud, into your eyes and then into your body. 4. Concentrate on the cloud you want to bust and slice your visual ray back and forth across it, checkerboard style, horizontally and vertically. Afterwards, bore holes into it and keep slicing the fragments as the cloud begins to break up. You are drawing the orgone energy into your eyes and into you. Keep up the attack. Eventually (within five minutes), the cloud will completely disappear. The first time I did this was electrifying. I was besides myself with giddiness and self delight. You can continue busting clouds, but only up to a point. Eventually, you will absorb as much orgone energy as your body can tolerate at the moment and afterwards absorb no more. Excess orgone can discharge as electricity or through sexual ejaculation (another article). For me, this experience was thrilling. Trevor intones repeatedly throughout his book that you must do these experiments yourself in order to own them. Just reading about it isn't enough. By experiencing this capability yourself, you now realize that you are not merely an animated bag of minerals worth 98 cents (going 'rate' when I was in high school) as mechanistic science would have it, but rather a thriving, bio dynamic life force exuding creative radiant life energy.
08/07/07 - Custom $99 Nondisclosure Agreements
ConfidentialityWizard.com creates nondisclosure agreements that match the specifications you outline by answering its questionnaire. Cost is $99 for as many as you want. (Our favorite nondisclosure agreement goes like this: If you don't tell us about it, we can't disclose it.) (via oncomp.com)
08/07/07 - Physicists have 'solved' mystery of levitation
The University of St Andrews team has created an 'incredible levitation effects’ by engineering the force of nature which normally causes objects to stick together. Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin, from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, have worked out a way of reversing this pheneomenon, known as the Casimir force, so that it repels instead of attracts. Their discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate But they say that, in principle at least, the same effect could be used to levitate bigger objects too, even a person. Now, using a special lens of a kind that has already been built, Prof Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin report in the New Journal of Physics they can engineer the Casimir force to repel, rather than attact.
08/07/07 - Ancient glacier creatures brought back to Life
Ancient creatures that once lived eight million years ago have been successfully thawed from the ice of an Antarctic glacier, in an experiment that sounds like a scene from a science fiction film. The feat of revival was managed with as yet unidentified single-celled microbes and should pose no health issues, say scientists. However, it does show that evolution of simpler organisms is complicated by thawing glaciers which allow ancient bugs to contribute their old genes to modern populations. The finding is significant, said Kay Bidle, assistant professor of marine and coastal sciences at Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, because scientists didn’t know until now whether such ancient, frozen organisms and their DNA could be revived at all or for how long cells are viable after they’ve been frozen.
08/07/07 - Claim - Matter Orientation System (MOS) finds people?
(Photo is NOT the device, simply a GPS mapper. - JWD) Former police officer Danie Krugel, whose "magic box" was featured in a Carte Blanche programme on the missing girls connected to paedophile Gert van Rooyen, may be working on another device. And there are rumours he sold the first device, the Matter Orientation System (MOS) to an overseas buyer for R13-million. He says the MOS uses "compassionate quantum physics" to track the dead or vanished. Krugel says that, mostly using hair, he is able to trace missing people, or their remains. The MOS works "primarily with DNA using GPS infrastructure", he says. No one has yet examined the device. Puren's understanding is that "what must be" a computer of some kind occasionally jerks to life and shakes briefly when it makes contact, which is why he must be alone when working with it. Puren, also abroad, said her understanding is Krugel is developing another "even more incredible" device. She suggests Krugel reluctantly parted with the rights to his "DNA GPS invention" after the Ministry for Safety and Security failed to take an option on it. A prevailing view is that the MOS is a scam. Jacqueline Burke, a Johannesburg consulting scientist, questions what she calls "the basics". "A dead person has no magnetic field, no energy - nothingness. Unless you have a device planted in you, it's impossible, even if dealing with tracer chemicals. There are no ions charging through you." There's also a degree of anger, especially in the scientific community, about what some would say is hubris disguised as humility. Albert Einstein's reply to the Uncertainty Principle, trying to determine both the position and momentum of a particle, was that God does not play dice. But Krugel's claims may be read as his having all but conquered the atomic world. Sceptics such as Marian Laserson, a South African paranormal expert, say the publicity around the inventor may have something to do with a proposed $1m prize on the James Randi Educational Forum website. Anyone who can show, under proper observation, evidence of any paranormal or occult power wins. "Brodski", another contributor to the forums about Krugel this week, said: "Finding Bin Laden would make him more money, but winning Randi's million would be a good way to get someone to give him a Bin Laden sample." / Carte Blanche article
08/07/07 - Beer Cooling
When I checked it out, only two teams had appeared for the cooling contest. The method of choice? Rubbing alcohol and dry ice. The dry ice cools the alcohol, but doesn't freeze it. [Team Hebrew] was my favorite - they used a vinyl hose to carry the beer into the cooling liquid. They managed a 45 second run at one point, and used a simple electric blower to evacuate the beer from the cooling line. They found that it was a bit easier to just blow it out the old fashioned way.
08/07/07 - If Russia Owns North Pole, America Owns Moon
Russia recently planted an underwater flag on the seabed of the North Pole, and claimed that Russia owns the whole thing. Lifelike Pundits has an idea -- if that's how it works, then AMERICA OWNS THE MOON. (When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the U.S. flag on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, he also made a point of claiming that "We came in peace for all mankind.") / For all Mr Chilingarov’s posturing, his expedition is little more than a public relations stunt designed by the Kremlin to attract public support for Russia’s long held claim to a 463,000 mile chunk of the Arctic - about half the size of Western Europe. The Kremlin has long believed the territory belonged to Russia - it was marked as such on Soviet maps from the 1920s. But in 1997, Russia ratified the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea, which limits the five nations on the Arctic Ocean Russia, Norway, Canada, the United States (through Alaska) and Denmark (through Greenland) to 200 miles of territorial waters. But under the treaty, the five nations are allowed to file claims to a UN commission for greater territory if they can prove that their continental shelves are geographically linked to the Arctic seabed. In 2001, Russia became the first country to file a claim, arguing that the underwater Lomonosov ridge was not merely a chain of mountains in international waters but was actually an extension of Siberia’s continental shelf.
The commission, however, was not convinced and asked for seismology reports and sonar measurements to support Russia’s submission. The area is believed to have up to 10 billion barrels of oil. With the United States and Norway also having filed claims, the prospect for bitter territorial disputes has been raised. Russia, however, remains quietly confident. The territory it seeks is a triangle running from the country’s western Kola Peninsula in the West to the Chukotka Peninsula in the East with the Apex running through the Pole itself. Even if the sector is not awarded to Russia, it is unlikely any other country could seize it. If Russia is successful, however, its already mighty energy reserves would be given a massive boost - although there is still doubt about the technical feasibility of extracting oil and gas from the Arctic.
08/07/07 - No Warrant Needed
President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants. Congressional aides and others familiar with the details of the law said that its impact went far beyond the small fixes that administration officials had said were needed to gather information about foreign terrorists. They said seemingly subtle changes in legislative language would sharply alter the legal limits on the government’s ability to monitor millions of phone calls and e-mail messages going in and out of the United States. They also said that the new law for the first time provided a legal framework for much of the surveillance without warrants that was being conducted in secret by the National Security Agency and outside the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that is supposed to regulate the way the government can listen to the private communications of American citizens. Previously, the government needed search warrants approved by a special intelligence court to eavesdrop on telephone conversations, e-mail messages and other electronic communications between individuals inside the United States and people overseas, if the government conducted the surveillance inside the United States. The law also gave the administration greater power to force telecommunications companies to cooperate with such spying operations. The companies can now be compelled to cooperate by orders from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence.
08/07/07 - ManGroomer
(Heard about this on WTOP and thought it was interesting for us bears. - JWD) Special shaver for back and shoulder hair, $39.95.
08/06/07 - Griffin AirGen patents
(Robert Nelson of Rex Research found the Griffin patent applications which follow. Thanks Robert! - JWD) Here's the patent info for; LINNARD GRIFFIN - Apparatus and method for the production of hydrogen - CN1906133 - 2007-01-31 - APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR THE PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN - KR20060037449 - 2006-05-03 / APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR THE CONTROLLABLE PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN AT AN ACCELERATED RATE - WO2006113463 -
2006-10-26 - 2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the catalyst is a colloidal metal. 3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the catalyst has a surface-area-to-volume ratio of at least 298,000,000 m<2> per cubic meter. 4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a salt is dissolved in the reaction medium. 5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein a cation of the salt is less reactive than a metal composing the anode. 6. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein a cation of the salt comprises zinc or cobalt. 7. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a second catalyst suspended in the reaction medium, wherein the second catalyst is a colloidal metal or has a surface-area-to-volume ratio of at least 298,000,000 m<2> per cubic meter. 8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the anode and cathode are connected via a conductive path. 9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the conductive path is hardwired to the cathode and the anode. 10. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising a controller in the conductive path between the cathode and the anode, wherein the controller is configured to selectively allow or hinder the flow of electrical current between the cathode and the anode through the conductive path. 11. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the reaction medium is an aqueous solution. 12. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the reaction medium comprises an acid or a base. 13. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the cathode comprises tungsten carbide or carbonized nickel. 14. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the anode comprises aluminum. 15. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the cathode comprises surface-area-increasing features. 16. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the surface area of the cathode is greater than the surface area of the anode. 17. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising an energy source configured to provide energy to the reaction medium. 18. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a reaction vessel containing the reaction medium is configured to maintain an internal pressure above atmospheric pressure. 19. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising an electrical power source configured to provide an electrical potential between the cathode and the anode. / APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR THE PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN - WO2006091451 - 2006-08-31 - Apparatus and method for the controllable production of hydrogen at an accelerated rate / US2006180464 - 2006-08-17 - Abstract -- An apparatus for the production of hydrogen is disclosed, the apparatus comprising some or all of the following features, as well as additional features as described and claimed: a reaction medium; an anode in contact with the reaction medium; a cathode in contact with the reaction medium, wherein the cathode is capable of being in conductive contact with the anode; a catalyst suspended in the reaction medium, wherein the catalyst has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio; a salt dissolved in the reaction medium; a second high surface-area-to-volume ratio catalyst; a conductive path connecting the anode and cathode; a controller in the conductive path; an energy source; a reaction vessel and an electrical power source configured to provide an electrical potential between the cathode and the anode. Also disclosed are a method for producing hydrogen; an electric power generator; and a battery. / APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR THE REDUCTION OF METALS - US2005109162 - 2006-08-16 - Abstract -- Described is an apparatus for the production of an elemental metal from a metal-containing compound comprising a solution containing ions of a first metal and a second metal, wherein the second metal is in colloidal form, and a related method. / Cooling fluid for fabrication operations. - EP0345783 - 1989-12-13
08/05/07 - No Electric Input needed for New Hydrogen Generator
Breakthrough involves novel colloidal metal catalysis reactions that generate ambient temperature on-demand hydrogen. Bench test demonstrator continues to run after more than 384 hours of continuous operation. AirGen Corporation announces a breakthrough development in on-demand hydrogen generation technology. The company has recently demonstrated ambient temperature on-demand hydrogen generation from an aqueous solution. The development is one of many derivative technologies the company has discovered from novel chemistry involving colloidal metal catalysis reactions. Several patents have been filed in the U.S. and internationally covering broad claims in three general applications - bulk hydrogen generation, metal reduction, and on-demand hydrogen generation. Initial estimates by the company indicate an energy density approaching 600 Watt-hr/liter of solution, double the current energy density of lithium ion battery technologies. The effective density can increase if the water output from the fuel cell is recycled as feedstock to the reaction. Furthermore, since the process utilizes metals which are commercially available in large quantity at low cost, the cost of the AirGen cell is expected to be significantly lower than competing chemical hydride technologies. The company has demonstrated cells producing hydrogen gas under numerous different selections of metals and colloidal metals. The latest demonstration unit, which has a reaction solution volume of 250mL, has produced hydrogen continuously for 15 days now powering a fuel cell at ambient temperature without any external power input. The company believes the rate generation can be enhanced by a factor of at least five times through enhanced cell designs. "We are extremely excited about the prospects this development offers the micro fuel cell developers," stated Dr. Linnard Griffin, Chief Executive Officer of AirGen and inventor of AirGen’s technologies. / Video of unit in operation - This device developed by Dr. Linnard Griffin has been tested by several chemists and engineers in multible fields and thus far seems to be a free source of elemental HHO gas for use in combustion engines or fuel cells. This cell electrolizes about 350ml/min.
08/05/07 - Buoy Muscle power
Artificial muscles are being used to turn the ocean's waves into electrical power in a novel pilot project off the coast of Florida, US. The "muscles" produce electricity as they bob up and down attached to buoys. Although they only generate enough power to light a small light bulb currently, the scientists involved see it as a first step to implementing a new, cheap technology for harvesting renewable energy from the ocean. The artificial muscles are made from electroactive polymers, a material that can be physically activated with a jolt of electricity. The design is remarkably simple - essentially several sheets of specialised rubber sandwiched between two elastic, oppositely-charged electrodes. When an electric charge is applied the electrodes squeeze the rubber. When the charge is dropped, the rubber relaxes. They rolled a sheet of EPAM into a cylindrical shape, and attached a weight to one end. They then fixed it to a weather and navigation buoy inside a watertight capsule. As the buoy floats on the ocean surface, the force generated by the wave action stretches and relaxes the rubber, oscillating the distance between electrodes and generating electricity (see image, right, and a video animation showing the system in action). With an average 0.8-meter wave, each stretch of the muscle can generate as much as 20 watts of power. Since waves tend to come about every 4 seconds, though, the sustained energy output is closer to 5 watts. Each stretch of an artificial muscle attached to a buoy can generate 20 watts of power.
08/05/07 - Egyptians Ate Wild Lettuce to Boost Sex Drive (2-3 grams)
The ancient Egyptians used lettuce as an aphrodisiac, according to an Italian researcher who claims to have solved a century-old archaeological puzzle. Lettuce has been known for its mild sedative and painkilling effects since Greek and Roman times. It owes its Latin name lactuca to lac or milk, the plant's bitter white sap or latex, which is mentioned in many ancient treatises. As early as 430 BC, Greek physician Hippocrates described the opium-like effects of the sap. Pliny the Elder, in the 2nd century AD, also wrote about lettuce's ability to dampen sexual desire. He wrote in his Natural History that lettuce is "sleep-inducing, can cool sexual appetite as well as a feverish body, purge the stomach, and increase the volume of blood". Yet Egyptian bas reliefs put a different spin on the use of lettuce: the plant appears as an offering to the ancient Egyptian deity Min. Invariably depicted with a large, erect penis, Min was the god of fertility and sexuality. For more than a century, archaeologists have wondered why a vegetable used to calm dreams was associated with the exuberant Min. To solve the riddle, Italian ethnobotanist Giorgio Samorini, editor of the journal Eleusis of the Civic Museum in Rovereto, identified the type of lettuce represented in the ancient Egyptian bas reliefs. "I came to the conclusion that it was a wild lettuce, known as Lactuca serriola," Samorini told the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera. This wild lettuce is a dandelion-like weed with bitter leaves and comes from the sunflower family Asteraceae, the progenitor of cultivated lettuce, usually called L. sativa. "The two species should really be only one since there is no good reason to separate the cultivated from the wild. They can easily interbreed and there are no major genetic differences between them," says biologist Professor Richard Kesseli of the University of Massachusetts at Boston. First cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, L. serriola can be found throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa, Canada and the US in the wild, on roadsides and along walls. Yet it is not easy to recognise it as a lettuce. The plant has oblong, prickly-edged, leaves with a milky sap that runs when broken off. Samorini tested the phytochemicals present in the latex, or lactucarium, with a series of experiments, and discovered that lettuce has a double, opposite effect, depending on the dose. "Tests showed that 1 gram of lactucarius induces calming and pain killing effects because of the presence of lactucin and lactucopicrin. At the highest doses [2 to 3 grams], the stimulating effects of tropane alkaloids prevail," says Samorini. "This finally solves an ethnobotanical riddle and explains the association between Min and lettuce."
08/05/07 - A More Efficient Engine
A new type of engine could be relatively inexpensive. A new version of the internal combustion engine, which could significantly cut gas consumption, might be surprisingly practical and easy to deploy, according to recent findings by researchers at MIT. Tests on a prototype based on the technology, which allows engines to switch between conventional technology and the new gas-saving type of combustion, show that it does not require a special fuel, and engines using the technology can be cheaply made out of conventional auto parts. The gas-saving technology, called homogeneous charge compression ignition, or HCCI, uses a form of combustion that is much more efficient than conventional spark ignition. Under some conditions, it can reduce fuel consumption by 25 percent, says William Green, a professor of chemical engineering at MIT who was coauthor of the new study. That's very similar to the efficiency of a diesel engine, which also achieves combustion by compression rather than a spark. But unlike diesel engines, HCCI results in a more uniform combustion and is thus much cleaner. A system that combines HCCI with conventional combustion could improve fuel economy by a few miles per gallon on average, Green says. A new sparkless gas engine could significantly reduce fuel consumption. In a conventional engine, a mixture of fuel and air is ignited by a spark plug. In a diesel, the fuel ignites when it's injected into hot, compressed air. An alternative to both is called homogeneous charge compression ignition. Here, a mixture of fuel and air is compressed until it combusts. Because the fuel and air are premixed, they burn more evenly than they do in a diesel engine, producing much less soot and nitrogen oxide.
08/05/07 - Reversing the Casimir Force
(Does this sound like Grebennikov's work or what? - JWD) The normally attractive Casimir force between two surfaces can be made repulsive if a "perfect" lens with a negative index of refraction is sandwiched between the surfaces, according to calculations done by physicists in the UK. Ulf Leonhardt and Thomas Philbin of the University of St Andrews reckon that the repulsive force may even be strong enough to levitate a tiny mirror. The repulsive effect -- which has yet to be observed experimentally -- could also help minimize the friction in micrometre-sized machines caused by the Casimir force (New Journal of Physics to be published). The mysterious attraction between two neutral, conducting surfaces in a vacuum was first described in 1948 by Henrik Casimir and cannot be explained by classical physics. Instead it is a purely quantum effect involving the zero-point oscillations of the electromagnetic field surrounding the surfaces. These fluctuations exert a "radiation pressure" on the surfaces and the overall force is weaker in the gap between the surfaces than elsewhere, drawing the surfaces together. Tiny though it is, the Casimir effect becomes significant at distances of micrometres or less and actually causes parts in nano- and micro-electromechanical systems (NEMS and MEMS) to stick together. Now, Leonhardt and Philbin have calculated that the Casimir force between two conducting plates can turn from being attractive to repulsive if a "perfect" lens is sandwiched between them. A perfect lens can focus an image with a resolution that is not restricted by the wavelength of light. Such a lens could be made from a metamaterial made of artificial structures that are engineered to have negative index of refraction -- which means that the metamaterial bends light in the opposite direction to an ordinary material. According to the researchers, the negative-index metamaterial is able to modify the zero-point oscillations in the gap between the surfaces, reversing the direction of the Casimir force. Indeed, the researchers believe that this repulsive force is strong enough to levitate an aluminium mirror that is 500nm thick, causing it to hover above a perfect lens placed over a conducting plate. Since the Casimir force acts on the length scale of nanomachines, manipulating it could be important for future applications of nanotechnology. (via zpenergy.com)
08/05/07 - Video - Waterless Self-running Waterwheel
Be sure to have the sound turned up so you can hear the heavy ball dropping in the pattern that apparently keeps this wheel running using just weight and gravity. It looks like a version of the Bessler machine where a weight is continually shifted to keep the wheel spinning. Unfortunately, no location or identity is given for the owner. Another point, notice that the bolts constructing the wheel are new so it is a new experiment that seems to have worked. Probably a hoax, but I see no comments for it.
08/05/07 - Video - Griggs Hydrosonics up to 70% overunity
Hot water efficiency 108-115%. 6 Jtype thermocouples and a thermometer to make the measurements. Company has spent over $150,000 to build and test the Hydrosonic pumps. / Rex Research file - During the past several years of intensive research, Hydro Dynamics has studied the production of shock waves for the purpose of transforming fluids. Early prototypes, consisting of a rotor spinning inside a housing, were able to significantly increase the temperature of water flowing through the device. This result indicated that it was possible to harness the power of cavitation. This controlled cavitation generates shock waves, which convert mechanical energy into heat energy. 'During one of the demonstrations we watched,' he says, 'over a 20 minute period, 4.80 Kilowatt Hours of electricity was input, and 19,050 BTUs of heat evolved, which equals 5.58 Kilowatt Hours, or 117 per cent of input. The actual input to output ratio was even better than this, when you take into account the inefficiencies of the electric motor.' But if there are kilowatts of excess heat available, why doesn't Griggs simply use the steam to turn a turbine-generator and connect the output to the input -- thus getting a perpetual motion machine? One reason is that converting steam into electricity is an extremely inefficient process. You would be lucky to convert 5 per cent of the output heat energy back into electricity -- and 2 per cent might be nearer the mark. The Hydrosonic pump would therefore have to be massively over-unity before you could recover enough energy to make it self-sustaining, and at present the margin is a 'modest' 30 per cent. In a second test, during which the over-unity effect was measured, the adjusted co-efficient of power was a remarkable 168 per cent -- the machine produced 1.68 times the energy that was input. A third test did nearly as well with a Co-efficient of power of 157 per cent.
08/05/07 - Video - Cymbal and Strings Sonic Interaction
The vibration of a cymbal and the matching musical notes apparently keeps this device running so that the cymbal is always vibrating. There are many acoustic experiments that show how mechanical force can be derived from vibration. Years ago a man in Lubbock, Texas used a giant tuning fork to drive an 18 inch long model car using a 9vdc transistor battery. A coil around the fork caused vibration which was converted to mechanical force for driving the wheels. The last I read about him, he was bought out by an oil company to keep it secret because of its high efficiency and simplicity of operation. Panasonic has a patent for an ultrasonic motor that runs purely from vibration.
08/05/07 - Video - Perpetual Motion Machine Cartoon - 1920
Out Of The Inkwell - Perpetual Motion. An early animated cartoon by Max and Dave Fleischer, featuring Koko The Clown. 1920. / A comical look at perpetual motion inventions illustrating (literally) how easy it is for investors who don't thoroughly test a claim to lose their investment.
08/03/07 - Video - Greeks focus on Solar Hydrogen Reactor for Clean Power
Greek scientists put their faith in hydrogen as the clean energy source of the future. Water and sunlight could be the raw materials for the energy of the future. Together they can be made to produce hydrogen - a clean energy source that many believe could replace carbon based fuels which contribute to global warming. Athanasios Konstandopoulos leads a European project called Hydrosol investigating the technology. Nearly 70% efficiency. Ceramic body with many channels coated with a special proprietary material to provide a large surface area. Solar produced steam moves into one side through the channels which separate the steam into hydrogen gas which is chemically released, all with nonmoving parts. / How does it work? A catalytic converter made of many tubes coated with a layer of oxide-reducing nano-particles retains oxygen. When steam passes through this ceramic sponge, the oxygen is retained and pure hydrogen is produced, without any exhaust emissions. Heat is needed for the first reaction and is collected from the sun by a system of reflectors. At some point the catalytic converter blocks up and cannot hold back any more oxygen. Then it is chemically reactivated, which requires greater heat, up to 1,000 Celsius, which also comes from the inexhaustible source of the sun. "So as not to interrupt the process, two such monolith reactors are placed side by side. When one of them is producing hydrogen, the other is being prepared," explained Constantopoulos. The Hydrosol team's innovations were to create ultra-effective nano-materials that can absorb oxygen and to make the reactor from monolithic fire-resistant material with a high capacity for absorbing solar energy.
08/03/07 - How to Tune a Magnet With a Magnet
An international research team, led by scientists at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN), has found a way to switch a material’s magnetic properties from ‘hard’ to ‘soft’ and back again - something which could lead to new ways of controlling electromagnetic devices. The research will appear in the journal Nature on August 2nd and shows how a magnet can be ‘tuned’ by subjecting it to a second magnetic field, perpendicular to the original. Magnets can be classified by their ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ magnetic properties. Hard magnets, sometimes called ‘permanent’ magnets, have fixed or ‘pinned’ domain walls which mean the material stays magnetised for a long time. Soft magnets have moveable domain walls that can be easily flipped. These materials exhibit impermanent magnetic properties. Professor Gabriel Aeppli, Director of the LCN and a senior member of the research team, explained the significance of the research: “Whether a magnet is hard or soft determines what you can use it for. Typically, you would use a permanent magnet to fix a note to the door of your refrigerator because you want it to stay there for a long time. On the other hand, you might use a soft magnet in a motor or transformer because it would be better at adapting to the rapid changes in alternating current and would dissipate much less energy than a hard magnet. “It is very rare to be able to continuously tune wall pinning in a magnet but we have now shown how it can be done in a model magnet at a low temperature. In the process, we demonstrate a new route to applications of magnets at higher temperatures and show how chemical disorder at the nanometre (one billionth of a meter) scale can have a huge effect on the properties of a macroscopic (centimetre scale) magnet.” Most physical and biological systems can be thought of as disordered. Semiconductors rely on randomly placed impurities for their electrical properties and uses, while the chemical and structural impurities in magnets determine the domain wall pinning and therefore how easily their polarity can be changed. “From a theoretical point of view, it’s been really interesting for us to see the properties of a large, disordered system being dominated to such an extent by a rare configuration of impurities,” says Professor Aeppli. “Unlike biological systems, in materials science we are used to seeing behaviour which is dominated by the average characteristics of the system. Here we can observe the massive influence of a miniscule number of chemical and structural defects.”
08/03/07 - Body Heat Generating Electricity
Making calls from a cell phone with no battery, using just the warmth of your hand? Perhaps that’s no more than a pipe dream right now. But new circuits are already making it possible to harness body heat for generating electricity. Numerous items of medical equipment are attached to the body of a patient in the intensive care ward. They monitor the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, pulse and breathing rate. This tends to produce quite a jumble of cables, for all these devices require their own electricity supply. In future, medical sensors may be able to function without power from a wall socket. Instead, they will draw all the power they need from the warmth of the human body. The respective data will be sent by a radio signal to the central monitoring station. It works on the principle of thermoelectric generators, TEG for short, made from semiconductor elements. The TEGs extract electrical energy simply from the temperature difference between a hot and a cold environment. Normally, a difference of several tens of degrees would be required in order to generate enough power, but the differences between the body’s surface temperature and that of its environment are only a few degrees. “Only low voltages can be produced from differences like these,” explains Peter Spies, manager of this sub-project at the IIS. A conventional TEG delivers roughly 200 millivolts, but electronic devices require at least one or two volts. The engineers have come up with a solution to this problem: “We combined a number of components in a completely new way to create circuits that can operate on 200 millivolts,” says Spies. “This has enabled us to build entire electronic systems that do not require an internal battery, but draw their energy from body heat alone.” The scientists are making further improvements to this system: Circuits that are “excited” at 50 millivolts already exist. Peter Spies believes that in future, when further improvements have been made to the switching systems, a temperature difference of only 0.5 degrees will be sufficient to generate electricity.
08/03/07 - The Zero Point Hoax
To spin it that the "free energy" Moray extracted by a rectified particle stream was derived then from zero-point flux is simply book selling claptrap. That spin is where the vacuum void nonsense appeared to be derived. Moray's stuff was an atomic battery. It is very clear to me that those that attributed this particle stream rectification feat as "zero-point" then lead a whole generation of inventors down a dead-end path. I have no idea if that was intentional or accidental or simple ignorance. The earliest reference to zero-point "flux" appeared about 28 years ago out of the pen of a person claiming to be someone who had worked for the military and was a researcher willing to share their secrets - one is lead to believe that this researcher will be presenting hidden military secrets. Nobody who was/is military shares secrets - get real. That same "so called phD'd researcher" (got their phD mailorder it appears according to the research posting on the Randi website) talks about how "Tesla" was shut down in the early 1900's after stating that he had a way to transfer power "freely" to folks in the world (Tesla was not shut down). I have watched that same "so called researcher" touting so called "ways" (sucking in anyone who has been looking for solutions) to create "free energy, zero-point, scalar interferometers" and other gobblygook for over 28 years and hasn't been shut down! Why is that I wonder? Wouldn't one say if the "free energy stuff" worked at all as all the spin is claiming, the world would be a better place and we wouldn't be gouged by cartels who don't care one iota for the welfare of the people. Tell me people, what is disinformation designed to do? What does work, is the atomics, and such has for the most part been snowballed - I am endeavoring to bring folks up to date on what has been manipulated, or hidden. Use some common sense folks. There is no miraculous new physics out there to save us, nor some new guru on the block with an excuse/solution that we really need to stop using energy, stop expanding our evolution and go within (and live in a tee-pee or mud hovel), or return to the seas as the "solution" to life's woes. (via bob-dratch.org - Check out this site for some goodies!)
08/03/07 - Neo-Aerodynamic wind generator
The patent-pending, Neo-Aerodynamic turbine invented by Phi Tran harnesses torque from both kinetic and pneumatic energy of the fluid flow (wind or water). Since the 'lift' forces are caused by artificial flow of the fluid (air/wind) around the center of the turbine, the turbine's worst enemy -- turbulence -- is neutralized. The efficiencies are high enough to make this turbine design economically competitive with fossil-fuel-generated electricity. It is able to function well in low wind areas, making it ideal for city/urban roof top and back yard settings, requiring no tower. "A $10-15,000 roof top or backyard device will produce enough electricity for one California family including heat for cooking and air conditioning." Neo-Aerodynamic uses the artificial flow of the air to cause the lift on its airfoils. That's why it's called Neo-AeroDynamic. The design is applicable to harness energy from any of the following resources: Wind, River, Creek, Ocean current, Tidal current and Wave. # The output of the device is proportional to the square of the diameter of the rotor or proportional to it swept area. Please see the “Swept Area” above. # The output of the device is proportional to the height of the device. # The output of the device is proportional to the wind speed at it power 3 (V^3). When the Neo-AeroDynamic device is used as a turbine in a water stream; we expect the parameter to be 786 times the value as it is when functioning in the air (water is 786 times heavier then air). A 6' x 7' Neo-Aerodynamic turbine makes more power then the total of 16 - 6' propeller turbines.
08/03/07 - Herman Watercar uses special Spark Plugs for 38mpg
(Mr. Anderson died in 2004 of natural causes. - JWD) Herman's 1971 Ford LTD converted to run on hydrogen or gasoline, on display in the Water Fuel Museum in Lexington, KY. In a video interview with the inventor, he explains that ambient air is mixed with hydrogen (not oxygen) and a micron-sized fog of water mist (to mimic gasoline's burn), introduced in the same way propane gas is on a propane conversion. In fact, the LP regulator and LP aircleaner assembly are the same as on a propane vehicle. The butterfly in the carb, as in an LP system, now serves as the intake air control. The rest of the function of the gasoline carb is not used. He claimed greater power than gasoline, and 38 miles per gallon of water. As far as quantity of hydrogen produced, he produced enough gas from his electrolytic chamber to need a cut-off switch connected to a pressure gauge to stop gas production when it was no longer needed while driving. In other words, instead of producing more or less gas on demand, as some systems do, it appears his system always produced the same amount, but was turned on and off as needed. He emphasized that deuterium (heavy water) was essential to his approach, doubling the density of the hydrogen, making it twice as powerful. He also used high voltage, 70,000 volts to be exact, from two custom-made coils, to effect rapid separation of the component gases, a process which he calls 'radiolysis.' The 70,000 volts constitute what he calls a 'soft' x-ray, not radioactive but in need of shielding, in-between a microwave oven and a 'hard' x-ray. He was authorized by the state of Tennessee to drive his car as they recognized that he knew what he was doing with such technology. I view his prototype LTD as good proof of a watercar for those who doubt that the technology is even possible, but not necessarily the best approach for you and me to pursue. He accomplished his invention along the lines of his expertise, the field of ionics; others have approached it differently with less controversial technology and have been equally successful. / United States Patent 5,852,993 - Anderson December 29, 1998 - Fuel system for internal combustion system and adapter for use in same
Abstract - The internal combustion engine fuel system described includes a structure for mixing the alternative fuel, preferably hydrogen, with oxygen in ambient air to stratify the fuel. The system includes an adapter, and the adapter includes a housing mounted between spark plug and cylinder of the internal combustion engine. A plug is placed within the housing. The plug has ridges or grooves on its outer surface that act as mixing structures. Thus, when hydrogen is introduced into the adapter housing it is mixed with ambient oxygen within the chamber as it flows over the plug. The mixing structures in the housing create a vortexing action as the hydrogen flows over the plug and towards the cylinder of the engine. An electrode protrudes from the plug towards the cylinder. The electrode is preferably platinum and generates the necessary spark to create combustion of the hydrogen/air mixture adjacent to the cylinder to thereby power the cylinder in the engine. A platinum electrode is preferably used because it enhances a catalytic conversion of combustion by-products to more environmentally compatible products. / United States Patent 6,119,651 - September 19, 2000 -
Hydrogen powered vehicle, internal combustion engine, and spark plug for use in same. Abstract - The internal combustion engine fuel system described includes a structure for mixing the alternative fuel, preferably hydrogen, with oxygen in ambient air to stratify the fuel. The system includes an adapter, and the adapter includes a housing mounted between spark plug and cylinder of the internal combustion engine. A plug is placed within the housing. The plug has ridges or grooves on its outer surface that act as mixing structures. Thus, when hydrogen is introduced into the adapter housing it is mixed with ambient oxygen within the chamber as it flows over the plug. The mixing structures in the housing creates a vortexing action as the hydrogen flows over the plug and towards the cylinder of the engine. An electrode protrudes from the plug towards the cylinder. The electrode is preferably platinum and generates the necessary spark to create combustion of the hydrogen/air mixture adjacent to the cylinder to thereby power the cylinder in the engine. A platinum electrode is preferably used because it enhances a catalytic conversion of combustion by-products to more environmentally compatible products. The present invention also teaches a spark plug producing a hotter spark for a hydrogen fuel system. Also taught is a hydrogen powered vehicle with reduced emissions by producing a spark during the power stroke and the exhaust stroke. Methods for reducing exhaust pollution are also taught. Methods of reducing exhaust pollution by generating a plasma are taught as well.
08/03/07 - Video - Wind powered Mutant Robot
Wind powered skeletal robot made from cheap plastic tubes and rope. Wings gather wind which is stored in bottles and when enough energy is gathered it can move on its many legs.
08/03/07 - New Approach to Treating Diabetes
The mechanisms that lead to metabolic disorders such as diabetes and high blood pressure are not well understood. One intriguing possibility, says Geert Schmid-Schonbein, a biomedical engineer at the University of California San Diego, is that the problem may originate in the digestive tract. The protective mucous membrane in the gut normally prevents powerful digestive enzymes from entering the the blood stream. When this membrane breaks down, however, these enzymes can leak into the body, triggering a cascade of reactions that result in widespread inflammation and damage. It is this, suggests Schmid-Schonbein and a colleague Feank DeLano, that leads to high blood pressure and diabetes. A crucial component of this process are molecules called matrix-degrading metalloproteinase (MMP), which are widely found in the blood of people with metabolic problems. Schmid-Schonbein's idea is that the cascade, and hence the damage, can be prevented by a class of drugs that inhibit the action of MMP. He believes that using MMP inhibitors to treat and even prevent tissue inflammation and organ damage by normalizing the amount of MMP in the blood, thereby reducing blood pressure, preventing damage to cell membranes and reducing the levels of oxygen free radicals in the blood stream.
08/03/07 - Pattern Matching Cancer Scanner
It sounds like something out of Star Trek: a doctor being able to diagnose your disease at the genetic level with a simple scanner. Surgically sampling part of a tumor won't just tell you if it's cancerous. Thanks to the sequencing of the human genome and the advent of DNA microarrays that can reveal which genes are turned on and off in health and disease states, a biopsy may help doctors predict your outcome or suggest the best treatment. Kuo and his colleagues at UCSD and Stanford University compared CAT scan images of liver cancer tumors to the results of genetic tests of the tumor samples. The genetic tests show which genes are "expressed," or switched on or off, in each tumor. They found they could match visual details of the scans with different patterns of gene activity. "In our study, we looked at approximately 30 imaging features, or descriptors, and we mapped that back in various combinations to the genetic activity of about 6,700 genes," explains Kuo. "What we found was that using combinations of about 28 to 30 imaging descriptors, or features that we can use to describe the tumor based on its CAT scan appearance, we could use those features to describe the activity of about 75 percent of the genetic activity in the entire tumor. "Based on the information we gathered from this map that we created, we then went to an independent set of patients to test to make sure that our predictions were correct," Kuo says. "We found that indeed, we had very good predictive ability. We could then use that information to construct various algorithms then to determine patients' prognosis strictly based on the appearances of the tumors from the CAT scans and how it was predicting… specific activation of certain genes, which we could then use to infer whether or not a patient would survive longer or have a shorter survival."
08/03/07 - The memory of water a reality?
A special issue of the journal Homeopathy, journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy and published by Elsevier, on the “Memory of Water” brings together scientists from around the world for the first time to publish new data, reviews and discuss recent scientific work exploring the idea that water can display memory effects. The concept of memory of water is important to homeopathy because it offers a potential explanation of the mechanism of action of very high dilutions often used in homeopathy. The concept of the memory of water goes back to 1988 when the late Professor Jacques Benveniste published, in the international scientific journal Nature, claims that extremely high ‘ultramolecular’ dilutions of an antibody had effects in the human basophil degranulation test, a laboratory model of immune response. In other words, the water diluent ‘remembered’ the antibody long after it was gone. In this special issue of Homeopathy, scientists from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, USA as well as the UK present remarkably convergent views from groups using entirely different methods, indicating that large-scale structural effects can occur in liquid water, and can increase with time. Such effects might account for claims of memory of water effects.
08/03/07 - Asian Brown Cloud Particulate Pollution Amplifies Global Warming
A new analysis of pollution-filled “brown clouds” over south Asia by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., suggests that the region may be able to arrest some of the alarming melting of Himalayan and other tropical glaciers by reducing its air pollution. The team, led by atmospheric chemist V. Ramanathan of Scripps, found that atmospheric brown clouds enhanced solar heating of the lower atmosphere by about 50%. The results are in a paper in this week’s issue of the journal Nature. The combined heating effect of greenhouse gases and brown clouds, which contain soot, trace metals and other particles from urban, industrial and agricultural sources, is enough to account for the retreat of Himalayan glaciers in the past half century, the researchers concluded. These glaciers supply water to major Asian rivers, including the Yangtze, Ganges and Indus. These rivers are the chief water supply for billions of people in China, India and other south Asian countries. Such polluted air has a dual effect of warming the atmosphere as particles absorb sunlight, and of cooling Earth’s surface as the particles reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the ground. Atmospheric brown clouds are mostly the result of biomass burning and fossil fuel consumption. They consist of a mixture of light-absorbing and light-scattering aerosols and therefore contribute to atmospheric solar heating and surface cooling. The sum of the two climate forcing terms-the net aerosol forcing effect-is thought to be negative and may have masked as much as half of the global warming attributed to the recent rapid rise in greenhouse gases. There is, however, at least a fourfold uncertainty in the aerosol forcing effect. Atmospheric solar heating is a significant source of the uncertainty, because current estimates are largely derived from model studies. ...We found that atmospheric brown clouds enhanced lower atmospheric solar heating by about 50 per cent. Our general circulation model simulations, which take into account the recently observed widespread occurrence of vertically extended atmospheric brown clouds over the Indian Ocean and Asia, suggest that atmospheric brown clouds contribute as much as the recent increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases to regional lower atmospheric warming trends.
08/03/07 - Maglev Wind Turbine power plant
The Maglev Wind Turbine Power Plant contributes to the reduction of pollution by eliminating our dependency of fossil fueled power plants. Since carbon dioxide is absorbed by trees, our Maglev Wind Turbine Power Plant can offset as much as 1,750,000 acres of forest. Another analogy used, is to equate the energy generated by our Power Plant to the amount generated by a barrel of oil. Maglev Wind Turbine Power Plant can generate the same amount of energy annually as 5,475,000 barrels of oil. MAGLEV WIND TURBINE will offset emissions (pollution) from other regional sources of electricity. If we do not install our Power Plant and generate approximately 8.75 TWh of renewable energy annually, the same amount of energy generated from oil, coal or natural gas would create the following estimated emissions : # 8.7 Billion pounds of Carbon Dioxide # 18,000,000 pounds of Nitrogen Oxides # 50,400,000 pounds of Sulfur Dioxide (via alfin2100.blogspot.com)
08/03/07 - Robot Fins to Propel Submarines
US researchers have created prototype mechanical fins that mimic the movements of the bluegill sunfish. The robo-fins could recreate the fish's powerful forward thrust and its manoeuvrability, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology team said. The bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) moves with great efficiency; its pectoral fins are able to propel it creating very little backwards thrust. Where most fish move by flapping their fins back and forth, the bluegill sunfish uses a "cupping and sweeping" motion. Its fin sweeps forwards then curls at its lower and upper edges to create a cup-like shape. This produces a thrust that propels the fish with very little water resistance. To gain all of the benefits of the fish's motion, you also had to look at how the pectoral fin interacted with the dorsal and tail fins, as well as the rest of the movements within the fish's body. The result, he said, would be a fully flexible, fish-mimicking, underwater robot vehicle that could operate at high and low speeds, hover and have excellent manoeuvrability, in calm or rough seas.
08/03/07 - Fingerprints 2000
Chemical residues contain a few millionths of a gram of fluid and can be found on all fingerprints. Conventional fingerprinting techniques often distort or destroy vital chemical information with no easy way of lifting residues for chemical imaging, until now. Imperial scientists found that the use of gel tapes, commercial gelatine based tape, provides a simple method for collection and transportation of prints for chemical imaging analysis. The prints, once lifted, are analysed in a spectroscopic microscope. The sample is irradiated with infrared rays to identify individual molecules within the print to give a detailed chemical composition. The information is then processed by an infrared array detector, originally developed by the U.S. military in smart missile technology. The array detector chemically maps the residue. This process builds up a picture, or chemical photograph, and allows for the most comprehensive information obtained from a fingerprint. “The combined operational advantages and benefits for forensic scientists of tape lifting prints and spectroscopic imaging really maximises the amount of information one can obtain from fingerprints. Our trials show that this technique could play a significant role in the fight against crime,” said Professor Kazarian. In many cases, this information is enough to determine valuable clues about a person beyond the fingerprint itself. It could potentially identify traces of items people came in contact with, such as gunpowder, narcotics and biological or chemical weapons. Chemical clues could also highlight specific traits in a person. A strong trace of urea, a chemical found in urine, could indicate a male. Weak traces of urea in a chemical sample could indicate a female. Specific amino acids could potentially indicate whether the suspect was a vegetarian or meat-eater.
08/03/07 - GPS Jammers Plug Into Cigarette Lighter
If you're a professional car thief worried about stealing a "bait car," or just think your jealous lover is stalking you with a GPS device, fret no more. Now you can buy either of two made-in-China GPS JAMMERS that plug into your car's CIGARETTE LIGHTER.
08/03/07 - Take a break to burn fat fast
Japanese and Danish researchers have found that men who exercise for two 30 minute stretches, taking a 20 minute break in between, burn more fat than when they exercise for a single 60 minute session and then rest afterwards. To investigate, the researchers had seven healthy men complete one long work-out and then two shorter work-outs on exercise bicycles, measuring several indicators of fat metabolism. All exercised at 60% of their maximum level of exertion. When the men performed the two shorter exercise sessions, their blood levels of free fatty acids and other substances rose during the rest period, indicating greater fat metabolism. Levels of these substances also were higher during an hour-long rest period after the two-part exercise session. Greater fat metabolism was recorded during each of the rest periods in the two-part session than during the rest period following the single, longer work-out. The men also showed lower levels of insulin and blood glucose during the second phase of the two-part exercise session. While the proportion of total calories burned did not differ between the two work-outs, there was a difference in calories burned from fat. Fat represented nearly 77% of the calories burned in the recovery period after the two-part exercise session, compared with about 56% of calories burned in the recovery period after the single long exercise session.
08/03/07 - Hamel claims Inverted Energy Pyramid
(I stumbled on this in a search and it reminds me of two correlating claims. Walter Russell says everything on earth has a mirror image that follows it underground. Maurice Cooke, who has the interesting claims of channeling tech info via Hilarion, claims tetrahedrons have unusual properties and that a tetrahedron with a mirror image attached to form a diamond shape, could be used to manifest matter and produce other phenomena. - JWD) The visible part of the pyramid is outside the earth. But all the Egyptian (& Aztec) technologies are under the pyramids. There is another pyramid "upside down", under the earth. What you see is the upper part of a "diamond" shape. The upper part is the visible pyramid. The other part is inside the earth, under the visible pyramid. The "diamond" represent the "Sky" and the "Earth". You will find a lot of things that nobody has found under the visible part of the pyramid, inside the "tunnels". David Hamel said you will find the "truth of all", things to do with the "celestial", our whole "universe". You will find many treasures for humanity. Egyptian (& Aztec) people used "free energy" and "antigravity" devices in many, many applications of all kinds. These technologies ware common in that time (6000 years ago...!!!). One of these pyramids was a big "electrical generator" using "free energy". The "wires" were made of gold, but all has been stolen in the past. I (Louis) will put the picture of this pyramid (the "free energy" generator) here as soon as I will find it in an "Ancient Egyptian" book... This specific pyramid still exist today, but most of its parts has been stolen! The triangle is the "diamond" of the earth. Inside all pyramids, there are tunnels inside the other pyramid "upside down", under the earth. It's there that you will find new information & new technologies for humanity. All pyramids are linked to each others, with this tunnel. It's like a "subway" under-earth. At that time, people moved themselves, from a pyramid to another, within this tunnel. You will find many things never discovered before.
08/03/07 - Making Gasoline from Bacteria
A biotech startup describes how it will coax petroleum-like fuels from engineered microbes within three to five years. Stephen del Cardayre, a biochemist and LS9's vice president for research and development, says the company can make hundreds of different hydrocarbon molecules. The process can yield crude oil without the contaminating sulfur that much petroleum out of the ground contains. The crude, in turn, would go to a standard refinery to be processed into automotive fuel, jet fuel, diesel fuel, or any other petroleum product that someone wanted to make. To do this, the company is employing tools from the field of synthetic biology to modify the genetic pathways that bacteria, plants, and animals use to make fatty acids, one of the main ways that organisms store energy. Fatty acids are chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms strung together in a particular arrangement, with a carboxylic acid group made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen attached at one end. Take away the acid, and you're left with a hydrocarbon that can be made into fuel.
08/03/07 - Psychological phenomenon of "priming"
"People tidy up more thoroughly when there's a faint tang of cleaning liquid in the air; they become more competitive if there’s a briefcase in sight, or more cooperative if they glimpse words like "dependable" and "support" - all without being aware of the change, or what prompted it."
08/03/07 - Secure your laptop with Laptop Alarm
Windows only: Next time you leave your laptop unattended, turn on freeware program Laptop Alarm. Laptop Alarm sets off an alarm to alert you any time someone tries to log off, shut down, or disconnect your power supply or USB mouse without entering your password. Laptop Alarm is similar to Mac-only alarm iAlertU but-let's be honest-with much less pizazz. (iAlertU is motion-sensing, for chrissake!) Either way, neither software is foolproof by any means. Laptop Alarm won't prevent anyone from grabbing your computer and running, but at the very least it might sound off the alarm in enough time to give you a fighting chance to chase down the bad guy. (The only true method of theft prevention is never leaving your laptop alone.) Laptop Alarm is freeware, Windows only.
08/03/07 - Questions about Dingel's hydrogen car claims
Sitting across the desk from Dingel, I reiterated my old challenge to him: If it is true that his car runs on nothing but water, let’s prove it to the whole world by driving it in a supervised 1,000-kilometer demonstration cruise up and down the South Luzon Expressway, from Magallanes to Calamba and back. I made this suggestion last year, because of lingering suspicion that Dingel’s red Toyota Corolla (UGA 222) still secretly uses gasoline aside from his electrolysis gadget that produces hydrogen gas to feed into his engine. Even granting it has a secret gas tank, the gasoline (or whatever extra fuel it is) would run out in 1,000 kilometers and reduce the car to exclusive dependence on the water fuel used by Dingel’s invention. SUCH suspicion of a secret extra fuel is not without basis. At some demonstrations, some engineers checked the exhaust and sniffed the smoke coming out. It smelled of gasoline fumes! At the Department of Science and Technology, scientists went beyond their noses and actually subjected the emission to scientific tests. They reported traces of carbon oxides, the type one would find in burned gasoline. Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, nothing more, nothing less. Where did the carbon oxides (oxidized or burned carbon) come from? To cut short the endless debate about a secret gas tank, we asked Dingel last year, and we repeated the suggested yesterday on the air, that we take the car on a 1,000-km run, continuously feeding it nothing but water. DINGEL refused, worrying aloud about the monumental security problem involved in having him and the monitors driving up and down the expressway exposed to the world. IN the case of Dingel, he feeds the resulting hydrogen and oxygen into the combustion chamber of the retooled Toyota engine. With the spark plugs triggered, the gaseous mixture explodes, sending the pistons moving and the shafts turning as in a conventional car. The difference is that instead of the vaporized gasoline-air mixture in a regular car, Dingel uses hydrogen with traces of oxygen. He gets the explosive hydrogen and the combustible oxygen directly from the electrolysis done with his device. In many similar experiments and inventions in Europe and the United States, they first store the hydrogen gas generated and feed it into the engine as needed. Dingel pipes it directly from the electrolysis process into the engine without storing it first. ONE of the sources of doubt on the part of DOST scientists is Dingel’s using an ordinary 12-volt car battery to initiate and continue the process of generating hydrogen gas under the hood. Dingel displays a certification that he uses only 5 amperes to do that, whereas many incredulous engineers say we need more than a thousand times that to accomplish the same work. They also cite the law of thermodynamics saying in effect that we cannot create matter or energy. They cannot accept that Dingel, with an input of only 12 volts, can generate an output of enormous energy to run a regular combustion engine. How did he create that much energy, they ask. The big question is why Dingel is scared of a public test that will, theoretically, prove precisely his point that it’s just water running his car.
08/01/07 - Video - Daniel Dingel Water Car Project
(Thanks to Dr. Patrick Bailey and Dr. Daniel Michrowski for this headsup. Dingel has been known a long time but I hadn't seen this particular video. - JWD) An engineer named Daniel Dingel, who used to work for NASA, has developed a car that uses plain tap water and/or sea water for fuel. The technology utilizes a mini-reactor in the car that splits the water molecule into hydrogen & oxygen, with hydrogen being burned off as fuel. The emission released out of the exhaust is clean pure water vapor or water- absolutely no pollution, in fact, it cleans the air. He now has 6 cars running on water, the first car drove out in 1969, over 30 years ago. No need for oil. 1 litre (.27 gallon) to run for 1 hour. The higher the salt content of the water, the better, but it runs on standard tap water. In the video, Dingel says the hydrogen will not explode because you fill your tank with this, which shows what looks like aluminum sponge with the brand name EXCO. The photo extracted above from the hood of the car says metal type - honey comb separator. Dingel showed the water car to Presidente Marcos who rode in the car. He was enthusiastic and wanted to sponsor it except he was bound by agreements between the IMF and the World Bank which prohibits introduction of technology which would upset oil interests. Patents pending. Contact Daniel Dingel at firstname.lastname@example.org / EXCO tank anti-explosion material - EXCO is a product, designed to significantly reduce the risk of explosion and to slow down the combustion of inflammable products in fuel tanks. It consists of the installation of a specific honeycomb-structured aluminium alloy, which totally fills the tank containing the dangerous product. The technology: * significantly reduces the risk of explosion in tanks containing highly inflammable gaseous or liquid products * significantly slows down the combustion, enabling easier extinction of the fire * slows down the evaporation of fuels, consequently saving energy * prevents the evaporation of certain harmful gases, such as - benzene, o-m-p xileni and ethylbenzene * prevents interior oxidation of metal tanks * prevents cathodic erosion, through a galvanic anode action * prevents algae growth within tanks * allows risk-free welding on tanks filled with fuel * reduces undesirable instability during turning manoeuvres, braking, acceleration etc. by stabilising the liquids within any tank * neutralises electrostatic charges. The aluminium material: * reduces the capacity of the fuel tank by a maximum of 1.5% * weighs only 40 g/litre of tank capacity * has no effect on the chemical properties of any type of liquid or gaseous combustible * is indefinitely recyclable, without any loss of quality * never wears out * does not need any maintenance * resists compaction. EXCO is a product that comes from aluminum alloy sheets made through the use of special machines, having a thickness of 80 micron, reduced into extensible net stripes, which is afterwards transformed into three dimensional bodies, of variable size. The product can be inserted in the tanks up to full capacity of its volume in the means of rolled tape, with a filling capacity of 35 grams per liter, or in the spherical shape, with a filling capacity of 45 grams per liter. / 20040202905 - Dingel, Daniel H. - October 14, 2004 - Water powered fuel cell - We have developed a working prototype of an alternative source of energy. The technology is one of using a water fuel system for the internal combustion engine, as well as other use which require the use of fossil fuels, nuclear energy, hydroelectric or other sources of energy. The system can be adapted, not only to automobiles, but to homes, offices, airplanes, jets, boats, and power utilities. The system produces hydrogen gas and oxygen from water on demand. Water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen gas using a unique combination of metallurgical, electrical and design inventions. The hydrogen gas is then burned in a internal combustion engine, what hydrogen is not burned is returned in the system with oxygen and is returned to the water storage compartment. The hydrogen provides the explosion, like octane, to propel the cylinders in the internal combustion engine. The energy carrier gas is naturally aspirated by the engine vacuum via fuel line system. The system is replete with controls for hydrogen gas to propel the engine and deliver the horsepower, speed and torque needed for different velocity and road gradient. Because hydrogen gas is produced on demand, no storage for hydrogen is needed, thus eliminating the risk of explosion in the event of accidental collision. (This patent application has no images and no details so I doubt it will stand up to contest.) / There is also an active Dingel Watercar discussion list here established in 2002.
08/01/07 - Real life Doctor Who who believes he can build a time machine
It was the devastating sudden death of Ronald Mallett's beloved father which sparked his obsession with time-travel. So, how do you build a machine which will take you back into the past - or forward to the future? In fact, there have been several plans for a time machine devised by physicists since Einstein's mind-blowing discovery that reverse timetravel should be possible. In 1974, Frank Tipler, a physicist at Tulane University in New Orleans, calculated that by constructing a huge cylinder in space and setting it spinning, it would be possible to drag spacetime into loops, creating lots of backwards time portals into which you could leap and then emerge in the past. But he calculated that the cylinder would have to weigh about as much as the sun, and be compressed into a tube 60 miles long and 40 miles across. Alternatively, as physicist Kip Thorn proposed in the 1980s, you simply need to create a 'wormhole' - a tear in the fabric of spacetime, using perhaps a tame black hole or dozens of nuclear bombs. These ideas, while scientifically correct, were hardly practical. Squashing the sun into something the size of Dorset is likely to be beyond our ken for some time, and harnessing the power of a black hole sounds even harder. Mallett's solution is much simpler. He thinks he can reverse time by using just a circulating beam of light. Light is energy, and energy can cause spacetime to warp and bend, just like gigantic spinning cylinders, he explains. In 2000, he published a paper showing how a circulating beam of laser light could create a vortex in spacetime. It was, he says, his eureka moment. The details are complex, to say the least. But, in essence, Mallett believes it is possible to use a series of four circulating laser light beams swirling spacetime around like "a spoon stirring milk into coffee". If you were to walk into this 'timetunnel' - which would resemble a large vortex of light a few feet across - you could emerge at some point in the past. He thinks he can build a prototype machine in the lab, using today's technology, with funds of just $250,000 (£120,000). There are several important things to realise about Mallett's time machine. For a start, it would only be possible to travel back in time to a point after the machine was first switched on. If you turned on the machine, on January 1 say, and left it running for three months, you could enter the machine in March and only travel back as far as January 1. So no trips back to the Middle Ages or to Ancient Rome.
08/01/07 - Human Memory Decoder Inventor claims to predict Organ Failure
U.S-based Nigerian scientist is on the threshold of a major breakthrough in medical science equipment. The scientist, Damian Anyanwu says the equipment, the Human Memory Decoder, will be capable of testing human organs and identify dying ones before they pack up. The Imo state-born scientist exclusively told Saturday Sun he is tinkering with the equipment so it can determine the exact year an ailing human organ will fail. "The Human Memory Decoder, once it detects a sick organ, then treatment can be commenced before crisis sets in and before the organ begins to falter," he intimated.
08/01/07 - Militarization as the Core Problem with US Space Policy
Space as a Strategic Asset, delivers a timely message of scientific, diplomatic and military imperatives aimed particularly at the current administration. She is a proponent of “soft power,” a political concept coming back into vogue as we see in other new policy books, such as Statecraft and How to Restore America’s Standing in the World by Dennis Ross. Johnson-Freese believes a purposeful presence in space is an essential component in recapturing our dwindling soft power in the international forum. The core problem with US space policy, she emphasizes, is America’s unrelenting militarization and weaponization of space. “While the rest of the world seeks to increase its ability to use space assets for information linkages required for economic growth in a globalized world, the United State sees much of the technology they are seeking as militarily sensitive and, consequently, is trying to stop its spread. That initial clash of ambitions is further exacerbated by the parallel emphasis the United States places on expanding its space superiority to space dominance.” Fear and national security issues have made the US inherently nervous about “dual-use” technology such as satellites, lasers, and GPS, which have military and civilian applications. Johnson-Freese points out that, initially, the US deliberately inserted timing errors into transmissions to downgrade the accuracy of nonmilitary GPS receivers with the intent of discouraging foreign military exploitation of the technology. However, the unintended result was to motivate foreign entities to develop their own GPS systems. She makes a compelling argument that “through clumsy rather than intentionally nefarious use of its considerable power, the U.S. is perceived as a rogue nation in its own right. Other nations regard the U.S. as skirting international law in its treatment of war prisoners, lack of support for international treaties, and proclivity toward preemption and unilateralism. In the space arena, movement toward space weapons further reinforces this perception. The commitment of the U.S. to a regime in space based on legal premises and parameters would demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law at a time when that commitment is doubted, and when it is dearly needed to support U.S. efforts to spread democracy and principles of good governance.”
08/01/07 - Amphead E-Dragsters Go for Gas-Powered Records
Straddling a 619-pound motorcycle, Scotty Pollacheck tucks in his knees and lowers his head as he waits for the green light. When he revs the engine, there's no roar. The bike moves so fast that within seconds all that's visible is a faint red taillight melting in the distance. Pollacheck crosses the quarter-mile marker doing 156 mph; he's traveled 1,320 feet in 8.22 seconds, faster than any of the gas-powered cars, trucks or motorcycles that have raced in the drag sprints on this weekend at Portland International Raceway. It's particularly impressive given Pollacheck is riding a vehicle that uses no gasoline and is powered entirely by lithium-ion batteries. Electric vehicles are making their presence felt at amateur drag races across the country, challenging gas-powered cars and motorcycles. The "amp heads," computer geeks and tree-hugging environmentalists driving the electron-powered vehicles are starting to kick some major rear end. "Electric gives you instant torque whereas gasoline you have to build up," Brown said. "As we learn to manage it, you're going to see some really amazing performances." The KillaCycle runs on 990 lithium-ion battery cells that feed two direct current motors, generating 350 horsepower. The bike accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just under a second - faster than many professional gas-powered drag motorcycles and within striking distance of the quickest bikes that run on nitromethane. With that hyper-potent racing fuel, riders can get to 60 mph in 0.7 seconds. Bill Dube, KillaCycle's owner and designer, likens the sleek, hulking bike to an oversized household appliance. "This is like a giant cordless drill with wheels," said Dube, who designs pollution measurement instruments for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Except for the batteries he receives from sponsor A123 Systems, Dube pays the costs of his racing team - about $13,000 a year - out of his own pocket.
08/01/07 - Music from DNA Patented
"Two lawyers have patented generating music from a DNA sequence. According to the patent, it covers 'music generated by decoding and transcribing genetic information within a DNA sequence into a music signal having melody and harmony.' A comment to the blog post mentions DNA-derived music being performed at a conference in 1995." / Listening to your DNA - 1998 - Susan Alexjander holds an MA in music, which she teaches in Sacramento, California. ( Listen to Samples ) Her compositions are fusing science and art, producing music that is a collaboration between her and DNA itself. "Sound and the body interested me," she says, "so did maths, physics and their relationship with sound. Because of this, I started collecting frequencies in nature." She wanted to measure the actual molecular vibrations of DNA. So she approached University of California biologist Dr David Deamer and discovered it was actually quite easy to do. The vibrations were easily measurable using an infrared spectrophotometer. By exposing each section of DNA to infrared light and measuring the wavelength of the light absorbed, it was possible to determine distinctive frequencies for each DNA molecule. But how to turn them into music? "I wanted to go inside the chemistry and hear the frequencies. I did the science with Dr David Deamer and then the artist's hat went on." Frequency combination The ratios of the light frequencies were converted into ratios of sound. The relative relationship between light frequencies was kept. The result was strange, beautiful music. "Some of the combinations of frequencies," Alexjander adds, "are just stunning. I find it very arresting. It sounds alive to me." Most of the changes of pitches in her DNA music are microtonal - that is, their frequencies occur in the area between the half-tone steps of the western musical scale. Microtonal pitches are nothing new in music, however. Some cultures have a long history of their use, especially those of India and the Middle and Far East. These sounds from the molecular world are remarkable. They may mean something - they may mean nothing. Alexjander says her music produces a strong reaction. She speculates: "Perhaps on a very deep level the body recognises itself - hears something familiar in the music. It's a theory. I don't know."
08/01/07 - Schauberger Vortex Jug for 'living water'
The Living Water Vortex transforms your tap, filtered or bottled water into biologically active living water. * The Living Water Vortex Jug simulates the self-cleansing spirals and vortices of a lively mountain steam. * The motor-driven impeller induces into water a powerful natural vortex. * This restructuring and energising of the water lasts about 36 hours. * Limescale deposits are reduced when using energised water in your kettle or steam iron. * Plants (indoors and outdoor) love energised water. Test it on your pets, with one bowl of 'damaged' and one of 'living water', and see which they prefer. * Danish research confirms how the Vortex Jug cools, softens, cleanses, oxygenates, polishes and re-energies the water; chlorine is evaporated. * The Living Water Vortex Jug and it's parts are guaranteed for 12 months. It puts into practice the Schauberger Eco-technology principles, using a solid silver impeller driven by a compact motor housed in the screw-down lid of the 2 litre jug to create a beautiful vortex right at the base of the jug. The motor has a timer which cuts off after 3.5 minutes. The improved water quality is maintained for about 36 hours. The Living Water Vortex stabilises the water's acidity (or pH) at 6.8. You can test this by adding a little vinegar to make it more acidic; then after the vortex operation the pH will return to 6'8. Oxygenation of the water helps to balance the over-acidity of many processed foods. / Comment; "The Living Water Vortex Jug has to be the most intriguing product I have ever tried. A solid silver, leaf-shaped paddle projecting from the lid of the jug stirs two litres of water anti-clockwise for about four minutes, producing a powerful vortex which brings the dead, chemically polluted water we get out of our taps back to life. Hard to believe, I know, but of the dozen people I blind tested, eleven preferred the taste of the spun water, and the other had a cold. I have had the Jug at home for several months now, and water consumption by my family has soared from the odd glass to around 4 litres a day. This probably indicates, as the makers claim, that the body needs water which is restructured in this way. - John Adams, Permaculture Magazine, product review"
08/01/07 - Extreme weather brings flood chaos round the world
People in countries across the world, from China to India and Sudan to Indonesia, are coping with severe wet weather, highlighting the position of flooding as the most deadly of all natural disasters. While single events cannot be linked to climate change, the flooding come as research suggests that global warming will increase rainfall in some parts of the world, including the Indian monsoon, and increase the number of hurricanes - both due increased evaporation in a warmer world. One person in 10 worldwide, including one in eight city-dwellers, lives less than 10 metres above sea-level and near the coast. This is an "at-risk zone" for flooding and stronger storms exacerbated by climate change, a recent study found.
08/01/07 - Digital Forensics Becoming a Useless Art
Digital Forensics is the information age's equivalent of detective sleuthing. Much as the best criminals left no trace of a crime through such actions as wiping down fingerprints, today's hackers are covering their tracks equally well. The practice can largely be traced to the ubiquitous hacking toolkits so prevalent on the Internet. Investigators once likened the ability to thoroughly remove digital evidence as the mark of a skilled criminal. Now, as commodity rootkits buy both time and access for a hacker, even the unskilled are able to use tools to hide and obfuscate their actions. Evidence removal kits are so complete that many hackers no longer hide their deed, opting instead to blatantly own a host quickly knowing forensics would have no evidence to trace the hack. Researcher Bryan Sartin of Cybertrust comments, "[Hackers] use FTP and they don’t care if it logs the transfer, because they know I have no idea who they are or how they got there."
08/01/07 - Miracle on ice: Freezing time to save lives
Stanford University's Gary K.Steinberg is one of a handful of neurosurgeons in the United States who induce mild hypothermia before brain surgery. Once considered a maverick procedure, it's now on the cusp of becoming an accepted technique, partly because of the evidence mounted by Dr. Steinberg himself. In addition, the American Heart Association recently recommended the practice to minimize brain damage after cardiac arrest (the best place in the country for your heart to stop may be Wake County, North Carolina, the first municipality in which EMS paramedics cool cardiac-arrest survivors on the way to the hospital)...
08/01/07 - Congress Moves to Rewrite Patent Laws
Crustless peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, a way to move sideways on a swing, a technique for exercising cats using a laser pointer - these are among the inventions patented in the United States over the years. Now Congress is trying to cut down on poor-quality or downright ridiculous patents, and at the same time adapt the patent system to a high-tech era in which computers and other electronic devices may contain thousands of patentable parts. Patents give holders ownership rights to their inventions for 20 years. That can mean hundreds of millions of dollars to companies, research universities and individual inventors. There's a backlog of 750,000 patent applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is recovering from years of underfunding and hopes to nearly double the number of patent examiners on staff, currently about 5,300. There's been a corresponding increase in patent infringement lawsuits, which the tech industry blames on so-called "patent trolls" who get patents for products they never plan to make, just so they can sue for infringement if a company does turn out something similar.
08/01/07 - Income Tax Refuted in Court
He reportedly hasn't paid his income tax in ten years and now a Federal District Court has upheld Tom Cryer's behavior in a case pitting him against the Internal Revenue Service. Finding that the IRS was unable to prove a constitutional foundation for the income tax, Mr. Cryer, a lawyer himself, was acquitted by the jury of two criminal tax charges. In the wake of his victory, Cryer has launched the Truth Attack website devoted to undoing the income tax in the U.S. The case appears to have serious ramifications, as it seems to establish that the proper definition of "income" is in no way that which we earn from our labor, but only from profit and interest. It remains to be seen if the IRS will seek to refute the decision, but for now Cryer is pressing home his advantage reiterating that "[t]here's no law making the average working man liable [for income taxes], there's no law or regulation that allows the IRS to contend that earnings are 100 percent profit received in exchange for nothing, and the right to earn a living through any lawful occupation is a constitutionally protected fundamental right, and is exempt from taxation." / "The court could not find a law that makes me liable or makes my revenues taxable," Cryer said. "The Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot impose an income tax on anything but the profits and gains. When you work for someone you give your service and labor in exchange for money, so everything you make is not profit or gain. You put something into it." Cryer created a trust listing himself as the trustee, and received payments of dividends, interest and stock income to that trust, according to the indictment. He also was accused of concealing his receipt of the sources of income from the IRS by failing to file a tax return on behalf of that trust. "I determined that my personal earnings were not 100 percent profits, some were income," Cryer said. "I refuse to file, I refuse to pay unless they can show me I have a lawful reason to pay." "What I earned was my own personal labor. I am giving something in exchange. I'm giving my property and I don't belong to anyone else." Cryer says he stopped filing returns more than 10 years ago after he investigated claims that income tax was a sham. He contends the law doesn't actually tax personal earning.
08/01/07 - Biodiesel Home Processing Plant
Etruk has devised a method to produce biodiesel within the comfort of your own home, using their Home Biodiesel Processing Plant. The unit utilises biological sources such as vegetable oil to produce the sustainable energy source. The benefits of making biodiesel at home primarily lie in the sustainability of the fuel source and the monetary savings it confers. The energy produced is better for the environment, producing up to 60% less CO2 than standard petrol, whilst being biodegradable. But we are not too sure having such units within homes is such a good idea in terms of safety; last time we checked fuel was quite flammable.
08/01/07 - Top 100 Items to Disappear First During a National Emergency
08/01/07 - Rebel doctors prescribe £10 cancer drug to fight blindness
Doctors are dodging restrictions on expensive sight-saving drugs by offering patients an unlicensed alternative costing just £10. Eye specialists in Manchester are prescribing Avastin to sufferers of the most common cause of blindness in the elderly, agerelated macular degeneration. The drug is widely used to treat bowel cancer but has not been given a safety licence for treating AMD. The rebel doctors say it offers hope to patients denied treatment with the tailor-made, but much more expensive, drug Lucentis. While Lucentis costs more than £700 per injection, Avastin - which is made by the same company - costs as little as £10 a shot. Peter Elton, Bury's director of public health, said: 'We think as many people as possible should be treated for wet AMD. "To afford it we need to use Avastin. If you have only got one eye affected, the other eye might get something else the next year. "By the time you come to treat the wet eye, it has gone too far. We think that is not ethically acceptable." He added that Medicare in the U.S. uses Avastin to treat AMD in 48 out of 50 states.
08/01/07 - Omgili - what people are saying
Find out what people are saying... Omgili is your way to find "subjective information". As opposed to traditional search engines, which search for sites and pages, Omgili finds consumer opinions, debates, discussions, personal experiences, answers and solutions... Omgili is a specialized search engine that focuses on "many to many" user generated content platforms, such as forums, discussion groups, answer boards and others. Omgili is a crawler-based, vertical search engine that scans millions of online discussions worldwide in over 100,000 boards and forums, and is able to differentiate between discussion entities such as topic, post, answer and post date...
08/01/07 - Spiral water wheel delivers dreamy supply
(Thanks to Jim Freman for this cool link! - JWD) This positive displacement pump is made from a single length of coiled poly pipe and is designed to be powered by water. The pipe is coiled in a vertical plane and mounted on a horizontal axle. As the paddles rotate the coil of poly pipe above the water, the lower part is immersed. The open end of the coil takes a small ‘gulp’ of water every time it rotates. An alternating sequence of air and water is driven along the pipe towards the centre of the spiral. Successive coils of pipe lead to a cumulative increase in the pump’s pressure output. When a land-fixed pipe is connected to the last and smallest coil, then water can be shifted to a higher point, such as a dam or a tank. In this case, Jill’s tank is about 16 metres above the river. The set of undershot paddle wheels (powered from water flowing below, not from water dropping onto the wheels from above) drives the whole show. This is one of the oldest and simplest forms of motor, driving one of the oldest and simplest forms of pump. The whole unit consists of only one small rotating part called a rotating joiner, or in plumber terms, a spinning nipple.
08/01/07 - The Trouble With Tenure
We need to break up standard operating procedures, and the place to start is the central event in the system - tenure. The system affects professors at the top 200 or so institutions, but the habits it forms set the example everywhere. Untenured professors obsess over things that will get them through - not just scholarship and teaching, but conduct in meetings, manners with senior faculty, and peer-pleasing attitudes. Tenured professors enjoy their lifetime paychecks and proceed by professional habits. Both lose touch with common sense notions and real world implications. Whatever obligations to tradition and truth they once assumed, tenure nurtures other passions. It was conceived 90 years ago to protect inquirers from political intrusion. In 1940, the American Association of University Professors updated tenure as a social benefit.
08/01/07 - Da Vinci code fails as last supper theory crashes sites
A new theory that Leonardo's "Last Supper" might hide within it a depiction of Christ blessing the bread and wine has triggered so much interest that websites connected to the picture have crashed. Fuzzy photos here - Now Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist and amateur scholar, says superimposing the "Last Supper" with its mirror-image throws up another picture containing a figure who looks like a Templar knight and another holding a small baby. Now Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist and amateur scholar, says superimposing the "Last Supper" with its mirror-image throws up another picture containing a figure who looks like a Templar knight and another holding a small baby. "I came across it by accident, from some of the details you can infer that we are not talking about chance but about a precise calculation," Pesci told journalists when he unveiled the theory. In the superimposed version, a figure on Christ's left appears to be cradling a baby in its arms, Pesci said, but he made no suggestion this could be Christ's child. Judas, whose imminent betrayal of Christ is the force breaking the right-hand line of the original fresco, appears in an empty space on the left in the reverse image version. And Pesci also suggests that the superimposed version shows a goblet before Christ and illustrates when Christ blessed bread and wine at a supper with his disciples for the first Eucharist.
08/01/07 - Australian school makes sunglasses compulsory for pupils
(Thanks to Bill Ward for this update. - JWD) There was a time when wearing sunglasses would have been seen as too cool for school, but for pupils at a pioneering primary in Australia they are now a compulsory part of the uniform.
The move is aimed at protecting young eyes from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet rays, and education authorities say they are considering adopting the plan at all state schools. The headmaster of Sydney's Arncliffe Public School, where sunglasses are now compulsory for children from kindergarten through Year 6, said they had no problems wearing the glasses in the playground. The "sunnies" as they are called in Australia, would soon become "routine" for the pupils, Stephan Vrachas told commercial radio. The education minister of New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital, said the government would consider making sunglasses compulsory in all public school playgrounds.
$5 Alt Science MP3s to listen while working/driving/jogging
No time to sit back and watch videos? Here are 15 interesting presentations you can download for just $5 each and listen to while driving, working, jogging, etc. An easy way to learn some fascinating new things that you will find of use. Easy, cheap and simple, better than eBooks or Videos. Roughly 50MB per MP3.
15 New Alternative Science DVDs & 15 MP3s
An assortment of alternative science videos that provide many insights and inside information from various experimenters. Also MP3s extracted from these DVDs that you can listen to while working or driving. Reference links for these lectures and workshops by Bill Beaty of Amateur Science on the Dark Side of Amateur Science, Peter Lindemann on the World of Free Energy, Norman Wootan on the History of the EV Gray motor, Dan Davidson on Shape Power and Gravity Wave Phenomena, Lee Crock on a Method for Stimulating Energy, Doug Konzen on the Konzen Pulse Motor, George Wiseman on the Water Torch and Jerry Decker on Aether, ZPE and Dielectric Nano Arrays. Your purchase of these products helps support KeelyNet, thanks!
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