01/31/07 - Video - Wind force driven Car
United States Patent Application 20060061105 - Yun; Seok Il March 23, 2006 - Wind electricity vehicle - Abstract The car runs on twelve DC 12 volt batteries. One battery is 12 volt and 145 Ampere. So the total equals up to 144 volts and 1740 Ampere. We use a DC motor from 120-144 volts. The car starts from 450 Ampere to 500 Ampere. While it's moving it forms 200-250 Ampere. From this description it travels about a full distance of 1-2 hours. As the car runs it generates energy from the four wheels which is connected to the generators and the generator runs from the wind. From the back two wheels it creates 72 volts and from the two wheels in the front it creates 24 volts. All together it creates 96 volts. From the wind it creates 48-60 volts. Every 12 volts it creates 250 ampere. We can control how much ever energy can be produced depending on the wind and the wheels, also the size of the car. / "Once fully charged it never needs charging again". /  Let me explain my concept. /  1. We start "forever" with a battery. It has four wheels with a belt connected to each one. Each of these four belts connected to four generators. With one rotation of all four wheels each generators spin 20 times which adds up to 80 times peroration of the wheels which allows the generators to produce large amounts of electricity to recharge the battery. This allows me to recycle 30% to 40% of the electricity which is needed. /  2. Let's use natural power. The vehicle uses wind to propel itself. /  20 mph speed makes 20 mph wind /  50 mph speed makes 50 mph wind /  100 mph speed makes 100 mph wind. /  I also have a fan which is connected to another generator. All of them generated electricity goes to the main battery to continue to produce energy. There are several generators attached from the front to the bottom of the car and 20 to 30 more on top of the car. We can create momentum and energy from the wind. From the wheels I can recover 30% to 40% of the energy used from the remaining generators. I can recover up to 150% more energy. When the vehicle travels over 10 mph, electricity is created by the wind. When in traffic or during turning points the energy is created from the wheel. So this concept always creates electricity. If we use this "Forever" concept without gas or charging battery, we can use this forever.
01/31/07 - The Windless Sailboat
The 'Forever Car' technology posted above is of course taking power FROM the wind and motion, but it also reminds me of the propulsion cartoon where a fan drives a sail mounted to a wagon or car. So I had to post these two links for the propulsion side of it. / This one shows a fan really CAN work as a propulsion method, though inefficient. DIY Fan Sail Cart. Put wheels and a jet engine on it, there ya go. An Airboat would be better though.
01/31/07 - Video - Claims of a self-running Generator
There isn't any information on the page to show what is going on, only this; "The first run of the self-made genset for the Energie.." It appears to be something like a hydrogen reactor or perhaps a Joe cell running a 4 cylinder engine. It also shows what look like two pumps that are blowing air as one guy tests to verify intake.
01/31/07 - Heating it up in the sauna for Health
Historically, the typical sauna is derived from the engineering of the ancient Finnish sauna. This invention included the usage capabilities of living, cooking and even giving birth in due to the high temperatures creating an almost completely sterile environment. Physiological reactions of sauna use include an increased heart rate, expansion in blood vessels, and an induction in sweating due to an internal body temperature rise to approximately 100.4°F. As a result of blood vessel expansion, a significant increase in blood circulation toward the extremities occurs. This increase has the effect of promoting cellular activity and growth. Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, ABC science guru, explains that the human body attempts to cool itself when exposed to such high temperatures by excreting sweat from its 2 million eccrine glands located throughout the body, responsible for body temperature maintenance. (As opposed to the apocrine glands located in the armpit and genital regions, which are associated with a foul odor sweat secretion attributed by emotional stress). This expelled sweat is composed of a water, salt and waste product combination. Keeping in mind that the skin is the largest organ of the body where approximately 30 percent of wastes are passed, a sauna session provides a comprehensive and healthy detoxification process simply through sweat induction. Melanie Wood, a writer for Indonesia's leading magazine in lifestyle, entertainment and travel: Jakarta Java KINI, heavily stresses that as a result of simplistic sweat induction, one receives benefits of which most people are unaware, including easing headaches and hangovers. More importantly, a primary benefit of sauna usage includes the skin's enhanced ability to produce collagen, which in turn provides noticeable improvements in elasticity and complexion. The atmosphere of hot steam also offers relief from respiratory complications via stimulating discharge and loosening mucous buildup from the nose, lungs and throat, simultaneously providing relief from congestion and inflammation in these mucous membranes. A sauna session is usually a social affair in which the participants disrobe and sit or recline in temperatures of over 80 °C (176 °F). This induces relaxation and promotes sweating. How to Use a Sauna and .
01/31/07 - Eco-friendly homes 'face tax hike'
Homeowners who spend money on eco-friendly wind turbines may face higher council taxes, MPs have warned. An all-party Commons trade and industry committee report says that "if home owners invest in solar panels, wind turbines or energy efficiency measures, this is likely to increase the value of their properties and result in higher council tax bills." That is the wrong approach, the report says, suggesting that central and local government must reduce the barriers faced by people and organisations that want to exploit local low-carbon energy sources. It says: "Given the potential climate change and security benefits of such investments, homeowners should not be penalised in this way."
01/31/07 - Video - Cockroach Controller Robot
By Garnet Hertz (2005) "Cockroach Controlled Mobile Robot" is an experimental mechanism that uses a living Madagascan hissing cockroach atop a modified trackball to control a three-wheeled robot. If the cockroach moves left, the robot moves left. Infrared sensors also provide navigation feedback to the cockroach, striving to create a pseudo-intelligent system with the cockroach as the CPU.
01/31/07 - Behind Ford's scary $12.7 billion loss
An enormous gap still separates the performance of Detroit automakers from their foreign competitors - and it isn't all their fault. The stupefying $12.7 billion loss that Ford Motor Co. reported Thursday for 2006 comes one year after General Motors' equally horrendous $10.6 billion loss for 2005. But for all the bad decisions these companies have made by not listening to their customers, they aren't entirely to blame. Structural inequities between the U.S. and Japan - notably in labor costs and currency - account for a big chunk of Detroit's problems. All in all, the report paints a bleak picture. While Nissan (Charts) was making $1800 per vehicle during the first half of 2006, and Toyota and Honda (Charts) racked up $1,400 apiece, nine-month results for Ford saw them losing $1,400 per vehicle - a number that will go up when the fourth quarter's loss is tallied - while DaimlerChrysler (Charts) dropped $1100 and GM $333.
01/31/07 - Telecommunication black-out a possibility in 2010
Come the year 2010 and flares from the sun could cause a telecommunication black-out forcing mobile phones and navigational systems to go off, says a leading scientist. As 2010 approaches, more and more scientists around the world will be tuning their telescopes towards the sun to try and detect sudden eruption of highly destructive solar flares which have the ability to cause a "telecommunication black-out" across the globe. "The solar flares are expected to be at its maximum intensity by the year 2010," said Markus Aschwanden, a solar physicists at the solar and astrophysics laboratory, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (LMATC) in the United States of America. Solar flares and CMES occur when magnetic energy built up in the sun's atmosphere is suddenly released, he said. These flares carrying high amount of energy, travel at high speeds and reach the earth in a matter of hours. It leaves little time to issue a warning, Aschwanden said adding solar flares can emit several (10 raised to the power 32) ergs of energy.
01/31/07 - Smart Shopping Tricks to save Money
Stores are always trying to get you to do what they want. But what if you refuse? What if you do what benefits you and not the store? Aside from outright fraud, what are the things that you can do to come out ahead? We've put together 10 tips that will help you save money, but probably won't help the store. That's why they hate them. And you.
01/31/07 - Fill it up... with electricity please
Your car may become just another household appliance if a Japanese vehicle developer and former rally driver gets his way. Yoshio Takaoka, in collaboration with Italy's Start Lab SAP, has created the Girasole, a fully functional electric car that can be fuelled from a home power outlet. The highway-worthy two seater reaches speeds of 65 km per hour (41 mp/h) and travels distances of up to a 120 km on a full battery, which costs about $1. "Previously I was a polluter but as I grew older I felt I had to do penance for this and do something good in return," Takaoka, 63, told Fuji TV, referring to his rally driving heydays. The Girasole, which means sunflower in Italian, retails for about $2.2 million but drivers can claim a $6,600 subsidy from the government under an environmental protection clause. Japanese consumers who test drove the car were impressed by its quietness. But the car comes equipped with the clip-clop sound of horse hooves hitting the pavement to alert pedestrians and other drivers.
01/31/07 - Scientists $2 cancer cure, but no one takes notice
(As posted on KeelyNet a few days ago. - JWD) The drug is dichloroacetate, and since it is already used to treat metabolic disorders, we know it should be no problem to use it for other purposes. Doesn't this sound like the kind of news you see on the front page of every paper? The drug also has no patent, which means it could be produced for bargain basement prices in comparison to what drug companies research and develop.
Scientists tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body where it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but left healthy cells alone. Rats plump with tumors shrank when they were fed water supplemented with DCA. Again, this seems like it should be at the top of the nightly news, right? Cancer cells don't use the little power stations found in most human cells - the mitochondria. Instead, they use glycolysis, which is less effective and more wasteful. Doctors have long believed the reason for this is because the mitochondria were damaged somehow. But, it turns out the mitochondria were just dormant, and DCA starts them back up again. The side effect of this is it also reactivates a process called apoptosis. You see, mitochondria contain an all-too-important self-destruct button that can't be pressed in cancer cells. Without it, tumors grow larger as cells refuse to be extinguished. Fully functioning mitochondria, thanks to DCA, can once again die. With glycolysis turned off, the body produces less lactic acid, so the bad tissue around cancer cells doesn't break down and seed new tumors. Here's the big catch. Pharmaceutical companies probably won't invest in research into DCA because they won't profit from it. It's easy to make, unpatented and could be added to drinking water. Imagine, Gatorade with cancer control.
01/30/07 - Ocean Ethanol - Seawater to Ethanol Reactor
Last year, an investor partially funded some research that created Ocean Ethanol and it's CO2 conversion activities. Much of our research was based on the works of Professor Inui and the basic experiments performed by Paul Sabatier over 100 years ago. Paul Sabatier (1912 Nobel Prize for work in organic chemistry) found that when you combine CO2 and Hydrogen over a nickel catalyst, you could produce methane. He was the founder of metal hydrogenation catalysts, which gives us many of the products we use today such as margarine, oil hydrogenation and synthetic methanol. Where do we get CO2? There is currently a CO2 pipeline infrastructure in the USA, Canada and many European countries. The current use is for enhanced oil recovery, where it's pumped back into the ground to boost oil production. In Norway, a pipeline was built to sequester CO2 back into the ocean. In addition, there are currently membrane filters that allow us to pump sea-water through a device that separates out the CO2. This is done on a large scale with reverse osmosis desalination plants where the CO2 is usually put back into the drinking water. Using CO2 and hydrogen as the feedstocks, we were able to prove that you can make ethanol from the combination of the gases over a Fischer Tropsch catalyst. Our investor stopped the funding, we we realized that H2 was a necessary component. The byproducts of the reaction were CO (Carbon Monoxide), methanol, acetic acid, oxygenates and water. During one of the experiments, there was one which resulted in a very high output of methanol. Upon further investigation, we realized that by using CO2, CO and H2 as the feedstocks, we could have a effective way to produce methanol. On a small scale, we calculated we could have a process that was 98 percent efficient in the conversion of CO2 to methanol. This process has a lot of promise. Patent Number: 7,146,999 Modular Fluid Handling Device
01/30/07 - More heat = Less oxygen
Long before it gets unbearably hot, researchers find, a mild temperature rise can shrink the population of an animal species. To state it in a nutshell, Hans O. Pörtner and Rainer Knust at Germany's Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven have shown that a relatively mild rise in water temperature can reduce the water's ability to hold dissolved oxygen, and, at the same time, it increases the fish's need for more oxygen to maintain its vigor. Drs. Pörtner and Knust take a larger view. They see their work illustrating that a supply-and-demand mismatch for oxygen "is the first mechanism to restrict whole-animal tolerance to thermal extremes." In simpler terms: More heat means less oxygen, and less oxygen means animals have a harder time of it. That mechanism cuts in even before it becomes hot enough to kill the animals or make them migrate.
01/30/07 - Methane Rocket Engine Test Firing
XCOR Aerospace announced a series of successful test firings of its new 7,500 pound thrust rocket engine. The tests were conducted as part of a $3.3 million subcontract XCOR has with Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK). The tests support NASA’s advanced development program to obtain liquid methane rocket engine technology for future space applications. Six short-duration test fires have been completed. The engine, designated 5M15, uses liquid methane and liquid oxygen as propellants. XCOR and ATK are developing the initial workhorse version of the 7,500 lbf LOX/methane engine for NASA. This regeneratively-cooled version of the rocket engine will also be built and tested in 2007 as part of the contract. ATK will use the workhorse engine as a basis for the design of the prototype version of the engine that will be closer to flight weight.
01/30/07 - Velo-City: A high speed, pollution free transit system
Toronto Architect Chris Hardwicke wants to do something about it. He proposes "a high speed, all season, pollution free, ultra-quite transit system that makes people healthier. Using an infrastructure of elevated cycle tracks, velo-city creates a network across the City." "The elevated bikeways are enclosed in tubes to provide protection for all season cycling. The bikeway tubes are separated by direction of travel to create a dynamic air circulation loop the crates a natural tail-wind for cyclists. The reduction in air resistance increased the efficiency of cycling by about 90% allowing for speeds up to 40 Km/hr. Velo-City promotes exercise as an urban lifestyle."
01/30/07 - Video - New Water Activated Battery
A Japanese inventor unveils what he calls the "next generation of eco-friendly energy sources" - batteries powered by water. Susumu Suzuki, the president of Tokyo-based building material maker TSC (Total System Conductor), has invented water-powered batteries, which have an electric current as powerful as that of a standard manganese dioxide battery. Suzuki says these batteries would be cheap to produce and can be recycled several times, making them an essential tool for the future. FEATURED SPEAKER: Susumu Suzuki, President of TSC and inventor of the water-powered battery (Japanese. I don't know what to make of this, it shows him mixing chemicals (one of which appears to be carbon) and putting them inside a battery form to power devices. The voltmeter shows what looks like from 179.0 to 347 milliamps at low voltage.
01/30/07 - Tremendous untapped potential for geothermal
MIT calls them "enhanced geothermal systems" which capture heat miles under the Earth's surface and turns that thermal energy into electricity. This should not be confused with low-temperature geothermal or "Earth systems" -- another large, untapped energy source -- that use ground-source heat pumps or so-called "geoexchange systems" to provide heating and air conditioning for homes and buildings. "Based on growing markets in the United States for clean, base-load capacity, the panel thinks that with a combined public/private investment of about $800 million to $1 billion over a 15-year period, EGS technology could be deployed commercially on a timescale that would produce more than 100,000 MWe or 100 GWe of new capacity by 2050. This amount is approximately equivalent to the total R&D investment made in the past 30 years to EGS internationally, which is still less than the cost of a single, new-generation clean-coal plant." The study's panel urges U.S. authorities to begin making this investment ASAP, given the "enormous potential" and technical progress that has been achieved so far in the area. "Having EGS as an option will strengthen America's energy security for the long term in a manner that complements other renewables, clean fossil, and next-generation nuclear." The beauty with high-temperature geothermal is it provides baseload power, like hydro-electric and nuclear, so unlike solar and wind there's no intermittency issues. Also, the waste heat from electricity generation can be used for district heating and hot water. Another bonus is, like hydro-electric, once the facility is built it lasts for several decades without the need for any fuel.
01/30/07 - Company announces cameras that see through walls
An Israeli company named Camero has developed a camera that is able to "see" through walls by using wireless signals in the ultra-wideband spectrum. According to reports however, the camera does not actually visually see anything, but instead constructs a 3D image representing what its radio waves see. Called the Xaver800, the camera itself sends out ultra-wideband signals, which are reflected and bounced off of objects in a room or in other rooms -- however far the signals can reach and penetrate. Then, using the reflected signals, the Xaver800 constructs a 3D representation of the area. The technology can potentially help police agencies and military organizations. Camero is only selling its Xaver800 to these types of customers anyway.
01/30/07 - Town says it's lights out for use of solar-powered lighting
The Town of Halton Hills Recreation and Parks Department installed a solar-powered light standard to light a walkway at the parkette on Edwards St. in Georgetown in January 2006. But readings taken in February, July and September showed that illumination was only 20 per cent of the optimum recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and the standard adopted by GTA municipalities and CPTED (Crime Prevent-ion Through Environ-mental Design). The 13-watt compact fluorescent lamp used is restricted by the capacity and efficiency of the energy storage batteries mounted inside the light cabinet. Cold temperatures also further reduce the light output and the efficiency of the storage batteries. In comparison, walkways at the Gellert Community Park are illuminated with a 70-watt high-pressure sodium lamp that meets the IESNA standard. "Although we don't meet the standards that are set out, maybe there is still a role for these solar-power lights where they are not needed to illuminate area where there is high activity, but are sufficient to deter vandalism," added Wards 3 and 4 Regional Councillor Jane Fogal.
01/30/07 - Inflatable Habitats for Polar and Space Colonists
Humanity has long since established a foothold in the Artic and Antarctic, but extensive colonization of these regions may soon become economically viable. If we can learn to build self-sufficient habitats in these extreme environments, similar technology could be used to live on the Moon or Mars. The Sun provides the Earth and Moon with about 1400 Watts per square meter, which is ample energy to warm a habitat even when the angle of the incident light and losses due to reflection are taken into account. On Mars, the sunshine is a little less than half as strong-which means that the equator of Mars receives about as much solar energy as the higher latitudes of Earth (Iceland, for example). The most efficient way to generate heat from sunlight is, of course, the well-known "greenhouse" effect. Given a transparent or translucent roof, any structure can hold onto the energy of sunlight long enough to transform it into heat. Glass works well for this, but glass is heavy and expensive to transport. In a recent article submitted to arXiv.org , Bolonkin and Cathcart have designed an inflatable, translucent dome that can heat its interior to comfortable temperatures using only the weak sunlight of high latitudes. While many details remain to be worked out, the essential concept is sound. To improve the energy efficiency of the structure, they propose adding multiple insulating layers, aluminum-coated shutters, and a fine electrical network to sense damage to the structure. The dome would be supported entirely by the pressure of the air inside, which can be adjusted to compensate for the added buoyancy caused by high winds. The principle advantages of this design are the low weight and flexibility of the material. If only a few people at a time need shelter, an enclosure the size of a small house would weigh only about 65 kg, or as much as a person. This is light enough even for a space mission, and setting up would be as easy as turning on an air pump. For large colonies, enough membrane to enclose 200 hectares would weigh only 145 tons. The interior would be warm and sheltered, a safe environment for the construction of more traditional buildings and gardens.
01/30/07 - Screening for Lifespan-extending Compounds
An unprecedented screening of up to 120,000 chemical compounds for lifespan extension will get underway at the Buck Institute for Age Research. The results of the work, which will involve yeast, nematode worms, fruit flies and mice, will be made public, providing a valuable resource for scientists studying the aging process. “Our aim is to discover and develop novel compounds; at the very least we hope to identify 100 chemically distinct compounds that slow aging, opening up new avenues to treat, prevent or postpone age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes, among others.”
01/30/07 - Water Manipulation Motor
The function of the water engine is based on the fact that the rapid compression of air in a cylinder creates a temperature of 500°C. The means of using the said air to boil water and implode hydrogen created by electrolysis, is as follows: 1. A four cycled fossil fuel compression engine is converted to water by insertion of a steel gasket in the cylinder head. 2. The gasket is designed with built in electronic valves to hold compressed 500°C air and oxygen in the cylinder head “chamber” after the piston reaches top dead centre. Thus, the piston descends leaving a vacuous area above it, 90°C water is injected into the said vacuous area and vaporises. Simultaneously, hydrogen, produced by electrolysis as the engine functions, is similarly injected. 3. Next the electronic valve opens, releasing the 500°C air, expanding the vapour and imploding the hydrogen. Briefly, the functions are as follows: Cycle 1 - Air and oxygen intake / Cycle 2 - Air and oxygen rapidly compressed to T.O.C. / Cycle 3 - 500°C air is released upon hydrogen and water vapour, igniting hydrogen and expanding vapour. Cycle 4 - Exhaust. After vapour is used, it is condensed and re-used. - International Patent Application
01/30/07 - Coin Shortage Means a Penny Could Be Worth 5 Cents Soon
A potential shortage of coins in the United States could mean all those pennies in your piggy bank could be worth five times their current value soon, says an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Sharply rising prices of metals such as copper and nickel have meant the face value of pennies and nickels are worth less than the material that they are made of, increasing the risk that speculators could melt the coins and sell them for a profit. Such a risk spurred the U.S. Mint last month to issue regulations limiting melting and exporting of the coins. Raw material prices in general have skyrocketed in the last five years, sending copper prices to record highs of $4.16 a pound in May. Copper pennies number 154 to a pound. Prices have since come down from that peak but could still trek higher, Velde said. Since 1982, the Mint began making copper-coated zinc pennies to prevent metals speculators from taking advantage of lofty base metal prices. Though the penny is losing its importance - it is worth only four seconds of the average American's work time, assuming a 40-hour workweek - the Mint is making more and more pennies.
01/29/07 - Ten years to reverse the global meltdown
The stark warning comes from scientists who are working on the final draft of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report, due out this week, will draw together the work of thousands of scientists from around the world who have been studying changes in the world's climate and predicting how they might accelerate. They say that unless mankind rapidly stabilises greenhouse gas emissions and starts reducing them, it will have little chance of keeping global warming within manageable limits. The results could include the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, the forced migration of hundreds of millions of people from equatorial regions and the loss of vast tracts of land under rising seas as the ice caps melt. In Europe, the summers could become unbearably hot, especially in southern countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy, while Britain and northern Europe would face summer droughts and wet, stormy winters. Among the scientists' biggest fears is that rising greenhouse gases and temperatures could soon overwhelm the natural systems that normally keep their levels in check. About half the 23.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide generated by human activities each year are absorbed by forests and oceans -- a process without which the world might already be several degrees warmer. However, as CO2 levels rise and rising temperatures dry out soils, this process could be reversed, with forests pumping out gases instead of retaining them. Sea water's power to absorb CO2 also declines sharply as it warms. The latest research suggests that the threshold for such disastrous changes will come when CO2 levels reach 550 parts per million (ppm), roughly double their natural levels. This is predicted to happen around 2040-50 at current emission rates.
01/29/07 - Can Polyester Save the World? - Disposable Clothing
Fashionable clothing that costs £12 but looks like a million bucks. “If it falls apart, you just toss it away!” said Jo Jo, proudly wearing her purchase. Environmentally, that is more and more of a problem. With rainbow piles of sweaters and T-shirts that often cost less than a sandwich, stores like Primark are leaders in the quick-growing “fast fashion” industry, selling cheap garments that can be used and discarded without a second thought. Consumers, especially teenagers, love the concept, pioneered also by stores like H&M internationally and by Old Navy and Target in the United States, since it allows them to shift styles with speed on a low budget. But clothes - and fast clothes in particular - are a large and worsening source of the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, because of how they are both produced and cared for, concludes a new report from researchers at Cambridge University titled “Well Dressed?” It is hard to imagine how customers who rush after trends, or the stores that serve them, will respond to the report’s suggestions: that people lease clothes and return them at the end of a month or a season, so the garments can be lent again to someone else - like library books - and that they buy more expensive and durable clothing that can be worn for years. In terms of care, the report highlights the benefits of synthetic fabrics that require less hot water to wash and less ironing. It suggests that consumers air-dry clothes and throw away their tumble dryers, which require huge amounts of energy. Consumers spend more than $1 trillion a year on clothing and textiles, an estimated one-third of that in Western Europe, another third in North America, and about a quarter in Asia. In many places, cheap, readily disposable clothes have displaced hand-me-downs as the mainstay of dressing. “My mother had the same wardrobe her entire life,” Ms. Neild said. “For my daughter, styles change every six months and you need to keep up.” Dr. Julian Allwood, who led a team of environmental researchers in conducting the report, noted in an interview that it is now easier for British consumers to toss unwanted clothes than to take them to a recycling center, and easier to throw clothes into the hamper for a quick machine wash and dry than to sponge off stains. He hopes his report will educate shoppers about the costs to the environment, so that they change their behavior.
01/29/07 - 8 technologies for a green future
The planet's most pressing environmental problems - global warming, energy shortages, over fishing, pollution - may seem just too big to be solved with today's technology. But don't despair: A lot of bright minds are working on futuristic projects that promise to make the world greener while making entrepreneurs some green. 1. Home hydrogen fueling station / 2. Environmental sensor networks / 3. Toxin-eating trees / 4. Nuclear waste neutralizer / 5. Autonomous ocean robots / 6. Sonic water purifier / 7. Endangered-species tracker / 8. The interactive, renewable smart power grid
01/29/07 - Surprising downsides of car pollution
Particles from car exhausts generate more persistent and longer-lasting clouds but - paradoxically - less rain, new research suggests. Furthermore, putting more of these particles into the atmosphere reduces the low-level winds, which could reduce the amount of wind power available in very polluted regions. The result is that arid but populated regions could suffer a triple blow as a result of vehicle pollution: less water, less hydropower and less wind energy. The US state of California is a prime example. It is home to many of the biggest cities in the US, has tens of millions of cars, has suffered energy cuts and drought, and relies on wind power for 1.5% of its energy. Yet Mark Jacobson of Stanford University in California says that aerosol pollution could be causing a 2% to 5% reduction in water supply. Higher concentrations of aerosols were closely associated with slower ground winds. Jacobson and Kaufman then used computer models to support the idea that there was a cause and effect relationship behind this correlation. "When you take out the aerosols - and that was all we removed - you find that wind speeds go up and rainfall goes up," says Jacobson. The researchers calculated that the net effect in California is that winds are up to 8% slower than they would be if there were no aerosol particles floating around, and rainfall is 2% to 5% lower.
01/29/07 - Making Biofuel from Pond Scum
"Right now," [Sears] points out, "if we were to use all the normal sources we know about, such as canola oil, soy, things like this to make biodiesel, the industry thinks they could make 3.7 billion liters a year. That sounds like a lot, but Americans currently use 227 billion liters of diesel a year." Fortunately, Sears says, an unconventional crop could produce 100 times more biodiesel per hectare than either canola or soy. It can thrive in places where other crops can't grow at all, and it only requires the equivalent of 5 centimeters of rain a year. It's algae, a small but familiar plant, usually seen as a green scum that forms on ponds or aquarium glass. Sears passes a two-story tall engine that may soon be running on his biodiesel, and heads to a quieter room where test batches of algae grow in glass beakers. The water ranges from pale yellow to soft Irish green, thanks to millions of microscopic algae. Biologist Nick Rancis lifts a favorite specimen. "Here we have a species of green algae that grows in fresh water. As you can see, it grows very high density. You can't even see through it when you hold it up to the light." He says this strain produces enormous amounts of fat: up to 50 percent of its body weight. And while producing oil from soy or canola generally requires a three to five-month growing season, some algae are so prolific, over half a batch can be harvested for oil production every day. "They can double or triple overnight," Rancis says. For industrial production, the researchers are designing enormous growing troughs, wider than two trucks side by side, as long as a football field, and grouped by the thousands around processing plants. In this way, Sears says, algae could supply all the U.S. diesel power on a fraction of the nation's farmland, just one percent of the 400 million hectares now under cultivation. "Actually we wouldn't have to convert any of our arable land," [Sears] observes. "We could use desert land to grow this algae. It doesn't require good soil. Just flat land, carbon dioxide and sunlight." Carbon dioxide helps algae grow fast and fat, so the team plans to siphon it from fossil fuel power plant exhaust, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And Sears says there are other ways to get the gas. "It would actually start with biomass such as switch grass or wood, where in some countries are the only type of fuel that they have anyway. In that case, the grass, the trees, the wood is pulling the carbon dioxide out of the air, then we burn it as fuel and feed the carbon dioxide to the algae." He stresses that no carbon will be added to the atmosphere during all these energy conversion steps, making biofuel from algae is a truly carbon-neutral technology. "It's essentially solar powered fuel." To conserve water, the growing troughs are sealed. The algae grows under a clear plastic lid that allows in plenty of sunlight, but keeps the water the plants are floating in from evaporating. "It is about 1,000 times more efficient to produce fuel from algae than it is from an irrigated crop," Sears says. "There's enough water even in the desert from natural rainfall to support this technology."
01/29/07 - Jamming Satellites as a Weapon
Paris-based satellite company Eutelsat is investigating "unidentified interference" with its satellite broadcast services that temporarily knocked out several television and radio stations. The company declined to say whether it thought the interference was accidental or deliberate. Theresa Hitchens of the Center for Defense Information think-tank in Washington DC, US, says there have been cases of deliberate satellite jamming in the past, but it is hard to see what motivation there would be in this instance. Hitchens points out that there have been cases of deliberate jamming, including one in the 1990s when Indonesia and Tonga had a dispute over which country had the rights to a particular satellite orbital slot. Tonga had leased the slot to a satellite firm based in Hong Kong, but Indonesia had its own satellite in the same slot and proceeded to jam the Hong Kong satellite. In a more recent incident, the US claimed in 2003 that Cuba was jamming its satellite broadcasts into Iran. There are a variety of ways to interfere with a satellite's communications. One is to broadcast a stronger signal, either from the ground or from another satellite, that drowns what the satellite is sending to the ground, preventing people from receiving its signal. Another is to blast a signal at the satellite itself so that it cannot hear what the ground is trying to tell it. Communications satellites act like conduits, listening to the ground and re-broadcasting what they hear. If someone drowns out the uplink signal with noise, then the satellite will re-broadcast the noise instead of the intended television or radio program. Deliberate interference may be more common than is widely recognised, however. The website of the Satellite Users Interference Reduction Group, whose members include Intelsat and other industry players, lists 11 incidents of deliberate interference with satellite communication since January 2005, although this comprises only 0.7% of the total transmissions.
01/29/07 - Certification for Solar Thermal Installers
Considered one of the most efficient and least expensive of renewable energy technologies, orders for solar hot water systems are up considerably in the U.S. compared with only a few years ago -- and a number of PV system installers, plumbers and HVAC mechanics are now joining the ranks of solar thermal installers nationwide. "It provides a kind of a level of understanding between the renewable energy industry and the utilities so that when grid interconnection occurs it's done safely and reliably to national standards. Not that the work being done now isn't safe or reliable, but having national standards help keep it very consistent throughout the industry," said Queen, noting that national certification will ultimately lead to reduced costs along with the stricter quality and safety requirements. Northwestern Michigan College offers non-credit renewable energy courses and workshops such as Solar Essentials: Siting and Sizing Solar Hot Water Systems, where students learn how to evaluate a prospective site for system placement, solar potential, load measurement and system sizing.
01/29/07 - Disaster Response Truck
Disaster can strike at any time such as wild fires, tornados, hurricanes, and acts of terrorism. One of the key factors in saving lives is a quick response with the proper equipment. Up until now, coordination of multiple pieces of equipment had to be employed from many different locations and suppliers which can cut down critical response time. This can also add stress or risk to an already tense and confusing situation. Visionary Doug Gettman has developed a convergence of all of the necessary equipment to supply fresh water from any water supply and power to any location. Amazingly this is all housed in a single compact vehicle. This state of the art vehicle can take water from any area, even salt water, and can turn that water through purification, into useable, drinkable water or practical field use. This vehicle can also generate electricity. This vehicle could be an important part of a state or municipality's disaster recovery plan! The specifics of this truck include: Truck: 1995 24 Ft. International Box Truck, Engine DT 466 / Generator: Katolight/John Deere, 150 Horse Power, 45 KW, 110/220, 3 Phase, Diesel, 124 Hours. Pumps: 3000 PSI at 3.5 Gallons per Minute, Electric. Burners/Heaters: Landa 3000 at 3.5 Gallons per minute, propane, Diesel, Thermostat 85 tp 300 Degrees. Fresh Water Reverse Osmosis Unit: 2000 Gallons Per Day with Water Softener. Desalination Unit: 1500 Gallons Per Day. Disinfection Unit: Chlorination Unit with water holding tank and 2 Ultra Violet Lamps. Reclamation System: Refiltering System. Vacuboom: Vacuum system for reclaiming water when washing cars, tracks, aircraft, etc. Air Compressor: 120 PSI Modified for distributing air for tools and liquids, soap, etc. Steel Detachable Tables: 2 tables. Hose Reels: 2 with 300 feet of hose and various attachments for many different jobs. Solar Panel: To Recharge Battery Tanks: 2/550 Gallon Pollyurethane Tanks. Receipts for components purchased in this unit are available upon sale of this unit. This truck is located in Sandusky, Ohio which is on Lake Erie half way between Cleveland and Toledo. eBay listing 200066796871.
01/29/07 - Japan Space Program Lagging While India and Iran Push Forward
Japan announced earlier this month that it may scrap a lunar mission originally scheduled for lift off in 1995. The mission would have been Japan's first to the surface of the moon, putting them in company with only the United States, Russia and the European Union. While Japan has yet to launch a manned flight of its own, India seems to be inching ever closer to accomplishing its goal of 2008. India's space agency announced the safe return of an orbiting capsule that "was blasted into space as one of four payloads on January 10 from a launch pad 100 km (60 miles) north of the southern city of Chennai. It splashed down in the Bay of Bengal 11 days later, boosting plans for a lunar mission in 2008." Iran also seems on the verge of a space program breakthrough by converting its most powerful ballistic missile into a satellite launch vehicle, which is set to launch in the near future. Some are skeptical of the space exploration aspirations of the country, however, suspecting a "wolf in sheep's clothing" for testing longer-range missile strike technologies.
01/29/07 - Will Wal-Mart sell electricity one day?
Wal-Mart's energy strategy goes far beyond selling squiggly lightbulbs. The world's largest retailer could one day sell the electricity, too. The company recently made big announcements about its environmental goals to sell 100 million compact fluorescent lightbulbs (the corkscrew ones) this year, shift to renewable energy, and install solar panels and windmills at some stores. More quietly, Wal-Mart has created its own electricity company in Texas, called Texas Retail Energy, to supply its stores with cheap power bought at wholesale prices. This saves the world's largest retailer about $15 million annually and gives the company total control over its utility bills. Plus Wal-Mart now has the infrastructure to sell electricity to Texas consumers. That could change the game in a deregulated state where high prices have become a hot political issue. And it could help the giant company to continue to grow, even in one of its most saturated markets. "We've considered it. Whether or not it will ever materialize, we don't know. It boils down to whether the customers and suppliers want that," said Chris Hendrix, general manager of Texas Retail Energy. "Short-term, it's out of our scope. Longer-term, anything's possible."
01/29/07 - International Alchemy Conference this October in Vegas
"The emphasis is on real alchemy," the website proclaims. "Discover the secret history of alchemy and how it is practiced today! Learn the secret formulae and processes of the alchemists! Learn how to set up an alchemical laboratory in your own home!" Conference takes place October 5-7, in -- where else? -- Las Vegas.
01/29/07 - Government Seeks Dismissal of Spy Suit
The Wired blog 27B Stroke 6 is carrying the news that the US has filed a motion to drop the case the ACLU won in lower court against the government's warrantless wiretapping program. The government's appeal of that ruling will be heard on Wednesday, January 31 in front of the Sixth Circuit court of appeals. The feds argue that the case is now moot because they are now obtaining warrants from the FISA court, and furthermore President Bush did not renew the warrantless program. Turns out there's a Supreme Court precedent saying that if you were doing something illegal, get taken to court, and then stop the illegal activity, you're not off the hook. The feds argue in their petition that this precedent does not apply to them.
01/28/07 - Video - Japanese Rube Goldberg Demonstrations
Totally wonderful series of devices that do absolutely nothing in the most complicated ways imaginable, yet in the true Rube Goldberg tradition. If you like mechanical devices, you'll love this video. For perpetual motion and mechanical free energy inventors, you should watch this for some of the novel triggering mechanisms. One shows a ball being transferred from a lower to a higher height by the applied kick of a series of croquet like hammers.
01/28/07 - Ban Buster - Grey water recovery for plants
Watermatic, which is based in Potters Bar, has invented the Ban Buster, which filters 'grey' water from baths, showers and sinks and collects it in an external tank. The system, which is pending a patent application, can then be pumped into the garden via a sprinkler, but with larger tanks, the supply can be turned on or off or redirected to different areas, the St Albans Observer reports. Watermatic says that a family of four can use up to 3,000 litres of water a day through everyday things such as showering and washing up and that the filtered water is perfectly useable for gardens. / The simplest systems pump the water directly to the garden via a sprinkler, but larger tanks enable the householder to turn the supply on and off and direct it to different areas. They can also be used with distribution systems such as the company's product Biodrip, which delivers a steady flow to flower beds through 12mm pipes. Watermatic says the Ban Buster is a legal and eco-friendly way of keeping precious plants alive through the driest weather. According to Watermatic, the filtered water is perfectly usable for gardens, although it warns against using strong chemicals such as bleach. Modern houses which lack external outflow pipes are not suitable for the Ban Buster, but the systems can be installed in 85 per cent of homes. They cost about £2,000, which Ms Blackshaw said was less than the cost of replacing three dead trees, adding there would be savings in water supply and sewage charges. For more about Watermatic's products, see www.greywaterirrigation.co.uk or call 01707 661188.
01/28/07 - Video - MTHEL laser burns anything flying out of the air
This incredible seek and destroy Israeli mobile laser can detect, acquire and destroy multiple aerial targets. Missiles, artillery shells, rockets, anything airborne can easily be located and neutralized well before reaching its intended target.
01/28/07 - Half of All New Building Built in Next 10 Years will be in China
This year, for the first time in human history, more people will live in urban areas than rural areas. Some of the quantitative statistics are staggering. Every day in the world, 200,000 people migrate to cities. Half the new buildings in the world in the next 10 years will be built in China. Mexico City has gone from three million to 20 million. In 1950 50 million people a year crossed national borders mainly from cities - last year it was 840 million. But even more interesting is the qualitative: the city has a logic of its own.
01/28/07 - Smart Fuel Cells
A fuel cell that efficiently regulates its own power output based on the amount of hydrogen it is fed has been developed by US researchers. The simple control mechanism could extend the range of devices that can practically be powered using fuel cells. Although the system sounds simple enough, controlling a fuel cell's power output by feeding in more or less hydrogen has not been practical until now, says Jay Benziger, the chemical engineer at Princeton University in New Jersey, US, who developed the new fuel cell. Engineers have tended to feed a steady supply of hydrogen and oxygen into their cells, in part to ensure that the gases will force waste water out of the system. But this causes some of the hydrogen to flow through the cell unused, meaning it must then be captured and recycled. It also means the power output cannot be throttled back by simply lowering the input of gases, unlike a simple petrol engine. If it is necessary to lower the power output, conventional systems simply shunt current to attached resistors, which is less efficient. The new cell instead harnesses its own waste water to ensure that the hydrogen fed is matched by the power output. The reaction chamber, in which hydrogen and oxygen combine to generate water and produce electricity, is connected to a reservoir containing water. Gravity pulls waste water produced by the cell's reaction down into this chamber. When more hydrogen is fed to the cell, pressure in the reaction chamber increases, which pushing more water out of the reservoir. This in turn leaves more of the anode exposed to react with the hydrogen, generating more power. Similarly, when less hydrogen is fed into the system, pressure drops and more water is drawn back into the reaction chamber from the reservoir, covering more of the anode and throttling back the chemical reaction. The water at the bottom of the pan also keeps the fuel cell humidified, which prevents damage that can occur as it begins to dry out.
01/28/07 - Video - The Physics of Something Awful
An interesting mashup of various physics inspired actions and reactions highly reminiscent of a cross between Monty Python and Rube Goldberg with more than a touch of the macabre.
01/28/07 - Lawmakers Target Credit Card Fees
Democratic lawmakers challenged credit card executives Thursday over rising late fees and other penalties and marketing practices they portrayed as predatory. Credit cards have become a ubiquitous and indispensable part of the culture, with an estimated 640 million cards in Americans' wallets and more than $1.8 trillion charged on them in 2005. Many depend on them to pay their bills and buy groceries or gasoline. But consumer groups and other critics say fees are excessive and information provided to consumers is confusing. "I would like to put the credit card industry ... on notice," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., the committee's chairman. "If you currently engage in any business practice that you would be ashamed to discuss before this committee, I would strongly encourage you to cease and desist that practice." Banks and other credit card issuers "should take a long, hard look at how you treat your customers," he said. A study by congressional investigators released in October found that fees for paying credit card bills late averaged $34, up from $13 in 1995, while some card issuers impose penalty interest rates of more than 30 percent on consumers who pay late or exceed the credit limit. Among other practices cited at Thursday's hearing: * Some credit card issuers use a billing method that charges interest on credit card debt already paid by the consumer. * The massive solicitations mailed to consumers _ an estimated 6 billion in 2005 _ and targeting of college students and the elderly.
01/28/07 - Details about the Eneco miracle heat chip
The Thermoionic energy conversion chip had been developed by US-based development company Eneco and promised to capture waste heat energy - produced in industrial environments, IT equipment or cars for example - and convert up to 30 percent of it into electricity. The patent is for Tunneling-effect energy converters, US Patent No 6,946,596. Useful thermionic devices need to achieve active conversion areas with characteristic dimensions of millimeters and centimeters. We overcame this severe limitation by moving to an entirely different approach with our Thermal Chips, which use a semiconductor “gap” instead of a vacuum separator and use a semiconductor “emitter” instead of the metal electrodes. You can see this difference by referring to our patent, Solid state energy converter, US Patent No 7,109,408. Thermal chips need NO vacuum system, their manufacturability derives from standard semiconductor industry processes and practice, and they can have arbitrary sized areas to match the application. Plainly stated, we can make these, they work and we can demonstrate that 24-7. Of the heat energy that passes through the chip, 30% is converted to electricity that available to the electrical load. Peltier devices are the thermoelectric heat pumps. We are not a thermoelectric device. We DO share the characteristic that we can use a power supply to provide electrical energy to the device and we also will work as a heat pump. The conversion efficiency only depends on the High and Low Temperatures available, not the number of intermediate stops.
01/28/07 - 2007 Smooth Skin Report - Best wrinkle Remover
Consumer Reports recently tested nine popular anti-wrinkle creams to find out if the fountain of youth -- or at least youthful appearance -- can be found in a jar. The tests included everything from moderately priced lines like L'Oréal and Neutrogena to more expensive creams like La Prairie, a day-night regimen that costs $335. "We focused on the crow's-foot area around the eye because that's where wrinkles are quite visible and easy to measure," said Nancy Metcalf, a tester with Consumer Reports. About 200 women participated in the tests, which lasted 12 weeks. Testers said that is a good length of time to see whether a product really works. Using a high-tech optical device, testers precisely measured changes in wrinkle depth and skin roughness. Later, sensory panelists examined enlarged photos taken before, during and at the end of the 12-week trial. Panelists didn't know which photo was taken when to allow them to rate the depth and length of the wrinkles objectively. "We didn't find any relationship between price and performance," Metcalf said. In fact, La Prairie Cellular was less effective than most. Olay Regenerist earned top ratings. The manufacturer said the product has been improved since Consumer Reports' testing. Olay's UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 15, Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream and Daily Regenerating Serum cost a total of $57.
01/27/07 - 25 Percent of All Computers in a Botnet?
An Ars Technica article reports news out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Vint Cerf, one of the 'fathers of the internet', has stated that the number of botnets online is larger than believed. So large, in fact, that he estimates that at this point one in four computers is infected with botnet software. We've discussed the rise of botnets numerous times here on Slashdot, but the image of 150 million infected computers is more than a little bit sobering. With the extremely lucrative activities that can be done with botnets (such as password ripping, spamming, DDoSing), as well as reports of organized crime adopting 'cyber-terrorism' as a new line of income, is it likely that law enforcement will ever be able to curb this particular bane?
01/27/07 - Giant magnet used to pull steel splinters from eye
800 pound magnet treats eye injury. An eye magnet so powerful that it will pull a flatiron across a room has recently been installed in Minneapolis, Minn., hospital to remove steel cinders from patient's eyes. It is the largest eye magnet in the world and weighs over 800 pounds. One and one-half miles of copper wire are wound in the apparatus, which uses a 220-volt current.
01/27/07 - Jedi Good or Evil?
The core point is that the Jedi are not to be trusted: 1. The Jedi and Jedi-in-training sell out like crazy. Even the evil Count Dooku was once a Jedi knight. 2. What do the Jedi Council want anyway? The Anakin critique of the Jedi Council rings somewhat true (this is from the new movie, alas I cannot say more, but the argument could be strengthened by citing the relevant detail). Aren't they a kind of out-of-control Supreme Court, not even requiring Senate approval (with or without filibuster), and heavily armed at that? As I understand it, they vote each other into the office, have license to kill, and seek to control galactic affairs. Talk about unaccountable power used toward secret and mysterious ends. 3. Obi-Wan told Luke scores of lies, including the big whopper that his dad was dead. 4. The Jedi can't even keep us safe. 5. The bad guys have sex and do all the procreating. The Jedi are not supposed to marry, or presumably have children. Not ESS, if you ask me. Anakin gets Natalie Portman; Luke spends two episodes with a perverse and distant crush on his sister Leia, leading only to one chaste kiss.
01/27/07 - 10 common sense diet tips
Kyle Pott details how he lost 50 pounds in 3 months by following a few simple rules. Make your diet public. Tell people you're on a diet. There's no reason to be ashamed to be on a diet. I found that trying to keep my diet a secret was harder than just telling people. In fact, telling your coworkers, girlfriend, family, etc. will increase your accountability. This diet is based on moderation, compromise, and a bit more exercise - staples of any decent diet.
01/27/07 - Maine Lawmakers Protest National ID Plan
Maine lawmakers on Thursday became the first in the nation to demand repeal of a federal law tightening identification requirements for drivers' licenses, a post-September 11 security measure that states say will cost them billions of dollars to administer. The lawmakers said it would cost Maine about $185 million, fail to boost security and put people at greater risk of identity theft. Maine's resolution is the strongest stand yet by a state against the law, which Congress passed in May 2004 and gave states three years to implement. Similar repeal measures are pending in eight other states. The ID act sets national standards for licenses which will have to include a digital photo, anti-counterfeiting features and machine-readable technology. States will have to verify documents presented with license applications such as birth certificates, Social Security cards and utility bills, and will have to link their license databases so they can all be accessed as a single network. States also will have to verify that a person applying for a license is in the country legally. States will be able to issue separate credentials to illegal aliens so that they will still be able to drive.
01/27/07 - Scientists Develop Unlimited Energy
Scientists in Czechoslovakia have found a way to solve the world energy problem - the "Heetch-Rense Intensifier". Working on the same principles as a household cigar, the Intensifier converts energy from everyday objects - such as a cenotaph - into useable power. It has been estimated that the energy obtained from a single corduroy suit could supply enough energy to run Neptune for a week. Prof Heetch says, "We do not know the precise mechanism, but we think that this process has something to do with atoms and stuff like that. When all the data has been collected, we will feed it into our Special Computer - the only one of its type - and see what comes out. We believe - and this is only a hypothesis - that this is the same type of energy as utilised by The Tin Man from The Wizard Of Oz, who - although made entirely of old tin cans - was able to function effectively as a human being". This is not the first time such claims have been made for "unlimited energy" devices. In 1834, a little-known physicist from Krakatoa, Dr Rimbaud Sluice, maintained that he had developed a system that converted heat into what he termed "cold", and then back into heat again. Although he himself died in poverty, after tripping on a roller-skate and careering down some stairs into a cellar, his ideas were later picked up by fellow scientists - the result being the invention of the "fridge".
01/27/07 - Scanners spark union cries of 'geoslavery'
The use of hand geometry and other biometric data, like facial and iris recognition, is not new -- the University of Georgia pioneered the use of hand geometry when it installed scanners in its student dining hall in 1974. But the planned roll-out of hand geometry scanners in all New York City government agencies has sparked union cries of "geoslavery" and assertions that technology developed for security will be used to track, label and control workforces. "It's frustrating, it's kind of an insult," Colson, 53, told Reuters. "They are talking about going to voice and retina scanners and that's an invasion of privacy in that they can track you wherever you go." "The unions' arguments keep changing, but the tracking workers throughout the day is not true. It's just for clicking in and out," said Stu Loeser, spokesman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, adding that there were no plans to install voice recognition or iris scanners.
01/27/07 - Berger wants government to review movie scripts, before filming
North Carolina state law denies the incentive to films that are obscene. In state law, obscenity is defined as depicting sexual conduct presented in an offensive way that appeals to prurient interest, lacks any "serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value" and is not free speech protected by the state or federal constitutions. Berger said the film-incentive ban should be broadened to include material considered objectionable. He said there should be no First Amendment concerns because the producer would be seeking money from the state government. But he did say that if constitutional questions confused the matter, it would be better not to have a film incentive at all.
01/26/07 - Chinese ZPE to EM generator
The Wang Shum Ho Prototype Electricity Generator was reportedly demonstrated to five Chinese Officials on Jan 15, 2007. Lawrence Tseung, a colleague of the inventor, has said the plan is to initially build four 5kW working units. One of these will be located in Beijing, another in Hong Kong and the third one at the United Nations in New York The fourth unit is to serve as a portable demonstration device. All will be made available to universities for academic validation. Then, 200 more will be produced. They intend to present one of these to each member country of the United Nations, as a gift from China. Mass production may begin in 2008. Tseung has written: Devices of this nature are “converting the electromagnetic wave energy that surrounds us all the time. Some call this Zero Point Energy. That energy is due to the rotational motion of the electrons. Unless the electrons stop spinning and fall into the nucleus, that electromagnetic energy exists.” Tseung states: “The World Energy Crisis is effectively over.” (from zpenergy.com) / We are actually immersed in electromagnetic waves. When electrons rotating around the nucleus change orbits, they give rise to electromagnetic waves. Light is only one form of electromagnetic waves. We emit and receive electromagnetic waves all the time. Unless the electrons stop rotating and fall into the nuclei, there will be electromagnetic waves. Thus we are never in a CLOSED system. We are always in an OPEN system with energy interchanges. For example, we were in calm waters and good sunshine. If we did not know how to use solar panels, we might conclude that we were in a CLOSED system. We should use our muscle power to row the boat. The Lee-Tseung Patent information (PCT/IB2005/000138) states that Energy can be extracted (Lead Out, Lead Out, and Lead Out with Pulse Force) from Energy Fields via oscillation, vibration, rotation or flux changes. Energy Fields can be gravitational, magnetic, electric or electromagnetic. - LEE Cheung Kin, WANG Shum Ho and TSEUNG Lawrence Chun Ning / Email: [email protected]
01/26/07 - (WO 2006/077451) EXTRACTING ENERGY FROM GRAVITY
The invention extracts energy from gravity based on the corrected theory of the pendulum. When the pendulum is pushed, it will 'lead out' gravitational energy at the same time. If a source of pulse force (F) is applied to the pendulum at resonance, it will keep 'lead out' gravitational energy. This gravitational energy can be extracted by techniques such as allowing the metallic wired pendulum to cut across the lines of magnetic force to generate electricity. The swinging motion of the pendulum will be slowed dow because the mechanical energy is converted to electrical energy. However, such slowing down is speeded up via pulse force (F). The swinging motion can be changed into a constant rotational motion for a more efficient operation. / Mankind has played with the swing for Centuries. They do not realize that when they push the swing, they get Energy from Gravity at the same time. Many people, especially little boys, have deliberately allowed the swing (or the punch bag) to knock them after pushing the swing a couple of times. They all suspected that the force knocking them was much more than the energy they supplied in the couple of pushes. However, the existing textbooks do not consider the Energy from Gravity term and attribute the force to resonance only. They assume that all the energy must come from the couple of pushes. This misunderstanding has prevented scientists and engineers to design methods or devices that Extract Energy from Gravity for Centuries. Some inventors actually produced inventions that could Extract Energy from Gravity. However, they did not have the theoretical basis to justify their inventions. Many of these inventions were classified as impossible "perpetual motion machines" and were rejected by scientists and many Patent Offices worldwide. / The best mode of carrying out the invention is Embodiment 2 (use of a constant speed rotating wheel) as described in Section 3. If the invention were used to generate electricity only, we can draw electrical energy out directly by placing the rotating wheel in a magnetic field. The rotating mechanical energy will be converted into electrical energy directly. The rotating speed will decrease but the Pulse Circuits will "lead out" more gravitational energy to replenish the speed. If more electricity is required, we can increase the rotating speed or increase the number of pulses per revolution. In our explanation of the corrected theory of the pendulum, we have effectively removed the mysterious source of energy in the prior art. The same theory can be used to explain the extraction of energy from magnetic fields, etc.
01/26/07 - Video - Energy from Water
This is a brief clip showing how energy can be extracted from a falling weight which reloads itself in a waterfilled tube. Weight with density 0.6 drops down to generate electricity. Floats up via two doors to trap water in tube. The video was shared with youtube, courtesy of Lawrence Tseung, a colleague of the inventor Wang Shum Ho.
01/26/07 - Cuba studies alternative energy source
Cuban researchers are studying thermo-oceanic energy as a feasible and ecological source that may generate electric power and drinkable water at low cost, Latin America News Agency reported on Tuesday. In Cuba, use of this technology could supply 45,000 people with potable water, under the established UN regulation of over 13 gallons of water per person, Cuban researcher Juan Evangelista Rosalesit told the 15th National Science and Technology Forum, which opened in Havana on Tuesday. That would facilitate moving forward on two problems: electric power generation and obtaining enough drinkable water for human consumption.
01/26/07 - Indonesian mud volcano 'caused by gas drilling
A mud volcano that is erupting in Indonesia was most probably caused by drilling for gas, according to the first published scientific study. The event forced the evacuation of many villages, and will leave 11,000 people permanently displaced. The study concludes that the eruption "appears to have been triggered by drilling of over-pressured porous and permeable limestones". The study is published in the magazine of the Geological Society of America, GSA Today. The volcano is disgorging between 7000 and 150,000 cubic metres (245,000 and 5.25 million cubic feet, respectively) of mud every day and the flow "will continue for many months and possibly years to come", the report warns. In the coming months, subsidence will occur over an area several kilometres wide and there is likely to be "more dramatic collapse" around the main vent, forming a crater. An area of at least 10 square kilometres (3.9 square miles) around the volcano will be uninhabitable for years, say the researchers, led by Richard Davies, at the University of Durham, UK. The British experts analysed satellite images of the area to make their study.
01/26/07 - Video - David Copperfield Flying
A totally delightful video short showing what it WILL be like when we learn to control gravity. In this video, check out the various things he does to show no use of wires as well as picking a young lady out of the audience to fly her around the stage. I liked the end where the bird flew off with him. It's all very artistic and very well done. Can you say 'diamagnetic'?
01/26/07 - Dead cattle could become power source
A WASTE management company has revealed controversial plans to produce "green" electricity by incinerating cattle carcases. The Oran Group wants to build a £24 million renewable energy plant at Kintore, next to its rendering facility in the Aberdeenshire town. It would be capable of producing enough clean energy to power 9,000 homes.
The plant would be built at the 130-acre site of the former Dundas Brothers abattoir, which closed three years ago after a public outcry over the "intolerable stench". It would also burn wood, dried sludge pellets and bone meal and is expected to be operational by late next year, creating 25 permanent jobs.
01/26/07 - US Military Tests Non-Lethal Heat Ray
CNN and the BBC are reporting on a US military test of a new antipersonnel heat ray. The weapon focuses non-lethal millimeter-wave radiation onto humans, raising their skin surface temperature to an uncomfortable 130 F. The goal is to make the targets drop any weapons and flee the scene. The device was apparently tested on two soldiers and a group of ten reporters, which makes me wonder how thoroughly this thing has been safety tested. The government is also appealing to the scientific community for help in creating another innovative military technology: artificial 'black ice'. They hope to deploy the 'ice' in chase scenarios to slow fleeing vehicles."
01/26/07 - How best to disinfect kitchen sponges? Nuke 'em
Kitchen sponges can contain 10,000 bacteria per inch -- potentially including gnarly pathogens like E. coli and salmonella. But nuking your damp kitchen sponges in the microwave for just two minutes can kill 99% of them, according to a study in the Journal of Environmental Health. / A team at the University of Florida found that two minutes in the microwave at full power could kill a range of bacteria, viruses and parasites on kitchen sponges. They described how they soaked the sponges in wastewater and then zapped them. But several experimenters evidently left out the crucial step of wetting the sponge. One person trying this without wetting his sponge, wrote, "it caught fire, smoked up the house, ruined my microwave, and pissed me off."
01/26/07 - Monorail made from wingless airplanes
It remains to be even prototyped, but this company has plans to convert old airplane fuselages into hanging monorails. # The actual Tram car is constructed from de-commissioned Boeing 727's, 737's, and 757's that are stripped of their wings, engines, and tails. # The fuselages become compartments equipped with solar cells and battery storage. # These compartments are attached to a rail system by permanent magnet regenerative motorized wheels. # Power is provided through solar electricity, wind power, regenerative breaking and fuel cells. # The system of single rails is hung from suspension cables, made level with support cables.
01/26/07 - Tax-authorities deploy anti-cheat web-spider
Tax authorities in the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Britain and Canada have deployed a stealthy web-spider called "Xenon" that looks for people earning unreported online income, and subsequently busts them as tax-cheats:
The spider can also be configured and trained to look at particular economic niches -- a useful feature for compiling lists of business in industries that traditionally have high rates of non-filing. "For instance, weight control (yields) 85,000 hits, some for products ... also services," says Sweden's Hardyson. Once the web pages are screen-scraped, Xenon's Identity Information Extraction Module interfaces with national databases containing information like street and city names. It uses that data to automatically identify mailing addresses and other identity information present on the websites it has crawled, which it puts into a database that can be matched in bulk with national tax records. As illuminating as Xenon is for the tax man, the data-mining effort poses dangers to citizen privacy, said Par Strom, a noted privacy advocate in the world of Swedish IT. "Of course it's not illegal," said Strom. "I don't feel quite comfortable having a tax office sending out those kind of spiders." (via boingboing.net)
01/25/07 - Dichloroacetate (DCA) - A cheap and simple cure for cancer?
In 1930, biochemist Otto Warburg, proposed that cells turn cancerous through a fundamental change in the way they generate their energy. Normally, cells use specialised organelles called mitochondria to supply their energy. Cancer cells shift to a process called glycolysis which takes place in the main body of the cell. Glycolysis is an inefficient system of making energy which normal cells employ only when oxygen is in short supply, switching to mitochondrial energy production when oxygen levels increase. Curiously, Warburg discovered that cancer cells continue to use glycolysis even when oxygen is plentiful. He called this the “Warburg effect”, and claimed it was common to all cancer cells. Enter DCA, which has been used for years to treat people with mitochondrial disease. The drug boosts the ability of mitochondria to generate energy. When given to cancer cells it did the same: the cells switched from glycolysis to mitochondrial energy production. What's more, functional mitochondria help cells recognise functional abnormalities and trigger cell death. In tests, the DCA caused cancer cells to lose their “immortality” and die. When the drug was given to rats with human tumours, the tumours shrank. So why not rush straight into clinical trials with this drug? It is cheap, does not appear to affect normal cells, we know its side effects, and it should work on all cancers. There's a hitch: dichloroacetate is an old drug and so cannot be patented. The upshot is that pharmaceutical companies can’t stop rivals making and selling it more cheaply, so it’s not worth their while to go to the huge expense of testing it in clinical trials.
01/25/07 - He believes in flying saucers
Thirty years ago, when Carrington was 27 and obsessed with science fiction, he set out to build a UFO look-alike. But something inside him cried out for more. Inspired by ordinary Americans like Orville and Wilbur Wright, who piloted the first heavier-than-air aircraft 103 years ago, Carrington pored over books, magazines and studies about aviation. Never mind his lack of engineering experience. He has spent nearly $60,000 for some of the materials he believes are needed to launch his creation -- a lot for a man who drives a rusted 1986 Mercury Cougar. Carrington does it because he believes he has discovered a simple design for an aircraft that aeronautical engineers have spent countless millions trying to build. "Why drive when you can fly 500 mph?" he asked. Carrington has two patents on the design and a company called Vertex Aerospace. His work caught the attention of NASA, which invited him to a conference in the mid-1990s where engineers scratched their heads when he confessed he knew nothing about computers. His idea is to fire up the vessel with a rotary engine to stimulate a magnetic levitation system to rotate the ship's two discs. The discs would draw air into propeller blades. "It's a simple concept," Carrington said. "There is no way this thing can't get off the ground because 40 percent of it is rotating." Aeronautical engineers aren't so confident, especially considering the rotation speeds needed to lift the aircraft.
01/25/07 - Video - DIY - Take Infrared Pictures With Your Digital Camera
A well made, easy to follow instruction guide to make a simple attachment for your camera which will let you take IR photos. Most digital cameras can see infrared so its simply a matter of filtering out the ambient light and adjusting your camera settings to make this project work for you.
01/25/07 - Monitor your Home or Business easily with Active WebCam
Active WebCam allows you to capture up to 30 frames per second from video devices like USB webcams, TV-tuners, analog cameras, camcorders or network IP cameras. You can record and broadcast simultaneously, from an unlimited number of cameras, to a Web Server, FTP Server or using it's built-in HTTP Server. The captured video can be seen using any web browser. The program also has a Motion Detection feature which can trigger any number of actions, like start recording or broadcasting. It also supports AVI, MPEG, encryption and password protection. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your vacation without any worries and enjoy yourself. Active WebCam is $29.
01/25/07 - Futuristic Driver-less Bus
The bus is electric and will be controlled by magnets, satellite and cruise control so that's probably bad news for bus drivers all over the world. Not only does it look cool, but people will be able to 'hail' this bus with their cell phones. I guess the only bad thing about it is that it doesn't have that many seats.
01/25/07 - Video - Rocket Scooter goes Airborne
Using dual jets on a 3 wheeled tripod push scooter, these guys take their lives in their hands with this maverick rocket test. This unsanctioned event took place in the parking lot behind an unnamed hobby shop in Carrollton, TX on Jan 21st, 2007.
01/25/07 - 3D Nanobatteries - Away with Exploding Batteries
A new, safer type of Li-Ion nanobattery that might help prevent future fires and explosions related to conventional Li-Ion battery use has been developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University. Using a silicon or glass substrate, the team from TAU created a matrix of tiny holes each 50 microns in diameter and 500 micron deep. Each of these holes functions as an independent micro battery or microchannel with an output power of around 8-10 microW. The power of a 1 cm2 3D nanobattery is about 150-200mW. One of the most important aspects of this new technology compared to existing battery types is its safety. Since each nanobattery is comprised of thousands of small batteries, even if one of these small batteries has a short circuit and fails, the entire battery can keep functioning, lossing only a very small amount of power. Similar damage to a conventional Li-Ion battery could result in substantial loss of power or a complete malfunction and in extreme cases even fire or explosion.
01/25/07 - Rescue workers use water jet cutters to rescue accident victims
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency has decided to introduce water jet cutters to help carve through debris and rescue accident victims without the risk of sparks starting a fire, it has been learned. One of the water cutter trucks that the agency will use was displayed to reporters in Tokyo in a demonstration on Jan. 17. The cutters operate by combining a high-pressure blast of water with sand, and can make a 1.5-centimeter cut through a 2-centimeter-thick steel plate in just one minute. A major benefit of the cutters is that they do not pose a fire risk, meaning they can be used at accident sites where flammable substances have been spilled. In the demonstration on Jan. 17, the agency also introduced "blower" vehicles that can create blasts of wind of up to 45 meters per second. These can be used to disperse clouds of harmful gases from work areas. A total of five blower vehicles and five water jet cutter vehicles will be put into action, being distributed to fire departments in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka and Sapporo.
01/25/07 - Sonic Caffeine - Boosing your brain with FFR
With the discovery of brainwaves came the discovery that electrical activity in the brain will change depending on what the person is doing. For instance, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are vastly different than the brainwaves of someone wide awake. Over the years, more sensitive equipment has brought us closer to figuring out exactly what brainwaves represent and with that, what they mean about a person's health and state of mind. Brainwave Entrainment refers to the brain's electrical response to rhythmic sensory stimulation, such as pulses of sound or light. When the brain is given a stimulus, through the ears, eyes or other senses, it emits an electrical charge in response, called a Cortical Evoked Response. These electrical responses travel throughout the brain to become what you "see and hear". This activity can be measured using sensitive electrodes attached to the scalp. When the brain is presented with a rhythmic stimulus, such as a drum beat for example, the rhythm is reproduced in the brain in the form of these electrical impulses. If the rhythm becomes fast and consistent enough, it can start to resemble the natural internal rhythms of the brain, called brainwaves. When this happens, the brain responds by synchronizing its own electric cycles to the same rhythm. This is commonly called the Frequency Following Response (or FFR): FFR can be useful because brainwaves are very much related to mental state. For example, a 4 Hz brainwave is associated with sleep, so a 4 Hz sound pattern would help reproduce the sleep state in your brain. The same concept can be applied to nearly all mental states, including concentration, creativity and many others. It can even act as a gateway to exotic or extraordinary experiences, such as deep meditation or "lucid dreaming" type states. I created and I'm posting here a 20 minutes duration brainwave file [in MP3 format] that I called "Coffee Replacement" because of its feature to keep you in an energizing state giving you a "caffeine" energetic boost.
01/25/07 - Legality of Burning Water
On September 5th, 2006, I got this legality data verbally from lawyer Mr. Bastida, but when customers started asking to see written proof of legality, and especially when an auto mechanic pointed at one of my Water4Gas installations and said (without showing me anything in writing) "It is illegal to mess with the emissions" - I decided to contact the attorney once again. I asked for the written law. Repeating and stressing his evaluation as of 9-5-06 regarding the legality of Water4Gas devices and Water4Gas vehicle upgrades, Mr. Bastida does not see any legal conflict - as long as we REDUCE emissions rather than add emissions (as in the case of boosting gasoline flow to gain more power, or something of the sort - his clarifying comment). The written laws Mr. Bastida specifically referred me to are contained within the "California Vehicle Code". He pointed out the following sections in particular: * Emissions Control, sections 38393 to 38397 * Also 24000 to 28114 "EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES". * Engine Change/Rebuild, section 9563. Some of these sections mention "off-highway motor vehicles". Section 38010 (see below) will provide you with a clear idea of what the law defines as "off-highway motor vehicle".
01/25/07 - Morons say civil liberty restrictions ok to fight terror
An overwhelming majority of people in Britain are willing to give up freedom in the hyped up, paranoid inducing, 'fight against terror', including agreeing to compulsory ID cards, warrantless wiretapping and house arrest for unconvicted terror suspects. Research finds most support compulsory ID cards, with phone tapping, curfews and tagging for suspects. It also found greater stress at work and a yearning among working parents to spend more time with their children, as well as overwhelming public support for euthanasia, allowing a doctor to end the life of a patient with an incurable or painful illness who asks to be helped to die.
01/25/07 - Big Brother's New Toy to spy on us
The prototype is called the High Altitude Airship, or HAA. Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors in Akron won the $40 million contract from the Missile Defense Agency to build HAA in 2003. It is essentially another blimp. A giant one. Seventeen times the size of the Goodyear dirigible. It’s designed to float 12 miles above the earth, far above planes and weather systems. It will be powered by solar energy, and will stay in a geocentric orbit for up to a year, undetectable by ground-based radar. You can’t see it from the ground. But it can see you. According to a summary released by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the HAA can watch over a circle of countryside 600 miles in diameter. That's everything between Toledo and New York City. And they want to build 11. With high-res cameras, that could mean constant surveillance of every square inch of American soil. "If you had a fleet of them, this could be used for border surveillance," suggests Dunlap. Launch date: 2009. Of course, mimicking its defense of warrantless wiretapping and phone-log data mining, the government maintains it only wants to protect its citizens from external threats. But as any geek can tell you, blimps were ubiquitous in The Watchmen, the seminal '80s graphic novel in which heroes have been driven underground and Nixon is still president. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you.
01/25/07 - Easy Circuit Boards
This site offers free printed circuit board design software. You design your circuit using the software, then send up the output and they will produce as many circuit boards as you want. They can make from 100-10,000 boards, single or double sided. Samples as low as 2 boards for $44 each, 20 boards for $8.00 each, 50 boards for $5.60 each or 100 boards for $4.80 each.
01/24/07 - Sad News - Walter Rosenthal R.I.P. January 13th, 2007
(This is a reprisal due to changes in the original. - Thanks to Gary Vesperman for letting us know. I have asked for a photo from Walts daughter since in his last days. Updated further 02/19/07. Attached is the photo Gretchen courteously provided, writing that it was used in Walter's obituary, thank you Gretchen! If you knew Walter and would like to post your remembrance of him in the GuestBook, click on the Obit link above to get to it. I suspect the family would appreciate how many friends he had and his impact on the alt science community. - JWD) From Walter Rosenthal's Daughter; "If you have already received this information previously, my apologies. I found an email list on my Dad's desk and thought I should send out this announcement. My Father Walter (Walt) Rosenthal passed away on January 13th of this year from cardio miapothy and heart failure. Memorial service will be held Sat. Jan 27th at 2pm at: The Gate Vineyard Fellowship 4799 Bradley Road in Santa Maria. If traveling on the 101 you will get off on the Clark Ave. exit and head West. Go a mile or so until you get to Bradley Rd. (Light) on the corners will be a gas station and Orcutt Burgers. Turn right. On the left side right behind the shopping center is the church. I am sure that my Father appreciated your friendship and your correspondence with him. - Sincerely, Gretchen England (Walt's Daughter) / Walter L. Rosenthal - - Spent most of his working life employed by several defense contractors at Vandenberg AFB as a member of many different missile launch crews, spanning over 35 years. He has tested at numerous locations an extensive number of energy machines, using a collection of test equipment manufactured by Yokogawa, Tektronix and Hewlett Packard. This equipment was selected to allow measurement and recording of multiple isolated voltage waveforms from DC to 50 MHZ and levels from millivolts to 15,000 volts, along with multiple current waveforms from DC to 50 MHZ at levels of milliamps to 1000 amps. The data recorded on the four channel digital sampling oscilloscope can be dumped to an X - Y plotter for permanent record. The digital scope has computation capability for multiplying voltage times current for displaying power generation waveforms. Walter has also designed and built special purpose electronic circuits for inventors who lacked this expertise.
01/24/07 - Hydrogen Powered Lawnmowers?
In a breakthrough that could make fuel cells practical for such small machines as lawnmowers and chainsaws, researchers have developed a new mechanism to efficiently control hydrogen fuel cell power. The new process controls the hydrogen feed to match the required power output, just as one controls the feed of gasoline into an internal combustion engine. The system functions as a closed system that uses the waste water to regulate the size of the reaction chamber, the site where the gasses combine to form water, heat and electricity.The researchers believe the first applications for their technology will be in smaller engines. Fuel cells are currently inefficient on such scales due to the need for fuel recycling and excess hydrogen in standard designs. The researchers' new design is closed, so 100 percent of the fuel is used and there is no need for a costly fuel recycling system. "The system is ideal for small internal combustion engines that lack emissions controls and are highly polluting," said Benziger. "There is also no need for an extensive hydrogen distribution system for these small motors; the hydrogen could be supplied in returnable tanks such as the propane tanks used for gas grills." Benziger's next goal is to connect several of the new fuel cells together to increase power, a system that could potentially compete with cells now being tested in the automotive industry.
01/24/07 - Hydraulic Water Lawnmower
A group of Purdue University undergraduates built an industrial riding lawn mower that's a cut above the rest. The students created what is thought to be the first vehicle that uses water in all of its hydraulic systems, including power steering, power brakes and transmission. Recent advances in water hydraulic systems have allowed them to perform as well as petroleum hydraulic systems. Because water offers several environmental and economic advantages over petroleum hydraulic fluid, the students teamed up to demonstrate that such a vehicle is now possible. Although the mower was redesigned to prove a point, it does have a practical purpose. Mowers leak some hydraulic fluid, and on golf courses that fluid can kill grass on greens that often cost tens of thousands of dollars to construct and maintain. Jacobsen, a division of Textron Inc. of Racine, Wis., donated the Greens King IV mower, which is a 31-horsepower, front-wheel drive mower with three sets of gang mowers that are raised and lowered hydraulically. Gary Krutz, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and the students’ advisor, says water hydraulic systems only would be practical in vehicles that use high-pressure systems, such as heavy equipment used in construction, agriculture, forestry and mining. (Automobiles have hydraulic brake and steering systems, but these are not typically highly pressurized.) The water used in the mower isn't straight from the tap; ordinary city water contains too many minerals and impurities and could cause build-up and corrosion. Instead, the system uses distilled water that has been de-ionized to remove any electrical charges that could cause corrosion. Corrosion also is the reason parts for water hydraulics systems have to be made of stainless steel, plastic or ceramics. But the more expensive parts would be worth it because using water in hydraulic systems makes machinery more energy efficient, saving money. The boost in energy efficiency is due to water’s lower viscosity. Viscosity is the measure of how fast a liquid flows. Water flows up to 1,000 times faster than hydraulic fluid at normal air temperatures. Once the machine is warmed up, water is still less viscous. Improved viscosity means less energy is required to push the hydraulic fluid through the system, making it more efficient. An engine that uses direct gearing is 95 percent efficient; one that uses hydraulic systems is 60 percent efficient. (Hydraulic systems are used in place of gears because they offer variable speed and can be placed in different locations around the vehicle.) By using water instead of heavier petroleum fluid, Krutz estimates the efficiency could be boosted at least 10 percent.
01/24/07 - Programs Let Homes Produce Green Power
(The problem remains..how long does it take to pay the consumer back for their investment in renewable energy tech? We need something a lot cheaper to produce local power without requiring a 10-30 year mortgage. - JWD) When the sun shines bright on their home in New York's Hudson Valley, John and Anna Bagnall live out a homeowner's fantasy. Their electricity meter runs backward. Solar panels on their barn roof can often provide enough for all their electricity needs. Sometimes _ and this is the best part _ their solar setup actually pushes power back into the system. The Bagnalls 'net meter,' a state-sanctioned setup that allows homeowners to adopt renewable energy without taking the more radical step of disconnecting from their local electric utility, Central Hudson Gas & Electric. Net metering essentially allows people to become mini-power producers. Programs vary state to state, but they are typically coupled with financial incentives that make it easier to invest thousands of dollars for photovoltaic panels, windmills or fuel cells. Since sun and wind are intermittent, customers still rely on the grid for steady service. The meter runs backward when more energy is produced than a customer consumes. Prices vary depending on how big a system is installed, but prices in the $8,000 range are common. New York offers rebates based on wattage that shave thousands off the costs and there are tax credits from the state and the federal government, according to John Wright of Hudson Valley Clean Energy, which installs the systems. Wright said systems can provide 80 to 90 percent of a home's electricity, so they are able to pay for themselves usually in 10 to 12 years. John Bagnall, a retired anesthesiologist, said he spent about $40,000 after rebates for a 15 kilowatt system. But in nearby Rhinebeck, Michael Trimble and his wife spent about $14,000 for a 3 kilowatt system, which is enough to power their guest house. At the end of one year, Trimble's local utility calculated that he produced more power than he consumed, so they wrote him a check for $23. Trimble plans to frame it.
01/24/07 - Obvio Tribrid Runs on Virtually any Fuel
The Obvio vehicle can run on any combination of regular gas, bio ethanol, natural gas or electricity. An odd layout allows for side by side seating for three people and the car is slated for availability at the end of 2008. The car is expected to sell for about $59,000 if it makes it to the US. If you can live without having to plug your car in a non-electric version of the multi fuel car will sell for about $28,000 and is claimed to be able to hit 160 MPH.
01/24/07 - Video - Science Experiment Explosion
There wasn't any information about what this high school chemistry teacher was trying to do, but geez, could he BE any more careless? No goggles, no protection and way too much volume for whatever he was combusting in a closed room with kids watching. Notice the window blinds when the pressure hits them, maybe even broke the room windows! (via boingboing.net)
01/24/07 - Neural "Extension Cord" Developed
"Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a 'neural extension cord' by growing neurons attached to a microchip. The cord is made by gradually moving two batches of neurons apart, as they naturally grow towards one another. This biological 'data cable' could then interface with the brain once implanted, the researchers say." From the article: "...in the long run, it may not be necessary to interface directly with nerves at all. 'In Europe most researchers in this field are using non-invasive EEG,' [an outside researcher] explains... 'The signals are weaker so more complex processing is needed, but not having to perform surgery on the nervous system has many advantages,' [he] says."
01/24/07 - The Psychology of Magical Thinking
(Fascinating topic...I think we can influence matter and reality outside our bodies. Its about trackable 'cause and effect' with variables that might interfere with or enhance the intent. - JWD) Magical thinking is the belief that your thoughts, words, or actions can have a causal impact beyond normal cause and effect--for example, believing that crossing your fingers will bring good luck, wishing bad thoughts on someone could make them sick, or the odd rituals a baseball player runs through when he goes up to bat. In today's New York Times, Benedict Carey explores the psychology of magical thinking. New research suggests that magical thinking is surprisingly common because it helps people deal with stress, boost confidence, and overcome feelings of helplessness. Too much magical thinking though can be bad news though, say, for those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. “The question is why do people create this illusion of magical power?” said the lead author, Emily Pronin, an assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton. “I think in part it’s because we are constantly exposed to our own thoughts, they are most salient to us” - and thus we are likely to overestimate their connection to outside events. The brain, moreover, has evolved to make snap judgments about causation, and will leap to conclusions well before logic can be applied.
01/24/07 - Running Your Electric Meter Backwards
International Business Times has a story about "net metering," or generating your own power without disconnecting from the grid. Forty states have laws allowing individuals to do this, and many of them offer subsidies and tax breaks for people who do. From the article: "When the sun shines bright on their home in New York's Hudson Valley, John and Anna Bagnall live out a homeowner's fantasy. Their electricity meter runs backward. Solar panels on their barn roof can often provide enough for all their electricity needs. Sometimes - and this is the best part - their solar setup actually pushes power back into the system."
01/23/07 - Human circadian clocks couple to local sun time
By assessing the daily activity patterns of thousands of individuals living in different geographical locations, researchers have found evidence that the human circadian clock becomes coupled to so-called local sun time despite the fact that people live and work according to a common "social time" that is determined by time zones. The work also indicated that city dwellers appear to experience a relatively decreased influence of local sun time relative to those living in more sparsely populated areas. The researchers found that within the first group--individuals in more lightly populated regions--chronotypes were tightly coupled to sun time, while within groups corresponding to more densely populated towns and cities, chronotypes showed a progressively weaker coupling to sun time. City dwelling potentially impacts the influence of sunlight as a zeitgeber because urban dwellers are typically exposed to less natural light than individuals inhabiting less densely populated areas. The authors propose that the gradual uncoupling of the circadian clock of city dwellers from local sun time may reflect the relative strength of natural-light and social cues in influencing activity patterns. When natural-light cues are more abundant--as seems to be the case in more sparsely populated areas--human circadian rhythm entrains to local sun time. Past work has indicated that as influences on the circadian clock--known as "zeitgebers"--become weaker, chronotypes tend to become later--that is, daily activity is shifted later in the day. And indeed, the present study found that chronotypes became later with increasing population size.
01/23/07 - Personal vehicles on abandoned light rail tracks
Between urbanism, vehicle design and automation the project Train is a research into the aesthetics of movement and travel. To locate the work we are using real, existing past, present and future, abandoned or at times unused railroad transportation systems; This idea was originally inspired by the Paris railway track 'La Petite Ceinture', which stopped its service in 1934 and the new tramway, which is partly completed. By proposing different real installations which would work within active or abandoned public transport structures and a series of conceptual designs a dialogue should be raised that engages in questions about the reality and "real fiction" of traffic. (via boingboing.net)
01/23/07 - Train/Bus Hybrid
This dual mode vehicle (DMV) was tested this month in Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan. It transforms from a bus into a train. (Photo from Railfan.ne.jp.) According to the Mainichi Daily News, a full trial will begin in April. A dual mode vehicle (DMV) designed to run on both road and train tracks was trialed here in mid-January. About 200 people enjoyed a ride inside the DMV during its trial run on a 3.2 kilometer long stretch of road in Fuji and on the local Gakunan Railway Line tracks for 2.8 kilometers. Developed by JR Hokkaido, the DMV will operate on its Senmo Line on a trial basis from April. The vehicle reportedly was cheap to build and has good fuel efficiency.
01/23/07 - Video - Andy Griffith vs The Patriot Act
Salient comments from Sheriff Andy Taylor regarding one of the bulwarks of a free society: lawyer-client confidentiality, now under attack via provisions in the (sic) Patriot Act. Incredibly prescient towards modern society, this is a short clip that stands the test of time. Ah, for the days of Mayberry with the simpler life, no drugs, no terrorists, decent people looking out for each other. (via boingboing.net)
01/23/07 - ZAP Expands to Puerto Rico
ZAP has entered into a deal for the distribution of its line of electric vehicles-cars, scooters, seascooters, bicycles, and personal transporters-in Puerto Rico. AJ Imports in Bayamon, a beach community where the company sells and rents vehicles serving primarily the tourism industry, is now the exclusive ZAP distributor on the island. ZAP Director of International Affairs Fernando Cancela says that hundreds of vehicles have already been shipped to AJ Imports. The distributor has already started marketing ZAP’s ZAPPY3 electric personal transporters, XEBRA Truck, ZAP Seascooters, and BUZZZ electric ATVs. Since 1994, ZAP has distributed more than 90,000 electric vehicles like the ZAPPY3 PRO personal transporter to more than 75 countries worldwide.
01/23/07 - The Volt May be First, But E-Flex is the Key
The Volt represents the first application of the E-Flex System, a developing vehicle architecture that will encompass a range of compact to intermediate vehicles with all-electric drive systems (the “E”) powered by electricity from a variety of sources (the “Flex”). Broadly defined, the E-Flex architecture consists of an electric drive motor, on-board storage for electricity (battery or fuel cell), on-board mechanisms for producing electricity, grid charging (plug-in) capability, and the associated power electronics and control systems. E-Flex vehicles can include the genset-powered plug-in series hybrid (such as the announced Volt), a fuel-cell hybrid, or a pure battery electric vehicle. GM envisions a range of genset options for the E-Flex vehicles, including engines optimized to run on E85 or E100 and biodiesel.
01/23/07 - Green Biologics Awarded £560,000 for Cellulosic Biobutanol Development
Using its library of thermophiles and thermostable enzymes, GBL has isolated a cocktail of thermophilic microorganisms for the rapid enzymatic hydrolysis and release of fermentable sugars from biomass. The company plans to integrate this patented hydrolysis technology with a proprietary butanol fermentation process. Butanol (C4H10O) is a four-carbon alcohol in widespread use as an industrial solvent. Originally produced by fermentation starting nearly 90 years ago (using Clostridia acetobutylicum), butanol shifted to becoming a petrochemically-derived product in the 1950s as the price of petrochemicals dropped below that of starch and sugar substrates such as corn and molasses. Virtually all of the butanol is use today is produced petrochemically.
Butanol has a number of attractive properties as a fuel. Its energy content is closer to gasoline than ethanol’s. It is non-corrosive, can be distributed through existing pipelines, and can be-but does not have to be-blended with fossil fuels. Butanol itself could be reformed for hydrogen for use in fuel cells, and the production process itself produces hydrogen.
01/23/07 - Mimicking multi-channel microtubes
Birds use them to reduce the weight of their feathers. Polar bears rely on them to keep warm in the Arctic cold. Now scientists in China report what they believe to be the first easy, straightforward method for making the kind of multi-channel microtubes found in birds, polar bears and other animals. The advance in biomimic materials -- a field that aims to copy useful features found in nature -- could be used to produce super-lightweight and extraordinarily warm textiles, multi-component drug deliver devices, highly efficient catalysts and other commercial products, according to the scientists. "We have developed a very simple and powerful multifluidic compound-jet electrospinning technique for fabricating biomimic multichannel microtubes that have been seldom obtained with other methods," they note. The researchers used the new spinning process to make tubes with 2, 3, 4 and 5 separate interior channels. In addition to offering multiple channels in one tube, the structures promise to be stronger with other advantages over single-channel microtubes, the report indicates.
01/23/07 - Earth's Heat Can Power Our Future
The extraordinary amount of heat seething below Earth's hard rocky crust could help supply the United States with a significant fraction of the electricity it will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact, scientists now claim. An 18-member panel led by MIT has prepared the first study in some 30 years to take a new look at the largely ignored area of geothermal energy. Geothermal plants essentially mine heat by using wells at times a mile or more deep. These wells tap into hot rock and connect them with flowing water, producing large amounts of steam and super-hot water that can drive turbines and run electricity generators at the surface. The United States is the world's biggest producer of geothermal energy. Nafi Toksöz, a geophysicist at MIT, noted that the electricity produced annually by geothermal plants now in use in California, Hawaii, Utah and Nevada is comparable to that produced by solar and wind power combined. However, existing U.S. plants are concentrated mostly at isolated regions in the West. There, hot rocks are closer to the surface, requiring less drilling and thus lowering costs. Even then, drilling must reach depths of 5,000 feet or more in the West, and much deeper in the eastern United States. Still, the panel now estimates geothermal power could meet roughly 10 percent of U.S. electricity needs by 2050. / # Using coproduced hot water, available in large quantities at temperatures up to 100°C or more from existing oil and gas operations, it is possible to generate up to 11,000 MWe of new generating capacity with standard binary-cycle technology, and increase hydrocarbon production by partially offsetting parasitic losses consumed during production. # A cumulative capacity of more than 100,000 MWe from EGS can be achieved in the United States within 50 years with a modest, multiyear federal investment for RD&D in several field projects in the United States.
01/23/07 - Something in Your Food is Moving
"The New York Times has a report on probiotic food: food that has live bacteria in it. From the article: "[for Dannon's] Activia, a line of yogurt with special live bacteria that are marketed as aiding regularity, sales in United States stores have soared well past the $100 million mark.... Probiotics in food are part of a larger trend toward 'functional foods,' which stress their ability to deliver benefits that have traditionally been the realm of medicine or dietary supplements.""
01/22/07 - Toyota plans ultra-cheap car
Toyota Motor Corp plans to build a low-cost car undercutting Renault's emerging-market Logan through a "radical" rethink in design and production, the president of the fast-growing Japanese automaker said. He declined to set a price for a low-cost car but said it would be "at least" less than the Logan.
Renault has started production of the Logan, which will cost from €5 000 ($6 200) on up, touted as a budget model for consumers in emerging economies such as China and Russia that conforms to European standards. Watanabe said that Toyota could slash the price by targetting costs throughout production. "Everything from design to production methods will be radically changed and we are thinking of a really ultra-low-cost way of designing, using ultra-low-cost materials, even developing new materials if necessary," he said.
01/22/07 - Open space 3D printing
EoPlex is a Redwood City startup where a team of innovators is developing a revolutionary way to print objects in three dimensions. Specifically, the company intends to mass-produce tiny gears and switches using a process that builds 3-D objects by layering materials on top of each other, over and over, until a third dimension takes shape. At EoPlex's offices, where a prototype assembly line is already printing metal and ceramic parts the size of a dime. "This technology is perfect for manufacturing parts that are the size of your thumbnail and are hard to make,'' he said. Now the company is poised to serve a new industrial market -- mass-producing tough, tiny 3-D components far more complex than anything that can be made today. Chait said the essence of the invention is the "ink" in its presses, a substance so exotic that the company has chosen not to file a patent, but rather to protect it as a trade secret. "It's like the Coke formula," Chait said. "It's absolutely a secret sauce." To the naked eye, EoPlex's "secret sauce" has the look and consistency of toothpaste. Chait said this gooey paste is laced with powdery particles of ceramics or metals. The paste is the carrier; its powdery cargo ultimately forms the finished object. Most importantly, this carrier paste has the astonishing ability to evaporate and disappear when heated, leaving behind only the ceramic or metal that it initially carried in powdery form. EoPlex uses this remarkable fluid to "print" 3-D metal or ceramic shapes in much the same way that a printer makes a book -- by printing one sheet at a time, and laying each new sheet over its predecessor. There is, however, a key difference between a book and the sorts of objects that EoPlex prints. A book is solid. But thanks to its magical ink, EoPlex can print shapes that have interior voids -- such as a metal box. the first pass of "ink" squirts out a square line that contains a metallic powder. This square blob is immediately hardened by a quick blast of ultraviolet light. Then the EoPlex technology prints a second layer of fluid inside and around the four hardened lines. This second fluid differs from the first. It does not have any metals inside. It has one purpose -- to create a flat surface upon which to print the next layer. Thus, to build a box of any given height involves a repetition of these steps: lay down the next square layer of metal-bearing paste; harden it with ultraviolet light; fill and surround it with the next layer of empty goo; harden it up; and repeat until done. In the final step the printed object is placed in an industrial furnace, where the real magic occurs. The goo, the ink, the carrier fluid evaporate completely -- leaving behind only the metal or ceramic that was deposited in those alternating steps.
01/22/07 - New 'Brain cleaner' holds promise for treating injuries
An injury to the brain can be devastating. When brain cells die, whether from head trauma, stroke or disease, a substance called glutamate floods the surrounding areas, overloading the cells in its path and setting off a chain reaction that damages whole swathes of tissue. Glutamate is always present in the brain, where it carries nerve impulses across the gaps between cells. But when this chemical is released by damaged or dying brain cells, the result is a flood that overexcites nearby cells and kills them. A new method for ridding the brain of excess glutamate has been developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science. An enzyme in the blood can be activated to "mop up" toxic glutamate spills in the brain and prevent much of the damage. This method may soon be entering clinical trials to see if it can do the same for humans.
01/22/07 - Robo-builder threatens the brickie
Engineers are racing to unveil the world’s first robot capable of building a house at the touch of a button. The first prototype - a watertight shell of a two-storey house built in 24 hours without a single builder on site - will be erected in California before April. A rival design, being pioneered in the East Midlands, with £1.2m of government funding, will include sunken baths, fireplaces and cornices. There are even plans for robots to supplant painters and decorators by spraying colourful frescoes at an affordable price. By building almost an entire house from just two materials - concrete and gypsum - the robots will eliminate the need for dozens of traditional components, including floorboards, wooden window frames and possibly even wallpaper. It may eventually be possible to use specially treated gypsum instead of glass window panes. Engineers on both projects say the robots will not only cut costs and avoid human delays but liberate the normal family homes from the conventional designs of pitched roofs, right-angled walls and rectangular windows. “The architectural options will explode,” predicted Dr Behrokh Khoshnevis at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who will soon unleash his $1.5m (£940,000) robot. “We will be able to build curves and domes as easily as straight walls. “Your shoes, clothes and car are already made automatically, but your house is built by hand and it doesn’t make sense.” It involves computer-controlled robotic nozzles which pipe quick-drying liquid gypsum and concrete to form walls, floors and roofs. The robots are rigged to a metal frame, enabling them to shuttle in three dimensions and assemble the structure of the house layer by layer. The sole foreman on site operates a computer programmed with the designer’s plans. The researchers in Los Angeles claim their robot will be able to build the shell of a house in 24 hours. “Compared to a conventional house, the speed of construction will be increased 200-fold and the building costs will be reduced to a fifth of what they are today,” said Khoshnevis. “If you ask a bricklayer to lay bricks in anything other than a straight line, you’ll run into problems,” said Soar. “But if you ask the robot to make a squiggly line it really doesn’t care.”
01/22/07 - Linking investment to invention
"We may have [the next] Google right now, but there's no one there to commercialize it," Senator Jeremy Ring said. Ring said Florida inventors don't have a business resource to get their ideas ready to market to an investor. Also, there isn't one place for an investor to go and see different inventions. Ring's proposal aims to remedy both those problems. The first step of Ring's proposal is creating a pool of resources that any state-funded institution could use to form a business plan and get a product sold. Without a few early sales, Ring, who worked for Yahoo when it was starting, said investors will not want a product. The second phase of the plan is a "department store" where investors could go and, in one spot, see a great deal of products. Maybe the first floor would be life sciences initiatives while the second floor is information technology and the third floor houses defense inventions. Eventually, the state might invest in certain products, Ring said. "Why do we pay for roads? That's infrastructure," Harrell said. "This is infrastructure. ... We reap the benefits of the sales tax, the people moving in here and the high salaries."
01/22/07 - Battery Breakthrough?
A Texas company says it can make a new ultracapacitor power system to replace the electrochemical batteries in everything from cars to laptops. EEStor's ambitious goal, according to patent documents, is to "replace the electrochemical battery" in almost every application, from hybrid-electric and pure-electric vehicles to laptop computers to utility-scale electricity storage. The company boldly claims that its system, a kind of battery-ultracapacitor hybrid based on barium-titanate powders, will dramatically outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market in terms of energy density, price, charge time, and safety. Pound for pound, it will also pack 10 times the punch of lead-acid batteries at half the cost and without the need for toxic materials or chemicals, according to the company. Much like capacitors, ultracapacitors store energy in an electrical field between two closely spaced conductors, or plates. When voltage is applied, an electric charge builds up on each plate. Ultracapacitors have many advantages over traditional electrochemical batteries. Unlike batteries, "ultracaps" can completely absorb and release a charge at high rates and in a virtually endless cycle with little degradation. Where they're weak, however, is with energy storage. Compared with lithium-ion batteries, high-end ultracapacitors on the market today store 25 times less energy per pound. This is why ultracapacitors, with their ability to release quick jolts of electricity and to absorb this energy just as fast, are ideal today as a complement to batteries or fuel cells in electric-drive vehicles. The power burst that ultracaps provide can assist with stop-start acceleration, and the energy is more efficiently recaptured through regenerative braking--an area in which ultracap maker Maxwell Technologies has seen significant results.
01/22/07 - Straw and wood chips in line as sources of clean energy
Biotech and energy companies are racing to glean ultra-clean fuel from untapped sources like straw and wood chips, betting policies to tackle climate change and rising food prices will make it competitive with oil. Cellulosic ethanol could ease struggles for farmland, given that existing biofuels are made from food crops like US corn, Brazilian sugar cane, and European and Asian oil seeds, helping drive food prices. In fact, China, the world’s third largest traditional ethanol producer - well behind the US and Brazil - has already sought to limit new distilleries that make fuel from food crops because of high grain prices. “The high cost of corn could be one of the best things that’s happened in a long time to cellulosic ethanol,” said Christopher Flavin, president of Washington, DC environmental research group the Worldwatch Institute. Corn prices have risen to near record levels as the US, responsible for about 65% of the grain’s global exports, devotes ever more farmland to the crop. Cellulosic ethanol could also reduce emissions because it would tap low-input feedstocks such as switchgrass and fast growing trees. Those crops can be grown locally, which could reduce transportation costs and emissions. The new fuel could push the role of ethanol beyond a gasoline additive and into replacing some crude, widely expected to supply most motor fuel into 2050. The DOE has predicted that cellulosic ethanol could provide 30% of US gasoline demand if every bit of biomass were used. Cellulosic ethanol technology uses yeast and fungi to break down the woody bits or cellulose of plants but is far from mainstream, and demonstration plants are sprouting up.
01/22/07 - Folic Acid Improves Memory in Elderly
Dutch researchers from the University of Wageningen gave a group of 818 volunteers aged 50-70 either low dose folic acid supplements or a dummy drug for three years, said the online edition of BBC News. The folic acid group had significantly better memories and were faster at processing information, the researchers found. They had similar mental abilities to contemporaries almost five years younger, The Lancet study found. But experts said this benefit must be balanced against other risks - an increase in folic acid can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency in older people. This causes anaemia and can lead to serious health problems, like nerve damage.
01/22/07 - Vitamin supplements to control Riots in Scottish Prisons
Vitamin supplements could also be offered to people issued with antisocial behaviour orders and those given police warnings for causing problems in their community. However, prisoners' rights groups said the money would be better spent ensuring prisoners had decent meals rather than having to supplement their vitamin intake. Previous research has suggested that giving vitamins, minerals and fish oil supplements reduces aggression and violent attacks. Now researchers want to test if giving supplements can help in the fight against crime in general. If further research confirms that supplements reduce bad behaviour in these groups, the idea could also be extended to disruptive pupils in schools, according to researchers due to speak at a conference in Glasgow tomorrow. Inmates at three prisons - including one in Scotland - will receive either nutritional supplements or dummy pills. It is hoped the research will support the findings of a smaller study in 2002 which revealed a 40 per cent drop in violent incidents among inmates taking the extra vitamins.
The supplements will contain a mixture of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. "The 'working-class' diet is worse now than during the [Second World] War. Even then, people were given cod-liver oil, vitamin C and other supplements." Prof Stein said he believed there was a direct correlation between rising crime and the falling quality of people's diets. "Crime in this country has gone up inexorably and what has changed in recent years apart from diet? It can't be due to genetics. "We can talk about the breakdown in family life until we are blue in the face, but all the psychiatric and social care provided has not stopped the rate of rising crime." He added: "We would also like to go into schools and see if giving diet supplements can cut down problem behaviour. As long ago as the Second World War, doctors noted an improvement in the behaviour of children given orange juice (Vitamin C) and cod-liver oil (Vitamin D) to counteract wartime food shortages. Since then, scientists have found that the levels of many vitamins and minerals affect behaviour - a link that experts believe can be used to transform the conduct of offenders. A lack of Vitamin B3 (niacin) can lead to nervousness, irritability, confusion, suspicion and memory problems. Low levels of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) are known to lead to increased hostility and more aggressive behaviour, which can be moderated with supplements. A shortage of Vitamin C and zinc can lower mood and put people on a shorter fuse. Low levels of polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids) have been linked to a range of behaviour problems, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A deficiency in folate acids, which occur in foods such as peas and spinach, has also been suggested as a cause of memory problems and behavioural disorders. A long-term study in California found that feeding children oily fish, which is high in Omega 3, can lead to improved brain function and slash the probability of antisocial and violent behaviour later in life. And research has found higher levels of seratonin and dopamine - "feel-good" chemicals produced in the brain - in the spinal fluid of people with higher levels of Omega 3 in their bodies. Conversely, some studies have also shown a correlation between a poor diet high in saturated fats and sugar and violent behaviour in both children and young adults. Other research has shown that foods high in additives like E-numbers, which include colourings, preservatives and flavourings, can adversely affect behaviour patterns.
01/22/07 - A Substitute for Oil?
Bloodshed in the Middle East dominates the evening news, fuel costs continue to creep upwards, and whispers circulate about a doomsday from global warming. As America looks for solutions, the proponents of alternative energies are finally being taken seriously. Yet despite myriad ideas, only a few alternatives have made their way to consumers, usually with the help of controversial government subsidies. By realizing the opportunities afforded by biotechnology, ethanol may someday appease many of its critics and, more importantly, play a central role in solving America’s energy crisis. If such biotechnological advances come to fruition, biofuels could outpace fossil fuels. According to Goldberg, with biotech advancements, if Oklahoma were to convert all of its current cultivated land into crops for cellulosic energy, it would become the third largest fuel producer in the world. While epochal energy changes can’t be expected tomorrow, ethanol has a distinct advantage in that it is already available at the pump in many places in America.
01/22/07 - Millions switch to cheaper gas
Millions of households abandoned their old suppliers in search of cheaper energy last year, leaving former monopoly British Gas with less than half of the gas market, energy regulator Ofgem said.
British Gas saw its gas market share fall to 48 percent in October 2006, while five former regional power companies also now supply less than half the markets they used to control, as consumers tried to sidestep last year's price hikes. "Customers have given expensive suppliers the boot with over 4 million moving to a cheaper supplier in the first 10 months of 2006," Ofgem Chief Executive, Alistair Buchanan, said. "This dynamic market is most dramatically illustrated by British Gas seeing their share of the household gas market fall below 50 per cent for the first time. This is clear evidence that Britain has the most competitive energy market in the world and that customers are taking full advantage of this."
01/22/07 - Building a Programmer's Rosetta Stone
Did you ever run into the problem where you knew how to do something in one programming language, but really needed to do it in another? That's what Rosetta Code is all about. A variety of programming tasks are solved using as many languages as possible. You can examine existing tasks, or create your own.
01/22/07 - Drugs Sunny-Side Up
Researchers in the United Kingdom have made transgenic chickens that produce concentrated amounts of protein drugs in their egg whites. The finding suggests that genetically engineered chickens may prove to be a cheap alternative to the large-scale manufacture of protein-based drugs, including multiple sclerosis therapies and antibodies that rally the body against cancer. Therapeutic proteins are primarily manufactured in bioreactors, using vats of bacteria engineered to express a human gene. Bioreactor facilities, however, are expensive to build and maintain. And bacteria can't do everything the human body does. Human cells fold proteins and attach sugars to them. The Roslin and Viragen scientists engineered chickens to make either of two human proteins: an antibody to melanoma or a type of interferon that is currently used to treat multiple sclerosis. First, they created versions of each human gene containing regulatory elements that ensured that the proteins would only be made in the subset of chicken cells that secrete egg-white proteins. Then they put this gene into a weakened virus and injected male chicken embryos with the virus. When the chicks became roosters, the scientists bred them with hens. The hens from this generation laid eggs with high concentrations of the proteins. Importantly, the ability to make the drugs in the egg whites is heritable.
01/21/07 - Global Warming Legislation in the Face of Record Cold Snap
Global warming is a controversial subject that on one hand is causing problems for polar bears, and on the other giving Austin, Texas 59 consecutive hours below the freezing mark--for the first time since 1983. The low in Manhattan yesterday was Seven degrees Fahrenheit below the average low. Despite these conditions, Congress is considering drastic changes to legislation concerning corporate tax breaks and incentives for oil companies. Considering that the price of gasoline has finally dropped to a reasonable level, would taking $15 billion worth of tax breaks from the oil companies be a popular move in America? Is this controversial subject truly backed by science? If global warming is a true crisis, is slapping more tax on "Big Oil" going to help?
01/21/07 - Electromagnetic Catapults - 0 to 150mph in 1 Second!
As the Navy’s project manager for the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Sulich’s task is to move the newest catapult technology from development at the research facility to ships at sea. A key instrument in the transition is the 1:12-scale model of an electromagnetic catapult, bolted to the concrete floor inside the lab. In place of a ship’s deck, the model is embedded in a knee-high metal casing about 60 feet long, with a narrow slot a few inches deep that runs along the top. An aluminum block rests snugly in one end of the slot. If an aircraft were part of the model, its nosewheel landing gear would be attached to the aluminum block. When the power is turned on, a wave of electromagnetic force silently shoots the aluminum block to the opposite end of the model at a speed of 60 mph. After a few keystrokes on a computer, the electromagnetic wave travels in reverse, gently returning the aluminum block to its starting position. As the 21st century dawns, steam catapults are running out of steam. Massive systems that require significant manpower to operate and maintain, they are reaching the limits of their abilities, especially as aircraft continue to gain weight. Electromagnetic catapults will require less manpower to operate and improve reliability; they should also lengthen aircraft service life by being gentler on airframes. The amount of steam needed to launch an airplane depends on the craft’s weight, and once a launch has begun, adjustments cannot be made: If too much steam is used, the nosewheel landing gear, which attaches to the catapult, can be ripped off the aircraft. If too little steam is used, the aircraft won’t reach takeoff speed and will tumble into the water. The launch control system for electromagnetic catapults, on the other hand, will know what speed an aircraft should have at any point during the launch sequence, and can make adjustments during the process to ensure that an aircraft will be within 3 mph of the desired takeoff speed. The scale model in the Lakehurst lab is a linear induction motor, an efficient way to generate thrust with a minimum of moving parts. Shipboard electromagnetic catapults will be based on larger linear induction motors, made up of three main parts: two 300-foot-long stationary beams, or stators, spaced a couple of inches apart, and a 20-foot-long carriage, or shuttle, that is sandwiched between the two beams and can slide back and forth along their lengths.
01/21/07 - Trees for Fuel take advantage of Tax Credits
Rough & Ready Lumber Co. is branching into the energy business, building a $5 million plant to burn logging debris and to produce electricity that it can sell at a 'green tag' premium to the regional power grid. The idea of burning wood waste _ known as hog fuel _ to produce energy at wood products and pulp mills is an old one that was going nowhere as long as fossil fuels were cheap, and logging was cut back to protect fish and wildlife habitat. But leaders in the timber industry realize that energy production can help finance widespread thinning of national forests to combat wildfires and insect infestations. And the concept has a newer, catchier name _ biomass energy _ that helps align it with the wider movement linking economic and environmental concerns, including reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Since Congress reauthorized a federal energy production tax credit for biomass, solar and wind power last month, at least two other sawmills in Oregon are going forward with biomass projects.
01/21/07 - The Nightmare Weaponry of Our Future
We are not winning the war on terrorism (and would not be even if we knew what victory looked like) or the war in Iraq. Our track record in Afghanistan, as well as in the allied "war" on drugs, is hardly better. Yet the Pentagon is hard at work, spending your money, planning and preparing for future conflicts of every imaginable sort. From wars in space to sci-fi battlescapes without soldiers, scenarios are being scripted and weaponry prepared, largely out of public view, which ensures not future victories, but limitless spending that Americans can ill-afford now or 20 years from now. Even though today the Armed Forces can't recruit enough soldiers or adequately equip those already in uniform, the Pentagon is committing itself to massive corporate contracts for new high-tech weapons systems slated to come on-line years, even decades, from now, guaranteed only to enrich their makers. As engineers and physicists at Lockheed Martin and the Air Force dream up new weapons -- shaping bombers out of polymer and pixels -- politicians and Pentagoneers imagine the threats those super-bombers of the future will blast to bits. Only the money -- billions and billions of dollars -- is real ... But as those billions are sucked away, what happens to our dreams of clear skies, cures for pandemics, solutions to global warming and energy depletion? To make more human dreams our future reality, we have to stop feeding the military's nightmare monsters.
01/21/07 - Video - The Posh Waiter
Posh waiter finally loses it. "I'd like to see the manager." "How can I possibly introduce you to the manager? You haven't shaved, you're not wearing a tie, and you hold your ladle like a pen." This is just too funny!
01/21/07 - Britain and France planned 'merger in 1950s'
Once-secret papers from the National Archives have yielded the discoveries. On September 10, 1956, French Prime Minister Guy Mollet came to London to discuss the possibility of a merger between the two countries with Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden. A document dated September 28, 1956 records a conversation between Sir Anthony and his Cabinet Secretary, Sir Norman Brook. It says: "The PM told him (Brook) on the telephone that he thought in the light of his talks with the French: "That we should give immediate consideration to France joining the Commonwealth; "That Monsieur Mollet had not thought there need be difficulty over France accepting the headship of her Majesty; "That the French would welcome a common citizenship arrangement on the Irish basis." Nonetheless, this proposal was also eventually rejected. A year later France signed the Treaty of Rome with Germany and the other founding nations of the Common Market.
01/21/07 - Man Pays $11 For 9 Months Of Vonage
(Check the chart to see how he did it. - JWD) Writes Justin, "With frequent calls to Vonage Customer Service, and by keeping your eye out for promotions that may be sent to you in the mail, it is possible to pare down what you pay considerably."
01/21/07 - The RailGun Cannon
A demonstration of the futuristic and comparatively inexpensive weapon yesterday at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren had Navy brass smiling. The weapon, which was successfully tested in October at the King George County base, fires nonexplosive projectiles at incredible speeds, using electricity rather than gun powder. The technology could increase the striking range of U.S. Navy ships more than tenfold by the year 2020. The railgun works by sending electric current along parallel rails, creating an electromagnetic force so powerful it can fire a projectile at tremendous speed. Because the gun uses electricity and not gunpowder to fire projectiles, it's safer, eliminating the possibility of explosions on ships and vehicles equipped with it. Instead, a powerful pulse generator is used. The prototype fired at Dahlgren is only an 8-megajoule electromagnetic device, but the one to be used on Navy ships will generate a massive 64 megajoules. Current Navy guns generate about 9 megajoules of muzzle energy. The railgun's 200 to 250 nautical-mile range will allow Navy ships to strike deep in enemy territory while staying out of reach of hostile forces. Charles Garnett, project director, called the projectile fired by the railgun "a supersonic bullet," and the weapon itself is "a very simple device." He compared the process to charging up a battery on the flash of a digital camera, then pushing the button and "dumping that charge," producing a magnetic field that drives the metal-cased ordnance instead of gun powder. The projectile fired yesterday weighed only 3.2 kilograms and had no warhead. Future railgun ordnance won't be large and heavy, either, but will deliver the punch of a Tomahawk cruise missile because of the immense speed of the projectile at impact. Garnett compared that force to hitting a target with a Ford Taurus at 380 mph. "It will take out a building," he said. Warheads aren't needed because of the massive force of impact.
01/21/07 - Customer sends bailiffs in to seize bank's computers
A man who was fed up with paying massive bank charges decided to give one of the high street giants a taste of its own medicine. When Royal Bank of Scotland refused to refund £3,400 charges that Declan Purcell believed he was owed, he sent in the bailiffs. Stunned customers at his branch of RBS watched as debt collectors seized four computers, two fax machines and a till filled with cash. The branch manager was told that the items would be sold unless RBS came up with the money owed to Mr Purcell. Only when the manager gave an undertaking that the debt would be paid did the bailiffs leave. Mr Purcell said: "I think the bank was pretty shocked when the bailiffs went in. But my view is that this is exactly what they would have done to me." The move, which will raise a cheer from millions of other bank customers, is part of a consumer fightback against bank charges, which net an estimated £4.5 billion every year. Every time a current account customer goes overdrawn by as little as £1 most banks will charge around £28, even though the administration cost is only about £4.50. Then every cheque, direct debit, or card transaction that goes through or is bounced incurs another charge of up to £38. The Office of Fair Trading is investigating whether banks have implemented these charges unlawfully.
01/20/07 - Mind Games
New on the Internet: a community of people who believe the government is beaming voices into their minds. They may be crazy, but the Pentagon has pursued a weapon that can do just that. THE IDEA OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE CONVINCED THEY ARE TARGETED BY WEAPONS that can invade their minds has become a cultural joke, shorthanded by the image of solitary lunatics wearing tinfoil hats to deflect invisible mind beams. "Tinfoil hat," says Wikipedia, has become "a popular stereotype and term of derision; the phrase serves as a byword for paranoia and is associated with conspiracy theorists." In 2005, a group of MIT students conducted a formal study using aluminum foil and radio signals. Their surprising finding: Tinfoil hats may actually amplify radio frequency signals. Of course, the tech students meant the study as a joke. Until recently, people who believe the government is beaming voices into their heads would have added social isolation to their catalogue of woes. But now, many have discovered hundreds, possibly thousands, of others just like them all over the world. There are hints of ongoing research: An academic paper written for the Air Force in the mid-1990s mentions the idea of a weapon that would use sound waves to send words into a person's head. "The signal can be a 'message from God' that can warn the enemy of impending doom, or encourage the enemy to surrender," the author concluded.
In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: using microwaves to send words into someone's head.
01/20/07 - Transforming Technology
Giving well -- giving money which provokes positive transformation over the long haul. The worldchanging philanthropist's job grows more difficult as our insight into the interwoven nature of the world's problems grows more clear. We know now that efforts to fix a single problem with a single, simple solution rarely succeed. For instance, it turns out that if we're serious about addressing humanitarian crisis, violence and environmental decline in conflict-torn regions, we'd better be prepared to address them all at once and holistically. We are just beginning to see truly effective philanthropy that thinks about its grantmaking in terms of systems, interconnections, leverage points and payoffs which are slow but powerful. We can hope that this big-picture, long-term giving proves to be a growing trend. / Vanguard Sciences Lab Project
01/20/07 - Taft man says ‘Murphy Mover' explains pyramids
James Murphy said his Apex Delivery and Lifting System - or Murphy Mover - is more than just an explanation. It's a nearly energy free way of lifting and moving large objects. It doesn't take much power and doesn't need any major outside energy - just gravity. Murphy came across his idea reminiscing about riding his swing set as a young boy. As he swung higher and higher, the swing set started moving -- frightening to a young boy, but a revelation to an inventor. “I would swing so high that the back legs would come off the ground, then the front legs would come off the ground.” Years later, as he looked back on it, he realized what was happening - gravity acting on his weight made the swing set walk. He mused on that thought and ended up with his invention, the Murphy Mover. He said that the size of the mover can be increased to move stones or blocks weighing thousands of pounds just as easily as the small model he demonstrates with only a piece of a brick swinging in it. “The principle is the same whether you're a third grader weighing 45 pounds or it's a stone weighing 3,000 pounds,” he explains.
01/20/07 - Forecasters See Gasoline Prices Falling To Close To $2/Gallon
Retail gasoline prices have started to decline and are likely to slip to close to $2 a gallon in the coming weeks to reflect a recent drop in the price of crude oil, forecasters said Wednesday. Gas station owners have thus far declined to significantly mark down prices largely because crude oil’s 16% tumble since the start of the year has left many “in disbelief,“ AAA spokesman Geoff Sundstrom said.
But if crude stays around $51 a barrel, “I think there is room for (pump) prices to fall by as much as 20 cents a gallon,“ Sundstrom said in an interview. “We need to be much closer to $2 a gallon than $2.20 a gallon.“ According to Gasbuddy.com, pump stations in at least ten cities in the Midwest and Southwest already sell gas at under $2 a gallon, with Toledo, Oh., offering the lowest price at $1.8590 a gallon. The national average is much higher, however, despite the drop in crude prices. According to AAA, retail unleaded gasoline prices averaged $2.229 a gallon Wednesday, down from an average of $2.322 a gallon Jan. 2. Crude oil prices have fallen to close to $50 a barrel from more than $61 at the start of the year, while wholesale gasoline prices have tumbled to $1.34 a gallon from around $1.63 a gallon. Retail gas prices are typically about 65 cents higher than wholesale prices.
01/20/07 - Landlines Disappear From One In Eight Homes
The number of Americans with traditional landline telephones has declined sharply over the past three years -- a trend with ramifications for phone surveys that inform policy and market research. The percentage of adults using cell phones only was increasing 1 percentage point every six months from 2003 through 2005 but jumped 2 points in the most recent study, Stephen Blumberg, a senior scientist at the CDC, said Thursday. Among all adults, 9.6 percent had only a cell phone in the first half of 2006, compared with 7.7 percent in the preceding six months. The overall number without landlines -- 13.2 percent -- includes those who have no phone at all. The survey research industry is watching this trend closely as U.S. polling typically samples households via traditional landline telephones. That may underrepresent those most likely to only own cell phones -- younger and poorer people and those who rent rather than own their home. But it's much more costly to interview people on their cell phones. The implications ultimately could affect government, academic, business and media surveys on politics, the economy, employment, health behaviors and many other topics.
01/20/07 - Invisible 'Radio' Tattoos Could Identify Soldiers
Somark Innovations announced biocompatible RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) ink, which can be used to tattoo cattle and laboratory rats and can be read through animal hair. It might even be used on humans eventually. This is a passive RFID technology that contains no metals; the tattoos themselves can be colored or invisible. The Somark ID System creates a "biocompatible ink tatoo with chipless RFID functionality." The RFID ink tatoo does not require line of sight to be read, as is the case with other RFID devices (making them better than a barcode for some applications). RFID ink tattoos also solve the annoying problem of ear tag retention. Conventional RFID ear tags sell for about $2.25; about 60-90 percent of them eventually fall off. Also, Somark claims that the biocompatible RFID ink system will improve readability rates as well.
01/20/07 - New Flywheel Technology Nears Commercial Production
The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently announced that a 100-kilowatt (kW) scale-power flywheel energy storage system designed to enhance the state's electricity grid is now one step closer to commercialization. Developed by Beacon Power, the Smart Energy Matrix system is a prototype for the company's planned 20-megawatt (MW)-level commercial system. A flywheel energy storage system draws electrical energy from a primary source, such as the utility grid, and stores it in a high-density rotating flywheel. The flywheel system is actually a kinetic, or mechanical battery, spinning at very high speeds (>20,000 rpm) to store energy that is instantly available when needed. Upon power loss, the motor driving the flywheel acts as a generator. As the flywheel continues to rotate, the generator supplies power to the customer load. Performance is measured in energy units indicating the amount of power available over a given period of time. Typical single-flywheel systems are intended for standby power applications. The Smart Energy Matrix flywheel design proposes an integrated system of 10 higher-power (25 kWh) flywheels, interconnected in a matrix to provide energy storage for utility-grade applications.
01/20/07 - Fears over Russia move to form Opec-style gas cartel
Russian Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko will visit Algeria this weekend, a trip that is likely to fuel European fears that Russia plans to co-opt other major gas exporters into forming an Opec-style cartel. Last year Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, holder of the world’s largest gas reserves, upset the European Union by agreeing a cooperation deal with Algeria’s Sonatrach, raising the fear of two of Europe’s top gas suppliers fixing prices. Nato sources also said in November that the military alliance warned its members that Russia might seek to form such a club, with members stretching from Algeria to Central Asia, to use as a political weapon in dealings with Europe.
01/20/07 - The Tickle Bed
German artist Sandro Porcu, 40, has installed the tickling bed, complete with revolving ostrich feathers, for members of the public to try out. The work, called Bed, was an instant hit when it went on display at the Alexia Goethe gallery in Dover Street last night. It is part of the Story exhibition, which also features sculptures, film and photography on the theme of telling stories. A gallery spokesman said: "Every work in this show inspires a multitude of stories involving the personalties and memories of both viewers and artists."
01/20/07 - Slow Light = Fast Computing
"The Washington Post is reporting that scientists have been able to slow the speed of light while still maintaining its ability to transmit information. The researchers have even developed a way to 'tune' the process, modulating how fast or slow the light goes within controlled circumstances. From the article: 'Scientists said yesterday that they had achieved a long-sought goal of slowing waves of light to a relatively leisurely pace and using those harnessed pulses to store an image. Physicists said the new approach to taming light could hasten the arrival of a futuristic era in which computers and other devices will process information on optical beams instead of with electricity, which for all its spark is still cumbersome compared with light.'"
01/19/07 - The Curious World of Patent Models
The Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum is home to the largest private collection of viewable antique US patent models in the world. A patent is a government-issued document that protects an invention or idea from theft or misuse for up to 20 years. This gives the inventor the opportunity to produce and sell the invention - or license others to do so - and to make a profit. And while "patent model" may not be a familiar term today, to US inventors between 1790 and the late 1800s, it was commonplace. In order to obtain a patent, an application had to be accompanied by a working model of the invention. These were called "patent models," and were no larger than 12 inches square. "They were made for the patent examiners," Alan Rothschild, owner of the museum,says of the models, viewable online at the museum's website, www.patentmodel.org. "That way they could compare [similar inventions] side by side, to see if the patents were new and different. It was a unique system because no other patent system anywhere in the world required models - then or now." Mr. Rothschild owns more than 4,000 of these models. About 700 are displayed on the second floor of his home. While Rothschild can't seem to get enough of the patent models, the US government didn't always share the same sentiment. The first patent office in Washington, which originally doubled as a museum, had to house the models. This was a manageable task in the early 1800s, when there were fewer than 10,000 patent models. But by 1880 - the year inventors were formally asked to stop submitting models because of inadequate space - there were more than 200,000. Today, there are more than 7 million patents, but applicants now submit only written specifications and diagrams of their inventions. Most of the early patent models have been destroyed or lost, purchased by collectors, or donated to museums, including the Smithsonian and Rothschild's.
01/19/07 - Creating Ethanol from Trash
A new system for converting trash into ethanol and methanol could help reduce the amount of waste piling up in landfills while displacing a large fraction of the fossil fuels used to power vehicles in the United States. The technology vaporizes organic materials to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide, a mixture called synthesis gas, or syngas, that can be used to synthesize a wide variety of fuels and chemicals. The new system makes syngas in two stages. In the first, waste is heated in a 1,200 °C chamber into which a small amount of oxygen is added--just enough to partially oxidize carbon and free hydrogen. In this stage, not all of the organic material is converted: some becomes a charcoal-like material. This char is then gasified when researchers pass it through arcs of plasma, using technology developed in the 1990s at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center. The remaining inorganic materials, including toxic substances, are oxidized and incorporated into a pool of molten glass, made using PNNL technology. The molten glass hardens into a material that can be used for building roads or discarded as a safe material in landfills. The next step is a catalyst-based process for converting syngas into equal parts ethanol and methanol. There is enough municipal and industrial waste produced in the United States for the system to replace as much as a quarter of the gasoline used in this country, says Daniel Cohn, a cofounder of IET and a senior research scientist at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center.
01/19/07 - New Spray-On Mist Protects Skin from Electromagnetic Waves
Glowman - Impact LabDid you know that, right now, artificial electromagnetic (EM) waves could be tearing your skin cells apart and causing your face to age prematurely? Waves from televisions, mobile phones and radios are all around us. They pass through metres of concrete, so imagine what they're doing to your skin.
01/19/07 - Blast Your Way To Another Place With THRUSTPAC!
The Thrustpac pushes you along on the device of your choice, and can be used for motive power on skates, canoes and other water craft, scooters, wheelchairs, skis and bicycles and we’re sure there are lots of ways to use it. It comes in three different power specifications, from a 12 pound four-stroke pack offering 10 pounds of thrust through to a 20 pound (weight) pack offering 20 pounds of thrust from a two-stroke motor. Each ThrustPac is tailor-made for you, with prices starting at US$900 and running through to US$2000.
01/19/07 - Engineering School Grads - Tradesmen or Thinkers?
"ITworld is carrying a story (sorry, no printable version) saying that John Seely Brown (former chief scientist at Xerox and director of PARC, currently teaching at the University of Southern California) is encouraging engineering schools to change the way they educate. The article, quotes Mr. Brown saying the following: 'Training someone for a career makes no sense. At best, you can train someone for a career trajectory...'. What do you think? Should engineering schools be producing tradesmen (like an apprenticeship program) or should they be producing 'thinkers' (people who can cope with a wide variety of problem inside and outside their area of expertise)?"
01/19/07 - Remove chewing gum with WD-40
Web site Wacky Uses details dozens of unintended applications of household products, like getting chewing gum off the bottom of your shoe: Spray on WD-40, wait, and pull the gum free. Other wackiness includes exfoliating with Cheerios and giving yourself a facial with Miracle Whip.
01/19/07 - Listening Robot Senses Snipers
"Popular Science has a brief piece on the RedOwl, a brainy-looking flightless robot that can 'read a nametag from across a football field and identify the make and model of a rifle fired a mile away simply by analyzing the sound of the distant blast.' For a paltry $150,000, the machine utilizes robotic hearing technology originally developed by Boston University's Photonics Center to improve hearing aids to sense a shot fired and pinpoint its source, identify it as a hostile or friendly weapon, and illuminate the target with a laser visible only with night vision. The RedOwl, built on an iRobot packbot platform and controlled via a modified Xbox videogame controller, can figure out the location of a target 3,000 feet away, allowing troops to call in a precision air strike."
01/19/07 - Beauty is in the eye of your friends
A new study suggests that, in fact, women will look more favourably on the men that other women find attractive. Female guppies, quail and finches tend to mate with males that look like the males they have seen other females paired with. Such “mate choice copying” can pay off. If it is difficult to choose the best mating material, or takes a lot of time and energy, it makes sense to go with what works for the other girls. Yet although human mate selection suffers just such difficulties, there has been little evidence that women do this, until now. Women found the men who were being smiled at suddenly more attractive, while men who apparently elicited no such smiling approval were pronounced less attractive. Men, meanwhile, behaved in a strikingly different manner. They rated men who had been smiled at as less attractive. ”Within-sex competition promotes negative attitudes towards men who are the target of positive social interest from women,” the researchers conclude. Or to put it another way, the next time you hear a man say “I don’t know what she sees in him”, remember the fact she’s sees anything at all may be off-putting enough…
01/19/07 - Unicycle tank from 1933
From the 1933 Popular Science article: One of the oddest features of the revolutionary machine is formed by the steel-tube crutches that project ahead on either side like medieval lances. As the tank rushes upon a trench or obstruction, the operator will drop the tubes so they dig into the earth and the whole machine will vault through the air to the other side. An open-type form of the vehicle, which is shown on our cover, has also been devised by the inventor. Without the armored body or the crutches, it is designed for highway use. (via boingboing.net)
01/19/07 - IMSafer Child Nanny Software (Windows/Mac)
IMSafer monitors your child's instant message conversations for potentially dangerous activity. After you've registered and installed IMSafer, it listens to IMs on your computer for suspicious content, then sends you an email notification within 90 seconds of the receipt of a potentially inappropriate IM. You can then see the content of the IM and judge for yourself the danger of the conversation.
01/18/07 - Scientists Discover Way to Order Polar Molecules in Crystals
"Making crystals parallel is difficult to do, but we've found a way to do it and are getting better at it," said Rainer Glaser, professor of chemistry in MU's College of Arts and Science. "Our preliminary testing indicates that there is a synergism we didn't expect." As a physicist, Yu has been able to look at the crystals in new ways and consider different applications for them. He has found that when an infrared laser is focused at a parallel crystal, the frequency of light changes. This finding, still in the preliminary stages, could have the potential to lead to technology that would create faster and more efficient microchips. "If you have a laptop computer sitting on your knees, you'll feel heat from it, but with this technology, the computer would not get hot," Sui said. "Large computing facilities spend millions of dollars in energy bills every year to keep their computers cool. Technology using crystals would not only reduce those costs, but also create faster computers. We hope that our discoveries might play a role in the development of this technology."
01/18/07 - Roof-collected rainwater fails health test
More than half of 560 samples from private dwellings in New Zealand exceeded the minimal standards for contamination and 30 percent showed evidence of heavy faecal contamination. “I’m utterly amazed at the number of roof water supplies that fail the New Zealand drinking water standards,” says Stan Abbott, a microbiologist at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health. Roof-collected rainwater consumption is popular because the public believes that rainwater is pure and safe to drink, says Mr Abbott, who is Director of the Roof Water Research Centre at Massey’s Wellington campus. More than 400,000 New Zealanders depend on roof-collected rainwater systems for their drinking water, especially those living on farms, lifestyle blocks or baches that are not served by town water supplies. The likely sources of the contamination were faecal material deposited by birds, frogs, rodents and possums, and dead animals and insects, either on the roof, gutters, or water tank. Contamination can lead to gastrointestinal diseases from pathogens including salmonella, campylobacter, giardia and cryptosporidium. “Simple steps such as installing down-pipe debris screens and a first-flush diverter will reduce the risk of contracting waterborne diseases,” he says. A first-flush diverter is a device that reduces contamination of the tank water by diverting the first flush of contaminated water after a rain-fall event so that contaminants do not enter the tank. Recent research at Massey University has shown spectacular improvements in water quality in the storage tanks linked to first flush diverters.
01/18/07 - Dark energy may be vacuum
At the end of last century astronomers discovered the startling fact that the expansion of our universe is not slowing down, as all our previous understanding of gravity had predicted. Rather the expansion is speeding up. Nothing in conventional physics can explain such a result. It means that either the universe is made up of around 70% 'dark energy' (something that has a sort of anti-gravity) or our theory of gravity is flawed. In modern terms the cosmological constant is viewed as a quantum mechanical phenomenon called the 'energy of the vacuum'. In other words, the energy of empty space. It is this energy that is causing the universe to accelerate. The new data shows that none of the fancy new theories that have been proposed in the last decade are necessary to explain the acceleration. Rather, vacuum energy is the most likely cause and the expansion history of the universe can be explained by simply adding this constant background of acceleration into the normal theory of gravity.
01/18/07 - Scientists observe sound traveling faster than the speed of light
For the first time, scientists have experimentally demonstrated that sound pulses can travel at velocities faster than the speed of light, c. William Robertson’s team from Middle Tennessee State University. Past experiments have demonstrated that the group velocities of other materials’ components-such as optical, microwave, and electrical pulses-can exceed the speed of light. But while the individual spectral components of these pulses have velocities very close to c, the components of sound waves are almost six orders of magnitude slower than light (compare 340 m/s to 300,000,000 m/s). “Phase manipulation can change the phase relationship between these materials’ components. Using sound to create a group velocity that exceeds the speed of light is significant here because it dramatically illustrates this point, due to the large difference between the speeds of sound and light.” In their experiment, the researchers achieved superluminal sound velocity by rephasing the spectral components of the sound pulses, which later recombine to form an identical-looking part of the pulse much further along within the pulse. So it’s not the actual sound waves that exceed c, but the waves’ “group velocity,” or the “length of the sample divided by the time taken for the peak of a pulse to traverse the sample.”
01/18/07 - Solar Hotel goes Online
The Inn at the Manor, a 128 suite Marriott Residence Inn, completes the installation of a solar electric generating system. The solar arrays are installed on southeast and southwest facing roofs, and include 700 Sharp and Sanyo photovoltaic modules. The Solar Center, a Denville New Jersey based solar energy company, was selected to design and install the 108 kW system. Dennis Wilson, the President of The Solar Center, said “the system was recently started up and worked flawlessly. Over the system’s 30+ year lifespan, it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 3,000 tons, equivalent to planting 43 acres of trees or permanently removing 400 cars from the road annually”. “As the first system installed at a Garden State hotel, The Marriott Residence Inn of West Orange represents a landmark in the installation of photovoltaic solar panels in New Jersey,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Jeanne M. Fox.
01/18/07 - Laser beam weapons
Defense Tech looks at the state-of-the-art in laser weaponry, including Raytheon's Laser Area Defense System (LADS) and Northop Grunman's new "directed energy production facility." For example, last week Raytheon announced that their laser beam blew up 60-millimeer mortars at 550+ yards. From the Defense Tech post: Raytheon's announcement is interesting, because solid-state, electric lasers haven't yet hit the 100 kilowatt threshold which many people consider to be the minimum strength for weapons-grade lasers. (They're not too far off, though.) But Raytheon says they zapped these mortars using "an a proven, existing, off-the-shelf solid-state laser, coupled with commercially available optics technology."
01/18/07 - What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy
For starters, $1.2 trillion would pay for an unprecedented public health campaign - a doubling of cancer research funding, treatment for every American whose diabetes or heart disease is now going unmanaged and a global immunization campaign to save millions of children’s lives. Combined, the cost of running those programs for a decade wouldn’t use up even half our money pot. So we could then turn to poverty and education, starting with universal preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old child across the country. The city of New Orleans could also receive a huge increase in reconstruction funds. / (Is WAR more important than our own people? - JWD)
01/18/07 - Navy Gets 8-Megajoule Rail Gun Working
"The Free Lance-Star newspaper is reporting that the Navy Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia has successfully demonstrated an 8-megajoule electromagnetic rail gun. A 32-megajoule version is due to be tested in June. A 64-megajoule version is anticipated to extend the range of naval gunfire (currently about 15 nautical miles for a 5-inch naval gun) to more than 200 nautical miles by 2020. The projectiles are small, but go so fast that have enough kinetic punch to replace a Tomahawk missile at a fraction of the cost. In the final version, they will apex at 95 miles altitude, well into space. These systems were initially part of Reagan's SDI program ("Star Wars"). An interesting tidbit in the article is that the rail gun is only expected to fire ten times or less per day, presumably because of the amount of electricity needed. I guess we now need a warp core to power them."
01/18/07 - Brain Biometrics
Greek scientists are developing a biometric security system that identifies you by your brain's unique electrical patterns. The system takes EEG measurements via a sensor-laden cap that the user puts on his or her head. Currently users must sit quietly with their eyes shut during each test. "We ask them to close their eyes and not speak"," Tzovaras says, which provides "a much clearer picture". The result of each authentication test is compared with the user's pre-recorded measurements, using signal-processing algorithms. These algorithms can be tuned to different security levels... Neuroimaging expert Olaf Hauk, also at the University of Cambridge, believes using the system in a wide variety of situations, particularly stressful ones, could complicate the results significantly. "EEG varies greatly depending on a person's alertness, or mental operations," Hauk told New Scientist. "You might not want to be taken for someone else at the airport just because you had a bad night before."
01/18/07 - Laptop case charged by sun
Eclipse Solar Gear has made a solar-powered notebook case that is capable of juicing up your notebook within while toting the case around. Of course, the versatility of this product isn't just limited to your notebook but to smaller electronic items as well. Too bad it looks too rigid and ugly to carry around as a stylish piece of technology, but hopefully future iterations will see the necessary modifications to the design.
01/17/07 - Tests show 'artificial sun' is reliable
A series of tests run by Chinese scientists on an experimental thermonuclear reactor have found "the artificial sun" is a reliable energy generating process. "The new tests show the reactor is very reliable, and we can repeat the experiments," institute official Wu Songtao said. With tests set to continue until Feb. 10, the experiments will reveal exactly how far the project is from its final goal of creating plasma that can last for 1,000 seconds while giving off its own energy.
01/17/07 - Solar power eliminates bills in US home
Michael Strizki heats and cools his house year-round and runs a full range of appliances including such power-guzzlers as a hot tub and a wide-screen TV without paying a penny in utility bills. His conventional-looking family home in the pinewoods of western New Jersey is the first in the United States to show that a combination of solar and hydrogen power can generate all the electricity needed for a home. Strizki runs the 3,000-square-foot house with electricity generated by a 1,000-square-foot roof full of photovoltaic cells on a nearby building, an electrolyzer that uses the solar power to generate hydrogen from water, and a number of hydrogen tanks that store the gas until it is needed by the fuel cell. In the summer, the solar panels generate 60 per cent more electricity than the super-insulated house needs. The excess is stored in the form of hydrogen which is used in the winter - when the solar panels can't meet all the domestic demand - to make electricity in the fuel cell. Strizki also uses the hydrogen to power his fuel-cell driven car, which, like the domestic power plant, is pollution-free.
01/17/07 - Lean, Clean Machines
Aluminum Designs Figure Prominently in Automakers Visions of an Alternative-Fuel Future. U.S. gasoline prices may have backed off their all-time highs recently, but automakers are unveiling alternative-fuel vehicles at an ever-spiraling rate-among them hybrids, electric, diesel, flex-fuel, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). With excess weight an obstacle to the efficacy of many of these designs, aluminum figures prominently in the construction of many of these emerging vehicles.
01/17/07 - Batteries Key to Solar Energy Systems
The no-power-in-the-dark problem is something the solar revolutionaries often neglect to mention. If solar energy is to eventually meet most of our electricity needs, batteries would have to be introduced into the power grid - and a lot of them - so the sun's energy could be stored for night-time use. At the moment, there are no battery banks: power stations are simply cranked up and down to meet the demand at the time. Chemistry Nobel prize winner Richard Smalley had a vision for a solar-plus-battery-powered future. At its core was a large rechargeable battery in every house and office building, which would meet all the needs of the occupants for 24 hours. These mega-batteries would simply be recharged whenever the sun was shining. The catch is, today's batteries aren't up to the task. To power a household for a day with, say, 100 kilowatt-hours, would require a bank of lead-acid batteries so big it would fill a small room. And, at today's prices, the cost of this massive storage device would be more than $10,000. Plus, like the one in your car, you'd have to buy a new house battery - for another 10 grand - each time the old one wore out. And your electricity would be on top of that.
01/17/07 - Stem Cells offer the Ultimate Transplant
As revealed in a National Geographic documentary to be screened later this month, the creation of the two-headed dog was the first step in an astonishing race by Cold War scientists to achieve the seemingly impossible - the first ever human head transplant. Although the world's first face transplant has already taken place, the notion of taking the head of one person and transferring it to the body of another still seems far-fetched. But back in the Fifties, despite being utterly incredible to many, it was a branch of science pursued by some of the most respected doctors of the day. Vladimir Demkhov believed for example that it was possible to transplant organs like hearts and lungs in human beings. In those days, such a procedure seemed scarcely credible - but Demikhov proved it could be done. Often preferring to work in the dead of night, he showed that the heart and lungs could be taken from one dog and survive in the chest of another. This laid the groundwork for such landmark operations as the first heart transplant, conducted by South African surgeon Dr Christiaan Barnard, nearly 20 years later. But Demikhov didn't stop there. He was determined to prove that any human organ could be successfully transplanted, even the brain. To that end, he set about the challenge to create a two-headed dog. "The host-dog was bored by all this but soon became reconciled to the unaccountable puppy that had sprouted out of its neck," their correspondent wrote. "When it got thirsty, the puppy also got thirsty. When the laboratory grew hot, both host-dog and puppy panted to cool off." After six days, the bizarre hybrid died. But it had survived long enough to worry America, which was desperate to outdo the Soviets in all aspects of science and technology. Last year, researchers at University College, London, announced plans to inject the spinal cords of paralysed patients with stem cells taken from the human nose. These are cells capable of regenerating themselves and adapting to many different purposes within the body and it is hoped they might create a 'bridge' between the disconnected ends of the spinal nerves, enabling paralysed patients to regain full control of their bodies.
If severed spinal cords can be restored in this way, perhaps head transplants might eventually become a scientific possibility - without leaving the unfortunate 'patient' permanently paralysed.
01/17/07 - Cloudy apple juice four times healthier than clear
Jan Oszmianski, leading a team at the Agricultural University of Wroclaw, Poland, compared clear and cloudy varieties of apple juice, and found that cloudy juice contains four times the concentration of polyphenols. Polyophenols are also found in dark chocolate, red wine and are widely reported to have anti-caner activity. The research published this month in the SCI’s Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. “Cloudy juices taste better and have amazing body, which is important for us,” she said. “But the fact that cloudy juices have more health benefits is extra exciting and definitely encourages us to use them.” Clear juice far outsells cloudy juice because of the perception by consumers that is purer. But it is the process of clarification that removes the beneficial compounds locked away in the apple pulp. Retailers also tend to favour clear juice because it has a longer shelf life than cloudy juice.
01/17/07 - Iraqis will never accept Sellout to the oil corporations
The US-controlled Iraqi government is preparing to remove the country's most precious resource from national control. The government, with the help of USAid, the World Bank and the UN, is pushing through a comprehensive oil law to be promulgated close to an IMF deadline for the end of last year. Government officials, including the deputy prime minister, Barham Salih, have announced that the draft oil law is ready to be presented to the cabinet for approval. Salih was an enthusiast for the US-led invasion of Iraq, and the Kurdish militia-led administration he represents has signed illegal oil agreements that it is now seeking to legalise. Given that parliament has not been meeting regularly, it is likely that legislation will be rushed through after a deal brokered under the auspices of the US occupation. The oil law is likely to open the door to these corporations at a time when Iraq's capacity to regulate and control their activities will be highly circumscribed. It would therefore place the responsibility for protecting the country's vital national interest on the shoulders of a few vulnerable technocrats in an environment where blood and oil flow together in abundance. The US, the IMF and their allies are using fear to pursue their agenda of privatising and selling off Iraq's oil resources. The effect of this law will be to marginalise Iraq's oil industry and undermine the nationalisation measures undertaken between 1972 and 1975.
01/17/07 - Video - Wolve's in the Fold
(A hidden camera captures and documents the seeds of future disaster. - JWD) This is part one of the much-anticipated UK Channel 4 documentary Dispatches: Undercover Mosque, exposing evidence of Islamic supremacism, shocking misogyny, and support for violence at a number of Britain’s leading mosques and Muslim institutions. (Thanks again to LGF operative kasper.) "You have to live like the state, UNTIL you can TAKE OVER." / Keith Ellison swears into US government using Koran / Barack Obama in White House bid...
01/17/07 - Super Tasty, Healthier Sausages
Adding orange fibre to the mix allows scientist to make tasty sausages with 60% less fat. The orange fibre not only improves flavour but could also provide health benefits of fruit, which helps fight several conditions such as, colon cancer and heart disease.
01/16/07 - Video - Fuel Cell explanation and Demo
This is a nice little 8 minute video explaining the construction and operation of a fuel cell. The experimenters used the $140.00 off the shelf model fuel cell car available from many places on the internet. It took 20 minutes under a bright indoor light to charge the unit, yet only 10 minutes in direct sunlight. Inside, the car ran for 3 minutes and 32 seconds from the charge and additional ambient light, yet outside, it ran continuous due to direct sunlight producing sufficient hydrogen to power the fuel cell. Protons pass through the electrolyte but electrons cannot pass so are directed through a load to do work. Protons combine with oxygen and electrons to produce water and heat at the output.
01/16/07 - First Fuel Cell over 160 years ago
01/16/07 - Geo-Engineering - Dr Strangelove saves the earth
FEW scientists like to say so, but cutting greenhouse-gas emissions is not the only way to solve the problem of global warming. If man-made technologies are capable of heating the planet, they are probably capable of cooling it down again. Welcome to "geo-engineering", which holds that, rather than trying to change mankind's industrial habits, it is more efficient to counter the effects, using planetary-scale engineering. Many big ideas for global cooling have been suggested over the years. They include seeding the skies with compounds to encourage the formation of low-lying, cooling clouds; building a giant sun-shade in space; and dumping iron in the oceans to encourage the growth of algae that would take in carbon when alive and trap it in on the sea floor when dead. Ken Caldeira, a scientist at the Carnegie Institution, says the most promising idea may be to spray tiny sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere, where they will reflect incoming sunlight. Nature has already done the proof-of-concept work: volcanic eruptions spew such particles into the air, and the cooling effect is well documented.
01/16/07 - Video - Acoustic Levitation Chamber has X,Y and Z control
This is an acoustic levitation chamber I designed and built in 1987 as a micro-gravity experiment for NASA related subject matter. The 12 inch cubed plexiglas Helmholtz Resonant Cavity has 3 speakers attached to the cube by aluminum acoustic waveguides.
By applying a continuous resonant (600Hertz) sound wave, and by adjusting the amplitude and phase relationship amongst the 3 speakers; I was able to control levitation and movement in all 3 (x,y,z) axis of the ambient space. This research was used to show the effects of micro-gravity conditions that exist in the space shuttle environment in orbit, but done here on Earth in a lab.
01/16/07 - Nuclear power is particularly green energy: get used to it
The terms “green” and “nuclear” don't sit well together. It's commonly - but quite wrongly - assumed that they're at opposite ends of the spectrum of environmental correctness. Instead of emotional reactions, we need to take a considered look at verifiable facts of nuclear power production over a longer time period and rationally compare the risks and benefits of this technology against others used to produce the power we need, including the risk and impact and of potential future Chernobyl-like incidents in the equation.
In other words, let's be brave, not craven, in our assessment of nuclear power.
01/16/07 - Video - Driving the Solar Runaround
The whole thing is equipped with a 500 watt hub motor from goldenmotor.com. Two lead acid batteries also from goldenmotor.com. And the roof is made of a solar panel I made myself from 500 solar cells soldered together. The vehicle has a speed of about 22-25km and can go for 50-55km on one charge. It weighs about 200 pounds but has good control. I recommend to all of you who'd like to build a first vee frame vehicle to keep in mind that three wheel vehicles have to be low profile.. - DIY Solar Runaround
01/16/07 - 3D Printers To Build Houses
(This is much like the amazing Monolithic Dome Homes sprayed on rebar frames for super strong, well insulated structures. - JWD) The Sunday Times describes two separate programs where robots are being developed to build houses. The Los Angeles project is farther along than the one in the UK, but the article provides more details on the techniques employed in the latter. Liquid concrete and gypsum will be sprayed from nozzles in a manner analogous to an inkjet printer. From the article: "The first prototype - a watertight shell of a two-story house built in 24 hours without a single builder on site - will be erected in California before April. The robots are rigged to a metal frame, enabling them to shuttle in three dimensions and assemble the structure of the house layer by layer. The sole foreman on site operates a computer programmed with the designer's plans... Inspired by the inkjet printer, the technology goes far beyond the techniques already used for prefabricated homes. 'This will remove all the limitations of traditional building,' said [an architect involved with the UK project]. 'Anything you can dream you can build.'"
01/16/07 - Building Chips Like LEGO
"It seems that 3D silicon chips, allowing designers to fit more components into a smaller space, could soon be made far easier to create with a little inspiration from a classic children's toy. "Silicon wafers covered with matching patterns of Lego-like teeth and holes could aid the development of 3D electronics, say UK researchers." Crucially, this technique can make use of existing machinery."
01/16/07 - Chinese Worker's Most Hated Inventions
Number one on the most-hated list is the punch machine. (Time clock) Zhang says most of his colleagues are hardworking people, but they feel like the boss doesn't trust them when he uses a machine to evaluate their performance. / Number two is instant noodles. More and more people today realize instant noodles do not make for a healthy meal, but lack of time forces many white-collar workers to eat them instead of a well-rounded dinner. / Mattresses weighed in at number three on the most-hated list. To encourage their employees to work overtime, a number of companies have issued their employees with mattresses so they can catch a nap under their desks at any time of day. / And last, but not least, the mobile phone. A surgeon from a Beijing hospital says more and more white-collar workers are turning up with a strange disease they dub "mobile phone elbow".
01/16/07 - Brain Worms in South Texas
(You've heard about 'dieting' by ingesting tapeworm eggs which hatch and eat most of your food so you lose a lot of weight...this is a great warning against doing that particular experiment. - JWD) Wash your hands, cook meats, and clean fruits and vegetables to protect yourself from brain worms. Apparently, several cases of cysticerosis have recently been reported in South Texas. The infection is caused by tapeworm larvae that form cysts within the body and can eventually move their way into the brain and spinal cord, resulting in neurocysticerosis. According to the Center for Disease Control, seizures, headaches, confusion, brain swelling, and even death can occur. According to a KENS TV article, one individual who suffered from the problem was Renaldo Ramirez, 50, of Houston. He complained of a headache and eventually passed out for more than a week. From the article; "Dr. Aaron Mohanty found a cyst of tapeworm larvae living in Ramirez's brain. If it hadn't been found, the doctor said, Ramirez could have been dead within hours from the disease called cysticercosis. The disease is usually found in rural parts of developing countries with poor hygiene habits. However, Ramirez was the fourth patient Mohanty treated within a few months. Ramirez's cyst was removed through a small incision. There have been cases of cysticercosis in South Texas, San Antonio's Metro Health District said, but it is not a major outbreak."
01/16/07 - Build your own t-shirt rack
(This is very slick. I'm gonna build one as most of my shirts are tees cause the weather is so nice here. It could be redesigned to accomodate different sizes, possibly with a sliding tube within a tube for width adjustment. - JWD) The latest instructable at DIY site Instructables shows you how to build a t-shirt rack that, unlike regular closet hangers, won't stretch out the necks. Head to the hardware store: You're going to need a mess o' PVC pipe and elbow fittings, plus a way to cut the pipes to the various required lengths (unless you're able to buy them pre-cut). The author says time and materials will run you 26 minutes and $26, but it'll take you a lot longer if you have to cut the PVC yourself. In the end you'll have a rack that holds a dozen large or XL t-shirts and keeps them wrinkle-free.
01/15/07 - Video - Steorn Toy Magnet 90 degree demo
Steorn toy where magnets approach each other at 90 degrees. The theory is, that at repulsion there is a spike of energy which is not currently explained by mainstream physics. The Steorn toy uses an array of magnets, so arranged that there is more force in one direction than another.
01/15/07 - Send in the clots to kill off cancer
An artificial scab could destroy tumours by cutting off their blood supply. Nanoparticles have previously been used to target tumour blood vessels, but weren't particularly effective because only a small percentage stuck in the right spot. Now Erkki Ruoslahti and his colleagues at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, California, have produced nanoparticles with a built-in "self-amplifying" mechanism that in mice caused a three-fold increase in the number of particles that reach their target. The particles bind to the vessels and attract yet more particles and blood proteins, eventually causing a clot that blocks the vessel.
01/15/07 - Video - Magnetic Flux Gate 'Stick' Solved?
In the many experiments seeking to make a self running magnetic motor, there is always the problem of the 'stick.' Sure there is a driving force yet once it comes full circle, it has to get past that stick. This interesting video claims to have resolved it using a specific distance of 6mm from the ball to the closest magnet. Subsequent magnets follow the Takahashi spiral form which is a kind of fibonacci moving from a weakest to strongest effect. The video is a bit dark and fuzzy but it is clear enough to get the point. / Video - Showing the 'Stick' in Action
01/15/07 - China Takes Lead in Electric Cars
Tianjin Qingyuan Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd. is building a 165 million yuan (US$21 million) factory capable of producing 20,000 electric powered vehicles a year in the northern port city of Tianjin. The plant will produce cars powered by battery, hybrid power and fuel cells. It is expected to be completed at the end of 2007. According to an earlier press release: This car, named “Happy Messenger,” can be used for many purposes, such as a police wagon to patrol urban areas or used to carry goods. It also can be used as a business purpose vehicle, or at scenic sites, sports centers, residences or environment protection areas. People in US will use it in urban areas, military bases, ports and some large research institutions. They exported 112 battery-powered minibuses to the United States in 2005 and is expected to export more than 500 to the United States in 2006.
01/15/07 - Video - Speaker Driven Magnetic Motor
Interesting demonstration of the up and down movement of a speaker diaphragm moving a magnet which causes a cylinder to rotate on a shaft. It might be scaleable. The motor uses permanent magnets in the stator and rotor. Runs on about 1.44 watts and less. About 400RPM.
01/15/07 - Novel Mass Algae Production System
Solix Biofuels is developing technology to mass-produce algae that create oil that can be converted into biodiesel fuel. The Solix photo-bioreactor system, beta model shown here, which grows algae in temperature controlled closed plastic bags is the novel part of their process and the focus of development at Colorado State University. Solix plans to commercialize the technology over the course of the next two years and expects to be able to compete commercially with the wholesale price of crude petroleum. "Algae are the fastest growing organisms on the planet, and can produce 100 times more oil per acre than conventional soil-tilled crops that are now being grown for biofuel use," said Solix founder Jim Sears.
01/15/07 - Video - Hilarious Mouse Experiment
A French student shows his experiment using a camera looking into a box with the images going to a computer, then onto a big screen for the audience to see. You won't believe what he does to this poor mouse. All a joke of course but its well done and very amusing.
01/15/07 - Hydrogen from Water and powdered Aluminum
Hydrogen Now involves a chemical reaction between water, aluminum, and an environmentally friendly catalyst to cleanly and efficiently produce hydrogen on-site and on-demand. Their high energy density AlumiFuelTM powder, consisting of aluminum and catalyst can be easily transported and stored. The company claims: the Hydrogen Now technology produces hydrogen on-site and on-demand requiring no energy consumption for the creation of hydrogen. The aluminum “splits” the water freeing the hydrogen and creating a benign byproduct of aluminum hydroxide (non-toxic, non-caustic, and recyclable). It produces hydrogen free of impurities that can be used directly to power fuel cells or internal combustion engines.
01/15/07 - Video - Solenoid driven motor
If you love the time of trains with reciprocal motion converted to rotary force which was so easy to see in any locomotive, you'll enjoy watching this video. A custom aluminum engine with a crankshaft driven by a variable speed high torque solenoid to drive the wheel. Very nice!
01/15/07 - Whipping therapy cures depression and suicide crises
The effect is astounding: a patient starts seeing only bright colors in the surrounding world. Russian scientists from the city of Novosibirsk, Siberia, made a sensational report at the international conference devoted to new methods of treatment and rehabilitation in narcology. The report was called “Methods of painful impact to treat addictive behavior.” If a depressed individual receives a physical punishment, whipping that is, it will eventually remove depressive feelings.
01/15/07 - MoGo Bluetooth USB Adapter
MoGo Dapter is finger-nail sized Bluetooth Adapter that plugs into any laptop or tablet USB port. The Dapter uses advanced technologies - Bluetooth standard v2.0 +EDR and USB 2.0 - to provide you with quicker connection times, enhanced voice and multimedia quality, greater Wi-Fi environments, and up to three-times-faster data-transfer speeds than v1.2 Adapters.
01/14/07 - Iowa to Combine Wind Energy with Compressed Air Storage
The proposed project, known as the Iowa Stored Energy Park (IESP), will use low-cost, off-peak electricity -- and wind energy that is not being sold on the grid at that time -- to store air in an underground geologic structure of porous rock located 3,000 feet underground, beneath layers of impermeable cap rock. The air will be injected under pressure, pushing back water stored in the rock. The rock will hold air much like a sponge holds water. Then, as demand for electricity rises, the stored air will be released, heated, and used to drive generators -- in turn producing electricity for residents in Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Although CAES has been in use for over 20 years -- and similar methods are used to store natural gas underground in numerous parts of the world -- currently cavern air storage is only used in two other locations. The first CAES plant, a 290 MW facility, was started up in Huntorf, Germany in 1978, and a 110 MW plant commenced operation in McIntosh, Alabama in 1991. Several underground rock structures in Iowa were investigated, and within the past six weeks, studies confirmed that a site in Dallas Center, Iowa, has the adequate size, depth, and cap rock structure - all necessary geologic features - to allow development of the project to proceed. The cost of the storage infrastructure, generating facility, and associated components is estimated at $200,000-225,000. This does not include any wind facilities, said Holst.
01/14/07 - 110MW Compressed Air Storage plant in Alabama
Officially dedicated September 27, 1991. Second commercially owned in the world. World's first CAES plant is a 290 MW facility located in Huntdorf, Germany. First CAES plant in the United States. First in the world to use fuel-efficient recuperator, which reduces fuel consumption by 25 percent. One full charge from the 110 MW CAES plant provides enough electricity to supply the demands of 11,000 homes for 26 hours. Off-peak electricity is used to compress air in the cavern. Cavern: Top of solution-mined salt cavern is 1,500 feet underground. Bottom of cavern is 2,500 feet underground. 10-million-cubic-foot air storage cavern is 220 feet in diameter and 1,000 feet tall. At full charge, air pressure is 1,100 pounds per square inch. At full discharge, cavern air pressure is 650 pounds per square inch.
The cavern walls do not move as the pressure changes inside. The cavern walls have a strength of 50 times that of the maximum air pressure produced by the CAES plant. Capacity: Compressed air flows through the CAES plant generator at a rate of 340 pounds of air per second, which is as fast as a wide-body jet engine. The fuel consumption during generation is equal to 4,600 Btu (HHV) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. There are about 20,750 Btu in each gallon of gasoline. The electricity consumed during compression is 0.82 kWh of peak load generation.
Construction: Harbert International, Birmingham, Alabama Plant construction time: approximately 2 years, 9 months Engineer: Gibbs & Hill, New York, NY. Machinery and equipment made by Dresser-Rand, Wellsville, NY (includes expanders, compressors, motor-generator, control system, clutches, gears).
01/14/07 - The Snoop Next Door Is Posting to YouTube
"Your most trivial missteps are increasingly ripe for exposure online, reports the Wall Street Journal, thanks to cheap cameras and entrepreneurs hoping to profit from websites devoted to the exposure. From the article: 'The most trivial missteps by ordinary folks are increasingly ripe for exposure as well. There is a proliferation of new sites dedicated to condemning offenses ranging from bad parking and leering to littering and general bad behavior. One site documents locations where people have failed to pick up after their dogs. Capturing newspaper-stealing neighbors on video is also an emerging genre. Helping drive the exposés are a crop of entrepreneurs who hope to sell advertising and subscriptions.' But other factors are at work, including a return to shame as a check on social behavior, says an MIT professor."
01/14/07 - Fuel Cells, Stabilizing Electrocatalysts
Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating chemical reactions in fuel cells for electric vehicles. In reactions during the stop-and-go driving of an electric car, however, the platinum dissolves, which reduces its efficiency as a catalyst. This is a major impediment for vehicle-application of fuel cells. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have overcome this problem. Under lab conditions that imitate the environment of a fuel cell, the researchers added gold clusters to the platinum electrocatalyst, which kept it intact during an accelerated stability test. “Despite many advances, however, existing fuel-cell technology still has drawbacks, including loss of platinum cathode electrocatalysts, which can be as much as 45 percent over five days, as shown in our accelerated stability test under potential cycling conditions. Using a new technique that we developed to deposit gold atoms on platinum, our team was able to show promise in helping to resolve this problem. The next step is to duplicate results in real fuel cells.” In the Brookhaven experiment, the platinum electrocatalyst remained stable with potential cycling between 0.6 and 1.1 volts in over 30,000 oxidation-reduction cycles, imitating the conditions of stop-and-go driving. “The gold clusters protected the platinum from being oxidized,” Adzic said. “Our team’s research raises promising possibilities for synthesizing improved platinum-based catalysts and for stabilizing platinum and platinum-group metals under cycling oxidation/reduction conditions.”
01/14/07 - Shatner Leaks Trek XI Details
"The rumors that the next Star Trek movie would revolve around the earliest missions of Kirk and Spock have been confirmed by William Shatner in a Sci Fi Wire interview. J.J. Abrahms (creator of 'Lost') will direct, and has confirmed that a draft script is completed. So, the question is, will Shatner appear as a reminiscing older Kirk in the beginning, setting up the rest of the movie as a flash-back, or will geriatric-Kirk and young-Kirk meet?"
01/14/07 - Ford Airstream concept: a shiny, hydrogen-powered PHEV funmobile
This vehicle - a sort of cross between a conversion van, a space capsule and a mirror - was unveiled yesterday at the Detroit Auto Show. This totally tricked-out vehicle concept is powered by a HySeries Drive powertrain (a version of this is also in the Edge prototype that will be unveiled later this month in D.C.). The HySeries Drive is battery-powered, with plug-in capability and has a hydrogen fuel cell as an on-board charger. Ford estimates a combined city/highway gasoline equivalent fuel economy rating of 41 mpg. On all-electric power, the Airstream concept can go 25 miles. Add some hydrogen (ahh, if only it were so easy), and you can go another 280 miles. The fuel cell, made by Ballard, turns on automatically when the battery charge dips below 40 percent. With the on-board charger (110/220 VAC), the battery pack can be refilled at home. Ford says the HySeries Drive is 50 percent smaller and less complex than conventional fuel cell system and should have more than double the lifetime.
01/14/07 - U.S. Army Shuns Anti-RPG System
As of September 2006, 170 American lives have been lost to RPGs in the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. RAFAEL, the Israeli Armament development authority, has been testing a system to defend against such attacks, and have found it to be "well above 90%" effective in killing RPGs. This system, dubbed TROPHY, is an Active Protection System that utilizes small buckshot to disintegrate an incoming rocket. The U.S. Army tested the system and found it to effective nearly 98.5% of the time, and the Office of Force Transformation agreed to purchase several at a cost of around $400,000 per unit for battlefield trials this year. Yet according to an NBC News report, the U.S. Army has rejected the system. One may ask why, but it seems the answer may be simple: The Army has a $70 million contract with Raytheon to develop a similar system (part of the Army's massive modernization program dubbed Future Combat System), which won't be ready until at least 2011. NBC News asked pointed questions, but even Raytheon refused comment on whether that timetable is even accurate. NBC even has documents purporting to show that an Army General threatened a Navy engineer for recommending the TROPHY system. / MSNBC article
01/14/07 - Formula For Procrastination Found
"Science Daily reports that a University of Calgary academic has published a paper titled The Nature of Procrastination: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review of Quintessential Self-Regulatory Failure in the Psychological Bulletin. The research reveals that most people's New Year's resolutions are doomed to failure, most self-help books have it completely wrong when they say perfectionism is at the root of procrastination, and procrastination can be explained by a single mathematical equation. The research is apparently the culmination of 10 years work. However, no indication was given of how much time was spent putting it off before it was begun." From the article: "Essentially, procrastinators have less confidence in themselves, less expectancy that they can actually complete a task... Perfectionism is not the culprit. In fact, perfectionists actually procrastinate less, but they worry about it more."
01/14/07 - Giant rabbits to solve hunger in North Korea
(Looks like Texas rabbit to me. - JWD) "Karl Szmolinsky, a 67 year old, East German pensioner that have breds rabbits the size of dogs for 47 years was asked by North Korea's ambassador whether he might be willing to sell some rabbits to set up a breeding farm in North Korea. Each of his German Grey Rabbits can feed 8 people and will possible reduce if not stop solve the food shortage crisis in North Korea."
01/13/07 - The Lingering Stench of Malthus
The majority of human beings are living in cities for the first time in history."In the great era of urbanization we have increasingly shut off the human race from the rest of the natural world in the belief that we could conquer, colonize and utilize the riches of the planet to ensure our autonomy without dire consequences to us and future generations," he declares. Of course that's exactly what we've done and it's a good thing too. As Karl Marx noted in The Communist Manifesto, bourgeois capitalism fueled the growth of cities and "thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life." History has shown that people prefer the opportunities and excitement of city life to rural idiocy. And the former country idiots are voting with their feet. While some people may be pushed by war or drought, or poverty into cities, most people today are pulled in by the prospect of reinventing themselves, escaping from the narrow strictures of family, class and community, and a shot at really making it. As humanity has urbanized, we have become ever less subject to nature's vagaries. The further good news is that the movement of humanity's burgeoning population into the thousand of megacities foreseen that Rifkin is part of a process that ultimately will leave more land for nature. Today cities occupy just 2 percent of the earth's surface, but that will likely double to 4 percent over the next half century. In order to avoid this ostensibly terrible fate Rifkin proclaims, "In the next phase of human history, we will need to find a way to reintegrate ourselves into the rest of the living Earth if we are to preserve our own species and conserve the planet for our fellow creatures." Actually, he's got it completely backwards. Humanity must not reintegrate into nature-that way lays disaster for humanity and nature. Instead we must make ourselves even more autonomous than we already are from her.
01/13/07 - Life History of Men - Stud, Dud, Thud
(Interesting view why men have been in power so long. - JWD) "Stud, dud, thud." It is through this triumvirate of virility, senility and death that Richard Bribiescas summarises the life history of men. Essentially, the book asks: "What makes a man a man?" And at its heart is an attempt to find out why males, who make up 50 per cent of the population, account for 85 per cent of violent crime. With no guarantees that they have fathered any offspring, men put considerably less effort into raising children than women do. As a result, surplus calories can be used to accumulate social, economic and political power - in other words, to do as they wish.
01/13/07 - Video - DIY Amazing Steam Candle
A rotating Steam Turbine using only a simple hollow metal tube with a twist to produce underwater steam to drive the floating candle. Very slick!
01/13/07 - Windows - Free AntiVir antivirus software
Rid your system of viruses and keep them at bay with Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition, which joins the ranks of such esteemed free anti-virus tools as Avast, AVG and ClamWin. The program promises to detect and remove more than 80,000 threats, including trojans, worms, dialers and the like. It can stop master-boot-record viruses and previously unknown viruses, perform scheduled scans (at whatever times you specify) and fetch virus-definition updates automatically. AntiVir's clean, tabbed interface should please novice and expert users alike, though I was surprised by the lack of a simple "scan now" button. Even so, my Norton AntiVirus subscription just expired; I think this will be taking its place. What's your favorite free (or even commercial) anti-virus program? Tell us about it in the comments. AntiVir Personal Edition requires Windows or Linux.
01/12/07 - Tiny cable to make big waves in solar energy
Scientists have created a tiny cable - much thinner than a human hair - through which they can transmit visible light, potentially paving the way for improvements in solar energy, computing and medicine. Coaxial cable has been around for decades, prized for its enormously efficient transmission qualities. It has an inner wire surrounded by an insulator and then another metal sheath. This enables the cable to carry electromagnetic signals with wavelengths bigger than its own diameter. They fashioned a light-transmitting coaxial cable that contains an inner "wire" of carbon surrounded by an insulator and an outer wire of aluminum. It is about 300 nanometres wide - several hundred times thinner than a human hair - with the centre wire sticking out at one end to serve as an antenna for light. Visible light possesses a wavelength of 380-750 nanometres, but the scientists squeezed it through a cable tinier than that. They beamed red and green light through the cable, showing it can transmit a broad spectrum of visible light. "It's not quite the speed of light, but it's probably 90% the speed of light. That's still thousands of times faster than electronics," Naughton said in an interview. "It's optics for the manipulation of information rather than electronics," he said.
01/12/07 - Ted Turner Launches Solar Energy Venture
Turner plans to partner with Dome-Tech Solar, a leading solar energy developer, based in Branchburg, New Jersey to create DT Solar, a Turner renewable energy company. DT Solar will initially focus on providing on-site solar electric power systems for commercial and industrial clients, as well as developing larger, utility-scale solar power plants in the southwestern United States. Dome-Tech Solar develops and builds large-scale solar energy systems for commercial, industrial and institutional clients. It was founded in 2003 and has rapidly grown into one of the nation's largest developers of on-site solar power generation.
01/12/07 - GM opens alternative fuel exhibit at Disney Epcot
As part of General Motors ongoing promotion of their alternative fuel efforts, they've opened a new edutainment exhibit at the Epcot theme park at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The facility will feature a variety of interactive exhibits covering hybrid, fuel cell and biofuel power-trains. the "Fuel for Thought" exhibit is located at the exit of Test Track thrill ride and is included with admission to the park. Read the full GM press release right after the jump. "Fuel For Thought" is comprised of interactive kiosks and games, a special floor projection, plasma wall elements, bright graphics and messaging, vehicle displays with information conveyed through lighting and video, and live narrated presentations. The walk through "Fuel For Thought" begins down a livegreengoyellow.com pathway designed with brilliant graphics and a plasma wall with an expansive photo of a cornfield. As visitors pass by, they will see the cornstalks parting in a wavelike fashion. The opposite wall is dotted with porthole-like windows that provide an introduction to different GM environmental activities throughout the world.
01/12/07 - Interesting Videos of Effects in Various Mediums
(If you are into Cymatics, these are interesting videos to check out. The photo is cornstarch and water. - JWD)
1. Dilatants - fluids that get more solid when stressed. The classic example is a mixture of cornflour and water - it's runny until you hit it when it becomes solid. 2. Auxetic materials - materials that get thicker when stretched. Pull them in one direction and they expand in another. 3. Superfluids - liquids that flow without friction. 4. Ferrofluids - magnetic fluids that can look spectacular. 5. Dry ice. Carbon dioxide freezes at -78.5 °C and it's fun and versatile stuff. (via boingboing.com)
01/12/07 - NMR Shows That Nuclear Storage Degrades
(This is that much more reason why we need nuclear remdiation technology, to convert radioactive waste into inert forms. - JWD) Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imagery that shows that certain nuclear waste storage containers may not be as safe as previously thought. From the article: "[R]adiation emitted from [plutonium] waste could transform one candidate storage material into less durable glass after just 1,400 years - much more quickly than thought... The problem is that the radioactive waste damages the matrix that contains it. Many of the waste substances, including plutonium-239, emit alpha radiation, which travels for only very short distances (barely a few hundredths of a millimeter) in the ceramic, but creates havoc along the way."
01/12/07 - Free download Google 3D SketchUp 6
(Way cool 32mb 2000/XP free program that integrates with other Google services, check out the demos. - JWD) Create 3D models with Google SketchUp 6. The new version adds a Google Earth plug-in, photo tracing, 3D text and new collections of display settings. Like previous versions, SketchUp 6 lets you render 3D models of objects, buildings, landscapes and just about anything else. When you're done, you can view the models in Google Earth and post them to 3D Warehouse (a sharing/storage repository for SketchUp models). Google SketchUp 6 is a free, easy-to-learn 3D modeling tool that enables you to explore the world in 3D. With just a few simple tools, you can create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects - even space ships. And once you've built your models, you can place them in Google Earth, post them to the 3D Warehouse. (via lifehacker.com)
01/12/07 - The Patriot Whistleblower
On February 7, there appeared on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity an eighty-six-page draft of the Justice Department's proposed sequel to the USA PATRIOT Act. It so radically subverts the constitutional rights of Americans-far more than even the original USA PATRIOT Act-and so appalled a member of John Ashcroft's staff that he or she leaked it to Charles Lewis, head of the Committee for Public Integrity. Keeping the Constitution will be as vital to the American future as fending off terrorists. More so. If Americans win a war (not just against Saddam Hussein) and lose the Constitution, they will have lost everything. A secret government is, by its nature, ominous, and ours is becoming precipitously ominous.
01/12/07 - Nicogel - The New Nicotine Hand Lotion
(Now they need one to help people lose weight. - JWD) A new hand gel is starting to appear on drug-store shelves promising more than just an end to germs or dry skin -- this one claims to satisfy users' tobacco cravings for up to four hours. Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain by sales, is now stocking its more than 5,500 stores with packets of Nicogel, a quick-evaporating gel made with tobacco extracts. The roll-out should be finished within a couple weeks, said company spokeswoman Carol Hively in an e-mail, adding that it costs $5.99 for box of 10 doses. Nicogel, made by a unit of privately held Blue Whale Worldwide Inc., can be used when smoking is inconvenient, such as at work, on an airplane, in a theater or, these days, in almost any other public place. "Our feeling is that if you can ease a smoker's way ... if you can give them a little comfort or relief temporarily, we don't see anything wrong with that," Reynolds said. Nicogel is the latest in a line of nicotine craving-kickers such as NicLite bottled nicotine water and CigArrest chewable tablets, whose safety and effectiveness U.S. regulators have not confirmed.
01/12/07 - USB PC Repair System (Windows)
The Daily Cup of Tech computer help site put together a USB-drive based collection of software that'll help you resuscitate any ailing PC. All wrapped up into one convenient, 14.2MB zip file, the USB PC Repair System contains 37 fix-it proggies, many of which we've recommended here on Lifehacker before, including: CCleaner, Eraser, ProcessExplorer and TweakUI. The PC Repair System is a free download, Windows only. (via lifehacker.com)
01/12/07 - Wikileaks - Anonymous Whistle-Blowing
Wikileaks aims to be an anonymous and uncensorable repository of leaked documents, posted for commentary by interested parties. It's expected to go live in a month or two. From the site: "Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact; this means our interface is identical to Wikipedia and usable by non-technical people. We have received over 1.1 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources."
01/11/07 - Research Continues for Deep Space Travel Propulsion
The Plasmoid Thruster Experiment (PTX) is a stepping stone to a highly efficient propulsion concept which could ultimately change how we travel in space, according to Dr. Jason Cassibry, a researcher in UAH’s Propulsion Research Center. “Larger, more powerful versions can produce fusion for both power and space propulsion, allowing human travel to the outer planets,” he said. The purpose of the PTX is to investigate the fundamental plasma and acceleration properties of a small-scale, pulsed plasma thruster. PTX works by ringing a single turn conical theta pinch coil at about 500 kHz, ionizing and accelerating a small quantity of gas. The magnetic field inside the coil creates a plasmoid, a plasma that has a closed magnetic field structure. One of the biggest challenges in any electric propulsion concept is increasing the lifetime of the thruster, which must run continuously for several years for deep space missions. Most electric propulsion concepts use plasma, which is in contact with electrodes or acceleration grids, causing erosion of the components and limiting the lifetime of the thruster. The plasmoid thruster potentially has a much longer lifetime, because the plasma is formed inductively, which means that the plasma is not in contact with the thruster components. In the long term, the PTX experiment will be expanded by varying the coil geometry, adding bias flux and changing the initial conditions to study the effect on the coupling efficiency between the primary coil current and the secondary current in the plasmoid in an effort to improve plasma acceleration and thrust.
01/11/07 - Lightning balls created in the lab
(Anything for publicity. - JWD) One theory suggests that ball lightning is a highly ionised blob of plasma held together by its own magnetic fields, while an exotic explanation claims the cause is mini black holes created in the big bang. A more down-to-earth theory, proposed by John Abrahamson and James Dinniss at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, is that ball lightning forms when lightning strikes soil, turning any silica in the soil into pure silicon vapour. As the vapour cools, the silicon condenses into a floating aerosol bound into a ball by charges that gather on its surface, and it glows with the heat of silicon recombining with oxygen. To test this idea, a team led by Antônio Pavão and Gerson Paiva from the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil took wafers of silicon just 350 micrometres thick, placed them between two electrodes and zapped them with currents of up to 140 amps. Then over a couple of seconds, they moved the electrodes slightly apart, creating an electrical arc that vaporised the silicon. The arc spat out glowing fragments of silicon but also, sometimes, luminous orbs the size of ping-pong balls that persisted for up to 8 seconds. "The luminous balls seem to be alive," says Pavão. He says their fuzzy surfaces emitted little jets that seemed to jerk them forward or sideways, as well as smoke trails that formed spiral shapes, suggesting the balls were spinning. From their blue-white or orange-white colour, Pavão's team estimates that they have a temperature of roughly 2000 kelvin. The balls were able to melt plastic, and one even burned a hole in Paiva's jeans. These are by far the longest-lived glowing balls ever made in the lab. Earlier experiments using microwaves created luminous balls, but they disappeared milliseconds after the microwaves were switched off. "The lifetimes of our fireballs are about a hundred or more times higher than that obtained by microwaves," says Pavão.
01/11/07 - Your snap judgments are spot on
People have eagle eyes when they have just enough time to make a snap decision, a new study suggests. Subjects asked to pick out a single reversed cross on a screen of nearly 660 such symbols did better when they had only a fraction of a second to make a decision. The study supports the idea that we should trust our initial instincts in certain circumstances, say the researchers. They add that the findings demonstrate how higher-level thinking can sometimes steer us away from the right answer.
01/11/07 - Sonic Fingerprints Used To Determine Authenticity Of Art
A new system uses 'sonic tomography' as a means to protect authentic works of art and give museums and art buyers alike a way to spot fakes. The system works by attaching a network of sensors in and around the artifact, and when tapped with a rubber hammer, computer software can record the sonic fingerprint that will only match up with the original. Additionally, the waves could inform restorers if a segment of a structure is weaker than the eye can tell, giving them extra time to build reinforcements on ancient buildings, walls, etc. The chance of such a system ever being used outside of highly trafficked museums, however, is slim, primarily due to the $19,000 to $26,000 price range that the system falls in, not to mention the "trained staff" required to run it.
01/11/07 - U.S. Homeowners Can Now "Rent" Solar Panels, Saving Money
Residents of the United States will soon be able to install energy-efficient solar panels on their homes without paying significant upfront costs, according to the renewable energy development company Citizenre. The Delaware-based business has launched a program that allows customers to “rent” the panels for specified periods of time, paying a per-kilowatt fee that takes the place of the local utility bill. The monthly rate is locked in when the 1, 5 or 25-year contract is signed, so as energy prices go up participants are likely to save money while significantly reducing their output of greenhouse gases. The rental program, called REnU, is billed as a cost-effective response to the challenges many would-be solar users face when confronted with the high costs of solar system equipment, installation, and maintenance. The program’s only upfront charge is a security deposit of roughly US$500, which is paid back-with interest-at the end of the contract. The solar panel rentals will be offered in all but the nine U.S. states that have not yet adopted “net metering” laws allowing renewable energy to flow into the national electricity grid. Under the REnU program, solar energy captured during the day is fed into the grid and pulled back out again for use at night.
01/11/07 - Survival Kit--Never Too Early to Plan For the Unexpected
(Useful article that might save your life, never hurts to be prepared. - JWD) In the modern developed world, we have everything provided to us--clean water to our homes, plentiful food in supermarkets, anything and everything on the internet, emergency services for fire, injury, and threats of all kinds. But when you are in the wilderness, or when things inside civilisation break down--as in New Orleans and other corrupt urban centers--you need to be prepared. M4040 is a good website for survival information. The survival kit at top is from 4040, and on this page he explains how to use the items in his own survival kit. If you read through survival tips on different websites, you may develop ideas of your own, for a kit that would suit your particular part of the world. In a society full of neotenous incompetents, every unexpected event will cause many more casualties than necessary. Just try not to be one of those casualties yourself. (via Al Fin)
01/11/07 - Concentrating Solar Power by Solucar Power
When higher temperatures are needed for power generation, some industrial applications use parabolic troughs to concentrate the solar radiation onto evacuated tube collectors. The collector tube is enclosed by glass and the space within the tube is maintained at a permanent vacuum, thereby reducing conductive heat loss at high temperature. “Parabolic troughs concentrate sunlight onto a receiver tube positioned along the focal line of the trough. The trough is usually designed with a tracking system to follow the sun as it moves across the sky during the day. This optimises the amount of heat that can be generated. A trough power station will have a large number of these set out in rows over a collecting field.” Solar thermal power systems use solar-generated heat to drive an engine or turbine connected to an electric generator. By concentrating the solar energy, they are able to generate heat at temperatures ranging from several hundred to several thousand degrees Celsius. The heat is used to generate steam or some other pressurised gas which then drives a turbine or engine. To maximise electricity generation, the collectors should be sited where the skies are predominantly clear throughout the year. A desert location is therefor ideal. “Solar Energy Advisory2” from the South Australia Government. Parabolic troughs comprise the solar thermal technology that Abengoa proposes for application in the Southwest, which has two characteristics suitable to such development 1) vast tracts of desert that receive sufficient solar energy for a large part of the year and 2) access to a power network that can carry the electricity to high use areas. (Some areas in Australia also offer the same features and concentrating solar is being investigated as solution to power needs there also.)
01/11/07 - Company promises to wirelessly power handheld devices
A Pennsylvania startup called Powercast says it has a technology that will power cell phones and other small electronic devices wirlessly over short distances. It works like this: a transmitter can be placed anywhere--in a lamp, for example, that is plugged into the wall and sits on a table. The transmitter in the lamp sends out a continuous, low RF signal. Anything with either AA or AAA batteries set within its range--and equipped with a Powercast receiver, which is the size of your fingernail--will be continuously charged.
01/10/07 - Analogy of cochlea as SAW resonator could lead to artificial copies
(Keely did this over 120 years ago. - JWD) In attempting to construct an artificial cochlea-and faced with limited knowledge of how the living chamber works-scientists might need to look no further than a simple electronic device: a surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonator. Recently, scientist Andrew Bell suggested that the cochlea exhibits similar structure and electromechanical properties to this common piece of circuitry. The cochlea-a spiral-shaped, hollow bone in the inner ear-plays a vital role in sensing, processing, and amplifying sounds. The common understanding of the workings of the cochlea centers on its passive behavior, in which tiny hair cells create electrical signals from vibrations in the surrounding fluid. In developing his new idea, Bell was inspired by a discovery in 1978 that most human ears continuously emit very pure, soft tones-sounds which can be picked up with a sensitive microphone. The current theory of a hydrodynamical traveling wave stimulating hair cell stereocilia does not easily accommodate such fine tuning, leading Bell to propose that the outer hair cells in the cochlea actively cooperate to amplify sound. "When you listen to a recording of the sound that the cochlea makes, you hear something like a carillon of wind chimes,” Bell told PhysOrg.com. “It's easy to get the impression that something seems to be resonating.” Using squirting waves and the SAW configuration, the cochlea could theoretically provide sharp resonance frequencies typical of the human ear, in the range of 20 to 20,000 Hz. “The idea is that cells are not lonely, independent entities unaware of other cells,” said Bell. “Instead, cells appear in populations and cooperatively interact so as to perform signal processing. We have long known that nerve cells process information via a network of interactions (neural nets), but here we see a preneural example: outer hair cells act both to detect sound and pass it on to neighboring cells, which do the same. Shuttling of signals back and forth leads to positive feedback and frequency analysis, and this might prompt us to look for similar interactions among other sensing cells. Visual, olfactory, and balance cells, for example, could well work in similar ways.” Bell speculates that the main reason past artificial cochleas fell short is that their designers focused on the passive traveling wave picture. But building a cochlea based on the active processes residing in the resonator analogy may, Bell thinks, open up a much more effective way forward. “A SAW-like cochlea would form a rugged spectral analyzer-a reasoning behind existing artificial cochleas-but it could be much more sensitive then existing prototypes,” said Bell. / Inner-ear mystery solved and Hearing Via Acoustic Holograms and Cochlea's spiral shape boosts low frequencies.
01/10/07 - Warm December Pushes 2006 to Record Year
Last year was the warmest on record for the United States, with readings pushed over higher than normal by the unusual and unseasonably warm weather during the last half of December. Preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center listed the average temperature for the 48 contiguous states last year as 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 2.2 degrees warmer than average and 0.07 degree warmer than 1998, the previous warmest year on record. Worldwide, the agency said, it was the sixth warmest year on record. In December the Center had predicted that 2006 would be the United States' third warmest year, but unusual readings later that month pushed the year into first place. The Center said it is not clear how much of the warming is a result of greenhouse-gas induced climate change and how much resulted from the current El Nino warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean.
01/10/07 - L.A. Ports Eye Maglev Trains to Cut Pollution
(The late Professor Eric Laithwaite's work lives on in these high speed trains. - JWD) The ports at Long Beach and Los Angeles are looking for ways to reduce air pollution and congestion. Officials are considering a plan to install magnetic levitation trains. It would be the first freight application for the technology anywhere in the world.
01/10/07 - Optoisolated xmas light control has other uses
(This is a pretty slick hack with lots of other uses. - JWD) Crazy christmas light controller to my attention. The hack is pretty neat. The potiometers in several standard dimmers were replaced with photo-resistors. When squares of the screen are lit, the dimmer is activated. In essence, it's a cheap optoisolator for controlling AC power. The software that generates the interface appears to be sound actuated once it's programmed by the user. / My light controller works by replacing the rotary variable resistor in a standard house lighting dimmer with a light sensitive resistor. I then use squares of light on a computer monitor to control the dimmers. It uses 100 steps of gray scale to control the dimming. I built the program using an unconventional programming language that I was familiar with called Game Maker. I made a "game" to control little white squares that run the light sensitive resistors. Game maker is graphically orientated making it easy to do what I wanted.
01/10/07 - Desktop fabricator may kick-start home revolution
A cheap self-assembly device capable of fabricating 3D objects has been developed by US researchers. They hope the machine could kick start a revolution in home fabrication - or "rapid prototyping" - just as early computer kits sparked an explosion in home computing. Rapid prototyping machines are already used by designers, engineers and scientists to create one-off mechanical parts and models. These create objects by depositing layer upon layer of liquid or powdered material. These machines typically cost from $20,000 to $1.5 million, says Hod Lipson from Carnegie Mellon University, US, who launched the Fab@Home project with PhD student Evan Malone in October 2006. The standard version of their Freeform fabricator - or "fabber" - is about the size of a microwave oven and can be assembled for around $2400 (£1200). It can generate 3D objects from plastic and various other materials. Full documentation on how to build and operate the machine, along with all the software required, are available on the Fab@Home website, and all designs, documents and software have been released for free.
01/10/07 - Watchful Eyes Modify Behavior
Photos of eyes keep people honest. A short article by Clive Thompson in the New York Times Magazine describes an experiment at the psychology department at Newcastle University. There's a self-service coffee station where people are asked to pay for the coffee and biscuits they take using the honor system. "For 10 weeks this spring, they alternately taped two posters over the coffee station. During one week, it was a picture of flowers; during the other, it was a pair of staring eyes. Then they sat back to watch what would happen. A remarkable pattern emerged. During the weeks when the eyes poster stared down at the coffee station, coffee and tea drinkers contributed 2.76 times as much money as in the weeks when flowers graced the wall."
01/10/07 - How to earn $180k by smuggling flour-filled condoms
(A way to fund alternative science research..lol... - JWD) A 21-year-old college student was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport in 2003 when a search through her luggage turned up three condoms filled with flour. She was jailed for three weeks and released after tests showed that the condoms didn't contain any illegal drugs. She sued the city and this week was given a settlement $180,000.
01/10/07 - Windows: Free Crossloop for Remote Computer Control
Connect to and take control of another PC with CrossLoop, quite possibly the easiest remote-access tool on the planet. Just install the small CrossLoop app on your PC, then have the person on the other PC do the same. A few clicks and you're securely connected, able to see and interact with the other PC (though not transfer files). CrossLoop is a must-have tool for anyone who serves as the go-to tech support guru for friends and family.
01/10/07 - Hitler-style 'designer' babies coming under fire in Texas
A Texas fertility clinic now promoting its plan to "design" babies for customers is moving society another step down the road toward full-blown eugenics in the United States, where there would be certain categories of lives that simply would be valueless, according to a spokesman for an organization of physicians. "This designer baby scheme crosses ethical and moral boundaries by turning babies into commodities," said Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the 17,000-member CMA. "By stressing the educational level of sperm and egg donors, this center is preying on parents who have fallen victim to the false notion that babies are a status symbol, and that intelligence, race or appearance are somehow measures of worth." Rudd said the concept of "improving" a population by "controlled breeding" has been exhibited before in history, and Americans perhaps should review the outcomes there before moving forward with the plan again. And the cleansing process will be at just an opening stage, Rudd noted. "First they eliminated the criminally insane, then the insane, then the infirm, elderly, young and disabled," Rudd said his studies of Nazi Germany have taught him. "Eventually such 'cleansing' was extended to all who were not German."
01/10/07 - Birthday-suit parties all the rage for Ivy League students
(I love the psychology of this. - JWD) STUDENTS at America's prestigious Ivy League universities are rebelling against their colleges' stuffy reputations, casting off society's norms along with their clothes to hold naked parties. Megan Crandell, a final-year Yale student who has attended six naked parties, said: "The dynamic is completely different from a clothed party. People are so conscious of how they're coming across that conversations end up being more sophisticated. You can't talk about how hot that chick was the other night." Touching, beyond a salutary greeting, is not encouraged. Of party etiquette, Mollie Farber, a senior student at Yale, said: "You're allowed to give everyone a quick once-over as you say, 'Hey, what's up?', but after that, you've got to maintain pretty good eye contact." However, Alexandra Robbins, a Yale graduate who detailed secret sorority life in her book Pledged, warned: "It can be a rude awakening. It really comes down to the idea that if I shed my clothes, I will lose my inhibitions. But it doesn't always work that way." Birk Oxholm, who graduated from Columbia in 2006, was not convinced of the liberating effect of the parties: "To pretend you're feeling great and happy to be overcoming the oppressiveness of clothing overlooks the more authentic feeling, which is, 'I feel kind of weird'."
01/09/07 - Brazilian Invention Lowers Price of Pumped Oil
A new device capable of simultaneously injecting steam and extracting petroleum from wells and cutting costs was invented by the Petroleum Engineering Company (Engepet), a small firm based in the northeastern Brazilian state of Sergipe. "It is necessary to maintain the pressure inside the well for pumping the oil. Usually, this is accomplished by drilling a second well for steam injection, which heightens the operational cost," explains businessman Cléber Bahia.
01/09/07 - Ovshinksy says Hydrogen is the Answer
He believes that energy and information are the two pillars of the global economy. “We have to have automobiles that reflect the 21st century. That means using hydrogen,” he said. “You can do anything you want with biofuels but you won’t do anything but use up the land. Only one thing can give us more energy than we need or want and that’s the sun.” Ovshinsky says all matter on Earth contains some amount of hydrogen, which can be burned in place of fossil fuels anywhere they’re used. He says solar energy is the basis for a hydrogen-based economy. Electricity from photovoltaic cells can be stored in batteries and used for everyday purposes, such as powering computers, hair curlers and home appliances. Photovoltaics also can power machines capable of splitting water atoms to isolate hydrogen, which can be stored in fuel cells and tanks being developed by other arms of Energy Conversion Devices.
01/09/07 - Invention heralds advances in solar technology, optical computing
Physicists at Boston College have beamed visible light through a cable hundreds of times smaller than a human hair, an achievement they anticipate will lead to advances in solar power and optical computing. The discovery, details of which appear in the Jan. 8 issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters, defies a key principle that holds that light cannot pass through a hole much smaller than its wavelength. In fact, the BC team forced visible light, which has a wavelength of between 380-750 nanometers, to travel down a cable whose diameter is smaller than even the low end of that range. the BC physicists designed and fabricated a tiny version of the coaxial cable - the Information Age workhorse that carries telephone and Internet service along with hundreds of television and radio channels into millions of homes and businesses around the world. "Our coax works just like the one in your house, except now for visible light," says Jakub Rybczynski, a research scientist in the Boston College Physics Department and the lead author of the APL article. Coaxial cables are typically made up of a core wire surrounded by a layer of insulation, which in turn is surrounded by another metal sheath. This structure encloses energy and lets the cable transmit electromagnetic signals with wavelengths much larger than the diameter of the cable itself. With this design in mind, the physicists developed what they called a "nanocoax" - a carbon nanotube-based coaxial cable with a diameter of about 300 nanometers. By comparison, the human hair is several hundred times wider. The physicists designed their nanocoax so that the center wire protruded at one end, forming a light antenna. The other end was blunt, allowing the scientists to measure the light received by the antenna and transmitted through the medium. The researchers were able to transmit both red and green light into the nanocoax and out the other end, indicating that the cable can carry a broad spectrum of visible light.
"The beauty of our nanocoax is that it lets us squeeze visible light through very small geometric dimensions. It also allows us to transmit light over a distance that is at least 10 times its wavelength," says BC Physics Prof. Kris Kempa, a co-author of the article.
01/09/07 - 3D printing comes to Sears
(Finally, we are seeing real world products using CNC and pattern printing technology. I understand you can also buy the liquid epoxy filled tanks with the 3D UV curing device for fabricating new parts from computer generated patterns. - JWD) 3D printing has come to Sears in the form of this $1800 computer-controlled Craftsman CNC machine that can "print" your 3D designs on wood and other materials, either from a direct PC hookup or a memory card.
01/09/07 - US patent damages surge
Juries in the US awarded US$1 billion ($1.42 billion) in patent damages last year, almost triple the 2005 amount, as technology companies including Rambus and TiVo stepped up their use of the courts to fend off competition. The number of patent verdicts ranking in the top 50 jury awards jumped to 10 from three in 2005, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Total awards, counting just those of more than US$1 million each, rose from US$379 million the year before.
01/09/07 - Texas Biodiesel Ban Delayed
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) wants to halt sales of B20 -- a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum-based diesel -- because of worries that the fuel will increase levels of NOx in parts of the state. However, it is still unclear how much NOx is actually emitted from B20. "Because of conflicting reports on the levels of NOx from B20, the commission felt it was in the best interests to hold off and find an answer to this problem," said Morris Brown of the Chief Engineers Office at TCEQ. Pure biodiesel (B100) is not regulated by TxLED because it does not meet the program's regulatory definition of diesel fuel. B100, though, makes up only a small part of the market thus far. If B20 cannot be used in the areas identified by TxLED, it could paralyze the Texas biodiesel industry, said Brent Kartchner, co-owner and director of GeoGreen Fuels, a Houston-based company that produces 8,000 gallons of biodiesel a day. "We are looking at this potential decision very seriously. To be very blunt about it, if Texas follows through then we will immediately move toward Louisiana and Mississippi and we won't build any more facilities in Texas," said Kartchner. Texas will consume around 7.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel this year. Current production capacity for biodiesel in the state is around 98 million gallons a year.
01/09/07 - Video of 1980s "free energy" scheme
Here's a 20-minute promo video for a company looking for investors to fund its free energy development. The suit-wearing shill in the video promises the technology will give people "the ability to generate electric power from their own homes; in effect, become their own power companies. The result? A household could generate enough electric power to meet all its needs, while sending large volumes of surplus energy back into the power grid." Shown here: the "hummingbird motor" and the "sundance generator, the most unique generator in the world." Like so many other perpetual motion schemes foisted on the public, this one claims that magnets are the source of the system's abundant and free energy. Enjoying the nonsensical magnet demonstration that begins at five minutes, 40 seconds into the video.
01/09/07 - Free film screening promotes clean energy
It seems that sustainability is one of today's most popular buzz words, especially in the environmentally conscious northwest. We hear about it often, but what do we really know about alternate sources of energy? The energy-conscious film 'The Power of the Sun' will screen in Portland twice and each screening is free. Hosted by amiable actor John Cleese, the film is informative and may answer some questions you have about solar energy. The first 20 minutes deals with the nature of light and examines contributions made by scientists such as Sir Issac Newton and Albert Einstein. It's a little dry and technical but it probably helped me understand the subject better than my two years of high school chemistry and physics. The second half is the most relevant as we learn about the history of solar power, its social and economic impact and what impact it might have in the near future. 'The Power of the Sun' also takes a look at how solar energy can and will help people in Third World nations.
01/09/07 - Negative comments about Welding with Brown's Gas
This is a scam (Denny Klein's HHO welding demo with 'his' gas). Oxy-hydrogen torches do exist, and electrolytic hydrogen generators to produce gas for these torches have been available for years. The problem is that oxy-hydrogen torches are rubbish, when compared to oxy-acetylene, because the flame is a lower temperature and has a lower density. Cutting or welding steel or other modern alloys is very difficult, and very slow, because of the high temperatures required. Scamsters have promoted hydrogen torches for a long time, often claiming obvious BS like 'Brown's gas', 'Klien gas' or a 'stabilised monatomic hydrogen oxygen mixture'. Moreover they were often willing to demonstrate cutting and welding - usually with low temperature metals like lead, or tin. Convincing to dumb investors, but a joke to engineers and metal workers. Hydrogen torches are most commonly used for fine heating and soldering where precision and controllability are more important than raw power e.g. by jewelers. As you might imagine, for a small, occasionally used device, an electrolytic gas source is ideal. / Well, HHO gas, or whatever you want to call it - is nothing more than a conventional hydrogen/oxygen mixture, in the stoichiometric 2 parts hydrogen to 1 part oxygen. There is no hidden extra energy, just extra weight because you have to hold the (very heavy) oxygen as well. It's also very dangerous to store the highly explosive hydrogen/oxygen mixture - conversely, hydrogen on its own is much easier to store, and much safer. Some scamsters have claimed that their miracle electrolyser produces a magical mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, that is somehow different from other mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen, in that it is not explosive, and contains 3-10 x as much energy as hydrogen. Historically, scammers have given their magical mixtures all sorts of names. HHO or Klein gas appears to be nothing more than the latest name given to this nonsense.
01/09/07 - Wireless Power gets Recharged
WildCharge execs refused to describe in detail how their product works before CES, but it's a streamlined version of the product a company called MobileWise attempted to market several years ago, according to WildCharge president Izhar Matzkevich. People familiar with wireless recharging technology say it could work by placing a device, fitted internally or externally with an adapter, onto the metal pad. When contact is made, electrical power is sent between the two. At CES, WildCharge will debut a 90-watt device. Smart phones and MP3 players need 3 to 5 watts, while smaller laptops need 50 to 75 watts of power. While the 0.1-inch thick and 6x15-inch pad still has to be plugged into a power source, the advantage is its universal adaptability, eliminating the need to pack three different power cords for three different products. Fulton calls its technology eCoupled, and has signed up Motorola, Mobility Electronics, Visteon and others to back it as a wireless power standard. Devices that are eCoupled-enabled transfer energy through the air over short distances to handheld consumer electronics gadgets one at a time, using what's called adaptive inductive coupling. A wireless adapter senses how much power a specific device's battery needs and adjusts its frequency and how much power is being sent to the device. The technology is a good fit for universal power because it can work with any type of battery, said David Baarman, director of advanced technologies at Fulton and lead inventor of eCoupled. The process creates an electromagnetic field, but does not interfere with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices and won't demagnetize credit cards, Baarman said. "When the device is present, (the field) is on. When it's not, it turns off." As a result, "it's radiating a tiny bit; in most cases, it's less than what a typical CE product already is (radiating)."
01/08/07 - Inventor pushes concept of Energy Efficient Pyramid Homes
"My main reason for wanting to do this is because pyramid homes are so energy efficient," he said. "They are much cheaper to build and the maintenance costs are a lot lower." "About 24 years ago, I actually built a pyramid home in Arkansas, which I lived in for a couple of years," said the father of five. "It was very, very energy efficient. I remember when it snowed, and there was about a foot of snow all over the house. The house was so warm and out of the three months of winter I only had to heat it for about a month. And in the summer it stayed very cool." Last year, Robertson came up with an idea called the Solar Tree, which he described as "an innovative, new solar-powered home-improvement product that will help lower utility bills." His invention, which looked like a tree, was designed to use solar power to heat water, a swimming pool, or to power lights, and it received a lot of interest. However, after later discovering several other similar products already on the market, Robertson decided to concentrate his efforts on his pyramid house. Robertson says the shape of a pyramid home naturally lends itself to saving energy. He points to the "pyramid power" theory, where some believe the exact dimensions of a pyramid creates an electrical energy. "It's just something about the shape," Robertson said. "When I took the temperature in my pyramid house at the bottom of the building, it was the exact same temperature as it was at the top. I would have expected the top of the house to be warmer, because hot air rises, but it wasn't. It was totally amazing and meant my maintenance costs were low." Robertson's design, which he calls the "Stepping Stone House," has solar panels on one exterior wall to power the home. Next to it is a two-car garage, and on top of that, leading from the master bedroom of the two-story building, is a greenhouse. Robertson's plan is to find a piece of land to build his 2,000-square-foot pyramid home, using conventional materials. He estimates it will cost around $75,000 to construct. He then hopes to eventually set up a manufacturing business - he has already registered his company as Pyramid Industries - where the homes will be built in pieces, delivered to the customer and built in just a few days. / $5 eBook on How to Build Pyramids - privately published in 1974 with photos, diagrams and descriptions of the authors' many pyramid experiments including instructions showing the correct Cheops measurements (and how to scale them to any size) so that you can duplicate and use a pyramid to better your life.
01/08/07 - Donovans' Bundled Cardboard for fuel
Ross Donovan is the ingenious Bedfordshire engineer who devised a superbly efficient and economical small-scale system that uses baled-up cardboard to heat water. His invention looked like being a godsend to all those businesses across the country, such as those on most industrial estates, that generate huge amounts of cardboard packaging that normally gets thrown away into landfill. Being a careful engineer, Mr Donovan was keen to ensure that his device complied with all the relevant EC legislation, so several times between 2001 and 2003 he consulted the Environment Agency. On the basis of their advice, he completed a prototype of his system, which saved a local plant nursery thousands of pounds a year on its heating bills. After looking again at the EC's waste incineration directive, it now advised that, because Mr Donovan's system was powered by "waste", it would have to comply with the same rules as a giant industrial incinerator. Although its emissions were less than a domestic woodburning stove, so much money would now have to be spent on regulatory requirements, which would nearly triple its cost, that the system would be completely unviable. In vain Mr Donovan was taken by his MP, Alistair Burt, to see Elliott Morley, an environment minister, who said that if the system was fuelled by virgin cardboard it would be fine. But because the cardboard had been used before, under EC rules it was "waste", and would therefore have to comply with the directive. One Environment Agency official later provided various judgments from the European Court of Justice which seemed to suggest that waste used to generate energy no longer counts as waste: but the agency said that this helpful chap had been "misquoted". Mr Donovan's company was forced to close and he and his backers lost all their money.
01/08/07 - Use Solar Radiation for snow-melt systems and Vermiculture
A student completely retrofitted his home with hydronic radiant floor heat. During the course of construction, he also added an oversized two-car garage. In the floor of this garage, with its excessively deep center slab and extra insulation below the slab to act as thermal mass and heat storage, the student had incorporated PEX tubing. The walls of the garage were 2-by-6 construction and insulated to an R-19, with the roof being R-30. He then covered the whole south side of the garage with a lean-to style of flat-plate solar collectors. In addition to this, he incorporated PEX tubing and insulation into the concrete slab on the north side of the garage, where the automobiles would be parked and brought into the garage. When I asked why he was providing such palatial digs for his cars, he told me that he wasn't doing it for the cars as much as he was doing it for the red earthworms that he was raising in bins along the sides of the garage. He actually had a business based on vermicomposting earthworms. The solar collectors and radiant floors were to accommodate his worm production facilities. Of course, climbing into a warm car had its side benefits. Operation is quite simple. When the solar collectors are hotter than 90°F, pumps turn on and solar-heated glycol circulates between the solar panels and the PEX circuits buried in the floor of the garage. When the actual garage temperature exceeds 60°F and the solar collectors are still warm, then a two-way diverting valve directs the excess solar capacity out to the northfacing parking area that is typically in shadow for the majority of the winter season. The whole hydronic/solar system is filled with a 50% solution of propylene glycol. When I asked him how well his system had been working, he said that earthworms cannot handle temperatures of less than 40°F or they begin to die. In three years of operation since construction, he had not lost a worm and he had never had to shovel snow or ice out of the shadows of his garage on the north side of the building. Fairly impressive for a system whose parasitic cost of operation is less than a 100W bulb during daylight hours!
01/08/07 - Pair invent green energy water wheel
Ian Gilmartin and Bob Cattley, of Kendal, created a mini-waterwheel called The Beck Mickle 'low head' micro hydro generator. It's able to supply enough electricity to completely power a house, the Northern Echo reports. The invention is designed for use in small rivers or streams and could potentially be used to power tens of thousands of homes. If commercialized and marketed, it would be the first off-the-shelf waterwheel system. It can generate electricity from a water fall as small as about eight inches. The waterwheel produces one to two kilowatts of power and generates at least 24 kilowatt hours in a day. The average household's daily use is about 28 kilowatt hours so the wheel comes up just shy of meeting demand. The expected cost is about $4,000 to install and it is projected that the wheel will pay for itself in about two years.
01/08/07 - GM Working on Feasible Electric Car - The Volt
"While Ford wants to simply offer cosmetic changes to automobiles interiors and exteriors, General Motors has finally gotten the message about electric autos. They are about to introduce the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid which gets 40 Miles on a charge, but has a generator that can keep the auto going up to 640 miles range. From a styling POV, it is not a tesla, but it is also not a focus or a pinto. From the Rocky article: 'GM did not release cost estimates but said they recognize the Volt's price will have to be competitive. Company Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said in a statement that more than half of Americans live less than 20 miles from their workplace and could go to work and back on a single charge.'" / If the Chevrolet Volt works as adverised, you could trael for weeks, if not months, without a drop of gasoline. You can expect from 50 to 525mpg, so get ready to thumb your nose at the gas pumps - at any price. General Motors unveiled the high-mileage concept at a media preview of the Detroit Auto Show. The electric, powered by lithium ion batteries, is designed to go up to 40 miles before recharging the batteries. The 40 miles on the battery alone might not seem like much. But, considering that most people drive fewer miles than that per day, it should mean that a lot of drivers will never use a drop of gas on their daily commute. However, when the fuel tank is filled to it's capacity of 12 US gallons of gas, the Volt has a range of 640 miles. In addition, the Volt ICE is fully flex fuel capable and can run on any combination of gasoline or ethanol up to E85. The power-train is sized to achieve 0-60 mph acceleration of about 8.5 seconds.
01/08/07 - When the Internet Fails, It's Sink or Swim
When the great Internet meltdown struck Asia last week, many resourceful and knowledgeable computer users devised homegrown work-arounds to avoid the painfully slow crawl that characterized connections in its wake. A few knew how to set up their personal computers to detour around the failure, resulting from the earthquake off the coast of Taiwan, by connecting directly with servers located in the United States. Others used products like Web2Mail to fetch the content of Internet sites and deliver them by e-mail, which had the advantage of not requiring one's constant presence in front of the PC during the long wait while a Web page downloaded. Still others figured out how to tuck in behind corporate computers that had gotten priority high-speed access restored. Now that mail delivery, research, business transactions, media and even phone calls are increasingly dependent on networks that run on "Internet protocol," it is no longer just the BBC Web page or an eBay auction that winks out in an Internet crash, but all of these vital tools.
01/08/07 - NoScript prevents malware Java Execution in Firefox
01/08/07 - Europe lays out plan to tackle energy dilemma
An energy crunch that chokes fuel supplies, dims the lights at homes and workplaces, and ravages Western economies may no longer be the stuff of 1970s history books. It could be a vision of the near future. The European Union, the second-largest consumer of energy in the world after the United States, is also the largest energy importer, looking abroad for just over half the energy it needs. Within 20 years, at current rates of consumption, the EU could depend on foreign suppliers for 70 percent of its energy, the Commission says. The EU's blueprint, sketched out over the past year, plots a different path: lower energy consumption, the development of renewable sources and research into alternatives, and ways of cutting carbon emissions from fuels already in use, particularly coal. Are Europeans ready to change the habits of a lifetime? Shoulder the added costs of research? Open the door wider to nuclear power? Surrender their countryside to fields of wind turbines and solar panels? Intermittent sources are also unreliable. A cloudy, windless day consigns solar panels and wind turbines to idleness - which is why at the moment they account for less than 1 percent of Europe's energy production. The public also remains jittery about nuclear power stations, which provide about 15 percent of Europe's electricity and 80 percent in France. Scientists are trying to overcome the engineering challenges of nuclear fusion reactors. Operating with lithium and water, they produce less radioactive waste than fission reactors of the kind that exploded and caught fire in Chernobyl in 1986.
01/08/07 - Strips of plastic play audio when you run your teeth over them
A long thin plastic strip, about 60cm long. It doesn't look like much, but it talks! Along the length of the strip is a pattern of fine ridges or lines. Run your thumb nail along the ridges, and the tape speaks. However the sound needs to be magnified, so that you can hear it. One method is to hold one end of the strip between your teeth. Then, when you run your nail along the strip you hear it talk, but no-one else does. Or you can stick one end of the strip to an inflated balloon or a paper cup using sticky tape. The balloon or cup acts as an amplifier, and you can then demonstrate it to anyone nearby. What do the tapes say? One says 'Happy Birthday' others say 'Congratulations' or 'Have a Nice Day'. We have 5 different messages, and we supply 4 tapes of each message, making a pack of 20 Talking Tapes.
01/08/07 - Wikipedia Used for Artificial Intelligence
"It may be no surprise but Wikipedia is now being used in the field of artificial intelligence. The applications for this may be endless. For instance, the front of spam fighting is a tough one and it looks as though researchers are now turning towards an ontology or taxonomy based solution to fight spammers. The concept is also on the forefront of artificial intelligence and progress towards an application passing the Turing Test and creating semantically aware applications. The article comments on uses of Wikipedia in this manner: '"... spam filters block all messages containing the word 'vitamin,' but fail to block messages containing the word B12. If the program never saw B12 before, it's just a word without any meaning. But you would know it's a vitamin," Markovitch said. "With our methodology, however, the computer will use its Wikipedia-based knowledge base to infer that 'B12' is strongly associated with the concept of vitamins, and will correctly identify the message as spam," he added.'"
01/08/07 - Flipping - the new thing with kids
The mother of a boy convicted Friday in the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl on Labor Day told a judge the girl was also to blame and that her son was the victim of "little flipper girls" who think it's cool to have sex with multiple partners. The boy, who was 14 at the time, told Triggiano he left home without his mother's knowledge after 10 p.m. on Sept. 4 to purchase a T-shirt at a nearby gas station. He said he met some friends who told him a girl was "flipping," which he said meant "doing sexual favors" with multiple people. "To be honest, in the neighborhood that's not that uncommon," he said. When he arrived at the house in the 3700 block of N. 6th St., he said, there were about 10 men or boys in the basement and the girl was performing oral sex on one of them. A 16-year-old girl accused of directing some of the assaults was present, he said, and told the younger girl that she needed to "do a few more." The boy said he then had oral sex with the younger girl and described it as consensual."When I hear him say that flipping is not uncommon in the community, it turns my stomach," Triggiano said. "I have to believe that there are kids that would say this is wrong and go for help. He didn't do it."
01/07/07 - Download to Burn DVD locking system
Studios in Hollywood have "okayed" a new technology and licensing contract that would allow consumers to burn or write movies onto a DVD that they buy digitally on the Internet. On Thursday, Sonic Solutions Inc. will unveil the Qflix system, adding a digital lock to DVDs burned in a computer or a retail kiosk. The lock is referred to as "content scrambling system" of CSS and is supported by content creators including studios, TV networks. The CSS comes with all prerecorded DVDs and all DVD players have a key that enables playback. The Qflix along with the studio-supported copy-protection system requires new blank DVDs and DVD burners that are compatible. Utilizing Sonic's technology, it takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to burn a DVD.
01/07/07 - USAF Holds "Open Forum" On Ways To Conserve Energy, Fuel
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Air Force have opened up the floor to anyone in the armed forces asking if they have an idea on how to save Uncle Sam some money. Col. Anne Dunlap, Air Force Conduct Air, Space and Cyber Operations core team leader at the Pentagon says, "Leaders from all the major Air Force commands met here recently to explore how to reduce fuel consumption through simulation, aircraft training, logistics efficiencies, scheduling, acquisition and technology developments and flying operation." "Certainly, Air Force fuel conservation awareness must filter down to the lowest organizational level, and become part of every airman's daily activities."
01/07/07 - 13 year old invents Formaldehyde Air Cleaner
The idea for the cleanser was born when Li's grandmother's house was undergoing interior decoration. The sharp and strong odor of formaldehyde encouraged Li to find out where the smell came from. "I was very surprised to learn that formaldehyde is such a poisonous substance," said Li. "I was immediately struck with the idea that I should get rid of it." He scoured chemistry books, consulted teachers and searched the Internet, and eventually learned that formaldehyde was a gas that could dissolve in water. An air cooling machine in Li's home lent further inspiration - why not blow air on a screen of water to filter the pollutant? He continued to improve his invention by replacing the water with sodium hydroxide, an alkaline solution that could chemically change formaldehyde and eliminate the poisonous gas.
A test by the Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences suggested the machine was able to eliminate about 89 percent of formaldehyde in the air. Formaldehyde elimination by the most advanced professional air cleaner is 92 percent.
01/07/07 - New invention 'provokes cancer-cell suicide'
A device has been invented that aims to filter human blood, capturing stem cells and provoking cancer cells to kill themselves. When cells flow through the device, stem and cancer cells become attached to the selectins. An apoptosis signal is then delivered to the cancer cells, this being a biochemical type of message that tells the cells to kill themselves. The signal is a molecule that is received by two receptors in the cancer cell and then triggers its death, which Professor King claims can happen within two days. Already tested on rats, the research team envision the device to be applied using a shunt on the exterior surface of the arm, or else by an implant under the skin.
01/07/07 - Lost Cities seen from Space
Archaeologists and NASA experts are using satellite images to find jungle-covered ruins that had been hidden almost literally right under their noses. The 21st-century technology, highlighted in the latest installment of PBS’ “Nova ScienceNow,” led to the discovery of ancient Maya settlements in Guatemala.
01/06/07 - Taming 900 vortices gives plasma energy insight
ANU researchers have come closer to understanding how energy is retained in turbulent systems that self-organise - such as the atmosphere, the universe and plasma - after designing a simple experiment in their laboratory which creates 900 vortices in electrolytic fluid. The researchers watched as the 900 mini-vortices ‘self-organised’ to form one giant vortex. At this high energy state, the fluid developed powerful regions of ‘zonal flow’ which in turn created transport barriers - the key to reducing energy loss from the fluid. The finding is particularly exciting for the study of turbulence in plasma - a hot, ionised gas - which is known to self-organise to a high energy state. The loss of energy from confined plasma has been one of the main challenges to making it a source of energy. “When the plasma confined by a magnetic field reaches the high energy point of self-organisation, a zonal flow is generated. These zonal flows produce regions in the plasma known as transport barriers, which stop the loss of particles and energy out of the plasma system,” Dr Shats said. In the natural world, there are already examples of these powerful flows. The turbulent water flow around the Antarctic continent prevents the freezing waters from escaping north, preserving the ice cap on one side and the tropical water on the other. “This is very similar to the transport barrier that we find in plasma,” Dr Shats said. “Another example is the zonal flows in the atmospheres of most of the planets in the Solar System. High energy winds around Saturn exceed 1500 kilometres an hour. On Venus, zonal winds measure up to 400 kilometres an hour, which is much faster than the planet’s rotation velocity.
01/06/07 - Secret Visitors
The White House and the Secret Service quietly signed an agreement last spring in the midst of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal declaring that records identifying visitors to the White House are not open to the public. The Bush administration didn't reveal the existence of the memorandum of understanding until last fall. The White House is using it to deal with a legal problem on a separate front, a ruling by a federal judge ordering the production of Secret Service logs identifying visitors to the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. In a federal appeals court filing three weeks ago, the administration's lawyers used the memo in a legal argument aimed at overturning the judge's ruling. The Washington Post is suing for access to the Secret Service logs. The five-page document dated May 17 declares that all entry and exit data on White House visitors belongs to the White House as presidential records rather than to the Secret Service as agency records. Therefore, the agreement states, the material is not subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
01/06/07 - Poor harvests and biofuel demand trigger wheat shortages
The US Agriculture Department reported last summer that growing conditions for the US spring wheat crop were the worst in 18 years. Poor harvests in Australia, the Ukraine, Argentina and North America have dramatically increased the cost of wheat. Prices have surged to ten year highs as world wheat stockpiles have fallen to their lowest levels in 25 years and a drought in Australia has threatened to cut its harvest in half. Paul Kelly, Director, Food and Drink Industry Ireland, speaking on behalf of the IBBA, said: “Bread bakers are experiencing increases of up to 25% in the cost of flour, the main ingredient in bread. This is on top of increases of over 30% in the cost of gas, the main energy source in baking bread. Ireland is not unique in this regard, it is a global problem and it shows no immediate signs of improvement, if anything it is worsening.”
01/06/07 - Method to Accelerate Repair of Broken Bones
A new device that promotes bone-cell formation may be fore runner to therapies for humans. Queensland University of Technology graduate Dr. Gwynne Hannay has promoted bone cell growth in vitro by replicating mechanical and electrical growth stimuli. "I have taken bone cells and put them in the physical environment they would experience in the body, and then varied the stimulants to extract a beneficial environment for tissue growth," said Hannay. Normal bone fractures in healthy young people can take six to eight weeks to heal. This process can take longer in older people. "We find bones can get half way through the healing process but won't heal properly and with an aging population this is a growing problem," said Hannay. He believes his invention might be able to “significantly reduce the healing time” of fractures and broken bones.
"In the future we might be able to make a device utilizing these combined stimulants that could be attached to the body and help heal the bone,” said Hannay. This therapy could be used for breaks that do not heal properly in elderly people, as well as to speed up the recovery process.
01/06/07 - New prospect for US: glut of ethanol plants
A study released Thursday reports that at least 14 new biorefineries - representing nearly 1 billion gallons of extra fuel - are not on the key industry tally. That oversight could mean problems ahead for the food supply and the "green fuel" industry, some analysts say. Ethanol production could pull so much corn out of the food supply by 2008 that US corn exports could plummet. The food-fuel competition could push corn prices so high that some ethanol producers in the fledgling industry, which many deem vital to US energy security, would merely break even - or, if corn gets pricey enough, actually lose money. Even before Thursday's report, some analysts had warned of a future glut of ethanol production capacity. "We're worried there will be less to feed the world if we're using too much corn to make fuel," says Lester Brown, EPI's president. "The US ... supplies 70 percent of the world's corn exports. These previously unidentified distilleries could have a big negative impact."
01/06/07 - My Thought Experiment
Suppose that by the application of some miraculous power the people of Israel were to agree to be transported instantaneously to somewhere else in the world, say, oh, New Mexico. (Assume that the people already in New Mexico are agreeable.) Then let ten years pass. What would then be the situations in New Mexico and in the place where formerly there was the state of Israel?
01/05/07 - Video - New Zealander's 'Enriched Water' as fuel to power Motorcycle
“Simply Explained, Bios Fuel alters the Water Molecule to produce Fuel”. The video claims Steve Ryan has filed a patent. The website has been up since 2002. Biosfuel page - Bios Fuel has developed the technology to harness this energy on demand, without the issues of separating and storing hydrogen. The company has also developed an enriched form of water which was used in the water powered motorcycle. This technology is being developed further. Unlike fuel cells and other hydrogen technologies, Bios Fuel does not have the same problems of storing energy in tanks or batteries. Energy is produced directly through combustion or independent electrical power. External power is not required for the process as energy is being harnessed from the water. Producing the water is inexpensive and portable. Even seawater can be enriched. - (I could not find his patent applicaton. - JWD)
01/05/07 - Cost effective, solar poultry egg incubator
So far solar energy has been used for lighting lamps and for cooking food. Recently it has also been utilised in the poultry sector. In India there is no small-scale electrical incubator and major poultry farmers use large electrical incubators for hatching their eggs. The cost of these incubators may vary between Rs.50,000 and Rs. 60,000. The eggs before being placed inside the incubator have to be disinfected to prevent getting spoiled. A Kochi-based entrepreneur, Mr. K. George Kutty, has developed a solar poultry egg incubator. Usually small-scale poultry farmers use brood fowls to hatch their eggs. Large-scale farmers use electrical egg incubators. Constant power supply is a must for these incubators especially when the eggs are to be hatched. If there is any breakdown in the power supply then the eggs lose there hatching value and have to be destroyed. The solar incubator on the other hand does not face this problem. Three separate plastic plates are provided for hatching chicken, quail and goose eggs. It has the capacity to hatch about 50 chicken, 120 quail and 25 goose eggs. Energy is stored in a battery and distributed inside a chamber. The temperature of the incubator, made of fibreglass, with insulation, is maintained at about 37 degrees Celsius. The entire unit is automatically heat controlled and the fibreglass cabinet ensures that no damage is done to the eggs due to over heating. An indicator shows whether the unit is warming up, stable or cool. The electronic proportional thermostat is well protected against power variations and also a battery is provided for power stability. A solar panel connected to the battery with charge controller assures 24-hour power supply. Egg turning can be done manually by turning each egg once in three days. There are no internal moving parts inside the device and there is little danger for the emerging chicks. A computer grade fan provides fresh airflow throughout the incubator. Humidity is provided manually by placing a water bowl inside the incubator base. When not in use, the device can be used to provide power for lighting or for working a fan. The devise can work on alternative current (AC) in the absence of sunlight required for the working of solar panels. The important feature in solar incubator is that unlike electrical incubators the eggs need not have to be disinfected before placing them inside and after every hatching the entire device can be washed and cleaned, according to Mr. Gorge Kutty. Priced at about Rs.30,000, the solar incubator may be ideal for rural women and unemployed persons who seek self-employment opportunities. They can earn about Rs.600 per month from the sale of these hatched eggs, Mr. George explained.
01/05/07 - Praying Online Helps Cancer Patients, Study Suggests
The analysis was conducted on message transcripts from 97 breast cancer patients participating in an online support group that was integrated with the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS) "Living with Breast Cancer" program, a computer-based health education and support system. The patients were recruited from Wisconsin and Michigan. Surveys were administered before group access, then again four months later. Text messages within the computer-mediated support groups were analyzed using a text analysis program, which measured the percentage of words that were suggestive of religious belief and practice (e.g., pray, worship, faith, holy, God). Writing a higher percentage of these religious words within the online support groups was associated with lower levels of negative emotions and higher levels of self-efficacy and functional well-being, even after controlling for patients' pre-test levels of religious beliefs. "From a psychological standpoint, there are a variety of reasons why cancer patients may benefit from prayer - whether on the Internet or elsewhere. In reviewing the messages, some of the most common ways study participants used religion to cope with their illness included putting trust in God about the course of their illness and consequently feeling less stressed, believing in an afterlife and therefore being less afraid of death, finding blessings in their lives and appraising their cancer experience in a more constructive religious light," says Shaw.
01/05/07 - Alternative-Energy Spending Fizzles Out
Despite the hype and numerous promises that began 2006, including President Bush's declared plans to curb the United States' addiction to oil, the 109th Congress ended the year without allocating funding for proposed increases in research spending for alternative energy. Instead, Congress passed a stop-gap continuing resolution that will keep the budget at 2006 levels, which, because of inflation, amounts to a cut in funding, and it specifically decreases funding in some cases. Some experts are warning that the cuts come just as much more money is needed to address energy-security concerns such as unstable oil prices and global warming. "We spent $9 billion last year on the strategic defense initiative R&D," says Joseph Romm, founder and director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, who headed the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under President Clinton. Romm says the budget "for all energy efficiency and all renewable energy is something like a billion. Given [that] the scale of the problem with global warming and our oil imports is so humongous, we're hardly addressing the issue at all."
01/05/07 - Ormat Receives Geothermal Order from New Zealand
Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced that two of its subsidiaries have entered into contracts with Ngawha Generation Ltd., a subsidiary of Top Energy Limited for a new geothermal power plant in Ngawha, New Zealand. Upon completion of the plant, the total installed capacity of Ormat's power plants in New Zealand will exceed 200 megawatts (MW). The contracts are worth approximately $20 million with construction of the power plant expected to be completed within 20 months from the contract date. The Ngawha plant contract is the tenth Ormat supply contract in New Zealand, six of which are repeat contracts for the supply of geothermal power plants in New Zealand. "New Zealand is a significant resource for geothermal development," said Lucien Y. Bronicki, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer of Ormat Technologies, "which we believe will provide Ormat with additional growth opportunities that we look forward to developing."
The new plant will optimize energy utilization by converting both geothermal steam and brine from geothermal wells into electric power energy. The new plant, like other existing Ormat plants in New Zealand, will reinject 100% of the geothermal fluid by using air-cooled condensers. The 100% reinjection serves both to sustain the reservoir and to produce electrical power with no environmental impact.
01/05/07 - Video - Steven Marks claims of Free Energy coil
Here is a working device that extracts power from the earths magnetic field. This is the Full 10 min group demo of several devices running as well as the large demo coil which is nearly 1 kilowatt. I will be loading several more as well as the rare full 1 hour video as soon as it is converted. For more information watch the video or do a google search for "Steven Mark Coil". There are other videos for this device, Clip 1 / Clip 2 / Clip 3.
01/05/07 - Student designed Straw Classroom
St Andrew's School, in North Pickenham, has already been given planning permission to construct the circular room designed by pupils. The environmentally sustainable building will be constructed of straw bales, making it carbon neutral. The village school, with only 59 pupils aged between two and 11, now hopes to raise £100,000 to build the classroom. Head teacher Jeni Barnacle said: "The children are utterly engrossed in it. They have all been looking at Celtic round houses and it has been a part of the whole curriculum. "The straw bales will be fantastic insulation in the winter and keep it cool in the summer. The classroom will double up as a community hall for the village. The project has attracted the attention of renewable energy company Enertag which operates the village's eight-turbine wind farm. The firm has now offered to provide the school with a wind turbine to produce its own electricity.
01/05/07 - Video - Energy by Motion promo claims 140% efficiency
This uniquely configured rotating machine generates additional torque on the shaft when rotated through the magnetic field. Combined electrical/heat output exceeds input energy by over 40 percent.
01/04/07 - Small nuclear war could severely cool the planet
A regional nuclear war between Third World nations could trigger planetwide cooling that would likely ravage agriculture and kill millions of people, scientists reported Monday. Scientists, reporting their findings at the American Geophysical Conference in San Francisco, said vast urban firestorms ignited by war would send thick, dark clouds into the upper atmosphere, blocking the sun's rays and cooling much of the planet, with severe climatic and agricultural results. The soot might remain in the upper atmosphere for up to a decade. "All hell would break loose," said Prof. Richard Turco of UCLA's department of atmospheric and ocean sciences.
In some places, the planet could cool more than it did during the so-called Little Ice Age of the 17th century, when glaciers advanced over much of northern Europe, said Alan Robock of Rutgers University. Alluding to the spread of nuclear weapons to medium-sized nations such as North Korea, Turco said: "The only way to solve this problem is through diplomacy. Force won't do it. We need to be looking forward to complete disarmament of nuclear weapons."
01/04/07 - Subvocal Speech - Speaking Without Saying a Word
The ability to communicate silently could assist us in every day situations such as a phone conversation on a crowded subway or simply anytime we'd prefer that others wouldn't hear us. Seven years ago a modest NASA research program aimed at developing the ability to capture, analyze, and recreate subvocal speech was initiated as part of NASA's Extension of the Human Senses program. Subvocal speech is silent, or sub-auditory, speech, such as when a person silently reads or talks to himself. Even when reading or speaking to oneself with or without actual lip or facial movement, biological signals arise. While using the NASA subvocal system, a person thinks of a phrase and talks to himself so quietly that it can't be heard; despite that, the tongue and vocal cords receive speech signals from the brain that are detected and analyzed using a small electrode placed on the throat. Jorgensen created a neural net to analyze electrical patterns recorded by the electrodes and by 2004 he reached a 99% recognition rate with a small number of words in addition to vowels and consonants. Jorgensen's goal is to be able to reach a stage in which it would be possible to interface his subvocal technology with existing speech recognition systems, thus allowing full subvocal recognition.
01/04/07 - ExxonMobil Paid to Mislead Public
ExxonMobil Corp. gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998 and 2005 in a coordinated effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science behind global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists asserted Wednesday. Last September, The Royal Society wrote the oil company asking it to halt support for groups that “misrepresented the science of climate change.'' ExxonMobil did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the scientific advocacy group's report. Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' strategy and policy director, said in a teleconference that ExxonMobil based its tactics on those of tobacco companies, spreading uncertainty by misrepresenting peer-reviewed scientific studies or cherry-picking facts. Dr. James McCarthy, a professor at Harvard University, said the company has sought to “create the illusion of a vigorous debate'' about global warming.
01/04/07 - Ionic Wind - Chillin' the PC
A new type of ultra-thin, silent cooling technology for processors is being developed by Kronos Advanced Technologies in collaboration with Intel and the University of Washington. The basic operating principle of an ionic wind pump is corona discharge, an electrical discharge near a charged conductor caused by the ionization of the surrounding fluid (air). The principle of ionic air propulsion with corona-generated charged particles has been known almost as long as electricity itself. A high electric field is created at the tip of the cathode, which is placed on one side of the CPU. The high energy potential causes the oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the air to become ionized (positively charged) and create a corona (a halo of charged particles). Placing a grounded anode at the opposite end of the CPU causes the charged ions in the corona to accelerate towards the anode, colliding with neutral air molecules on the way. During these collisions, momentum is transferred from the ionized gas to the neutral air molecules, resulting in movement of gas towards the anode.
01/04/07 - Louisiana Slowly Sliding Into Gulf Of Mexico
Although researchers have known for some time that the land under southern Louisiana is sinking, a new report by scientists studying the Louisiana coast says the state's coastal land is not just sinking - little by little, it's sliding into the Gulf of Mexico. According to the report, the bedrock under southeast Louisiana is breaking away at a glacial speed because deep underground faults are slipping under the tremendously heavy sediment dumped by the Mississippi River.
01/04/07 - How London looks if the seas rise
The Telegraph published a map of London as it would look following a one-metre rise in sea-levels. The proposal is to build defenses against the rising Thames which would do no good if the Gulf Stream stalls out as many predict it would following such a rise in sea-level. If that happens, they won't need to defend London's pricey riverside real-estate from the rising seas, it will already be frozen under 10 metres of ice.
01/04/07 - BioFuel Entreprenuers Look To Cheap Chicken Fat To Make Diesel
With the rising cost of soybean oil, which accounts for about 90 percent of all biodiesel fuel stock, experts in the industry are turning to animal fat which is cheap and plentiful. Only a small fraction of U.S. biodiesel is made from chicken fat. The introduction of meatpackers into the arena would mean huge amounts of fuel stock are readily available and that biodiesel could turn out to be really cheap and plentiful.
01/04/07 - Tony vs Paul - Excellent Stop Motion Video
This is the coolest stop motion video I've ever had the pleasure to watch. It's totally funny and must have taken an INCREDIBLY long time to make with all those separate scenes. If you remember the old Gumby cartoons, when they ran, they held their knee in the air and just skated to where they wanted to go. That plus the hanging in air scenes, WOW! Very well done! (Hats off to boingboing.com for the headsup)
01/04/07 - 80% of good ideas ‘lost’
Eight out of 10 ideas for a business or invention never see the light of day, according to new research carried out by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). The investor commissioned the research to find out why so few ‘good ideas’ make their way to the balance sheet. The ‘Fear of Failure Report’ reveals that nearly one in three people (29%) have had what they thought was a great business idea or invention but eight out of 10 of those didn’t do a thing about it. When asked why, 61% said that they didn’t know where to start, 67% claimed not to have sufficient funds and 33% just didn’t have the time. One out of six were worried about losing their home if their business failed and 6% said that the stigma of going bankrupt was affecting their decision not to act on their idea. The research reveals that almost three quarters (74%) said that the fear of bankruptcy was a factor in not going it alone.
01/04/07 - Comodos Firewall for Windows
Keep your PC safe with Comodo Personal Firewall, a free security program designed to block outside intruders and keep your PC from "leaking." Unlike the free version of ZoneAlarm, Comodo recognizes thousands of known programs as safe, meaning it won't bombard you with pop-up warnings for those programs. It also stops leaks--malware that tries to trick a firewall by masquerading as a legitimate program. Thus, Comodo should prevent your PC from becoming a "zombie" PC in the event some malware slips in.
01/04/07 - CC launches tool to reclaim your old copyrights
Briefly, the U.S. Copyright Act gives creators a mechanism by which they can reclaim rights that they sold or licensed away many years ago. Often artists sign away their rights at the start of their careers when they lack sophisticated negotiating experience, access to good legal advice or any knowledge of the true value of their work so they face an unequal bargaining situation. The “termination of transfer” provisions are intended to give artists a way to rebalance the bargain, giving them a “second bite of the apple.” By allowing artists to reclaim their rights, the U.S. Congress hoped that authors could renegotiate old deals or negotiate new deals on stronger footing (and hopefully with greater remuneration too!!). A longer explanation of the purpose of the “termination of transfer” provisions is set out in this FAQ. Despite this admirable Congressional intention, the provisions are very complex and have not been frequently used. CC’s tool is intended to go some way towards redressing that.
01/03/07 - Cloudbusting in California
John Diepersloot, a peach and apricot farmer from the San Joaquin valley, wants to stop the hail that can ruin his crop. Diepersloot has installed 24 cannons on his 1,200-acre farm. At the approach of a storm, his 20ft cannons emit an electronic blast. As the sound waves travel up into the sky, they disrupt the water that is gathering to turn into hail, causing it to fall as mere rain. At least that's the theory, and an expensive one at that: Diepersloot's cannons set him back $50,000-$70,000 each (£26,000-£36,000). "It's the science of nature," Diepersloot told the Associated Press. "The first year I had them, there was a storm where I saw my neighbour's fields had damage and mine didn't." The scientific establishment, however, sees things differently. The Associated Press goes on to say that "a small group of farmers in the San Joaquin Valley and across the country is putting faith - and tens of thousands of dollars - into hail cannons".
01/03/07 - No religion and an end to war: how thinkers see the future
People's fascination for religion and superstition will disappear within a few decades as television and the internet make it easier to get information, and scientists get closer to discovering a final theory of everything, leading thinkers argue today. John Horgan, of the Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey, was optimistic "that one day war - large-scale, organised group violence - will end once and for all". Biologist Richard Dawkins said that physicists would give religion another problem: a theory of everything that would complete Albert Einstein's dream of unifying the fundamental laws of physics. "This final scientific enlightenment will deal an overdue death blow to religion and other juvenile superstitions."
01/03/07 - Marines from Space - Semper Fly
As any battlefield commander will tell you, getting troops to the fight can be as difficult as winning it. And for modern-day soldiers, the sites of conflict are so far-flung, and the political considerations of even flying over another country so complicated, that rapid entry has become nearly impossible. If a group of Marine Corps visionaries have their way, however, 30 years from now, Marines could touch down anywhere on the globe in less than two hours, without needing to negotiate passage through foreign airspace. The breathtaking efficiency of such a delivery system could change forever the way the U.S. does battle. Congress has expressed interest, because of the obvious usefulness of the capability it promises. And the technologies necessary to make it happen, from hypersonic propulsion systems to new composite materials needed to make the vehicle lightweight yet strong, are in advanced development in military labs across the country. The Marines expect to fly a prototype in 15 years, most likely a two-stage system using a carrier aircraft that will launch a lander into orbit from high altitude.
01/03/07 - The Long Time Persistence of Disruptors
84 year old Stanford R. Ovshinsky, spent all that time designing a huge machine that would manufacture large rolls of silicon-based photovoltaic roofing material to efficiently harness solar power, according to the Wall Street Journal. But he and his investors were frustrated for decades, because solar power wasn't economical and potential customers decided to use other technologies. Fast forward to today. Ovshinsky's machine has been built and is working overtime to meet huge demand, especially from Europe, where carbon emissions caps have jump-started alternative energy usage. Who are the Ovshinsky equivalents in I.T., nursing a contrarian idea for decades that might ultimately have a huge impact? Big innovators need vision; they need to be looking at the big challenges. Ovshinsky saw decades ago that the world would need this kind of power. I.T. innovators trying to create huge disruptions would do well to constantly remind themselves of the megatrends, the big picture.
01/03/07 - Big bellies mean greater risk to heart
The more your belly sticks out, the greater your risk of developing heart disease, a new study shows. Iribarren and his team tested whether sagittal abdominal diameter, or SAD, which is the distance from the back to the upper abdomen midway between the top of the pelvis and the bottom of the ribs, would improve the accuracy of BMI (body mass index) in predicting heart disease risk. Men with the largest SAD were 42% more likely to develop heart disease during follow-up compared to those with the smallest SAD, while a large SAD increased heart disease risk by 44% for women.
01/03/07 - Medicines patent loophole 'found'
Currently, many of the scientific advances which eventually lead to effective treatments are developed within universities or by researchers working for charities, but that 'intellectual property' is then sold to pharmaceutical companies who bring the product to market. Professor Shaunak called for a different approach - for academic institutions to go into competition for cures with 'big pharma'. "We in academic medicine can either choose to use our ideas to make large sums of money for small numbers of people, or to look outwards to the global community and make affordable medicines."
01/03/07 - Photo: Pentagon is interested in bombproof airless tire
A team of mechanical engineers funded by the Pentagon has an idea for saving the lives of troops in Iraq: An airless tire that won't go flat if shot or hit by shrapnel from a roadside bomb. The tires, which are still under development at Resilient Technologies, are filled with compressed polymers, or plastic, instead of compressed air. The tension of the plastic provides strength, allowing them to work just like air-filled tires.
01/03/07 - "Non-Lethal" Viruses to "Neutralize" Cities
Similar effects to a neutron bomb that destroys all life but does not damage buildings and land. This has to be one of the worst ideas in military history: A Cold War plan to develop "biological agents" -- including ones that can lead to "inflammation of the brain, coma and death" -- for "incapacitating" enemies on the battlefield or "neutralizing hostile cities."
01/02/07 - Self-Running Spindle
This video runs for about 4.5 minutes and the thing spins the entire time. It looks like the base is custom though I know you can buy these spinners. They don't claim to run without stopping like this one appears to do. / The black and white version is the off the shelf 'Floating Spindle' that sells for about $15.00US and is advertised as 'One permanent magnet floats on top of another magnet, with a pin point touch on one end of the spindle.' It is not advertised to spin, simply suspend from opposing fields.
01/02/07 - Improved Water Wheel Generator
Ian Gilmartin, 60, who has no mains electricity, is generating power from the stream in his garden. He and friend Bob Cattley, 58, have invented a mini water wheel capable of supplying enough electricity to power a house, with no running costs and zero carbon emissions. The contraption is the first off-the-shelf water wheel system which can generate a good supply of electricity from a waterfall as little as 20cm in height. It is designed to be used in small rivers or streams, making it ideal for potentially thousands of homes across Britain. The water wheel produces one to two kilowatts of power and generates at least 24 kilowatt hours of sustainable green energy in a day, just less than the average household's daily consumption of around 28 kilowatt hours. It should cost around £2000 to install, and will pay for itself inside two years. / Robert Nelson at Rex Research found the patent for this; Gilmartin-Cattley Water Wheel Patent: IMPROVEMENTS IN AND RELATING TO GRAVITY TYPE WATER WHEELS - WO 2006082403 ( 2006-08-10 ) - GILMARTIN, John Graham - According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a waterwheel comprising a shaft and a belt; the belt carrying a plurality of water receptacles and arranged to freely depend from the shaft as the shaft rotates. Although the word "water" is used in this document, it should be clear that any liquid or other heavier than air fluid medium could be used to power the water wheel by filling the receptacles. The waterwheel comprises a plurality of belts to carry the receptacles. The receptacles comprise fixing means for each belt. Preferably the waterwheel comprises two belts spaced apart along or at the ends of the receptacles to stabilise the receptacles as they rotate. The belt and the receptacles comprise a plastics material. A water impermeable membrane is connected between each receptacle. The waterwheel comprises a generator coupled to or formed integrally with the shaft to produce electricity as the shaft rotates. The waterwheel comprises an inlet sluice and an outlet race.
01/02/07 - The Shoover
Vacuum shoes which suck up the dust as you walk. The Shoover - which makers Electrolux call the Dustmate - is perfect for anyone who hates housework. It has a tiny rechargeable vacuum inside the base.
And there is a laser movement sensor which switches the suction on and off automatically to save energy. It's all made of green nylon with a flexible rubber sole and elastic sock to fit any foot making it comfortable to wear. Electrolux said: "We all have to vacuum our home - this product is designed for busy people who want to keep the housework down to a minimum. Dustmate provides a cleaning solution that doesn't take up any precious free time. "As you walk, the base of the shoes collect dust on the floor without requiring any effort. It is a simple yet creative cleaning concept."
01/02/07 - Humanity Surviving Disasters
Ark I is a self-sustaining space colony built to ensure humanity could survive disasters that make Earth uninhabitable such as nanoweapon disasters or mishaps in particle accelerator experiments. Ark I will be initially placed in orbit around the Earth at a height of 400 kilometers (248 miles) to make it easier to engage in trade and tourists from Earth. Both it and the other Arks will be moved further away from the Earth as the project progresses. Why should we live in orbit rather than on a planet or moon? Because orbit is far superior to the Moon and Mars for colonization, and other planets and moons are too hot, too far away, and/or have no solid surface. Ark I will have a permanent population of 1,000 people with a capacity for 500 visitors. (via Al Fin)
01/02/07 - Oklahoma Inventions
Robert Brothers -- along with another Tulsan, Laurence Langholz -- came up with a way for a communications tower to be tethered to a trailer small enough to haul with a pickup. Guy wires attach the tower to legs that fold out from the trailer, a self-contained unit that can be set up and taken down in minutes. / Bruce Eric Hudkins of Tulsa received a patent for a process to genetically alter plants to make them glow in the dark. The patent application suggests that landscaping plants could replace outdoor lampposts as light sources and that glowing crops would allow farmers to harvest around the clock. The patent application, however, also notes that "the general public would probably be reluctant to consume food that glows in the dark." / "Device for the Removal of Pet Hair." It's basically a box where the pet's food is stored. When a dog or cat steps inside to eat, a suction device automatically removes loose hair. / Dana Swift of Tulsa received a patent for a computer system that can "see" pornographic images on a Web site and, if requested, block them from the screen. Most "parental controls" use key word searches to tell the difference between kid-friendly and adult Web sites, but they can be fooled by sites that don't use vulgar language. Swift's invention examines the photos on a page for the unique "spectral components" of human skin -- too much skin, and the computer can black out the picture. / John Kidwell received a patent the past year on a "Centrifugal Heat Transfer Engine" that can heat and cool a house without using an expensive and energy-consuming compressor.
01/02/07 - Velcro Snake to clear Clogged Drains
The Flexisnake has a piece of Velcro at the end to pull hair out of a sink drain. Hair is leading cause of clogged drains in bathroom sinks. You feed the Velcro end down a sink drain, and spin it around, and then pull it out. Since the hair clog is often entangled, the entire clog can be pulled out at once. Cost is $2.95 each.
01/02/07 - U.S. Mass Declassified Documents At Midnight
"Advocates of open government have another reason to celebrate New Year 2007: at midnight hundreds of millions of U.S. government documents that were classified more than 25 years ago got automatically declassified. Various agencies have applied for exemptions for specific documents, but nonetheless there should be a release of a number of interesting papers." From the article: "'It is going to take a generation for scholars to go through the material declassified under this process,' said Steven Aftergood, who runs a project on government secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists."
01/02/07 - Honey the Perfect Food
Honey consists chiefly of sugar, dextrose and laevulose. In its ash the compounds of silica, iron, copper, manganese, chlorine, calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, sulphur, aluminum and magnesium are found. Acids like formic, acetic, malic, citric and succinic, plant colouring matters like carotin, xanthophylls, anthocyanin and tannin, enzymes like invertase, diastase, catalase , insulase and vitamin A, B-complex and C are also found. The average composition of honey is Moisture 19.9%, Ash 0.29% and
Acidity as formic acid 0.1%. It is estimated that 200 gms of honey is as nourishing as 1.135 Kgs of milk or 1.658 kg of cream cheese, or 340 gms of meat or 425 gms of boneless cod fish or 8 oranges or 10 eggs. A rich energy giving food, with milk it becomes a perfect food. It is highly appreciated as food for infants and the aged persons. As it provides energy in a readily available form, honey is largely taken by athletes after hard exercise or long races to regain lost energy.
01/02/07 - Fluid morphs into startling designs akin to Indian tapestries
(Thanks to Trevor for the headsup on this fascinating article. - JWD) As a project last summer, Lorenz collaborated with Zahn to explore the effects of time-varying magnetic fields on ferrofluids, materials Zahn is exploring for potential applications in nanotechnology. Ferrofluids are mixtures of carrier liquid (such as water or oil) containing magnetic particles only 10 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, in diameter. The particles are coated with a surfactant to keep them dispersed. Lorenz applied the magnetic fields to ferrofluids in a Hele-Shaw cell, where flows are constrained to two dimensions in a small gap between two parallel glass disks. By running a typical experiment in reverse order, he unexpectedly coaxed a ferrofluid to "undergo something analogous to a phase change," Zahn said, resulting in the unexpected pattern. "It was the first time this had ever been observed," said Zahn, the Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of Electrical Engineering. In the first experiment shown on his video, Lorenz applied a 100 Gauss DC vertical magnetic field to a Hele-Shaw cell containing a drop of ferrofluid. This caused the drop to form a spike pattern. He then added a 20 Gauss, 25 Hertz magnetic field that rotates clockwise in the horizontal plane. The result: the ferrofluid slowly changes to a spiral pattern. When Lorenz ran the experiment in reverse order, by first applying the rotating field, then the 100 Gauss DC vertical field, the ferrofluid drop morphed dramatically into the new protozoan-like shape.
01/02/07 - Flying To the US? Pay In Cash
Just for Today (01/01/07), YouTube.com files of interest. I apologize if some don't yet have DSL as they will download so slow with dialup. Whew it took a lot of work to snip out and clean up images from the videos.
British travelers using a credit card to purchase their ticket may now have their credit card and email accounts inspected by US authorities. Since October, the US and the EU agreed about what information the US could demand from airlines and how this information would be handled. But details of the agreement only recently came to light following a Freedom of Information request. The US says it will "encourage" US carriers to reciprocate to any requests by European governments. From the article: "[T]he Americans are entitled to 34 separate pieces of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data... Initially, such material could be inspected for seven days but a reduced number of US officials could view it for three and a half years. Should any record be inspected during this period, the file could remain open for eight years...'It is pretty horrendous, particularly when you couple it with our one-sided extradition arrangements with the US,' said [a human rights activist]. 'It is making the act of buying a ticket a gateway to a host of personal email and financial information. While there are safeguards, it appears you would have to go to a US court to assert your rights.'"
01/01/07 - YouTube Video Saver Firefox Extension
Once installed, close FireFox, then restart. Remember to change your video file extension to .flv (flash) so you can view them.
01/01/07 - Flash FLV Player
01/01/07 - Video - MagLev Train shows 'pinning' Effect
Incredible superconducting model train that runs for a very long time with just a slight push. Gives everyone a chance to see the 'pinning' effect which allows the train to run sideways on a building or UPSIDE DOWN. Meissner forces for repulsion and pinning effect to clamp it so that it floats over the track captive in the field.
01/01/07 - Video - UFO Fall and CRASH video
Video showing a flying machine that seems to have lost power. It falls end over end, turning and twisting to show all sides of the thing. The slow fall starts out small and gets bigger and bigger until you see this large ship crashed into the desert, amazing! / UPDATE, ITS A HOAX!!! I didn't read the responses posted at the bottom of the page..live and learn. - Vlad at zpenergy.com reports in; "Oh, come on guys ...it is January 1-st, not April 1-st! UFO Fall and CRASH video. This is Genesis Probe crashing in Utah in Sep 2004 (you can hear the NASA comments in the background). Very much IFO ;-) - Happy New Year! - Vlad / ZPEnergy.com - Moderator
01/01/07 - Video - Incredible Naudins' R/C UFO using Coanda forces
My favorite...a one fan flying device like the Vectron toy, with louvres/ailerons to let you control direction. And it runs a very long time for such a model. You'll note the similarities to Schauberger's UFO designs yet this one uses one big fan for lift.
01/01/07 - Video - Water to Air Jet
I wonder what kind of launching platform this thing is using to take off from underwater like that. It's most likely a submarine but I would love to see the mechanics of how its all done. Does the pilot wear scuba gear or is the thing loaded up inside the sub and launched from a flooded bay? Sure brings a new meaning to stealth if a submarine can cruise near a country and launch a fighter jet in a surprise attack.
01/01/06 - Video - Perendev Motor Demo
(But it slows down and I suspect stops after a certain amount of runtime. - JWD) The Perendev magnetic motor brings a new form of energy to the World, No fossil fuel is used in the running of the motor, the motor runs on Magnetic/electric energy produced by the repulsion of the magnetic fields.
01/01/06 - Video - Steorn Machine Demo
Claims of a self-running device which uses precisely positioned magnets with magnetic shielding to achieve the effect. Very similar to other shielding schemes such as the Ecklin motor and others.
01/01/06 - Video - Klein Water Car Demo
Florida inventor claims he can drive 100 miles on 4 ounces of water. Its all been done LONG before this guy and his patents won't hold up due to 'prior art.' Dr. William Rhodes was first back in the early 1960s, his work was copied and uncredited by Yull Brown (thus 'Browns Gas') and many machines are sold which produce this same stoichiometric mix that uses the implosive combustion effect of the gas.
01/01/06 - Video - Meyer Water Car Demo
The late Stanley Meyers claims it would take 22 gallons of water to drive from Los Angeles to New York using his hydrogen reactor system to run a car engine. Two of our associates visited Meyers years ago and witnessed the dune buggy running but it would only go about 16-20 miles before the motor would bog down according to them. They reported he was on them the entire time trying to get them to invest by buying a franchise in his business for $5000 each WHEN it finally came to market. No WHEN was ever specified so they shied away from the deal. Meyer's brother took over the business and moved it to Canada after Stanley's death, changing the name to XOGEN.
01/01/06 - Video - Xogen Hydrogen Production Promo
Two 12vdc batteries, a signal generator, a driver and the hydrogen reactor with a single cell containing multiple plates to produce the gas. Hydrogen burns invisibly so its interesting to see the tiny flame on the left compared with a heat photograph of the actual flame on the right.
01/01/06 - Video - Negre & DiPietro Aircar Demos
The Negre four cylinder piston engine is driven by 300 bar pressure from three precharged carbon fiber storage tanks. / The DiPietro 13kg air motor uses a novel new rotary piston design to produce high torque using air as a near frictionless bearing. Much of an internal combustion engine output is lost in running the gearbox and friction losses. Simple to refill from any air compressor. 2-3 minutes to recharge the air tank up will give you 2-3 hours of driving.
01/01/06 - Video - Water from Fuel Plans that don't work
This is a test of the Water to Fuel plans long ago posted on KeelyNet which no one has ever made work...well, SURE it works, but it doesn't produce anywhere near the volume claimed in the plans. That is why I long ago took it off the regular pages yet people still find it and write in wanting to build it. Even with the caveat emptor at the top of the page, it appears to have been a hoax from day one.
01/01/06 - Video - Spontaneous Human Combustion #1
Two short films on the phenomenon of how people can catch on fire and burn up from within, yet producing little damage to surrounding objects or consuming the room. I am of the opinion it is caused by Dr. George Crile's theory that the mitochondria are tiny nuclear furnaces. This micro-atomic energy source is attenuated over time by the accumulation of deuterium oxide (d2o) in the deep fat of the body tissues. When excessive d2o is transmuted or chelated from the tissues, these micro-atomic furnaces flare up and set the body on fire from within. - Spontaneous Human Combustion #2
01/01/06 - Video - MagneGas Demo
Using carbon electrodes ignited under water, a highly flammable gas is created, a mix of hydrogen and carbon particles which can be burned for heating or the production of energy using steam to drive a turbogenerator.
01/01/06 - Video - Joe Cell free energy phenomena
I'm not too up on the Joe Cell but as I understand it, the device uses orgone chambers which self-power the production of something like hydrogen gas which can run a car engine. You can see the gradual buildup of the milky gas mixture as it overflows from one ring into another and the gas glows in the process, something Reich long reported with his experiments with Orgone energy.
Video - Viktor Schauberger and Wasserfadden Experiment
Shows the Museum housing the remaining Schauberger inventions including the Zokwendle self-powered vortex energy generator as well as the Wasserfadden (water fountain) that produced some 3,000 volts using what is known as the Lenard Principle. I've seen this Wasserfadden test by Walter (William) Baumgartner in Los Angeles where the water is so 'dead' (refers to the ability to hold high charges due to the zeta potential) that the wasserfadden barely worked and the electrified water didn't glow as brightly as it should.
01/01/06 - Video - Viktor Schauberger Vortices
Interesting effects of vortexes and a brief section using cymatics. They show all kinds of chaotic phenomena including self-organizing behavior which might well be a key factor in developing self-running, overunity devices such as Schaubergers' Zokwendle.
01/01/06 - Video - Viktor Schauberger Museum and NAZI UFO connections
01/01/06 - Video - Hutchison Effect Demo
Shows various demonstrations and very peculiar effects derived from high frequency, high potential experiments. One setup shows various objects on a metal plate, appearing to be vibrated across the plate. Other demonstrations oddly enough take place inside boxes though some of the effects produced would be hard to duplicate by simply attaching a camera to a box and flipping it for the illusion of antigravity lift effects. The video also includes his Crystal Converter which he claims uses the Casimir Effect to produce an electric current that can be tapped and used to do work. These converters can be ganged to produce a lot more power and remind me of the Adams mineral from Wales. Most interesting is the levitation of a 70 pound cannon ball.
01/01/06 - Video - Gray-like Motor on Steroids at 225HP
225hp pulse motor; This prototype is provided by Mr. Andrew Wong of Hong Kong. The solenoids are used to provide the pulse force. One of these prototypes is scheduled for Tsing Hua University for testing. You'll note the resemblance to the EV Gray motor though I can't tell if this one uses high voltage discharges or electromagnetic spike type pulses. 225hp X 760 watts = 171,000 Watts yet the thing is shown to be running from what looks like 2 car batteries.
01/01/06 - Video - Solar Steam Demo
We do it in the SUN! The only gadget known to pay for itself and get energy free from the sun! The video shows our latest prototype of a machine that will not only heat water, but apply about 5 horsepower to a generator and make electricity from steam!
01/01/06 - Video - Solar Tower Demo
Clear plastic sheeting covers a large area of desert floor to allow heat buildup from solar energy. High velocity fans blow the hot air towards the tower where convection drives thirty two turbines that can produce 200 megawatts of electricity. A solar tower has been working very well in Spain for several years to prove the concept. The solar tower is 1000 meters tall.
01/01/06 - 2 Video - Foot Smoke Ring Generator
The description for this video says this thing can shoot a two foot rotating ring of smoke for up to 50 feet. This could be a great toy to play with at parties, picnics or just to kick around. The harder the force, the tighter the ring of smoke and the longer it will last. The Germans had a weapon like this that was claimed to be able to knock low flying planes out of the air and knock down brick walls.
01/01/06 - Video - Plugin Electric Car Demo
01/01/07 - Video - Thompson Constant Velocity Coupling Demo
When joining two shafts together, there has not been a way to maintain a constant velocity between both shafts. Resistance from differing velocities produces heat and wear which destroys the coupling over time. This new invention minimizes resistance, thereby preventing heat buildup and wear on the coupling.
01/01/07 - Video - A.D.D. Home Shopping Network
It's simply hilarious!
01/01/07 - Video - Beaty's Magnet Experiments
Bill Beaty, creator and webmaster of the incredible Amateur Science website shows us how to make magnetic beads into a supermagnet. In the form of a ring of beads, its not a magnet and has no effect on a video display such as a monitor or TV screen. However, break the ring and it becomes a very strong magnet which distorts the video display. And a 7 ball ring (6 outside, one in the center) becomes a very sensitive compass.
01/01/07 - Video - Dr. Mist Body Odor killer
Interesting because of how he discovered that mineral rich water would kill body odor for days.
01/01/07 - Video - Best Kept Military Secrets
Describes the lost nuclear bombs that have never been recovered, yet which could go off unexpectedly. There are as many as seven nuclear bombs classified as 'irretrievably lost.' The military uses the codeword 'broken arrows' when referring to these lost bombs. A carefully guarded secret for over 40 years.
01/01/07 - Video - Secret Space Clip
Information about the NAZI connection to UFOs from a rare book. Why did NASA fake lunar landings and expeditions that did not happen? It can be summarized in just two words, money and UFOs. It details the whitewashing of SS officer Von Braun and his NAZI scientist companions in order to bring them into the US to work on space and missle projects using advanced knowledge gained in their experiments. The NAZIS had a secret space program using advanced propulsion systems. In the three UFO photos, take note of the misty areas below them as if there is a strong wind for lift and propulsion.
$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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