03/31/06 - Clean the Blood, Cure Bird Flu?
(There is a similar device patented in Germany claimed to cure AIDS. It uses a quartz tube through which live blood is passed where it is exposed to UV light and Ozone, causing the blood to 'cold boil' and kill off all viruses and bacteria. The blood is then filtered and returned to the body. - JWD) California researchers say a blood-cleaning machine could save lives if bird flu becomes a pandemic. Fighting viruses by cleansing the blood might sound too good to be true, and many infectious disease experts say it is. The device, called the Hemopurifier, performs a type of dialysis. According to James Joyce, founder and CEO of Aethlon Medical in San Diego, it can also remove smallpox and the Ebola and Marburg viruses. The Hemopurifier works against so many different viruses, according to Joyce, that the device could one day serve as a "portable immune system." The technology consists of a traditional dialysis machine rigged with a cartridge invented by Aethlon scientists. As blood flows through the device, Joyce said, the Hemopurifier filters out viruses, allowing the patient's embattled immune system to become strong enough to fight off the disease. The cartridge contains fibers with pores large enough for viruses and toxins to pass through. The viruses bind to proteins arranged outside the fibers. The cleansed blood then returns to the bloodstream. Traditionally, cleansing the bloodstream of toxins is a process known as hemofiltration. The process has been used to treat sepsis, and even Anthrax and Marburg infections, which is why Joyce believes the Hemopurifier will work.
03/31/06 - Floating wave generator cleans water
Waves are nature's method of incorporating oxygen in water bodies. This observation led wave generator inventor Per Andersen to create steep artificial waves that deliver the mixing properties of natural waves, but unlike natural waves, the wave train can have an exceptionally long range of influence. Compared to other mixing devices such as turbines and bubblers, the steep artificial wave is the only one that is capable of long range mass transportation of surface wave and floating matter. Removal of surface debris from urban water bodies is a natural application for the Andersen Floating Wave Generator (AFWG). Ice control in cold climates is another natural application. Warmer below-surface water is moved upward by the AFWG and thus prevents ice formation or, over a period, melts and breaks up, ice already formed.
03/31/06 - Many Overrate themselves and are unaware of their Incompetence
When asked, most individuals will describe themselves as better-than-average in areas such as leadership, social skills, written expression, or just about any flavor of savvy where the individual has an interest. This tendency of the average person to believe he or she is better-than-average is known as the "above-average effect," and it flies in the face of logic… by definition, descriptive statistics says that it is impossible absurdly improbable for a majority of people to be above average. Clearly a large number of the self-described "above average" individuals are actually below average in those areas, and they are simply unaware of their incompetence.
03/31/06 - Defeating Maxwell's Demon
(Recieved this pre-publication note from the author, the article describes his solid-state experiments in extracting electricity from temperature differentials. - JWD) Maxwell's demon - An imaginary creature who is able to sort hot molecules from cold molecules without expending energy, thus bringing about a general decrease in entropy and violating the second law of thermodynamics. As promised last year, my article on violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics has finally been published in Infinite Energy Magazine. The article gives a simply apparatus that accomplishes the generation of electricity directly from the molecular motion of molecules of air: http://www.infinite-energy.com/iemagazine/issue66/index.html - 21 Maxwell's Pressure Demon and the Second Law of Thermodynamics by John Marshall Dudley. Correction from Marshall Dudley: This is incorrect. There is no temperature differential, it actually extracts energy directly from the motion of the molecules, resulting in a cooling of the gas without any low temperature sink at all. IE it
breaks the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
03/31/06 - Gold nanoparticles emit intense heat
Nanoparticles of gold can act as tiny, precise and powerful heaters, which potentially could be used in biomedical applications, according to a new study. When stimulated with the right frequency of laser light, a small collection of metal nanoparticles, such as gold, can heat an area up to 1,000 times its size, according to Ohio University scientists Hugh Richardson and Sasha Govorov. The heating properties were observed in ice, water and a polymer shell that was designed to mimic material in biological systems. Though the ice did not melt when heated by low-intensity laser alone, it dissolved once a gold nanoparticle was embedded, said the scientists, whose findings have been published online by the journal Nano Letters. The gold particle is 50 nanometers, which is 200,000 times smaller than an object 1 centimeter in size, Govorov said. The process not only generates a considerable amount of heat at much larger scale than the nanoparticle, but also is very precise, the researchers report. In a biomedical application, a few gold nanoparticles could be used to generate heat to impact a single macro-scale object, such as a tumor cell. "What's amazing is that we're taking particles that you can't even image with a light microscope, and all of the sudden they cause a huge change in a macroscopic system," said Richardson, whose project was funded by Ohio University's NanoBioTechnology Initiative, one of three major research priorities of the institution.
03/31/06 - DIY gadget helps spot melanoma
To make a lighting device to evaluate skin pigmentation in different skin layers, there is special light adapter needed in order to take multispectral pictures of skin. As there are different optical properties of skin pigments, there were 4 different light sources chosen. blue ?= 470 nm - highly absorbed by epidermal melanin, green ?= 576 nm - hemoglobin peak, red ?= 660nm - epidermal dermal boundary, IR ?= 865 nm - low absorption, sensitive to scattering to measure papillary dermis thickness. White LED is optional, to make normal pictures of skin. For getting multispectral images of skin, there was developed lighting source for “Nikon Coolpix E3100" digital camera. As this light adapter is hand made and calibration is poor, there still can be good results obtained. This experiment was made to prove, that handheld digital camera and simple lighting adapter can be used to show relative diagnostic results while inspecting skin lesions. (via boingboing.com)
03/31/06 - Video Games for Pain Distraction
A Wheeling Jesuit University student study suggests playing sports and fighting video games produces a dramatic level of pain distraction.
03/31/06 - Generating Electricity from Resonance
Macrosonics uses shaped, oscillating closed cavities to control harmonic phase and amplitude which can produce standing wave overpressures in excess of 340% of ambient pressure. Thermoacoustic engines have been proposed as a means of driving piston-actuated electric alternators to produce electric power. Resonant Macrosonic Synthesis (RMS) resonators are either pulse combustion driven or thermoacoustically driven for the purpose of energy conversion, having specific applications to electric power production. RMS resonators as a pulse combustion chamber in order to maximize the acoustic reaction force for a given fuel consumption rate, thereby improving fuel-to-electric transduction efficiency.
03/30/06 - Overview of the TPU (Toroidal Power Unit) of Steven Mark
In the inventors words; "There has been a concerted effort to eliminate anything I may have to say and to discount the validity of the technology. This is done by attacking me rather than the demonstration as viewed in the video tapes. That is because most of the demonstrations I gave were to engineers and scientists who confirmed the validity of the power generated by my technology. Lay people do not understand just how difficult if not impossible it would be to fake what is shown in the video tapes of the demonstrations." "The multiple frequencies traveling around the coils are of too high a frequency to provide for any motive effort. They are only a means to achieve an end. The multiple frequencies begin to feed themselves and the multiple kicks become a combined big kick. I call it resonating. That is why if you notice in the video tapes that it takes just a few seconds for the coil to begin to function at maximum effort. You see, one little kick amounts to nothing. However imagine if you had hundreds of thousands of little kicks combining into one big current kick . . . I originally got the idea from electron circuits which use vacuum rectifiers like the 5U4 GB or 5AR4 etc. The plate has a high voltage potential with lots of useable power available. You can't get to it or use it for anything without applying a heating voltage to the cathode or what is the cathode potential of the tube. So, you put in a small voltage of 5 volts AC 60 Hz which heats up the cathode and welcomes the electron stream from the plate. Or actually the other way around, but not important for this example of my thoughts. Now the high voltage power goes through the cathode and travels through the coils of the 5 volt transformer along with the 5 volt AC. If the plate voltage is not rectified then it is AC with a potential 60 Hz frequency. That combines with the 5 volt 60 Hz in the coil of the htr transformer and generally amounts to nothing. In fact the power of the 5 volt transformer amounts to nothing. It is an insignificant power supply except when the two transformers get slightly out of phase with each other, or when they are connected in reverse of one another. Then you can measure all kinds of things going on. You can generate all kinds of hash and multiple frequencies, and I do mean all kinds. What I measured during this process was very interesting. All these frequencies occasionally met at the same time with a much larger kick at the output." ...and much, much more at this link...
03/30/06 - Research for why Sun's corona shines hotter than the Sun itself
Chair of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Eclipses, Pasachoff led an expedition of dozens of scientists and students to record images from the rare, three-minute event. They are capturing data over many eclipses to understand better why the Sun's corona, the outer halo of million-degree gas, shines hotter than the Sun itself. Most of the corona is visible from Earth only for the fleeting time that the Moon totally blocks the Sun's direct rays.
03/30/06 - Bugged Chinese PCs could spy on the US
Now that China owns IBM, they are in a prime position to install hidden trojan horse type spy circuitry to use against unsuspecting buyers. The congressional US-China Economic and Security Review Commission is questioning a decision by the U.S. State Department to buy 15,000 PCs from Lenovo, the largest Chinese brand of computers, citing fears that the computers could be BUGGED. Lenovo bought IBM's PC business last year.
03/30/06 - Ways To Disappear and Live Free
To "live free" means to be able to control your own life and to avoid violence, or the threat of violence, by others. To "disappear" means to make it impossible for other people to invade your personal world of freedom. This "disappearing" of individuals is obviously discomforting to institutions and governments determined to control personal activities in the Land of the Free. To them it appears downright seditious, since in reality their power depends directly on the number of people they can control -- through computerized records, of course. To those who actually "disappear", however, the act is one of tremendous personal liberation. Free men owe very little to those who restrict opportunities on the basis of past records. The object is for individuals, acting as individuals, to declare their mental independence from whatever System is attempting to enslave them. As individuals they are the best judges of what degree of slavery they can accept, how far down the road they can go before becoming robots for BIG BROTHER. There are numerous intermediate tactics between total compliance and complete disappearance, such as refusing to give your Social Security number (or giving it incorrectly), avoiding taxes, obtaining several foreign citizenships and passports, setting up bank accounts in several other countries, and planning at least two routes of escape to other countries, but in the end you will discover there really is no freedom in the world -- *YOU MUST CREATE YOUR OWN*. You must learn how to protect your own rights as you define them. No one else will do it for you, *NO ONE*.
03/30/06 - Report Phishing to shutdown their sites
Phishing starts with stealing logos and images, spoofing emails and creating fake websites all in an attempt to get the unsuspecting to click on that link and hand over their personal information which eventually turns into identity theft. Typically you’ll get an email requesting a verification of your account information which appears to come from a legitimate source. The account in question happens to be with a financial institution or trader, an online entity such as Paypal or Ebay, an ISP (MSN, AOL, Earthlink, Comcast, Telus, Adelphia etc), an online retailer, insurance company, online Tax filing, or a Credit Reporting Agency (Equifax, Transunion, Experian, and Novus/Innovis). The next time you get an email from your bank, eBay, or even God, trying to scam your account information, don't let your feelings get hurt, get PIRT: the Phishing Incident Reporting and Termination squad. Phishing is the prevalent online fraud using spam to trick people into giving up their financial data. A volunteer organization of security professionals has formed PIRT to tackle the "last mile" of the internet scourge: processing reports and contacting site owners where the scam sites are hosted and convincing the admins to take down the phish sites hiding on their hacked servers. Even before its complete launch, PIRT shut down more than two dozen phishing sites within a couple hours of receiving the reports. You can submit phishes to PIRT or forward the fake phishing email to pirt (AT) castlecops (DOT) com . Other options, including software based ones, can be found here. Don't just catch and release that phish, bash its head with a rock. (SPREAD THIS AROUND PLEASE!!!!)
03/30/06 - Microgravity effects in bed
"New Scientist Space is reporting that the health effects of microgravity can be reproduced by staying in bed. Inclining the bed at an angle of 6 degrees with the head at the lower end produces bone and muscle loss, decreases in cardiovascular activity, and reduced capacity to exercise similar to those produced by prolonged spaceflight."
03/30/06 - Unmanned Aerial Surveillance of US citizens!!!
"Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been flying over Iraq and Afghanistan, but now the Bush administration wants to use them for domestic surveillance. A top Homeland Security official told Congress today, according to this CNET News.com article, that: "We need additional technology to supplement manned aircraft surveillance and current ground assets to ensure more effective monitoring of United States territory." One county in North Carolina is already using UAVs to monitor public gatherings. But what happens when lots of relatively dumb drones have to share airspace with aircraft carrying passengers? A pilot's association is worried."
03/30/06 - Electricity Allergy?
Power quality is a well-known problem in the utility business, caused by the proliferation of computers, lighting dimmer switches, energy efficient bulbs, and other modern electronic gadgets. These new devices cause a more complicated use pattern for electricity than old-fashioned items such as incandescent bulbs, producing negative feedback involving high-frequency peaks, harmonics and other noise on electric wiring... The change in power quality means more variable electromagnetic fields, and possibly more biologically active ones, are associated with electricity than there used to be. This is a possible explanation for the rise in electrosensitivity complaints in the view of Denis Henshaw, a professor at the University of Bristol in Britain, who is an international authority on the health effects of power transmission lines. He says that if electricity were flowing in a constant way, most people's bodies would likely adapt, but with all the interference from modern devices, the resulting fields are too variable for people to get used to. "We just don't get to adapt to these because they don't have any special pattern to them," he said. "There is no proof of this, it's just an opinion."
03/30/06 - Software tells you if you're boring
Researcher Rana El Kaliouby's program is based on a machine-learning algorithm that she trained by showing it more than 100 8-second video clips of actors expressing particular emotions. The software picks out movements of the eyebrows, lips and nose, and tracks head movements such as tilting, nodding and shaking, which it then associates with the emotion the actor was showing. When presented with fresh video clips, the software gets people's emotions right 90 per cent of the time when the clips are of actors, and 64 per cent of the time on footage of ordinary people... Getting the software to work is only the first step, (researcher Rosalind) Picard warns. In its existing form it makes heavy demands on computing power, so it may need to be pared down to work on a standard hand-held computer. Other challenges include finding a high-resolution digital camera that can be worn comfortably, and training people with autism to look at the faces of those they are conversing with so that the camera picks up their expressions. (via boingboing.com)
03/30/06 - Psych trick to pick your Carpenter
(This is such a neat thing to discover a detailed oriented employee which is what I'd want building my stuff. - JWD) When a carpenter approaches you for a job, pick up some paperwork and absentmindedly hand him a bunch of nails as you begin to talk. If he doesn't turn all the nailheads the same direction while you are speaking, he is not your man.
03/29/06 - Office for Bio-Town prototype opens
The BioTown Task Force, a group comprised of government, academic and alternative fuel industry leaders, among others, charged with the job of making the first community to run completely on biorenewable fuels not only a reality, but a prosperous reality. Rose Energy Discovery, Inc., provides alternative energy sources for energy-intensive industry, including ethanol and biodiesel plants. Rose Energy is in the process of patenting a new process for creating natural gas from the by-products of ethanol and biodiesel plants. Three sub-committees that are focusing their attention on the second and third phases of the project, which will bring alternative electricity generation and natural gas replacement technology, respectively, to Reynolds. “There’s no model to call on because we’re doing this from scratch," said VanVoorst. “But we may see a November groundbreaking." However, there’s no telling what kind of groundbreaking there will be, said Snodgrass, because there is still much work to do in the way of formulating a winning combination between technology and what’s available in and around Reynolds. “It’s like looking at VHS and Beta 20 years ago," he said. “Nobody really knows what the future of energy is. We have to try and decide what’s the best technology to develop here with the corn and soybeans, wastewater and hogs that are here."
03/29/06 - Scientists forecast meat grown on kitchen counter
Instead of being cut from a farm animal, the beef, pork or chicken would be grown in incubators from a few starter cells, a growth medium and some hormones to get the cells to divide. The first attempts by scientists who grow animal muscle tissue in the lab have been small in scale. But researchers are looking forward to the day when meat could be cultivated in industrial bioreactors or even in a device sitting on a kitchen counter. "Right now, the scale that's being used in the research is about one-half of a litre for ... the incubator the muscle is grown in," said University of Maryland researcher Jason Matheny. A device similar to a bread maker could one day be used to manufacture meat in the home. Matheny said muscle produced in an incubator could have reduced fat content, and the process would do away with problems such as bacterial contamination and mad cow disease. "It has the taste and texture resembling the ground meat products that are already available," such as hamburger or chicken nuggets, he said. "Producing a steak or ... a whole chicken breast is a much more difficult task, technically," said Matheny. People would have to pay more for cultured meat than for the genuine article.
03/29/06 - Laser Spark Plugs
The spark plugs inside an internal combustion engine erode and need to be replaced regularly because high voltages are required to ignite the engine fuel. Colorado State University is patenting a new fibre that promises to be strong enough to feed laser power to spark plugs. The fibre is hollow, 700 micrometres in diameter and filled with helium. The internal surface of the tube is coated with a 0.2 micrometre layer of reflective silver. The silver coating should stop light from escaping and the inert helium should prevent the creation of any sparks inside the fibre. Infrared light from a neodymium-YAG laser is fired into the tube, which carries it round bends and into the engine cylinders where a lens focuses all the energy onto a fine spot. This triggers the electrical breakdown of gas inside the cylinder and generates a plasma spark that ignites the fuel.
03/29/06 - Nose Cleaner helps relieve colds and allergies
People have long used 'ear candles' to suck earwax from the ear using heat. Now come something called the 'NetiPot' which claims to let the user achieve and maintain a healthy sinus system, because a well-irrigated nasal cavity. Bytheplanet.com sells neti pots, which you fill with warm salt water and pour into one nostril until it pours out the other nostril. (via boingboing.com)
03/29/06 - Diabetes limb loss 'unnecessary'
People with diabetes are having to have unnecessary lower limb amputations, a study has suggested. Diabetes can lead to amputation because of damage to the nerves and blood vessels that serve the limbs. People with diabetes are 15 times more at risk of lower limb amputation than people without the condition. A survey of 30 people with diabetes, aged between 60 and 80, who had had amputations, found 90% had been considered high risk in the period leading up to the procedure. A history of ulcers, nerve damage, circulation problems and foot deformities can all put people at high risk of amputation. Douglas Smallwood, chief executive at Diabetes UK said: "It is shocking that some people with diabetes are getting sub-standard specialist foot care, or even none at all, if they are at high risk of amputation.
"We know that the rate of amputation may be reduced by 40% or more through effective care. "All people with diabetes should receive at least a yearly foot check. "Those who have problems need to be provided with a foot care plan which incorporates specialist care and education on what to look out for and how to avoid infections."
03/29/06 - Using Fear as a Motivator for Change
Satish Kumar, editor of Resurgence Magazine, said that it was not right to use the fear of peak oil to try and motivate people to change. He said that he had been around since the 1950s, and that then people tried to use fear of nuclear waste to get people to change, in the 60s it was fear of chemical pollution, in the 70s it was the fear of nuclear power, in the 80s nuclear bombs and so on… All of those positions tried to terrify people into change and none of them really worked. His view was that we should be helping people towards values of compassion and peacefulness, as a positive step, not because people are scared of the consequences but rather because they can see the benefits of doing so. To say we are all doomed, peak oil is inevitable and you can do nothing about it, promotes fear, and then leaves people in a place where they can do nothing, promoting powerlessness and apathy. It is the same between a religious tradition which says “you WILL go to hell unless you do EXACTLY what we say", and one which promotes self-discovery and inner awakening, even though that process may involve having to sit with some uncomfortable realisations occasionally. To say “here is a problem, this is the extent of it, but here is what we can do", strikes me as not promoting fear at all, rather the opposite, offering a way forward through what most people feel on a deep level, to be profoundly uncertain times.
03/29/06 - Hack your brain with an IPod or personal MP3 player
It's called entrainment. It sounds like mumbo jumbo, and the web page makes it look like mumbo jumbo, but there are some real scientific principles behind it, (here's their theory page) inasmuch as you can generate definite physiological effects using it that cannot be explained with a placebo effect. What is it? Well, basically, the idea is that you can modify the electrical activity in your brain (the stuff that's picked up by EEG readings) by hearing sounds that mimic those waves. But since the human hearing range doesn't extend to that level, instead, you listen to two similar but different sounds, one in each ear, and the resonance between them delivers the effect of the frequency. The upshot of it is, you pump the sound into your brain via your ipod, and you sleep deeply or just relax, feel like you've had too much coffee, generate lost time, or even like you're getting a tooth drilled. And yes, there's also sexual stimulation, sexual simulation, and LSD simulation. You can get the generator here and download lots of presets for it, including the ones I linked above, here. You might want something that can do a "download all links on page" like Download Accellerator so you can just grab each category in its entirety. The source files are very small. You can use the software to make wav files out of them, which you can then convert into mp3 or aac for use in your ipod or other audio device of choice, or burn to a CD.
03/29/06 - Essential Oil for Healing
AROMATHERAPY is one of the most ancient healing methods, and is the science of utilising aromatic essences extracted from plants for health and healing. The natural essences are used to balance and harmonise the energies that operate within us, and promote the health of the body, mind and spirit. The oils can be sniffed directly, sprayed, taken as inhalation, or more usually, diffused into the air using a burner or diffuser. They can also be used as direct applications to the body, as massage oil, or incorporated into soaps, body care items and even in household sprays and insect repellents. Modern day aromatherapy owes its renaissance mainly to the work of the French. Among them was Dr Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who accidentally discovered the healing power of lavender oil in his cosmetic laboratory. He had plunged his burnt hand into the oil thinking it was water, and was surprised to see rapid healing. He continued to apply the oil until it healed, leaving no scar at all. The rest is history? During World War II, his colleague, Dr Jean Valnet, used essential oils to fight infections when his antibiotics supply ran out, and saved many lives. Recent studies have shown that they have amazingly high antioxidant properties. We are all familiar with the importance of having enough antioxidants to fight the harmful free-radicals that damage our cells and slowly cause us to age and develop chronic degenerative diseases. The free-radical fighting ability of antioxidants are measured in ORAC units (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). Broccoli and spinach have ORAC values of 890 and 1,260 respectively. The berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and others) have ORAC scores of between 1,200 and 2,400 (highest in blueberry). But the superstar of berries, which is the Ningxia wolfberry or gou-ji, has ORAC value of over 25,000. It is also very rich in life-force. But even the best fruits do not come close to the ORAC power of essential oils. The weakest of them have ORAC values above 2,000. Lavender essential oil has ORAC value of nearly 3,700. Lemon essential oil is over 6,000, lemongrass nearly 18,000, cinnamon bark over 100,000 and, hold your breath - clove essential oil has ORAC power of over 10 million! With that kind of capacity to knock out harmful free-radicals, we should not be surprised at all that essential oils can heal. Essential oils have long been shown to have antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties.
03/28/06 - Highest Paying Google Keywords
New program from Google lets you discover what keywords to best target for your site. With AdSense, Google advertisers pay the website owner for each click, purchases are not necessary.
03/28/06 - China invents new device to catch drug addicts
Chinese scientists have invented a device that can detect a drug user simply from the way his pupils react to certain rays. In the tests, 891 cannabis smokers were mixed with 826 non-drug takers. The device was able to catch 93.94 per cent of the addicts if they smoked the drug the day before the test, and 88.52 per cent of them if they did it six days before. No non-drug takers were mistaken for smoking the drug in the tests, scientists with the department of science and technology said. For addicts to opium or its related drugs, lights of certain wavelength and intensity make their pupils expand and contract, they said, adding that the new device can find out "how much a person is addicted to drugs." The technology is obviously more advanced than similar detection techniques applied by police across the country, and it will be a good help if promoted nationwide, the scientists said.
03/28/06 - Disorder helps to 'hyperfocus' waves in time reversal acoustics
(This has serious positive implications for tapping ambient, chaotic forces including tapping the vacuum. You will note the frequency rods used by Keely in the attached photo snippet. - JWD) For every burst of sound, there must exist a sound that bursts in reverse, according to the theory of time reversal acoustics. Time-reversed focusing is based on the fact that when a wave is played backwards in time, wavelengths will retrace their paths. Although theoretically the overlap should be exact, the actual time reversal mirrors (TRMs) that play back the waves can not “catch" every frequency of the original wave. The team used a TRM that consisted of an array of 41 transducers, which recorded the original waves and then focused the waves back to the source. The transducers play the role of microphones and loudspeakers because they act as “reversible" devices. Although the 41 transducers try to capture as many of the original waves within a phononic (vibrating) crystal as possible, several frequencies slip through the cracks, which reduces spatial focusing for the return waves. Sometimes, frequencies that would normally not pass through the TRM can be directed toward the mirror by a medium with large apertures and significant disorder. In this case, when the 41 transducers try to capture waves propagating through a medium of steel rods arranged randomly in water, the rods scatter and redirect otherwise-lost frequencies into one of the transducers. The ability to catch these misguided frequencies is called “hyperfocusing." When the physicists observed time reversal in a phononic crystal, however, they did not observe the hyperfocusing effect. “This is the first time that a time reversal experiment has been performed through a phononic crystal, i.e. a perfectly ordered material," said Tourin. “The comparison between a phononic crystal and a disordered medium shows that disorder plays a clear role in the so-called ‘hyperfocusing effect.’"
03/28/06 - Seagrass is in decline worldwide, says UNH researcher
Around the world, seagrass beds - shallow-water ecosystems that are important habitats, food sources, and sediment stabilizers - are in decline, says Frederick Short, research professor of natural resources and marine science at the University of New Hampshire. And as these underwater meadows disappear, so do commercially valuable shellfish and fish, waterfowl and other wildlife, water quality, and erosion prevention. Short is founder of SeagrassNet, which monitors seagrass health at 45 sites in 17 countries worldwide.
03/28/06 - Brain Cells Fused with Computer Chip
European researchers have developed "neuro-chips" in which living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together. The achievement could one day enable the creation of sophisticated neural prostheses to treat neurological disorders or the development of organic computers that crunch numbers using living neurons. To create the neuro-chip, researchers squeezed more than 16,000 electronic transistors and hundreds of capacitors onto a silicon chip just 1 millimeter square in size. They used special proteins found in the brain to glue brain cells, called neurons, onto the chip. However, the proteins acted as more than just a simple adhesive. "They also provided the link between ionic channels of the neurons and semiconductor material in a way that neural electrical signals could be passed to the silicon chip," said study team member Stefano Vassanelli from the University of Padua in Italy. The proteins allowed the neuro-chip's electronic components and its living cells to communicate with each other. Electrical signals from neurons were recorded using the chip's transistors, while the chip's capacitors were used to stimulate the neurons. Researchers are now working on ways to avoid damaging the neurons during stimulation. The team is also exploring the possibility of using a neuron's genetic instructions to control the neuro-chip.
03/28/06 - The changed world of 2050
Homes boast entire roofs made of solar tiles and rooms are kept warm by insulating wallpaper, commuters travel on electric trams and hydrogen cars and the harsh elements of the Orkney Isles have been tamed to become a major engine room of our economy. Oil has defied pessimists and is still being found in the North Sea - but it's now used exclusively in the petrochemical industry and to keep aircraft flying. And a new 500-mile underwater link has been made with Iceland to capture heat from the perpetual hot springs. There's still a role for king coal - but the black diamonds are now of the green variety. (via www.alternative-energy-news.info)
03/28/06 - Self-Cooling Beer, 30 Degrees Cooler in Three Minutes?
The I.C. Can automagically lowers the temperature of beer in a can by 30-degrees Fahrenheit in three minutes, using a combination of vacuum heat pump technology and insulation that’s safe and environmentally friendly. The I. C. Can is about the same size as a 16-ounce beer can, yet its small cooling mechanism still leaves enough room for 12 ounces of brewski. When activated, the all natural desiccant contained within a vacuum draws the heat from the beverage through the evaporator into an insulated heat-sink container. It is this patented vacuum-power which lowers the temperature so dramatically and quickly, leaving the beverage inside cool and refreshing.
03/28/06 - Evans Oak Ridge report on Electric Power from Spacetime - 2005
This is sent to you as soon as possible because of the urgency of the energy crisis. The Schwarzschild metric is used in the Coulomb and Ampere Maxwell laws from my almost unanimously acclaimed unified field theory. The overall conclusion is that such power is available in unified field theory but is very small in magnitude if based on the contribution of the earth's curvature to that of one classical electron. Therefore claims to have observed such phenomena must be based on state of the art amplification or on very good experimental designs. Such claims should in my opinion be evaluated with urgency but utmost care in the best laboratories worldwide. If verified a new era of humanity emerges. If not verified we at least now have a theory that is predictive and useful. The wild claims of pseudo-scientists are most harmful to physics and to the U.S. People and its constitutional servant, the U.S. Government. These claims are totally misleading.
03/28/06 - Free Energy Chip - Refutation of Evans claims & comments/notes
(This link was provided by Jim Day. It does not deal with the claim of the chip itself, rather with the association with the work of Myron Evans. - JWD) Stefan Hartmann writes "Adolf Schneider (from Net-Journal Magazine) in Switzerland is holding a conference with these guys from et3m soon. They want to be distributor for Switzerland (Europe) for this technology. Until the conference they keep all other things quiet," he wrote. / Myron W. Evans work, focuses on atomic level physics, including "development of energy ex vacuo, theory and patented devices, and the theory of general unified field theory of sub atomic particles, with applications to nuclear waste stabilization." (Looking at the Free Energy Chip image which shows 4 disconnected meters, then 4 connected meters attached to a 'black box' which is apparently intended to operate the two AC fans. I doubt the 'black box' is extracting AC from the vacuum unless it is rectified and stored as DC to be fed into an internal INVERTER circuit which would provide 60hz for the fan motors. Unfortunately, the site provides no details as to power produced or components used. - JWD)
03/28/06 - Ontario offers to buy homemade electricity
Ontario is offering to subsidize homeowners and businesses that switch to renewable power sources like solar panels or wind turbines. The government will pay an inflated price for the energy for 20 years to help make the project attractive: 42 cents a kilowatt-hour for solar and 11 cents for wind, biomass, or small hydroelectric projects. The program is also being pitched to homeowners, but the upfront costs - as much as $30,000 - are substantial. Experts say it could take 20 years before homeowners pay off their initial investment and turn a profit.
03/28/06 - A translation of Evans theory from Terry Bastian
Translating the Investigation page is: The atomic theory demonstrates that a kilogram of mass contains ninety thousand trillions of Joules, to 1 kg = 9.0x1015 J, and if we transformed that kilogram of mass into Watts-hour we have by each kilogram of mass twenty-five billion KiloWatts-hour, 1 kg = 2.5x1010 KWH. In our circuits of low power we used 10 mg of mass gallium-quartz silicon-germanium-arcenuruio, those 10 mg of mass give to two hundred fifty million KiloWatts-Hora (250,000,000 to us KWH) and if we used this circuit to feed a motor on a KW of consumption, it will be in continuous operation during 28.530 years, (E=mc2), (E??=m c2). This one investigation is well formed to count on a viable power alternative and economically profitable, as they will see, lack to investigate much, to develop, but already we counted on some circuits that have had good results, obtaining sustantial savings of energy. (Thanks Terry, the most informative part was the circuit material but they don't say how they stimulate it or how the energy translates to DC or AC. - JWD)
03/28/06 - Free Energy Chip
I received this information from Duncan at Nexus Magazine. If anyone has any additional information about this company or the process behind the claimed technology, please Email Me and I will share it on the website and send to Duncan. The company appears to be based in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. Duncan provided the following additional information: * Inventor is Aureliano Horta. * The company's name is ET3M. It seems to be based in Mexico. Unfortunately, their website is only in Spanish: http://www.et3m.com/ * The theoretical concepts behind the invention seem to be originating from research by a man named Myron Evans. He is said to have finally come up with a unified field theory, basing his own research on Einstein and Elie Cartan. Here's a website, that discusses him: http://www.atomicprecision.com/ * I will fax you two articles in English; one is rather recent, the other describes an event that happened already in the early nineties, but with the same people. It seems that the invention has come a long way, definitely not out of nowhere. * There's a company, that is currently drumming up people worldwide to throw in venture capital into this, named EAVCF/Euro-American Venture Capital Federation, based in Oregon, USA. * The colleagues from Net Journal (http://www.borderlands.de/inet.jrnl.php3), a magazine around all things with free energy, seem to be heavily involved in the European marketing. They could probably tell you more. They might also be knowledgeable about where you could find a contact in the Southern Hemisphere. - Islas Baleares #110-A, Col. Lindavista, C.P. 37300, LEON, Gto. (Guanajuato) MEXICO - Teléfono y Fax: +52(477)-773-78-05
03/27/06 - 25 Interesting inventions from 2005
1 - The Liperator increases the possibility for better understanding of a telephone conversation by a hard-of-hearing person through use of sound from the phone line to generate realistic lip movements viewed on a screen by the listener. 2 - Magnetic Levitation Arrow Rest (Air-Rest): An arrow literally floats on air, only touching the bowstring of a bow, by a special arrangement of rare earth magnets to achieve magnetic levitation. 3 - The Strawjet is a farm implement that processes straw (wheat, flax, sunflower, tobacco, hemp, etc.) in the field after the plant has been harvested, into a mat, similar to a large bamboo window blind. This is used to construct composite building panels in much the same way as fiberglass or carbon fiber, but uses a binder made from paper pulp, clay, and cement rather than plastic resin.
03/27/06 - Stabilizing rings for stable helicopter flight
Helicopters are tricky beasts to keep aloft and stable. Full-size birds do it with skilled pilots, while most unmanned craft rely on gyroscopes and autopilot. To stay pointed in one direction, the Picoflyer, like many real whirlybirds, uses two sets of counter-rotating rotors, which offset the opposing forces that occur when an engine drives a propeller in flight. (If the rotors are driven one way, the engine and fuselage spin in the opposite direction.) But to keep from pitching or rolling out of control, the Picoflyer relies on a passive- stability system that adds no extra parts or weight. If the helo starts to tilt or lean one way, the ringed rotors naturally tilt equally in the other direction, bringing the bird back to level. Continuous little adjustments help it maintain a stable hover.
03/27/06 - Harvesting Collective Genius
The New York Times has an interesting article on an interesting business strategy used by a company called Rite-Solutions. The system recognizes the need for harvesting ideas from the entire company instead of just one or two "idea-men" in a stock-market-esque idea exchange. From the article: "We're the founders, but we're far from the smartest people here," Mr. Lavoie, the chief executive, said during an interview at Rite-Solutions' headquarters outside Newport, R.I. "At most companies, especially technology companies, the most brilliant insights tend to come from people other than senior management. So we created a marketplace to harvest collective genius."
03/27/06 - Ice Energy's Cool Add-On Ups AC Efficiency 30%
Ice energy, which is an old idea given new life. The company is named Ice Energy, and the company's Ice Bear system manufactures ice in huge quantities and stores it in a copper tub lathered with insulation, for distributing of cool air via a storage module that consumes much less power and is more eco-friendly than traditional air conditioners. Large companies that have installed this system have seen their fuel bills drop by 15 percent. "Officials at Victorville City Hall are running one of Ice Energy's cooling units as part of a free demonstration project. After about three months, the city will look at the energy savings and may order three to four units for city buildings, said Jon Gargan, Victorville's director of community services"..."The city of Anaheim is also participating in the pilot project". "The Ice Energy device includes a storage unit containing water is attached to the air conditioner. During the night, when the air conditioner is working most efficiently, the water is frozen. Then during the day, that ice provides a cool environment for the air conditioner to transfer heat from the building, increasing the efficiency of the air conditioner during hot hours, when demand for electricity peaks".
03/27/06 - Solved by science: the pensioner pervery pandemic
Readers who have been following the recent spate of senior citizen misbehaviour across Europe will be glad to hear that evolutionary biology has provided an explanation. For the uninitiated, just lately there's been the Russian OAP's porn crypt, his countryman who became a porn star at 75, and the poor Italian policeman who pulled over a swerving car to be confronted by a 70-year old nude nonna humping the driver. Thank crivens for Roxana Torres and colleagues, of the Institute of Ecology at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, and their paper: “Senescent birds redouble reproductive effort when ill: confirmation of the terminal investment hypothesis," published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The terminal investment hypothesis is a pretty intuitive idea and should be the same for all long-lived species. Simply put if you know you are not long for this Earth then the trade-off between everyday survival and reproductive effort tips in favour of getting one's end away. Although the hypothesis was proposed way back in 1966, before this new study in birds, evidence to support it had so far been scant. The implications here are obvious - old folks just can't help themselves.
03/27/06 - First Steps in Controlling Gravity
Scientists funded by the European Space Agency have measured the gravitational equivalent of a magnetic field for the first time in a laboratory. Just as a moving electrical charge creates a magnetic field, so a moving mass generates a gravitomagnetic field. Martin Tajmar, ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH, Austria; Clovis de Matos, ESA-HQ, Paris; and colleagues have measured the effect in a laboratory. Their experiment involves a ring of superconducting material rotating up to 6 500 times a minute. Superconductors are special materials that lose all electrical resistance at a certain temperature. Spinning superconductors produce a weak magnetic field, the so-called London moment. The new experiment tests a conjecture by Tajmar and de Matos that explains the difference between high-precision mass measurements of Cooper-pairs (the current carriers in superconductors) and their prediction via quantum theory. They have discovered that this anomaly could be explained by the appearance of a gravitomagnetic field in the spinning superconductor (This effect has been named the Gravitomagnetic London Moment by analogy with its magnetic counterpart). Small acceleration sensors placed at different locations close to the spinning superconductor, which has to be accelerated for the effect to be noticeable, recorded an acceleration field outside the superconductor that appears to be produced by gravitomagnetism. "This experiment is the gravitational analogue of Faraday's electromagnetic induction experiment in 1831. It demonstrates that a superconductive gyroscope is capable of generating a powerful gravitomagnetic field, and is therefore the gravitational counterpart of the magnetic coil. Depending on further confirmation, this effect could form the basis for a new technological domain, which would have numerous applications in space and other high-tech sectors" says de Matos. Although just 100 millionths of the acceleration due to the Earth’s gravitational field, the measured field is a surprising one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein’s General Relativity predicts. Initially, the researchers were reluctant to believe their own results.
03/27/06 - Earth water originated from comets?
Icy comets embedded the in belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter may point to the origin of Earth’s own water supply, scientists said Thursday. Asteroids tend to be made of rock and metal. Comets, which typically spend most of their existence beyond Neptune and visit the inner solar system infrequently if ever, hold more water ice and other icy chemicals and are often called icy dirtballs. Astronomers believe that the Earth formed under hot and dry conditions, relying on ice from comets to build up its stores of water and become habitable. But studies of traditional comet ice have found that their water composition is quite different that that of Earth’s oceans, Jewitt said. Main-belt comet ice appears to have formed while the solar system was still a vast protoplanetary nebula of raw material under much warmer temperatures than the conditions where traditional comets formed, out in the Kuiper Belt on the frigid fringe of our planetary neighborhood, Jewitt said.
03/27/06 - Talking human like mannequin face
(This was just too cool not to post. At Disney, they project the images from the outside on a contoured blank face...this one projects from inside. Imagine the possibilities for fun, mischief and possible commercial applications mostly, I think, for the consumer industry! One Star Trek II episode had a wedding dowry box beamed aboard with a human-like face that came to life when it sensed its target and announced the wedding was afoot. - JWD) "Chatty, a talking mannequin with a human face, is on display at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2006 (at Tokyo Big Sight through March 26). Developed by Ishikawa Optics & Art Corporation, Chatty has a face that is brought to life by means of a video projector inside its head." (via makezine.com)
03/27/06 - More sleep, higher death rate
A six-year study Kripke headed up of more than a million adults ages 30 to 102 showed that people who get only 6 to 7 hours a night have a lower death rate than those who get 8 hours of sleep.
03/26/06 - Z Machine showed Overunity? 4X more out than in?
(Thanks to Benjamin Rozanski for the headsup. - JWD) Scientists at the Sandia National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory have produced plasma at a sizzling two billion kelvins - hotter than a star's interior - although they're not quite sure how they did it. 20 million amps of electricity pass through a small core of vertical tungsten wires finer than human hairs. The core is about the size of a spool of thread. The wires dissolve instantly into a cloud of charged particles called a plasma. The plasma, caught in the grip of the very strong magnetic field accompanying the electrical current, is compressed to the thickness of a pencil lead. At that point, the ions and electrons have nowhere further to go. Like a speeding car hitting a brick wall, they stop suddenly, releasing energy in the form of X-rays that reach temperatures of several million degrees - the temperature of solar flares. The X-ray output was "as much as four times the expected kinetic energy input" meaning that some extra energy must have been pumped into the equation from somewhere. Secondly, "high ion temperatures were sustained after the plasma had stagnated - that is, after its ions had presumably lost motion and therefore energy and therefore heat - as though yet again some unknown agent was providing an additional energy source to the ions". A possible explanation for the mystery came from Sandia consultant Malcolm Haines of Imperial College in London, which appeared in the 24 February Physical Review Letters. In summary, Haines theorised that "the rapid conversion of magnetic energy to a very high ion plasma temperature was achieved by unexpected instabilities at the point of ordinary stagnation" (where the plasma's particles "should have been unable to travel further"). Haines postulates "some unknown energy" which continued to push back against the magnetic field for around 10 nanoseconds.
03/26/06 - Solar Thermos collects, purifies and stores hot water
With Alex Kee’s solar kettle, you just leave it out in the sun, attend to other matters for an hour or two, and have boiled water when you return home. It is also a thermos flask because if boiled before sunset the water can be kept hot throughout the night, losing only about 5°C (41 degrees F.). Kee, 45, said his invention, which he has named the Solar Kettle-Thermos Flask (SK-TF), could be the answer to providing safe, solar-pasteurised drinking water in a sustainable and renewable way. Kee said that as an alternative to chlorination and UV disinfection, heating water to 65°C for six minutes, or to a higher temperature for a shorter time, would kill all harmful germs, parasites and viruses, including the Hepatitis A virus. “Boiling water takes time and uses up scarce fuel resources, especially in remote areas, but solar energy is free to be converted into thermal energy," he added. “There is good sunshine there and all you need is a one-time delivery. And glass, if unbroken, can last a thousand years." For more information, log on to www.solarkettle.com. Correction from Yehuda: Please note that in the passage, taken from your page, the piece about "5°C (41 degrees F.)." should be corrected. 5°C stands for a difference of temperatures, which is much smaller than (41 degrees F.). The conversion would be correct when addressing absolute temperatures (0°C is warmer than 0°F). - Thanks!
03/26/06 - The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon & Synchronicity
Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one happens upon some obscure piece of information- often an unfamiliar word or name- and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly. But what is the underlying cause? Is there some hidden meaning behind Baader-Meinhof events? The phenomenon bears some similarity to synchronicity, which is the experience of having a highly meaningful coincidence… such as having someone telephone you while you are thinking about them. Both phenomena invoke a feeling of mild surprise, and cause one to ponder the odds of such an intersection. Both smack of destiny, as though the events were supposed to occur in just that arrangement… as though we're witnessing yet another domino tip over in a chain of dominoes beyond our reckoning....more info...
03/26/06 - Stem cells, telomerase and rejuvenation
Leonard Hayflick discovered that most human cell lines, unless they are tumor lines, begin to die off after about 50 cell divisions. The 50-division threshold is known today as the "Hayflick limit" after the discoverer of the aging process in human cells. Today their lifespan can be maximized by growing them on "feeder layers" of mouse embryonic cells. The mouse cells have some unknown substances that the human cells like. "We showed [in 1961] that when normal human embryonic cells are grown under the most favorable conditions, aging and death is the inevitable consequence after about fifty population doublings," The chromosomal recapping action of telomerase is one of the factors that scientists are presumably leaning on when they refer to embryonic stem cell lines as "immortal." The lines include five cell lines at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. UW stem cell scientist James Thomson developed the lines in 1998 and then collaborated with the Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, California, which makes telomerase. Geron is also collaborating with stem cell researchers at John Hopkins, Cornell and other universities. According to Geron, embryonic stem cells, unlike adult stem cells, make plenty of their own telomerase and thus have the capacity for "self-renewal." Their chromosomes get a regular recapping. Plus their chromosomes, up until now at least, appear normal under the microscope. The chromosomes in some cell lines develop all sorts of problems, including deletions and additions of genetic material and bizarre configurations. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) owns United States patent 6,200,806, for the production of 'Primate embryonic stem cells', a claim to the human embryonic stem cell. The patent covers both the method of isolating the cells and the cells themselves, putting the university, some say, in the driver's seat when it comes to embryonic stem cell research and resulting therapies.
03/26/06 - World’s most powerful diesel engine
The super size Wartsila-Sulzer motor is 2300 tons turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine. It achieves108,920 hp at 102 rpms and is 89 feet long and 44 feet high. Especially designed for container ships, the crankshaft of the engine alone weighs 300 tons. The cylinder bore is just less than 38? and the stroke is just over 98?. Equipped with big 14 cylinders it consumes 1,660 gallons of heavy fuel oil per hour with each cylinder displacing 111,143 cubic inches (1820 liters) and turning out 7780 HP.
03/25/06 - The Lithium-Ion Car
Altair Nanotechnologies of Reno, NV, says its new electrode materials allow higher bursts of power, longer battery life, and more available energy storage capacity -- and far quicker "fill-up" -- than previous lithium-ion batteries. The goal: an electric car that performs as well as a conventional car. The batteries use a safe, stable structure that increases their lifetime by preventing the electrodes from expanding and contracting as the ions move in and out -- a principle reason for the eventual death of conventional lithium-ion batteries. The batteries can also handle big bursts of power, which occur in both fast charging and quick acceleration. An electric vehicle using their batteries could charge in about the time it takes to fill a tank of gas and buy a cup of coffee and snack -- six to eight minutes. This efficiency and an expected range of 200-250 miles could make such an electric car more appealing to consumers than GM's now-discontinued EV-1, for example, which took six to eight hours to charge and had a range of only 75-130 miles, depending on conditions.
03/25/06 - Changing Firefox 1.5 'Unresponsive Script' Notice
One of the “features" of Firefox 1.5 is a pop-up dialog that appears whenever a page takes too long to load that reads, “Warning: Unresponsive script. A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete." To which I ask, “Why, Mozilla? Why?" I run into this error a lot since I upgraded to Firefox 1.5, especially with the slow-as-snails installation of MovableType we wrestle with each day to publish Lifehacker. Happily it’s not hard to delay this annoying dialog. To do so: 1. Type about:config in Firefox’s address bar. 2. Filter down to the value for dom.max_script_run_time. 3. Change the value to something higher than the default (which is 5.) I set mine to 20. 4. Bask in interruptionless browsing!
03/25/06 - Cold Fusion Heating unit
On the 17th anniversary of Dr. Martin Fleischmann's first public revelation of room temperature, non-radioactive nuclear fusion, D2Fusion, Inc. is proud to announce Dr. Fleischmann's agreement to serve as its senior scientific advisor. In brief, "cold fusion" involves the fusion of two nuclei of deuterium or heavy hydrogen into a single helium atom accompanied only by a burst of heat. Unlike "thermonuclear hot fusion" that requires the plasma-inducing inferno of the sun or a hydrogen bomb, solid state fusion reactions can be produced at normal temperatures in certain hydrogen-loving metals without unleashing hot fusion's dangerous radiation. Many experimental reports suggest the importance of nanoscale reaction sites and the occurrence of coherent quantum electrodynamic (QED) states that circumvent the strong mutual repulsion of positively charged deuterium nuclei. The QED features are markedly similar to processes now familiar in solid state physics, such as superconductivity, and have led the company to conclude that "solid state fusion" is a more accurate and fruitful characterization of the field. "True, our theoretical grasp of all the processes in play remains imperfect, but neither can we fully explain the workings of aspirin, acupuncture or high temperature superconductivity. Unresolved questions about their mechanisms have not stopped us from enjoying their respective benefits, which are pale indeed compared to what solid state fusion offers. We are now certain that heat generation from this process is copious, safe, inexpensive and reproducible, and in terms of commercialization that seems like a perfect place to start."
03/24/06 - A cure for endless used tires
The new invention, P2GTR, utilizes recycled tires ground up to a 30 mesh size particle (about the size of a small grain of sand) as the base material. The process uses an electro magnetic reactor and water to disintegrate the ground tire rubber into a nano-size devulcanized polymer composite made up of Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR), Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS), and other tire components. The process allows the polymer to retain elastomeric and durability characteristics that are present in tires. Until now, these characteristics have not been able to be retained in other tire recycling or devulcanizing methods. Over 50 billion pounds of virgin polymers are used per year worldwide, primarily in roads, roofing, car parts and new tires. The new recycled composite P2GTR may be cross linked to accommodate any of these industrial uses at a considerable cost savings. Tests have revealed performance of the P2GTR composite to be better than that of the original manufactured polymer due to specialized crosslink technology used to alter and finalize characteristics of the polymer composite for specific uses. Manufacturers of asphalts such as Marathon, Citgo, Valero, and Calumet are enthused about the new polymer composite invention that will allow the use of the recycled elastomeric polymer to be used in roads and roofs which may lead to near perpetual roads and roofs, sooner than anticipated due to the endless supply of scrap tires in landfills, performance of the polymers, and economics of the process.
03/24/06 - Inflatable Solar Cone
The SunCone is an inflatable, cone-shaped system that focuses sunlight on a target rod for conversion to electric power. The Suncone is made of an aluminized film (usually nylon or Mylar) with a transparent film over the end facing the sun. It maintains its shape through air pressure. The prototype is approximately 2 meters long with a 1.5-meter radius at the wide end. The system, if successfully completed, will be less expensive and labor-intensive than standard parabolic dish or trough design and require less precise placement, according to Barnabus. The Suncone can achieve temperatures or 2000 degrees C and has a collection efficiency of 90% at 600 degrees C, according to Barnabus Energy.
03/24/06 - Aspirin cure for eye infections
The active ingredient in aspirin can inhibit bacterial growth on materials used in contact lenses and catheters, a researcher has found. Microbiologist Mahesh Bandara found in laboratory studies the salicylic acid in aspirin can prevent bacteria taking hold on biopolymers - plastics designed to be compatible with the human body. Dr Bandara said salicylic acid was effective against a bacteria called Pseudonomas aeruginosa, the main culprit in eye infections. In rare cases, Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause the potentially-blinding microbial keratitis infection.
"High concentrations of salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, prevented the bacteria from adhering or colonising," Dr Bandara said. He found salicylic acid inhibited the production and activity of surface-associated molecules in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, essential for adhesion. Dr Bandara said salicylic acid and other common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), reduced the production of toxins by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, lessening the destructive effects of infection.
03/24/06 - New EM field artificial heart implant
A new type of artificial heart device, in which the only moving part is suspended in an electromagnetic field and does not touch any other part, has been implanted in a 67-year-old man in Greece. It is smaller, expected to last longer and to cause fewer clotting problems than similar devices. The device, called the WorldHeart rotary ventricular assist device, was developed in Utah and is made by WorldHeart Corp., based in Oakland, Calif. The device is smaller than similar pumps, allowing it to be used in smaller adults and adolescents, and a tiny version is being developed for use in infants and children. The WorldHeart VAD was described by the hospital as the only “bearingless, fully magnetically levitated implantable pump under study in clinical trials."
03/24/06 - Nuclear bombshell only confuses the issue
'Nuclear is a low-carbon technology with an impressive safety record in the UK. Nuclear could generate large quantities of electricity, contribute to stabilising CO2 emissions and add to the diversity of the UK's energy supply.' Given the above statement, you could be forgiven for believing that the SDC had endorsed nuclear as a key technology for meeting the UK's future energy needs. A cautious endorsement no doubt, and one hedged around with caveats concerning safety, security and cost - and quite rightly so. But an endorsement nonetheless. Wrong. The SDC politely nodded its head to nuclear, then gave it a well-aimed kick in the you-know-whats. No, it concluded, a new generation of nuclear stations is not the answer to the UK's security of energy supply, or to tackling climate change. Its report, which is impressive in breadth and depth, unearthed a list of 'major disadvantages' to nuclear energy.
03/24/06 - Sunlight charges up mobile battery
The Solio charger which opens out to reveal three solar panels costs as little as £50 to buy online. It can be used with most phones and an hour of sunlight will give the user enough power for 60 minutes talk time. Celebrity designer Oliver Heath, who is promoting the device on his new website www. ecocentric.co.uk, said: "It's a real boys' toy a great way for someone with a mobile who wants to be more environmentally friendly but does not want to carry around a variety of power leads.
03/24/06 - The BioFuel Con
"By 2010, 5 per cent of all the UK's fuel will come from biofuels," says the Secretary of State for Transport, Alistair Darling. "By then it will be saving us around one million tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions a year." But hang on a minute. Biofuel is fuel from crops: where will they all be cultivated? If we grow them here, we will have to plant almost half of our arable land with oil crops, largely rape, by 2010. And that's only the start - the idea is to increase biofuel use until it powers 40 per cent of our cars, buses and lorries. The conclusion is inescapable: the fuel will have to be imported. But from where? Even before it starts exporting biofuels, Brazil's headlong rush into agro-exports, particularly soya (fed to cattle and chickens in Europe and Asia), is ravaging precious ecosystems. The Pantanal, the biggest wetland in the world, located near Brazil's border with Bolivia, is expected to disappear by 2050. The Amazon forest is near to the "tipping point", after which rainfall patterns will be permanently disrupted, fires will proliferate and the forest will begin to die. Adding a vast biofuel industry to this picture, which is what the British government's energy ambitions imply, would be catastrophic. It may appear environmentally responsible to switch to biofuel, but growing huge quantities of sugar cane or maize or soya for the purpose will actually hasten the global environmental crisis.
03/24/06 - 1000 Suns From Huge Concentrating Dish
Israel’s National Solar Energy Center will start testing a 400 square meter (4,300 sq ft) solar collecting dish. The huge dish is capable of achieving 1000 suns - it can concentrate the intensity of the sun's energy by a factor of a thousand. The dish is lined with 216 mirrors, but not more than a quarter will be uncovered to sunlight for the initial experiments. The mirrors concentrate the light onto a small square of concentrator photovoltaic cells, which convert the light into electricity. The concentrator photovoltaic panel is only 10 cm by 10 cm and is too small to absorb the energy from the whole dish.
03/24/06 - Liars don't fidget, they stay still
Forget the fidgety liar nervously blinking, scratching his nose and stroking the back of his head. Researchers have found that liars stay motionless and control their blinking as they try not to give anything away. When liars do use their hands, they use extravagant movements to cover up their dishonesty, stretching out their arms or rhythmically jabbing the air to emphasise a point. "There is a popular perception that things like scratching the nose, playing with the hair, increase with people lying," said Samantha Mann, a psychologist at Portsmouth University. "People expect liars to be nervous and shifty and to fidget more, but our research shows that is not the case.
03/24/06 - Government Department of Homeland Security shoots down movie script
A Los Angeles screenwriter is claiming that the Department of Homeland Security has informed him that he may not use the agency's name "or any of the Department's official visual identities" in the script for his film, Lady Magdalene, despite the fact that the film presents a positive image of the DHS. The writer, J. Neil Schulman, said Tuesday that he had received a notice from Bobbie Faye Ferguson, director of the NHS's office of multimedia, informing him that his "project does not fit within the DHS mission and that it is not something we can participate in." In response, Schulman wrote to Ferguson that he had already received assistance from a special agent of the NHS's air marshal service while he was preparing his screenplay and that the agency's notice to him now represents a violation of his First Amendment rights. "Merely the claim that you have the power to restrict such official images is chilling to the process of writing and producing a movie -- and certainly to an independent film in pre-production with a start date for principal photography only six weeks away," Schulman wrote.
03/24/06 - Magnetic Cockroaches?
(Just a bizarre patent claiming this, might tie in with Grebennikov and insect chitinous carapaces. - JWD) The judges awarded the sole patent rights for a high tech cockroach trap to a company which produced materials used in the control mechanisms of the Martian Rover. Development of the trap - which uses a magnetic powder to stick pesticide to the insects’ legs - had been held up by legal action over who owned the invention. “The poison sticks to their legs by using a magnetic powder and they then walk around, passing it on to fellow cockroaches." The legal dispute began after Mr Metcalfe suggested the use of magnetic powders to Professor Philip Howse of Southampton University, who had patented a cockroach trap which used electrostatically charged powders to stick the poison to the insects’ legs. Mr Metcalfe realised that Prof Howse’s invention depended on an electrostatic powder which would lose its stickiness over time, especially in humid conditions. Magnetic powders do not lose their stickiness. Lord Justice Jacob, giving the ruling of the appeal court today, said: “When Professor Howse learned that the magnetic particles worked just as the electrostatic particles had done, he caused the University to apply for a patent."
03/23/06 - Samsung develops silent flash-chip drive to replace hard disk
The 32-Gigabyte (GB) NAND flash-based solid state disk (SSD) can upload and download data quickly and quietly as it uses instantly-accessible, static NAND flash memory instead of the rotating discs found in hard drives. SSD weighs only half as much as a hard drive, reads data three times faster and writes data 1.5 times quicker, it said. It consumes a mere five percent of the electricity needed to power a hard disk drive and operates silently as it requires no motor or any other noise-making parts. It marked the first time that NAND flash chips, which are usually used in small devices such as digital cameras and MP3 players, have been applied to a mobile computer, it added. "Flash memory will fast replace hard disks in all mobile computing applications," Hwang was quoted by the Korea Herald as saying at the forum. Hwang said that by 2008, laptops equipped with SSD will account for 30 percent of the global laptop market as the price of a 32-gigabyte SSD will fall from the current 500 dollars to 200 dollars in that space of time.
03/23/06 - Arizona hopeful it can power up with wind
From the Hopi Reservation in the north to the Willcox Playa in the south, developers and entrepreneurs are figuring out ways to harness the wind. Thus far, only one project is under way: the Steel Farm Project, due to be up and running north of Kingman within a year. The plant, with 15 wind turbines that will stand 350 feet high with 90-foot blades, will put out 15 megawatts of power. All of it has been purchased by Arizona Public Service. The newer machines, which are much taller and much larger, can convert enough wind to drive the cost per kilowatt-hour down by 80 percent, according to one calculation, from earlier days of wind generation. The problem in Arizona is that the wind is intermittent. So while a large array of tall windmills can generate considerable power at optimum wind speeds, anywhere from 12 to 25 mph, wind cannot replace other sources of energy. Christine Real de Azua of the American Wind Energy Association said elevation is a key to successful generation here. That is why the plants under consideration are at 3,000 feet or higher. She points out that nationally, wind power has grown from 2,500 megawatts to almost 10,000 in the space of five years, both because more wind farms are being constructed and because turbines are becoming more efficient. But they need wind. For now, researchers have erected a 165-foot tower, equipped with various monitors to gauge wind speed, frequency, direction and temperature, on the edge of a mesa.
03/23/06 - Cosmic Radiation Speeds up Aging in Space
Consider a pair of brothers, identical twins. One gets a job as an astronaut and rockets into deep space. The other stays on Earth. When the traveling twin returns home, he discovers he's younger than his brother. The theory of relativity tells us that the faster you travel through space, the slower you travel through time. Rocketing to Alpha Centauri-warp 9, please-is a good way to stay young. Or is it? Some researchers are beginning to believe that space travel could have the opposite effect. It could make you prematurely old. "The problem with Einstein's paradox is that it doesn't fold in biology-specifically, space radiation and the biology of aging," says Frank Cucinotta, NASA's chief scientist for radiation studies at the Johnson Space Center. While the astronaut twin is hurtling through space, Cucinotta explains, his chromosomes are exposed to penetrating cosmic rays. This can damage his telomeres-little molecular "caps" on the ends of his DNA. Here on Earth, the loss of telomeres has been linked to aging. So far, the risk hasn't been a major concern: The effect on shuttle and space station astronauts, if any, would be very small. These astronauts orbit inside of Earth's protective magnetic field, which deflects most cosmic rays. Like the fuse of a time bomb, telomeres are long strands of repeating DNA that shorten each time a cell divides. When the telomeres become too short, the cell's time is up: It can no longer divide, a state of affairs known as "replicative senescence." Without this built-in fuse, human cells would be able to continue growing and dividing indefinitely. In fact, scientists believe that cells evolved telomeres as a way of preventing the out-of-control cell growth of cancerous tumors. Because of telomeres, most human cells can only divide 50 to 100 times before the time bomb goes off. One current theory of aging holds that, as the cells of a person's body start to hit this telomere-imposed limit, the lack of fresh, new cells causes the typical signs of aging: wrinkled skin, failing organs, weaker immune system, etc. Whether or not telomere loss actually causes aging remains a matter of debate, Shay notes. The fact that shortened telomeres go hand in hand with aging is well documented. People with shorter telomeres, for example, are known to not live as long on average as people with longer telomeres.
03/23/06 - Power company subsidizes lighting conversion
Why would a power company subsidise the sale of lightbulbs that use less electricity? At a time when suppliers are seen as rapacious profit-takers, the idea that any would be encouraging us to use less power might seem perverse. Yet Powergen, one of the UK's largest energy suppliers, is offering cash sponsorship to 200 major retailers around the country to enable them to sell compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) - which use about one-fifth as much power as normal incandescent bulbs, last more than eight times longer, but cost between £2 and £8 - for about 50p. That means the typical household could change all its lightbulbs (24 on average) to energy-saving ones for the price of a CD - and reduce its electricity bill by £240 a year. to fulfil its obligation to the government's Energy Efficiency Commitment, Powergen and the Lighting Association (the trade body for the UK lighting industry) set up the Energy Efficient Lamp Scheme (Eels) to offer bulbs at lower cost. (Powergen has also offered householders free CFL bulbs in some areas.) One key to the scheme's success is the improvement in low-energy lightbulbs. Once, £8 would buy you what looked like a miniature, pretzel-shaped strip light. But the new generation of CFLs have been scaled down and their entrails enclosed within a glass bulb, giving a look much like their incandescent ancestors, now more than a century old. A crucial advance for CFLs is the quality and colour of light they produce, which is almost identical to that of incandescents; earlier versions conjured unpleasant associations with underground car parks. By contrast the Philips Softone range, for example, produces a gentle, peachy glow, ideal for a bedside lamp or to create a warm effect in a living room. Apart from a split-second delay at switch-on, followed by a few seconds' warm-up before it reaches full brightness, the difference is imperceptible. Newer versions that work with dimmer switches are also becoming available. "Electricity counts for roughly one-fifth of our energy use, and is responsible for approximately a third of our carbon emissions. More than 70% of this electricity is generated using fossil fuels, and in the conversion process, around 65% of that energy is wasted." LED lighting is a tantalising prospect for those seeking energy efficiency. Their potential lifespan is at least five times that of a fluorescent lamp, and up to 100 times that of an incandescent bulb. They are also much more efficient. Galani says that incandescent bulbs convert only 5% to 8% of their energy into visible light; halogen spotlights about 12%-15%; CFLs, 15% to 20%; an LED 35%. The rest of the energy is wasted as heat.
03/23/06 - New technique could bring back use of Hemp
Before modern day drug paranoia, hemp was long used for the production of paper, textiles, building materials, food, medicine, paint, detergent, varnish, oil, ink, and fuel. The first American flags were made of hemp fabric and books printed on hemp paper. Hemp Canvas is one of the strongest natural fabrics known to man. The complete protein in hempseed gives the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain health. Hempseed was used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis. In the old country the peasants ate hemp butter. They were more resistant to disease than the nobility....Using new DNA "fingerprinting" techniques, two University of Minnesota researchers have become the first to unequivocally separate hemp plants from marijuana plants with genetic markers. Hemp, a crop grown for durable fiber and nutritious seed, and marijuana, the most abundant illegal drug of abuse in the United States, both belong to the species Cannabis sativa. They differ in levels of the psychoactive drug tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) but are otherwise difficult to tell apart. It may also prove useful in countries where the cultivation of hemp is permitted but marijuana is illegal, as in Canada and Europe. The work appears in the March issue (volume 51, No. 2) of the Journal of Forensic Science. In tests with three different cultivars of hemp and one of marijuana, the DNA fingerprints of all the cultivars were distinct and nonoverlapping. The Cannabis plant has been cultivated for millennia and is important in the global economy as both a licit and an illicit crop, said Weiblen. Hemp is a source of durable fiber that provides an alternative to cotton fabric, among other uses. Cotton requires pesticide application and a hot climate, whereas hemp does not, which makes it suitable for local Minnesota agriculture. If enough can be learned about the genome, it may one day be possible to produce an entirely drug-free hemp plant that looks different from marijuana. Currently, all hemp products are imported into the United States. Developing a new variety that could be cultivated in the United States would reduce American dependence on foreign products while creating a new alternative crop for American farmers.
03/23/06 - Hydrogen Produced From 100 Percent Biodiesel
Today, InnovaTek Inc. and Seattle BioFuels, Inc. announce the first successful production of hydrogen from 100% biodiesel in a microchannel steam reformer. InnovaTek’s reforming system was initially developed to produce hydrogen from fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel. This is the first time a renewable fuel source has been used to produce hydrogen in a microchannel steam reformer to power emission-free fuel cells. In addition to biodiesel, InnovaTek has also used its technology to produce hydrogen from glycerol (a by-product of biodiesel production), and the raw soybean oil that is used to manufacture the biodiesel fuel. Microchannel reactors offer some distinct advantages over conventional reactors (tubular or vessel), including inherent safety, compact size, and high conversion rates. The microchannel reformer achieved a 100% conversion rate of the pure biodiesel (B100). The advantage of H 2 production from biomass is that renewable energy sources can be utilized thereby reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and eliminating pollutant and climate-affecting emissions.
03/23/06 - Dealing with bee stings
Do not grab the stinger with your fingers to pull it out! You want to get it out as soon as possible because an attached muscle is pumping venom into you, but pinching it just injects all the venom at once. If you have a snakebite kit, cover the singer with the suction device and suck the venom out through the stinger. Otherwise, scrape the stinger out with the point with a knife blade or your fingernail. An onion cut in half and held on the sting for twenty minutes or more will extract most of the venom. Even mud is better than nothing. Adolf's Meat Tenderizer (MSG) mixed into a thick paste with water is best -- it breaks down the protein based venom. If you start to itch badly and experience severe local swelling, go immediatly to the emergency room or call the medics. Regardless of your past history, you may suffer a severe allergic reaction that can swell your trachea shut, asphyxiating you in a matter of minutes.
03/23/06 - Catastrophic immune response may have caused drug trial horror
A catastrophic over-stimulation of the immune system may have caused the horrific reactions suffered by six men taking part in the first human clinical trial of an experimental drug. An investigation by New Scientist suggests the drug may have caused a super-immune response - sending white blood cells called T cells rampaging through the body destroying its own tissues. The drug, called TGN1412 and made by German pharmaceutical company TeGenero, works by stimulating T cells, which could help treat leukaemia and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. But this super-stimulation may have backfired. An immunologist contacted by New Scientist, but who asked not to be named, says: “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out what will happen if you non-specifically activate every T cell in the body."
03/23/06 - Kansas ID for police stops include fingerprints
If you are stopped by police in Kansas, don’t be surprised if the officer pulls out a little black box and takes your fingerprints. The gadget allows officers to identify people by fingerprints without hauling them to the police station. Called the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System, it is a statewide database of more than 10 million fingerprints taken from people arrested in Kansas. The Missouri Highway Patrol maintains a similar database. Both systems link to the FBI fingerprint database. In Kansas, 54 law enforcement agencies have traded the ink-and-paper fingerprinting method for biometric imaging, which electronically scans a digital image of the print. Sixty Missouri agencies use biometric scanning. Police also can scan the fingers of corpses and people they arrest to match them against prints in the system. Results are obtained in seconds instead of hours. The inked cards still used by some smaller departments are also scanned into the statewide systems. Police place a person’s two index fingers on a screen. Wireless technology sends the image to the database for comparison. Prints scanned in the field will not be stored. The system will analyze palm prints, which were stored but could not be read before. The system also will store mug shots and pictures of scars, tattoos and other identifying marks.
03/23/06 - Experimental Fuel Cell Power System Expands Flight Capabilities
Using a fuel cell instead of a battery on a small aircraft-under about 10 pounds-enables longer flight times and greater distance coverage. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, D.C., is working to develop a longendurance, persistent surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can operate for up to 24 hours, which is a longer period of time than current capabilities allow. Small aircraft with traditional engines can fly for approximately eight hours, and battery-powered vehicles can fly for about one hour. Because batteries cannot deliver the required amount of sustained power to keep aircraft in the air for significant durations and because electric-powered UAVs have many advantages over unmanned vehicles that use combustion engines, researchers began looking for a power source that could both achieve longer flight times and take advantage of nontraditional power sources. Fuel cells offer several advantages over traditional power sources. For example, enemies have more difficulty detecting a fuel-cell-powered UAV than one powered by a small engine because the fuel cell system produces little noise and emits less infrared energy. Ease of use is another advantage. Fuel cell systems start up immediately and are more efficient than combustion engines. A major significance of the Spider-Lion flights is the development of a reliable fuel cell system. Swider-Lyons says the teams could fly the UAV every day because it runs so well.
03/22/06 - World’s first solar pyramid
A Singapore-based company, MSC Power Corp, is building its first "solar pyramid" in India. The solar pyramid works by drawing in air, heating it with solar energy and moving it through turbines to generate electricity. The small scale of the power generation - up to 36 MW with the current design means it is more suitable for rural areas than for powering cities. A 10 MW pyramid plant would be about 45 metres high and take up about 2,500 square metres of space, including an associated desalination plant. The firm, MSC Power Corp, backed by private investors from the Middle East and Asia, will finish constructing a small $10 million five megawatt (MW) power station by June in Pune near Mumbai that will use solar energy to power wind turbines.
03/22/06 - HCE Files for Patent for Nano-Scale Hydrogen Storage
The device creates nanometer-scale water bubbles filled with hydrogen gas. At this scale, surface tension can maintain the gas within a bubble at very high pressure, about equal to 43,500 pounds per square inch (3,000 atmospheres) inside the bubble. The smallness of such bubbles confers on them stability against gravitational aggregation and merging. The fluid is expected to be stored, distributed and handled like gasoline. Existing hydrogen storage systems store hydrogen in high-pressure cylinders at about 3,600 pounds per square inch pressure (about 250 atmospheres). Some research labs are exploring very high-pressure storage at about 12,000 pounds per square inch (about 800 atmospheres). The invention is expected to permit the storage of gaseous hydrogen at room temperature in quasi-liquid form, having characteristics similar to gasoline. HCE reports that hydrogen stored in the form created by its proprietary device and process is expected to have a volumetric energy density (higher heating value) from about 24 to 29 megajoules per liter. The stated range is attributable to uncertainties in compressibility and small-scale cohesion factors. This compares favorably with the energy density for gasoline at about 26 to 31 megajoules per liter. The process is expected to have application to other high value gases made more usable in such a storage medium, such as natural gas a.k.a. methane and propane.
03/22/06 - Flexible LEDs a Substitute for Neon
Mule Lighting has created a substitute for neon that’s made up of flexible LEDs that are just as bright but 70% more energy efficient. The lights also last longer than neon and are more durable, too, with their specially-designed LEDs cleverly inserted inside tough yet flexible tubes. That bendability facilitates dazzling applications as well-Mule says, “It looks just like neon…except you can tie it in knots." To make LED-FLEX, Mule Lighting incorporated light emitting diode (LED) technology into a flexible and durable package that has the appearance and brightness of traditional neon. The uniform and super-bright light output is achieved through a proprietary optical maximization technique which is completely sealed and impervious to shock and vibration. LED-FLEX is suitable for wet locations and can withstand extreme temperatures. The product uses very little energy, requires little maintenance, and is available in a variety of bright colors.
03/22/06 - PVC Food Wrap Dangerous In the Microwave
Millions of people still use PVC wrap when cooking food in microwaves or storing meats and cheeses in the refrigerator, but there are dangers in using PVC food wrap because of the toxins contained in the popular plastic. Johns Hopkins and the People’s Republic of China have recently issued statements about the toxins found in PVC food wrap, and Wal-Mart recently reported that the company would seek out alternatives to PVC cling wrap. When PVC (polyvinyl chloride), is manufactured or subjected to high heat, the chlorine in it can chemically combine with organic materials, producing deadly byproducts known as dioxins. These dioxins can run off or leach from the PVC into the food. Dioxins are known to cause cancer, immune suppression, and birth defects in animals. The Environmental Protection Agency recently found that the cancer risk to the general population from dioxin, one of the most toxic chemicals known to man, is now as high as one in one hundred people. One of the more widely used additives that makes PVC soft is di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), a toxic chemical that has been associated with damage to the liver, ovaries, heart, kidneys, and lungs. Exposure to these additives and harmful plasticizers is not only through microwave cooking, but also through food wrapped in PVC cling wrap. Many meats, cheeses and other foods sold in delis and grocery stores are wrapped in PVC, and scientists have found evidence of toxic additives leaching off PVC into the food. Food wrap should not be used when cooking food in microwaves. Instead, you can keep your family safe by covering food with a plain white paper towel or use Corning Ware when cooking in a microwave.
03/22/06 - Fish Oil blocks prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is much more likely to be life-threatening if tumour cells migrate and invade other tissues, such as the bone marrow. Lab tests found omega-3 oil - present in fish like salmon - prevented this. The results of the study, based at Manchester's Christie Hospital, are in the British Journal of Cancer. While omega-6 fats increased the spread of prostate cancer cells into bone marrow, omega-3 fats blocked this. Researcher Dr Mick Brown said: "It is possible to have a healthy balance of these two types of fat - we only need about half as much omega-3 as omega-6 - that will still stop cancer cells from spreading." Lead researcher Noel Clarke said: "Some tumours develop slowly in the prostate without producing symptoms and sometimes when symptoms do develop, it is because the cancer has already spread. "Eating a diet with the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats may well help to keep prostate cancer within the prostate gland where it may be monitored safely or more easily treated with surgery or radiotherapy."
03/22/06 - Ozone therapy can cure lymph cancer, says German scientist
Clinical trials conducted on rabbits in Germany have proved that ozone therapy can be an effective tool in curing lymph cancer. The therapy can also be a panacea for lymph cancer patients if the results achieved in the experiments are any indication, says Dr Hab Herman, a leading German scientist. In a chat with this website’s newspaper, Dr Herman said during the trials, rabbits with lymph cancer were administered several doses of ozone through their blood. Scientists were amazed to observe that the cancerous cells soon went missing, he said, adding that full details of the experiment would be published in May. Dr Herman, also the founder of the ozone transfusion machine, said ozone had been used successfully around the world for over 80 years in the treatment of over 150 diseases. In some clinics around the world, ozone therapy is the first agent administered to each patient who enters the clinic, regardless of his ailments, Dr Herman said. On the effects of ozone on the human body, he said a special variation of the element oxygen helps in liver detoxification, enforces decomposition of fats, improves metabolism of cells and the motor of energy production of the body. Ozone also kills many kinds of bacteria, viruses and fungi and prevents their reappearance. Dr Gorst Meyer, specialist in ozone therapy who was accompanying the scientist said the therapy has proved to be successful in the treatment of several diseases related to the heart and blood vessels, peripheral vascular diseases, cerebral vascular disease, cardiovascular disease and migraines among other illnesses. The therapy should be begun in the early stages of the disease for better results, he stressed. Ozone, which is present 25 kms above ground level, is toxic when inhaled. However, if administered into the human blood under controlled conditions, it can revitalise a patient besides assisting in bringing down cholesterol and toxin levels.
03/22/06 - Bind your own book in 5 minutes
(This is way too cool to skip if you like books, you can print ebooks and other material for softbounds easier to read anywhere. - JWD) If you like ebooks but don't like reading them on your computer screen, this How-to post is for you. I'll show you a quick and dirty book binding technique you can use to turn your ebook into a real book with about 5 minutes worth of effort. In fact, this is so easy, you might end up self-publishing your own books on demand for profit. This process involves just a few basic steps, no sewing, or doing mini-binds (otherwise called signatures). The most time consuming part of this process is just waiting for glue to dry. (via lifehacker.com)
03/22/06 - Alternative energy attracting more investors
A perfect storm of high energy prices, government subsidies and renewed interest from Wall Street is boosting investment in wind, solar and other alternative energy projects, said fund managers and other experts on Monday at a conference on renewable energy. "This is the best time to think about energy technology whether you're a large equity fund, trying to get money for a company you're running or to make returns in the stock market," said Philip Deutch, managing partner of NGP Energy Technology Partners, a $150 million private equity investment fund.
03/22/06 - Cops hunt drinkers in Texas bars
The War on Everything hit a new low in Texas last weekend, when fanatic undercover cops invaded bars and clubs. Their target: People having drinks. The crime? Public drunkeness. Fascist creeps from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission joined up with the police thugs from the town of Irving. Together, they infiltrated popular drinking establishments on Friday night. Once inside, they joined Irving residents at tables in the bars. And then the monsters pounced. Bartenders were targeted for serving people drinks. Some patrons were literally forced to do "sobriety tests" inside the bars. When the operation was finished, 30 people were jailed for doing nothing more than having drinks in a bar.
03/22/06 - Multi-tasking bad for you?
The article says that “[t]eenagers who fill every quiet moment with a phone call or some kind of e-stimulation may not be getting that needed reprieve. Habitual multitasking may condition their brain to an overexcited state, making it difficult to focus even when they want to." That extends to social interaction as well, and the parents can be intimidated by their teenagers’ scattered focus.(via lifehacker.com)
03/21/06 - Man-Made UFOs in South Orange County, California
The 3-foot hovering disks developed by two Orange County hobbyists have sparked a wave of 'flying saucer' reports to authorities. The saucers are made in the garages of Gaylon Murphy and Steve Zingali, who get their kicks shocking people and hope to earn a few bucks hawking their remote-controlled saucers. After all, a few UFO sightings can only be good for business. "We fly them in formation. It's pretty funny," said Murphy, a cardiovascular surgeon and Aliso Viejo resident. "People stop, people scream; one cabdriver ran his car up off the road." A fleet of foam-core saucers began showing up in Aliso Viejo more than a year ago. The lightweight "UFOs" are flown by remote control. A flight-ready model costs about $1,000. Composition: 1/4 -inch thick Dow Corning waterproof foam board body, reinforced with carbon fiber rods Power: 7.4-volt lithium battery, 3800-6800 Himax motor Weight: 17 to 18 oz. Speed: Up to 40 mph Maneuvers: Can fly inverted, do loops, prop hang (hang vertically), roll (with aileron model)
03/20/06 - On the horizon: a virtually perfect solar cell
(Thanks to Manuel for the headsup! - JWD) The photoelectronic properties of indium, gallium, and nitrogen alloyed together are well known at higher bandgaps, corresponding to low indium content. The low bandgap of indium nitride suggests that by simply varying proportions of indium and gallium, it may be possible to create rugged, inexpensive devices that can convert the full spectrum of sunlight to electric current. If so, these could be the most efficient solar cells ever created. Bandgaps fundamentally limit the colors a solar cell can convert to electricity. Charge cannot flow in either a completely full or a completely empty band, but doping a semiconductor provides extra electrons or positively charged "holes" that can carry a current. Photons with just the right energy -- the color of light that matches the bandgap -- create electron-hole pairs and let current flow across the junction between positively and negatively doped layers. Photons with less energy than the bandgap slip right through the material. Photons with too much are absorbed, but since each creates just one electron-hole pair, the excess energy is wasted as heat. A one-layer solar cell with a single bandgap can theoretically reach a maximum of about 30 percent efficiency in converting light to power. In principle, dozens of different layers could be stacked to catch photons at all energies, for efficiencies better than 70 percent -- but a host of problems intervenes. The most efficient multijunction solar cell yet made -- 30 percent, out of a theoretically possible 50 percent efficiency -- combines just two materials, gallium arsenide and gallium indium phosphide. Gallium indium phosphide is a "ternary" compound, in which two elements from group III are alloyed with one from group V. It was Berkeley Lab's investigation of a related ternary compound that opened startling new possibilities for multijunction solar cells.
03/20/06 - TreePower in the news again
Scientifically speaking, it was a pretty strange scene: In 20-degree weather late last month, a handful of academics were hammering nails into a tree near MIT's Cambridge campus and attaching wires to them. On the other end of those wires was a small sword of copper driven about 2 feet into the frozen earth. In between was a potential revolution in green energy. Sure enough, when the spike and nail were wired together, and MagCap engineer Chris Lagadinos threw a switch, the smallest of lights went on for the shortest of flashes. After a 90-minute series of tests using aluminum and copper nails attached to other surfaces -- including a chain-link fence and a hot cup of coffee -- it was suggested the electrical current had more to do with the metals involved. The electric tree phenomenon, it was suggested, works just like a very large, very weak battery using the electrical potential between different metals until those metals are used up.' At first we thought it was crazy," said Stella Karavas, marketing director for Canton-based MagCap Engineering. ''Then we went out outside and tested it, and sure enough, it works." MagCap now thinks it may have found the ultimate in alternative energy. The family-owned electrical components maker says it has found a way to refine a very faint source of electricity found in trees into something that can light a very small light bulb. It is patenting a device that it says can charge a battery from that electricity that, once fully charged, will keep a small light shining forever. And it works -- every time, every tree, Karavas said. ''We are now charging a 2.4-volt nickel/cadmium battery and lighting an LED light," she said, referring to a light emitting diode, an ultra-efficient, low-watt bulb. ''But we want to be able to charge a hybrid car battery with these things. They could also be used for lighting on the sides of highways and paths. There are huge implications for where it could be used."
03/20/06 - Dana Extracts Hydrogen From Methane Using Microwaves
Dana Corporation announced that it has successfully tested a new application to recover hydrogen from methane gas at an extremely high rate. The propriety process, made possible with Dana's AtmoPlas microwave atmospheric plasma technology is unique because the hydrogen recovery rate could potentially exceed 95 percent. These results make Dana's AtmoPlas technology suitable for fuel-cell applications that may require on-demand production capability. Potentially, this process could eliminate some of the hydrogen storage issues in mobile fuel-cell applications. The overall energy efficiency of the process is currently being optimized. Dana's AtmoPlas technology generates and sustains plasma at atmospheric pressure without costly vacuum equipment to effectively harness microwave energy. AtmoPlas can exceed plasma temperatures of 1,200 degrees Celsius within seconds, and there is no known practical upper temperature limit. This reduces cycle times and can lead to lower energy use. Other key benefits include lower operating and maintenance costs and an overall reduction in capital investment.
03/20/06 - Coal still the cheapest energy source, though dirty
David Gardner challenged folks to find a Rule Breaking company within the world of alternative energy. (As he wrote in chapter one of Rule Breakers, Rule Makers, David defines a "Rule Breaker" as a company that shakes the earth when it is born.). An interesting option for investors may be Corning and its rapidly growing diesel emissions filter business, but it probably doesn't qualify the company for Rule Breaker status. The environmentally unfortunate truth of the power industry is that coal is still the cheapest energy source available. It is also plentiful, and most of the new power projects under construction are coal-fired. The world has not switched to solar power because it is several times more expensive than coal. Depending on the degree of government subsidy, solarizing a home can cost as much as $35,000 and take homeowners more than 20 years to recoup the installation cost. For clean power, wind is the cost-competitive alternative. It is still more expensive than coal-fired power, but with the cost of wind power at about $0.05 per kilowatt hour, power companies can make a profit using wind turbines. Why are the oil sands so important? Estimates of total liquid hydrocarbons remaining in the ground worldwide typically range from 1 to 2 trillion barrels. In contrast, the Alberta oil sands contain between 1.7 and 2.5 trillion barrels of hydrocarbons. EIA data indicate that 180 billion barrels of oil are recoverable from Canada's oil sands under current market conditions with current technology. This places Canada only behind Saudi Arabia in world oil reserves. Suncor was the first company to produce syncrude from the oil sands, and the company reports a resource base equivalent to 11 billion barrels of conventional crude oil.
03/20/06 - Can a bush solve rural energy needs?
A noisy, little green generator that runs on gas produced from rotting biomass. That is where the pile of plant matter dumped by the tractor comes in. The generator produces 100 kilowatts of electricity, enough to service the modest needs of four or five typical Indian villages. However in this particular case it drives a mini-industrial complex that currently provides 130 jobs in an area where employment is hard to find. The location is a rural site about 15km from the city of Jhansi in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The initiative is called Desi Power (local power). It aims to provide a model for generating low-cost electricity from renewable resources that can easily be copied elsewhere in the vast swathes of rural India that have no connection to the mains grid. The generator runs on methane created from a widely available local plant that previously had no economic value. The plant is the ipunia bush, which grows in marshy land not suitable for agriculture. But there is nothing special about ipunia. The generator would work just as well on gas from many other plants. By setting up biomass generators, he believes, people in rural areas could in a sense create their own power from plant material or even waste that is easily to hand. The Jhansi project is not just about electricity. It also has wider development aims. "There was nothing here, not even a blade of grass, when we set up the project 10 years ago", explains Dr Kumar. The presence of the generator has been a catalyst for all sorts of income generating opportunities in a poor area. For a start local people make money by collecting ipunia - the biomass used to create electricity - and selling it to the Desi Power project. What for centuries had been regarded locally as a useless weed is now an important source of employment. In addition to that, power from the generator is used to drive industrial processes. The main one is paper-making. Dr Kumar claims that over 10 years the project has created something like 10,000 employment opportunities. Many of the jobs have gone to tribal people, who are widely seen as the poorest, most vulnerable section of the community in what is generally a deprived area.
03/20/06 - A Russian View On a Hydrogen Future
In this pragmatic view of a hydrogen future, the authors state that to replace all engine fuels in the world (2,200 million tons, out of which 60 million tons are consumed in Russia), 679 million tons of hydrogen will need to be produced. In hydrogen power engineering, hydrogen is the main vehicle for power transfer. Hydrogen is just the power carrier, but not its source. Energy is required in the course of getting hydrogen, the methods for getting hydrogen are not that numerous: chemical conversion of organic matter (combustible minerals, biomass); water electrolysis; thermal water disintegration, including that by nuclear energy. The next key question is - what method to apply to get hydrogen and what it should be received from? Apparently, from natural gas as it has the highest hydrogen content as compared to mineral oil and coal. Generation of one ton of hydrogen would require 2.8 to 3.1 tons of natural gas or 3.4 to 3.6 tons of mineral oil. There exist several processes for getting hydrogen from natural gas, and temptation is to choose a simple, lately smooth-running solution (the so-called steam or steam-oxygen convert conversion), which would be a mistake. These processes are well studied, hundreds of companies are able to design them perfectly, they are not very expensive. Under these methods, gas is required not only directly for technology, but also for concomitant processes. There exists a new, not quite familiar technology - membrane partial oxidation. If all capital and operational expenses are calculated accurately, it would turn out that the little-developed partial oxidation process requires almost 10 percent less methane. That is the difference of 3.1 and 2.8 tons per 1 ton of hydrogen - these are well and poorly organized hydrogen obtaining methods. The price under consideration is very high.
03/20/06 - Increasing Oceanic Temperatures Lead To Stronger Hurricanes
A recent study performed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology was revealed to back up several others stated last year which warned that global warming and, implicitly, the increase in tropical sea surface temperatures is indeed the main cause of the ever-strengthening hurricanes around the world. It found that while factors such as wind shear do affect the intensity of individual storms or storm seasons, they don't account for the global 35-year increase in the number of the most intense hurricanes. "If you examine the intensification of a single storm, or even the statistics on intensification for a particular season, factors like wind shear can play an important role," said Curry, professor and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech. "However, there is no global trend in wind shear or the other factors over the 35-year period."
03/20/06 - G8 plans for 'nuclear rebirth'
A secret draft of the "G8 Summit Communique on Energy Security," scheduled to be released officially on July 16th at the July 15 - 17, 2006 G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, has been leaked. Its message on nuclear energy is clear: "We believe that development of nuclear energy would promote global energy security..." and "We intend to make additional joint efforts to ensure non-discriminatory access to this energy source." It confirms other public signs that the 2006 G8 Summit is being used to usher in a new era of global nuclear proliferation. At a meeting of G8 energy ministers this week in Moscow, Russia's president Vladimir Putin called for "the equal and discrimination-free access to nuclear technologies for all countries." US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said after the meeting: "We are hopeful of a very substantial rebirth of the global nuclear industry." A joint statement released by G8 ministers said: "For those countries that wish, wide-scale development of safe and secure nuclear energy is crucial." Although the G8 has no juridical status whatsoever, and exists outside any democratic framework, it has become an important spectacle and platform, where top leaders of the world look for consensus among each other, before imposing their policies on their populations.
03/19/06 - Patented Portable Power Generator Needs No Fuel and Produces No Fumes
Great Systems, Inc. (GSI) announces the issuance of US Patent 7,009,350 for the EGAS, the Energy Generation And Storage system. EGAS is the world’s first power generator that is capable of being used in an unventilated home or apartment because it does not use combustible fuels to generate power. EGAS uses body kinetics, or leg muscle power, to charge a unique spring system that slowly unwinds and spins a high efficiency generator that can deliver up to 1000 watts of power on demand. Without the need for fuel the EGAS is infinitely rechargeable in the field and this makes EGAS a practical device for use in areas of natural disaster (i.e. hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunami) or war (i.e. Iraq) where the centralized power grid has been destroyed. “Five minutes of step-down leg effort can produce 30 minutes of useable power" says Robert Gold, inventor of the EGAS and CEO of GSI. Gold continued “EGAS is designed for use in emergency situations where fuel is scarce and there is an immediate need for portable power". The EGAS design incorporates an "intelligent battery system" which allows for continuous energy output while the user recharges its spring system. Gold pointed out that “Without the need for fuel the EGAS is infinitely rechargeable in the field and can not only power lights, computers and space heaters, but can also recharge cell phones and rechargeable batteries." ...more info...
03/19/06 - Artificial light is Killing us
before the incandescent bulb began to proliferate in the early twentieth century, human sleep schedules were largely governed by the Earth's day and night cycle. But once humans possessed the technology to ward off an appreciable chunk of nighttime, we soon extended our usable waking hours by an average of 13%. Some researchers believe that this modern convenience, credited with bringing the human race in from the dark, may also be responsible for numerous ills. The root of the problem seems to be that unnatural light spawns unnatural behavior. Life on Earth evolved for millions of years in an environment with regular periods of daylight and darkness, and long ago set its clock to this 24-hour period. The planet's earliest organisms are thought to have adapted to replicate their DNA during the night to avoid the mutations caused by daytime's ultraviolet radiation; and later, as more complex organism appeared, so did the motives behind their day and night behavior. Since the length of days and night are predictable, organisms have evolved to take the maximum advantage from each. This physiological cycle is known as a circadian rhythm. Once humans began to use artificial light to vary the length of the day, the average night's sleep decreased from about nine hours to about seven, and the amount of sleep began to vary considerably from one night to the next. This irregularity prevents one's circadian rhythm from settling into a pattern, and creates a state of perpetual semi-jet-lag. Our bodies' rhythms attempt to appropriately adjust our alertness, blood pressure, and such for particular times of day; but we often do things contrary to this cycle, and therein lies the problem. A growing number of doctors believe that betraying our internal clocks is the source of a host of health problems. Once night falls, the body stays awake by activating the stress response, which in turn weakens the immune system. This is evidenced by the fact that individuals working graveyard shifts are more susceptible to stress, constipation, stomach ulcers, depression, and heart disease.
03/19/06 - Turning on the Juice
(Thanks to Bob Paddock for this headsup - JWD) With electrical architectures supporting 300, 400, 500 and even 600 volts, this new breed of hybrids will offer far more accessory power than today's conventional vehicles, and could open the door to a multitude of new features. Some vehicles could have so much on-board power that they'll allow truckers to run air conditioners while they snooze, without idling their engines. They'll serve as enablers for electrically-assisted steering in SUVs. They'll allow contractors to run power tools and outdoorsmen to plug in heaters. They'll permit automakers to add such features as pre-heated catalysts, thus lowering a vehicle's emissions every time it starts up. And they could even serve as the foundation for future technologies, such as steer- and brake-by-wire. "There are a lot of possibilities when you have a higher voltage electrical architecture in your vehicle," notes A. J. Lasley, chief engineer for advanced powertrain and power electronics at Delphi Corp. "That's one of the advantages that a hybrid powertrain brings to the market." Ford's Escape Hybrid already sports a 330V architecture, which places it far ahead of the 42V architectures proposed a few years ago, and leaps and bounds ahead of today's conventional 12V vehicles. Similarly, Toyota's Prius works off a 500V architecture, while an upcoming Lexus hybrid SUV promises a 650V system. These higher-voltage architectures are currying favor among automotive engineers for a simple reason: power. The Escape's 330V system allowed Ford engineers to endow their hybrid with 2.5 kW of accessory power, about 60 percent more than is available on today's conventional vehicles. And that may just be a taste of what's to come. Some engineers are talking eight, 10 and even 20 kW within a few years. Automotive engineers also say that high-voltage hybrids offer automakers an opportunity to boost reliability. By employing dc/dc converters to step their 330V systems down to 13.2V, Ford engineers say they improve the reliability of wiring and bulbs in lighting systems. "Your headlights and all the other bulbs in your vehicle see a very consistent voltage," Watson says. "You don't get the voltage spikes that tend to burn out bulbs and shorten their lives." Moreover, many engineers see the higher-voltage electrical architecture as a foundation for an all-electric, belt-less engine, in which all the pumps for water, fuel, oil and steering, as well as the air conditioning compressor, are electric. The result would be the elimination of the traditional serpentine belts, as well as the parasitic losses associated with them. "If you go to an all-electric system with a high-powered bus, you only use the power when you need it," Schumacher says. "You only use air conditioning power when you run the compressor. You only use steering power when you turn the wheels."
03/19/06 - Hydrogen Injection Proven in Real-World Usage
As early as the 1970s, auto researchers have known that adding hydrogen to the ignition phase in a combustion engine dramatically increases the efficiency of the reaction, while also reducing pollution. But until recently, there was no safe, reliable means to provide a steady supply of hydrogen to an engine. Now, a company called Canadian Hydrogen Energy is marketing their Hydrogen Fuel Injection (HFI) system to North American shipping companies, and the system is proving useful. The HFI system is a bolt-on apparatus which includes an electrolysis unit, and a water reservoir. It uses power from the engine's alternator to electrolyze distilled water, and produce hydrogen on demand. The hundreds of semi trucks in North America which are now using this system enjoy improved horsepower, and emit about half of the particulates they did before the unit was added.
03/19/06 - Type 1 (injections) Diabetes Cure?
"The people who receive the transplants, they have no doubt about it, that they would call this a cure, but I think in this consideration we have to be careful of the word cure. This is more of a treatment that increases hugely your quality of life," Behie said. The team of scientists hope to eventually transplant lab grown, insulin producing cells directly into the bodies of patients with Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes makes the body unable to produce enough insulin, requiring those suffering from the disease to inject themselves with the hormone. In theory, the transplant would eliminate the need for daily insulin injections by patients who suffer from the disease. Donna Lillie, of the Canadian Diabetes Association, said the research presents a real possibility for people with Type 1 diabetes that they can get rid of their multiple daily injections. "Dr. Behie's all-Canadian team has brought us one more step towards potentially securing a large supply of insulin-producing pancreatic cells for transplantation into individuals with Type 1 diabetes," Lillie said. University of Alberta scientists transplanted cells into Type 1 diabetes sufferers in 2000, freeing some from injections over the last five years.
03/19/06 - New Tech for Solar powered House Numbers
Inventor John Gorrell, who worked as a chemist and physicist before he moved back to his native Pleasant Lake to run a small water company, started tinkering with photocells, batteries and reflective materials in his workshop behind his house. He wanted to create a device that could absorb the most energy possible during the day and use it slowly at night. The final design uses at least 1,000 times less energy than a 60-watt light bulb would in an hour, Gorrell said. A few hours of sunlight can power the lights for several nights. Gorrell’s idea could be used in many types of signs and other devices, Springer said. The technology could be used in security lights, advertising and even garden lights to warm exotic plants. The electricity could be used to warm the water in a birdbath or open and close a bird feeder at certain times of the day, he said.
“I think John has only scratched the surface of applications for his product," Springer said.
03/19/06 - The Six-Stroke Engine
During every cycle in a typical car engine, each piston moves up and down twice in the chamber, resulting in four total strokes… one of which is the power stroke that provides the torque to move the vehicle. But the automotive industry may soon be revolutionized by a new six-stroke design which adds a second power stroke, resulting in a much more efficient and less polluting alternative. The clever new six-stroke design was developed by 75-year-old mechanic and tinkerer Bruce Crower, a veteran of the racing industry and a the owner of a company which produces high-performance cams and other engine parts. He had long been trying to devise a way to harness the waste heat energy of combustion engines. After the exhaust cycles out of the chamber, rather than squirting more fuel and air into the chamber, his design injects ordinary water. Inside the extremely hot chamber, the water immediately turns to steam- expanding to 1600 times its volume- which forces the piston down for a second power stroke. Another exhaust cycle pushes the steam out of the chamber, and then the six-stroke cycle begins again. Besides providing power, this water injection cycle cools the engine from within, making an engine's heavy radiator, coolant, and fans obsolete. Despite its lack of a conventional liquid cooling system, his bench engine is only warm to the touch while it is running.
03/18/06 - Environmentally friendly sports car
A car powered with fuel cells. A car that leaves just water as the waste product. That’s environmental friendly LIFECar which is expected to hit the roads in the next few years. A wholly United Kingdom partnership that includes QinetiQ - Europe's largest science and technology solutions company -has published plans to develop the world's first environmentally clean sports car, powered by a fuel cell that converts hydrogen into electricity. Partnering QinetiQ in the project will be the renowned UK sports car manufacturer, the Morgan Motor Company along with BOC, OSCar and two southern England universities - Cranfield and Oxford. "The new vehicle, known as LIFECar, will be ultra quiet and its exhaust systems will produce only water vapour," said a spokesman. "It promises a clean vehicle combined with sound motoring performance and stylish good looks. LIFECar will be based on the Morgan Aero 8 model and powered by a QinetiQ-made fuel cell that converts hydrogen - and oxygen taken from the air around it - into electrical energy. It will be clean, quiet and economic. And the only waste product from the vehicle will be water. "The car's power system will be incredibly efficient, producing significant improvements over present fuel-cell prototype vehicles, with the fuel cell powering four separate electric motors, one at each drive wheel," added the spokesman. Regenerative braking and surplus energy will be used to charge ultra-capacitors that will release their energy when the car is accelerating. This architecture will allow the car to have a much smaller fuel cell than is conventionally regarded as necessary: it will only be as large as is required to provide cruising speed, approximately 24 kilowatts (kW), as opposed to about 85kW proposed by most competitor systems.
03/18/06 - World's First Wave Power Machine Set to Launch
A wave power machine manufactured in Scotland for the world's first commercial wave farm is being shipped to Portugal. When finished, the 2.25-megawatt, £8 million project off the coast of northern Portugal is expected to meet the average electricity demands of more than 1,500 Portuguese households.
03/18/06 - The invention that makes al-Qaeda rich
The question of where al-Qaeda's money comes from has long stumped U.S. intelligence services. When the British police raided the homes of the terrorists, the evidence was plentiful: Travel documents hidden in a baby walker, videotapes of Osama bin Laden speeches and in the wardrobe, a stack of pamphlets titled Jihad and Preparation. When the officers finally got around to popping the trunk of the terrorists' Ford Fiesta, there it was. Buried inside a Compaq laptop was a Canadian innovation - software that had helped finance al-Qaeda terrorists who were plotting to blow up the U.S. embassy in Paris. Rather than using bar codes, this software would store information from magnetic stripe cards, such as bank cards and video-store memberships. The possibilities for storing data were enormous; every time someone swiped a driver's licence, a gym membership or even a credit card through a reader, the software would store the data on a computer. Even better, Mr. Cattral designed the program so that it could copy that data onto a new card. He modified the code, wrote a few variations and sold one of them to a company in California. When he perfected it, he gave it a name - RenCode 2000 - and decided to sell it for himself. It was the only software of its kind and was user friendly. Anyone with a basic knowledge of Windows and a RenCode user manual could get a handle on the program. The company, which he called Canadian Barcode and Plastic Card Supply, sold the software as well as the portable magnetic stripe readers that are needed to swipe the cards through. Police searched another car belonging to the terrorists, a Peugeot 405. Inside they found a RenCode CD, disks containing data from 90 different credit cards and stacks of phony credit cards. It quickly became clear what the terrorists had been up to - stealing, storing and copying credit card information from unsuspecting shoppers. The men had figured out that RenCode could help them recreate fraudulent credit cards. They had set up a fundraising drive for their jihad. The police estimated that Mr. Cattral's invention, as well as the portable magnetic stripe readers sold by his company, contributed $400,000 to the cause.As al-Qaeda disintegrates into smaller, decentralized groups, terrorists will fund themselves through crime.
03/18/06 - Nano knitting mends brains
Scientists have used a nanotechnology-based technique to repair traumatic brain injuries in hamsters. The brain injuries blinded the animals; the repair partially restored the hamsters' vision. The researchers, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hong Kong University, and the Fourth Military Medical University in China, have found a way to make peptide molecules self-assemble into nanofiber scaffolding that can then guide the growth of regenerating nerve cells at the site of a wound. The researchers tested the technique by injecting the self-assembling peptide scaffolds into knife wounds inflicted in hamster brains. All of the animals that received the treatment showed nerve cell growth across the wound, and six out of eight showed signs of restored vision. The technique has the potential to significantly improve the treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries.
03/18/06 - Thermal inertia escalates
Human-fuelled global warming has reached a "tipping point," according to a new survey of scientific research that found warming would continue even if greenhouse gas emissions halted immediately. "It would keep on warming even though we have stopped the cause, which is greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels," David Jhirad of the Washington-based World Resources Institute said on Wednesday. The rate of warming would be slower, Jhirad said in a telephone interview, but a kind of thermal inertia would ensure that global temperatures continue their upward trend. Jhirad said there were actually two tipping points. The first is that there is no doubt human activities cause global warming; a more physical tipping point is that the effects of global warming are evident now. The report, based on research published in journals including Science and Nature, also found the effects of climate change were so severe they should spur urgent action to prevent more damage and to combat damage that has already occurred.
03/18/06 - 2nd Aussie Flying Car
You might remember the first flying car back on January 23rd, which was snapped by Google and posted on the net. There was much speculation about it and photos taken from a ground perspective after the event appeared to show spinout marks and dirt on the roadway as if the car had been airborne from an accident. Theories ranged from a tent on poles to three balloons. This one was photographed in Perth, Australia and will no doubt evoke plenty of speculation. Interesting that it looks like the first car as you can see in the comparison photo. (via therawfeed.com)
03/18/06 - New virus seeks 'ransom' for computer files
In the equivalent of a holdup in cyberspace, a new computer bug locks up a user's file with encryption and demands a 300-dollar "ransom," security experts say. The so-called "ransomware" Trojan was discovered Saturday by the security firm LURHQ, which said it was based on a similar scheme perpetrated 15 years ago. Users whose computers are infected receive an e-mail stating that their files have been encrypted and will not be unlocked unless they transfer 300 dollars to a special account. In poorly written English, the message said, "Do not try to search for a program what encrypted your information -- it simply do not exists in your hard disk anymore. If you really care about documents and information in encrypted files, you can pay using electronic currency 300 dollars. Reporting to police about a case will not help you." LURHQ said it was not clear how the Trojan was spread, but experts said it could be through infected e-mails or from visiting certain websites. "Infection reports are not widespread, so it is not believed this is a mass threat by any means," LURHQ said. The Trojan "is bold as brass, scooping up your valuable data and locking it away until you agree to pay the ransom to the criminals who have 'kidnapped' your files." said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for the security firm Sophos. "Companies who have made regular backups may be able to recover easily, but less diligent businesses may be in a quandary about whether to cough up the cash." However Sophos and LURHQ discovered the password -- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98 -- a code disguised as a file. "So there should be no need for anyone unfortunate enough to have suffered from this ransomware attack to have to pay the reward to the criminals behind it," Cluley said.
03/17/06 - Bacteria eats Styrofoam
Despite being made 95 percent of air, Styrofoam's manufactured immortality has posed a problem for recycling efforts. More than 3 million tons of the durable material is produced every year in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Very little of it is recycled. Help may come from bacteria that have been found to eat Styrofoam and turn it into useable plastic. This is the stuff recycling dreams are made of: Yesterday's cup could become tomorrow's plastic spoon. Kevin O’Connor of University College Dublin and his colleagues heated polystyrene foam, the generic name for Styrofoam, to convert it to styrene oil. The natural form of styrene is in real peanuts, strawberries and a good steak. A synthetic form is used in car parts and electronic components. Anyway, the scientists fed this styrene oil to the soil bacteria Pseudomonas putida, which converted it into biodegradable plastic known as PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates). PHA can be used to make plastic forks and packaging film. It is resistant to heat, grease and oil. It also lasts a long time. But unlike Styrofoam, PHA biodegrades in soil and water.
03/17/06 - Star Trek-like BioBeds and BioScanners around the corner
Thanks to a $900,000 NSF grant that addresses the needs of the increasing complexity of collecting and analyzing biomedical data, this quintet of UH computer scientists can now more easily tackle this mining of health information from patients in real-time as a team. With a primary focus of merging non-invasive imaging technologies with computational resources, the grant seeks to extend knowledge of how humans learn, study brain function and behavior, detect cognitive impairment, provide continuous non-invasive monitoring of human physiology, analyze facial expressions and the underlying cognitive state, and improve biometrics-based security. "The project will involve a hybrid software system designed to acquire, analyze, integrate, securely store and visualize large volumes of data obtained from a human subject in real time," said George Zouridakis, principal investigator on the NSF grant. With each scientist having a different area of expertise and a separate laboratory specializing in different structural and functional imaging modalities, the grant seeks to unify these labs, extending the range of technologies and adding computation and visualization resources. Zouridakis' research, for instance, involves dense-array scanners to capture and analyze the electrical, magnetic and infrared aspects of brain activity in an effort to understand brain function and behavior, detect cognitive impairment and disease states, model human learning and develop adaptive training protocols. As author of several new families of algorithms for distributed computing published in main international journals of the field, Garbey's focus is in computational life sciences and high-performance computing. With expertise in tissue remodeling, applications of his research involve vein graft failure and neurovascular diseases. Pavlidis, director of the Computational Physiology Lab, has developed an Automatic THErmal Monitoring System, or ATHEMOS, a system that allows a computer to perform touchless physiological monitoring of its human user's health, including measurements of blood flow, pulse and breathing rate to draw inferences about a variety of symptoms on a continuous basis. This aims to add a new dimension in human-computer interaction, aspiring to use the abundant computing resources at home and the office in combination with novel sensing, algorithmic and interface methods to enhance the user's experience, as well as create a new widespread preventive medicine paradigm for computers to one day monitor the actual health of their users during computer use.
03/17/06 - Peppers kill prostrate cancer
Capsaicin, which makes peppers hot, can cause prostate cancer cells to kill themselves, US and Japanese researchers say. The researchers say capsaicin led 80 per cent of human prostate cancer cells growing in mice to commit suicide in a process known as apoptosis. Prostate cancer tumours in mice fed capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumours in untreated mice, they report in the journal Cancer Research. "Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture," Dr Soren Lehmann, of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, said. While it is far easier to cure cancer in mice infected with human tumours than it is in human beings, the findings suggest a possible future treatment. They also may offer a good excuse for men who like spicy food to eat more of it. Dr Lehmann estimated that the mice ate the human equivalent of 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week. That is about the amount found in three to eight fresh habanero peppers, depending on how hot the peppers are. Worldwide, 221,000 men die every year from prostate cancer.
03/17/06 - Saved by 'sand' poured into the wounds
A patrolman answering a call found an elderly man sitting on a tractor, with a large hole in his leg that was bleeding profusely. Realising it would be some time before the ambulance arrived, Johnson opened a packet of sand-like material and poured it into the wound. Within seconds the bleeding had practically stopped, and the man survived. "The medic told me that had I not put the substance in there, the guy would probably have bled out and died," he says. The material, called QuikClot, which is issued routinely to police officers in Hillsborough county, Florida, was developed for the US military to cut down the number of soldiers who bleed to death on the battlefield. More than 85 per cent of soldiers killed in action die within an hour of being wounded. Improved haemorrhage control "could probably save 20 per cent of the soldiers who are killed in action", says Hasan Alam, a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Every US marine and navy soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan carries QuikClot. Its maker, Z-Medica of Wallingford, Connecticut, claims it has saved 150 lives so far. The porous mineral powder is poured into the wound, where pores quickly absorb water, which concentrates the blood's clotting factors and so speeds up clotting. In lab tests, blood treated with QuikClot clots in less than 2 minutes, compared with the 10 minutes or so for untreated blood. In studies on pigs with severed arteries, the survival rate was 100 per cent; with a standard gauze dressing, more than half the animals died. The safety problem in the way of QuikClot's wider use arises because of the large amount of heat the material releases when it absorbs water, sometimes enough to cause second-degree burns.
03/17/06 - A Step Toward Remote-Control Humans
The possibilities are endless, from fully immersive virtual-reality environments that faithfully reproduce real motion to, perhaps, a way to control unruly crowds without tear gas, rubber bullets, and riot police. A team at NTT's Communication Science Laboratories has invented a headset that can, when linked to a remote control equipped with a pair of joysticks, force the wearer to move against his or her will. The device originally was designed to add realism to video games and other virtual environments. But while technically impressive, the invention is viewed by some as ethically troubling -- viewed, quite literally, as a new form of mind control. NTT is using a technology called galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) to influence the delicate machinery in the inner ear that controls balance and movement in humans. Subjects slip on the headset, which looks like a pair of bulky headphones, and researchers zap electrical impulses into their ears to control their movements remotely. "At low currents, GVS selectively activates nerve cells in the peripheral vestibular system (the balance receptors in the inner ear) and such activation results in sensations and movements of the eyes and limbs, just as natural stimulation of balance receptors results in such movements," said Dr. Ian Curthoys, professor of vestibular function at the University of Sydney's Vestibular Research Laboratory. In other words, GVS artificially induces the same natural sensations caused whenever the inner ear's balancing mechanism is stimulated with real movement. For example, Curthoys said, a subject undergoing this type of stimulation could feel like she is turning even though she is sitting still. The technology could be used both to trick a person into "feeling" motion and to move in a predetermined direction.
03/17/06 - Bartering For Wealth
XO Limited (www.barter-software.com), the worlds largest developer of barter and alternate currency software, today announced a new offering to bring its barter software and associated "barter industry training manuals" free to the those involved in running or establishing barter and/or community currency systems, a market worth almost 14 trillion dollars today. As part of the offering, XO is providing unlimited free copies of its barter-exchange training manuals and will also fully fund the implementation of its software along with data migration and 24 hour help desk support. XO will also manage the infrastructure and hardware of the servers housing the system and provide ongoing software development and access to user groups at its own cost. Non-commercial/"grass roots" currencies are offered the system free of charge whilst commercial/fee-charging barter exchanges are charged a small percentage per transaction (typically less than ½ a percent). XO also offers value added SMS/TXT, EFTPOS and Phone Banking services to both commercial and non-commercial exchanges alike. New and existing exchange operators will be able to fully brand their own barter system with their own graphics, colors and text and allow their users can register, buy, sell and conduct bartering online with one another in a secure environment. So what is a barter exchange and how can it benefit those involved? Simply put, barter is a mechanism where two or more parties can swap what they have for what they need (ie you swap babysitting for someone mowing your lawn or one business may swap advertising with another for a new car), the downside being that if both parties do not want each-others goods then no transaction can take place. A barter exchange takes the idea of barter a little further and uses a proprietary currency called "barter dollars" to allow their members to exchange their excess time, space or inventory for goods or services that they need. This results in both a cost saving, and increased revenue for the business owners involved. The "barter dollars" simply act as a way to record the value of each transaction with the 'barter exchange' acting as the "bank". Barter dollars allow businesses and individuals to trade with one another without having to directly swap goods so that the "wants and needs" of some can then be met by the "wants and needs" of others in the community.
03/17/06 - 3 Atoms Linked in a Borromean Quantum Link
For many years I have come across countless hints that triple flow resonant systems hold the key to new forms of energy and magnetic dynamic geometry. This has been mentioned in many sources, including ancient texts, cranky theories, and real modern physics. Now, it seems they've managed to get some intriguing results. Quote: An international team of physicists has converted three normal atoms into a special new state of matter whose existence was proposed by Russian scientist Vitaly Efimov in 1970. In this new state of matter, any two of the three atoms--in this case cesium atoms-- repel one another in close proximity. "But when you put three of them together, it turns out that they attract and form a new state," said Cheng Chin, an Assistant Professor in Physics at the University of Chicago. [...] The paper describes the experiment in Grimm's laboratory where for the first time physicists were able to observe the Efimov state in a vacuum chamber at the ultracold temperature of a billionth of a degree above absolute zero (minus 459.6 degrees Fahrenheit). This new state behaves like the Borromean ring, a symbol of three interlocking circles that has historical significance in Italy. The Borromean concept also exists in physics, chemistry and mathematics. "This ring means that three objects are entangled. If you pick up any one of them, the other two will follow. However, if you cut one of them off, the other two will fall apart," Chin said. "There is something magic about this number of three." (via zpenergy.com)
03/17/06 - Vertical Axis Windmills up to 45% more efficient
This week's edition of the Economist Magazine has an article (link requires subscription) about vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWT). This was brought up a couple of month's ago when TMA, a Wyoming company, said that they have a VAWT that could increase wind turbine efficiency from the typical 25-40% level up to 43-45%. The claim hasn't been proven commercially yet but there are some advantages to using VAWT, especially for offshore applications: * VAWT's can operate at higher wind speeds, up to around 70mph (traditional wind turbines must be shut down with wind speeds above 50mph). From the Economist: "the ability to harvest high-speed winds is particularly valuable, since each doubling of wind speed results in an eightfold increase in available energy". This is not strictly true, if wind speeds are high enough for the turbine to reache 100% capacity, then any increase in wind speed will not generate more power. There's more discussion about this point below. * The blades of VAWT's are cheaper to manufacture and they can be assembled on site, rather than the 1 piece blades of conventional wind turbines. This makes transportation of huge wind turbines much easier. (via thewatt.com)
03/17/06 - Snyder builds a Hamel-inspired magnetic motor
(Received this headsup about an apparently successful self-running magnetic motor based on Hamels' butterfly effect claim. - JWD) Hello Jerry et al: I am involved in the Hameltech Yahoo group, and I just wanted to let people know and see a couple of magnetic motors in operation. These guys videotaped it in action and show and describe everything that’s going on. They also welcome anyone to come and see this motor in operation. It’s basically the Hamel motor setup. Go check it out, before it gets pulled off the net. It can be found at http://overunity.com/snyder/. The future looks brighter already. Best regards to everyone on Keelynet. Take Care - IceCan2 / Additional information on 03/11/06 from IceCan2 - The plastic dome is the clutch. If you look at Hamel's 40GD (40 gallon Drum) design. Nothing happens until a clutch magnet (repulser) from the top gets screwed down into energy field of the rings of magnets. That starts the whole spin up. Snyder's set up kind of works the
same, but it governs the speed. In Mr Hamel's 40GD design, there are three cones, each with a band of magnets on them, (inside and out, single polarity). The three cones are inverted in the drum. The drum has three bands of magnets,(single polarity) down it's interior that are just a little offset from the rims of the cones. Everything is balanced on the point of the third cone at the bottom on a plate that sits on top of three bearings made of granite preferably and there should be air channels in the bottom of the drum or when the cones start their spin up, the vortex will collapse the drum. So, the repulser magnet on the lid of the drum is on a threaded rod. The lid gets put on and the repulser gets screwed down, the cones start their spin up, and everything gets weird. It pulls energy in from the aether, and will cause neighbourhood blackouts...
03/16/06 - Artificial muscles powered 100 times stronger
University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) nanotechnologists have made alcohol- and hydrogen-powered artificial muscles that are 100 times stronger than natural muscles, able to do 100 times greater work per cycle and produce, at reduced strengths, larger contractions than natural muscles. Among other possibilities, these muscles could enable fuel-powered artificial limbs, "smart skins" and morphing structures for air and marine vehicles, autonomous robots having very long mission capabilities and smart sensors that detect and self-actuate to change the environment. While humans on long, strenuous missions are able to carry the food that powers their bodies, today's most athletically capable robots cannot freely move about, since they are wired to stationary electrical power sources. Though batteries can be used for autonomous robots, they store too little energy and deliver it at too low a rate for prolonged or intense activity. To solve these problems, the team from UTD's NanoTech Institute developed two different types of artificial muscles that, like natural muscles, convert the chemical energy of an energetic fuel to mechanical energy. The new muscles simultaneously function as fuel cells and muscles, according to Baughman, corresponding author of the Science article. A catalyst-containing carbon nanotube electrode is used in one described muscle type as a fuel cell electrode to convert chemical energy to electrical energy, as a supercapacitor electrode to store this electrical energy and as a muscle electrode to transform this electrical energy to mechanical energy. Fuel-powered charge injection in a carbon nanotube electrode produces the dimensional changes needed for actuation due to a combination of quantum mechanical and electrostatic effects present on the nanoscale, Baughman said. In another of the described artificial muscles -- currently the most powerful type -- the chemical energy in the fuel is converted to heat by a catalytic reaction of a mixture of fuel and oxygen in the air. The resulting temperature increase in this "shorted fuel-cell muscle" causes contraction of a shape memory metal muscle wire that supports this catalyst. Subsequent cooling completes the work cycle by causing expansion of the muscle.
03/16/06 - U.S. Army Robots Break Asimov's First Law
"The US Army is deploying armed robots in Iraq that are capable of breaking Asmov's first law that they should not harm a human. SWORDS (Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems) robots are equipped with either the M249, machine gun which fires 5.56-millimeter rounds at 750 rounds per minute or the M240, which fires 7.62-millimeter rounds at up to 1,000 per minute."
03/16/06 - Brazil's thirst for energy to flood Amazon habitats
Brazil's plans to dam two rivers in the Amazon basin to generate power threaten a treasure trove of animals and plants in a region with one of the world's richest arrays of wildlife, environmentalists say. "The Amazon, Congo, Nile, Parana and Yangtze watersheds are the most species-rich, with the Amazon far ahead," WCD specialists said in a report. Brazil's plans include two dams on the Madeira, a main tributary to the Amazon, at a cost of $9 billion to produce 6,400 MW of electricity. The project, in Rondonia, will flood 550 sq km (210 sq mile) of forest. International Rivers Network said the dams would threaten the survival of several species of large catfish that migrate some 4,500 km (2,800 miles) to breed in the upper Madeira. Thirty-three endangered mammal species live in the region to be flooded, including the spotted jaguar, the giant anteater, the giant armadillo, giant otter and several species of birds. The government says the Madeira project is critical if the country is to keep pace with energy demand in the next decade.
03/16/06 - Tiny Supercapacitors available
CAP-XX's prismatic supercapacitors, pictured here with a US quarter dollar and an Australian postage stamp, feature a small footprint of either 28 x 17 millimeters or 39 x 17 millimeters, and a thin profile of 1 to 3 millimeters so that they fit easily in space-constrained portable electronics designs. Delivering higher power bursts than batteries and storing more energy than traditional capacitors, supercapacitors provide the high power bursts required, without draining the battery, when taking a digital photo, sending wireless cell phone transmissions, or taking a GPS reading, for example. CAP-XX has been recognized for its breakthrough nanotechnology process for producing high capacitance (1 farad or more), low equivalent series resistance (< 100 milliohms) supercapacitors that deliver the industry's highest energy and power densities in a thin, flat, prismatic package. Available in dual-cell (4.5V) or single-cell (2.5V), these supercapacitors allow designers to produce thinner, longer-running devices such as smartphones, PDAs, notebooks, medical devices, and AMRs.
03/16/06 - Happy 150th birthday: a new era looms for old age
Modern medicine is redefining old age and may soon allow people to live regularly beyond the current upper limit of 120 years, experts said on Wednesday. It used to be thought there was some inbuilt limit on lifespan, but a group of scientists meeting at Oxford University for a conference on life extension and enhancement consigned that idea to the dustbin. Richard Miller of the Michigan University Medical School said tests on mice and rats -- genetically very similar to humans -- showed lifespan could be extended by 40 percent, simply by limiting calorie consumption. Translated into humans, that would mean average life expectancy in rich countries rising from near 80 to 112 years, with many individuals living a lot longer.
03/16/06 - Bizarre events linked to sleeping pills in US
Strange behaviour by insomniacs taking prescription drugs, ranging from binge eating to having sex while asleep, have raised safety questions about anti-insomnia medications like Sanofi-Aventis' Ambien. Researchers in Minnesota are studying cases where insomniacs taking Ambien got up in the middle of the night, binged uncontrollably, then remembered nothing of their actions. The researchers expect to publish data shortly. Such sleep-induced side effects while on the medications have been around for years, but the incidence is rising because of an explosion in the drugs' use, specialists said. Some of the most serious side effects are short-term memory loss, and accidents involving patients who drive the next day while still feeling drugged. Increased use of the drugs is spurred in part by heavy advertising and patients may be using the drugs for longer periods than they are intended, experts said. Consumer group Public Citizen warned that Ambien should only be used on a limited basis because it causes temporary amnesia, according to pharmacist Larry Sasich. Doctors recommended against abruptly stopping the drugs, which can cause withdrawal symptoms including seizures.
03/16/06 - Government seizes Newspaper Hard Drives
In an unusual and little-known case, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office has seized four computer hard drives from a Lancaster newspaper as part of a statewide grand-jury investigation into leaks to reporters. The dispute pits the government's desire to solve an alleged felony - computer hacking - against the news media's fear that taking the computers circumvents the First Amendment and the state Shield Law. The grand jury is investigating whether the Lancaster County coroner gave reporters for the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal his password to a restricted law enforcement Web site. The site contained nonpublic details of local crimes. The newspaper allegedly used some of those details in articles. If the reporters used the Web site without authorization, officials say, they may have committed a crime. "The government simply doesn't have the ability or the right, nor should it, in a free democracy, to seize the work-product materials, source information, computer hard drives, folders with paper, cabinet drawers of a newspaper," he argued.
03/15/06 - Organic produce more nutritious
Proponents of organic farming have been maintaining for years that conventionally grown produce is neither as tasty nor as nutritious as organic fruits and vegetables. But many of us have been skeptics, perhaps to justify our reluctance to pay up to twice as much for food labeled "organic" and sold at smug yuppie temples to the "natural" lifestyle. Now comes a scientific study that shows that the nutrient content of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables has dropped markedly since the 1950s.
The study comes from the University of Texas, where biochemist Donald R. Davis decided to try to quantify anecdotal reports of a trade-off between crop yields and concentrations of nutrients. He compared historic and current U.S. Department of Agriculture data on 43 garden crops (vegetables, strawberries and melons) and found that the modern produce had lost protein (down an average of 6%), calcium (down 16%), vitamin C (down 20%), riboflavin (down 38%) and phosphorus (down 9%.) What does this mean? According to the study, it may mean that methods that boost crop yields, such as chemical fertilization, irrigation and genetic breeding, decrease the amount of some nutrients in the crop. The theory is that when plants are made to grow bigger and faster, they are not able to draw as many nutrients from the sun or soil. So those tangerine-sized strawberries may be as devoid of nutrition as they are of taste. Are we sacrificing quality for quantity?
03/15/06 - Hot-swappable micro Fuel Cell System can run laptop for two days
UltraCell demonstrated its UltraCell XX25 micro fuel cell system at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today. Powered by a reformed methanol fuel cell technology, the UltraCell XX25 is a pre-production unit designed for the military. Beta testing of the XX25 will begin mid-year, and a commercial version, the UltraCell UC25 could be available by the end of this year. The UltraCell UC25 will run a laptop computer for up to two working days on a single methanol fuel cell cartridge and as these lightweight cartridges are also hot-swappable, the UltraCell systems can run indefinitely without any need for electrical recharging.
03/15/06 - Yugo runs on gas from wood
Mr. Anton Peterka along with his team, made his '85 Yugo 45, using wood and coal for fuel. It's not a new technology, 125 years old. The process is based on incomplete combustion of wood: due to lack of air, gases are created: carbon monoxide, the main fuels, hydrogen and methane. That mixture of gases is as flammable as gasoline fumes. To get the car moving, it is necessary to "fill it up with wood". The whole mechanism is made of steel plate and it weighs 60 kg. The part in which the wood burns consists of two cylinders. The wood is put in the inner part which is connected to the pipe through which the gas comes to the filters. In the middle part of the cylinder is an opening through which the fire is lit with a torch. Vacuum must be established in the system and therefore the openings for putting in wood and taking out ash are closed with milk can lids (they found a new use here due to their adhesiveness). In the filters, gas is purified (dust and other impurities are removed) and cooled from 250-300oC to 25-30oC (it comes in the engine at that temperature, cool gas is easier to mix with air). Yugo is the most appropriate to make that transformation, because it has a lot of free space around the engine to host the ventilator which is powered by the car battery and sucks out the gas from the firebox. When the mixture of gases becomes flammable, which can be easily checked with a cigarette lighter, the ventilator is turned off and put in the part where the gas mixture mixes with air in a 1:1 ratio and like the gasoline fumes from the carburetor, which is removed, starts the engine. The gas is not pressurized since the whole process is taking part in a vacuum environment. The only alteration is the gas mixer which is put instead of the carburetor.
03/15/06 - Mexico to revive mothballed nuclear power program
Mexico plans to build a new nuclear power plant and spend 150 million U.S. dollars upgrading an existing plant in its efforts to revive a nuclear power program ignored since 1990, Mexico's state Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) said on Tuesday. "We have to think in the long term. In the next 20 years, nuclear power is an energy source, we and many other countries, will need," CFE head Alfredo Elias Ayub said, adding that the new plant would be completed before 2020, and is expected to cost between 3 and 4 billion dollars. Because of the high construction costs, Mexico is unlikely to build more than one such plant, he added. The plant to be upgraded was completed in 1990 by GE Energy and is based in Laguna Verde in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz. It generates 5 percent of Mexico's electricity, but had to be shutdown last week when a cable burned out. "If operators follow the procedures, then nuclear plants are completely safe," Ayub said in response to a question about the Veracruz plant's safety.
03/15/06 - US$300 box adds three screens to desktops and laptops
Named TripleHead2Go, it’s a US$300 palm-sized box which enables most computers to use three 19" monitors with a combined resolution of up to 3840x1024 and an incredible 45" of total diagonal - even if those systems only support a single display output. Research from Apple Computer shows productivity is linked to the amount of screen real-estate while Microsoft research shows that two screens offer more productivity than one screen, so why not supercharge your productivity with three screens. The system’s existing graphics chip is used for rendering of all 2D, 3D and video and the GXM works to add multi-monitor support to this. TripleHead2Go uniquely allows customers in areas including Mechanical CAD, Visualization, Digital Content Creation and Animation to upgrade existing certified, mission-critical workstations to TripleHead displays to enable a Surround Design experience without opening the PC tower case or installing a new graphics solution. TripleHead2Go supports Microsoft Windows desktop at up to 3840x1024 resolution across three displays with full acceleration on all displays. TripleHead2Go supports gaming at 3840x1024, 3072x768 and 2400x600 and 1920x480 resolutions. Frame rates will vary with resolution and will depend on the GPU in the system. TripleHead2Go includes support for Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP, and is compatible with many professional and enthusiast class desktop and laptop PCs equipped with certain NVIDIA and ATI enabled graphics chipsets and add-in-boards. Maximum resolutions supported may vary depending on the GPU version.
03/15/06 - Pooling resources for cheaper living on just $500 a month
Having separated from my husband of 28 years the day before, I opened our three-bedroom 1927 Colonial Revival house to a group of men and women less than half my age. Overnight, the home I had lived in for 12 years became a seven-person anarchist collective, run by consensus and fueled by punk music, curse-studded conversation and food scavenged from Dumpsters. Trying to imagine how I could make it work, I found my mind turning to a collective house in Oregon where Isabell, my older daughter, had lived the summer before, and to a group of young anarchist artists and musicians in Greensboro whom I knew through both of my daughters. Over time I found myself drawn to their hopeful view that people know best what is best for them and to their determination, naïve or not, to build a better world right away. Anarchism, at least as practiced here, seemed to be more about building community gardens and making your own fun than about black bandannas and confrontations with the riot police (although it was about those things, too). So Justin and I entered a microeconomy in which it is possible to live not just comfortably, but well, on $500 a month. When we pooled our skills in our new household, we found that we had what we needed to design a Web page, paint a ceiling or install a car stereo. Sharing services and tools with people outside the house saved us thousands of dollars a year. If there is a historical model for the way we live, it is not the communes of the 60's or the utopian experiments of the 19th century, but the two-million-year prehistory of our hunting-and-gathering ancestors.
03/15/06 - High illness rate near oilsands worrisome
A medical examiner in Alberta wants to know why there are reports of serious illnesses, including a rare cancer, in a small First Nations community near the province's oilsands. A high number of illnesses, including leukemia, lymphomas, lupus, and autoimmune diseases, have been diagnosed in Fort Chipewyan, a community of about 1,200 people living 300 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. Elders in the community say they didn't see these kinds of diseases until the oil industry started production near their homes on the southwestern tip of Lake Athabasca. Syncrude and Suncor extract and process hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day in their oil sands projects near the community.
03/15/06 - Restoring Sight with Nano Particles
"In a BBC report scientists injected blind hamsters with a solution containing nanoparticles. The result? Nerves re-grew and sight returned. The researchers injected the blind hamsters with a solution of synthetically made peptides; within 24 hours the brain started to heal itself. The peptides were later broken down by the body into a harmless substance and was excreted three to four weeks later. From the article: 'We are looking at this as a step process. If this can be used while operating on humans to mitigate damage during neurosurgery, that would be the first step..." (via slashdot.com)
03/14/06 - Electricity kills cancer cells
Scientists from Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School say they've killed melanomas in mice using high-powered jolts of electricity. Using extremely short, high-voltage doses of electricity, the researchers told the Virginian-Pilot they've never had a tumor that did not respond to the treatment. The electric bursts often disrupted the blood flow to the tumor cells and shrunk their nuclei by 50 percent, Nuccitelli said. The tumors died after two or three weeks of treatments, each session involving hundreds of electrical pulses, each less than one-one millionth of a second and carrying 4,000 volts. Nuccitelli told the Virginian-Pilot he and his colleagues believe the process works by severely damaging DNA in the cells. The treatment produced no scarring and did not harm adjacent cells. All of the research mice survived, with no ill effects. The scientists said additional research will be needed before they can experiment on people.
03/14/06 - Gas prices up even as crude goes lower
Prices jumped nearly 11 cents over the past two weeks to $2.35 for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline, even though the price of crude oil dropped, a national survey said Sunday. "With our demand building and those new recipe requirements coming into effect, gas prices will most likely surge much higher," she predicted. "Some of those regulations are seasonal in nature; they become more severe and more expensive as the weather gets warmer."
Prices in Newark, New Jersey, were the lowest, at $2.15 for a gallon of regular; they were highest in Honolulu, Hawaii, at $2.63 per gallon, she said.
03/14/06 - How to build your own wireless receiver and transmitter device?
The receiver and transmitter boards (RLP & TLP 315) are cheap RF modules manufactured by Laipac Technologies. A pair costs $11.95 at SparkFun Electronics. The frequency on which the receiver and transmitter pair works is 315 MHz, UHF (Ultra High Frequency) frequency range. I won’t explain how data is transferred through air. If you want to know more about RF and how data is transferred through air check out the free book section on my site, you will find two great books about RF. The transmitter works from 2 V to 12 V and the receiver from 3.3 V to 6 V, I supplied it with 5 V in my circuit. Schematic for the RF Project, I made only one schematic instead of two to save space (of course the TLP and RLP RF modules are connected to supply voltage as well even if it is now shown on the schematic) In the datasheet I read the speed can go up to 2400 baud, however I could get it only working up to 1200 baud. In telecommunications and electronics, baud is a measure of the “signaling rate" which is the number of changes to the transmission media per second in a modulated signal.
03/14/06 - How to Stop Time
The page has a little analog clock with a sweeping second hand. If you follow the instructions by looking about 20 seconds ahead of the second hand, the second hand will appear to stop. I am almost certain it is some kind of optical illusion, but the time-stopping sensation sure feels real. (via boingboing.com)
03/14/06 - Menstrual Blood a Good Source of Stem Cells
Japanese researchers have harvested stem cells from human menstrual blood. These stem cells could potentially be a source of specialized heart cells, which might be used to treat failing or damaged hearts. Stem cells are young, undifferentiated cells that have the ability to become various specialized cells that make up the different tissues of the body. At the meeting of the American College of Cardiology here, Dr. Shunichiro Miyoshi reported that he and his colleagues at Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, collected menstrual blood from six women and harvested stem cells that originated in the lining of the uterus, the endometrium. They were able to obtain about thirty times more stem cells from menstrual blood than from bone marrow, Miyoshi told Reuters Health. When the stem cells were cultured in a way to induce them to become heart cells, after five days about half of the cells contracted "spontaneously, rhythmical and synchronously, suggesting the presence of electrical communication" between the cells, Miyoshi announced. That is to say, they behaved like heart cells.
03/13/06 - Nano water bubbles to store hydrogen
The invention is expected to permit the storage of gaseous hydrogen at room temperature in quasi-liquid form, having characteristics similar to gasoline. The device creates nanometer-scale water bubbles filled with hydrogen gas. At this scale, surface tension can maintain the gas within a bubble at very high pressure, about equal to 43,500 pounds per square inch (3,000 atmospheres) inside the bubble. The smallness of such bubbles confers on them stability against gravitational aggregation and merging. The fluid is expected to be stored, distributed and handled like gasoline. HCE reports that hydrogen stored in the form created by its proprietary device and process is expected to have a volumetric energy density (higher heating value) from about 24 to 29 megajoules per liter. The stated range is attributable to uncertainties in compressibility and small-scale cohesion factors. The process is expected to have application to other high value gases made more usable in such a storage medium, such as natural gas a.k.a. methane and propane.
03/13/06 - US secret archives contain records of encounters with winged humans
Rumors about the “flying beings" have been circulating around the globe from time immemorial. Almost every nation’s fairy tales have a description of a winged creature that looks like a human being. Thomas Uri, a young salesman from Point Pleasant, was driving his car on early morning of November 25, 1966. Thomas then saw a tall humanlike form standing in the field nearby. Suddenly, the creature unfolded the wings and rose vertically into the sky like a helicopter. It was flying above the car for a while, never falling behind though the car was running at 75 miles per hour. A similar creature was seen in the village of Nagorye, in central Russia, in the September of 1979. It was dusk when a student took a girl on a date in the field. The sun was sinking fast. The student was called Igor Kuleshov. He was in the middle of the date when he saw some dark object flying slowly above the ground at about 30 meters. Igor went speechless as the object moved closer and took shape of a human wearing some kind of a shining armor like a knight of the Middle Ages. There was a pale halo around the flying man. He flew right above the astounded couple and vanished in the direction of a forest. They could also hear something resembling a rustle of the leaves on the wind.
03/13/06 - New core battery technology from Power Technology
The Power Technology invention is a battery comprised of electrical current collectors constructed of reticulated vitreous carbon covered with a thin layer of a lead tin alloy. The current collectors create up to four times higher surface area for electrochemical reactions to take place compared to those in a typical lead acid battery, which results in a battery with higher efficiency and higher capacity meaning more electricity is generated. Joey Jung, Chief Technology Officer of Power Technology, is an inventor and developer of the technology. New core battery technology will serve as an alternative energy resource for many uses, including battery powered bicycles, hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and solar energy.
03/13/06 - Shatner explores Star Trek tech
The irreverent documentary How William Shatner Changed the World features the actor examining the ways Star Trek technology inspired real-life innovators, whose inventions include communicator-like flip phones and medical equipment reminiscent of the starship Enterprise's sick bay. Airing Sunday on the History Channel in the U.S., the show kicks off the network's Out of This World week, featuring explorations of comets, meteors and UFOs. The channel is not available in Canada; the program, commissioned by Discovery Channel Canada, aired here a few months ago and garnered strong ratings. The documentary studies how Gene Roddenberry's sci-fi series helped energize scientific explorers who created gadgets we could only dream about when Star Trek premiered in the 1960s. While we're not yet having our scrambled molecules beamed from place to place, the documentary reviews Trek-like technology that has come into being, including cellphones resembling the show's communicators, laser scalpels and other non-invasive medical equipment. The show also features interviews with researchers inspired by Star Trek to miniaturize computers, study time travel and search for alien life.
03/13/06 - Leaf moisture predicts violent weather
Researchers in plant biology have long used models of photosynthesis to look at environmental changes. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert solar energy into carbon dioxide. But weather simulators have never directly incorporated photosynthesis models for forecasting weather. "We coupled a photosynthesis-based vegetation model to a weather forecast model and tested the improvement one could obtain by this for simulating severe weather situations," Niyogi told LiveScience. This, combined with improved mapping of soil moisture, allows for better predictions of specific, local events. "Our results showed that, while the current weather forecast and vegetation models do a fair job in simulating the weather, the results in terms of timing, location and intensity of local-scale thunderstorms can be improved by adopting more detailed photosynthesis transpiration models," Niyogi explained. These improvements can improve forecasting of factors such as temperature and humidity anywhere from 5 to 50 percent.
03/13/06 - Statue of Liberty torch to be lit by wind power
The Bush administration has often been accused of a purely symbolic commitment to clean energy. But even its supporters might not reject that description of its latest announcement: the torch on the Statue of Liberty, perhaps the single most famous symbol of America, is to be lit exclusively by wind power. The US National Parks Service announced a contract to provide 27m kilowatt hours of green energy to the statue, as well as to the nearby Ellis Island museum and several other sites. "It is an honour to assist Lady Liberty in keeping the torch shining," said Ed Mayberry, president of Pepco Energy Services, which won the three-year contract and will provide power primarily from wind farms in Pennsylvania and New York state. The Statue of Liberty, which officially opened in 1886, was donated as a gesture of friendship by France. Thanks to emergency generators, the statue's torch was one of the only lights left shining in New York when a power failure across the northeastern US in 2003 plunged the city into darkness.
03/13/06 - Bottled mineral water could be deadly
Mineral water stored for long in plastic containers could be deadly, says a study that revives concerns about the safety of bottled water, the world's fastest-growing drinks industry worth 1.2 billion pounds a year. Plastic containers release a deadly toxin named as antimony to the water. The levels of poisonous toxin increase the longer the water is stored, reported the online edition of Daily Mail. World expert William Shotyk tested ground water and 15 types of bottled mineral water in Canada and 48 brands of water in Europe. His tests found traces of antimony - the chemical used in the making of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles used by most mineral-water sellers. Small doses of antimony can make you feel ill and depressed. Larger quantities can cause violent vomiting and even death. The study stressed that amounts of antimony were well below official recommended levels. But it also discovered that the levels almost doubled when the bottles were stored for three months. He said: "I don't want to shock people but here's what I know: Antimony is being continuously released into bottled drinking water. The water in PET bottles is contaminated." Last year naphthalene, which can cause liver damage in high doses, was found in two bottles of Volvic mineral water. Bacteria which could leach into bottled water has been cited as a possible reason for rising levels of food poisoning.
03/12/06 - More on the EESTOR supercap rechargeable power source
It's a consumer's dream and an engineer's fantasy: Safe, affordable and eco-friendly batteries that can store immense amounts of energy, allow for lightning-fast charging, and handle virtually unlimited discharging with little affect on quality. EEStor's technology, to be accurate, isn't really a battery at all. In techie speak it's a ceramic ultracapacitor with a barium titanate dielectric. A mouthful to be sure, but what's important is that it's designed to combine the superior storage abilities of a battery with the higher power and discharge characteristics of an ultracapacitor. Among EEStor's claims is that its "electrical energy storage unit" could pack nearly 10 times the energy punch of a lead-acid battery of similar weight and, under mass production, would cost half as much. It also says its technology more than doubles the energy density of lithium-ion batteries in most portable computer and mobile gadgets today, but could be produced at one-eighth the cost. If that's not impressive enough, EEStor says its energy storage technology is "not explosive, corrosive, or hazardous" like lead-acid and most lithium-ion systems, and will outlast the life of any commercial product it powers. It can also absorb energy quickly, meaning a small electric car containing a 17-kilowatt-hour system could be fully charged in four to six minutes versus hours for other battery technologies, the company claims. According to patent documents obtained by the Star, EEStor's invention will do no less than "replace the electrochemical battery"... According to patent documents, EEStor describes the day when gas stations evolve into "electrical energy stations" that store energy overnight when electricity is cheap and sell it like gasoline during daytime. Drivers could pull in and recharge their EEStor-powered car in a few minutes the same way we now fill up with gasoline. The company pegs the potential electric vehicle market at $40 billion (U.S.) a year, but figures its total opportunity - military, utility and electronics markets - approaches $150 billion.
03/12/06 - No future for fusion power, says top scientist
Nuclear fusion will never be a practical source of electrical power, argues a prominent scientist in the journal Science. Even nuclear fusion’s staunchest advocates admit a power-producing fusion plant is still decades away at best, despite forty years of hard work and well over $20 billion spent on the research. The case that Parkins laid out, Kennedy says, shows that "there are some really, really difficult engineering problems that have not been overcome" despite decades of effort, and that some of them may be intractable.
03/12/06 - 60% efficient Air Hybrid engine
It is claimed that the Scuderi Air-Hybrid Engine will allow diesel and gasoline automobiles, commercial vehicles and other applications powered by internal combustion engines to be 60 percent fuel efficient (compared to today's 33 percent), reduce toxic emissions by 80 percent, while making it easier and less expensive to incorporate the technology into today's automobile manufacturing process. Designs for the air-hybrid engine will be on display at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit next month.
03/12/06 - Cancer Fighter Phytoplankton Kills Health Challenges
Phytoplankton provides nutrition for human cells. When he developed a serious health challenge whereby doctors gave him only months to live, Tom Harper decided to start eating his phytoplankton. He thought "if it is good for my fish, why not me?" Watch the movie at myplankton.com/ceo. Dr. Jerry Tennant, M.D., from Tennant Institute of Integrative Medicine, says "There are few products that provide all, or even most Sea Farm Finds Sustainable Balance in Marine Phytoplankton essential amino acids, more Omega 3's than fish oil, Vitamin A, Selenium, Iodine and others. It may be no coincidence that the composition of human plasma is similar to sea water. With our over-reliance on land based food sources, we have developed deficiencies in micronutrients and trace elements. Our internal bodies reflect that we came from the sea. Our bodies need the elements present in marine phytoplankton to perform as nature intended. The human body has a marvelous system called homeostasis, which keeps all systems in balance. When the body is in balance it will heal itself.
03/12/06 - New Pure Drinking Water from the Air We Breathe
Global Water LTD in strategic alliance with AUCMA of China, announce the upcoming availability of water generators soon. The inventors of the water generator concept are Daniel R. Engel and Matthew E. Clasby, Jr. The story of their invention begins in 1987 on an unusually hot, humid and somewhat frustrating summer day at a steel mill in Beaumont, Texas. Matt and Dan were working as technical repair engineers and their primary responsibility was to be available on short notice for emergency repairs within the plant. On this particular day, Matt received a phone call summoning them to an emergency in one of the fabrication buildings, a long massive structure with one side open to the outdoors. They gathered the necessary equipment and drove the repair vehicle to the emergency site. They both knew the structure well. It was large enough to house 2 or 3 jumbo jets simultaneously. Matt said they were lucky this time, the required repairs were located on the mechanical assemblies of a conveyor belt only 20 to 25 feet above the ground, not high overhead. Work "high overhead" literally meant working at elevations several stories above the ground. As they drove into the building, Dan noticed the windshield was getting drenched with water. They both looked around to determine who was spraying their vehicle with water, assuming it must be some kind of practical joke. They exited the repair truck and immediately noticed the entire building floor was also covered with water. Matt and Dan both suddenly realized that water was mysteriously falling inside the massive structure -it was literally raining inside the building. The feeling of the cool wet water was refreshing and Dan immediately spread his arms outward palms up catching the rain. How could this happen was the next question? The hanger was used to house steel that had been heated to a liquefying temperature of 3200 degrees and then formed and shaped. The hot formed and shaped steel was spread throughout the length of the building, cooling on the conveyors. It seems that the heat from the steel was mixing with the humid outdoor air currents passing through the building causing it to rain right there inside the building-a steady light to medium rain for several minutes. As they sat there, rapidly becoming soaked, Dan speculated on different ways they could somehow put this rain in a box. They then discussed how this could benefit the people of the world to have consistent access to an unlimited supply of fresh water. That was the very beginning of the water project. On November 9, 1993 they were granted a US Patent on their atmospheric water generator. On June 29, 2004 they were granted a second patent, US “and" foreign with world wide rights. Finally Dan and Matt realized another part of their dream. Through Global Water LTD, and in strategic alliance with AUCMA of China, their water generators are now being manufactured to provide the world with an unlimited supply of pure fresh drinking water. The web site is: globalrainbox.com. The Rainbox water generator is currently made in various sizes including one model that makes 1500 gallons of water per day.
03/12/06 - Hunch engine' sharpens up your half-baked ideas
'The "hunch engine" blends a computer's ability to rapidly sift through a large number of possible solutions to a problem with human hunches for what looks or sounds right. Whether you are trying to think up a company name or find the perfect image on the web, the system does the hard work and lets you have all the fun. Developed by Icosystem of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the hunch engine uses a genetic algorithm (GA) whose evolutionary direction can be nudged by the person running it. The GA breeds initial solutions to a problem, two of which are used to spawn offspring with the best characteristics of both.
03/12/06 - Remote controlled underwater gliders for exploration
Ocean scientists can now plunge into the middle of the sea without leaving their offices. Six-foot, 100-pound underwater gliders are swimming the oceans of the world, sending data back to researchers on everything from whale calls to the massive waves produced by hurricanes. The gliders suck in and shoot out water to change their buoyancy and move up and down. Small wings on their missile-like bodies create lift to move horizontally. Without a noisy propeller or engine, the gliders run silently and on very little power. A small battery pack can keep them gathering information 24 hours a day on monthlong missions. They can also be programmed to surface and send data to land-based labs via satellite. And while the cost for a large research vessel can mount up at $15,000 per day, a single, reusable glider costs about $25,000. Relatively light, easy to deploy and inexpensive, the gliders are not subject to violent surface conditions and have the ability to meander among sea creatures and ply the oceans in any weather, including hurricanes. The standard technique for watching the mammals involves using high-powered binoculars from the deck of a ship to spot them as they surface for air. But this method requires a lot of people and money, and is limited to times when conditions are clear, bright and calm. “Some days when it's good daylight but heavy seas, this becomes a very nauseating process to look through very large binoculars through a rolling ship," Baumgartner said. In the future, information from the gliders will likely be combined with data from other technologies, such as satellites and radar, to create three-dimensional views of the ocean, Schofield said.
03/11/06 - EESTOR Super Batteries for FeelGood Cars
Little information is known about EEStor, which prefers to operate in stealth. In fact, to this day it still doesn't have a corporate Web site. However, BusinessWeek did learn that EEStor has developed a "parallel plate capacitor with barium titanate as the dielectric," and that it claims to make a battery at "half the cost per kilowatt-hour and one-tenth the weight of lead-acid batteries." It also learned that EEStor planned to build its own assembly line to prove the technology works, and following that, would license the technology to manufacturers for volume production. A simple Google search reveals that EEStor has a relationship with a Canadian maker of low-speed electric vehicles called Feel Good Cars, which I've written about on this blog several times. According to a press release from Feel Good Cars released on Nov. 15: "On September, 30, 2005, FGC entered into a Technology Agreement with EEStor Inc. located in Austin, Texas, to acquire the exclusive worldwide right to purchase high-power-density ceramic ultra capacitors called Electrical Storage Units (ESU) that are under development by that company. An ESU can store over 10 times the energy of lead-acid batteries and are expected to be available for use in the ZENN and regular electrically powered small cars. FGC's exclusive worldwide right is for all personal transportation uses under 15 KW drive systems (equivalent to 100 peak horse power) and for vehicles with a curb weight of under 1200 kilograms not including batteries." On top of this release, a reliable source familar with EEStor had this to say about the company's technology: * The batteries fully charge in minutes as opposed to hours. * Whereas with lead acid batteries you might get lucky to have 500 to 700 recharge cycles, the EEStor technology has been tested up to a million cycles with no material degradation. * EEStor's technology could be used in more than low-speed electric vehicles. The company envisions using it for full-speed pure electric vehicles, hybrid-electrics (including plug-ins), military applications, backup power and even large-scale utility storage for intermittent renewable power sources such as wind and solar. * Because it's a solid state battery rather than a chemical battery, such being the case for lithium ion technology, there would be no overheating and thus safety concerns with using it in a vehicle. * Finally, with volume manufacturing it's expected to be cost-competitive with lead-acid technology. "It's the holy grail of battery technology," said my source. "It means you could do a highway capable electric city car that would recharge in three or four minutes and drive you from Toronto to Montreal. Consumers wouldn't notice the difference from driving an electric car versus a gas-powered car." These, of course, are bold claims. But given Kleiner's involvement in this Texas company, you can bet the promise is there. Without a doubt, this will be a company to watch, and if the above claims prove true, this could have a profound impact on transportation and large-scale renewable energy production/management. EEStor could, indeed, become the Google of the cleantech world that VCs have been looking for.
03/11/06 - New way to make Cheap Hydrogen
Now researchers at GE say they've come up with a prototype version of an easy-to-manufacture apparatus that they believe could lead to a commercial machine able to produce hydrogen via electrolysis for about $3 per kilogram -- a quantity roughly comparable to a gallon of gasoline -- down from today's $8 per kilogram. Electrolyzers are fairly simple technologies: water is mixed with potassium hydroxide electrolyte and made to flow past a stack of electrodes. Electricity causes the water molecules to split into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which bubble out of the solution. The chemistry makes a good high-school science experiment -- but commercial-scale quantities of hydrogen are extracted far more cheaply from natural gas. Bourgeois' research team came up with a way to make future electrolyzers largely out of plastic. They used a GE plastic called Noryl that is extremely resistant to the highly alkaline potassium hydroxide. And because the plastic is easy to form and join, manufacturing an electrolyzer is relatively cheap. Inside the plastic housing, metal electrodes still do the same job. But because GE is using less electrode material, the reactivity of the electrodes' surfaces is improved. To do this, the researchers borrowed a spray-coating process -- normally used to apply coatings for parts on jet engines -- to coat the electrodes with a proprietary nickel-based catalyst with a large surface area. GE has demonstrated the technology in a prototype, and is now building a larger production module -- one that can produce 1 kilogram of hydrogen per hour -- for testing in its labs later this year. A machine of that scale could be attached to small electricity sources to produce hydrogen on the side. The technology also has the potential to be massively scaled up to create a hydrogen gas station.
03/11/06 - Lifetime Energy with no upfront costs
"We provide renewable and efficient geothermal heating and cooling with no upfront fees and immediate energy cost savings." So what's the deal? Basically the company will go to a person's home for an assessment and help the customer decide whether they could benefit from a geothermal system. The company will then find a dealer to do the job and oversee the installation. The whole thing is financed through the joint venture, and a bi-monthly payment for the equipment and ground loop system will be included along with the customer's regular Waterloo North Hydro bill. The customer benefits from stable pricing over the lifetime of the contract, since the geothermal energy used for heating and cooling is renewable and isn't subject to the volatility of fossil fuel prices. Energy savings are applied over time to the cost of the installation, so the customer doesn't feel any upfront pain. Now this approach won't work for everybody, but it can work for many -- businesses and households alike.
03/11/06 - Algae as fuel update
Cambridge, Mass.-based GreenFuel Technologies Corp., which is trying to commercialize a method of growing algae with CO2 emitted by power plants. The algae, ideally produced on massive farms, would then be harvested and used to create biodiesel and ethanol. The approach is being hailed as a way of reducing CO2 emissions from coal and natural gas power plants while creating a steady, potentially massive feedstock for biofuel production.
03/11/06 - Cheap Solar made with Hard Drive Technology
Arise Technologies Corp. in Kitchener, Ontario. Arise, with help from the University of Toronto, claims to have figured out a new lower-cost manufacturing process for solar cells based on many of the same processes used in disk drive manufacturing. The result is 18-per-cent efficient solar cells produced for less cost than a 14-per-cent efficient cell, and the company says it has already sold two years worth of product -- about 20 megawatts worth -- before the first cell has even come off the production line. MacLellan, who in a former professional life worked in the computer industry, draws clear comparisons between the computing and solar worlds.The solar industry today, he says, "reminds me of the personal computer industry in 1982, and we're just seeing the beginning of what I think will be a multi-decade boom." "The reason is that energy is the largest business on this planet, and we're going through a fundamental shift in energy. You have these big oil refineries, big nuclear plants, coal plants -- it's all big plants. This all reminds me of big mainframe computers, and solar is the personal computer of the energy world. We're going to go through a fundamental shift to solar, and eventually we're going to see solar farms in the desert, which will be like server farms made up of 100 of PCs."
03/11/06 - Deleting Files is a Crime?
"A former employee of International Airport Centers, who is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with them, returned his company laptop as required. Hoping to find incriminating evidence, I.A.C. attempted to retrieve deleted information from the laptop in question with no success. This employee had beaten them to the punch. He had used 'secure delete' software, in order to make sure nothing could be recovered. He is now being charged with a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act." (via slashdot.com)
03/11/06 - 101 Free Games for some diversion
Computer Gaming World and 1up.com have compiled a list of the top 101 free games on the Web. With 101 you can bet there is lots of variety. These games range from the traditional to the downright wacky. (via lifehacker.com)
03/11/06 - Advanced Solar Concentrator
SolFocus's concentrator photovoltaic technology creates electricity "using precision optical components such as lenses and mirrors to direct and 'concentrate' sunlight onto high-efficiency solar cells," according to PARC. "SolFocus's prototype solar panels are smaller, cheaper, and easier to manufacture than the flat-plate photovoltaic panels that currently dominate the market." SolFocus CEO Gary Conley says the company's second-gen panels with PARC technology will produce electricity for half or less than the $7 per watt typically associated with flat-plate PV systems. In fact, Conley has given presentations regarding SolFocus's goal of reaching $1-per-watt for solar.
"Among the advantages of the new module: it does not use scarce silicon, it has no moving parts that could lead to mechanical failure, it has minimal components, and assembly technology is automated. Together, these features have yielded breakthrough improvements in cost, size, durability, and scalability," according to the companies.
03/10/06 - Spinning gold out of Straw
A biomass gasifier that turns straw into heat is proving a huge money-saver in rural Manitoba. Vidir Machine Inc., which employs about 100 people in the Interlake, has slashed its electric heating bill from $50,000 per year to just $2,500. That's the cost of a baler picking up straw that farmers more often burn off their fields. It may cost another $2,500 for electricity to run the gasifier, and manual delivery of round straw bales. Straw is slowly shredded and transported into a chamber heated to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That turns the straw into a gas. The gas moves into a second chamber at a temperature of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and heats water in pipes. The water then works as radiant heat in old-fashioned radiators, or fanned through common forced-air systems. All that's left from burning of a 1,000-pound bale of straw is a lump of silica glass smaller than a softball. "(Dueck's gasifier) is one of those things that could put a community head and shoulders above everyone else," said Routledge. It would help municipalities slash heating costs, and attract industry to rural industrial parks, he said. Right now, the gasifier's application is strictly rural. But Dueck's dream is to heat 200 homes in a loop system in the new Waverley West development in Winnipeg. If installed from the outset, pipes to carry heated water would be placed along side sewer lines and would not require new trenching. Dueck's father Willie actually started the gasifier in 1979, turning wood into gas to heat the manufacturing company he founded: Vidir Machine, which makes department store carousels for carpets and vinyl. While looking across their farm fields one day, Ray wondered if the leftover straw would make a fuel, and tried to improve on his father's design. He developed a mechanism for slowly feeding the straw, and a system for removing waste material. "We were told we couldn't burn straw because the silica plugs the system," Ray said. So he built a system with two chambers instead of one. The silica condenses in the second chamber, and runs down the tank walls into a catcher at the bottom. The United States patent office has rejected Dueck's efforts to register his gasifier, saying a patent already exists. Dueck says the office doesn't understand how his system is different, and he is prepared to go to Washington if necessary to explain it. It reduces greenhouse gases, and other emissions are less than smoke from a single home's wood fireplace.
03/10/06 - Tabletop fusion bubble bursts
In 2002 the physicist Rusi Taleyarkhan claimed to have conducted experiments in which nuclear fusion - the chemical reaction that powers the sun - was achieved when bubbles created in acetone using a pulse of neutrons collapsed. Now, this week Nature magazine reports that Mr Taleyarkhan's colleagues at Purdue University, Indiana, say their confidence in his work has been damaged. Lefteri Tsoukalas, Tatjana Jevremovic and others say that he has removed apparatus with which they were trying to replicate his findings, and say he claimed positive results for experiments for which they never saw the raw data. He opposed publication of their own, negative, results. Those who remember the "cold fusion" controversy of a few years ago will reflect that dreams of unlimited energy from simple materials and equipment are likely to remain just that.
03/10/06 - Combination of processes results in cleaner petrol
One problem confronting the oil industry is that extracted mineral oil (due to increasing scarcity) is becoming heavier and 'dirtier'. This is reflected, for instance, in a higher content of aromatics (which among other things lead to soot emissions during combustion in diesel engines) and of sulphur (which among things causes acid rain). At the same time, the global ceilings for aromatics and sulphur content in fuels are becoming increasingly strict. The core of Dupain's method is a combination of catalytic cracking with the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis process. This chemical process was invented in the 1920s by the German researchers Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch and further developed in Germany during the Second World War for the production of synthetic fuels from coal. Due to the relatively low oil prices in the period following the Second World War this method then mostly went out of fashion, with the exception of South Africa where - prompted by the international oil embargo - it was applied by the Sasol company to meet fuel demands. In recent years, as oil prices rise, the process has been experiencing a revival: with the activities of Shell in Malaysia and Qatar, for instance. It is now primarily being applied to obtain relatively clean synthetic diesel from natural gas and to make a series of other products which contain extremely low concentrations of sulphur, nitrogen and aromatics. Dupain believes it can be economically and environmentally interesting to catalytically crack the fairly 'heavy' faction (waxes) which is created by the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis process. At the moment this cracking is still done using expensive hydrocracking that focuses mainly on the production of diesel and that also involves high consumption of hydrogen. Catalytic cracking of the products from Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis results in clean and high-quality petrol.
03/10/06 - Blue Rose acoustic surveillance for border patrol
Picture an intruder stepping stealthily across an international borderline. Now shift to a U.S. Command and Control center several miles away where a computer system is alerting a security officer to the intruder's movement, having detected the slight sound of a footstep and zeroed in on the intruder's exact location. The security officer dispatches a UAV to monitor from the air, ground forces to intercept on the ground, and the intruder is stopped. The patented surveillance system, known as Blue Rose, was developed by the Navy to locate and track nearby events by sound. It employs highly sensitive sensors, control and measurement electronics, and buried optical fiber. The Blue Rose system was originally designed to provide safety and security for ships, infrastructure, and personnel in and around the marine environment. It is currently in place at the NUWC's Newport facility. The resulting system, code-named TRIPWIRE™, can accurately pinpoint the location of a remote acoustic event such as a human or animal footstep, or the movement of an airborne or ground-based vehicle. It can also identify the source of the acoustic event and track its movements. These advancements put an important new information tool in the homeland security arsenal for border patrolling and also provide a system that can aid in high value critical infrastructure protection (CIP).
03/10/06 - Remap any key on your keyboard
Windows only: Freeware application KeyTweak lets you remap any key on your computer’s keyboard. KeyTweak makes changes to your registry to remap your keys where you want them. This could be especially useful for all you laptop users out there (myself included) who don’t like the non-standard layout of your keyboard. KeyTweak does not do keystrokes or launch programs. (via lifehacker.com)
Robots on the Farm
British research engineers and horticulture specialists at the university are working to devise a suite of robots and automated systems that could transform farming and horticulture during the next decade. The researchers say they're working on a number of robotics and automation products that will vastly reduce the labor costs of farmers and growers. Those projects include: - A robotic mushroom picker: The robot uses a charged coupled camera to spot and select only mushrooms of an exact size, achieving levels of accuracy far in excess of human labor. While the speed of picking is currently just more than half that of a human, the robot can be set to pick continuously, 24 hours a day. -- An Inflatable Conveyor Belt: The system can be driven into an open field or covered growing area. Within minutes up to 325 feet of powered conveyor belt can be deployed, allowing crops to be processed at high speed straight to cool storage, washing, or simply sorting and grading while still in the field. Other farm equipment in the future might very well resemble the robot R2D2 of Star Wars fame. But instead of careening through a galaxy far, far away, these agricultural robots might be wobbling down a corn row, scouting for insects, blasting weeds, and taking soil tests. The robots are completely autonomous, directing themselves down corn rows, turning at the end and then moving down the next row, said Tony Grift, University of Illinois agricultural engineer. The long-term goal, he said, is for these small, inexpensive robots to take on some of the duties now performed by large, expensive farm equipment. As Grift asked, “Who needs 500 horsepower to go through the field when you might as well put a few robots out there that communicate with each other like an army of ants, working the entire field and collecting data?" And speaking of ants, one of the robots coming out of agricultural engineering is a foot-long “Ag Ant," which is being designed to walk through crop rows on mechanical legs. Built for only $150, these cheap robots could someday be used to form a robotic strike force.
03/09/06 - Homepower springing up everywhere
Solar panels and miniature wind turbines could soon become an officially-promoted part of the urban landscape. Soaring energy bills, fears about insecure fuel supplies and concerns about climate change have already encouraged a growth in green energy schemes. A new proposed bill in the UK would introduce official targets for the growth of micro-generation - and there would be a "buy-back" regulation in which householders who produce a surplus of power would be paid a fair price by energy suppliers. Planning obstacles for small-scale renewable energy schemes would be reduced - and to meet targets, it's been suggested local authorities could provide financial incentives for using renewable energy. Rowan Langley, who lives in north-west London, is ahead of the micro-generation game. He set up a solar power generation system in his back garden, which produces between a third and a half of his electricity. The panels cost about £400 to £500 each, he says. This provides enough power for his basic needs, such as lighting and running appliances, like the fridge and television. If he wants to run something that needs more power, such as a washing machine, he switches to the mains supply. Rowan Langley gets much of his electricity from solar panels. "It cost me the same as a big plasma TV would have done, but it is saving rather than costing me electricity," he says.
03/09/06 - Stock Market acts oddly before a crash
Physicists have found that shortly before and after stock market crashes, stock prices start to follow distinctive patterns, somewhat like those found in heartbeats and earthquakes. The findings might lead to a system to predict stock-market crashes, they added-but not necessarily to stop them. This type of change in behavior is known as “criticality," the researchers wrote. According to an article in the Feb. 14 issue of Physics News Update, a newsletter of the American Institute of Physics, they drew an analogy with a class of metals that can become magnets when placed in a magnetic field. These “ferromagnetic" materials are each associated with a characteristic temperature known as the critical temperature. Below it, the metal arranges itself into distinct regions, in each of which the spins of the atoms become aligned the same way among all atoms. These regions, which contribute to the magnetism, look similar at different magnifications. This self-similarity is also found in graphs of the time intervals between heartbeats, or between earthquakes, the researchers added, according to the publication. But there is also a key difference: in those cases, the self-similarity stems from yet a different mathematical pattern, called a power law. Things that obey power laws become less likely with increasing size according to a characteristic formula.
03/09/06 - Advanced Hydrogen storage using 'MOFs'
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that practical hydrogen fuel will require concentrations of at least 6.5 percent, the chemists have achieved concentrations of 7.5 percent - nearly three times as much as has been reported previously - but at a very low temperature (77 degrees Kelvin). Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), pronounced "moffs," are like scaffolds made of linked rods - a structure that maximizes the surface area. MOFs, which have been described as crystal sponges, have pores, openings on the nanoscale in which Yaghi and his colleagues can store gases that are usually difficult to store and transport. MOFs can be made highly porous to increase their storage capacity; one gram of a MOF has the surface area of a football field! Yaghi's laboratory has made more than 500 MOFs, with a variety of properties and structures. MOFs can be made from low-cost ingredients, such as zinc oxide - a common ingredient in sunscreen - and terephthalate, which is found in plastic soda bottles. "MOFs will have many applications. Molecules can go in and out of them unobstructed. We can make polymers inside the pores with well-defined and predictable properties. There is no limit to what structures we can get, and thus no limit to the applications." Hydrogen, when burned, produces only water, which is harmless to the environment, Yaghi noted. With MOFs, hydrogen is physically absorbed, and it is easy to take the hydrogen out and put it back in without much energy cost, he said. "The challenge has been, how do you store enough hydrogen for an automobile to run for 300 to 400 miles without refueling?" Yaghi asked. "You have to concentrate the hydrogen into a small volume without using high pressure of very low temperature. "Our idea was to create a material with pores that attract hydrogen, making it possible to stuff more hydrogen molecules into a small volume," he said.
03/09/06 - Retirement Fund Tapped to Avoid National Debt Limit
(Where does it stop? - JWD) The Treasury Department has started drawing from the civil service pension fund to avoid hitting the $8.2 trillion national debt limit. The move to tap the pension fund follows last month's decision to suspend investments in a retirement savings plan held by government employees. Once Congress raises the debt limit, the Treasury will "restore all due interest and principal" to the pension fund as soon as possible, Snow said. He made a similar promise when the Treasury announced that reinvestment of some assets in the Thrift Savings Plan's government securities fund, or G Fund, had been suspended. The civil service trust fund will provide the Treasury with several billion dollars for extra borrowing. The fund had an estimated balance of about $655 billion at the start of the year, but only a small portion of that is available to the Treasury because of the statutes restricting the fund's use during "debt issuance suspension" periods. The G Fund has assets of about $65.3 billion, and all are available for Treasury's use. The Treasury has leaned on federal employee retirement funds in past years when officials worried about a possible default on the national debt, and most federal employees take it in stride. Still, many employees object to the financial maneuvers, arguing that they amount to a raid on their personal accounts. Colleen M. Kelley , president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said last month that federal employees should not have their pension accounts "used as a rainy day fund. . . . No private-sector employer would ever be allowed to do this."
03/08/06 - Orbiting Tourist Hotels
For its water show, this hotel will have all of Earth’s blue oceans flying past its windows at 17,500 miles an hour. Guests on board the 330-cubic-meter station (about the size of a three-bedroom house) will learn weightless acrobatics, marvel at the ever-changing face of the home planet, and, for half of every 90-minute orbit, gaze deep into a galaxy ablaze with billions of stars. Developed at NASA as part of a project called TransHab, inflatable space-station modules have some important advantages over their tin-can counterparts. They weigh significantly less, and they launch in a compressed state, with their fabric hulls wrapped tightly around their rigid cores like a roll of paper towels. This allows them to use less-powerful launch vehicles and makes for roomier space stations. After a rocket fires a Nautilus into space, explosive bolts will release the girdle securing the compressed hull, and then the station’s life support system, housed in the core, will inflate the structure with breathable air, expanding it from 15 feet in diameter to 22 feet. Power comes from solar panels that unfold from the rigid bulkheads at each end of the module. Each bulkhead also houses an airlock and a docking adaptor. Astronauts arriving later enter a shirtsleeve environment in which they can go to work unpacking removable panels, equipment and supplies from the core to create three levels of living and working space. A docked rocket engine called a multi-directional propulsion bus (MDPB) will eventually allow the station-the first one is tentatively called CSS [Commercial Space Station] Skywalker-to maneuver within Earth’s orbit or even leave it, for, say, a trip to the moon.
03/08/06 - Electric Field Refrigeration
(Thanks to Bert Pool for the headsup. - JWD) An electric field cools films of lead zirconium titanium oxide -- a phenomenon dubbed giant electrocaloric effect. Like thermovoltaic materials, electrocaloric materials could be used to cool computer chips and make motorless, gasless refrigerators.
03/08/06 - Hitachi Tells of R2D2-Like Security Robot
(An interesting idea I've toyed with as a security camera system, where photos are taken of the 'steady-state' condition for the image, where it is used as a reference because everything is in place. The idea was the camera would compare periodic photos against the reference and sound an alarm if it noticed something had changed. - JWD) Hitachi is reportedly working on a robot that LOOKS LIKE R2D2 designed to augment security. It does this by rolling around on its own, checking to see if anything looks unusual. If something is out of place (say, a computer is missing), it snaps a picture and sends it to a human security guard. Hitachi wouldn't actually show the robot to reporters (picture is of R2D2, not Hitachi robot). (via therawfeed.com)
03/08/06 - Breakthrough Filter can remove 99.99% Arsenic
The University of Hawaii yesterday announced it had developed technology, which could virtually eradicate the threat of arsenic contamination in drinking water. Initial results from experiments showed the new invention could remove 99.9 per cent of arsenic from drinking water, according to a statement issued by the university. The new filter cuts costs by as much as 60 per cent compared to products currently available on the market, said university researcher Dong Liangjie. Arsenic, a highly poisonous metallic element found in rocks, soil and water, affects more than 100 million people worldwide, particularly in Bangladesh, India, Argentina and China, according to the World Health Organization. The worst-hit areas in China are Shanxi, Shaanxi and Jilin provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north, as well as several southern provinces including Guizhou. Water treatment is an issue of strategic importance for China, as it strives to achieve sustainable economic development.
03/08/06 - Battery Power as Good as Gas?
Imagine the day when cellphones charge up in seconds, laptop batteries never degrade, and electric cars have the same power, driving range and purchase price as their gas-powered cousins. It's a consumer's dream and an engineer's fantasy: Safe, affordable and eco-friendly batteries that can store immense amounts of energy, allow for lightning-fast charging, and handle virtually unlimited discharging with little affect on quality. Such a battery -- a superbattery -- doesn't exist today, but a tiny company out of Austin, Texas, is getting remarkably close, and the possibilities have caught the attention of the U.S. army, the former vice-chairman of Dell Computer, and one of the most respected venture capital firms in North America. (via renewableenergyaccess.com)
03/08/06 - Vegetable oil is a low-cost, readily available energy source
Hydrogen is not the only alternative-fuel source. I drive a car that runs on vegetable oil. It took me all of six hours to put the equipment into my vehicle, and for the time being, the oil is free because it is the castoff oil used by restaurants. I heard the president say we need to be 75 percent weaned from foreign fuel by 2025, and his main remedy is to have Exxon create a pipeline from Alaska and use that oil. It will take 10 years to get any new oil out of Alaska, and longer for a pipeline to the U.S. Right now, with all of our middle- to low-earning jobs being exported overseas, I don't see why we are even thinking "oil." We have the ability to produce vegetable oil and/or bio-diesel fuels in the short term. Because there is not an existing infrastructure for this sort of fuel, new entrepreneurs and more new jobs will be created. It would put farmers in this country to work with an in-demand crop. It would create additional processing jobs. If Detroit would catch on, Americans could be innovators again. What the president is suggesting is not forward-thinking. With China and India buying cars at their current rate, even with oil from Alaska and Russia being brought to the surface, estimates are that the oil will run out five years after Bush wants us weaned 75 percent. We need to think long term for the good of the country, and act in the short term.
03/08/06 - Space-Elevator Model Climbs to New Record
The nano-fiber cable designed for space elevator has been built to stretch more than a mile into the sky, enabling robots to move up and down the line. LiftPort Group, a private US company on a quest to build a space elevator by April 2018, stretched the strong carbon ribbon 1 mile (1.6 km) into the sky from the Arizona desert outside Phoenix in January tests, it announced on Monday. The company's lofty objective will sound familiar to followers of NASA's Centennial Challenges programme. The desired outcome is a 62,000-mile (99,779 km) tether that robotic lifters - powered by laser beams from Earth - can climb, ferrying cargo, satellites and eventually people into space. To make the cable, researchers sandwiched three carbon-fibre composite strings between four sheets of fibreglass tape, creating a mile-long cable about 5 centimetres wide and no thicker than about six sheets of paper. The company's battery-operated robotic lifters were designed to climb up and down the entire length of the ribbon but only made it about 460 m above ground. Laine said that the robots had worked properly during preparatory tests and his team is still analysing the problem. The idea is to build the actual elevator's ribbon from ultra-strong carbon nanotube composites and to have solar-powered lifters carry 100 tonnes of cargo into space once a week, 50 times a year.
03/08/06 - Adjusting Explorer Thumbnail sizes
I started looking for a better way to preview images and I remembered that Windows Explorer offered the option to view files as thumbnails. This would work great with digital images (I take hundreds of photos, as many people now do with digital cameras) except that the thumbnail size is not big enough (for me, at least) to catch subtle details. However, I found that Microsoft’s TweakUI offers an easy way to modify the thumbnail size. To increase your thumbnail size, download Microsoft PowerToy TweakUI, run it, and go to Explorer -> Thumbnails, where you can adjust thumbnail size and quality to your heart’s content. (via boingboing.com)
03/08/06 - Project Would Combine Power from Wind, Biomass and Ocean
Plans are underway in northern California for a project that would combine three renewable energy resources -- one wind power, one biomass and one ocean energy project -- all into one interconnected project. This project, which Mueller said is the first in the world to combine three renewable energy technologies in one location, is hoped to augment an existing 18 megawatts (MW) of biomass-fueled electrical generating capacity at the DG Fairhaven biomass plant on the Samoa Peninsula by adding 20 MW of wind-generated energy and 20 MW of wave generated energy. DG Energy is the parent company of the DG Fairhaven biomass plant, which has been producing local renewable energy since 1986. According to DG Energy Solutions, this project will include a field of Ocean Power Technology power buoys tethered to the ocean floor approximately 4,500 feet offshore from its Fairhaven facility. Each power buoy will produce up to 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity in average ocean conditions. The project will also include ten 2 MW wind turbines located on the Fairhaven property and adjacent parcels. The energy produced by this project will interconnect with PG&E transmission lines using existing substations on the peninsula. "The prospect of locally producing upwards of 58 MW of clean, sustainable, renewable energy is very exciting," said David Boyd, RCEA's Executive Director.
03/08/06 - U.N. Functions May Be Outsourced To China
(It's not enough to entrust control of 21 US ports to the Arabs, now the UN wants to give inside access to China. - JWD) U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will propose tomorrow that the United Nations OUTSOURCE some administrative services, including translation, payroll and other services. China is pushing hard to get the contract. (via therawfeed.com)
03/08/06 - Ultracapacitors replace batteries for long-running PCs
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to extend the power life of mobile computers. Instead of using batteries, they draw power from an electronic device called an ultracapacitor. The speed at which a battery charges is important to users. HP says its enhanced lithium ion battery can gain 90 percent of a full charge after just 90 minutes of being plugged into a wall outlet. By comparison, a consumer with a cell phone powered by MIT's ultracapacitor could gain a complete recharge in just a few seconds, Schindall says. The new device is called a nanotube-enhanced ultracapacitor, or NEU. It works by applying nanotechnology to an existing electrical device; the capacitor. Generic capacitors store energy as an electrical field. That is more efficient than standard batteries, which get their energy from chemical reactions. Even more efficient is the ultracapacitor, a capacitor-based storage cell that provides quick bursts of instant energy. The drawback is size--ultracapacitors need to be much larger than batteries to hold the same charge.
03/07/06 - Sports Hybrid, Built by Kids, Runs on Soybeans, Zero-to-60 in 4 Seconds
The top auto designers in Detroit have been slam-dunked by a group of high school kids from Philadelphia who built the K-1 Attack Hybrid, a sports car that gets 50 miles per gallon and can go from zero to 60 in four seconds. During auto shop class, the group took a Honda Accord chassis, a Volkswagen turbo diesel engine and a 200hp electric motor, and put together a hybrid electric/biomass car that runs on soybeans. Now the car has won a race and is getting big-time press coverage all over the U.S. The kicker? It beats the gas mileage/performance ratio of any production vehicle on the market today. It’s been a bad news week for the U.S. auto industry: First, American automakers aren’t occupying any of the top ten slots in Consumer Reports’ recommended vehicles this year, and now this? Wake up, Detroit!
03/07/06 - DIY Rail Bike
From Engineering News of February, 1895 "The wheels have rubber bands 3 ins. wide and 3-16 in. thick on the tread, which make the machine run easily without jar, and also without noise, so that the rider can catch the sound of approaching trains." On the subject of safety, there are several areas of concern: 1. Small vehicles. - Railbikes (and speeders) don't weigh 80 tons and don't have standard wheel profiles, so they can do unpredictable things anywhere that isn't straight track. Switches (turnouts), railroad-to-railroad crossings, derails, drawbridge mitre rails, spring-loaded switches and frogs -- even in perfect condition, these can cause a light vehicle to derail. This calls for going verrrrrrry slooooooowly across any such fixture. I mean the speed of a slow walk. 2. Little-used track. - We tend to ride on track that's in disuse, and that means dirt-packed highway crossings and all manner of junk on or around the rails. In my experience there isn't time to watch the scenery; you have to watch both rails like a hawk for a misplaced (or deliberately placed*) stone or twig that will derail you, and you frequently have to stop and clear branches, weeds, junk from the track. On disused lines, you might be doing this every 200 feet. * the people placing junk on the track aren't meaning to derail a small vehicle, they're aiming to see a big train pulverize the object. 3. Highway crossings. - Motorists are highly unpredictable. That itself is a huge risk. And if the crossing is packed with dirt, small railcars are not geared properly to push their flange through dirt at 1 mph. You often have to get out and push! 4. Dilapidated track. - There can be misaligned switch points or frogs, and gage that's wildly narrow or wide. Which will derail you. I've also seen paved-over or cut highway crossings, and even missing rails!
03/07/06 - Power Hybrids using batteries, supercaps & fuel cells
Most forklifts run on propane. The future of fuel-cell vehicles is already happening in an unlikely proving ground: forklifts used in warehouses. Several manufacturers are testing forklifts powered by a combination of fuel cells and batteries -- and finding that these hybrids perform far better than the lead-acid battery systems now typically used. In some situations, in fact, they could pay for themselves in cost savings and added productivity within two or three years. Manufacturing fuel cells big enough to power a car is prohibitively expensive -- one of the main reasons they are not yet in widespread use. But by relying on batteries or ultracapacitors to deliver peak power loads, such as for acceleration, fuel cells can be sized as much as four times smaller, slashing manufacturing costs and helping to bring fuel cell-powered vehicles to market. The forklift hybrids use ultracapacitors, devices similar to batteries but able to deliver higher bursts of power. The fuel cell powers the forklift as it drives through a warehouse, while at the same time the cell charges the ultracapacitors. The ultracapacitors kick in to lift a pallet. In addition to supplying peak power, ultracapacitors and batteries give fuel-cell vehicles the ability to recapture energy from braking, as happens now with commercial gasoline-battery hybrid vehicles. This can make the system much more efficient, especially in applications such as city driving. The forklift is equipped with a PEM fuel cell system like those Toyota has already used in its passenger car prototypes. This system has an output of 30 kilowatts and powers the forklift to a top speed of 18 kilometers per hour. The vehicle runs on hydrogen pressurized to 350 bar and can lift up to three tons. On a full tank, it will operate for up to a maximum of 3.1 hours.
03/07/06 - Minus 30F "anti-griddle" insta-freezes anything you put on it
(Reminds me of the 'redneck beer cooler' where we instantly cool a six pack of beer by spraying it with propane or butane from a tank. - JWD) The "anti-griddle" is a super-chilled slab of metal in your kitchen that nearly instantaneously freezes anything you set down on it: * Quickly freezes sauces and purees into solid, unique forms - or freezes just the outer surfaces while maintaining a creamy center. * Minus 30°F ‘griddle' temperature ensures almost instantaneous results. * Approximately 1 square foot high-endurance cooktop provides an ample, easy-to-clean work surface. (via boingboing.com)
03/07/06 - Paying off credit card can alert Homeland Security
"Capital Hill Blue is reporting that recently a retired Texas schoolteacher and his wife had a little run in with the Department of Homeland Security. The crime? Paying down some debt. From the article: 'The balance on their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level. So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522. And an alarm went off. A red flag went up. The Soehnges' behavior was found questionable. [...] They were told, as they moved up the managerial ladder at the call center, that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified.'"
03/07/06 - Nano-Batteries pack a wallop for handheld tools
It's what drill-wielding DIYers have craved for ages: More power! And a new line of teeth-rattling 36-volt cordless saws, rotary hammers, and drills from DeWalt, a division of Black & Decker, finally delivers. The M1 battery, based on the same lithium-ion technology used in your cell phone and laptop, is the first product from MIT spinoff A123 Systems. Cofounder Yet-Ming Chiang, a materials science professor, succeeded in shrinking to nanoscale the particles that coat the battery's electrodes and store and discharge energy. The results are electrifying: Power density doubles, peak energy jumps fivefold (the cells pack more punch than a standard 110-volt wall outlet), and recharging time plummets. Going nano also solves a safety problem. Regular high-capacity Li-ion batteries tend to explode under severe stress, like if they're dropped from a ladder.
03/06/06 - Profits set to soar in outer space
The space business may be the most incredible new opportunity of your lifetime. A critical mass of entrepreneurs -- some with familiar names like Bezos and Branson -- have been backing space-related companies for years. In the coming months, their efforts will reach blastoff stage (quite literally). Some of the markets they're targeting, like the $4 billion satellite launch business being pursued by PayPal founder Elon Musk, are ripe for competition. But most, such as suborbital tourism, space hotels, and solar satellites, don't yet exist. All, however, have the potential to generate astronomical returns during the next decade. Ever heard of 3554 Amun? It's a space rock about 2 kilometers in diameter that looks as if it might have fallen straight out of The Little Prince. There are three key things to know about 3554 Amun: First, its orbit crosses that of Earth; second, it's the smallest M-class (metal-bearing) asteroid yet discovered; and finally, it contains (at today's prices) roughly $8 trillion worth of iron and nickel, $6 trillion of cobalt, and $6 trillion of platinumlike metals. In other words, whoever owns Amun could become 450 times as wealthy as Bill Gates. And if you time your journey right -- 2020 looks promising -- it's easier to reach than the Moon. The greatest barrier to the open markets of space isn't physical or technological; it's psychological. But for those who have the right stuff, the rewards may prove greater than anything the Apollo astronauts ever imagined.
03/06/06 - Sex purges harmful mutations
Scientists have long wondered why organisms bother with sexual reproduction. It makes a whole lot more sense to just have a bunch of females that can clone themselves, which is how asexual reproduction works. Turns out sex might have evolved as a way to concentrate lots of harmful mutations into individual organisms so they could be easily weeded out by natural selection, a new computer model suggests. The random shuffling of genes through sex will sometimes have the effect of concentrating many harmful mutations into single individuals. These individuals will be less healthy than their peers, and therefore more likely to be weeded out by natural selection, the thinking goes.
03/06/06 - Geo-Engineering to save the planet
Concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to grow even as we adopt international protocols and clean technologies in an attempt to bring them down. Scientists have sprinkled iron in patches of the Southern Ocean to increase absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and are testing the feasibility of sequestering carbon in saltwater aquifers or rock. The US National Academy of Sciences found that 55,000 orbiting mirrors would reflect enough sunlight to counter about half the doubling of carbon dioxide. But each mirror must be 100 sq km; any larger and you would need a manufacturing plant on the Moon, says Dr MacCracken. The price tag of space-based fixes makes them prohibitive - for now. By contrast, the "human-volcano" approach is on terra firma and less costly. Inspired by studies of the Mt Pinatubo eruption of 1991 and the cooling effect of its sulphur plume, one proposal suggests that naval guns shoot sulphur pellets into the air to increase Earth's albedo, or reflectivity. "The knowledge that we maybe could engineer our way out of climate problems inevitably lessens the political will to begin reducing carbon dioxide emissions," observes David Keith from the University of Calgary in Canada. Ken Caldeira agrees that geoengineering is, for the moment, a tempting but illusory quick fix to an intricate system; a much less problematic solution, he says, would be to change our lifestyles by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. "I think the Earth's system is so complicated that our interfering with it is very likely to screw things up and very unlikely to improve things," he says. "And this is the only planet we have."
03/06/06 - Older Population Could Force Retirement Age to 85
Life expectancy in the United States is now around 78 years. But if anti-aging therapies prove to work as well for humans as they have for worms, flies, and mice in laboratories, by the year 2050 people might routinely reach the ripe old age of 120. That could place a tremendous burden on the economy if people continue retiring at 65 or earlier. The retirement age might have to be boosted to 85 to prevent economic collapse, figures Shripad Tuljapurkar of Stanford University. If anti-aging therapies come into play around 2010-and no one can accurately predict if they will-Tuljapurkar estimates that the U.S. population will run to 440 million people, a median age of 47, and 6.6 persons over 65 will rely on 10 workers. "What you would need to do is have people retire somewhere between age 75 and 85," Tuljapurkar said. Increasing the retirement age to 75 would still yield four retired persons per 10 workers in this scenario. A better solution, Tuljapurkar said, would be to have people retire at 85.
03/06/06 - Brain injury may cause chronic fatigue
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) might be caused by a temporary 'brain injury' during the early, inflammatory stages of glandular fever, according to Australian scientists. "We believe that parts of the brain which control perception of fatigue and pain are damaged during the acute infection phase of glandular fever," says lead researcher, Professor Andrew Lloyd from the University of New South Wales. While most people with glandular fever recover in several weeks, disabling symptoms including prolonged fatigue can last for at least six months, known as CFS. The scientists found the virus itself does not cause this ongoing fatigue but they hypothesise that a 'hit and run' brain injury does. "If you're still sick several weeks after infection, it seems the symptoms aren't being driven by the activity of the virus in the body, it's happening in the brain," Lloyd says.
03/05/06 - Convert your gasoline generator to run on Propane
The generator's carbuerator still functions in the normal way with this conversion, mixing air and fuel into the combustion chamber. You will need some special propane regulation and safety equipment, available from any generator shop that sells and services large propane generators (Onan, Kohler, Winco, etc.). Many parts can now be removed from your generator. Save them in case the whole deal doesn't work out for you! The carbuerator float can come out, as it will just rattle around and get in the way. Ditto with the choke (or just leave it in and keep it all the way open)...the Garretson regulator has a button you can push that provides full gas pressure during starting, though this is normally needed only during cold weather starts. Adjustments for starting can also be made with the new gas control valve you installed. That's pretty much it...our neighbor has had great success with his converted Onan. If you have any more information or advice that we could add to this page, please let us know! Propane is an excellent generator fuel, especially during cold weather...it does not suffer from condensation and thickening problems like gasoline and diesel. We guarantee that this procedure will void your generator's warranty! We ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for any property damage or personal injury resulting from this procedure...we are simply relaying information to you about how OTHERS have successfully converted their generators.
03/05/06 - New info on the Cornish hydrogen patent
(Thanks to Kerry for the headsup on this one. - JWD) We run all on aired down Hydrogen, we built our units together with Aerovlot back in the 80's & 90's, and as per the figures picked up, the unit runns alone for > 24 hours on a spool costing Rsa 12-00 ($1.80), which runs our remote pumps, heating and lighting for 10-20 houses. More Details - Your Car can run on water using this device without pollution! Costs: 400 miles = 1 $. ( One US dollar ). Specifications: * Water is split into Hydrogen and Oxygen * Oxygen is cleverly combined with aluminum * Hydrogen is collected and sprayed in a standard carburetor like with methane-gas. * A 900 Kilo car runs 600 Kilometer on 20 liter water and 1 Kilo aluminum. * Clean energy, once put in Aluminum at 1$/Kg, refining Bauxite, is released here first making oxygen inoffensive. A unit substantially as shown in the drawings has been used to drive a 500cc motor cycle engine. The wire 22 had a diameter of 1,6 mm and was of commercial purity (98°'~A1). The unit produced over 1000 cc of hydrogen a minute, with an aluminium wire consumption rate of 140 to 180 cm per minute. The rate of deposition of aluminium oxide was about 4 kilograms per 500 kilometers traveled. Conventional modifications were made to the carburetor to enable the engine to run on a mixture of hydrogen and air. The wire 22 carries a voltage of about 18000 volts with a current of about 1 amp (18,000 volts X 1 amp = 18,000 Watts???). The invention may equally be used to power stationary industrial engines, as well as motor vehicle engines...A convenient way of securing the high voltage required is to employ the conventional distributor and coil arrangement which provides the sparking for an internal combustion engine. Two coils in parallel fed from a common distributor has been found to give excellent results. Other methods of generating high voltages from the battery or the drive shaft of an internal combustion engine may also be used.
03/04/06 - Bio-Diesel Car Rental Opens in Los Angeles
A new company offering rental cars powered entirely by bio-diesel has just set up shop in Los Angeles. But there is a catch. Only one place in town to fill up. Bio-diesel costs $3.45 a gallon -- about $1 more than regular gas -- but the cars get between 400 and 800 miles per tank. There is only one place where customers can fill up but Stenshol said he hoped to help set up other refueling stations in the Los Angeles metro area. "There are people who say it smells like popcorn, or French fries or doughnuts. But to me it is just a pleasant tang," said Stenshol.
03/04/06 - Japanese make gasoline from cowdung
Sakae Shibusawa, an agriculture engineering professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, said his team has successfully extracted .042 ounces of gasoline from every 3.5 ounces of cow dung by applying high pressure and heat. "The new technology will be a boon for livestock breeders" to reduce the burden of disposing of large amounts of waste, Shibusawa said. Gasoline extracted from cow dung is unheard of, said Tomiaki Tamura, an official of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency. Japan relies almost totally on imports for its oil and gasoline needs. The team, helped by staff from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology near Tokyo, produced gasoline by adding several unspecified metal catalysts to the dung inside a container and applying a 30-atmosphere pressure and heat of up to 300 degrees Celsius (572 Fahrenheit), Shibusawa said. Details of the catalysts could not be disclosed, he added.
03/04/06 - Omega 3 Fatty Acids Influence Mood, Impulsivity And Personality
In a study of 106 healthy volunteers, researchers found that participants who had lower blood levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were more likely to report mild or moderate symptoms of depression, a more negative outlook and be more impulsive. Conversely, those with higher blood levels of omega-3s were found to be more agreeable. "A number of previous studies have linked low levels of omega-3 to clinically significant conditions such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse and attention deficit disorder," said Sarah Conklin, Ph.D. The American Heart Association recommends that all Americans consume fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, twice per week. This recommendation is based upon evidence that a diet high in fish s associated with improved heart health and reduced risk for heart-related problems. While the cardiovascular benefit of increasing omega-3 intake is well recognized, relatively little is known of the potential mental health effects among the general public. Comparisons were made by analyzing levels of omega-3 fatty acids in participants' blood and comparing that data to the participants' scores on three accepted tests for depression, impulsiveness and personality. The amount of omega-3 circulating in blood reflects dietary intake of the fatty acid.
03/04/06 - Finns to Test Health Effects of Cell Phones on live protein
Finland's radiation watchdog is to study the effects of mobile phones on human proteins by direct tests on people's skin, to see if handset transmissions affect their health. A pilot study, to be conducted next week, will expose a small area of skin on volunteers' arms to cellphone radiation for the duration of a long phone call, or for one hour, research professor Dariusz Leszczynski said on Friday. Researchers will then take a skin sample to study and compare with one taken before the radiation exposure, he told Reuters. In previous tests, Leszczynski's group found evidence of mobile phone radiation causing cell-level changes such as shrinkage, but he said it was still impossible to say if that had significant health effects.
03/04/06 - Altruism 'in-built' in humans
(You'd never know this based on todays world, but then its only a handful of crazies that are the bad guys. - JWD) Infants as young as 18 months show altruistic behaviour, suggesting humans have a natural tendency to be helpful, German researchers have discovered. Scientists have long debated what leads people to "act out of the goodness of their hearts" by helping non-relatives regardless of any benefits for themselves. Human society depends on people being able to collaborate with others - donating to charity, paying taxes and so on - and many scientists have argued that altruism is a uniquely human function, hard-wired into our brains. The latest study suggests it is a strong human trait, perhaps present more than six million years ago in the common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans. The experimenters performed simple tasks like dropping a clothes peg out of reach while hanging clothes on a line, or mis-stacking a pile of books. Nearly all of the group of 24 18-month-olds helped by picking up the peg or the book, usually in the first 10 seconds of the experiment. They only did this if they believed the researcher needed the object to complete the task - if it was thrown on the ground deliberately, they didn't pick it up.
03/03/06 - WTF? DC through the air from batteries & other weirdness!
(Thanks to Mark Solis for bringing this to my attention. - JWD) The following "devices" were built and operated in the presence of witnesses, by a man in his fifties who is identified only as an autistic savant. Claims of witnesses include devices that work by thought command, among other weirdness. The inventor is an autistic savant, and claims to have no idea how the devices work. Correct, and he was very young when it was discovered that he had this gift. As a child he was able to make toys work with no batteries...his Catholic parents tried to have him exorcized by a priest 3 times. The devices will work in the absence of the inventor. Yes. They will work until the parts wear out. The latest demo models he claims were designed to stop working after 2 hours to discourage theft. The devices are scaleable, and at least one such device provides power to the inventor's house. Completely scalable: more coils and more turns of wires for more powerful models. The device appears to be nothing more than a random, or even haphazard, assemblage of coils, with an open circuit to which a load can be connected, that nonetheless will operate. Yes, but all of them have coils. The one that powers his house had several. The size of his device was about 2 feet by 3 feet.
03/03/06 - Musical Cells to help heal
A Los Angeles scientist believes that living cells can make distinct sounds, which might someday help doctors “hear" diseases. Jim Gimzewski, a 52-year-old UCLA chemist, calls the study of cell sounds sonocytology. The scientist became interested in the sound of cells in 2001 after a medical researcher told him that when living heart cells were placed in a Petri dish with appropriate nutrients, the cells would continue to pulsate. Gimzewski wished to found out whether such tiny vibrations would produce a detectible sound. He conducted a series of experiments using complex equipment. Those experiments showed that the cells could really make a noise though it was detectible only by an especially sensitive instrument. Gimzewski and his assistant used some yeast cells for conducting their research of cellular noise. They found out that the pitch of the sound wave would be higher if cells are sprinkled with alcohol. The dead cells would give off a low, rumbling sound. The researchers also found that yeast cells with genetic mutations produce a slightly different sound than normal yeast cells do. They hope that the technique might eventually be applied to diagnosing diseases such as cancer, which is thought to originate with changes in the genetic makeup of cells. Cell cultures were placed in between loudspeakers and subjected to the sounds of music in four different styles: classical, easy listening/symphonic, rock, medieval hymns. The latter was found to have the strongest impact. The interaction processes are very complex. By and large, one style of music is able to boost the growth of cells while another can suppress it. Probably the method will help researchers find a key to control cellular processes and discover a way to understand the development mechanism of malignancies," says Shushardzhan. Blood circulation was reported to have increased in both hemispheres of the brain as patients were listening to music with a very aggressive rhythm structure.
03/03/06 - Fedex Kinko’s smart cards hacked
Researchers at Secure Science Corporation have managed to break the ExpressPay system used at FedEx Kinko’s stores which is provided by enTrac. The cards are write protected using a 3 byte security code. You can sniff this data using a logic analyzer and then use the code to write any data you want to the card since it is unencrypted. The security code is the same across all cards. FedEx Kinko’s stated that the article is inaccurate, so Lance James and Strom Carlson made a video of themselves doing the hack in the store: They purchase a card for $1.00 from the kiosk and then use it to log into a computer and show the balance of $1.00. They logout and use a separate laptop and card reader/writer to change the balance to $50.00 and modify the serial number. Next they use the card to log back into a computer and show the balance of $50.00. They let one minute pass so that $0.20 is charge to the card. Finally they logout and use the self-service kiosk to print out a receipt showing their balance of $49.80 with the fake serial number. At this point the attacker can take the card to the service counter and ask for the balance in cash.
03/03/06 - Switching to DC cuts down on waste heat and component failure
Everyone knows the alternating vs. direct current wars ended with Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. But now DC power is being seriously considered for data centers. DC advocates say that plugging servers into AC power is inefficient, and switching to DC cuts down on waste heat and component failure. The University of Florida has even bought 200 DC servers. With AC, the flow of electrons in a wire switches back and forth rapidly--60 times per second in the U.S. electricity grid. With DC, the same type of current that batteries supply, electrons travel only one direction. For physics reasons, it's easier to transmit AC over long distances; DC requires thick copper cables or bars, instead of comparatively lightweight wires. But DC becomes a more serious possibility for power once AC reaches a building. Distributing DC power throughout a data center is a difficult task, Sullivan said. The current travels through massive copper bus bars that are bolted together, but joints must be inspected regularly. Loose joints are a big problem. The newer efforts employ a much more local approach, distributing DC power via a copper bus bar placed within a rack of computing gear. "I think distributing DC power in a single rack or cabinet is a viable alternative," Sullivan said.
03/03/06 - New paint blocks out cell phone signals
A Rochester, N.Y., company has developed paint that can switch between blocking cell phone signals and allowing them through. "You could use this in a concert hall, allowing cell phones to work before the concert and during breaks, but shutting them down during the performance," said Michael Riedlinger, president of NaturalNano. Using nanotechnology, particles of copper are inserted into nanotubes, which are ultra-tiny tubes that occur naturally in halloysite clay mined in Utah. Combined with a radio-filtering device that collects phone signals from outside a shielded space, certain transmissions can proceed while others are blocked, the Chicago Tribune reported. However, the wireless phone industry is up in arms over the development.
03/03/06 - Track updates on your favorite websites
Feedwhip is built around a simple, powerful idea: we track all your favorite websites so that you don't have to. Every time one of your website changes, we'll send you an email! We work with any website, whether or not they support RSS. We send updates to your email inbox where you can read them at your convenience. You can customize the frequency and kinds of changes we send you. And best of all, Feedwhip is free! (via lifehacker.com)
03/03/06 - Tick destroying rover
A tick destroying rover built by students at VMI. The truck uses inductive sensors to follow a wire laid around the perimeter of the lawn. By releasing CO2 along this strip of grass they can attract ticks into the area (animals expel CO2). The ticks collected are treated with Permethrin. Since the application is targeted, it is far safer and cheaper than spraying the entire lawn. The students also suggest that repeating the run over the course of three months would break the tick’s life cycle, making the area tick free for several years.
03/03/06 - Ventilated auto seats improve fuel economy, comfort
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has demonstrated that ventilated automotive seats not only can improve passenger comfort but also a vehicle's fuel economy. That's because ventilated seats keep drivers and passengers cooler, so they need less air conditioning to be comfortable. NREL's Vehicle Ancillary Loads Reduction team has been working with industry to try to reduce fuel consumption from air conditioning in cars and trucks. The use of ventilated seating is one way to cut air conditioning, and recent research shows that it works. "If all passenger vehicles had ventilated seats, we estimate that there could be a 7.5 percent reduction in national air-conditioning fuel use. That translates to a savings of 522 million gallons of fuel a year," said John Rugh, project leader for NREL's Vehicle Ancillary Loads Reduction Project. Using its suite of thermal comfort tools and subjective test data, NREL measured improvement in human thermal sensation for the ventilated seats and the potential for a 7 percent reduction in air-conditioning compressor power.
Bush backs the deal no matter what anyone says or what the American public thinks. As WND is reporting today, new polling information reveals only 17 percent of Americans favor the deal to turn over control of U.S. ports to a state-sponsored company in the United Arab Emirates, and shows a major blow to President Bush's perceived leadership in the war on terror. Scope of Dubai firm to stretch from Maine to Gulf of Mexico. According to the website of P&O Ports, the port-operations subsidiary of the London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O), DPW will pick up stevedore services at 12 East Coast ports including Portland, Maine; Boston; Davisville, R.I.; New York; Newark; Philadelphia; Camden, N.J.; Wilmington, Del.; Baltimore, Md.; and Virginia locations at Newport News, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. Additionally, DPW will take over P&O stevedoring operations at nine ports along the Gulf of Mexico including the Texas ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur, Galveston, Houston, Freeport, and Corpus Christi, plus the Louisana ports of Lake Charles and New Orleans. Previously reported have only been P&O Ports' container operations at New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, and New Orleans. Stevedore services also typically involve the loading and unloading of containers on and off cargo ships, as well as moving and storing containers, though often in separate facilities from where containers are initially loaded and unloaded from the cargo ships. Thus, while DPW will be operating the container terminal operations of only the six ports initially disclosed, DPW will be managing stevedore services, handling containers at a total of 21 ports, located along the Eastern seaboard from Maine to Virginia, and across the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Louisiana. Additionally, the website of P&O Ports North America lists that P&O provides container services at the Port of Miami, through a subsidiary identified as P&O Ports Florida, Inc. This brings to 22 the total number of American ports where DPW will be acquiring P&O operations. The website of P&O Ports North America brags that "P&O Ports North America is now the largest independent stevedore and terminal operator on the U.S. East and Gulf coasts with operations in most ports from Maine to Texas." In reality, DPW is a front-company 100 percent owned by the government of Dubai.
03/03/06 - Overunity magnet motor claim
This is the first OVERUNITY magnet motor released to the public! It produces more mechanical power than needed electrical input power for the electromagnet. It is the video from Mr. Paul Harry Sprain. I had signed NDA for it and now he has released it to the world! It is simular to the Takahaski design and Mr. Sprain has got a patent for it. The electromagnet at the end of the spiral stator switches for just a few Mikroseconds the field to zero flux density, so the rotor can escape the stator fields. For the rest of the rotation circle the rotor is purely accelerated into the track. All magnets are in attraction mode, stator and rotor magnets ! This is so far the best magnet motor shown. Mr. Sprain wrote: I have been working on this project for 4 years. I have spent a little under a million dollars. I have a patent and a working prototype (see attached photos). The rotational force is measured using a torque sensor that allows me to put it under load just like a real generator. I have measured the energy going into the electromagnet voltage and current. It comes from a digital power supply so there is no guessing as to what is being used. I'm using a super perm alloy core for the electromagnet. A digital encoder controls the firing of the electromagnet. My results: out-.6 Nm at 10 radian/sec =6W
in-19.8v @ 1.9A = 37.62W each pulse is .028ms = 1.05 W per pulse 3 pulses per/sec = 3.1W total input. Please see patent 6,954,019. Some additional info about this remarkable claim. For more details on the Takahashi magnetic spiral motor.
03/03/06 - An Excellent Analysis of the TOMI effect
(You might want to check out the Magnetic Anomalies page as a primer on this. - JWD) I received an email telling me about this; Can you explain why people in different countries around the world would come up with a magnetic motor design from dreams and visions etc and all have a similar design projected to them. Mr Pullo’s motor shown below is exactly the image I saw driving down the freeway in Perth Australia. I was driving along a freeway in Perth Western Australia about 6 years ago when this image appeared in front of my car in thin air. It was a shock, as nothing had ever happened like this to me before and at the same time a thought came to me, that this was a motor that ran on permanent magnets. I stopped the car and did a drawing of the object. I am a Telecommunications Technician therefore I understand electronics and also about magnetic’s of motors and generators.
03/02/06 - New Announcement about Cook Inertial Drive
Local inventor Robert Cook, a Texas born inventor from Presidio, will be speaking at this year's International UFO Congress in Laughlin, Nevada. Cook has been invited to discuss his life's work, the Cook Inertial Propulsion (CIP) engine. Cook claims it to be a revolutionary new invention that could end up “in every vehicle on earth." Others however have concerns due to the fact that the engine itself seems to violate certain laws of Newtonian physics. Regardless, Cook and his engine have been featured in a number of publications and media, including the international military news magazine “Jane's Defence Weekly." A number of books have also been written about the CIP engine, including “The Man who Changed the Future" by Lynden Herbert. Cook is hoping that his speech at the UFO Congress - (February 28th to March 4th), which will be attended by news media and professionals the world over, will turn the world on to the potential of his invention. “This is no ordinary thing," said Cook. “This is a history making invention. I'm about to announce to the world that I have done the impossible."
03/02/06 - The next thing in home power generation
"Everyone should have one of Climate Energy's Micro-CHP Systems in their home," he said. "This system puts me on the cutting edge. It's so quiet. It's hard to believe that I'm getting a bonus of free electric power from my heating system." "This is a great opportunity for electric and gas utilities to work together for the benefit of the homeowner," he said. Like Honda's hybrid automobiles, Climate Energy's Micro-CHP System provides real advantages (enhanced thermal comfort, ultra-quiet operation, and good payback on the investment) while building upon proven mechanical and electrical technology. Climate Energy has teamed with Honda because it is the established world leader in small-size electrical power generation. Honda's micro-size home heat and power generators are at work in over 23,000 homes in Japan. Operating with natural gas, Climate Energy's products use America's favorite home heating fuel and will have application to millions of homes. They are configured to conveniently replace existing space heating furnaces and boilers in new and existing homes. The concept is simple: electric power is produced as a byproduct of the normal supply of heat to the home. The result can be dramatic, with lower electric bills experienced by homeowners while ultimately lowering the nation's overall energy use and pollutant emissions.
03/02/06 - New discs may have bumps, but no scratches
CALL me naive, but when compact discs came on the market in the early 1980s, I thought they were indestructible. Vinyl scratched, but you could manhandle these new CDs and they would still play your tunes perfectly. Then I heard that digitally induced "thwub-thwub" from a damaged disc and realised the technology had flaws. A tiny American company rolled out an invention called the Scratch-Less Disc, aimed at preventing a treasured disc from ending up as a coaster. The brainchild of Todd J. Kuchman of New Jersey, the disc is made with a series of 20 tiny bumps around the edge that raise it off a flat surface just enough to shield the important underside. They use a General Electric-engineered polymer coating to add a layer of protection. Kuchman, founder of the Denver-based Scratch-Less Disc Industries, makes sure to emphasise his disc is "virtually" scratchless - if you take a nail to the thing it will be damaged. But the patented bump system protects the disc from damage caused by day-to-day handling, he says. The CD-R disc is more expensive than regular discs, but Kuchman believes people concerned about protecting their digital data, from music to photos, will be willing to pay a premium. They're about $1.35 each, though the company is still "testing price points", Kuchman says. To achieve this level of protection, we added 20 small bumps to the bottom surface of a disc to raise it off the tabletop or any hard storage surface. Simply by adding these "Aero Bumps" we prevent the disc's data surface from touching the hard surface and becoming scratched. We also coat the disc surface with a scratch resistant polymer to help with scratch prevention. The surface becomes harder, more like glass than plastic. This is our "Safety Shield".
03/02/06 - Virus found in prostate cancer patients
Researchers said Friday they have found a virus in the prostates of some cancer patients, a remarkable discovery that may suggest disease could play a role alongside genetics and the environment in causing this cancer. The virus, closely related to one previously found only in mice, was found in cancerous prostates removed from men with a certain genetic defect. The findings open new avenues for studying the most common major cancer among men in the United States. "We have made a very fascinating discovery never before seen in humans that is very similar to one found in a mammal that causes cancer," Dr. Eric Klein of the Cleveland Clinic said at a news conference. "But we have not proven this virus causes prostate cancer." Infectious disease-causing viruses are already blamed for some liver cancers and cervical cancer. That has planted nagging suspicions in the minds of scientists that some diseases may play important roles alongside genetics, environment and chance in causing breast, stomach and several other forms of cancer. Researchers are not sure how the mouse virus infected people, but suspect it has been passed on genetically for many generations. The researchers also want to determine how widespread the virus is in humans and whether it is exclusive to prostate patients. Prostate cancer is the most frequent cancer and the second leading cause of death among men older than 50 in the United States.
03/02/06 - Fogscreen walk through vertical video projector
The FogScreen is a new invention which makes objects seem to appear and move in thin air! It is a screen you can walk through! The FogScreen is created by using a suspended fog generating device, there is no frame around the screen. The installation is easy: just replace the conventional screen with FogScreen. You don´t need to change anything else - it works with standard video projectors. The fog we are using is dry, so it doesn't make you wet even if you stay under the FogScreen device for a long time. The fog is made of ordinary water with no chemicals whatsoever. With two projectors, you can project different images on both sides of the screen.
03/02/06 - India to Surpass Japan as Third Largest Economy in 2006
According to Dr. William T. Wilson, Chief Economist for Keystone India, India's economy, measured in PPP terms, will eclipse the $4 trillion mark in 2006, making it equal to or greater than Japan's. Only the United States and China will possess larger economies. "The results of liberalizing strategic sectors such as telecom, banking, aviation and real estate are now beginning to show," states Wilson. Faster growth is expected to boost salaries by an inflation-adjusted 7 percent this year, fueling robust consumer spending. The mobile telecom market in India, the fastest growing in the world, is growing at over 2 million subscribers per month. Motor vehicles' sales, which surpassed the one million mark last year, are expected to continue registering double-digit growth over the next few years. The housing market, expanding at a 10-15% annual clip, is expected to remain robust in 2006.
03/02/06 - Personal Rapid Transit
The basic idea is having an elevated track with personal-sized cars, only big enough for 2 to 4 people (and normally used for solo trips). Cars on the main track always go at full speed, with cars shunting off to side tracks for entry & exit at stations. These stations would be located a reasonably short distance from each other so users would never have to walk too far to get to a stop, and stations would always have empty cars waiting for the next user to arrive. This individualized service would be made possible by having all the vehicles automated--no human drivers in the system, just smart network-management software.
03/02/06 - Micro-membrane to desalinate water vapor
Engineers will be able to recover water from brines with the highest salt concentrations. "Our process will work especially well with brines holding salt concentrations above 5.5 percent," Sirkar said. Currently, 5.5 percent is the highest percentage of salt in brine that can be treated using reverse osmosis. "We especially like our new process because we can fuel it with low grade, inexpensive waste heat," Sirkar said. "Cheap heat costs less, but can heat brine efficiently." The science behind Sirkar's membrane distillation process is simple. The inexpensive fuel heats the water forcing it to evaporate from the salt solution. The cleansed vapor then travels through nano-sized pore in the membrane to wind up condensed in the cold water on the membrane's other side.
03/01/06 - More on Claim of tapping Gravity for power/propulsion
Our revolutionary technology generates heat from the energy of the gravitational field of our planet. The latest round of experiments not just confirmed our theory, but also dramatically extended it. In three years we'll have the first commercially available gravitational electrical power plant. In four to five years the first commercial car engine powered by gravity will hit the road. Cars, trucks, ships which do not need refueling, cleaner air in our cities and many, many more things, are becoming reality thanks to our discovery. Gravitomatic, Inc. - Our theory is simple, yet highly unconventional for the scientific community. It has been drawn upon many years of studies and cross-referencing of ancient esoteric and historic texts from around the world. The gravity force is the most basic force in the Universe. Through the means of resonance of this force were created the most elemental particles such as photons, mesons and etc. From those particles are composed neutrons, electrons and protons. They, in turn, united into atoms which are found in everything. Since all other forces such as electro-static, nuclear and magnetic exist only at the level of particles, they are also derivatives of the gravity through resonance. As you may point out that gravity force is too weak, in conventional meaning, but as it follows from out theory the pooling is not its primary job. Resonance is the method of converting energy of gravity into any other type and from one type into another.
03/01/06 - 400HP SAAB Ethanol Car
Saab this week introduced a concept car that has a cockpit, runs on 100 percent ethanol and holds 400 horsepower under the hood. “The 400-hp, twin-turbo, BioPower V6 engine is fueled entirely by ethanol," Saab said in a statement touting the environmental benefits of reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that many scientists tie to global warming. “We have been able to take the next step by using E100 fuel, pure 100 percent bioethanol," Kjell Bergstrom, executive director of Saab Automobile Powertrain, said in the statement. “That means there are zero fossil CO2 emissions because we are not using any gasoline at all." “Turbocharging and bioethanol make excellent partners," Bergstrom said. Saab stated that turbocharging with ethanol “allows the use of a higher compression ratio - giving more engine power - than is possible with gasoline because of the risk of harmful ‘knocking’ or pre-detonation." Bergstrom also touted another advantage with ethanol: “If there is no bioethanol available, the customer can still use gasoline at any time."
03/01/06 - Beyond Data Mining - new Software
Currently, the vast majority of information is unstructured text, like reports, newspaper articles, letters, memos, essentially any information that is not part of a database. "Analysing text requires human intervention and, when you are trying to analyse perhaps thousands of documents in many different languages, really large scale text analyses becomes very expensive, or even impossible," says Theodoulidis. Structured information is found only in databases, like customer management software, personnel files, library catalogues, and any information that is organised by specific fields of data, such as name, address and so on. The Greek Ministry of Defence (MoD) used the PARMENIDES system to analyse large quantities of unstructured data, like newspaper reports about terrorist attacks, and then combine that with military intelligence. This type of analysis could reveal that one group is changing its methods from car bombs to suicide bombs or chemical attacks. Or that one group is beginning to work with another. "We got our greatest result with the MoD. Before PARMENIDES, they analysed all their unstructured data manually, essentially people reading articles. Now that's almost entirely automatic," says Theodoulidis. But PARMENIDES' framework does not just provide a snapshot analysis, it can analyse data over time, too, enabling the system to spot new trends or developments that would remain hidden otherwise. Healthcare consultant BioVista, for example, combined recruitment and business information to track the shifting research priorities in biotech companies over time. Furthermore, its method of analysis creates new, hidden information from old data. The key to the framework is the use of ontologies. They are simply a vocabulary detailing all the significant words for a particular domain, like healthcare or tourism or military intelligence, and the relationship between each word. PARMENIDES used one ontology to analyse unstructured text, another to analyse databases and a third to unify the two by data sets. So while a newspaper might talk of a 'terrorist' or 'bomber', a military database might use the terms 'hostile' or 'enemy agent' or specific names. Each data type has its own ontology for the context.
03/01/06 - Site warns of URLs using Spyware or infected downloads
Boston-based startup SiteAdvisor is releasing software that warns a user about potential spyware and spam hazards. The spyware and malware problem is enormous. According to a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project, the computers of roughly 59 million Americans are infected with spyware. Infected machines often slow down dramatically and begin generating error messages, and some types of spyware code can steal passwords and other personal information. While many established software products remove known spyware, the warnings and advisories generated by SiteAdvisor are meant to keep users' computers from getting infected in the first place. So far, the company says it has collected data on two million websites. While this is a fraction of all websites, the company says those it rates make up 95 percent of all online traffic. SiteAdvisor's Web-crawling technology checks whether sites offer programs for downloading, whether those programs carry spyware-like software, and whether entering an e-mail address in signup forms will generate spam. The company stores the accumulated knowledge in its databases, adds more information from website owners and users, and offers the warnings via a browser plug-in for Internet Explorer or Firefox. This plug-in provides simple warnings, such as red balloons, which alert users who visit sites where SiteAdvisor has found problems. A red "X" signifies that the site offers downloads that bundle spyware or adware, or that entering your e-mail address will yield lots of junk e-mail. A yellow exclamation point suggests that a site does irritating things, like modifying your browser or sending moderate amounts of commercial e-mail. A green check mark indicates that the site does none of these things. Users can also view detailed reports of the company's findings.
03/01/06 - Free Hard Drive Clone Software
HDClone Free Edition allows you to clone an entire hard drive to another, larger drive. If you’ve got a hard drive that’s too small to handle Windows (admittedly, that’s pretty small), or your old hard drive is getting very near obsolescence and you want to upgrade while you still can (new hard drives are cheap), HDClone could be a great solution. (props to lifehacker.com)
$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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