Thursday, 28 February 2008

Infinity Tower will from bottom to top twist 90 degrees

This one is going up in the Dubai Marina. It's called the Infinity Tower probably named because it twists 90ยบ. This is the blurb on the 1,000-foot, 80-story, twisted building.

Imagine a tower whose unique spiralling design reflects the boundless energies and ever-changing shapes of the deserts, winds and seas that surround it.

I think that the Infinity Tower reflects the boundless money and ever-burgeoning profits of foreign contractors as they reap the seemingly never-ending petro-dollars of Dubai and its neighbors' ruling families.

One wonders whether the design incorporates any Green Technology ?

if you really like looking at images of Architecture then, go here.



Music video using footage of demolitions and implosions


How To Turn a Calculator into a Metal Detector

DIYer RazorG illustrates how to make a cheap metal detector using an old AM radio, tape, and a calculator. Tune your AM radio with the volume on maximum onto the high end of the frequency but not directly on a broadcast station. Once you can hear the static from the AM radio, position the radio and the calculator (turned on) close together until you hear a loud tone. Then, tape the units together securely. You now have a working metal detector which you can experiment with by putting it near silverware or another piece of metal. This works, RazorG says, because the loud tone that comes from the radio is the calculator's electronic circuit board, which produces a radio frequency signal. The radio waves from the calculator bounce off the spoon and are heard on the radio's speakers.


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

STOL Grasshopper

STOL = Short Take-Off and Landing (aircrafts).

STOL aircraft once in the air can get over 200+ mph, and are more advantageous then the more expensive, louder, slower, hotter exhaust helicopters, except I doubt they can actually do aerial hovering. Nevertheless these aircraft would probably be much easier to pilot then a helicopter !

Normally, a STOL aircraft will have a large wing for its weight. These wings often use aerodynamic devices like flaps, slots, slats, and vortex generators. Typically, designing an aircraft for excellent STOL performance reduces maximum speed, but does not reduce payload lifting ability. The payload is critical, because many small, isolated communities rely on STOL aircraft as their only transportation link to the outside world for passengers or cargo; examples include many communities in the Canadian north and Alaska. Most STOL aircraft can land either on- or off-airport. Typical off-airport landing areas include snow or ice (using skis), fields or gravel riverbanks (often using special fat, low-pressure tundra tires), and water (using floats): these areas are often extremely short and obstructed by tall trees or hills. Wheel skis and amphibious floats combine wheels with skis or floats, allowing the choice of landing on snow/water or a prepared runway. A STOLport is an airport designed with STOL operations in mind, normally having a short single runway. These are not common but can be found, for example, at London City Airport in England.


Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Just How ? ......... Optical Mischieviousness ?

Popgive is a stimulating Blog with insanely interesting image content.

The only words on this Blog however are structural and organizational. We are therefore left to ponder why this is so ?

Do we merely take the author on behalf of the cleverness of having found these images on the internet, or we are lead to speculate that the images are either not real or virtual, in particular the image I have reposted here ?

So I question whether the notion of posting merely sourceless material is either lame or annoying, or perhaps even plain dumb ?


Sunday, 24 February 2008

Le Programme du Jour or The Daily Program, by Loic Tari and Samantha Duris

a short animated movie that depicts a bleak view of society in which Technology reigns supreme, and free thought has been expunged.

Honorable Mention

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Stratospheric Industries Launch Wifi, Cell and Data Services via Stratacraft

Farmer Jerry Knoblach of Arizona,USA wants to bring wireless service to millions of rural Americans. His plan: Beam it down from balloons hovering at the edge of space.Cheap, disposable hydrogen-filled balloons carrying miniature versions of cellphone towers may soon provide service to rural, sparsely populated areas.
Knoblach's company, Space Data Corp., already launches 10 balloons a day across the Southern U.S., providing specialized telecom services to truckers and oil companies. His balloons soar 20 miles into the stratosphere, each carrying a shoebox-size payload of electronics that acts like a mini cellphone "tower" covering thousands of square miles below.
......... (continue)

Meanwhile more Stratospheric Industries are popping up like Space Data Corp. There are
Mobile phone airship to conquer stratosphere - A zeppelin will replace all of the terrestrial mobile phone antennas in Switzerland - if a Swiss inventor has his way.

Internet access takes to the skies via Turtleships for Cell Service - In North Dakota, former Gov. Ed Schafer is backing a plan to loft wireless network repeaters on balloons high above the state to fill gaps in cellular coverage.


Friday, 22 February 2008


goody2shoes presents

a catchy song

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Kinetic Cube

So what is this device ?

Perhaps its a similar type of device, to this, which shows fiducial ways to control music.

NB In applications of virtual reality, "'fiducials'" are often manually applied to objects in the scenery to recognize these objects in images of the scenery. For example, to track some object, a light emitting diode can be applied to it. With the knowledge of the color of the emitted light, the object can easily be identified in the picture.

This is well worth the click.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Identical Robot Twin of Zou Ren Ti

So which one is real ? Have a guess before you play the video.

Zou Ren Ti maintains the Xi'an Superman Sculpture Research Institute which specializes in designing displays for museums and exhibition centres.

Here are some more examples of his works.


Monday, 18 February 2008

Worlds Tallest Wooden House in Northern Russian City Arkhangel

13 Stories Tall created by Nikolay Sutyagin

based in the russian city of archangelsk, ex-gangster nikolai originally intended the building to contain 2 floors but couldn’t help himself when he realised there was nothing to stop him adding more on top. nothing, that is, apart from the slow-off-the-mark local authorities who say that wooden buildings shouldn’t exceed 2 floors in height, the result being that the 144ft high building is now under threat of demolition, something which would be an absolute travesty in my opinion. slightly crazy but creative ex-gangster russian architects should be given free reign to build whatever they like.

Watch the video here

Sources: One and Two

Sunday, 17 February 2008

World's Largest Solar Plant Opens Powering 20,000 Homes

A solar plant has opened in Southern Spain that consists of 120,000 solar panels over 100 hectares (250 acres). It also has a peak capacity of 20 megawatts and it can power up to 20,000 homes. The farm is expected to generate an estimated annual income of $28 million and reduce CO2 emissions by about 42,000 tons a year.

The plant covers an area of 100 hectares in La Hoya de Vicentes, Jumilla, where the local Mayor says 300 days of sun a year are guaranteed. Its total annual production will be the equivalent of the energy used by 20,000 homes.

The days of sunshine are accurate since the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain. The solar panels on a hill so they likely won't be affected by the rain.

Although many trees were possibly felled for this plant;

Different measures were taken following the recommendations from a local association, Juncellus, to ensure high environmental criteria in the construction of the plant. They included replanting an area of almost 5.4 thousand square yards around the plant, water deposits for fires, drinking troughs for birds and other such details.

Some more of the worlds large-scale photovoltaic power plants, here.


Saturday, 16 February 2008

Crystal Harmony: Vivaldi's Four Seasons by Russian Folk Trio

Consummate skill by Crystal Glass Harp Trio

More glass harmonica video's from classical to pop here.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Rinspeed sQuba Zero Emission Amphibious Sports Car; Video

Rinspeed will present its new sQuba, the worlds first diving car, at the Geneva Motor Show (March 6-16). The car is not only able to drive on roads autonomously with a push of a button (thus without a driver, passenger or further assistance), but can also transform into an amphibious vehicle which can be submerged in water up to 10 meters (33 feet). An electric motor with powerful torque drives the rear wheels, while the propulsion on the water is ensured by two propellers in the stern and two powerful jet drives in the bow propelling the vehicle under water while diving. When underwater, the driver and passenger are enclosed in the vehicle thanks to light weight body components made of futuristic Carbon Nano Tubes and are supplied with fresh breathing air by the self-contained on-board system.

This car can drive under underwater like a submarine, or, like the Lotus driven by James Bond in "The Spy Who Loved Me." The main difference is that the sQuba is a convertible. You'll need scuba gear to take it underwater.

This Post is an Update to my earlier post in December last.

Sources: One and Two

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Art Piece that stares back at you : Opto-Isolator

Opto-Isolator explores the idea of how artwork would respond if it knew we were looking at it. The Opto-Isolator sculpture is a black box with a robotic, human-sized blinking eye in the dead center.

Opto-isolator responds to a viewer’s gaze, specifically the visitor's unique eye movements, in real-time with a variety of psychosocial behaviors. Among other forms of feedback, this artwork looks its viewer directly in the eye; intently studies its viewer's face; looks away coyly if it is stared at for too long; and blinks precisely one second after its viewer blinks. The sculpture features an solitary mechatronic blinking eye, at human scale, peering behind a black veneer. Ultimately envisioned as system of feedback, this work plays with the sights and vision of an art audience and is intended to be experiential.

The Opto-Isolator was designed and built by Golan Levin and Greg Baltus, and was recently exhibited at the Bitforms Gallery in New York.

Before you run away it maybe worth noticing that this artwork, if that what it is, is a highly personal experience for a single viewer at a time !


Tuesday, 12 February 2008

The E- Bikeboard: An Electric Scooter For All Seasons

This cool little three-wheeler is 100 percent electric and emissions-free. The power pack of choice is a set of two 24 Volt Lithium (Li/Po) batteries, with an approximate charge time of 4 hours for each. Given this power scheme, the scooter is good for 30 miles and can reach speeds up to 15 mph. It can even clime hills at a 15 degree incline. Priced at approximately $2500.00,
E-Bikeboard provides a maximum load capacity is 330lbs and the maximum torque is 70 nm. Made for use on the road, the E-Bikeboard is constructed with a fiberglass platform and outfitted with a patented 110mm Rear Shock suspension system for easy maneuverability. E-Bikeboard features two double mechanism disc brakes and quick release system as part of the bicycle-like alloy frame and fork and the weight is approximately 51 lbs.

This scooter features four interchangeable attachments, making it a cross between a scooter, snowboard, surfboard, or skateboard (video).


The New Media Scape: Internet Acquisitions made by Google, Microsoft etc

If your curious about who owns what in the new media scape, then your in luck. Amy Webb the creator of MyDigitalMedia has developed a printable chart that tracks the acquisitions of Google, Microsoft, AOL, News Corporation, and IAC.

The chart clearly shows that every company seems to have fingers in a lot of pies: everything from travel to search engines to dating sites is represented.

The longest list award goes to, you guessed it, Google.

One caveat: the chart is not completely exhaustive, so Amy Webb is in the process of developing a widget and RSS feed to help us track acquisitions & mergers in the new media of the future.


Monday, 11 February 2008

Fifteen Countries are Black Holes in the Internets World Wide Web

The series of tubes famously dubbed the internets by President G.W. Bush constitute a world wide web of interconnectedness. But, as this map demonstrates, there are some black holes in that web. They represent the 15 countries that limit or prohibit their citizens’ access to internet as a way of censoring the free flow of information. The Internet Black Hole world map depict countries where Internet Filtering is common and freedom of online expression is a rare commodity. Burma, China, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and other countries where Internet access is restricted are included in the Black Hole world map.

Sources One Two

Tigress Acts as Surrogate to a Piglet Litter

Recently a tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs in California USA. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that the tigress could surrogate another mother.

After checking with many other zoos across the country, the zoo was unable to find any tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. Nevertheless the veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment.

Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species. The only orphans that could be found quickly, were a litter of weanling pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger. Would they become cubs or pork chops?

Interestingly the source of this story has a domain name entitled fiveblondes !

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Ooze Invades Greenpoint New York

Jess at ZapRoot talks about America's largest oil spill seeping up from the New York sewer system.

The second part of the video introduces us to devices that will help save our water usage and also save us money

Some concerned New Yorkers may find some help in cleaning up the goo, here.


Saturday, 9 February 2008

The Singing, Ringing Tree by MIke Tonkin and Anna Liu

This delicious artwork is one of a quartet of sculptures entitled The Panopticons which are located in the rural settings of Blackburn, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale districts of East Lancashire, England. Burnley Council Commisioned the Sculptures as gateway pieces and a symbol of the renaissance of the area.

The Singing, Ringing Tree (made from galvanized steel pipes) and is seen in the background of Pendle Hill, famous for the Pendle Witches

Panopticon n. Structure, space or device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view.

Via: Neatorama and Video

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Climate Prediction of The Lifeworld

While most Governments of the world are attempting to address the dramatic increase of noxious gases into our breathable atmosphere the worlds climate continues incessantly to deteriorate.

Check out the current state of the planet with these graphical encapsulations of what we've done and where we're going; Perhaps watch a video of Greenhouse Warming over the last 10 years.

Climate change however is only one piece of a comprehensively much larger dynamic of our lifeworld as is outlined here.

If however you would appreciate learning more about our climate then here is an excellent online tutorial produced by Oxford University on how scientists actually do their climate prediction, why it’s not the same as weather prediction and why they are so confident about some answers and not others.

Vector Graphics

These are not made of pixels.

Vector graphics (also called geometric modeling or object-oriented graphics) is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and polygons, which are all based upon mathematical equations to represent images in computer graphics. Vector graphics is an alternative to raster graphics, which is the representation of images as a collection of pixels, as is typically used for the representation of photographic images.

Paths are vectors and not pixels and can be scaled up and down in size and transformed without loosing quality. There are numerous vector tutorials:


Wednesday, 6 February 2008

BiTMICRO have just announced the 1.6TB Ultra320 SCSI SSD

Bitmicro supposedly offers sustained data transfer rates of up to 230MB/sec And yes, that's a T for Terabyte. Yes, SSDs are dropping in price, and while no price was announced, it's a safe assumption that it's absolutely bananas. But hey, if they can make it now for lots of money that just means they'll be able to make it in the future for a lot less money, so it's good news for the long run.

Here are a few new flash drives that we can all afford

Plus if its any concession Apple has just made larger capacity iPhone (16gig) and iTouch (32gig) available and surprisingly they are both selling for $499US.

Sources One and Two

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Korg Kaossilator: Pocket Sized Touchpad Synthesizer

Rather than using keys or buttons to play musical notes, the Kaossilator uses a touch pad to play music.Move your finger from left to right to change the pitch of the note, and up and down to change the sound.

The Kaossilator features a built-in loop recording which allows layering virtually unlimited tracks to create complex songs combining lead instruments, drum beats and sound effects together.

Watch this intro demo from ThinkGeek, then check out the basic presets and functions video demo.

And here experience a whole composition.

The Kaossilator outputs as stereo audio via the built in headphone jack with volume or use the RCA style audio-out jacks, it uses 4 AA Batteries.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Claytronic Shape-shifting Robot Forms From Magnetic Swarm

Swarms of robots that use electromagnetic forces to cling together and assume different shapes are being developed by US researchers. The grand goal is to create swarms of microscopic robots capable of morphing into virtually any form by clinging together. Seth Goldstein, who leads the research project at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in the US, admits this is still a distant prospect.However, his team is using simulations to develop control strategies for futuristic shape-shifting, or "claytronic", robots, which they are testing on small groups of more primitive, pocket-sized machines.These prototype robots use electromagnetic forces to manoeuvre themselves, communicate, and even share power.

This looks like becoming the new skin for Androids ?


Producten Hema: An Incredibly Entertaining Website

Be patient and wait for it to load.

Design Concept: Moldable Mouse; Can Be Kneaded into Any Shape

Currently, all computer mouse products in the market are made with hard plastic, and their shapes are not universally adaptable to the human hand. Even the most advanced “ergonomically designed” mouse does not fit the preferences of every user. Thus the Moldable Mouse will make all your bad memories of ill-fitting input devices float away, using a lightweight modeling clay combined with a nylon and polyurethane fabric to make up its surface.

This mouse can be kneaded into any shape the user prefers, and the shape is self-retaining. By allowing a wide variety of hand positions when holding the mouse, it reduces repeated motions of the same posture, thereby minimising the chance of common mouse-related injuries such as the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

The "stick-on" buttons and scroll-wheel can be added to any location you like, and communicate via RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device).

Once molded, it keeps its shape until you're ready to play again. The Moldable Mouse is still in the concept stage, but it has already won a Red Dot design award. If it makes it to production, it'll be good news for lefties, carpal-tunnelers and Gadget Lab editors alike.

Sources: One and Two

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Depth Sensing 3D Z Web Cam: Interactive Remote Control by Hand Signals

Web editor Megan Miller tests out the first interactive remote control and gaming system. Could this be the end of the Wii?

According to 3DV Systems, the depth resolution is quite good: it can detect 3D motion and volume down to 0.4 inches, capturing at the same time full color, 1.3 megapixel video at 60 frames per second. While there have been professional cameras with depth capture in the past, this is the first time that a device of such characteristics is cheap enough to be built into any game system or computer.

Since the ZCam is a piece of circuitry that can be integrated anywhere, and without taxing the CPU, I imagine Apple et al may consider adopting them for future desktop and portables.

Also watch the Molly Woods intro video from Cnet for getting on this unbelievable device.

Source: One & Two & Three

Beijing's Peak Winter Swim Challenge Across the Houhai lake

Sure do find the adult leg swing exercise doodad at the end of this amusing video desirable.

Sources: One & Two

Friday, 1 February 2008

Elastic Robot Caterpillar to be Displayed At Moma

The Tufts' squishable softbot (pdf) is about 12 inches long and made of silicon elastomer and was created as part of ongoing interdisciplinary research at Tufts' School of Arts & Sciences and School of Engineering, led by Professor of Biology Barry Trimmer and Professor of Biomedical Engineering David Kaplan.

The robot design is inspired by the team's findings on both the remarkable neuromechanical system of the Manduca sexta caterpillar and the extraordinary material properties of biopolymers.

This softbot will be on display in the MoMA exhibition Design and the Elastic Mind (24 February to 12 May 2008) will showcase some 200 examples of "disruptive innovation" created by scientists, researchers and designers from around the world, such as the Surveillance fly introduced here.


Messenger Spacecraft From Mercury Reveals; The Spider

Are these stress lines from cataclysmic impact or might they be the collapsing or imploding zone of Mercury since the scientists have determined the planet to be shrinking ?

Near the center of the Caloris Basin on Mercury the MESSENGER spacecraft's cameras have captured a unique planetary feature which the Science team have nicknamed the spider .........

A set of troughs radiates outward in a geometry. The radial troughs are interpreted to be the result of extension (breaking apart) of the floor materials that filled the Caloris basin after its formation. Other troughs near the center form a polygonal pattern. This type of polygonal pattern of troughs is also seen along the interior margin of the Caloris basin. An impact crater about 40 km (~25 miles) in diameter appears to be centered on “the spider.” The straight-line segments of the crater walls may have been influenced by preexisting extensional troughs, but some of the troughs may have formed at the time that the crater was excavated.

Huh, the crater was excavated ?

I also wondered if Mercury is coloured black and white ?

Or, did cost cutting measures by JPL exclude a color camera ?


Dusty Stellar Nursery RCW 49 Shows Young Star Cluster Westerlund 2

Dusty stellar nursery RCW 49 surrounds young star cluster Westerlund 2 in this remarkable composite skyscape from beyond the visible spectrum of light. Infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope is shown in black and white, complimenting the Chandra X-ray image data (in false color) of the hot energetic stars within the cluster's central region. Looking toward the grand southern constellation Centaurus, both views reveal stars and structures hidden from optical telescopes by obscuring dust. Westerlund 2 itself is a mere 2 million years old or less, and contains some of our galaxy's most luminous, massive and therefore short-lived stars. The infrared signatures of proto-planetary disks have also been identified in the intense star forming region. At the cluster's estimated distance of 20,000 light-years, the square marking the Chandra field of view would be about 50 light-years on a side.

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