Sunday, 30 March 2008

Tangobar Dances Music by Gotan Project

In this video Jarle Sandodden and Juana Sepulveda ( dance a Tango in Oslo with the passionate music of Gotan Project "Amor Porteno".

More about the Gotan Project

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A Stellar Explosion or Gamma Ray Burst You Could See on Earth!

On March 19th of 2008, Arthur C. Clarke passed away. Earlier that day there was an event, an explosion the likes of which has probably never been witnessed in human history.

NASA’s Swift satellite. At 2:12 a.m. EDT, Swift detected an explosion from deep space that was so powerful that its afterglow was briefly visible to the naked eye. Even more astonishing, the explosion itself took place halfway across the visible universe! The explosion was so far away that it took its light 7,500,000,000 (7.5 billion) years to reach Earth! In fact, the explosion took place so long ago that Earth had not yet come into existence. No other known object or type of explosion could be seen by the naked eye at such an immense distance," says Swift science team member Stephen Holland of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "We don’t know yet if anyone was looking at the afterglow at the time it brightened to peak visibility. But if someone just happened to be looking at the right place at the right time, they saw the most distant object ever seen by human eyes without optical aid.

If you venture out to a remote location and gaze into the sky on a dark, moonless night, the farthest object you can see with your naked eye is a spiral galaxy called M33. The galaxy is far away by Earthly standards, but it is nearby on a cosmic distant scale. The light from M33 takes 2,900,000 (2.9 million) years to reach Earth, making it thousands of times closer than the March 19 explosion.

Some bloggers and scientists confer that this event ought to be called the Clarke Event

Astronomers have just begun their scientific analysis of the burst, so they do not know yet why it was so powerful, and why the afterglow was so much brighter than other afterglows. Perhaps the burst itself was more energetic than other bursts, or perhaps its jets were very narrow, and were aimed directly at Earth.Swift normally detects about two gamma ray bursts per week. But March 19 was a special day. The satellite detected four bursts on that day, which is a Swift record for one day. “Coincidentally, the passing of Arthur C. Clarke the day before seems to have set the universe ablaze with gamma ray bursts,” says Swift science team member Judith Racusin of Penn State University in University Park, Pa.


Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Arthur C. Clarke left us a message

Arthur C Clarke, the pioneering science fiction author and technological visionary best known for the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey, has passed away having completed 90 Orbits of the Sun.

Clarke was born in Minehead, Somerset, in December 1917 and served as a radar specialist in the Royal Air Force during the second world war.

He became involved in the British Interplanetary Society after the war, where he proposed the idea for satellites as telecommunications relays.

Here is a comprehensive list of Clarke's Movies, books,scripts and elsemore.


Monday, 24 March 2008

Phoenix: A 6 Legged Robot Spider Rises to Win Indie Robot Competition

The winner of the recent Trossen Robotics Contest, indie roboticist Kåre Halvorsen has created Phoenix.

It's self-contained, and remotely controlled robot using Bluetooth. The movements are calculated using an Excel spreadsheet, and it moves similarly to a real spider.

Kåre Halvorsen was inspired to build his Phoenix from viewing the Hexapod Nursery.


Sunday, 23 March 2008

New Microchip Fan: RSD5, Has No Moving Parts and is Soundless

Otherwise described as an electrostatic air propulsion with a corona discharge effect, this solid-state fan (RSD5), is the most powerful and energy efficient fan of its size. The device produces three times the flow rate of a typical small mechanical fan and is one-fourth the size. The technology has the power to cool a 25W chip with a device smaller than one cubic-cm and can someday be integrated into silicon to make self-cooling chips.

RSD5 incorporates a series of live wires that generate a micro-scale plasma (an ion-rich gas that has free electrons that conduct electricity. The wires lie within uncharged conducting plates that are contoured into half-cylindrical shapes to partially envelop the wires. Within the intense electric field that results, ions push neutral air molecules from the wire to the plate, generating a wind. The phenomenon is called corona wind.

The technology is a breakthrough in the design and development of semiconductors as it brings an elegant and cost effective solution to the heating problems that have plagued the industry and should thus change the cooling paradigm for mobile electronics.

Heck, what's this ?


3D Flamenco

Short clip of flamenco dance in 3D IPTV

and more from IPTV

Friday, 21 March 2008

BigDog: The Most Profoundly Agile 4 Legged Robot on Earth

This video shows how BigDog starts slipping on ice, almost falls several times, but finally regains its balance and continues walking. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal’s, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.

BigDog has the ability to cope with different types of terrains, climb and descend steep slopes, and jump. Two years ago, the older version of BigDog was already able to climb slopes, keep its balance after a strong kick, and walk on rough terrain like stones, mud, and snow. So far, BigDog has trotted at 3.3 mph, climbed a 35 degree slope and carried a 120 lb load.

BigDog has an on-board computer that controls locomotion, servos the legs and handles a wide variety of sensors. BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behavior to keep it balanced, steer, navigate, and regulate energetics as conditions vary. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, battery charge and others.


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Earthhour: Global Action To Slow Climate Change

Earthhour 2007 was a Sydney event,
2008 is a global event

Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.
This simple act has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world. As a result, at 8pm March 29, 2008 millions of people in some of the world’s major capital cities, including Copenhagen, Toronto, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tel Aviv will unite and switch off for Earth Hour.

Monday, 17 March 2008

A Nautilus Shellfish: Video

@ The Smithsonian Institute Zoo

A Nautilus shellfish appears to be Aquascaping its tank in Washington DC.

This creature was apparently one of the first animals to begin its existence on the planet and could possibly be the last except perhaps for a few cockroaches. Yet there appear to be few videos of its habits and habitat on the intertubes.

Nevertheless this most fundamental self sustaining life form on the planet continues to inspire us.


Saturday, 15 March 2008

Ekova - Space Lullabies And Other Fantasmagore

French vocalist-cellist Dierdre Dubois, Iranian percussionist Arach Khalatbari, and Algerian oud and guitar player Mehdi Haddab creating a new sort of global pop music, blending past with present & acoustic with electric !

Friday, 14 March 2008

Shadow Reaching: New Perspective on Wall Display Interaction

The Apple iphone has introduced the notion of an interactive touch screen and Microsoft is in the process of releasing similarly based device that is about the scale of a coffee table which they refer to as the Surface. There now appears to be a demand for a one and a half times human scale wall interactive monitor; thus software engineers and technological researches working at the University of British Columbia, Canada have developed a non-touch interactive technology they have entitled Shadow Reaching.

We introduce Shadow Reaching, an interaction technique that makes use of a perspective projection applied to a shadow representation of a user. The technique was designed to facilitate manipulation over large distances and enhance understanding in collaborative settings. We describe three prototype implementations that illustrate the technique, examining the advantages of using shadows as an interaction metaphor to support single users and groups of collaborating users. Using these prototypes as a design probe, we discuss how the three components of the technique (sensing, modeling, and rendering) can be accomplished with real (physical) or computed (virtual) shadows, and the benefits and drawbacks of each approach

I am particularly interested in the idea of these larger then life interactive displays using virtual shadows to manipulate imagery which is briefly touched upon near the end of this video demo.


Thursday, 13 March 2008

Expanding the Panoramic Experience; Immersive Media Video's

The image here is linked to a website on which the Immersive media video is, or right click here.

Treat this movie as you would when viewing a standard spherical panorama, that is by holding the mouse down on any part of the image and move your mouse around inside the image while movie is playing.

More Immersive media video's are viewable by clicking a balloon at this website, but these video's don't necessarily load immediately, unless you have a really fast internet connection.

Here is a quote from a recent news story about this immersive media video company: IMC who are producing these panoramic videos

IMC is the leading provider of full motion, high-resolution, interactive spherical video technology and production services. Using eleven video streams arranged according to geodesic geometry, Immersive video captures an almost complete spherical image; a high-resolution 360 degree view of surroundings that is seamlessly stitched together. IMC's immersive movies can integrate GPS coordinates and other metadata producing our GeoImmersive(TM) video. IMC's open platform design easily interfaces with industry standard applications and databases providing viewers with greater visual detail for timely, fact-based decision-making, and for the distribution of interactive streaming spherical video. IMC's offerings include hardware, software, production and multi-platform distribution services, and immersive imagery licensing. Applications include: urban planning, oil and gas resource management, emergency response and first responder operations, and cross platform advertising and entertainment media.

Also the company's website has some more Immersive media video's.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Bishop's Castle by Self Styled Castle Builder Jim Bishop

Ever since 1969, Jim Bishop has single-handedly gathered and set over 1000 tons of rock to create this stone and iron castle on his property in the Colorado valley, now reaching over 160 feet in height and planned to reach 250 feet when complete. He has had a fair share of disagreements with Federal and State authorities and was engaged in a running battle with Washington officials over the rocks that he used, which came from the San Isabel National Forest that surrounds the castle property; Bishop felt that they were his for the taking. Similarly the Colorado state Chamber of Commerce refused to list Bishop Castle as an attraction in its official tourism guides.

Now, however. both the Federal officials and the Colorado Chamber recognize that Bishop's dementia concretia is marketable, and that he's transformed some heavy, unwanted rocks into pure tourism gold.

The really remarkable aspect to this building is that the builder seems to have either a natural affinity with the structural concerns of architecture namely proportion, scale and design concepts or he picked these skills up as he went along, his main source of income has been in the Ironwork industry and explains in the video that he has built this castle in his down time.

The castle features intricate wrought-iron bridges and walkways that cling to its towers. Bishop Castle is decorated with stained-glass windows along its front wall; a metallic dragon's neck and head jut from the apex of the castle's great hall. The dragon, made from recycled metal hospital trays, shoots fire from its gaping maw with the aid of a burner from a hot air balloon. The castle's fireplace vents through the dragon's nose, expelling smoke from the beast's nostrils.



Monday, 10 March 2008

Jules Verne Blasts Off With Supplies For ISS Astronauts

A European rocket lifted off from French Guiana early Sunday on a mission to resupply oxygen, food, water and equipment to the international space station. The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), a 20-ton payload the size of a London double-decker bus, blasted into the skies aboard a beefed-up Ariane 5 launcher, This is the first ATV from Europe and is named after Jules Verne, the French author who pioneered science fiction.

The most strikingly positive feature of this mission is that after the craft services the ISS and detaches; it will take with it the rubbish accumulated during the station's mission. The trash and freighter will then safely disintegrate over the Pacific, mission scientists say.

Although the launch is very quickly over, this youtube video follows the rocket all the way into space accompanied by commentary in French.

This link however carries the main video in English demonstrating the entire mission, complete with commentary in English.


Sunday, 9 March 2008

Largest non-commercial Rocket Launch Undertaken in Europe

Two presenters Richard Hammond and James May from the British auto show, Top Gear convert an odd little 3 wheeled car called the Reliant Robin into a space shuttle. They are given 12 days to build it with help from the British Amateur Rocket Society. Eight tonnes of thrust are required to launch the Reliant Robin becoming the largest non-commercial rocket launch undertaken in Europe.

Spinvision TV

Spinvision TV is an experimental video art project by David Troy.
It takes videos from YouTube and plots them on a moving globe.
Basically, it is "just" Twittervision and Flickrvision for videos.
But with some cool features like bookmarking, searching and more.


Saturday, 8 March 2008

Articulated Cloud by Ned Kahn

Composed of thousands of translucent, white plastic squares that move in the wind, the artwork is intended to suggest that the building has been enveloped by a digitized cloud

Each of these small squares dangles independently, responding only to the wind. When viewed from a distance, they outline the shapes of the wind gusts ripping across the sides of the buildings.

To see more of Ned Kahn 's work check out his video gallery.


Moma: 'Design and the Elastic Mind

Some us work across several time zones, travel with relative ease between satellite maps and nanoscale images, gleefully drowning in information.

Design and the elastic mind attempts to illustrate these dimensions of human existence: time, space, matter, and individuality.

The exhibition includes objects, projects, and concepts offered by teams of designers, scientists, and engineers from all over the world, ranging from the nanoscale to the cosmological scale. The objects range from nanodevices to vehicles, from appliances to interfaces, and from pragmatic solutions for everyday use to provocative ideas meant to influence our future choices. The exhibition is accompanied with a fully illustrated catalogue.

Design and the elastic mindis unfathomably dense with both participants ideas and meaning, and it appears to be incredibly endless, nevertheless each has their own particular point to make not unlike this.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Snake's Breakfast

Rather remarkable and the end is impressive!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

SkyTran - A Personal Maglev Transport System

Doug Malewicki has invented the SkyTran system which operates with individual, two-passenger vehicles,that are propelled and suspended by a maglev system from overhead guideways. These are laid out in a one mile by one mile networked grid throughout the city. A large number of small departure and exit portals are placed underneath the guideways at approximately every 400 metre.

To see animated rendering of the SkyTran technology in the context of LA traffic, take a look at this video. The inventor, Doug Malewick explains that the System uses off the shelf components, and is therefore merely a matter of assembling them into a ready to use system.

Unimodal has partnered with SkyTran, to help bring about the maglev technology, a lighter cab, and the capability to go at higher speed (150mph).

Although this invention seems achievable the only problem is finding enough research dollars to build and test a demo system with its components.

I wondered just how much electric energy it would use and whether the inventor might also consider building an energy farm to power it ?


Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Hair Raising Landing Caught on Video As Plane Almost Comes to Grief in Hamburg

On March 1st 2008, passengers aboard an A320 had a close call when their plane nearly crashed landed during severe crosswinds as they approached a Hamburg airport. The Boeing A320 was landing at Fuhlsbuettel Airport outside of Hamburg, Germany in nasty weather, when a fierce crosswind hit the plane at what seemed like the worst possible moment: as the wheels hit the tarmac.

Luckily, the pilot acted quickly, correcting the hair-raising wobbling and then pulling the plane back into the sky for another try. The plane landed about 10 minutes later with all 130 passengers safe. Juergen Raps, the airline’s executive vice president of operations, reiterated, that the pilots reacted outstandingly by inducing a go-around.

The pilot denied his effort was heroic, saying that he performed a maneuver that were practiced often during training.


Monday, 3 March 2008

Faith: A Two Legged Dog

Where there is a will there is a way, (video).

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Nubrella: Worlds first hands-free umbrella

The Nubrella helps keep your entire upper body dry and best of all is, you get to carry out phone conversations even though it is pouring cats and dogs around you. The Nubrella retails for $60 and has been wind tested against wind, rain, sleet, snow storms and all inclement weather conditions.

With its new aerodynamic oval design with extended coverage wind now flows over and around the canopy thus completely denying the possibility to invert. No more struggling to maintain your umbrella in the proper position. Simply strap on the shoulder support and walk completely hands free even in significant winds. Also with the extended coverage you will be completely protected from wind chill and extreme cold. You will be amazed on how much warmer you will feel while using your nubrella.

Towards the end of this video news from New York City a reporter field tests the Nubrella.

There is also some more insights showing how the Nubrella opens and is held onto your body
but these isights are only briefly shown towards the second half of this clip.


Saturday, 1 March 2008

Banksy art in Swiss embassy car park ?

Swiss ambassador Bruno Spinner asked a group of graffiti artists in 2001 to help deal with Switzerland’s public relations nightmare: i.e. Swiss Banks held Nazi Gold in World War II. Spinner recruited a group of graffiti artists to create new works in the Swiss embassy car park as a sort of image makeover, and the artists were permitted to have a rave. The Guardian reveals that one of the little-known artists was Banksy, and that his previously secret art in the car park is now valued at over 1 million English pounds.


Nanoscope; A way to give the iPod Nano a larger screen

The ongoing trend in of miniaturizing new gadgets means that hand held video players like the latest Apple iPod Nano makes watching lengthy video's rather tiring.

Retro Thing, an interesting blog, has worked out a clever way to magnify the screen with the use of 35mm Slide Viewer, and some small speakers. Watch the video to see how its done, though this solution does makes the iPod just a little less portable it's a clever solution nevertheless. When he opens the case we can see what's doing inside, it almost looks as if the slide viewer was born 30 years ago just to house the iPod.


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