Saturday, 31 October 2009

Alfred Sirleaf, the Monrovian Analog Blogger

Liberia, a country ravaged by war has had no functioning utilities for over 14 year, no sewage system, no water, no electricity, no telephone. Thus Alfred Sirleaf, delivers the news of the day via a folding out blackboard he calls the Daily Talk. He says “I like to write the way people talk so they can understand it well." And in order to reach the common man, he places symbols of the main stories, like a UN helmet near a story about them for the people who can't read, of which there are many.

Alfred Sirleaf  is reported to have founded his blackboard newspaper because of his belief that a well-informed citizenry is the key to the rebirth of Liberia.

Each morning, Alfred Sirleaf wakes up and heads down to his bulletin board to write up the day’s news, putting together a slate of stories his countrymen might otherwise never be aware of. Grateful readers line up in droves, on foot and in cars, to read these updates, in what has been described as "the country’s—and probably the world’s—only analog blog."

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Playing with Kenneth Snelson's Tensegrity.

With the symmetry of the dodecahedron tensegrity  Japanese Origami Book publishers have reinterpreted Kenneth Snelson's invention. The Tensegrity.

Go here for more of their videos.

(English trans.)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


by jann de vries is a media art experiment with magnetic liquid technology known as Ferrofluid.

"A ferrofluid, (portmanteau of the Latin word ferrum, meaning iron, and the word fluid) is a liquid which becomes strongly polarised in the presence of a magnetic field." Source.

Read more about magnetic liquid technology.

Related Post

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Yuck ! Badly Polluted Romanian River

Recently a friend returned from a working holiday in Romania and wrote me that he never saw the sad condition of the downstream section of the ArgeĊŸ River. But here in this video we see one mighty impactive outcome caused by improper regulation of the environment.

"I actually traveled beside that river but upstream in the Fagaras mountains (from Curtea de Arges to Victoria) - it's dammed further upstream about 20 km before you cross the Transfagarasan pass at Lake Vidraru. So I didn't see the polluted part of it. There are lots of places in Romania which leave a lot to be desired in terms of concern for the environment. You see a lot of plastic just strewn everywhere - especially bottles and shopping bags etc. I can imagine after winter when the snow melts and runs off a lot of that plastic & rubbish ends up in the rivers."

We must remember that this video only shows the flowing surface of the Arges river, and at best, we can only imagine what types of habit destructing chemicals may also be fettered within it. I think its likely that we may have forgotten that there are enormous ranges of petro-chemical plastic bottles floating around the rivers and oceans everywhere, huh ?

Via: The Presurfer

Monday, 26 October 2009

Descending a Spiral Escalator

There aren't many spiral escalators in the world. The video here gives us a panoramic view of traveling down one in Caesar's Palace Forum Shops, in Las Vegas.

Possibly the first spiral escalator appeared in London 1909, but was apparently scraped before completion, according to Tom Hall's blog.

One of the few and most remarkable spiral escalator installations in the world is the one found in Yokohama Minato Mirai, engineered  by the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation which has developed and manufactured successful commercial designs since the 1980s.

Spiral and or curved escalators would seem to offer unique panoramic views of any building that has large open  interior atrium airspaces.

See more curved, spiral and curiosity escalators at LifeintheFastLane, blog.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Sand Bubbler Crabs

This neat little video by a holidaying  Stretta at Langkawi, Malaysia and and his equally fastidious authored description, simply blows me away!

"One morning, on the beaches of Langkawi, Malaysia, I noticed fractal-like patterns in the sand. At first I thought it was caused by an impression of seaweed, but upon closer inspection, the patterns were convex, not concave - in fact - the patterns were hundreds of tiny little spheres of sand. There was always at least one clear path to a hole in the sand. If I stayed still long enough, eventually these tiny little crabs - about the size of a fingernail - climbed out of the holes and began their work.

The crabs are so small, that it is actually fairly difficult to observe what they're doing with the naked eye. This seemed like a good opportunity to try capturing video with my macro lens. I didn't have a tripod, so I found a piece of driftwood and rested the camera on it, laying down prone behind it.

I'd never personally seen anything like it before. These are
Sand Bubbler Crabs and they're sifting through huge amounts of sand in search of detritus. The waste sand builds on their head and they kick off the ball before they can't see over it."

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Stoked by Suzuki's carbon free mobility effort

There's no doubt that fuel cell powered electric motor vehicles look to offer another positive conduit forward for consumer interurban mobility. The first of Suzuki’s carbon free cars, the SX4 will be released 2010 are electric powered fuel cell vehicles and according to Gizmag;

"Suzuki’s carbon free mobility effort at the Tokyo Motor Show used three existing models to demonstrate the benefits of its growing hydrogen fuel cell expertise: the SX4 fuel cell car, a two-wheeler based on the existing Burgman 125 feet-forward enclosed scooter, and the fuel cell powered Mio Electric Wheelchair. Although Suzuki also showed a plug-in hybrid version of the Swift, another existing car being adapted to a future power train, the company is clearly staking a claim in the Fuel Cell technology arena."

Yes, I'm mostly impressed by Suzuki's fuel cell powered Mio Electric Wheelchair, which..

"employs a direct methanol fuel cell that directly supplies methanol to the cell for reaction along with a large-capacity Li-ion secondary battery. The wheelchair can run 40 km or more with one recharge (4 L) of methanol solution. It allows easier handling because there is no need to recharge from the mains power source."

How cool and convenient is that ?

Friday, 23 October 2009

The Dyson Air Multiplier; a blade-less Fan

Usually, fans create a cool stream of air by chopping and pushing air, with angled, rotating blades. The Dyson Air Multiplier, by contrast, blows just a single sheet of air, from a thin opening towards the rear of its circular wing. The Air Multiplier hides the blower in the base, forcing the air through a ring of vents which are aerodynamically contrived to "multiply" the strength of its airstream.

The Dyson Air Multiplier appears likely becoming the new symbol for cool or staying cool in an ever increasing global warming world, except to say the 10" fan may not be so cool at $300US. Nevertheless the benefits override the cost of this invention, in that the fan needs no safety grill, and what few parts there are can be easily cleaned. It runs on a small motor, and airflow can be fully regulated with a dimmer switch. It tilts and oscillates, and can be set on a continuum of speeds with a dial on the front.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

See You Nowhere

Yes, I look everywhere, as it were,  and See You Nowhere as the creator of this video, Powski consciously moves our mind to unwind.

The music piece is by Kraken

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

eWaste Diy Wind Generator Demo Test

If your a Diy minded person or just curious about how it could be possible to produce a hugely efficient Wind Turbine Generator then this video may strike a chord.

Clean Republic  demonstrates the testing of the generator component of a wind turbine by employing the resourceful use of magnets  from old or dead hard drives. Take note the magnets used in computer hard drives are of the highest quality magnets available.

Clean Republic's home built electricity magnet generator alternator turbine using eWaste hard drives tests, reveal; At 90 rpm the device generates 15 volts AC at one watt and at 600 rpm generates 55 volts at 15 watts. This little demonstration provides great pause for thought and may encourage greater individual and community involvement in creating our own Carbon Neutral energy systems!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Awesome: The Electronic Popable Book

The High-Low Tech group at the MIT lab led by Jie Qi with assistance from Leah Buechley and Tshen Chew are developing tools that democratize engineering. Here in this video, they have created  an electronic pop-up book that explores the integration of paper, electronics, mechanics, and computation. Their book uses traditional pop-up paper book mechanics which also integrates modern paper-based electronics for more “dynamic interactivity.”

"We believe that the future of technology will be largely determined by end-users who will design, build, and hack their own devices, and our goal is to inspire, shape, support, and study these communities. To this end, we explore the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design."

And, hey presto the crafty popup books of our childhood's learning and playing, become live exciting interactive sculptures that satisfies "the kid", left in all of us.

Inspirational mention.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Airpod a car fuelled by Air

Airpod is a car that runs 200 miles on compressed air. The video here shows the engineer inventors, revealing the unique value of a pollutant free green transport system.

The Airpod seems to be, at first appearance, in this video, of the production model, a 3 wheeled buggy or half a car, but it actually runs on four wheels the two at the front are very close together.

Everything about this Carbon neutral automobile is unusual. Steering is done with a joystick, and the only doors open to the front and back. The two passenger seats are rear-facing and can be replaced with a cargo space. Drivers recharge their air supply in eight hours by plugging the car into electricity outlets, or by going to special 'air stations' where the process takes only 2 minutes.

Read more about the amazing engineering of the Airpod, here.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Mucus Blobs posing Health threat

Hey folks, this looks a tad disgusting and really bad.

"These Mediterranean mucilage's can harbor harmful viruses and bacteria like E Coli. First, we have an E. Coli scare in the Michigan State cafeterias, now the Mediterranean sea. What next?"

Go visit the Life iz Good blog for the full story

Friday, 16 October 2009

Unravelling the Human Genome

As we learn in the video the human genome contains some 25,000 genes. . But, hey: Where did they come from? and How are new genes formed?

However to peer more into current research, Sciencedaily reports:

"Scientists have deciphered the three-dimensional structure of the human genome, paving the way for new insights into genomic function and expanding our understanding of how cellular DNA folds at scales that dwarf the double helix."

And that a new dimension for genome studies emerges

"By revealing the 3-D structure of DNA, scientists explain how it manages to stay untangled. The findings could also help reveal how cells regulate their genes."

Sure helps fry the brain, huh?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

10GUI a conceptual multi-touchpad for desktop

10/GUI aims to reinvent desktop human-computer interaction, with a 10 finger hierarchical navigation trackpad.

"This video examines the benefits and limitations inherent in current mouse-based and window-oriented interfaces, the problems facing other potential solutions, and visualizes my proposal for a completely new way of interacting with desktop computers. Over a quarter-century ago, Xerox introduced the modern graphical user interface paradigm we today take for granted.That it has endured is a testament to the genius of its design. But the industry is now at a crossroads: New technologies promise higher-bandwidth interaction, but have yet to find a truly viable implementation."

I just wonder if using this device would be a bit fatiguing to be 'finger painting' for 8 hours every day !

Perhaps your interested in reading and or participating in the prolific discussion about it, then read.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


is a fun loop experiment by Donato Sansone with music collaboation of
Sound Designer / Music Producer / Psychologist Enrico Ascoli

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

HEPAV : amphibian velomobile

 HEPAV is a recumbent Human Powered Electric Amphibious Vehicle with electric assist linear pedaling and was invented as a one off by David Buchwaldek from the Czech Republic

Unlike most velomobiles, the HEPAV has hydraulic steering, is enclosed for aerodynamic advantage and protection from weather and collisions. In the video we see the HEPAV velomobile drive into the water, but appears to experience difficulties returning to land, and is likely a feature that needs to be improved since David  "envisions the HEPAV being used as a sustainable personal transport for residents of close-together islands -- even as a method of crossing the English Channel." (from Treehugger)

Unfortunately, it’s very expensive and labor-intensive to build that mass-production doesn't appear to be likely without a serious investor. Nevertheless we can view more pictures of the HEPAV  from the building process to the completed model on David's website, or view many more recumbent bicycles here, and/or read the Wired article.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

White Zombie: Electric Vehicle Dragster

Plasma Boy or John Wayland has been challenging the petrol head dragsters, with an unassuming electric car, a transformed 1972 Datsun 1200 coupe since 1996 and seems to have beaten many a dragster at the track. In the video, he reveals the secret, In electric vehicles, torque is instant whereas combustion engines rely on acceleration through which torque incrementally increases,  no matter how fast the motor revs, torque is gradual.

On the racing line and with the line lock engaged, the front brakes are held on to keep the car stationary while heating up the traction tires, and at the green light an advanced DC 9 inch motor and a 5 speed transmission triggers up the power train to instant full speed.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Trippy 8-bit trip

This wacky stop-motion animation took more than
1500 hours of moving lego bricks and is  by Space Control
who are Daniel Larsson and Thomas Redigh.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Piano spiels out Proclamation ...

of the European Environmental Criminal Court at the World Venice Forum 2009. Although the narration is in German, the piano re-sounds it in English, as are the subtitles.

Miro Markus, an elementary school student from Berlin, narrated the text for the performance. Then Austrian composer Peter Ablinger transferred the frequency spectrum of the child's voice to his computer controlled mechanical piano.

"Ablinger's intriguing setup breaks down the sound of a recording into voice "pixels" that can be replicated using the pitches available on a piano, then plays the recording back using mechanical actuators to press the piano keys." from

Note whilst watching the video, its worth reading the subtitling, as it helps to clarify the human voice with the sound from the piano. The striking of the hammers on the strings and the fading of the volume creates the auditory "illusion" of fricative consonants, the tones and pitches create the rest.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

The Chameleon Guitar

"so named for its ability to mimic different instruments -- is an electric guitar whose body has a separate central section that is removable. This inserted section, the soundboard, can be switched with one made of a different kind of wood, or with a different structural support system, or with one made of a different material altogether. Then, the sound generated by the electronic pickups on that board can be manipulated by a computer to produce the effect of a different size or shape of the resonating chamber."

This guitar is from out there land and may one day leave the engineering studio as a fully purchasable product, not at least for another 4 or 5 years. Nevertheless it may be worth understanding the difference between The Chameleon and the Roland Virtual Guitar.

According to blogger Ed Driscoll, The Roland VG is a guitar synth that imitates only electronic sounds which requires a certain kind of pickup permanently installed on the guitar, jacked into externally boxed processor modules..

The Chameleon is elegant and reliant on a physical shape inserted into the body, an interactive surgical duty by the player, with sound emitting electro-acoustically from the inserted panel of the guitar. According to its inventors The Chameleon will likely one day also have an on-board computer, making it a self contained instrument with a repertoire of replaceable "soundboards" - birthing a physical heart, virtual body guitar.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

David de Rothschild; heading for Sydney on a plastic bottle boat !

Eco adventurer David de Rothschild is in the process of building a boat made entirely of recyclable plastics with the technology needed to sail 10000 miles across the Pacific.

"A highlight of the trip will be a visit to a region of floating plastic trash and particles known as the Eastern Garbage Patch. De Rothschild and his team will collect water samples to study and, using a satellite phone, post photographs and video clips on the Web site of Adventure Ecology, an environmental organization that he founded. His goal is to call attention to the perils of ocean polluting and to suggest a solution: waste as a resource" read on

Here, in this video de Rothschild and members of the crew talk about the building of the boat, at Pier 31 in San Francisco, California, using compressed co2 gas inside plastic drink bottles for the hull.

I hate to think that this vessel doesn't break up during a hurricance,cyclone or stormy weather. He does however say in an interview, that;

"when we all arrive safely in Sydney, finger’s crossed, the entire vessel will be broken up and each element wherever possible will be up-cycled into another product or developed into another use. It would entirely defeat the purpose of the expedition if we were to dock and leave the boat to the chipper."

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Cherry Twitters

Doug and Jon, on The Doug and Jon Show
discuss Twiddling and Clogging

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Chlorophyll Skin

is a collaborative project by Lucy McRae and Mandy Smith and is an experiment into color, movement, absorption and the body. The video alludes to an architectural bioengineering of the body withe aid of a color dyed harmless chemical.

"Chlorophyll is considered a powerful plant food source with numerous health benefits.  In short, it enables the body to rid itself of bacterial growth that can cause body odor and bad breath.  It is believed to boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract. Chlorophyll is often included in breath mints, gums and mouthwashes because of its breath freshening properties." Source

According to Lucy McRae, she straddles the world of fashion, technology and the body, and since having been trained as a classical ballerina and an architect, and with this video she now appears to have begun creating media art.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

CueLight 'interactive' pool table

"the limited Edition Obscura CueLight projection system that turns a game of pool into an amazing interactive art display. Obscuras projection, sensor and tracking system reveals images and animations that follow the movements of the pool balls as players hit them around the table."  Pink Ninja

Whilst playing pool on this table might be a stunning experience for some, it looks to provide a very distracting element for the less than brilliant pool player !

So if you happen to be in the vicinity of either the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas or Esquire's SoHo "Ultimate Bachelor Pad," then don't forget to take a video camera.

As for the rest of us, we can go see some more exemplary work from Obscura Digital.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Self-playing fantastic instrument

is a computer generated mechanical ensemble animation.

The video "Resonant Chamber" is from Animusic's second DVD.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Desktop UFO and Cellscope

is really a computer graphics animation of a ufo transforming into a cell phone.

But then, here is a cell phone that transforms into a microscope:

"In rural areas and developing countries, clinics often lack them equipment and staff for up-close evaluations of malaria, parasites, blood diseases and skin conditions. The Cellscope is a 5x to 60x microscope attachment for cameraphones that takes photos of skin and blood cells and transmits the images to experts for diagnosis. It was successfully tested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August and could soon be used by cancer patients in the U.S. to take white-blood-cell counts at home."

read more

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