Monday, 31 May 2010

Balloon sweeps illusionary path through Dyson Air Multiplier Fans

Engineers at Dyson were asked to demonstrate how something can be induced and made to sweep through the airflow path of the Dyson Multiplier fan.

The engineers carried out numerous experiments with different sized balloons and other objects to produce this mildly entertaining video.

The video however was constructed from a large number of trial and error attempts which in the final edit creates an illusion that the path the balloon takes through the fans is an induced continuous airflow.

Nevertheless, if you watch the almost soundless video closely, the balloon is sucked from behind and to the side of the fan and this is, as the engineers describe, an example of "inducement and entrainment at work."

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Toshiba AirSwing Interactive Hand gesture Mall displays

At the Embedded Systems Expo, Toshiba presented AirSwing. A user interface that can be operated via a camera built into a display through which it places a semitransparent image of the user within a superimposed menu allowing instant feedback to where the users are within the interface.

A significant feature of the AirSwing is that the image processing is handled with software which amazingly uses less than 4% of cpu resources while the equipment is running.

The system works by interpreting a combination of the users hand gestures and movements and since the interface is relatively simple and easy to, the displays are anticipated being installed in malls and shopping arcades.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Eating Raw Crayfish contracts severe parasitic infection

Have you consumed any raw crayfish from rivers or streams lately ? You might be wondering why your experiencing fever, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath and or extreme fatigue, then your most likely to have caught a very rare and severe parasitic infection, known as paragonimiasis.

Doctors have recently diagnosed a rare parasitic infection in six people who had consumed raw crayfish from streams and rivers in Missouri.  Washington University infectious diseases specialist Gary Weil, MD, professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology, who has treated some of the patients, believes that many other people out there, may have contracted the disease.

Consuming almost any type shell or crab or crayfish from fresh water rivers and streams will likely contract an infection via a half inch (8cm) oval shaped parasitic worm that travels down ones intestines to the lungs. Worse still it could continue travelling to the brain causing severe headaches or vision problems, or under the skin, appearing as small, moving nodules.

Some patients experienced a buildup of fluid around the lungs and around the heart. One patient even had his gallbladder removed, to no avail. The infection is generally not fatal, and is easily treated if properly diagnosed. But the illness is so unusual that most doctors are not aware of it. Nevertheless once the disease has been diagnosed, treatment is easily managed with tabs of praziquantel and recovery takes hold within a few days.

Although Crayfish are common throughout North America, where hundreds of species live in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds there are other variant strains of the disease throughout East Asia, South america and Africa.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Argonaut Octopus: the submarine airship

Two Museum Victoria researchers look to have solved a mystery about the Argonaut octopus that has kept scientists since Aristotle deep in pursuit of working out why it has a shell.

Octopus expert Mark Norman and research biologist Julian Finn have discovered that the female Argonaut uses its shell to collect air from the surface to use as ballast in the waters below. The female octopus creates a shell by secreting calcium carbonate from one of its arms
around herself after mating with the tiny male, whose tentacle penis breaks off and remains in the female. The thin white brittle shell that forms is called the paper nautilus.

Finn and Norman filmed and photographed live animals in the act of trapping their air bubbles into their shell and using it to control very precisely their movement as it weaves its way through the ocean like a tiny submarine. The researchers are continuing to collect data about the Australian species and openly invite your participation with details about how you could help them.

The video we see here was shot by Yasushi Okumura, Japan Underwater Films.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

How can you see a color that you can't see?

Robert Krampf or thehappyscientist demonstrates in this video how we can use our cell phone to see colors normally invisible to our sight and shares some other nifty tricks with his remote control.

You may be surprised to learn that the first person to conceive of the remote control occurred in 1893 by Nikola Tesla in U.S. Patent 613809. During world war one German scientists exploited this patent and were the first to invent remote controlled motorboats. The first popular consumer use, however, emerged with remote controlled garage doors in the late 1940’s.

But radio Engineer Eugene Polley of the Zenith Radio Corporation is credited with creating the first wireless TV remote that could mute the sound and he worked in collaboration with Dr. Robert Adler who is attributed with the invention of the first commercial production in 1956 of the TV Remote Control who designed The Space Command based on ultrasonics.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Time Lapse video: Inflating the World's Largest Airship

The (silent) video  below shows the first inflation test of E Green Technologies new Bullet 580 Airship at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, Alabama.

The airship, is 235' long by 105' in diameter, making it the largest operating airship in the world. The Bullet 580 has a unique design of seven internal helium envelopes that control lift while the outer envelope is completely non-rigid and contained with simple ambient air.

The Bullet has five times the lift capability of conventional airships and can hover, spin and rotate on an axis, and no longer require wind to maintain stability. The airships are green fueled by algae and/or diesel with later versions to run on a hybrid electric engine. Test flights for the craft will begin in early summer, 2010.

They look like becoming a cheaper alternative to satellite surveillance since there is no currently efficient manned or unmanned system for mid- or high- altitude and long duration flight, between 50,000-75,000 feet with the capability to stay airborne for weeks to months, providing a stable sustainable platform. They also look like proving invaluable for disaster relief, remote sensing, communications, missile defense warning and weather monitoring.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Hydra: A Carbon Free mobile water purification system

is an on-site self fueled, solar-powered hydrogen fuel cell system or more specifically revolutionary next-generation mobile power plant and water purification solution. a single trailer-mounted device that converts undrinkable and or polluted water into over 20,000 gallons or 75,708 litres of pure water a day, stores electricity better than a battery, makes medical-grade oxygen, and runs on the sun.

The inventors Brad Carlson and David Squires, demonstrate in the video how it can be flown in by helicopter, dropped by parachute, or delivered on the back of a pickup truck to almost anywhere in the world

This amazing system is probably the most useable water purification solution for the more than over one billion people in the world today who do not have clean drinking water. It would also prove invaluable for those who experience impromptu natural phenomena like earthquakes and other extreme natural disasters.

Visit their company's website The Essential Element to learn more.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Kutiman's Craftsman Music Experiment

Here is a cool video mix from Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, an Israeli musician and producer who massage edited  together sounds from Craftsman's tools.

I think its worth pointing out that: No musical instruments were used in producing this clever media art piece.

Kutiman looks to have killed the video star with his revolutionary music creation technique,  and largely due to his first video getting over a million views he's likely to have become the first music star to have been gifted on Twitter !

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Gorgonian or creeping bush

is an amazing animal that has the appearance of a plant and is known as the Gorgonian, or more commonly referred to as a sea whip or sea fan.

Its branching rays resemble the head of mythical monsters - the Gorgon, with snakes instead of hair. Hence it got its name.

The Gorgonian feeds on small particles of plant and animal organisms or their excreta, and is found throughout the tropics and subtropics and therefore is likely one of the marine species currently under threat by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico ?

You may not find the music track of the video very appealing and it seems somewhat unusual if not down right obtuse to the listing glide of the fonds of the sea fan, but you can simply turn the sound off !

Read more about the Gorgonians here.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Security Risk of Office Photocopiers

CBS news recently compiled a report, that reveals a startling finding about  security risks contained in digital office photo-copiers.

As we can see in the video, office copying machines contain hard disks that store an image of every page ever copied by the copier. This means that all copies ever made on one of these machines remains intact

One wonders if identity thieves are busily buying up old laser printers from auctions in order to tap into the treasure trove of personal information about employees, clients, company trade secrets, bank account details or anything and everything that was ever copied ?

This means at the very least, if your business is planning on reselling your machine you may want to talk to your vendor about replacing the hard drive !

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Gulf Oil Volcano devastation grows at an alarming rate

Alabama resident John Wathen together with volunteer pilot Tom Hutchings, from the Facing South and the Institute for Southern Studies made a flyover video over the area where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank.

This polluting environmental disaster of unimaginable proportions, will no doubt go down as the largest and worst oceanic oil and gas spill ever - the gulf appears to be bleeding a red mass of floating goo. One estimate suggests "that the volume coming out of the hole is in the order of 4 barrels per second (around 350,000 barrels per day." And to think, a $500,000 switch could have prevented this, phew !

But wait there's more - The Natural Gas emissions are astounding as well.

"The Natural Gas doesn't just bubble to the top of the ocean and release into the air. It is absorbed into the water, like air is absorbed, and actually creates oxygen depletion. Hence, the emission of natural gas of these volumes into the sea is producing a significant area of Oxygen depleted water in the Gulf of Mexico which may be very large threat to fisheries and other wildlife in the area." VIA

As you watch the close up video of the hole remember the pipe is 5 feet in diameter. Watching this makes me shudder with disbelief, and shudder even more wondering if the hole could Embiggen anymore ?

Hey, without wishing to be alarmist, but what is going to happen when the hurricane season emerges ? Maybe help create habitat destruction of an immense order ?

Read more of the latest stories about the Mexican Gulf oil spill here.

But if you thought that this horrific accident was the first by BP oil, than think again. Science & Soul one of my blog roll friends shares with us his insightful history of the environmental diasters that BP oil has in the recent past, festooned upon the American continent.

Friday, 14 May 2010

FLIP: a unique marine research ship

is a ship that can operate in a horizontal or vertical position. FLIP (FLoating Instrument Platform) is a 355 feet long open ocean research ship designed to partially flood and pitch backward 90 degrees, resulting in only the front 55 feet of the vessel pointing up out of the water.

The novel vessel was invented more than 40 years ago by two Scripps scientists, Drs. Fred Fisher and Fred Spies, who needed a more quiet, stable place than a research ship to study how sound waves behave under water.

Apart from FLIP, all other ships bob up and down and roll side to side. Even when their engines are turned off, a ship's experimental equipment makes noise as it is heaved up and down in the water. When FLIP is in its vertical position it is both extremely stable and quiet.

Researchers study with the assistance of FLIP; The way water circulates, how storm waves are formed, how seismic waves move, how heat is exchanged between the ocean and the atmosphere, and the sound made underwater by marine animals.

Since its inception, without fail, FLIP  has been used in over 300 operations worldwide, and it is currently owned by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Panorama: Biennale of Sydney 2010 opening party

Last evening the 17th Biennale of Sydney launched one of the most ambitious programs in its 37-Year history which is presented free to the public from 12 May until 1 August 2010 at seven venues across the heart of the city.

Here, Peter Murphy has captured a panorama of the opening party that took place in the Turbine Hall on Cockatoo Island.

Peter's panorama features a few of famous Chinese artist Cao Gu0-Quiang's large installation of “exploding” cars hanging from the interior of the roof, first seen at the Gugenheim in this little video.

The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, Biennale  exhibition presents more than 440 works by 166 artists and collaborators from 36 countries, making it the largest exhibition ever staged by the Biennale of Sydney in its 37-year history. Read more.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Paul Dateh’s entertaining Violin Mashup

Paul Dateh has taken a couple of pop songs from the recent iTunes Top 40 list, mashed them together, and played them back with his skilful violin playing and his harmonious voice.

The music covered in this mashup were: Lady Gaga's Telephone; Ke$ha's Blah Blah Blah
Rihanna's Rude Boy and Usher's OMG.

If you like the mashup visit his site and download it for free.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Rogue Satellite, Galaxy 15 on a path of havoc

The satellite has not responded to commands since solar flares fried its CPU in April, and it won't shut down.  Thus it is likely to interfere with other satellites as it crosses their orbital slots on its way to an earth-sun Lagrange point, the natural final destination of a geostationary satellite without manoeuvring power.

The satellite looks to becoming Zombiefied, a satellite term for a failed satellite in orbit.

"Galaxy 15 is continuing on an orbital path occupied by C-band satellite AMC-11 operated by SES World Skies. Its still-operational payload could cause interference with the SES satellite for two weeks starting around May 23, according to estimates." via

Satnews, counters this claim; "There has been no immediate service interruption to customers, and based on current technical information, no service interruption is expected for the media customers on this satellite"

However the video here gives us a clearer account of possible interference outcomes of the rogue satellite.

I have, until now expected most satellites would include a backup control system, after all, aren't most of these sophisticated objects that sail out beyond human physical boudaries  multimillion dollar investments ?

Monday, 10 May 2010

The Protoss Star Formations, animation

is a short imagined astronomical 3D galactic star formation fly- though made by Matthias Müller for a sci-fi Starcraft 2 gaming video contest.

I recommend you watch this video in full screen mode to appreciate this beautifully conceptualised imaginary part of the universe.

Matthias Müller, created this cool animation using the following software tools:

3ds max, Fumefx, Particle flow + box#3, Krakatoa and composited it in After Effects.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Jane Goodall reflects on her life's work

Since Primatologist,  Jane Goodall in 1960 observed a chimpanzee trimming a blade of grass and poking it into a passage in a termite mound to extract his meal, humans could no longer claim to be the only tool-making species. Her findings led scientists to redefine how they looked at the relationship of humans, chimps and other animals.

"Now, looking back, I am struck at how much they resemble us: their gestures, elaborate cooperation, the relationships of families. There is not a sharp line dividing us from the animal kingdom. It is blurry and getting blurrier." 

Goodall worked largely in isolation until 1986 when at a conservation conference in Chicago, she realized that the fate of the chimps was tied to larger problems: habitat destruction, human population growth, poverty, demand for natural resources, intensive farming, illegal poaching for meat, pets and medical research.

Its likely that Goodall witnessed chimpanzee's, as this video shows, fishing for termites by taking and modifying twigs to fish for termites within their hard nests.


The Jane Goodall Institute

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Aye-aye; Endangered Species

Aye-ayes are found only on the island of Madagascar. These quirky looking creatures may not look like primates at first glance, but they are related to chimpanzees, apes, and humans.

Aye-ayes are dark brown or black and are distinguished by a bushy tail that is larger than their body. They also feature big eyes, slender fingers, and large, sensitive ears. Aye-ayes have pointed claws on all their fingers and toes except for their opposable big toes, which enable them to dangle from branches.

The video shows an aye aye finding wood-boring insect larvae moving under the bark by tapping on the tree, listening for hollow sounds, then breaking the bark with its jaws and  uses its longer middle fingers as tools to extract its tucker.

Although the aye-aye, are now protected by law, they have become critically endangered, because of two main reasons. The local native population believe coming across one of these unique primates means they have been cursed with an omen of ill luck. The native folk law dictates, that the bad luck disappears only upon slaughtering the critter. Secondly as in many developing third world countries with an expanding population, forests are felled for cash and to create more cultivation opportunities.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Ball Balancing Robot

Takaya Ochiai  and his teacher, Masaaki Kumagai from the Robot Development Engineering Lab, Japan, engineered this remote controlled robot that carry's out profound acts of manoeuvrability and direction.

This amazing robot rides on a rubber coated bowling ball which is guided by three omni directional wheels which enables the robot to effortlessly turn to any direction and also to pivot around it’s own axis.

This technology will have an extremely large number of uses in the future.  It is compact and able to perform this motion with a single point of contact to the ground. One use I can think of is in a hospital that could be used to distribute medicines and other simple dispatches to bedridden patients.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Gou Miyagi: overground broadcasting skate video

is very close to the action of the skater interspersed with quick momentary animation sequences; The video is of Gou Miyagi's part from Overground Broadcasting a film by The Far East Skate Network. The video is mostly made by Takahiro Morita. The music is by Juzu a.k.a. Moochy with Snake Head Koza.

Surprisingly the video edit includes the skaters mistakes and accidents, as he trys over and over again to get each trick to work except for the very last circular tubing encounter. In all a fun and entertaining view for all.

You may like to read an in depth interview with Gou Miyagi, here.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Plastic Kills Sea Turtles & an Hawaiian beach disaster

As if the environmental disaster currently unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico weren't enough of a man made catastrophe then watching this shameful story of the havoc and horror we have created with our everyday use of plastic. Plastic bottles, plastic cups and tops, bags plastic packaging

Seriously. Plastic lasts forever. plastic never biodegrades. Yet we use untold amounts of it  to make disposable objects that we discard after a short period of time, sometimes just minutes, or a few hours. This is not merely hazardous and cruel to all marine species but contributes greatly to the more broader problem of habitat destruction on an immense scale.

And as if that weren't enough check out the recent BBC video report on how oceanic plastic debris is turning an Hawaiian beach 'into plastic'.

You may ask just how might the world turn this form of pollution and killing of wildlife around ? Well, fifty years ago, every glass bottle you bought at the shop could be exchanged for a little money, Thus one  idea we can almost put into immediate action, might be to put pressure on policy legislators to make every product consumed in plastic, refundable !

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Bimbo's Initiation + Nightlife by Amon Tobin

is an interesting adaption or marriage of convenience between a 1930's cartoon animation with the music track, Nightlife, by multidimensional musician, Amon Tobin. The animation and the music track so magically coalesce you might be forgiven for thinking that the tune was purposefully made  for this cartoon animation !

I frequently listen to diverse genres of music sourced from podcasts, web radio, youtube and other video portals. One has, only to check out my Blog Roll, down the left hand column of this page where you will see a few of them listed among my blogging friends.  The Pasithea show No.120, with Amon Tobin on solipsistic NATION inspired me and by chance or as luck would have it, found this unreal cartoon animation and am totally surprised by it's uncanny coincidence of mutual convenience.

The original cartoon animation (here) of Bimbo's Initiation,  was produced in 1931 by Max & Dave Fleischer and Tom Sutpen says of the animation;  "There's more joy and horror in these seven minutes than in all the latter-day cartoon emanations of the last quarter-century."

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