Monday, 30 August 2010

Marcel the Shell with shoes on

is a hilariously entertaining animation directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp. Marcel is voiced (untreated & unenhanced) by a genius named Jenny Slate. Written by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp.

"Sometimes people say that my head is too big for my body, and then  I say compared to what ?"

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Multitouch robot swarm interface controller

Robotics science researcher Dr. Mark Micire of UMass Lowell has developed a multitouch control interface using a Microsoft Surface table together with some of Microsoft's Robot Developer Studio products.

The video here demonstrates some examples of the gestures being used to control swarms of robots for disaster response, search, and rescue.

Two thirds into the video we see what must be the most unbelievably cool and useful aspect to this interface - the intuitive tabletop joystick widget, called the DREAM Controller, directly underneath the users hand.

The cool music piece is by Peace Orchestra with Who Am I (Chateau Flight Mix), off the Reset album.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Insane number of Asteroids discovered since 1980

When viewing the animation below look at the lower left of the video window, it shows the survey beginning from 1980 with the number of known asteroids . As the video progresses through to 1990 we begin to see many more having been discovered, which is a definite outcome of technological innovation, that is, as automated sky scanning systems come online.

"Notice now the pattern of discovery follows the Earth around its orbit, most discoveries are made in the region directly opposite the Sun. You'll also notice some clusters of discoveries on the line between Earth and Jupiter, these are the result of surveys looking for Jovian moons.

At the beginning of 2010 a new discovery pattern becomes evident, with discovery zones in a line perpendicular to the Sun-Earth vector. These new observations are the result of the WISE (Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer) which is a space mission that's tasked with imaging the entire sky in infrared wavelengths." from the notes attached to the video.

Heck, wasn't that so dam daunting ?
But possibly no where as daunting as the stuff we've already left up there ?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Magazine Video Insert Advertisement

is embedded in the August issue of the Meredith Corporation edition of Successful Farming from Bayer Crop Science. The video here demonstrates a reader opening the magazine where we both hear and view an ad from Volivo about pesticide that protects from nematodes.

The way this video instantly plays, like quite a few ads on some websites where the viewer struggles to find the Sound Off button would likely register high on the general annoyance level ?

According to the Physics Today Blog the cost to the publisher of this insert per unit is;
"A production run of 1,000 of these displays for a marketing campaign would lead to a cost per unit of about $50" which informs us that in these early days of its use is for a special targeted group  or in this case about 4% of magazine subscribers. Read more

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Street Xylophone Orchestra Video

Captured by Nosferotu at Downtown, PDX

Monday, 23 August 2010

Akinori Ito invents a machine converting Waste Plastic into Oil

"it is estimated that 7% of the world’s annual oil production is used to produce and manufacture plastic. That is more than the oil consumed by the entire African continent. Plastic trash is also polluting our oceans and washing up on beaches around the world. Tons of plastic from the US and Japan are floating in the Pacific Ocean, killing mammals and birds."

Akinori Ito, CEO of Blest has invented a machine that turns plastic back into oil using temperature controlling electric heater. The interesting thing he says in the video is how he uses the machine to teach people that plastic is not waste, but a resource that can be reused.

"The machines are able to process polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene (numbers 2-4) but not PET bottles (number 1). The result is a crude gas that can fuel things like generators or stoves and, when refined, can even be pumped into a car, a boat or motorbike. One kilogram of plastic produces almost one liter of oil. To convert that amount takes about 1 kilowatt of electricity, which is approximately ¥20 or 20 cents’ worth. The company makes the machines in various sizes and has 60 in place at farms, fisheries and small factories in Japan and several abroad. Currently the smallest version, shown in the videobrief, costs ¥950,000 (US $9,500)."

Although Akinori Ito's machine seems to be a worthwhile invention, I do wonder whether using 650Wh of electricity to produce one liter of oil from 1kg of plastic is all that environmentally sustainable ?

Due to much interest in this technology and since posting this story the Japanese Blest company has further developed its technology. The machine demonstrated in the video above is now available to purchase for $12,700 plus tax, and they have also have added to 2 industrial scaled machines as well as two machines to refine the oil into useable gasoline. Click here to learn more.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Gyroscopically stabilized CD player in microgravity

Here we see NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit demonstrating gyroscopic spin stabilization with a CD player in microgravity on-board the International Space Station. Pettit floats several portable compact disc players in microgravity that are spinning and not spinning, and reveals something interesting.

This video was originally broadcast live from the International Space Station for the final episode of the Saturday Morning Science program in 2003.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Deep Zoom Through the Universe of a Mandelbrot Fractal

Mandelbrot fractals define a set of points in a complex plane, the boundary of which forms a fractal and is one of the best-known examples of mathematical visualization.

The graphics software animation here takes us on a journey from hugely large to the microscopically small. The opening frame represents the size of the visible universe (27.4 billion light years across). The image the doubles in size every three seconds until the end where we see the size of a single bacterium.

Music tracks are Tonu Su Tonu by Ivan Masa (pablo rez remix) and Soul Survivor by Solar Brothers featuring Sherry Dyanne (Moog Mix).

Friday, 20 August 2010

HumanCar: A Zero emission, human powered Electric Hybrid

This remarkably simple, carbon free car, the Imagine PS is in part powered with an electric motor, capable of 100 kph (60 mph) on the flat and 50 kph uphil.

"The hand-cranked low mass vehicle (LMV) was developed by engineer Professor Charles Samuel Greenwood, who has been working on human-powered vehicles for over four decades, and has now developed a street legal sedan version carrying four people. If the four people are all cranking, the vehicle can run solely on human power, but it is also an electric plug-in. The chassis can be adapted to different styles and different types of batteries and future technologies without needing to replace the car." read more

This electric hybrid  car has a kind of Flintstones aura about it, and will be available next year for a base price of $15,500, go to their website to place your order.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Super thin, really tough Gorilla Glass

Back in 1962, New York based glass manufacturer Corning, developed an amazing innovation in glass technology, an almost unbreakable glass, which at the time struggled to find a market.

Now however the tables have turned with the advent of a burgeoning demand for very thin break resistant glass used in an increasing list of mobile phones, e readers, TV and computer displays.

"Gorilla is two to three times stronger than chemically strengthened versions of ordinary soda-lime glass, even when just half as thick, company scientists say. Its strength also means Gorilla can be thinner than a dime, saving on weight and shipping costs." read more

The glass formerly called Chemcor but now renamed as Gorilla can be manufactured in wafer thin flexible rolls. The video here demonstrates the durability and strength of Gorilla Glass compared with 2 other types of of very thin glass sheets.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Armless Chinese pianist strikes an overwhelming chord

Liu Wei, a 23 years old armless pianist who lost his arms due to an electric accident when he was 10, performed on a "China's Got Talent Show".

His inspirational heart wrenching performance shows he overcame both physical and emotional handicaps  with extremely hard work, over stepping cramping and abrasion problems as he went to strike a perfect chord.

Although a powerfully enlightening story, upon closely watching and listening to the video several times I wondered if the makers of the show censored the original recording, or is this saying something about the quality of the video ?

Monday, 16 August 2010

Jaw dropping performance by Contact Juggler, Okotanpe

Japanese street artist Okotanpe, entertains us with his skillful co-ordination talent making an crystal sphere appear as is if its floating !

In case your curious the music piece that begins about a third of the way into the video is Soleil by Yoshie Nakara.

The sphere, Okotanpe is manipulating, is a crystal ball, likely obtainable from here.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Margot's Other Cat: Kinetic Sculpture by Arthur Ganson

In "Margot's Other Cat" a soaring chair is set in random motion by an unsuspecting cat.  The cat's motion is utterly stationary while the chair in a predetermined random way jumps over it.

The notes accompanying the YouTube video states:

"This machine was inspired by watching a randomly shaped object bouncing off the surface of a slow moving, reciprocating and irregularly shaped piston head on the moon. Of course anything is possible in the virtual world of the computer.

The doll house chair seems to be the perfect object to bounce nearly weightlessly over the unsuspecting cat. In this machine, the chair is passive and all motion is due to interference by the cat. The large disk at the back serves to both counterbalance the arm and give more mass to the chair itself. The motion of the chair is complex and will never repeat."

If you, as I, marvel at the pure genius of Ganson's creative engineering prowess, then you may like to hear him talk about his work and process.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

New Smart Vending Machine

With the advent of interactive touch-screen technology exponentially impregnating our daily social interactions that began with the iphone, new smart vending machines are now poised to enter the market for our highly  personalized convenience.

The video here introduces us to the smart vending machine that heat sinks our desires based on our age and gender via an an on-board camera. This new smart vending machine is powered by an embedded Intel Core processor.

These machines are controlled by a centralized server, and are equipped with sensors that recognize basic costumer information that provide suggestions alongside the list of available drinks.

Read more about the future of these machines here.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Intora Firebird: A Hydrogen Peroxide Helicopter

Seems to be a growing market in personal transport aircraft, like the Intora Firebird, a small one person helicopter that uses jet tip hydrogen peroxide rockets for propulsion. Rocket copters are supposed to be surprisingly easy to fly, with less vibration and improved stability, over their traditional cousins.

The video here explains all about this clever helicopter, except that you may need to dig around in here for the finer details.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Scientists solve the mystery of The Bermuda Triangle

Professor Joseph Monaghan and David May from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, have been researching the mystery of vanished ships and airplanes in The Bermuda Triangle, and now appear to have solved it.

"Oceanographic surveyors of the sea floor in the area of the Bermuda Triangle and the North Sea region between continental Europe and Great Britain have discovered significant quantities of methane hydrates. The methane—normally frozen at great pressure as gas hydrates embedded within subterranean rock—can become dislodged and transform into gaseous bubbles expanding geometrically as they explode upwards. When these bubbles reach the surface of the water they soar into the air, still expanding upwards and outwards.

Any ships caught within the methane mega-bubble immediately lose all buoyancy and sink to the bottom of the ocean. If the bubbles are big enough and possess a high enough density they can also knock aircraft out of the sky with little or no warning. Aircraft falling victim to these methane bubbles will lose their engines-perhaps igniting the methane surrounding them-and immediately lose their lift as well, ending their flights by diving into the ocean and swiftly plummeting." Source.

The video here shows what happens when bubbles of methane gas emitting from bottom of a glass of water sufficiently lower the density of the water causing the boat to sink.

While the science from the oceanographic survey and the video offers an insight to the exploding bubbles of methane gas, the photographic proof may take some time getting.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Solar Roadways: A visionary road surface

Scott Brusaw of northern Idaho is an environmental visionary who is aiming to build roadways using his solar roadway design of prefabricated glass solar panels embedded with photovoltaic solar cells and LED lights. The panels would be engineered to withstand the forces of traffic, that is, anything up to 40 tons of traversing truck.

Scott Brusaw outlines his entire concept and design within the the video here including taking into account the possibility of making drivers aware of ensuing road conditions ahead. All up its an amazing idea, not only does it get the energy from the roads, it opens up the opportunity to run power alongside the roadways, the power can go straight into the grid.

Read more and or visit his website, Solar Roadways.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Shark Whisperer trances a predator and holds it in his lap

Some people may view the subject of the video below as animal abuse but others may think that it's cute that a tenacious predator can be made docile, if only by an experienced shark whisperer from Cuba.

"After diving for 35 years, Dr. David E. Guggenheim, the "Ocean Doctor," takes his first dive with many sharks in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba as part of a collaborative research and conservation project. What he sees when he surfaces he still can't believe !"

The video was made as part of the ongoing research for the Ocean  Foundation by 1planet1ocean  which,

"is a nonprofit organization, founded to explore, restore and sustain the oceans through strong international partnerships, offering solutions to the problems our oceans face."

In case you weren't aware its Shark week, visit this page to make some cool shark portraits of yourself and or check out more video's about sharks.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Perpetuum Jazzle performing Africa from Toto

Perpetuum Jazzle is a very large A cappella group from Slovenia that produce dense harmonies and in the beginning of the video below use their hands and feet to simulate a thunderstorm to awe inspiring affect.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Hey, a Flying Car ! The Maverick Sport from Itec

Itec, or Indigenous People's Technology and Education center, is a non profit company, have developed what they coin The Maverick Sport, a flying car that anyone who can drive, and learn to fly, in just a few hours of tuition. 

Itec's zany but cool looking beach buggy flying car or iFly has passed all the legal tests and among the tech specs;  its Float capable, has Robust suspension for 'off roaring', Dual drive (transaxle or propeller) and can do Interstate speeds on road plus it has Proprietary mast and spar system that makes crosswind operations possible.

Thing to keep in mind though, their primary focus for their flying machine is for humanitarian use in frontier areas of the world.

Although the video is exciting, with some cool music by Andy Hunter and David Crowder, there's an awful lot that being glossed over, like correct me if I'm wrong but I don't recall seeing how one attaches and dismembers the parachute wing and its not clear how much runway one needs for lift and landing.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Marine Paintings Moviemorph

has created a delightful moviemorph and accompanying music track, of 14 oceanic paintings from the works of four seascape painters.

Here is the sequential list of painters and works in which they appear in the video.

0:03 Goerge Dmitriev    Moon and Sea
0:10 Ivan Aivazovsky     Bracing The Waves
0:15 Ivan Aivazovsky     Between The Waves
0:20 Ivan Aivazovsky     The Ninth Wave
0:25 Ivan Aivazovsky     Storm
0:30 Goerge Dmitriev    Moon and Sea
0:40 Thomas Moran      Sunset at Sea
0:44 Ivan Aivazovsky     The Billowing sea
0:50 Ivan Aivazovsky     Ships in a Storm
0:55 Goerge Dmitriev    Moon and Sea
1:05 Ivan Aivazovsky     Bracing The Waves
1:10 Ivan Aivazovsky     Between The Waves
1:18 Ivan Aivazovsky     The Ninth Wave
1:25 Ivan Aivazovsky     Storm

The accompanying music track is by Alicia7777777.

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