Friday, February 26, 2010

World's Largest Solar Powered Yacht Unveiled

World's Largest Solar Powered Yacht Unveiled

Sunshine is all Raphael Domjan, the skipper of a catamaran-style yacht that sports some 5,382 square feet (500 square meters) of solar panels, will need to power the PlanetSolar.

The boat – nearly 102 feet long, almost 50 feet wide and standing 24-1/2 feet high (31 meters by 15 meters by 7.5 meters) was unveiled Thursday at the Knierim Yachtbau shipyard in the northern city of Kiel where it took 13 months to build.

The next step is the formal launching which is slated for April and, beyond that, said spokeswoman Christel Varone, are plans to take the yacht on an around the world journey in 2011.

The First Test That Proves General Theory of Relativity Wrong - A spinning top increases its weight much more than expected

The First Test That Proves General Theory of Relativity Wrong - A spinning top increases its weight much more than expected - Softpedia

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, a moving mass should create another field, called gravitomagnetic field, besides its static gravitational field. This field has now been measured for the first time and to the scientists' astonishment, it proved to be no less than one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein's General Relativity predicts.

A spinning top weights more than the same top standing still. However, according to Einstein's theory, the difference is negligible. It should be so small that we shouldn't even be capable of measuring it. But now scientists from the European Space Agancy, Martin Tajmar, Clovis de Matos and their colleagues, have actually measured it. At first they couldn't believe the result.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photo: Armadillo-like Crocodile Fossil Found in Brazil

Photo: Armadillo-like Crocodile Fossil Found in Brazil

An ancient crocodile with armadillo-like body armor (above, a reconstruction of the fossil in an undated picture) roamed the arid interior of Brazil about 90 million years ago, say researchers who found the fossil in Sao Paulo state."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Most Accurate, Highest Resolution Earth View to Date - Nasa

The Most Accurate, Highest Resolution Earth View to Date - Nasa - Gizmodo: "This is the most accurate, highest resolution true color image of planet Earth to date. And at 2048 x 2048 pixels, you should put it in your desktop background now. You can get America too:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wiimote-Controlled Robot Drum Circle Makes Human Hippies Obsolete

Wiimote-Controlled Robot Drum Circle Makes Human Hippies Obsolete | Popular Science

Each of the Wiimote buttons can control higher or lower tones on certain drums, while tiling down or up controls volume. Tilting the Wiimote to the side and holding down a button can increase or decrease the repeating beat, ranging from quarter notes to 32nd notes.

Dually wielded Wiimotes also allows Flanagan to reverse the drum patterns on two drum machines, speed up one drum machine faster than the other, and do other neat tricks that alter the rhythm. Music geeks and curious readers alike can check out a full explanation below.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IDC's new "skin-on-bone"-mimicking motorcycle helmet


IDC's new "skin-on-bone"-mimicking motorcycle helmet - Core77: "Traditionally, motorcycle helmets have been rigid in design. We needed to introduce a dynamic element of movement to dramatically reduce the rotational impact which often causes life-threatening injuries. On impact, the outer membrane is able to stretch and slide over the main helmet shell to prevent these dangerous rotational forces being transmitted to the head and brain.
...The revolutionary product design required careful selection of materials. A strong synthetic sits on top of the gel-like lubricant to form a protective layer across the surface of the helmet. State-of -the-art vacuum casting was used to create prototypes and the materials tested for resistance and strength. The chosen synthetic stretched up to eight times its original length."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Low IQ among strongest predictors of cardiovascular disease -- second only to cigarette smoking in large population study

Low IQ among strongest predictors of cardiovascular disease -- second only to cigarette smoking in large population study

While lower intelligence scores -- as reflected by low results on written or oral tests of IQ -- have been associated with a raised risk of cardiovascular disease, no study has so far compared the relative strength of this association with other established risk factors such as obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. Now, a large study funded by Britain's Medical Research Council, which set out to gauge the relative importance of IQ alongside other risk factors, has found that lower intelligence scores were associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease and total mortality at a greater level of magnitude than found with any other risk factor except smoking.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

TI stuffs WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and FM radios on a single chip

TI stuffs WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and FM radios on a single chip

"Heads-up, kids -- Mobile World Congress is but days away from liftoff, and it looks like Texas Instruments will be there with a purpose. The company has today introduced what it's calling the 'industry's first quad-radio single chip,' which throws 802.11n, GPS, FM transmit / receive and Bluetooth radios onto a single 65-nanometer WiLink 7.0 solution. Purportedly, this device reduces costs by 30 percent, size by 50 percent and bragging rights by 894 percent. The chip is currently sampling to OEMs with undisclosed names, which could mean that a prototype phone or two will be taking advantage in Barcelona. Fingers crossed."

Friday, February 05, 2010

Graphene Transistors 10 Times faster than Silicon Created by IBM

Technology Review: Graphene Transistors that Work at Blistering Speeds

"IBM has created graphene transistors that leave silicon ones in the dust. The prototype devices, made from atom-thick sheets of carbon, operate at 100 gigahertz--meaning they can switch on and off 100 billion times each second, about 10 times as fast as the speediest silicon transistors."

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I'm alive! 'Vegetative' patient speaks to scientists using his brainwaves

I'm alive! 'Vegetative' patient speaks to scientists using his brainwaves

SCIENTISTS have reached into the shuttered world of a "lost" brain-damaged patient and communicated with him via his thoughts.
The 29-year-old Belgian was able to answer "yes" and "no" to questions by conjuring up imaginary scenes while having his brain scanned.

The man was one of 23 patients diagnosed as being in a vegetative state and recruited for a three-year study by Medical Research Council (MRC) scientists in Cambridge and colleagues from the University of Liège in Belgium.

Its aim was to see if brainscans could detect signs of awareness in patients who were thought to be closed off from the world.

Functional magnetic resonance scanning (fMRI) was used to measure activity in "motor" and "spatial" brain regions while the patients were asked to imagine specific scenes.

The scans use magnetic fields and radiowaves to detect surges of bloodflow that accompany neural activity.

For the "motor" task, patients were asked to imagine standing still on a tennis court and swinging an arm to return balls from an instructor. To activate the "spatial" region, they had to imagine navigating the streets of a familiar city or walking from room to room in their home.

In four cases, the scans were able to detect activity in the appropriate brain region as the patients carried out the scientists' verbal instructions.

But one Liège patient who had produced reliable responses was singled out for an even more remarkable test. He was asked to use "motor" or "spatial" imagery as "yes" and "no" answers to questions. The patient responded accurately to five out of six autobiographical questions posed by the scientists.

On one occasion he was asked "Is your father's name Alexander?" and correctly answered "Yes" by imagining the tennis scene. When he was asked "Is your father's name Thomas?", he answered "No" by thinking about roaming streets or walking around the house.

"Not only did these scans tell us that the patient was not in a vegetative state but, more importantly, for the first time in five years, it provided the patient with a way of communicating his thoughts to the outside world."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

The liquid glass spray (technically termed “SiO2 ultra-thin layering”) consists of almost pure (, the normal compound in glass) extracted from quartz sand. Water or ethanol is added, depending on the type of surface to be coated. There are no additives, and the nano-scale glass coating bonds to the surface because of the quantum forces involved. According to the manufacturers, liquid glass has a long-lasting antibacterial effect because microbes landing on the surface cannot divide or replicate easily.

Liquid glass was invented in Turkey and the patent is held by Nanopool, a family-owned German company. Research on the product was carried out at the Saarbrücken Institute for New Materials. Nanopool is already in negotiations in the UK with a number of companies and with the National Health Service, with a view to its widespread adoption.

The liquid glass spray produces a water-resistant coating only around 100 nanometers (15-30 molecules) thick. On this the glass is highly flexible and breathable. The coating is environmentally harmless and non-toxic, and easy to clean using only water or a simple wipe with a damp cloth. It repels bacteria, water and dirt, and resists heat, and even acids. UK project manager with Nanopool, Neil McClelland, said soon almost every product you purchase will be coated with liquid glass.

Food processing companies in Germany have already carried out trials of the spray, and found sterile surfaces that usually needed to be cleaned with strong bleach to keep them sterile needed only a hot water rinse if they were coated with liquid glass. The levels of sterility were higher for the glass-coated surfaces, and the surfaces remained sterile for months.

Other organizations, such as a train company and a hotel chain in the UK, and a hamburger chain in Germany, are also testing liquid glass for a wide range of uses. A year-long trial of the spray in a Lancashire hospital also produced “very promising” results for a range of applications including coatings for equipment, medical implants, catheters, sutures and bandages. The war graves association in the UK is investigating using the spray to treat stone monuments and grave stones, since trials have shown the coating protects against weathering and graffiti. Trials in Turkey are testing the product on monuments such as the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara.

More from physorg

Kulula-air tries not to take itself too seriously

Kulula-air tries not to take itself too seriously

Someone there clearly has a sense of humor. The entire airplane is covered with details about the plane, including arrows pointing to the more interesting parts.

"The big cheese" describes the captain's window. An arrow points to the aircraft's registration, calling it the "Secret code."

Even the lav is pointed out, with the description, "Loo (or mile-high initiation chamber)."

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