What do you do when you see a bus in the middle of the road? Drive through it, of course! Try that in America and you won’t be around to see the results, but China may have the answer.
The Chinese engineer firm, Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment, is hard at work on a new transportation system, called the ‘3D Express Coach’, that will allow road traffic to drive straight through their buses. This new bus design comes as a result of high traffic that has plagued China for some time now, to which the firm claims the 3D Express Coach will cut down on by 30 percent. The bus travels around 37 mph, and can transport over 1400 passengers.
Furthermore, to keep the risk of accident down, the 3D Express Coach will have alarms for cars travelling too close, or to signal when the bus is turning. As well as inflatable escape ladders à la the ones aboard airplanes to assist during emergencies. Construction on the 3D Express Coach will start later this year, with a pilot scheme in Beijing’s Mentougou District beginning in the meantime.
The future of stealthily cloaked super soldiers running around with nano machines injected in their bodies is closer than we think, thanks to Elena Semouchkina. Elena is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Tech, who has found a way to cloak objects by using carefully thought out materials and shapes to produce the magnetic resonance necessary to bend infrared light around objects.
While not yet able to do so in visible light, Elena’s team has found a way to cloak metallic cylinders using metamaterials made of chalcogenide glass. “Starting from these experiments, we want to move to higher frequencies and smaller wavelengths,” states one researcher.
While far from being perfected, Elena’s new theory in cloaking puts us in the ball park for a stealthy future. Perhaps we will bear witness to the implementation of the practical usage of cloaking devices in the near future. Solid Snake, eat your heart out.
Read More | MTU.Edu
In a recent announcement by India’s Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal, (who subsequently can now be referred to as ‘The Indian Steve Jobs’) an innovative tablet PC is headed for the market in 2011 - with a retail price of only 15 dollars! The remarkable device, dubbed Sakshat, is made with students in mind, acknowledging the problem of high cost devices essential to a higher education. Developed by the Indian Institute of technology and the Indian Institute of Science, Sakshat costs a mere $30 to manufacture. While even at such an astonishing price already, Sibal seems hopeful that it can be lowered to an unheard of $10.
Read More | IBN Live
Lockheed Martin has at least brought us into the era of exo-skeleton suits with their Human Universal Load Carrier, or ‘HULC’ for short. HULC works by transferring weight carried on the soldier to the ground by way of its titanium (sorry, no adamantium just yet) legs. While the exo-skeleton itself weighs about 53 pounds, it also manages to transfer its own weight so the user hardly notices the exo-suit is there. The suit is also tauted as having a wide range of natural movements, managed by an inboard computer that mirrors every movement of the wearer. This means that soldiers can run, jump, and crawl without being restricted by the exo-skeleton. HULC allows for the soldier to move heavy loads across rugged terrain without breaking so much as a sweat, hence the name ‘HULC’ (Hulk). We don’t know if this name was intentional, but the similarities are striking. Perhaps we can get some adamantium claws and regenerative shields too while we’re at it, Lockheed?
Check out a video after the break.
Earth Day 2010 is here, and the Discovery Channel Store has an amazing deal that we had to let you in on to celebrate the occasion—you can get both the Planet Earth series and the Life series as a Blu-ray set for $50. Shipping is $4, so for $54 total, you get both documentary series on Blu-ray, which would normally cost $169.90 in total. It’s basically a steal, the visuals are jaw-dropping, and it’s a bit more Earth Day-ish than Avatar.
Read More | Planet Earth + Life Deal
If you’re a child of the 80’s like me, some of your fondest memories revolve around movies like ‘Real Genius’ or Hughes-ian bits of brain candy like ‘The Breakfast Club’ or, better yet, ‘Weird Science’. Oh, for the halcyon days of wrist-watch calculators and pocket protectors—when nerds first began to rattle the bars of their cages and shout their skinny-armed superiority from atop a mound of servers—the true first days of ‘nerd-chic’. These beer-steins of science are hand-crafted from Pope Scientific bench top dewar flasks which should ring-true for any hard core science geeks out there and help you drink your way back to your childhood. So strap a bra to your head, fire a laser through the wall, and fill your favorite college prof’s house with popcorn. Then get trashed in the name of SCIENCE!!!!
Today, Touch International is releasing its Windows 7-compatible Multi-Touch Analog Resistive (MARS) Touch Screen Module. The MARS module supports 10-finger touch and is easily modifiable, featuring superior drift-free performance, outstanding optical clarity and a fast and accurate response time, it also allows for True Touch Gesture and palm rejection while working with bare/gloved/bear-gloved fingers or a pointing device. The MARS module can also transform to a virtual keyboard or even a touch-screen piano as well. Don’t worry, I’m sure that you can figure out a way to play Scrabble on Facebook with it as well. Just remember to wipe your hands before use, Cochise; can you imagine if you had to actually view a computer screen through the grime you’ve accumulated on your mouse pad? It would be like trying to look through frosted-glass, or the windshield on your moldy ‘82 Buick Regal. Don’t lie, we’ve seen you driving it.
What you see above is the highest resolution picture ever taken of planet Earth, recently uploaded to Flickr by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The images took months to piece together, using thousands of true-color images in an attempt to minimize cloud coverage in the final picture, providing a better view of the land masses.
This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. This record includes preview images and links to full resolution versions up to 21,600 pixels across.
You can see the images in larger resolution, as well as an alternate view, over on the Goddard Space Flight Center Flickr page.
Read More | Flickr
At TED 2010, Bill Gates gave a talk that laid out his vision and hope for the world’s energy future, citing the need for what may amount to a miracle to avoid planetary catastrophe, with the goal of zero carbon emissions across the globe by 2050. One of the more interesting, and most talked about, moments involves Bill take out a jar of fireflies (at last years talk, he used mosquitos) to make a point. Definitely a great video to take in, and it gives you a nice idea of what Mr. Gates is up to these days.
Regardless of how annoying he might be, David Blaine’s TEDMED talk on how he set the world record for holding his breath underwater for 17 minutes is pretty phenomenal. Definitely interesting to see the different ways he thought of to do it as an illusion, using various technological methods and DIY gadgets, before finally deciding that he would do it for real. This one is definitely worth watching, and also worth not trying at home. It’s kind of ridiculous.
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