The wheel of the future is shaped like a cube
Changing the design of an object known by everyone on this planet is a tough exercise. Somehow, David Patrick has done it. The implementation of a snakelike sine-wave pattern into a vehicle movement is simultaneously obvious and brilliant. Also a fine proof for serendipity effects.
It only took a few thousand years, but someone has finally reinvented the wheel—and it actually works better than the original. Skateboarder David Patrick’s crazy SharkWheel was discovered by chance while he was creating a cube out of six soft pieces of piping. Patrick dropped the cube by accident, and to his amazement, the piece started rolling and it didn’t stop.
You’d think that a cube-shaped wheel would be completely counterproductive, but Patrick’s angular SharkWheel has proved to be smoother and faster than a conventional skateboard wheel. The magic appears to be in the materials and the helix-shape which makes it possible for the wheel to take on virtually any terrain at speeds that would not be seen with a traditional wheel. Moreover, the sine-wave pattern of the wheel’s treads reduce the surface area that makes contact with the ground, in turn reducing friction and speeding up rotation.
Shark Wheel Test Ride:
The River of Myths by Hans Rosling | #BillsLetter by GatesFoundation
TED2013: Raffaello D’Andrea - The astounding athletic power of quadcopters
In a robot lab at TEDGlobal, Raffaello D’Andrea demos his flying quadcopters: robots that think like athletes, solving physical problems with algorithms that help them learn. In a series of nifty demos, D’Andrea show drones that play catch, balance and make decisions together — and watch out for an I-want-this-now demo of Kinect-controlled quads. Roboticist Raffaello D’Andrea explores the possibilities of autonomous technology by collaborating with artists, architects and engineers.
Photographer clicks children and their toys around the world
What all children of the world have in common? The fact that all want to play with their toys. What are they different? The fact that they were born in different places of the world.
An interesting series created by Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti shows children and their toys around the world. What he discovered? Than in richer countries children were more possessive with their toys and the photographer took to organize the toys around him. While in poorer countries the situation did not happen.
Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degré, daughter of French wildlife photographers Alain Degré and Sylvie Robert, was born in Namibia. During her childhood she befriended many wild animals, including a 28-year old elephant called Abu and a leopard nicknamed J&B. She was embraced by the Bushmen and the Himba tribespeople of the Kalahari, who taught her how to survive on roots and berries, as well as how to speak their language.
Riding an ostrich like a fucking Chocobo.
Heracleion Photos: Lost Egyptian City Revealed After 1,200 Years Under Sea
It is a city shrouded in myth, swallowed by the Mediterranean Sea and buried in sand and mud for more than 1,200 years. But now archeologists are unearthing the mysteries of Heracleion, uncovering amazingly well-preserved artifacts that tell the story of a vibrant classical-era port.
Known as Heracleion to the ancient Greeks and Thonis to the ancient Eygptians, the city was rediscovered in 2000 by French underwater archaeologist Dr. Franck Goddio and a team from the European Institute for Underwater Acheology (IEASM) after a four-year geophysical survey. The ruins of the lost city were found 30 feet under the surface of the Mediterranean Sea in Aboukir Bay, near Alexandria.
A new documentary highlights the major discoveries that have been unearthed at Thonis-Heracleion during a 13-year excavation. Exciting archeological finds help describe an ancient city that was not only a vital international trade hub but possibly an important religious center. The television crew used archeological survey data to construct a computer model of the city (above, last image).
According to the Telegraph, leading research now suggests that Thonis-Heracleion served as a mandatory port of entry for trade between the Mediterranean and the Nile.
So far, 64 ancient shipwrecks and more than 700 anchors have been unearthed from the mud of the bay, the news outlet notes. Other findings include gold coins, weights from Athens (which have never before been found at an Egyptian site) and giant tablets inscribed in ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian. Researchers think that these artifacts point to the city’s prominence as a bustling trade hub.
Researchers have also uncovered a variety of religious artifacts in the sunken city, including 16-foot stone sculptures thought to have adorned the city’s central temple and limestone sarcophagi that are believed to have contained mummified animals.
For more photos, visit Goddio’s Heracleion website.
Experts have marveled at the variety of artifacts found and have been equally impressed by how well preserved they are.
“The archaeological evidence is simply overwhelming,” Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, a University of Oxford archeologist taking part in the excavation, said in a press release obtained by The Huffington Post. “By lying untouched and protected by sand on the sea floor for centuries they are brilliantly preserved.”
A panel of experts presented their findings at an Oxford University conference on the Thonis-Heracleion excavation earlier this year.
But despite all the excitement over the excavation, one mystery about Thonis-Heracleion remains largely unsolved: Why exactly did it sink? Goddio’s team suggests the weight of large buildings on the region’s water-logged clay and sand soil may have caused the city to sink in the wake of an earthquake.
PHOTO GALLERY: Lost city of Heracleion
From Legend to Reality
Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) is a city lost between legend and reality. Before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC, the city knew glorious times as the obligatory port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world. It had also a religious importance because of the temple of Amun, which played an important role in rites associated with dynasty continuity. The city was founded probably around the 8th century BC, underwent diverse natural catastrophes, and finally sunk entirely into the depths of the Mediterranean in the 8th century AD.
Prior to its discovery in 2000 by the IEASM, no trace of Thonis-Heracleion had been found. Its name was almost razed from the memory of mankind, only preserved in ancient classic texts and rare inscriptions found on land by archaeologists. The Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BC) tells us of a great temple that was built where the famous hero Herakles first set foot on to Egypt. He also reports of Helen’s visit to Heracleion with her lover Paris before the Trojan War. More than four centuries after Herodotus’ visit to Egypt, the geographer Strabo observed that the city of Heracleion, which possessed the temple of Herakles, is located straight to the east of Canopus at the mouth of the Canopic branch of the River Nile.
With his unique survey-based approach that utilises the most sophisticated technical equipment, Franck Goddio and his team from the IEASM, in cooperation with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, were able to locate, map and excavate parts of the city of Thonis-Heracleion, which lies 6.5 kilometres off today’s coastline. The city is located within an overall research area of 11 by 15 kilometres in the western part of Aboukir Bay. Franck Goddio has found important information on the ancient landmarks of Thonis-Heracleion, such as the grand temple of Amun and his son Khonsou (Herakles for the Greeks), the harbours that once controlled all trade into Egypt, and the daily life of its inhabitants. He has also solved a historic enigma that has puzzled Egyptologists over the years: the archaeological material has revealed that Heracleion and Thonis were in fact one and the same city with two names; Heracleion being the name of the city for the Greeks and Thonis for the Egyptians.
The objects recovered from the excavations illustrate the cities’ beauty and glory, the magnificence of their grand temples and the abundance of historic evidence: colossal statues, inscriptions and architectural elements, jewellery and coins, ritual objects and ceramics - a civilization frozen in time.
The quantity and quality of the archaeological material excavated from the site of Thonis-Heracleion show that this city had known a time of opulence and a peak in its occupation from the 6th to the 4th century BC. This is readily seen in the large quantity of coins and ceramics dated to this period.
The port of Thonis-Heracleion had numerous large basins and functioned as a hub of international trade. The intense activity in the port fostered the city’s prosperity. More than seven hundred ancient anchors of various forms and over 60 wrecks dating from the 6th to the 2nd century BC are also an eloquent testimony to the intensity of maritime activity here.
The city extended all around the temple and a network of canals in and around the city must have given it a lake dwelling appearance. On the islands and islets dwellings and secondary sanctuaries were located. Excavations here have revealed beautiful archaeological material such as bronze statuettes. On the north side of the temple to Herakles, a grand canal flowed through the city from east to west and connected the port basins with a lake to the west.
This is absolutely breathtaking. I’m literally speechless with chills from this video footage and photos. If anyone can find the documentary on this (in English, please), send it my way because I’d love to immerse myself in this excavation. The documentary is titled ‘Egypt’s Sunken City: A Legend Is Revealed’. So far, this is all Franck Goddio’s team has published as far as I know; yet, the documentary was produced by the Discovery Channel, so it has to be out there somewhere. Science team…assemmmmmmble…
Watercolors, markers and inverted in Photoshop.
Sebastian Eriksson 2013
A team of Australian industrial designers and scientists have unveiled their prototype for the world’s first bionic eye.
It is hoped the device, which involves a microchip implanted in the skull and a digital camera attached to a pair of glasses, will allow recipients to see the outlines of their surroundings.
If successful, the bionic eye has the potential to help over 85 per cent of those people classified as legally blind. With trials beginning next year, Monash University’s Professor Mark Armstrong says the bionic eye should give recipients a degree of extra mobility.
“There’s a camera at the front and the camera is actually very similar to an iPhone camera, so it takes live action for colour,” he told PM. “And then that imagery is then distilled via a very sophisticated processor down to, let’s say, a distilled signal.
“That signal is then transmitted wirelessly from what’s called a coil, which is mounted at the back of the head and inside the brain there is an implant which consists of a series of little ceramic tiles and in each tile are microscopic electrodes which actually are embedded in the visual cortex of the brain.”
Professor Armstrong says is it is hoped the technology will help those who completely blind, enabling them to navigate their way around.
“What we believe the recipient will see is a sort of a low resolution dot image, but enough… [to] see, for example, the edge of a table or the silhouette of a loved one or a step into the gutter or something like that,” he said.
“So the wonderful thing, if our interpretation of this is correct - because we don’t know until the first human trial - [is] it’ll of course enable people that are blind to be reconnected with their world in a way.
“There’s a number of different settings … so you could set it to floor mapping for example and it creates a silhouette around objects on the floor so that you can see where you’re going.”
A challenge the designers have had to overcome is ensuring the product was lightweight, adjustable and enabled users to feel good about themselves.
“We want to make it comfortable and light weight and adjustable so that different sized heads and shapes will still manage it well and have those sort of nice aspects,” Professor Armstrong said.
“We don’t want a Heath Robinson wire springs affair on somebody’s head.
“It needs to look sophisticated and appropriate, probably less like a prosthetic and more like a cool Bluetooth device.”
The first implant is scheduled to go ahead next year which is expected to be followed by clinical trials, research and user feedback to the team.
The development of a bionic eye was one of the key aspirations out of the 2020 summit that was held in 2008.
Professor Armstrong says it is “amazing” that a prototype for the technology has already been achieved.
“To be honest when I heard about that 2020 conference and all of the people there, I thought it was a little bit of a hot air fest if you know what I mean,” he said.
“But I’ve been proven completely wrong.
“Some of the initiatives from that, this is a major one for sure, have been brought to fruition and it’s wonderful for Australia and equally wonderful for Monash University.”
Hamburger patty made from lab-grown meat — or “schmeat” — is expected to be unveiled and grilled later this month at an event in London
A hamburger patty made from lab-grown meat — or “schmeat” — is expected to be unveiled and grilled later this month at an event in London that is highly anticipated by animal rights activists and other backers. “The vision for this burger is really to attract support, to attract funding,” said social sciences researcher Neil Stephens in an interview with CBC’s The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti. “And I’m sure it will because it’s a very enticing idea for many people.”
Stephens, a professor at Cardiff University in Wales, has been studying the ethical and cultural issues around in vitro meat and has interviewed all the key scientific figures in the field. […]
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