Thursday, April 29, 2010
Volkswagen has rolled out its first ever two-wheeler at Auto China 2010. Following a
369diggsdiggWhile auto shows are known for their concepts that never see the light of day, we are told there are plans to actually commercialize this machine, though it probably won't come as an option with your next VW. With a range of 20 kilometers (12.5 miles), it's not meant for long distance treks but rather as a supplement to your car. Its official top speed is 20 km/h (12.5 miles per hour) to allow Germans to ride it helmetless, though word on the street says the version at the show could go much faster. No mention was made about how long it takes to charge, but apparently the bik.e's batteries can be replenished by a car's DC current as well as a typical AC plug. To get a glimpse of this "mobility enhancer" in action and hear the good doctor expound further, hit the jump for the accompanying video.
This is Beau. He likes the White Sox, Paul Konerko and mashing the ball out of the park.
For a hack of a brain computer interface (BCI), the MPTHE is pretty cheap to build. Rasmussen says the entire project cost him around $105. That includes the BCI from a toy called MindFlex (~$80+), an electric shock card from Qkit (~$5), and various electronic parts. Harcos Labs has placed all the information you need to build your own MPTHE on their website. I’m sure hackers everywhere have already started to improve upon the design. We just saw the release of the first patient-ready BCI on the market. Maybe with that EEG they’d be able to do something more productive than shock you. As brain computer interfaces get more common, and accessible, I’m sure we’ll see some really incredible hacks, hopefully not all for evil.
[image and video credit: Harcos Laboratories]
[source: Harcos Laboratories]
Three-Bedroom castle for sale, Aquitaine, Gironde, Monségur, France
Charming fortified castle for sale in Aquitaine, the heart of French wine country. This fixer-upper has been updated with the bare minimum (like a toilet, kitchen) to retain its medieval charm. Screaming sounds from the dungeon further add to the ambiance.
The Walton Castle, Clevedon, Somerset, UK
Like ivy? This gem has you covered! Seven-thousand square feet of medieval glory awaits you on this hilltop masterpiece. Impress your friends, threaten your enemies, survive a land attack. New roof in 1620 and 1984.
Seven-Bedroom medieval chateau, Lot-et-Garonne, France
This beauty has been lovingly restored by its current residents, but there are no guarantees against past resident ghosts. Seven bedrooms plus a few secret rooms for the occasional Moorish invasion. Dungeon makes a great playroom for the kids, plenty of parking.
Seven-Bedroom medieval chateau, Lot-et-Garonne, France
Killahara Castle, Tipperary, Ireland
This little charmer has survived everything from the battle of 1582 to a cow living in the top quarters in 1981. Battles, murders, and infamy create a welcoming atmosphere everyone can enjoy. 3G wireless coverage is strong on the seven-acre property.
Castle For Sale in Sologne Area, France
This gem is truly a medieval masterpiece, This fifteenth-century wonder features 8100-square feet of land, including a fifty-acre forest, five acres of gardens (hope you have a green thumb!), horse stables, and a few guest houses thrown in for good measure. Worried about maintenance? Put an ad on Craigslist for a family of serfs!
Castello di Mazzè, Turin, Italy
It doesn’t get more luxurious than this. Previous guests include Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia, the Count of Cavour, and even Mussolini. Built in the XII century (you can say that with pride), this enormous complex is even too large for the property description to list. Bring along a few hundred of your best friends for stunning views of the lake.
Templar Knights Castle, Haute Provence, France
It doesn’t get much better than living in a genuine Templar castle built in 1125. It was constructed to defend the valley against the marauding Moorish invaders of Arabia. The swimming pool was probably added later. In true Templar fashion, the kitchen should always be stocked with goblets.
A dog in Chile is unfortunately hit by a car and killed. Another dog drags the mortally-wounded dog to the side of the road. The hero do ran away. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081209/a...
focusdesigns — December 20, 2009 — Adam Savage of the MythBusters receives his SBU, an electric self-balancing unicycle by Focus Designs Inc.
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Video by: Valeo Visual (http://valeovisual.com/)
Images via: dezeen.com and despoke.com
The fierce competition between showstopping pavilions is heating up in Shanghai as the opening of the World Expo 2010 draws nearer (May 1). But one pavilion has already been drawing in the crowds throughout its construction, thanks to an extraordinary bristling form of 60,000 fibre-optic rods, each with a seed implanted in its tip. The UK Pavilion, otherwise known as the Seed Cathedral, created by British design star Thomas Heatherwick and his studio, is quite simply the most extraordinary structure we have ever seen. And that's just the outside, wait till you see the seeds inside...
Uniquely British Design Innovation
The UK Pavilion's job at the Shanghai World Expo is to promote the strength of Britain's reputation for design innovation. Thomas Heatherwick is definitely the go to guy in the UK for unique showstopping structures and, from all the images, it looks like he has outdone even himself this time. Of the all pavilions at the Expo it looks like the UK's Seed Cathedral is attracting the most attention, no mean feat since there are 230 different pavilions on show.
Seed Cathedral sways in the breeze
As Despoke.com reports the Seed Cathedral is "20 metres in height, formed from 60,000 slender transparent rods, each 7.5 metres long and each encasing one or more seeds at its tip. During the day, they act as optic fibres and draw daylight inwards to illuminate the interior. At night, light sources inside each rod allow the whole structure to glow. As the wind moves past, the building and its optic "hairs" gently move to create a dynamic effect."
Shanghai World Expo 2010 Theme - Better City, Better Life
The UK Pavilion rather sensibly doesn't aim to compete with Asian high-tech solutions, but goes for a spectacular low-tech approach instead. Heatherwick Studio describe their approach as engaging "meaningfully with Shanghai Expo's theme, Better City, Better Life, and standing out from the anticipated trend for technology driven pavilions, filled with audio-visual content on screens, projections and speakers."
Working with Kew Gardens' Millenium Seedbank Project
We love Heatherwick's idea of combining a complex structure with a simple, quiet, reverent message. The designer says he was inspired by the "relationship between nature and cities" and decided to celebrate the UK's beautiful green spaces by teaming up with the world famous Kew Gardens in London and the Millennium Seedbank project, whose mission is to collect the seeds of 25% of the world's plant species by 2020.
The seeds for the UK Pavilion have been sourced from China's Kunming Institute of Botany, a partner in Kew Royal Botanic Gardens' Millennium Seed Bank Project. The interior experience of the Seed Cathedral sounds just as magical as viewing the exterior structure, "Visitors will pass through this tranquil, contemplative space, surrounded by the tens of thousands of points of light illuminating the seeds."
Seed Cathedral Structure
The supporting structure of the UK Pavilion is made from wood and steel which is pierced with 60 000 holes for each one of the aluminum sleeves which hold the fiber optic rods. This 'low-tech' solution actually had a very 'high-tech' method of execution:
"The holes in the 1 metre thick wood diaphram structure forming the visitor space inside the Seed Cathedral were drilled with great geometric accuracy to ensure precise placement of the aluminium sleeves through which the optic fibre filaments are inserted. This was achieved using 3D computer modelling data, fed into a computer controlled milling machine."
Heatherwick Studio says that, "75% of the materials for the UK Pavilion have been sourced from within a radius of 300km around Shanghai."
UK Pavilion's Afterlife
Heatherwick Studio reports that the Seed Cathedral has already found favour with the Chinese public, who have nick-named the pavilion 'Pu Gong Ying', which translates as 'The Dandelion'. We are also glad to hear that the studio have planned for the afterlife of the pavilion when the World Expo ends.
"After the Expo, just as dandelion seeds are blown away and disperse on the breeze, the Seed Cathedral's 60,000 optic hairs, each one containing the huge potential of life, will be distributed across China and the UK to hundreds of schools as a special legacy of the UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo."
Of the extraordinary design and engineering production that is the UK Pavilion Thomas Heatherwick says, "It has been a tremendous achievement of the team to deliver such a complex structure. I am excited that the Seed Cathedral is now complete and I look forward to the millions of visitors to the Expo enjoying the space."
More on Shanghai World Expo 2010
World's First "Carbon Negative" Car Concept at Expo 2010 in Shanghai
Floating City Proposed For Shanghai World Expo
Shanghai Pavilion is Built From Recycled CD Cases
Architecture Without Architects: Critic Blasts the Canadian Pavilion at Shanghai 2010
Acrobats Design Canada Pavilion with Rainwater Harvesting, Green Walls
Swiss Pavilion at Shanghai has Green Roof, Soybean Walls
thebizzare.com — From a Sea Fortress, to a Brutal Prison, to a Museum!
Posted by rappin
The Patarei Prison Museum in Tallinn, Russia was built in the 19th century. The prison was originally a sea fortress in 1840 and was turned into a prison in around 1919. This prison housed inmates until 2002 and was then turned into a museum. This museum is now an ideal location to experience the Soviet-era prison life in all its gloom. The prison has been left untouched since 2002 to give visitors a real-life feel of the dreariness of prison life.
By Luke Salkeld
As methods of communication, they are an age apart.
So it is perhaps not surprising that it took over 30 years for Olivier Vandevalle to get a reply to his message in a bottle - via Facebook.
At the age of 14, aboard his family's yacht on a sailing holiday cruising along the south coast of England, he tore a page from an exercise book and wrote a message which he secured in a wine bottle in the summer of 1977.
Blast from the past: Olivier Vandevalle (pictured on the left with his son) and the bottle he threw into the sea when he was a boy of 14 (right, with his father)
Yesterday Mr Vandevalle, a 47-year-old father-of-two from Ostend, said: 'It was so, so long ago that my first reaction when she contacted me was to say "it wasn't me."
Then I remembered.'
He continued: 'There were 12 of us on the boat that day and we were heading for the Azores.
'Suddenly I had the idea of writing a message in a bottle. It's one of those things that every child does at least once.
'Not with the idea of getting an answer but because there's an air of mystery about the whole thing. You have no idea where your bottle will be going.
'Then when you have not thought about the bottle for years and years suddenly this Englishwoman turns up from nowhere and has read your letter. When she e-mailed it to me it all came flooding back.'
The waiter added: 'It was an incredible experience. Where has the bottle been all these years. Was it lying buried under a heap of sand until it was uncovered by a storm? I shall never know.
'But the wine bottle was a safe receptacle for my message. My father insisted that we seal the cork with candle grease to make sure no sea water could get in.'
In the letter he wrote 33 years ago, Mr Vandevalle introduced himself as 'a boy of 14 years and my house is in Belgium'.
He continued to the future recipient: 'I do not know if you are a pupil, a woman or a man.
'I am on a sailing boat of 18 metres. Her name is Tamaris. While I am writing this letter we have just passed Portland Bill on the south coast of England. We left this morning.'
Mr Vandevalle's two sons aged 16 and 20 have tried to copy their dad by writing a message and entrusting it to the seas in a bottle.
'But they were stupid enough not to write their address and consequently the chances of getting a reply are almost nil,' their father added yesterday.
'But the world is full of wonders, so you never know.'