3 deep-sea personal submarines

Posted in submarine, Technology on January 15, 2009 by twinforces

The Ocean Pearl, the C-Quester 3, and the OrcaSub are 3 submarines for personal use which either are or will be available within a year or two, depending on model.
They do admittedly cost “slightly” more than the average person can afford….., but on the other hand they are not your average run-of-the-mill , hobbyist experimental submarines either, as their maximum operating depths vary between 100 and 700 meters
(yes, that is 700 METERS, and not feet…) and have endurances of between 6 and 12 hours.

Entry no.3 does hold special novelty value, as it possibly is the first real-life sub to emulate in both shape and performance the small shark-shaped one-man sub invented by professor Calculus in the episode “red Rackham’s treasure” of the TinTin comic book series by Herge


Emotion of “Elevation” Explained

Posted in Science on January 14, 2009 by twinforces

Boing Boing writes about the feeling you can get on occasion when you listen to a particular piece of music or watch an epic movie,
“a feeling of spreading, liquid warmth in the chest and a lump in the throat”, and a sense of meaningfulness and context. It turns out that this emotion actually has a name, the emotion of Elevation, and it is currently being studied in laboratories. The latest approach taken by the researchers in order to induce this emotion apparently is letting their subjects listen to Barack Obama’s victory speech!

Slate also has a feature on “elevation” research.

Electric cars : driving the revolution

Posted in Technology on January 10, 2009 by twinforces

Treehugger.com is currently running a feature on 23 state-of-the-art electric cars.

The first entry, the Tesla electric roadster, is certainly generating a lot of buzz currently, but beyond that it seems that the only two entries worth mentioning in this context are number 9 and 10.

The Tango, by Commuter Cars looks like a Cooper Mini that got stuck in a metal crusher, and got squashed to half its width,while still retaining its other dimensions..BUT..it does 0-100 kmh (60mph ) in 4 seconds (something that would seem like a rather scary experience in such a small & flimsy craft!..)

Aptera 2e, by Aptera Motors , on the other hand,rather resembles a sports aeroplane which has lost its wings.
(The photos on the company site possibly don’t render the idea of the vehicle in the clearest possible way, so you would probably like to do an additional search on Google Images.)

Icon A5 “Jet-ski/sports car” small airplane

Posted in Technology on January 7, 2009 by twinforces

From Wired Magazine:

What happens when an iraq war veteran F-16 fighter pilot and a skateboarding ex-banker meet and decide to design an aircraft?

Apparently, something like the hyperdesigned,easy-to-fly Icon A5 amphibian 2-seater, whose looks could most closely be described as something like the mix of a sports car, a jet-ski and a snowmobile,and with detachable wings for easy transport.

Icon Aircraft Corporate site

“Verifier Approach” method maps scientific knowledge, proves ancient manuscript false

Posted in Science on January 7, 2009 by twinforces

The Voynich Manuscript is an ancient hand-written text from the 16th century,written in an unknown langugage, and reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. It contains fantastic drawings of plants and animals which appears to be purely imaginary, as well as sections with material resembling other areas of the natural sciences (although mostly fantastic/imaginary). Many attempts have been made through the centuries to decode the language contained in the volume, and many theories have been put forth regarding the contents, but so far none have been successful.
However, recently, Gordon Rugg , a psychologist teaching at the computer scientist department of the Keelee University near Manchester, England, took a different approach by using a method he had developed himself, called the Verifier Approach, and claims to have proved that the text is complete nonsense, and that there is no hidden message.
What is remarkable is that the method used is not a decryption mechanism in any sense, but what he did is that he actually analyzed the body of knowledge and all the work done so far relating to the analysis of the manuscript by various experts,building maps of the knowledge, looking at how they overlap, and identifying overlaps, discrepancies and empty areas where no work had ben done.

Rugg is also looking into applying the method into other areas, such as Alzheimer’s disease, in order to improve the quality of and to speed along research in those areas.

Something outside, tugging at our universe..

Posted in Science on January 7, 2009 by twinforces

Scientists have found streams of matter ,
for whose movement there is no explanation within our observable universe.
These are caused neither by the well known expansion of the universe itself (expansion of space itself since the Big Bang, 14 Billion years ago), nor by any detectable mass of matter within  our observable universe.
The only explanation for these streams of matter thus is that there is something “significantly large” OUTSIDE of our known universe causing these streams.
Exactly what this might be is not known yet, but this discovery has opened up speculation that our universe might be part of a significantly larger structure, or only one among a number of other universes.

Gen-H4 One-man mini helicopter

Posted in Technology on January 5, 2009 by twinforces

Gen-H4 is a small,with the emphasis on SMALL, ultralight one-man helicopter invented by Gennai Yanagisawa, an 75-year old engine designer from Japan
(a more accurate description might possibly be “flying device”…).
There are various claims on the internet regarding its specifications, (possibly due to the existence of earlier versions)
but the company site states the following:

weight : 75kg
4×10 hp/125cc engines
2 counterrotating rotors : (diameter 4m)
Cruise speed : 100 kmh
Fuel consumption : 19 l/h
Autonomy : 60 minutes

Current cost approximately $60,000
(some sources claim $30,000)

Produced by Gen Corporation in Japan

English section (ugly!)

Site of US distributor AceCraft

News article with picture