A team of British scientists and engineers have created a full scale model for a car they intend to drive more than 1,000 mph.
The model, named the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car (SSC), was built by a team of aerodynamic experts, who took three years to build it. Recently shown off to the world at the Farnborough International Air Show, the 42-foot-long Bloodhound resembles a bright blue missile with wheels.
For now, it's just a model, but the wheels are in motion to create the real deal. According to an article from the BBC, aerospace manufacturer Hampson Industries "will begin building the rear of the vehicle in the first quarter of 2011." Apparently, another deal to create the front end of the car is close to being finalized.
Not surprisingly, news that there may soon exist a car capable of hitting four digits on the speedometer moved the search needle. Immediately, online lookups for "bloodhound car," "supersonic car," and "bloodhound car pictures" roared into breakout status.
Of course, nobody makes an obscenely fast car just to take its picture. As soon as the Bloodhound is fully assembled, hopefully by late 2011 or early 2012, the team will attempt to sniff out a new world land speed record. The current record belongs to the Thrust SuperSonic Car, which hit 763 mph back in 1997.
Incidentally, several of the key people involved in the Thrust vehicle also worked on the Bloodhound, including driver Andy Green, who is also a Fighter Pilot in the Royal Air Force. Here, Mr. Green discusses some of the car's impressive/terrifying capabilities. One fact to wet your appetite: The Bloodhound has a grand total of 135,000 horsepower, which is equal to 180 times the power of a formula one car. Buckle up!
Bioprinting uses a 3D printing process to create synthetic human tissue. One day it could therefore be used to print replacement human organs. This video by Christopher Barnatt explores future medical and cosmetic bioprinting applications.
In the summer of 1935, a pair of Bavarian climbers arrived in the Bernese Alps, hoping to become the first people ever to scale the monstrous north face of the mountain known as the Eiger. On their first day, they made good progress.
On the second day, less so, and on the third, even less. Then a storm swept over the mountain and they froze to death. The next year, four more mountaineers attempted the face, and all four died. After a third failed attempt in 1937, a quartet of climbers finally reached the summit in 1938, taking three days to get there.
Twelve years and many more fatalities later, a pair of climbers managed to surmount the Eiger in 18 hours. The 1960s saw the first successful solo climb. In 1988, Alison Hargreaves climbed the Eiger while six months pregnant. By the 1990s, people were making the climb in the dead of winter. In 2008, Swiss climber Euli Steck speed-climbed the peak, solo, in winter, in 2 hours, 47 minutes, and 33 seconds. You can watch the video. Last month, a trio of Brits stood on a ledge near the top of the Eiger, then spread their arms and legs like wings and flew down.
The Eiger hasn’t gotten any shorter or less steep, nor the conditions any gentler. Rather, humans have grown stronger, more skilled, and better equipped. The relative ease of scaling the Eiger today is the result partly of a series of portable and wearable technologies—ultralight synthetic fabrics, custom crampons—that have turned human climbers into superhuman climbing (and flying) machines. But lest you think it's all in the tools, American Dean Potter ascended the face in 2008 with his bare hands.
Granted, the ability to climb an Alp in less than three hours isn’t a particularly dramatic superpower by comic-book standards. It’s not like anyone’s leaping to the summit in a single bound. But if Marvel and DC Comics have conditioned us to think of superhuman abilities as freakish and far-fetched, science and history are teaching us otherwise. It turns out we don’t need genetic mutations, lightning strikes, or laboratory experiments gone awry to produce people with extraordinary physical and mental capabilities. Human enhancement is happening all the time, largely through incremental improvements on existing technologies. And contrary to those who would have you believe that the golden era of innovation is behind us, the rate of this progress shows no signs of slowing. It just doesn’t always follow the paths that the experts predict.
NXTLOG user hknssn13 built this amazing paper airplane machine. My favorite part is the 4th stage, where four linear actuators make the final folds in the airplane. It looks sick when the entire assembly rises up!
Forget about robots rising up against humans for world domination.
In the future we’re all going to be robot-human hybrids with the help of wearable computers. We’ve already seen Google Glass, the search giant’s augmented-reality glasses, and now the latest Y Combinator startup to come out of stealth, Thalmic Labs, is giving us a wrist cuff that will one day control computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, and remote-control devices with simple hand gestures.
Unlike voice-detecting Google Glass, and the camera-powered Kinect and Leap Motion controller, Thalmic Labs is going to the source of your hand and finger gestures – your forearm muscles. “In looking at wearable computers, we realized there are problems with input for augmented-reality devices,” says Thalmic Labs co-founder Stephen Lake. “You can use voice, but no one wants to be sitting on the subway talking to themselves, and cameras can’t follow wherever you go.”
I’d argue that thanks to Bluetooth headsets and Siri, we’ve already been talking to ourselves for the last decade, so talking to my glasses isn’t a huge stretch. But, I won’t deny that it looks cool to casually flick my hand to change the song on my MacBook, which is what Thalmic Labs is promising with its $149 forearm gadget called the Myo (a nod to the Greek prefix for muscle, but rhymes with Leo), which has an adjustable band that can accommodate almost anyone.
Using the mouth, lips, tongue and voice to generate sounds that one might never expect to come from the human body is the specialty of the artists known as beatboxers. Now scientists have used scanners to peer into a beatboxer as he performed his craft to reveal the secrets of this mysterious art.
The human voice has long been used to generate percussion effects in many cultures, including North American scat singing, Celtic lilting and diddling, and Chinese kouji performances. In southern Indian classical music, konnakol is the percussive speech of the solkattu rhythmic form. In contemporary pop music, the relatively young vocal art form of beatboxing is an element of hip-hop culture.
Until now, the phonetics of these percussion effects were not examined in detail. For instance, it was unknown to what extent beatboxers produced sounds already used within human language.