Interesting News From Monday the 10th

Hmm, well looks like blogspot effectively blocks all my nifty interactive hypertext (fancy talk for HTML). I’ll keep looking for ways around it, in the mean time I’ll be having long messy update pages. I’ll try make my commentary as concise as possible.

Just Plain Interesting
Blindness a Disability? – Not to this mother. This is a video clip from CBS news about her son who lost his eyes at 2. He’s now 14y.o. and able to roller blade with friends in the street. Some kind of Geordi-like visor? Nope, from the beginning momma just told him that’s life. He’ll be fine because he has four other senses at his disposal. Don’t focus on the ailment, focus on the patient: like in Path Adams (my words, not hers). Now he hears like a bat, or a dolphin by their example. Constantly clicking and using the echo around him as his reference. He also throws a pillow with deadly accuracy. Watch him in action through the link above.

Jaw dropping building – This is a video clip form Discovery Channels “Really Big Things” show. The building is called Burj Dubai (Arabic for Dubai Tower, creative huh?) and currently resides in Dubai a city in a Middle Eastern federation territory called United Arab Emirates (First I’ve heard of it). This thing is, indeed, massive. Awe inspiring. Here is a pic that I found showing the structure along side other sky scrapers. Estimated to reach over 2600ft when done it could pass the half mile mark (1 mile=5280ft) and tower over other buildings by thousands of feet. After sputtering over the sheer size of the thing I couldn’t helf but use the phrase, “This thing is stupid big.” Which got me wondering if this compilation of resources would be more or less efficient regarding space efficiency, population maintenance, job creation etc etc than our typical setup and spread over the lands way of civilization. I see obvious benefits and possible drawbacks… I don’t have much of an answer to besides base assumptions derived by my limited experience and knowledge.

Two nozzle drinking fountains: Why? – Because where the arc comes together you get more water since it’s not thinning out as much. It also useful for natural pressure regulation. And it’s safer than your standard single nozzle… huh? No description the how even after looking a half dozen other articles on the inventor, Halsey Taylor. Taylors dad died in 1896 of typhoid fever… so the motivation was there. 10 years later Luther Haws, plumber and sanitation inspector, invented the first faucet for drinking in 1906 after seeing a class of kids drinking from a one tin cup. Taylor invented his nozzle in 1912 according to a drinking fountain company site with his name all over it. They also boast safety without describing the how. Marketing ploy? That’s how it sounds.

A step closer to true electric cars? – A German firm named Li-Tec in Saxony seems to have a breakthrough. Their technology aparently takes up 30% less volume than Toyota’s and can go three times further than France’s. I’m mainly curious how far the cars can go on a charge, how many times they can REcharge, and how much of the physical battery they can recycle when they do die.

A ban on the sale of incandescent bulbs? – It’ll happen in Ireland January, 2009. Harsh? Only if you think forcing people to save money is harsh.

Distant Thought – Back in 2004 NASA’s Voyager 1 crossed a boundry known as Termination shock where solar wind becomes subsonic (slower). NASA wasn’t paying attention, they were looking somewhere else, possibly Cassini. NASA was listening when Voyager 2 crossed in August 2007 and was 84 AU(~0.001 lightyears, ~7 trillion miles) from the Sun. At that time Voyager 1 was ~103.6 AU. Really really far out there. Pluto is around 32 AU. Our little probes haven’t even left the solar system yet. Feel Small?

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