Giant street stationary
Just in case you'd forgotten about work and all the substance sniffing that goes along with getting through your day, some clever 'back to school retailer' has gone and strategically positioned giant Tippex bottles around NYC to make sure people don't forget about the grindstone for too long.
We haven't seen one of those bottles in years - thought that's what the backspace button was for.
Giant street stationary
Toriton Plus Water Surface as music controller II
Vertigo is flueless fire you hang on wall
For the outrageous price of $2500 you can get the Vertigo flueless fireplace that hangs on your wall. And unlike similar decorations this is an actual burning fire that runs on natural gas. So you'll still have a way to stay warm once they turn off your heat because you spent all your utilities money on this thing.
Cardboard Punch-Out Chairs
We have featured a number of challenging designs constructed entirely from singular materials. From cardboard sculptures of cars through to this latest design made entirely from light wood.
This 'punch-out' design stool comes complete with its own hang sell. Easier than a three year old's jigsaw puzzle, the pieces pop out of the frame to create a simple yet stylish stool.
If you know of any other simple punch-out designs or cool cardboard creations, let us know and we will feature them in upcoming posts!
Aimulet LA: award-winning eco design
The 2006 Good Design Award for Ecology Design goes to Aimulet LA, a batteryless, light-activated handheld audio communication device with an outer shell made from molded bamboo. The environmentally friendly communication terminal was designed by the Information Technology Research Institute at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).
The name “Aimulet” is derived from the word “amulet” plus the letter “i,” which denotes “intelligent,” “interactive” and “infrared,” as well as “ai” (which means “love” in Japanese and refers to Aichi prefecture, the location of the 2005 World Expo). The initials “LA” stand for none other than Laurie Anderson, whose Walk Project installation for the 2005 World Expo featured the Aimulet LA. Visitors to the installation used the device to receive audio messages as they wandered the site.
Aimulet LA is designed to be held up to your ear like a cellphone. When you stand over special LED emitters set into the ground, Aimulet LA receives the light signals via an array of spherical micro solar cells (called Sphelar by manufacturer Kyosemi) set into the bottom of the handset. Aimulet LA translates the signals into audio messages that are transmitted through a tiny speaker in the device. In Laurie Anderson’s installation, visitors used Aimulet LA to listen to poems in four different languages as they strolled through a Japanese-style garden.
According to AIST, the technology at work in Aimulet LA can be put to use in public spaces such as outdoor exhibits and events, amusement facilities, train stations and parks, where it can be used in interactive media or entertainment. In addition, the low cost of the device means it could also double as an entrance ticket, annual pass or ID card.
The Good Design Award judges gave high marks to Aimulet LA’s design concept for its ingenious blend of new technology and natural materials. The device also earned points for its lack of external power source, a factor that contributes to the creation of a battery-free environment. Being light-activated also makes it highly versatile, and its use of bamboo makes it easily recyclable and environmentally friendly.
This award marks the first time for AIST to receive a Good Design Award in Ecology Design. AIST previously received a Good Design Award for Paro, the cuddly seal robot recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most therapeutic robot.
Check out the Good Design Award page for more amazing designs.
[Source: AIST press release, AIST paper (English, pdf format)]
Bike Furniture exactly what it sounds like
Often when I'm sitting comfortably in my seat watching TV I think to myself, "You know what? I really wish this seat was made out of a bike." Well now some crazy bastards have gone and made my dream come true, shaping bike parts into furniture that looks just as ugly as it sounds uncomfortable. And yes, that is a bike horn attached to the seat.
Intelligent wheelchair sees all
On September 20, Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) unveiled an intelligent wheelchair that relies on an omnidirectional camera for a view of its surroundings, avoids collisions with people and obstacles, and knows when something is wrong with the chair’s occupant. Developed with the cooperation of the National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, the new technology is expected to improve the safety and security of electric wheelchairs for the disabled and elderly.
While the increased prevalence of electric wheelchairs has improved the mobility of persons with serious disabilities, they have also resulted in an increased number of collisions and accidents. To boost wheelchair safety, AIST engineers incorporated elements of intelligent automotive systems, which are capable of calculating the risk of collisions before they happen and automatically applying the brakes when necessary.
The prototype wheelchair is equipped with a camera system — interestingly dubbed Stereo Omnidirectional System (SOS) — whose 360-degree field of vision has no blind spot. Relying on the camera images, the chair detects potential hazards that arise while in motion and decelerates or stops accordingly. The chair also checks the occupant for signs of abnormality (unusual posture) and is equipped with a function that allows the occupant to control the chair by gesturing (pointing). Check out the AIST press release for videos of the chair in action.
The wheelchair is currently equipped with a function for transmitting the camera’s color video via wireless LAN, and AIST is investigating the possibility of enabling the video to be delivered via cellular phone and providing support for remote-control functions. AIST will soon subject the prototype to rigorous testing and continue upgrading the functions.
This intelligent wheelchair technology will be demonstrated at the 2006 Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition scheduled for September 27 to 29 in Tokyo.
[Sources: MYCOM Journal and AIST press release]
These instruments are known as“Escopetarras”, a fusion of gun and guitar, created by Cesar Lopez. Lopez got the inspiration for the invention while standing outside a bombed Bogotá club and noticing the similarities between his guitar and a soldier’s rifle (whaaa?).
Partnering up with musical instrument craftsman, Luis Alberto Paredes, he has been creating the instruments ever since. Initially made out of Winchester rifles, they are now made mostly from everyone’s favorite Cold War assault rifle, the AK47.
I don’t really see any use for these, and the acoustics can’t work too well because of the body and shape of the guitar, but, I don’t think anyone purchasing a fusion gun and guitar are going to sit around sing Goom-By-Ya.
Four necks. Two sound holes. 42 strings. Two access doors; one on the upper player's side and one at the tail block.Created by luthier Linda Manzer for guitarist Pat Metheny, the instrument took 2 years to build (approximately 1000 hours), and when the 42 strings are strung up to high tension, the Pikasso is under approximately 1000 lbs pressure. It weighs 6.7 kg or 14 3/4 lbs. The body is tapered so that the side closest to the player is thinner than the side that rests on the players knee, thus leaning the top back towards the player for a more aerial view. This is also more comfortable under the player's arm.
The instrument is outfitted with a complete state of the art piezo pickup system. (Designed and installed by Mark Herbert, Boston) This included a hexaphonic pickup on the 6 string section that allowed Metheny to access his Syclavier computer system thus triggering any sound including sampled sounds. Two mounting holes on the treble side (knee side) so that the guitar can be mounted on internal brass insets attaching to a stand, leaving hands free for playing or viewing.
Visit Linda Manzer's website at http://www.manzer.com/ for more information on her quality custom guitars.
(Click on thumbnail for larger view)
Finding smart ways to get around is an ongoing quest. First there was the humble scooter, which had a cult-like following among inner-city execs in 2001. Coming up next is the Yamaha Divide, an electric commuter bike that folds up at the touch of a button to become more sculpture than scotter, more modern art than motorbike. Powered by a compact "smart power" electric motor, the Divide- which is still at concept stage (Yamaha hopes to put into production next year) - uses no petrol or oil so it can be stored inside where friends can view the "new art".
by Billy T
SwissMiniGun is proud to present the smallest revolver and ammunition in the world.
It's total length does not exceed 5.5 cm.
It shoots 2.34 m/m rim-fire ammunition.
This firearm is a scaled-down model of the much acclaimed and mystical Colt Python with all the same features as are found on the real size gun.
The manufacture of this exceptional miniature revolver has only been possible by exploiting the incomparable expertise and latest technologies of the Swiss Watch and Jewellery Industry, upon which its Worldwide reputation is built.Our revolver and it's ammunition are 100% Swiss Made.SwissMiniGun is a fully authorized and licenced gunsmith company in Switzerland.
Article and Pics Come [VIA]
Device uses waves to “print” on water surface
Researchers at Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen), working in conjunction with professor Shigeru Naito of Osaka University, have developed a device that uses waves to draw text and pictures on the surface of water.
The device, called AMOEBA (Advanced Multiple Organized Experimental Basin), consists of 50 water wave generators encircling a cylindrical tank 1.6 meters in diameter and 30 cm deep (about the size of a backyard kiddie pool). The wave generators move up and down in controlled motions to simultaneously produce a number of cylindrical waves that act as pixels. The pixels, which measure 10 cm in diameter and 4 cm in height, are combined to form lines and shapes. AMOEBA is capable of spelling out the entire roman alphabet, as well as some simple kanji characters. Each letter or picture remains on the water surface only for a moment, but they can be produced in succession on the surface every 3 seconds.
Researchers at Akishima Laboratories have developed similar devices in the past that used waves to draw pictures on the surface of water, but those devices had trouble producing letters with straight lines (such as the letter K). Additionally, it took the previous devices up to 15 minutes of data input time to produce each letter.
The newly developed technology uses improved calculation methods for controlling the wave generators, relying on formulas known as Bessel functions. In addition to being able to draw letters consisting of straight lines, the input time has been drastically reduced to between 15 and 30 seconds for each letter.
Akishima Laboratories expects the technology to be incorporated into amusement devices that combine acoustics, lighting and fountain technology, which they hope to see installed at theme parks and hotels.
[Source: Fuji Sankei]
USB Web Cam With Telescope
So you live next to Keira Knightley. To broadcast her bathroom window live on the internet, the gadget you need to pull off this feat is a USB Web Cam with a Telescope. The Telescope has 7x magnification and 18mm in diameter. Resolution of this USB Web Cam is 800x600px, but it only reaches 30fps at 320x240px. Brando sells this USB gadget for $26.00.
Ice is supposed to float, but with a little heavy water, you can make cubes that sink
By Theodore Gray
Time: 2 Hours
Want a surefire bet for your next cocktail party? First, tell your guests that aquatic life—at least in temperate climates—depends largely on the fact that ice floats. If it sank, lakes would freeze solid instead of forming an insulating layer of ice on top, killing all the fish. Now bet that you can magically make an ice cube sink. Grab one from a glass of special cubes you've strategically placed nearby, and drop it into a cup of ordinary water. Collect your guests' money.
The key to the trick is heavy ice. Many terms shouldn't be taken literally—a red quark isn't red, a peanut is neither a pea nor a nut—but heavy water is exactly what it sounds like: water that weighs more than normal. This is possible because elements occur in several different forms, or isotopes, made up of atoms with the same number of protons and electrons (which determine their chemical properties) but a variable number of neutrons (which contribute weight but not much else).
Hydrogen atoms always have one proton and one electron, but only one in every 6,400 has a neutron that nearly doubles the atom¹s mass. Using a complex process called H2S, it¹s possible to isolate this heavy hydrogen, also known as deuterium (D), creating water that¹s about 10 percent heavier than normal.
Chemically, D2O—as it's written—is real water. Algae can grow and thrive in pure heavy water. Specially raised mice have contained as much as 25 percent heavy hydrogen; beyond that level, subtle biochemical reactions make the heavy mice sick. (Researchers used mice because they are small. Raising a heavy cow would be expensive.)
Heavy water's primary use is in nuclear reactors, but it is not itself radioactive. It's safe to handle (although drinking it is not recommended, so keep it out of your guests' glasses) and easy to buy from your neighborhood isotope supplier (try unitednuclear.com). For about $15 a cube, you can make your own sinking ice and win that bet every time—unless you're entertaining nuclear scientists.
Find more on Gray's experiments at periodictabletable.com and at popsci.com/graymatter
Plane delivers super help
The Tallahassee Regional Airport runway was the site of a demonstration Thursday of the latest in aviation fire fighting tools: a 747 supertanker.
The converted 747 cargo plane dropped 205,000 gallons of water, while flying 180 mph at an altitude of 500 feet.
The plane flies higher and faster than conventional fire fighting planes -- and delivers the water volume of seven conventional planes.
The supertanker is made by an Oregon firm, which is in negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service to sell or lease the supertankers.
Awesome Color Scanning LEGO music machine
Last year Kristien bought me a package of Lego Mindstorms on ebay. The thing that gets me excited about Mindstorms is that it allows me, software guy, to write code that isn't restricted to the pc. The first thing I built is a (ta-daaam) Lego Music Machine. The idea is simple: the machine functions more or less like a scanner, except that in stead of creating an image from the scanned information, sound is generated. Here's a demo:
Freezing water at room temperature
This is pretty weird. It turns out that water can freeze at room temperature in response to atomic-scale friction.Joost Frenken and others at Leiden University used an instrument called a friction force microscope to create nano-friction by dragging a tungsten wire over a graphite surface. They wanted to test the theory that water vapour in the air might condense and become ice. And it did.They were even able to draw frozen patterns on the graphite surface. They think that "icy nanoscale water bridges" form as water vapour condenses in the nanoscopic gaps between the two surfaces.So far, so strange. But the researchers say the discovery could also have practical uses. This is because the tiny frozen bridges turn water from a lubricant into a kind of glue. So the effect could be important in the future for building nanoscale devices or structures. Curiously, there are other ways to turn water to ice at room temperature, such as using electric fields.