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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Typhoon Sinlaku makes landfall

16 Sep 2008 Leave a comment

Fabulous video from James Reynolds

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Categories: Science, Vids Tags: ,

Britain – As seen from the trackers

5 Aug 2008 Leave a comment
Air Congestion

Air Congestion

The BBC has created a series ‘watching’ the activity of the UK as seen from the Sea, Land and Air. Using GPS, for example, it has created images of taxis going round London, or all the air traffic that comes into UK airspace within a 24hour period. What is fascinating about this is what it really shows us, from the point of view the congestion we have created, and also how easy it is to track anything. Big Brother is no longer just watching.

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Flash Flood

1 Aug 2008 Leave a comment

This flash flood was caught on (time lapse) camera in Kobe, Japan.

Via Japan Probe

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Solar Powered rocket fuel

1 Aug 2008 Leave a comment

Yes, you can imagine it now, the next NASA rocket covered in solar panels and the crew peddling like mad to add an extra boost during take off. Sounds mad? Yes, it is. However, scientists have discovered a way of creating ‘rocket fuel’ from solar powered energy; the ‘rocket fuel’ is essentially a splitting of Oxygen and Hydrogen elements from water thus allowing the ‘storing’ of solar power. This obviously means that you would use the hydrogen and/or oxygen in a machine powered by these elements, but the main breakthrough is simply the fact that these boffins have found a way of doing this on the cheap. The practical benefits sould be that you plaster your house with solar panel, run your water through the converter and store the hydrogen in tanks to be used later by hydrogen fuel cells.

Being able to use solar panels to build up a store of chemical energy that is easily transported would revolutionise the way solar energy can be used. It not only means that it could power a building at night, it also means it could be carried around to power electric vehicles running on hydrogen fuel cells.

Who knows, with all these advances in solar power we might get rid of our addiction to fossil fuels.

Categories: Eco, Science Tags: ,

Home Hydrogen Fueling Station

11 Jul 2008 Leave a comment

A company in the UK has developed a hydrogen home refueling station that is capable of refueling cars from…erm…home. The unit they have developed is capable of producing enough fuel that will last the average car 40 km or 25 miles. Might not sound like much, but considering this is the first unit developed that is small (and presumably safe) enough to be used at home it is a step in the right direction.

Now this is an innovation I would really like to see work; granted the 40km is not a lot, but increasing this capacity would give you enough to maybe make the commute or short journeys and also reduce the dependency on oil and oil companies. However, I wonder how long it will be before the large oil companies will ‘disappear’ the company that developed it.

Categories: Eco, News, Science Tags: , ,

High oil prices are a good thing

30 May 2008 Leave a comment

Fabulous comment and observations from Chris Pummer…

the power source for today’s cars is little different than that which drove the first Model T 100 years ago. That we’re still harnessed to this antiquated technology is testament to Big Oil’s influence in Washington and success in squelching advances in fuel efficiency and alternative energy.

Given our achievement in getting a giant mainframe’s computing power into a handheld device in just a few decades, we should be able to do likewise with these dirty, little rolling power plants that served us well but are overdue for the scrap heap of history.

Wall Street Journal

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Mecca Time

22 Apr 2008 Leave a comment

I am intrigued by a story in the BBC today that is suggesting that GMT should be dropped and Mecca Time used to replace it as the de-facto, central time that all clocks are co-ordinated from. The argument seems to be two fold: Firstly, GMT is a British Imperial imposition; secondly Scientists are arguing that Mecca is the center of the Earth thus should be the central time zone.

I am not going to explore the arguments on this (However, I totally disagree that the British “imposed” it because they were a big colonial power, they just had a concept of co-ordinated time that could be used regardless of where you were in the world thus helping with marine navigation, successfully argued to being adopted universally; plus GMT, especially in Scientific terms, has been replaced by UTC and is an astronomical concept of measuring time), but what I find interesting is that this is an example of Science backing a Theological argument. Normally you would find the two areas diametrically opposed to each other. I am sure that there are plenty of other examples. Very intriguing.

What would be even more interesting is if this was adopted by all Islamic states. Effectively you would have two time systems UTC and Mecca Time (but then why not others). How would this affect the world? I can’t see there being much of a problem; you could get into the argument of time being an abstract concept, but it could work. People have bad enough problem telling what time it is in other countries, using several methods of telling the time, as long as they are universally understood, can be done especially given technological help; Since the constants are known there would be no problems. Again, an interesting idea. Next I would like to see calendar months re-organised to by more equal in length, or at least February getting a few more days to round it up; who cares about leap years.

Categories: Forteana, Science