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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chinese air pollution hits record levels – in pictures

image

via the guardian

Beijing residents advised to stay indoors as much as possible with severe pollution at levels 'beyond index'

I mean, don’t they have a climate control weapon or “something” which they proudly showcased during the Beijing Olympics?  How come they don’t use it NOW?

They should use it to wash the hazardous PM2.5 down while they are still in Chinese territory.

Beijing's New Year surprise: PM 2.5 readings (CNN)

Zhao Jialin, a blogger on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblog site, tweeted: "Thank the government for making this effort to solve the problem. It is a Chinese New Year gift from them to the people."

As I mentioned before, China should seriously consider to slow down their current pace of motorization, put extremely high tax on all vehicles using fossil energy and encourage their people to switch all vehicles to EV or Hybrids, and better yet, go back to bicycles like they used to! 爆笑

January 31, 2013 in Business, Ecology, Economy, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, January 28, 2013

アフリカのリスクを地図で見る。本当に危険な場所はどこ? アルジェリア人質事件で現実となった “レッドゾーン”

via Nikkei Business

アフリカ諸国のリスクの状況を、英調査会社エクスクルーシブ・アナリシスが作成しているリスクマップで見てみたい。上の地図(出所:Exclusive Analysis、以下同)は、同社がアフリカ大陸をリスクの度合いによって色分けしたものだ。青→黄→赤の順に危険度が上がっていく。

この地図から改めて読み取れるのは、「アフリカは多様だ」という当たり前の事実である。例えば、「マグレブ」と呼ばれる旧フランス領だった北アフリカのモロッコ、アルジェリア、チュニジアの3カ国だけを見ても、リスクの度合いは一様ではなく、モロッコやチュニジアに比べてアルジェリアの危険度が突出していることが分かる。 

January 28, 2013 in Business, Current Affairs, Economy, Politics, Religion, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Appreciating beautiful ceilings (flickr)

Sagrada Familia

via flickr

and some more here Sumptuous Ceilings (flickr)

January 27, 2013 in Art, Design, Religion, Space, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dutch architect plans world's first 3D-printed building (WIRED)

Image1

via WIRED

A Dutch architect is planning to construct a Möbius strip-shaped house using the world's largest 3D printer.

Landscape House, designed by Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Amsterdam firm Universal Architecture, will contain around 1,100 square meters of floorspace throughout the twisted structure. The 3D printer -- which can "print" objects as large as six meters by nine meters using a mix of grinded-down rocks or sand, held together with a liquid binding agent -- has been designed by Italian roboticist Enrico Dini.

Dini has been printing huge objects with his printer for a couple of years, but this will be the first building that he's produced that's actually designed to be occupied just like any other. For a house that will be a solid whole, without any visible seams, a Möbius strip makes perfect sense as a design shape.

via WIRED JAPAN

オランダの建築家が世界最大の3Dプリンターを使い、「メビウスの帯」の形をした継ぎ目のない家を建設しようとしている。
「Landscape House」と名付けられたこの家は、アムステルダムに本拠を置くUniverse Architecture社のヤンヤップ・ライジシェナーシュ(Janjaap Ruijssenaars)が設計した。このねじれた構造の建物の中に、およそ1,100平方メートルの床面積が確保される予定だ。
建築に使われる3Dプリンターは、粉々にした石や砂を混ぜ合わせた材料を液体の結合剤で結びつけることで、6×9mの大きさの物体を「印刷」できるもので、イタリア人のロボット工学技術者であるエンリコ・ディニが開発した。
ディニ氏は数年前から自作のプリンターを使って巨大な物体を印刷しているが、居住用として実際に設計された家を制作するのは今回が初めてだ。建物全体が一体化されて継ぎ目がひとつも見えない家をつくるために、メビウスの帯の形に設計したことは理にかなっている。

いよいよ、3Dプリンターが面白いことに成って来た・・・

January 27, 2013 in Art, Design, Ecology, Economy, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The awesome power of a tornado displayed in Mapleton, Iowa April 11th, 2011. (© Timothy Wright)

via the Atlantic “National Geographic Photo Contest 2011”

Well, this is NOT a work of a great architect Frank Gehry

January 27, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sistine Chapel in Virtual Reality (Vatican)

image

via Vatican.va

Sistine Chapel painting by Michelangelo in Virtual Reality. For your viewing pleasure….

The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the large Papal Chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV after whom it is named, and was painted at the commission of Pope Julius II. The chapel is the location for Papal Conclaves and many important services.[1]

The ceiling's various painted elements form part of a larger scheme of decoration within the Chapel, which includes the large fresco The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall, also by Michelangelo, wall paintings by several leading painters of the late 15th century including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Pietro Perugino, and a set of large tapestries by Raphael, the whole illustrating much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church.[2][3]

Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which the Creation of Adam is the best known, having an iconic standing equalled only by Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the hands of God and Adam being reproduced in countless imitations. The complex design includes several sets of individual figures, both clothed and nude, which allowed Michelangelo to fully demonstrate his skill in creating a huge variety of poses for the human figure, and have provided an enormously influential pattern book of models for other artists ever since.

from WIKIPEDIA

January 27, 2013 in Art, Design, Religion, Travel, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Check out this amazing cloud art exhibit (global post)

image

via global post.com

Young Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde's clouds are real, made by controlling moisture and using smoke machine, according to the photography magazine Vignette.

January 26, 2013 in Art, Design, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

KOALAS TO THE MAX : For Dots Manias

image

via Stumble

January 26, 2013 in Art, Design, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Never-Before-Told Story of the World's First Computer Art (It's a Sexy Dame)

sage_pinup.jpg

via the Atlantic

In the late 1950s, an anonymous IBM employee made a lady from the pages of Esquire come to life on the screen of a $238 million military computer.

sage_console.jpg

sage_petty.jpg

January 25, 2013 in Art, Design, Fashion, Media, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

David Bowie–Where Are We Now?

via DavidBowie.com/the-next-day

Never expected a new album from him.  I’m so happy just to see him doing what he’s been doing for all these years, and never lost it.

January 25, 2013 in Art, Design, Fashion, Film, Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Can You Spot the Possible UFO in This Time-Lapse Video of a Meteor Shower? (THE BLAZE)

Time Lapse Video of Geminid Meteor Shower Captures Potential UFO

via THE BLAZE

Time-lapse videos of meteor showers are stunning. Footage of alleged UFOs are intriguing. But what do you get when you put the two of them together? A “dreamlapse.”

The video “Death Valley Dreamlapse” shows one team’s trek to the Eureka Dunes on Dec. 13, 2012, to catch the peak of the Geminid meteor shower.

” … we had to conquer epic climbs, sand roads with the 4×4 Jeep, and the occasional UFO,” Sunchaser Pictures writes on the video’s description.

UFO or not, this clip is absolutely beautiful and intriguing.

January 25, 2013 in Film, Media, Science, Space, Travel, Ufology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Search for life on Mars goes underground

Mars_subsurface_1

via FUTURITY.ORG

Up to half of all life on Earth consists of simple microorganisms hidden in rocks beneath the surface and for some time scientists have suggested that the same may be true for Mars. Now this theory has been supported by new research, which suggests that the ingredients for life have been present in the Martian subsurface, a zone of more than three miles below ground, for much of the planet’s history.

When meteorites strike the surface of Mars, they act like natural probes, bringing up rocks from far beneath the surface. Recent research published in the journal Nature Geoscience shows that many of the rocks brought up from the Martian subsurface contain clays and minerals with a chemical make-up that has been altered by water, an essential element to support life.

January 24, 2013 in Media, Science, Space | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sundance Filmmakers Can Self-Distribute Films Online After Festival

Film-reel

via Mashable

The Sundance Film Festival, which kicked off last week in Park City, Utah, has long been one of the go-to events for filmmakers hoping to get their projects noticed by some of the industry's top players.

This year, the institute announced its partnership with an online video platform called Reelhouse, which filmmakers from the event can use to self-distribute their work online.

Isn’t this a Great Idea!??

January 24, 2013 in Art, Business, Film, Media, Web Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Leaked UN climate report slammed for citing WWF, Greenpeace

IPCCAP4Report

via Fox News

Critics are blasting a draft U.N. climate change report that combines studies by advocacy groups like the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace alongside scientific research papers -- the same issue that led independent auditors to slam the U.N.'s last report.

“You'd think that the IPCC would have learned its lesson, that it would have told its authors not to rely on these sorts of publications,” said Donna Laframboise, the head of nofrakkingconsensus.com, an investigative website skeptical of the scientific consensus on global warming.

January 24, 2013 in Current Affairs, Ecology, Economy, Media, Politics, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

PBS' NOVA to Premiere Documentary on 'Rise of the Drones'

via Mashable

The documentary will tackle both the military and civilian side of drone technology, exploring how the military trains drone pilots at the Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico, as well as the role drones will play in domestic law enforcement.

There are controversies in both of these worlds. Are drone strikes in accordance with international law? Are they killing too many civilians? "We’ve entered an era where we’re conducting an array of operations using unmanned systems that in a previous generation we would have called war, and we would have treated like war," Peter W. Singer, an expert in the future of warfare, says in the documentary. "When you’re conducting more than 300 air strikes in a country, you’re conducting an equivalent of at least an ‘Air War’ campaign. But we don’t call it that now."

On the civilian side, most of the questions are related to privacy and security. Can citizens' privacy be respected when there are thousands of eyes in the sky? "I think anybody that can use a device to peer into your activities even if it’s the air outside your window or the air above your property, I think there is a right to privacy," Rep. Rand Paul tells NOVA. "The worry is that in two [to] three years we will have 30,000 drones crisscrossing the sky accumulating all this information."

January 23, 2013 in Current Affairs, Economy, Media, Politics, Science, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Obama to use Lincoln's and Martin Luther King's Bibles for swearing-in | World news | The Guardian

via www.guardian.co.uk

President Barack Obama is putting a symbolic twist on a time-honored tradition, taking the oath of office for his second term with his hand placed not on a single Bible but on two – one owned by Martin Luther King Jr and one by Abraham Lincoln.

The use of King's Bible is particularly significant since the inauguration is on 21 January, the federal holiday in honour of the civil rights leader, who delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago at the Lincoln memorial. Obama will be facing the memorial as he takes the oath. King's Bible, which his children say he used early in his career as a preacher, has never been part of a presidential inauguration.

image: President Barack Obama gives his inauguration address during the public ceremonial inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

There were some great words and phrases in his speech, some of which were historically remarkable actually, and that go in line with “I have a dream” speech by civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.

But putting his words into action would be very tough job for him during next four years term.

And I sincerely hope that he will not be crucified by his own words.  

January 22, 2013 in Current Affairs, Economy, Fashion, Media, Politics, Religion, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, January 21, 2013

実は日本は自然エネルギー大国なのです

地熱情報研究所HPから】

日本は世界に冠たる地熱資源大国なのです。現在までに建設されたわが国の地熱発電設備容量は約53.5万kWで、推定されている資源量のわずか2.3%が利用されているに過ぎません。なお、この資源量は、現在利用されているのと同じ方法で発電できる量のみを示したものですが、将来的発電方式と言われる、高温岩体発電や火山発電あるいはマグマ発電(図2)を含めると、資源量は飛躍的に増加します。

原子力発電って、誤解を恐れずに非常に単純化すると、「電気を作るためにお湯を沸かして蒸気でタービンを回している、巨大で複雑な湯沸し器」な訳で。

なんだよ、それじゃ日本の場合「お湯ならそこら中で沸いてるじゃん!」と思うのは僕だけか?

世界の地熱発電プラントの70%は日本製だという。既に確立された技術で、世界からも優れて安定していると評価されている。

エネルギー政策を根本的に見直そうという日本の現状を考えると、プラントの輸出ばかりしてる場合か?と思う。

じゃあ、ど~して日本では地熱発電が普及しないのか?一つの理由はこれだ。

1972年の旧通産省と旧環境庁との覚書により、国立公園内では新たに地熱発電所は建設 しないことになったこともあり、その後、国立公園特別地域内では調査も困難な状況にな っています。ちなみに、150℃以上の地熱資源量2347万kWの81.9%が国立公園特別地 域内となっているのです。ということは、今のままでは、有望な地域のほとんどが開発で きないことになってしまっています。

僕は太陽光発電や風力発電を否定するつもりはないし、これからも再生可能エネルギーはどんどん開発研究すれば良い。そのうち、フリーエネルギーの開発だって、夢じゃないはずだ。

でもさ、原子力に比べて発電効率が劣るとしても、太陽光発電や風力よりよほど安定している、そして新たな技術開発もそれほど必要ない、(もちろん次世代型の高温岩体発電や火山発電あるいはマグマ発電の研究は是非やるべきだ)、しかも様々な点で優れているとされ、今すぐにでも使える既に確立された“国産の技術”があるのに、正に“足元に眠っている膨大な天然資源”を利用しないってのは、どう考えても合理的ではないと思うのだ。

これからは、スマートグリッドだけじゃなくて、スモールグリッドでエネルギーも地産地消が主流に成る、とすれば地熱発電が鍵に成るような気がするんだけど・・・。

今夜放送のJAM THE WORLDで、前「日本地熱学会」会長で、NPO「地熱情報研究所」代表の江原幸雄さんをゲストに迎えて、その辺りを伺いたいと思う。

January 21, 2013 in Business, Ecology, Economy, Politics, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Scale of the Universe 2

image

Do you remember the film clip called “Power of Ten” released back in 1977?
I was so mesmerized by that film and watched it over and over again.

Well, this graphic tour somewhat resembles that idea, only updated and very much fun to click through.

Enjoy!

January 20, 2013 in Art, Design, Science, Space, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Original Batmobile sold for $4.2m at US auction

via www.bbc.co.uk

The Batmobile used by actor Adam West in the original TV series of Batman has sold for $4.2m (£2.6m) at a US auction.

The car was bought by Rick Champagne, a logistics company owner from Phoenix, Arizona.

The 56-year-old, who was just 10 when the high-camp TV series began in 1966, said it "was a dream come true".

The Batmobile design was based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy by the Ford Motor Company.

It was the first time that car had come up for public sale since it was bought in 1965 by car-customiser George Barris, who transformed it in 15 days, at the cost of $15,000 (£9,400), into the superhero's famous vehicle.

The Batmobile was definitely one of my Dream Car when I was a kid…  I have not seen it for very long time, but I think it still looks awesome!

January 20, 2013 in Art, Business, Current Affairs, Design, Fashion, Media, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mona Lisa in space: NASA sends masterpiece to moon probe with laser.

via space.com

NASA has successfully beamed a digital image of the Mona Lisa to a satellite near the moon with a laser, part of an effort to upgrade communications with active spacecraft.

January 20, 2013 in Art, Science, Space | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, January 19, 2013

TWO MOST IMPORTANT VIDEO CLIPS YOU MUST SEE!!

Why Your Mind Is the Most Powerful Thing in the Universe

by Mashable

The Universe & your Brain Could be Connected

by TheBigPictureRT

January 19, 2013 in Art, Design, Science, Space | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, January 18, 2013

Report: Solar Could Meet All The World's Electricity Needs In 2050 Using Under One Percent Of World's Land | ThinkProgress

via thinkprogress.org

Highlighting the fact that a global switch to renewable energy is not just necessary, but doable, a new report released by the WWF concludes that the solar arrays necessary to meet all the world’s projected energy needs in 2050 would cover under one percent of global land area. Obviously this is a theoretical exercise, and 100 percent of the planet’s electricity needs are not actually going to be filled through solar. But several credible scenarios suggest that solar could provide about 30 percent of global total electricity in 2050, up from the 0.1 percent it provides now.

By going through the numbers, the Solar PV Atlas demonstrates both the practical feasibility of renewable energy, and the possibility of harmonizing solar energy with conservation goals:

January 18, 2013 in Business, Ecology, Economy, Politics, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The battery that grounded Boeing

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

U.S. officials grounded Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner because the aircraft's advanced batteries appear to be malfunctioning. But what's the problem? And can it be fixed?

To reduce weight on the plane, Boeing relied heavily on lithium ion batteries -- the same type found in mobile phones and laptops.

Can it be fixed? Fixing the fire issue is obviously the main problem. Boeing chose a particularly risky type of chemical makeup in its lithium ion battery, one that provides more power but does not stand up well to overheating.

"Boeing made a conscious design decision, and is now paying the price," he said.

January 18, 2013 in Business, Current Affairs, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 17, 2013

BBC News - Australian amateur prospector finds massive gold nugget

via www.bbc.co.uk

An amateur prospector in the Australian state of Victoria has astonished experts by unearthing a gold nugget weighing 5.5kg (177 ounces).

OMG, it looks like something Organic!!!

January 17, 2013 in Art, Business, Design, Religion, Science, Space | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack