22 December 2014

Betabook ~ Portable Pocket or Handy Whiteboard!

Afrigadget shares A Tablet for Africa which is the Betabook, a portable pocket or hand-holdable whiteboard which one can just digitize with a smartphone and camera. It's Kickstarting...

Five Jetliners ~ Epic Airbus Formation Flying!

Wow, Sploid's Jesus Diaz and Andrew Gorenstein spot an epic Airbus stunt, the formation flying of five new A350-900 XWB passenger jets!

Liquid Rainbow ~ Colombia's Vibrant River!

The BBC's Karen Catchpole writes of central Colombia’s 100 Km long Caño Cristales river -- the Liquid Rainbow. Check out photos by Eric Mohl of the river's natural shades of red, blue, yellow, orange and green due to the many hues of the Macarenia Clavigera plant! http://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20140903-colombias-liquid-rainbowhttp://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20140903-colombias-liquid-rainbowhttp://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20140903-colombias-liquid-rainbow

Amsterdam Light Festival ~ Timelapse Photonicity!

Thanks to 24oranges for spotlighting the Amsterdam Light Festival 2014-15 and Jack Fisher's lovely timelapse!

20 December 2014

Vestas Skipper Nico ~ Learning From Shipwreak...

At end November 2014, skipper Chris "Nico" Nicholson's nine-man Volvo Ocean Race team Vestas Wind ran their 65 foot racing yacht aground at 19 knots onto the charted Cargados Carajos Shoals, a reef nearish to Mauritius (which is roughly 200 nautical miles away) in the Indian Ocean. Thanks to gCaptain for sharing the saga and spotting his insights as shared with Sailing Anarchy's Alan Block... Here's some of the crash and context video... Vestas navigator Wouter comments on errors. Finally, some formal comments from CEO Frostad at Volvo Race Control...

18 December 2014

Prosthetic Mods ~ Double Amputee Fully Armed!

Amputee Makes History with APL’s Modular Prosthetic Limb!
"A Colorado man made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) this summer when he became the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory’s Modular Prosthetic Limbs. Most importantly, Les Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, was able to operate the system by simply thinking about moving his limbs, performing a variety of tasks during a short training period."

Prelude Progress ~ Epic Ship Construction Porn!

gCaptain spotlights my favorite current gigaproject, the Shell Prelude! Here's earlier intro to Prelude FLNG.

Roboparty ~ ETHZ's Autonomous Xmas Lab 2014

MissC spots Robot Christmas Party from ETHZ!

07 December 2014

R.I.P. Ralph Baer ~ Father of TV Video Games

Kokatu and Gamasutra report the sad news that Ralph Baer, widely considered the father of video games, has passed away at age 92.
"A renowned inventor, and holder of over 150 patents, Baer's most famous work was designing the machine that would become the Magnavox Odyssey, the world's very first home video games console. Every console and handheld that's come since, well, you can trace it all back to the Odyssey."

Rolltop ~ Computing Sceptre Concept Video...

This Rolltop concept video from 2010 is still compelling...

30 November 2014

Decommissioning ~ Retiring GasOil Rigs Correctly

Ingenia's Brian Nixon spotlights Decommissioning North Sea giants...
"A growing number of oil and gas assets have either reached, or are approaching, the end of their economic lifespans, and, in accordance with current regulations, will have to be decommissioned and removed. This presents challenges for the owners and operators of these assets, but offers major business opportunities for engineering consultants, contractors and service specialists. [...] At the moment, there are three accepted strategies for the removal of these larger production facilities, namely piece small, reverse installation and single lift. [...] Until recently, decommissioning has not been considered within the overall lifecycle of an offshore asset. As a result, maintenance regimes have often overlooked key items of plant and equipment that would be needed during the abandonment stages, leading to significant and arguably unnecessary costs. There are welcome signs that this attitude may be changing, with some companies now introducing decommissioning as part of their graduate development programmes. However, further effort is required before decommissioning is fully considered throughout the lifecycle."
And to give you a sense of the scale of what it takes to remove such rigs, here's a NatGeo docu on assembling one of the very biggest! And Discovery docu on North Sea Mega Rigs!

28 November 2014

Ship MRO ~ Repair & Overhaul of the Big Boats!

Mike Schuler at gCaptain spotlights Damen Shiprepair's MRO work on the MSC Magnifica! And here at Blohm+Voss Elbe yard, the Braemar was cut in two and extended by 10m!

27 November 2014

Root Capital ~ Growing Agri-Impact Finance...

Check out Root Capital, a financing and connections-making social venture which helps small and growing rural agri-businesses thrive long-term, socially, economically, and sustainably. See especially their Timeline and here's founder Willy Foote sharing how it all started... And a summary of their approach... And a Skoll World Forum Uncommon Heroes mini-docu on Root...

26 November 2014

Inspiring Amputees ~ MSF Action in Jordan...

MSF works in Jordan on seriously injured Syrian refugees. Here's a snippet of their work... Now the key additional thing is to ensure affordable quality prostheses are, in fact, accessible to those Syrian amputees, otherwise this was not inspiration but cruelty.

Detroit People Mover ~ Downtown Light Railway...

Business Insider spots the -- alas empty -- Detroit People Mover...