When I was kid, I distinctly remember the sound of Latin America. I spent the first four years of my life in Nicaragua and the truth is I don’t remember much.
But what I do remember about the country is the sounds of its central parks — the calls from the women selling cajeta and the…
World’s largest earthquake damper
A tuned mass damper, also known as a harmonic absorber, is a device mounted in structures to reduce the amplitude of mechanical vibrations. Their application can prevent discomfort, damage, or outright structural failure. They are frequently used in power transmission, automobiles, and buildings.(source:Wikipedia)
This 728 tons steel pendulum is installed in one of the world’s tallest buildings, the taipei 101 in Taiwan. It helps stabilize the building in case of strong winds and earthquakes, through simple mechanics, when the building moves in a direction it swings in the opposite direction reducing movement by 40%. You can understand how it works by looking at the small GIF image.
It cost $4 million to install the huge damper in the skyscraper but architects and engineers said it had to be done. It spans across 4 of the building’s stories and it was assembled on site because it couldn’t be lifted by a crane, due to its enormous weight.
Here’s a video of the damper in action, on May 12th,2008, when a horrific earthquake hit one of China’s provinces and the tremors reached as gar as Taipei. As the building started to shake, people ran towards the center to see the damper in action, it did it’s job.
Shades of Linux and Tesla: Honda is opening the plans, schematics and specs for its new Honda Smart Home prototype to all members of the curious commercial community and public who want to see how the place is put together and figure…
You know, the American media, by and large, doesn’t cover Africa in terms of a place of economic activity. We think of Africa, typically, as a place of disaster and conflict and humanitarian interests. And so our own public is not conditioned to think, as the Chinese have come to think, of Africa as this place of huge demographic expansion where much of the growth of the future may occur. We’re sort of stuck in a old, outmoded view of Africa, and if you don’t have a vision of opportunity, you’re not likely to pursue these sorts of things.
Open-Source Agriculture: The Sprouting Of A New Food Movement?
Walk through the produce aisle today and you can find labels for organic, fair trade, and local items. For shoppers who oppose the practices of seed agri-giants like Monsanto, one day there may be a new option to consider: open-source.
Inspired by the open-source software movement, the Open Source Seed Initiative has quietly spent the last two years developing a cache of seeds that they released to the world at a launch event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May. With names like “Sovereign” (a carrot variety) and “Midnight Lightning” (a zucchini), they packaged together 37 varieties of 14 crops attached to a pledge: Open-source seeds must stay freely available for use by all—no intellectual property rights can be claimed to the seeds or derivatives bred from them.
Full Story: FastCoExist