My personal website, this one, which I nicknamed Beeps and Bells, turned 3 today! I chose Beeps and Bells because my daughter had lived in the hospital for 3 and 1/2 months after being born almost 3 1/2 months early.
Plastics like styrofoam currently take up between 25%-30% of our landfill space, and a single cubic foot of styrofoam has the same energy content as about one and a half liters of gasoline.
College pals Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre established Ecovative, which grows cost-effective alternatives to plastic insulation and packaging. While they were students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Bayer and McIntyre experimented with mycelium, the network of vegetative filaments in mushrooms, and realized that it could be used to form incredibly strong bonds. Essentially, the substance functions like a glue that you can grow and use to form agricultural byproducts like plant stalks and seed husks into natural alternatives to styrofoam packaging and insulation.
There are a lot of roads just sitting there in the sun, doing nothing with all that energy. Why not use them to collect it? Introducing the Solar Roadway, a road built out of solar panels.
The road is made of three parts: a hard-wearing translucent top-layer with the solar cells, LED lights (for road markings) and a heating element (to keep off snow and ice); an electronics layer to control lighting and communications; and a base plate layer that distributes power to nearby homes and businesses (and perhaps electric vehicle charging stations). Plus, there’s a channel at the edge to collect and filter run-off water (including anti-freeze and other chemicals that normally leeches into the ground).
There was no small amount of technology that went into the capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev, but perhaps none was more impressive than the helicopter-mounted, forward-looking infrared camera that confirmed once and for all that there was someone hiding in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts. And that he was almost certainly Dzokhar Tsarnaev.
Here are the pictures that sky-high camera took, just released a few hours ago by the Massachusetts State Police. They’re incredible.
The shot above gives the cleanest look taken by state police’s Air Wing, after being tipped off by the boat’s owner that there was a man smeared with blood (Tsarnaev) hiding inside. You can see Tsarnaev’s legs extended almost to the wheel, and his right arm outstretched. The boat itself looks almost like an X-ray. And that’s no surprise, given the capabilities of the technology involved. As we wrote last night, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras are equipped with special sensors that can detect infrared radiation, such as that caused by a heat source. Specifically, in this case, caused by a heat source belonging to a human body.