Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to make an origami snowflake.

Recommended paper size: Hexagon with a side length of 10cm (approx. 4in)
Resulting model: Hexagon with a side length of 5cm (approx. 2in)
This video describes how to fold the origami snowflake designed by Dennis Walker. Dennis' website:

Grab a square piece of paper and follow along with this video to create your own snowflake using the Japanese art of origami.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Bullet 580 - the world's largest Airship

E-Green Technologies' Bullet 580 is the world’s largest airship at 230ft (70m) long and 65ft (19.8m) diameter. Each Bullet 580 costs US$8M (€6.3M), the company plans to build eight airships to rent at US$290,000-800,000 (€230,000-630,000) a month.

Suggested applications for Bullet 580’s unique low speed and lifting capabilities include sightseeing, carrying heavy cargo and flown on high altitude remotely piloted observation missions carrying up to 2,000lbs (907kgs) at 20,000ft (6000m), or 15,000 to 2,500ft (760m).

Buoyant lift comes from seven helium filled bags with the outer Kevlar hull made rigid by pressurized air. The 35mph (56kph) cruising speed and maximum 80mph (129kph) comes from engines using algae-produced bio-diesel fuel.

The first mission to fly will take NASA and Old Dominion University crew, on a soil moisture measuring research flight. Test flights are planned to begin this summer.

Technical Specifications:

•Approximate length = 230 feet
•Specially manufactured in various lengths to meet sustained altitude and payload requirements.
•Maneuverable—vertical takeoff/descent; capable of reversing directions.
•Diesel-powered generators provide a power budget for payloads exceeding 4kw.
•Payload bays designed for easy access and modification.
•Dual-redundant flight control system for manned and unmanned operation.
•Ground Control Systems and data links provide full control during unmanned operation.
•Water Condensate Recovery System reduces need for helium replenishment.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Oil Rocks

The Oil Rocks The Oil Rocks is a full town on the sea, 50km off the coast of Azerbaijan, it was the first oil platform in Azerbaijan. It was built in 1947 as an exercise of Soviet and Azeri ambition. The Oil Rocks lies 45–50 km (28–31 mi) offshore on the Caspian Sea and extracts oil from the shallow water portion of the Absheron geological trend. The most distinctive feature of the Oil Rocks is that it is actually a functional city with a population of about 5,000 and over 200 km (120 mi) of streets built on atop rocks, piles of sand and landfill. Most of the inhabitants work on shifts; a week on Oil Rocks followed by a week on the shore. The small city includes shops, school and a library. After almost 60 years the Oil Rocks is still quite unusual as Azerbaijan's first and largest oil platform. Despite the conditions, the platforms still have a combined population of about 5,000 men, who work in week-long offshore shifts, and collectively they produce over half of the total crude oil output of Azerbaijan.

kamni3 The facility is poorly maintained, with miles of roads now submerged beneath the sea. Around some worker's dormitories, the waterline now stands at the second-floor windows. Although a full one-third of the Oil Rocks complex's 600 wells are inoperative or inaccessible, operations have continued without a significant increase in investment. The site, despite its imperfections, still produces over half of the total Oil_Yazi2 crude oil output of Azerbaijan. The government has striven to attract foreign investment into Oil Rocks, resulting in several new additions being grafted onto the existing structure.

Several action sequences in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough are set on the Oil Rocks. , where terrorists used a giant helicopter saw to cut the oil pipes.

Sources: Wikipedia, Google Sightseeing

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Electric vehicles - The Future of Cars

Tesla Roadster

This car has reinvigorated the EV market like no other. Tesla's Roadster is an attention magnet, and every time the car stops, tesla roadstersomeone wants to know how far it can go on a charge (240 miles, if you drive it very conservatively) or how long it takes to recharge (3.5 hours) or how much it costs ($110,000). As it speeds up, the car starts to whine; it sounds nothing like any car you hear on the roads. It's much more like the Landspeeder from Star Wars. Electric motors are very powerful, and the Tesla's 0 to 60 time is 3.9 seconds.

Lightning GT - The United Kingdom’s answer to Tesla

lightning-gt Electric vehicles have maximum available power at the wheels at any speed, unlike a petrol engine where maximum power is only obtained high up in the rev range. To deliver this power to the road the Lightning will use electronically controlled traction control which negates wheel spin and unbalance in the power being applied. The stunning performance of the Lightning GTS will likely surpass almost all large engine high performance sports cars in the 0-60mph range. The sensation of harnessing power and performance will be felt by the sheer exhilaration of the power pushing you back in your seat as the car accelerates. Because there is no engine, the Lightning has a maintenance-free motor with just a few parts and together with the control electronics and special batteries, will not need anywhere near the servicing of other sports cars. The Lightning's power figures are very impressive - 700 horsepower, and 4 second 0-60mph times to almost rival the Tesla's 3.7 seconds. But it's the GT's revolutionary battery technology that might give it the upper hand: Nanosafe's Li-ion cells using nano titanate structures instead of traditional graphite give the GT an incredible 250-mile range, a full recharge time of only 10 minutes, and a life expectancy of 12 to 20 years, or 15,000 charge cycles before the battery performance drops significantly.

Nissan Leaf electric car

Nissan Leaf designed as a four-to-five seat, front-drive C-segment hatchback, Nissan says the Leaf is not just for use as a specialty nissan urban runabout, but rather, it was designed as an everyday vehicle – a "real car" whose 160-kilometer+ (100 mile) range meets the needs of 70% of the world's motorists. In the case of U.S. consumers, Nissan says that fully 80% of drivers travel less than 100km per day (62 miles), making the Leaf a solid fit for America's motoring majority, even taking into account power-sapping external factors like hilly terrain, accessory draw, and extreme temperatures. Powered by a unique array of thin, laminated lithium ion cells capable of delivering over 90 kW of power, the Leaf's front-mounted electric motor delivers 80 kW (107 horsepower) and a healthy 280 Nm of torque (208 pound-feet), and it promises brisk and silent off-the-line power, with acceleration from a stop comparable to that of the company's Infiniti G35. And the Leaf has a top speed of over 140 km/h (87 mph). More impressive is the battery pack's 50 kW AC fast-charge capability, which is capable of accepting an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes, or an extra 50 km (31 miles) worth of range in about 10 minutes.

GEM electric car

GEM battery-electric vehicles are classified as low-speed vehicles, or neighborhood electric vehicles, and are street legal in nearly all 50 gem states on public roads posted at 35 mph or less. With a top speed of 25 mph, GEM cars have a range of up to 30 miles on a charge and are great for traveling around city centers, gated communities, resorts, sports stadiums, job sites, or neighborhoods. GEM vehicles are battery-electric, operate on a 72-volt battery system and plug into a standard 110-volt outlet. What makes GEM vehicles so unique is that they can be recharged anytime, anywhere a 110-volt outlet is available and recharge in approximately six to eight hours.

GEM cars are available in a choice of six models: the GEM e2 two-passenger, the GEM e4 four-passenger, the GEM e6 six-passenger, the GEM eS two-passenger with a short-back bed, the GEM eL two-passenger with a long-back bed, and the GEM eL XD two-passenger extra duty with a long-back bed.

From its high profile to its command-style seating the GEM e2 two-passenger vehicle is ideal for those short trips you make every day. Its standard six 12-volt flooded electrolyte batteries provide a range of up to 35 miles on a charge and the many vehicle options offer you great versatility. Visit the Standard Features section for more information on the features that make the GEM e2 a vehicle you will enjoy driving.

Chevrolet Volt

chevrolet Volt is an electric car that can create its own electricity. Plug it in, let it charge overnight, and it’s ready to run on a pure electric charge for up to 40 miles(3) — gas and emissions free. After that, Volt keeps going, even if you can’t plug it in. Volt uses a range-extending gas generator that produces enough energy to power it for hundreds of miles on a single tank of gas.

Electricity is an extremely affordable way to power a car — the average American pays less than 12 cents per kilowatt hour. If the average American drives less than 40 miles, it will cost about a dollar a day for electricity. That's about the same annual cost as running a common household appliance.

Phoenix SUT

phoenix-sut The four-passenger, advanced battery electric, zero-emission SUT that can travel at freeway speed. Equipped with a revolutionary lithium titanate battery, this SUT (sport utility truck) will travel over 100 miles on a single 10-minute charge (Off-Board High-Power 250kW Charger required for 10-minute charge). Designed with a sophisticated chassis and regenerative braking, this fully electric vehicle is not only powerful, it’s practical and really cool. Phoenix is initially selling to fleets because that’s where the math works out. Since it’s a certified EV, the State of California provides some pretty massive incentives...enough to make it possible to sell a vehicle with $75,000 worth of batteries for $45,000


reva-nxr The NXR's high torque motor delivers a top speed of 104 km/h. The NXR offers both Normal and Fast Charge options. While Normal Charge is ideal for overnight charging, the optional external Fast Charge station gives you 40 km (25 miles) in just 15 minutes. With a range of 160 km, the REVA is good for 97% of all journeys you'll ever make. In addition to mechanical braking, the REVA's regenerative braking, extends your range by putting energy back into your batteries, every time you slow down. For the price of a couple of tanks of petrol, you can commute all year long. Leave fuel costs in the past, where they belong. A proprietary Intelligent Energy Management System with integrated thermal battery management provides enhanced efficiency and reliability. The NXR has a turning radius of just 3.9 meters. Completely automatic, it is just as easy to park as it is to carve through city traffic.


coda-sedan1 Coda - a four door, five passenger sedan with an all-electric drive train. The car was originally designed by one Miles Rubin, and he's remaining an integral part of the launch. The electric family car includes enough battery power to travel between 90 and 120 miles on a full charge, and it can regain 40 miles of range with just two hours of charging. It supports energy from any 110 or 220V socket, and a full charge (from 0% to 100%) can be accomplished in as little as six hours. The cost of the car is expected to be around $45,000, but the actual cost of ownership will dip much lower after a $7,500 federal credit along with other incentives. Coda Automotive estimates that it will cost less than $3 (on average) to drive 100 miles, whereas a comparable gas-powered sedan would eat up around $17 in fuel costs to drive that same distance. Amenities are everywhere as well, with the factory list of equipment including navigation, Bluetooth, AM/FM/XM radio, USB connectivity and aluminum wheels. The car's even backed by a 3-year, 36,000 mile warranty.

Venturi Fetish - World's first electric sportscar

venturi-fetish The folks at Monaco-based Venturi Automobiles have used two strategies to overcome the problems of producing a high-performance, all-electric luxury sportscar: manufacture only 25 units per year, and charge $400,000 for each one. The Venturi Fetish, described by the company as “the first production electric sports car in automobile history,” can bolt from zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds, and reach a maximum speed of 105 mph. The physics behind this level of performance: 330 horsepower pushing a carbon-fiber vehicle weighing only 2,425 pounds.
When the vehicle’s 100 li-on battery packs are topped off, Venturi claims the Fetish can go 220 miles before needing a recharge. A rapid battery charge is available, yielding about one mile of driving for every minute of juice. Venturi has taken the guesswork out of knowing how much charge is left by teaming up with Intel to create a wireless information system to remotely monitor the energy storage status, as well as other critical data. Before writing a check for a deposit, you might consider that the vehicle has yet to meet U.S. guidelines to become certified for American roads. Customers take delivery in Monaco and are responsible for transport to the United States… or anywhere else, for that matter. Orders are being taken, with a production and delivery timeline of approximately one year.


tango The revolutionary Tango combines the speed and agility of a motorcycle with the security of a high-performance sports car.
The Tango's ability to maneuver through traffic is second to none. Being 5" narrower than many motorcycles, it can get through traffic like no other car in history. Where lane splitting is permitted (i.e., driving between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic), the advantage can be staggering. In extremely heavy traffic, a Tango or motorcycle can travel in 20 seconds the distance that cars travel in 20 minutes.
The Tango can fit in a 6-foot half-lane with more clearance than a truck has in a full 12-foot freeway lane. This virtual doubling of lane capacity can make the traffic jam a fading memory. It can also park perpendicularly to the curb like a motorcycle, allowing up to four Tangos in one parallel parking space.
With over 1,000 ft-lbs of torque starting at zero rpm and a 600 kW (805 hp) motor controller, the Tango accelerates from 0-60 mph in under four seconds, finishes the standing 1/4 mile in about 12 seconds at over 100 mph, and can reach over 130 mph with no gear shifting.

Range from 40 to 200 miles of freeway driving is available, depending on battery selection and your planned driving habits. It is recommended that, at least twice the range of your typical daily trips between charges be purchased.

sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14