Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How Does The Brain Work? Will Understanding Enable Supreme Innovation?

Recently  Sebastian Seung has finished a book on his many years of brain study. Some of his findings are entirely life changing. How a child is treated in the first three years of existence, can enhance or destroy the chances of human advancements during its life time. Could be understanding the brain, advance or extend our existence? Could altering our genome cure paralysis or brain malfunctions or diseases? This could be one of the most important innovation areas in the coming years. When an author writes a book an article or even a blog post, he can only hope to make someone's brain react in a certain way or provoke action. With this post I am hoping that some young person's imagination could inspire them to go into this field of research. The machine between our ears that innovates and creates, is out of reach of full understanding.  Could  understanding it push us farther than we could imagine.

Sebastian's new book, "Connectome" Link: Brain book!

Dean Kamen's "Sling Shot" Will Change The Future Of The World

      A soft drink company thinks, "this is it." Coca-Cola has invested in testing this invention out. A soft drink company depends on clean water. As the years go by, clean drinking water was thought to get so rare that people will be fighting wars over it. Not any more. If the Coca-Cola company's test works out, they will be transporting these machines around the world.
     Why not use this technology to purify sewage waste for cities, or polluting companies sitting along our rivers and lakes. The technology has long been known that boiling water to steam cleans it. Doing it cheaper and affordable is the key. The extreme efficiency of the process is the key to is success. Like the Segway and it's  unique balance and propelling system that will change the way other future transport vehicles will operate, this could change the way water is handled and used. Could this purify water and economically heat homes at the same time?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Personal Flotation Device And Air Bag Technology Saves Lives For Skiers

Astounding You Tube Video Footage Link: Skiing in the mountains gets safer!

The chances of being dug up alive by your friends in a avalanche are actually not all that good. In a study by the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, 53% of people completely buried by avalanches did not survive, while only 4% of those who weren’t buried died. Your best bet is to stay on the surface, and an air bag provides a significantly better chance of that happening. Documented accidents show a 97% survival rate of avalanche victims with an ABS airbag. 

HOW THEY WORK - If the airbag wearer gets caught in an avalanche, they pull a trigger on the backpack’s shoulder strap and a compressed gas cylinder inflates a balloon. Basically avalanche air bags rely on the principle of inverse segregation. If you shake a bag full of sand and pebbles, the pebbles will rise to the surface as they have more volume than the sand grains. This would explain why the backpack airbags have such a large air bag when the are activated. The air bag is also meant to protect the head from receiving deadly impact. Like any in new innovation, testing and research reveals some design flaws. It has been found that the two chamber design increases your chances of survival. A second air chamber allows one bag to be punctured and the bag to remain inflated. The wrap around bag may protect the head, but cut down on peripheral vision needed to help the disaster victims escape. Even though this increases survival chances, there is a fear that this may push more thrill seekers to chance the more dangerous areas thinking they will survive.
Another video to watch: Riding out the avalanche.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monsanto's Genetically Altered Corn Raises Some Concerns.

France and several Euro- nations are expressing concerns about the growing of Monsanto's insect-resistant MON810 maize. Monsanto has been selling this product in the USA since 2003. With the popularity of corn in the human diet and in the food chain of so many animals, it is important to the world to examine innovations in plants and food to grow better foods that produce more and prevent insect damage. This year the Wall Street Journal announced that there is going to be a shortage of corn seed. Together with the increased profits from the shortages and the increased global climate change challenges, that will drive up the demand to plant more corn, anxiety abounds in the farming industry. Yet why not welcome this great corn innovation? The health control agencies of the Euro-nations involved are saying that the corn shows concerns for human health. We know externally applied insecticides have not only been expensive but dangerous to humans and the environment. The genetic corn uses synthetic versions of insecticide within the corn. The International Journal of Biological Sciences has claimed that this corn has caused kidney and liver damage in rats. Link: Kidney and liver problems in rats. Link II: Scientific study.
     How does the genetically created corn work? Why could it be a problem? There are 3 different types that are a health concern. NK 603 has been modified to be tolerant to the broad spectrum herbicide Roundup and thus contains residues of this formulation. MON 810 and MON 863 are engineered to synthesize two different Bt toxins used as insecticides.It is the elements that we find in the insecticides and repel insects that are raising concerns for human and animal health. With changing the genetics of plants the situation can lead to an even larger problem when the plants are allowed to germinate with natural corn. We end up with all this beautiful corn, that is not safe for consumption. We need  healthy corn that repels insects. Can this be possible? It sounds like Monsanto will have to go back to the drawing board. I have to wonder if the same tests used on the corn are used on the many ground water sites that have been contaminated with the insecticides that have been applied externally by farmers over the years. With new innovations you may not get it exactly right the first time so perseverance is a must. In the mean time, sweetcorn stands across the country may have to contain a sign saying this sweet corn could be damaging to your body's vital organs.

STILL ANOTHER NOTE: Recently the USA approved a Monsanto genetically engineered corn to be drought resistant. Link: Drought resistant corn, how dose that work?

Does anyone see that this may be why the bees are disappearing? Corn is just one plant that is getting genetically produced with plant proteins that survive the Roundup and get rid of the bugs. Monsanto is just one of the companies doing this. The list is growing of the many plants using this technology.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Own Your Own Drone For Under $300?

Recently the Miami police have purchased their own drone to use in cases where they need to watch what may be going on that is not legal. It has caused some concern by several people living in the city. These police drones can fly for 45 minutes while sending video to watch.

The more amazing advancement is the personal drones that can be owned for under $300. The AR.Drone company not only has advanced the personal flying machine to include gyros to make it highly controllable, but a camera that can show some very nice video and still shot images. Their website has a spot where you can watch video surveillance from around the world. Be careful, you never know who is watching! Controlled by your smart phone or your IPad these look like fun toys.

Check out the device closer: Sky pictures!
Recently covered by leading business sources: Press coverage

Shoe Generators Produce Energy To Charge Your Life!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Japan's Earthquake Was A Proving Ground For Nissan Car Battery

The massive destruction of the recent Japanese Tsunami proved the durability of the Nissan Leaf car battery. It's air-cooled design encased in plastic helped it survive the horrific conditions that the Tsunami dished out. While often times the cars did not survive, the battery did.

Recently other electric car batteries have been under "fire" after collision tests raised concerns that battery fires showed up in some cases. These batteries under question are liquid cooled batteries.

Liquid cooled batteries while proven to handle adverse weather conditions, are showing signs of fire concerns when damaged. The both the air cooled and fluid batteries have 8-year, 100000-mile battery warranties.

Nissan is claiming that after 10 years of use their batteries are still at 70 percent capacity. Now the concern is that the battery could out live the cars. Their engineers are starting to search for ways to use the battery after the life of the car. Could the battery be used for other things? With a the right use could the disposal of these batteries be put off for another 10 years? They are hoping to store wind and solar panel energy, making it a very interesting future for these very durable energy storage devices.

Read about future storage:The battery is still good after 10 years!
Air vs Liquid cooled controversy: The battery is primative!
Compare the safety: The Nisson safety results from the quake!