Give Me Some Water

I am not a big fan (pardon the pun) of wind turbines but this is pretty cool.

Wind turbines can now provide drinking water in humid climates following a breakthrough by a French engineering firm.

Eole Water modified  typical electricity-generating turbines to allow them to distill drinking water out of the air in a bid to help developing countries solve their water needs.

A prototype in Abu Dhabi already creates 62 liters (16.5 gallons) of water an hour, and Eole hopes to sell turbines generating a thousand liters a day later this year.

Thibault Janin, director of marketing at Eole Water, said: ‘This technology could enable rural areas to become self-sufficient in terms of water supply.
‘As the design and capabilities develop, the next step will be to create turbines that can provide water for small cities or areas with denser populations.’

The turbine works in the same way as the turbines currently seen dotting horizons around the world – and the electricity produced also helps power the water manufacturing process.

Air gets sucked into the nose of the turbine and is directed to a cooling compressor. The humidity is then extracted from the air and condensed and collected.

The water then travels down stainless steel pipes under the forces of gravity into a storage tank, where – with some filtering and purification – it is then ready to drink, wash, or cultivate with.

Mr Janin told CNN that one generator producing 1,000 liters a day is ‘enough to provide water for a village or town of 2,000 to 3,000 people’.

He said communities in Africa and South America, and remote islands in Asia with little access to safe drinking water, would be the types of communities who stood to benefit the most from the technology.

He added: ‘If you think of Indonesia, it has (thousands of) islands and they cannot centralize their water supply … the geographic makeup of the country makes it impossible.

‘This technique could enable them to overcome these problems and make the islands self-sufficient in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.’
But anyone ready to get their checkbook out should note the cost – around $650,000 per turbine. However Janin noted that prices would fall as economies of scale came into play.

He added: ‘We have just started the commercial aspect of this product but the price is not that expensive when you compare it with the long term solution that it gives.’

Eole Water said their priorities in the design were maximum water production, energy independence, low maintenance, logistical flexibility and no environmental impact.

The turbines have a life expectancy of 20 years.

Attribution: Eddie Wrenn

Europa gets Drilled

A laser-powered drill could be used to penetrate the thick layers of ice on Jupiter’s frozen moon Europa, allowing robot probes to explore the oceans beneath.

The problem scientists who hope to study the oceans beneath the crust of Europa have faced has always been the amount of energy needed to melt through the miles of ice.

Batteries would not last long enough, even a small nuclear reactor would be too big, and solar power would be absolutely useless so deep in the depths of the moon’s oceans.

But the VALKYRIE drill would leave its bulky power plant on the surface of the moon, with a high-powered laser shooting down a fibre-optic cable to run the device.

Once it had penetrated icy crust of Europa, it could then explore the oceans beneath collecting and analysing samples before melting its way back to the surface, sealing the hole behind it.

Inventor and explorer Bill Stone unveiled the design yesterday at Nasa’s Astrobiology Science Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

He told Wired Science: ‘Our modest goal over the next three years is to use a 5,000-watt laser to send a cryobot through up to 250 meters of ice.’

‘All the data show there are no show-stoppers for doing that. But from my standpoint, this is child’s play compared to what we could do.’

Dr Stone’s team combined several simultaneous advances in different fields, where researchers weren’t necessarily aware of each others’ work.

Bart Hogan, an optics expert and principal engineer on the project, told Wired: ‘It’s like you have all these groups making lenses for better eyeglasses, and someone says, “Hey, we can put these lenses together and build a telescope,”‘

With a doctorate in structural engineering and 11 patents to his credit, Dr Stone has already designed a range of robot explorers, of which VALKYRIE is just the latest.

His first robot, DEPTHX, descended deep into flooded Mexican hydrothermal springs to to find and collect samples of previously unknown microbial species between 2003 and 2007.

The next, called ENDURANCE, did the same thing in a freshwater lake hidden beneath a permanent ice cap in Antarctica in 2008 and 2009, creating the first 3-D chemistry map of a sub-glacial lake.

It was while testing ENDURANCE in advance of the Antarctic mission that Dr Stone came up with the novel power solution for VALKYRIE.

ENDURANCE used a tiny fibre optic cable – thinner than a strand of human hair – to communicate with the team sitting at the surface.

Dr Stone was suddenly struck with the idea that a much bigger cable could carry immense amounts of energy in the form of photons.

Researching the possibilities, he found that while there had been huge developments in both industrial lasers and fibre optic cables, no one had tried to fire the former down the latter.

Most development in the technology of fibre optic cables had been in the field of telecommunications, which uses very low power, Dr Stone told Wired.

While big industrial lasers, which can be powerful enough to cut a car in half, were usually only used in sealed units, with safety as the overriding concern, he added.

However, whether the new concept works or not, it is unlikely to make a mission to Europa anytime soon.

Nasa still have no clear, high-resolution pictures of what the surface of the moon is like and whether or not it is possible to land a spacecraft on there.

Mr Stone’s team has already built and tested the laser-fibre-optic power system at his laboratory in Texas.

They now plan to test a prototype of VALKYRIE at the Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, in June 2013.

Attribution: Wired Science, Mail Online

The Purposeful Ruination of America

As has been stated many times in the past; The United States can not be defeated by any military or opposing force outside its borders. It must be self-inflicted from within its own borders by its own people.

The following video is a testament to the fine job we are doing.

It’s so Slimey and Pink

In Defense of Pink Slime

By: The Common Constitutionalist

By now, we’ve all heard of it, the dreaded Pink Slime. You’ve probably seen it, looking more like soft-serve strawberry ice cream than beef.

It has suddenly become a hot topic and unfortunately has all but put one company, BPI Industries, out of business.

So why now? Why has this become such a hot topic? Believe it or not, this product has been on the market for over 30 years. It is government approved and has not harmed anybody in all that time.

So now, all the sudden, it has become a danger to humans.

Well, of course it isn’t a danger to humans. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. People, with enough time on their hands, will always find something to worry about.

The fact is, the general public doesn’t give a thought to how food is processed and how it makes to the grocery store shelves.

It is only when the public discovers that not all food comes directly from Old McDonald’s Farm, that they get all panicked and overreact.

“The more people are disconnected with their food supply and the sources of their food, the more questions they will have, and we understand that,” said Craig Letch, director of food safety and quality assurance for South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. “But, We don’t produce ‘pink slime.’ We produce 100 percent quality lean beef. That’s it. That whole thing is a farce. There’s no substance to it.”

So why the uproar, why the outrage?

Just what is this Pink Slime made of and why has it suddenly become the scourge of the American public?

Lean, Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), better known as pink slime, is virtually identical to 90% lean ground beef.

It is actually 100% beef processed from the trimmings of steaks and roasts, that are delivered to BPI industries.

The trimmings are placed in a centrifuge that spins and removes virtually all the fat from the trimmings leaving behind 94 to 97% lean beef.

That doesn’t sound so bad does it? If that is all it is, what is the problem?

The problem is due solely to the slightly elevated level of the chemical ammonium hydroxide and naturally any chemical that is added to our food must therefore be dangerous.

Obviously this is not true. It certainly isn’t true in this case.

Beef already has naturally occurring ammonia in it. Why add more?

Simple. To prevent the growth of the deadly E. coli bacteria. By simply raising the pH level of the meat product with a slight addition of ammonium hydroxide the E. coli bacteria cannot form.

So, as always happens in this country, instead of taking a step back and looking at the facts, the public panics, makes rash decisions and hundreds of people are put out of work.

Only after the damage has been done, are the facts allowed to come out and more often than not, debunk the myth.

Look Back in Time

Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope is designed to peer back to the dawn of time.

This week the solid state video recorder that will store the images, a sort of cosmic Sky HD box, was delivered to the team building it at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Built by Colorado-based Seakr Engineering, it’s been hailed as the most reliable ever made.

And it has to be, because it will operate in the most hostile conditions imaginable.
The telescope is being sent to a point in the solar system called the ‘Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point’, a million miles away.

It won’t be possible to make repairs to it out there, so there will be a lot of fingers crossed back at mission control.

By contrast Hubble sits in orbit a mere 350 miles above the Earth.

Out at the Lagrange point, temperatures can plummet to as low as -411F (-210C).

However, Seakr are bullish about their bit of kit and claim that it’s so reliable there’s no need to include a back-up.

Unlike the Hubble, Webb, which is almost as big as a 737, will use infrared instruments to scan the skies.

What’s more, Webb will have a 6.5 meter diameter primary mirror, which would give it a significantly larger collecting area than the mirrors available on the current generation of space telescopes.

Hubble’s mirror is a much smaller 2.4 meters in diameter.

This will mean that where Hubble can see the equivalent of ‘toddler galaxies’, Webb Telescope will be able see ‘baby galaxies’.

The Big Bang caused the universe (and thus the galaxies in it) to expand, so most galaxies are moving away from each other.

The most distant (and thus youngest) galaxies are moving away so quickly that the light they emit gets shifted towards the red end of the spectrum.

This is very similar to listening to a train whistle shifting from higher to lower frequency as it passes by.

Because visible light from faraway is shifted to the infrared, infrared telescopes, like Webb, are ideal for observing these early galaxies.

Attribution: Mail Online, NASA

A Cure for Prostate Cancer?

A new treatment for prostate cancer can rid the disease from nine in ten men without debilitating side effects, a study has found, leading to new hope for tens of thousands of men.

It is hoped the new treatment, which involves heating only the tumours with a highly focused ultrasound, will mean men can be treated without an overnight stay in hospital and avoiding the distressing side effects associated with current therapies.

A study has found that focal HIFU, high-intensity focused ultrasound, provides the ‘perfect’ outcome of no major side effects and free of cancer 12 months after treatment, in nine out of ten cases.

Traditional surgery or radiotherapy can only provide the perfect outcome in half of cases currently.

Experts have said the results are ‘very encouraging’ and were a ‘paradigm’ shift in treatment of the disease.

It is hoped that large scale trials can now begin so the treatment could be offered routinely on the NHS within five years.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will say in new guidance next week that the treatment is safe and effective and larger scale trials should go ahead.

A larger trial is already recruiting patients and men interested in the treatment should speak to their cancer doctor or GP about being referrred, experts said.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with more than 37,000 diagnoses each year and approximately 10,000 deaths.

Current treatments include surgery to remove the whole prostate or radiotherapy. Both of which can effectively treat the cancer but often cause side effects such as incontinence and impotence.

However in many men, prostate cancer will not progress to a life threatening disease meaning that radical treatment,  risk side effects unnecessarily. For this reason,  research is now focused on reducing side effects.

Focal HIFU involves careful selection of tumors, as small as a grain of rice, within the prostate gland and targeting them with highly focused ultrasound to heat them and destroy them.

The advantage over previous HIFU and other treatments is that damage to surrounding tissue is minimized, meaning there are far fewer side effects.

In the study published in the journal Lancet Oncology, 41 men were treated with focal HIFU. After 12 months, none were incontinent and one in ten suffered impotence.

The majority, 95 per cent, were free of cancer after 12 months.

Dr Hashim Ahmed, who led the study at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust andUniversity College London, said: “This changes the paradigm. By focusing just on the areas of cancer we reduce the collateral damage to surrounding tissue.

“Our results are very encouraging. We’re optimistic that men diagnosed with prostate cancer may soon be able to undergo a day case surgical procedure, which can be safely repeated once or twice, to treat their condition with very few side-effects. That could mean a significant improvement in their quality of life.

“This study provides the proof-of-concept we need to develop a much larger trial to look at whether focal therapy is as effective as the current standard treatment in protecting the health of the men treated for prostate cancer in the medium and long term.”

 Ahmed said after NICE guidance is issued next week, he expected other doctors to consider using the treatment.

He said: “These results will encourage more physicians to look at it more carefully. If men are interested in this concept they should speak to their cancer doctror or their GP.”

“The next step is a large scale randomized controlled trial. This needs to be evaluated in a timly way so men can benefit.”

The research program is led by Professor Mark Emberton, of UCL and UCLH. He said: “Focal therapy offers harm reduction – it is a strategy that attempts to redress the balance of harms and benefits by offering men who place high utility on genito-urinary function an alternative to standard care.

“In fact, the concept is not new – tissue preserving strategies have been used successfully in all other solid organ cancers such as breast cancer by offering women a lumpectomy rather than mastectomy.”

Professor Gillies McKenna, director of the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology, said: “Clinical trials, like this one supported by the MRC, are a fantastic tool for telling us whether experimental new treatments are likely to be effective in the clinic.”

“If these promising results can be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial, focal therapy could soon become a reasonable treatment choice for prostate cancer alongside other proven effective therapies.”

The research was funded by the MRC, the Pelican Cancer Foundation and St Peter’s Trust.

Jacqui Graves, Interim Head of Healthcare at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We welcome any research that shows early signs of improving the outcomes of treatment for prostate cancer patients.

“Significant reduction in the likelihood of common side effects, such as incontinence, will enable men to recover better and go on to lead good quality lives. We hope that a larger trial will be supported to ensure that the UK achieves the best outcomes for men affected by prostate cancer.”

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity said: “We welcome the development of any prostate cancer treatment which limits the possibility of damaging side effects such as incontinence and impotence. These early results certainly indicate that focal HIFU has the potential to achieve this in the future.

“However, we need to remember that this treatment was given to fewer than 50 men, without follow up over a sustained period of time. We look forward to the results of further trials, which we hope will provide a clearer idea of whether this treatment can control cancer in the long term whilst ridding men of the fear that treating their cancer might mean losing their quality of life.”

Attribution: Daily Telegraph

Beauty Falls from the Sky

When it slammed into the surface of Earth, there was little sign of the beauty that lay inside.

But cutting the Fukang meteorite open yielded a breathtaking sight.

Within the rock, translucent golden crystals of a mineral called olivine gleamed among a silvery honeycomb of nickel-iron.

The rare meteorite weighed about the same as a hatchback when it was discovered in 2000, in the Gobi Desert in China’s Xinjiang Province.

It has since been divided into slices which give the effect of stained glass when the sun shines through them.

An anonymous collector holds the largest portion, which weighs 925lb. This piece was expected to fetch $2million at auction at Bonham’s in New York – but it remained unsold.

It is so valuable that even tiny chunks sell in the region of $32 to $48 per gram.

Arizona’s Southwest Meteorite Laboratory, which holds about 70lb of the rock, says the remarkable find will turn out to be ‘one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of the 21st century’.

It says the Fukang specimen outshines all other known examples of the pallasite class, which makes up just one per cent of all meteorites. However, it is not the biggest – in 2005 space rock hunter Steve Arnold dug up a 1,400lb sample in Kansas.

The Arizona lab’s experts say pallasites, whose make-up of half nickel-iron, half olivine gives them their mosaic-like appearance, are ‘thought to be relics of forming planets’.

They are believed to originate from deep inside intact meteors created during the formation of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago and very few specimens are

Golden olivine meets silvery nickel-iron to create a stunningly beautiful mosaic effect

thought to have survived their descent through Earth’s atmosphere.

February 2005 saw the Chinese space rock transported all the way to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, in Tucson, Arizona.

The U.S. lab claims their polished slice of the original meteorite is the world’s biggest pallasite cross section, measuring 36in by 19in.

Attribution: Daily Mail

The Real Political Science

 Even as climate alarmists amplify their call for a worldwide tax on carbon dioxide emissions in the name of preventing global warming – penguins, polar bears, Himalayan glaciers and Arctic sea ice are all thriving.

With dire proclamations of ice free Arctic summers vehemently debunked, the latest data indicates that both wildlife and the environment in earth’s coldest regions has not experienced the catastrophic devastation predicted as a result of man-made climate change.

Forecasts that Canada’s polar bear population would significantly decline due to global warming have been proven completely inaccurate. The latest study shows that the Hudson Bay area polar bear population has remained steady at around 1000 – the same number found by a 2004 study, confounding the “doom-and-gloom” predictions of environmentalists about the demise of the polar bear (which) have failed to come true,” reports the Canadian Press.

“We are not observing these impacts right at this moment in time. And it is not a crisis situation as a lot of people would like the world to believe it is,” said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management.

Gissing added that their survey of Polar Bear population could yield twice as many as earlier predicted.

Meanwhile, Live Science reports, “A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than previously thought.”

Using state of the art technology that can single out penguins from other birds, researchers counted almost 600,000 penguins around the coastal regions, almost double the previous estimate of 270,000-350,000.

But it’s not just wildlife that is contradicting the claims of climate change alarmists, the environment itself is not behaving as global warming data models predicted.

Satellite data produced by French researchers shows that glaciers in the western Himalayan region are “putting on mass” rather than melting completely as doomsayers had warned in a 2007 UN IPCC report, which claimed that most of the region would be ice-free by 2035.

Despite the findings, BBC News, an ardent promoter of climate change propaganda, blamed the thickening of the glaciers on man-made global warming. When the earth last showed similar activity back in the 1970′s, the same scientific establishment, which now pushes anthropogenic global warming, blamed the changes on global cooling.

New research from the Arctic’s Bering Sea also found that ice is thickening.

“The amount of floating ice in the Arctic’s Bering Sea – which had long been expected to retreat disastrously by climate-alarmist organizations such as Greenpeace – reached all-time record high levels last month, according to US researchers monitoring the area using satellites,” reports The Register.

The article points to a 1999 Greenpeace prediction that sea ice in the area “could vanish altogether,” another piece of alarmist propaganda debunked by reality.

Despite a multitude of data that continually serves to eviscerate the pseudo-science behind man-made global warming, illustrating again that the earth has gone through natural warming and cooling cycles since its very genesis, climate change snake oil salesmen like NASA’s James Hansen, who this week will call for a global tax on CO2 emissions, continue to ignore real science in pursuit of their political agenda to exploit heartfelt environmental concerns for profit and power.

 Attribution: Paul Joseph Watson

I Can See You

Google wowed the world this week with its Project Glass computer glasses – but the U.S. Army is investing in a technology one step ahead.

The Pentagon has placed an order with Innovega for lenses which focus 3D battlefield information from drones and satellites directly into people’s eyeballs.

The tiny ‘screens’ sit directly on users’ eyeballs and work with a pair of lightweight glasses with a built-in translucent screen.

The experience is equivalent to a 240-inch television viewed at a distance of 10 feet, says Innovega’s CEO Steve Willey.

‘Warfighters need to maintain their full vision while on the battlefield,’ says the company. ‘At the same time a tremendous amount of data, graphics and video are collected and are required by specific warfighters in the field.

‘Some is generated from remote cameras, drones, or satellites. Fully transparent video eyewear that is configured into standard issue field glasses would constitute an important step forward. Innovega is actively in partnership to develop this application.’

Crucially, the devices can be worn while moving about – previous bulky ‘VR headsets’ have blindfolded their users and can only be used sitting down.

The effect could be similar to the lenses worn by Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

DARPA – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, thought of as the American military’s ‘mad scientist’ wing – has been funding research on ‘soldier mounted displays’ for some time, but previous versions have been bulky.

The lenses, made with nano-scale engineering processes,work as a hi-tech focusing device, which allows Innovega’s glasses to be considerably less bulky than previous devices.

The lenses themselves require no power, and thus can sit safely on the eyeball.

DARPA projects are often oddball technology, but it also has a history of far-sighted technological leaps.

DARPA invented the first virtual reality devices, and one of the precursors of the modern internet.

DARPA Says, ‘Innovega’s iOptiks are contact lenses that enhance normal vision by allowing a wearer to view virtual and augmented reality images without the need for bulky apparatus. ‘

 ‘Instead of oversized virtual reality helmets, digital images are projected onto tiny full-color displays that are very near the eye.’

These novel contact lenses allow users to focus simultaneously on objects that are close up and far away.’

Attribution: Daily Mail