Speed Record on a Bike

 

A French cyclist has broken the land speed record on a bicycle by attaching a hydrogen-peroxide rocket to the frame.

Francois Gissy from Alsace recorded a top speed of 163mph (263kph) on his self-built vehicle on an old runway in Munchhouse in North Eastern France.

This record beat his previous mark of 150 mph (242.6kph), set in 2002, and just missed out on the powered bike speed record set in 1995 by the Slipstream bike by 3mph (5kph).

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French cyclist Francois Gissy from Alsace has broken the land speed record on a bicycle by attaching a hydrogen-peroxide rocket to the frame.

French cyclist Francois Gissy from Alsace has broken the land speed record on a bicycle by attaching a hydrogen-peroxide rocket to the frame. Gissy recorded a top speed of 163mph which beat his previous mark of 150 mph, set in 2002. He just missed out on the powered bike speed record set in 1995 by the Slipstream bike by 3mph

 

Cyclist Francois Gissy recorded a top speed of 163mph on his self-built vehicle with help from Exotic Thermo Engineering.

Cyclist Francois Gissy recorded a top speed of 163mph on his self-built vehicle with help from Exotic Thermo Engineering. He broke the record on an old runway in Munchhouse in Haut-Rhin in the Alsace region of France

HOW DO HYDROGEN PEROXIDE ROCKETS WORK? 

Concentrated liquid hydrogen peroxide flows into a storage tank that contains a catalyst.

This catalyst is usually a material such as silver.

The decomposition catalyst causes the hydrogen peroxide to decompose into water steam and oxygen.

This reaction heats the gas mixture to around 650 degrees.

The hot steam is then pushed through a nozzle attached to the end of the rock and this provides the thrust need to push the bicycle forward.

The velocity of the gas flow after the nozzle becomes well over 1000 m/s and gives the rocket a considerable reaction force thrust.

The gas mixture after the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide contains oxygen.

The thrust force is increased if this oxygen is used to burn an organic fuel, before it is released through the nozzle.

The fuel can be a liquid, such as pure alcohol called ethanol that is sprayed in after the catalyst chamber.

Or it can be a solid, such as a rod of polyethylene placed after the catalyst chamber.

Source: Peroxide Propulsion

Gissy designed the bike himself while Swiss company Exotic Thermo Engineering (ETE) and engineer Arnold Neracher designed the rocket that propelled it.

ETE’s rocket used hydrogen peroxide and is called an ‘ecological monopropellant motor’.

The rocket works by putting concentrated liquid hydrogen peroxide into a storage tank that contains a catalyst.

The fuel can be a liquid, such as pure alcohol called ethanol that is sprayed in after the catalyst chamber.

These kind of rockets are called bipropellant liquid fuel rockets.

Or the fuel can be solid, such as a rod of polyethylene placed after the catalyst chamber.

Such a rocket is called a hybrid rocket.

The decomposition catalyst causes the hydrogen peroxide to decompose into water steam and oxygen.

This reaction heats the gas mixture to around 650 degrees.

The hot steam is then pushed through a nozzle attached to the end of the rock and this provides the thrust need to push the bicycle forward.

French cyclist breaks land speed record using rocket propulsion:

 

The velocity of the gas flow after the nozzle becomes well over 1000 m/s and gives the rocket a considerable reaction force thrust.

The gas mixture after the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide contains oxygen.

The thrust force is increased if this oxygen is used to burn an organic fuel, before it is released through the nozzle.

The record was set at the Munchhouse aerodrome in Haut-Rhin in the Alsace region of France.

The speed was officially recorded using a GPS tracker fitted to the bike’s handlebars.

In the video posted on LiveLeak, Gissy is shown zooming passed a speeding car during his record-breaking ride.

 

ETE's rocket used hydrogen peroxide. It works by putting concentrated liquid hydrogen peroxide into a storage tank that contains a catalyst.

ETE’s rocket used hydrogen peroxide. It works by putting concentrated liquid hydrogen peroxide into a storage tank that contains a catalyst. The catalyst causes a decomposition that releases hot gases which are pushed through the rocket’s nozzle to give it thrust

Attribution: Victoria Woollaston, Mail Online

Build the Pipeline

It’s Time to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone XL pipeline is a line in the sand issue, dividing those who want to utilize our energy resources to create jobs and propel America toward economic growth and energy self-sufficiency and those whose sole goal is to stop the development of fossil fuels.

There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, which is why it is so perplexing that President Obama has yet to make a decision on the project after weighing the issue for over four years.

The pipeline, if fully constructed, would be able to carry nearly a million barrels of oil per day, bringing supplies from the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, as well as U.S. crude from the Bakken oil fields being developed in North Dakota and Montana.

A report from the Department of Energy estimates that the increased energy supplies and gains in energy efficiency could essentially eliminate U.S. dependence on Middle East oil.

This pipeline could tip the global oil market’s balance of power in North America’s favor, taking back this power from politically unstable regions of the world.

This is welcome, real progress for America. But progress for the environmental extremists is to hold back this opportunity and the power of our energy abundance through review, regulation and red tape.

Just as Keystone has become a rallying cry for environmentalists, it has also become a rallying cry for American workers.

Construction of the pipeline would support the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across several different sectors of the economy.

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German Bomber Found

 

A rare German bomber from the Second World War is set to be raised from the English Channel where it has lain for seven decades, it was announced.

The retrieval of the last surviving Dornier Do 17 from the Goodwin Sands off the coast of Kent will be the biggest recovery of its kind in British waters.

The aircraft was first spotted by divers in 2008, lying 50ft below the surface on a chalk bed, surrounded by debris. 

Dornier
Underwater images of the WW2 Dornier lying in 50ft of water off the Kent coast. Work began today to raise what is the only surviving World War Two Nazi bomber from its watery grave in the English Channel
 
Under the sea: A Dornier Do 17 bomber which lies off the coast of Kent is set to be recovered
Under the sea: A Dornier Do 17 bomber which lies off the coast of Kent is set to be recovered

 Sonar scans carried out by the RAF Museum, Wessex Archaeology and the Port of London Authority confirmed that the plane is the Dornier Do 17Z Werke number 1160, which was shot down during the Battle of Britain.

Two of its four-man crew were killed as it crashed into the sea, but the other two were captured and taken into custody as prisoners of war.

The plane, which is said to be in ‘remarkable condition’, was one of the Luftwaffe’s ‘flying pencil’ bombers, named for their narrow fuselage.

It is covered in coral, barnacles and other marine life, but is otherwise largely intact.

The main undercarriage tires remain inflated and the propellers clearly show the damage inflicted during the bomber’s final crash landing.

Lifting the plane from the sea will take around three weeks using pioneering technology, and will be dependent on tides and weather conditions.

Mission: Recovery workers prepare the mechanism which will help to retrieve the German plane from the Channel
Recovery workers prepare the mechanism which will help to retrieve the German plane from the Channel
 
Unprecedented: This will be the biggest operation of its kind ever to take place in British waters
This will be the biggest operation of its kind ever to take place in British waters

GERMANY’S ‘FLYING PENCIL’ PLANE

The Dornier Do 17 was known as the ‘flying pencil’, because of its unusually narrow fuselage.

It was one of the main bombers used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, including at the Battle of Britain in 1940.

The plane was developed to be a commercial aircraft, but was turned down by Lufthansa and redesigned into a bomber.

Although the Do 17 was no longer made after 1940, it was used by Nazi forces throughout the war.

More than 400 of them were flown in the Battle of Britain, with 171 shot down by the RAF or otherwise lost.

The planes were 52ft long with a wingspan of 59ft, and could carry 2,000lb of explosives while manned by a crew of four.

None of the aircraft were believed to have survived for long after the end of the conflict, until the discovery of the plane off the coast of Kent.

A frame will be built around the aircraft underwater, and will then be slowly winched up and placed on a floating platform.

The operation has been made possible by a grant of more than £345,000 ($527,000) from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Air Vice-Marshal Peter Dye, director general of the RAF Museum, said: ‘The discovery and recovery of the Dornier is of national and international importance.

‘The aircraft is a unique and unprecedented survivor from the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.

‘It will provide an evocative and moving exhibit that will allow the museum to present the wider story of the Battle of Britain and highlight the sacrifices made by the young men of both air forces and from many nations.’

When the Dornier has been recovered, it will be prepared for display at the RAF Museum in Hendon, North London.

The preservation work will take place at the museum’s conservation centre in Cosford, Shropshire, where the plane will be placed in two hydration tunnels and soaked in citric acid. 

 
 
Channel: The plane was sunk in Goodwin Sands, off the coast of Kent near Deal
 The plane was sunk in Goodwin Sands, off the coast of Kent near Deal
 
In action: A Dornier bomber similar to the one which crashed into the sea during the Battle of Britain
 A Dornier bomber similar to the one which crashed into the sea during the Battle of Britain

Culture minister Ed Vaizey said: ‘Today marks the beginning of an exciting project to raise the last surviving Dornier Do 17 bomber from the English Channel.

‘I’m delighted the RAF Museum and the NHMF have joined forces to make this project possible and I know that it will be a tremendous addition to the museum’s collection where it will serve to educate and entertain all who visit.’

The Dornier Do 17 will join a range of more than 1,200 objects and places which have been safeguarded by the NHMF at a cost of more than £300million ($458million).

These include HMS Caroline, the last surviving First World War ship, a rare collection of work by codebreaker Alan Turing and HMS Alliance, the last surviving submarine of the Second World War.

The Dornier is not the only Second World War plane to be the subject of a recovery mission – a British enthusiast is currently searching for a haul of Spitfires lost in the Burmese jungle.

David Cundall has hired a team of workers to find the 36 fighters which he says were delivered to the country at the very end of the war.

Attribution: Hugo Gye, Daily Mail

Tilt shift Photos

 

The Wonders of the World have always inspired awe in visitors.

But if it’s possible, these mind-bending photos of them will prompt more gasps.

Wonders of the world have been transformed into their mini-versions in a seven-year round the world adventure – that cost $31,000.

 
A new view: The Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt are given a new look in this mind-bending photo 
 The colossal Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza, in Egypt – which measures 241ft long – are given a new look in this mind-bending photo

 

 
The Pyramids in Egypt are transformed into its mini-versions in a seven-year round the world adventure 
The Pyramids in Giza, which covers an area of 566,000 sq ft, are transformed into its mini-versions in a seven-year round the world adventure

 

 
One of the most famous sights in the world, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, is given a fresh perspective through camera trickery 
One of the most famous sights in the world, the Taj Mahal mausoleum in Agra, India, which took 20,000 workers to build, is given a fresh perspective through camera trickery

 

 
Chichen Itza, a pyramid built by the Maya civilization, Mexico is part of the eye-popping visual feast from across the planet 
Chichen Itza, a pyramid built by the Maya civilization in a large pre-Columbian city in Mexico is part of the eye-popping visual feast from across the planet
 
A pair of fresh eyes: The Atlas Mountains, Morocco appear peculiarly small because of the creative focus 
 The Atlas Mountains, Morocco, which extend for 1,200 miles, appear peculiarly small because of the creative focus
  
 
 
Mini models! The colourful houses that sprawl across Reykjavik, the largest city and capital of Iceland, look like they could be dolls houses 
Mini models! The colourful houses that sprawl across Reykjavik, the largest city and capital of Iceland, look like they could be dolls houses

From ancient wonders like the legendary Acropolis of Greece and the stone heads of Easter Island to modern icons such as the famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York and London’s Houses of Parliament – these are the mini-monuments that will dazzle you.

Other outstanding pictures include the Eiffel Tower made to look like a toy over the Paris, the jaw-dropping vista of Machu Picchu in Peru made tiny and while not technically a wonder the fun image of a dreamy landscape invaded by hot-air balloons has been included.

By using a photo-processing method called tilt-shift, New York photographer Richard Silver, 51, spent £20,000 over seven-years to create the eye-popping visual feast from across the planet.

 
Made you look! Teotihuacan in Mexico appears tiny. The result can be achieved through a blurred focus and photographing a subject from a high angle 
Made you look! Teotihuacan in Mexico appears tiny. The result can be achieved through a blurred focus and photographing a subject from a high angle

 

 
The famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York is dwarfed in this imaginative photo 
The famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York is dwarfed in this imaginative photo. By simulating a shallow field of depth, subjects can appear smaller than they are

 

 
Some of the Monolithic Maoi statues of Easter Island reach 7m tall and have entranced the world for centuries - but they look positively miniscule in this image 
Some of the Monolithic Maoi statues of Easter Island reach 7m tall and have entranced the world for centuries – but they look positively miniscule in this image

 

 
The Acropolis in Athens has theatres, temples, sanctuarys and odeons - but in this picture it looks like it would struggle to hold a hundred visitors 
The Acropolis in Athens has theatres, temples, sanctuarys and odeons – but in this picture it looks like it would struggle to hold a hundred visitors
 

‘In this picture-series you are traveling the world with me,’ said Richard.

‘Since 2006 everywhere I have travelled I take a few photos that will be tilt shift-ed and added to my portfolio.

‘What I am trying to accomplish is to shrink-fit the world, one city at a time.

The globe-trotting snapper’s master-plan is to one-day photograph every city on the planet using his quirky technique for making the epic become miniature.

For Richard it’s the reaction of people who view his work that makes it all worthwhile.

Toy town! The 15th century Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru covers13-square metres and is built 7,970ft above sea level 
Toy town! The 15th century Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru covers13-square meters and is built 7,970ft above sea level
 
 
It may be the largest amphitheatre in the world, but the Colosseum in Rome looks a fraction of its true size 
It was largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It may be the largest amphitheatre in the world, but the Colosseum in Rome looks a fraction of its true size

 

 
The Eiffel Tower in Paris looks like a toy in comparison to the 320m-tall structure - that is the same height as an 81-storey tower 
The Eiffel Tower in Paris looks like a toy in comparison to the 320m-tall structure – that is the same height as an 81-storey tower

 

 
The Great Wall of China may measure 13,170.69 miles and snake across the huge sub-continent, 
The Great Wall of China may measure 13,170.69 miles and snake across the huge sub-continent, but this picture makes it look so small that it could be crossed in a day

 

 
The Hagia Sophia, Istanbul may be 82m long and 55m high, but it appears minute in this picture. 
The Hagia Sophia, Istanbul may be 82m long and 55m high, but it appears minute in this picture. The mosque and dome have entranced architects for years – but this picture makes it look as if visitors could circle it in minutes
 
 
The magnificent Houses of Parliament, which holds Big Ben and is the most central government building in the UK 
The magnificent Houses of Parliament, which holds Big Ben and is the most central government building in the UK, look like they’re part of a small-scale model – right down to the tiny cars crossing Westminster bridge

 

 
Petra, the historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma'an is half-built, half-carved into the rock,  
Petra, the historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma’an is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges – not that you’d know it from this picture

‘Most people are able to recognize the places that I photograph,’ he said.

‘When they recognize the location the smile that seeing my pictures brings to their faces makes all of my work worth doing.

‘Some people don’t believe me, even after I tell them that it is a real photograph with real people.

‘My favorite question is ‘is that a model or is that real?’.

‘When that is asked, I accomplished what I set out to do.’

Richard’s work is on permanent display at the LaGrange Gallery, Georgia, USA.

 
 
The colourful streets of Tokyo, Japan, are renowned for their bustling pace and towering buildings
The colorful streets of Tokyo, Japan, are renowned for their bustling pace and towering buildings – but this concrete jungle looks more like a playground in this photograph
 
Hawaii beaches are known for their stretches of sand that hug the coast
Hawaii beaches are known for their long stretches of sand that hug the coast – but during this seven-year trip the photographer – whose work is on display in Georgia – saw a different side to the sights

 

 
A bustling street in Korea looks like something out of a game - but the vehicles are actually navigating huge traffic arteries in the Asian country
A bustling street in Korea looks like something out of a game – but the vehicles are actually navigating huge traffic arteries in the Asian country

 

 
At 65m high with its distinctive blue paint, London's Tower Bridge is one of the most well-known sights in the capital
At 65m (213 ft) high with its distinctive blue paint, London’s Tower Bridge is one of the most well-known sights in the capital – but Richard Silver turns the tables on a well-known sight once again

 
The Mykonos Windmills are an iconic feature of the Greek island of the Mykonos

The Mykonos Windmills are an iconic feature of the Greek island of the Mykonos. From as early as the 16th century one of the most recognized landmarks on the island, which is one of the Cyclades islands
 
Attribution: Anna Edwards, Mail Online

Tooth Regeneration

Scientists are studying how alligators renew their giant teeth in a bid to help humans who suffer dental problems.

Alligators have an average of 80 teeth at any one time – and 50 sets of replacements to last their lifetime.

The giant reptiles can go through 2,000 to 3,000 teeth in a lifetime, and researchers hope to find a way to replicate this process in humans.

 
Smile! An alligator can go through 2,000 to 3,000 teeth in a lifetime, and researchers hope to find a way to replicate this renewal process in humans
Smile! An alligator can go through 2,000 to 3,000 teeth in a lifetime, and researchers hope to find a way to replicate this renewal process in humans

 

Most vertebrates can renew teeth throughout their lives whereas humans’ are naturally replaced only once.

This is despite the lingering presence of a band of tissue called the dental lamina – crucial to tooth development.

To uncover the chemical mechanisms of tooth renewal Professor Cheng-Ming Chuong and colleagues studied repetitive tooth formation in American alligators.

Alligators have well-organized teeth with traits similar to those of mammals – such as secondary palates and implantation in sockets of the dental bones – and are capable of lifelong tooth renewal.

Through a combination of molecular analysis and scanning techniques the researchers showed each alligator tooth is a complex unit of three components in different developmental stages.

These are structured to facilitate replacement once they are dislodged, says the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Early on the alligator dental lamina forms a bulge at its tip that houses stem cells. Molecular analysis revealed that the initiation of the tooth cycle corresponds with the dynamic expression of an array of signaling chemicals.

The researchers believe the findings could help adults who have lost teeth or have ones that appear in addition to the regular number – a common condition called supernumerary teeth.

Professor Cheng-Ming Chuong, of Southern California University, said nature is a rich resource from which to learn how to engineer stem cells to regenerate hair, scales, nails and teeth.

He said: ‘These organs are at the interface between an organism and its external environment and therefore, face constant wear and tear.

‘Animals have evolved successful regenerative mechanisms to accommodate renewal with minimal functional interruption.

‘Feeding is critical for survival but teeth unavoidably face frequent injury and loss. Most vertebrates replace teeth throughout their lives.

‘Our goal here is to identify stem cells that can be used as a resource for episodic tooth renewal.’

Prof Chuong said reptiles and fish have robust regenerative powers for tooth renewal but living mammals can either renew their teeth one time or not at all.

 
The researchers believe the findings could help adults who have lost teeth or have ones that appear in addition to the regular number - a common condition called supernumerary teeth
The researchers believe the findings could help adults who have lost teeth or have ones that appear in addition to the regular number – a common condition called supernumerary teeth

He said: ‘Understanding how these signaling molecules interact in tooth development in this model may help us to learn how to stimulate growth of adult teeth in mammals.’

Attribution: Mail Online

New Bug Eye Lens

The amazing ‘bug eye’ lens that can see 180 degrees

A camera with a bug’s eye view of the world  that copies nature’s design for insects has been developed by  scientists.

Like the compound eyes of dragonflies and  bees, the camera has an array of individual miniature lenses laid out over a  curved surface.

It can capture a sharp image across an angle  of 180 degrees – an impossible feat for conventional cameras.

A bee on the first digital camera lens designed to mimic insect eyes and see with a wide field of view and no distortion
A bee on the first digital camera lens designed to mimic  insect eyes and see with a wide field of view and no distortion

 

INSECT EYES

Arthropods have arrays of minute eyes acting together to provide image perception.

Known as an ommatidium,  each consists of a  corneal lens, a crystalline cone and a light  sensitive organ.

The entire system is configured to  provide  exceptional properties in imaging – many of which lie beyond the reach of  existing man-made cameras.

 

The researchers believe their ‘fly-eye’  camera could have useful applications in surveillance and medicine.

The new camera – a rounded half bubble,  similar to a bulging fly eye – has 180 microlenses mounted on it allowing it to  take pictures across nearly 180 degrees.

Details of the camera are published today in  the journal Nature.

One of the biggest technical hurdles was  producing a lens array over a domed surface.

A precision pressure technique similar to  blowing up a balloon was used to create the hemispherical shape.

Team leader Professor John Rogers, from the  University of Illinois in the US, said: ‘Certain of the enabling ideas build on  concepts that originated in our labs a half dozen years ago.

‘Ever since, we have been intrigued by the  possibility of creating digital fly’s eye cameras.

‘Such devices are of longstanding interest,  not only to us but many others as well, owing to their potential for use in  surveillance devices, tools for endoscopy, and other applications where these  insect-inspired designs provide unique capabilities.’

The researchers say it would be simple enough  to combine two of the hemispheres they’ve demonstrated to get a 360-degree view  using soft, rubbery optics with high performance silicon  electronics.

Arthropods have arrays of minute eyes acting  together to provide image perception. Known as an ommatidium, each consists of a  corneal lens, a crystalline cone and a light sensitive organ. The entire system is configured to provide exceptional  properties in imaging – many of which lie beyond the reach of existing man-made  cameras.

The researchers constructed artificial  ommatidia in large, interconnected arrays in hemispherical  layouts.

Taking their cue from Nature, engineers have built a camera using stretchable electronics that scans the world like a fly's compound eye
Taking their cue from Nature, engineers have built a  camera using stretchable electronics that scans the world like a fly’s compound  eye

Building such systems represents a daunting  task as all established camera technologies rely on bulk glass lenses and  detectors constructed on the level surfaces of silicon wafers which cannot be  bent or flexed – much less formed into a hemispherical shape.

Dr Jianliang Xiao, of Colorado Boulder  University, said: ‘A critical feature of our fly’s eye cameras is they  incorporate integrated microlenses, photodetectors, and electronics on  hemispherically curved surfaces.

‘To realize this outcome we used soft,  rubbery optics bonded to detectors/electronics in mesh layouts that can be  stretched and deformed, reversibly and without damage.’

He said the fabrication starts with  electronics, detectors and lens arrays formed on flat surfaces using advanced  techniques adapted from the semi-conductor industry.

Natural inspiration: A moth's eye magnified 550 times
Natural inspiration: A moth’s eye magnified 550  times

The lens sheet – made from a polymer material  similar to a contact lens – and the electronics/detectors are then aligned and  bonded together.

Pneumatic pressure deforms the resulting  system into the desired hemispherical shape in a process much like blowing up a  balloon but with precision engineering control.

Professor Rogers said: ‘Such devices are of  longstanding interest, not only to us but many others as well, owing to their  potential for use in surveillance devices, tools for endoscopy, and other  applications where these insect-inspired designs provide unique  capabilities.’

Attribution: Mark Prigg, Daily Mail

Walts Vision

Stunning photographs capture the creation of Walt’s cartoon Kingdom in  Florida

 

It’s the sort of fantasy world that  children’s dreams are made of.

But as these wonderful pictures show just how  Disney world was built, the dream is definitely a reality.

These archive photographs show the incredible  amount of work that went into building Walt Disney’s sprawling Florida  playground.

Today’s Kingdom counts four major Disney  theme parks, two water parks, six golf courses and a shopping and dining  complex.

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The Magic Kingdom is pictured slowly starting to take shape
The Magic Kingdom is pictured slowly starting to take  shape – with the famous castle and its turrets clearly seen as the avenues are  built around it

 

Some 9,000 workers were involved in the two-year construction effort. They produced an entertainment paradise around lakes, forests and meadows
Some 9,000 workers were involved in the two-year  construction effort. They produced an entertainment paradise around lakes,  forests and meadows

 

Walt Disney wanted a much larger area than Disneyland's 450 acres to develop a total resort
Walt Disney wanted a much larger area than Disneyland’s  450 acres to develop a total resort – and in 1964 the team purchased nearly  28,000 acres from more than 100 property owners

 

In 1967 a flurry of work began, including the development of a 45-mile network of water-control channels
In 1967 a flurry of work began, including the  development of a 45-mile network of water-control channels

And it all began with the Disney founder’s  dream in the early 1960s to provide a kingdom for those is east of the United  States to come and be entertained.

By 1963 the Disney planning team had chosen  Florida because of its clement weather conditions, which meant that the park  could open all-year-round and the state had already been ranked first in tourism  among all states.

Orlando was chosen because of available land  and its prime location at the crossroads of major traffic arteries and dynamic  growth.

Walt Disney wanted a much larger area  than  Disneyland’s 450 acres to develop a total resort – and in 1964 the  team  purchased nearly 28,000 acres from more than 100 property owners –  costing  nearly $5.5 million. Another 2,000 acres have been added since,  according to  the brand.

In 1965 Walt publicly announced his ambition  to build the unique  entertainment and vacation centre and eventually a way of  life found  nowhere else in the world – this was embodied in his EPCOT centre –  Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

Workers created fantasy lands and even built an internal infrastructure
Choo choo! Workers created fantasy lands and even built  an internal infrastructure that meant visitors could travel round the extensive  entertainment complex

 

Walt Disney envisioned a sprawling entertainment complex
 Walt Disney envisioned a sprawling  entertainment complex, and a community that would change the way people  lived

 

Orlando and its clement weather was picked so that visitors could visit the magical place throughout the year
Orlando and its clement weather was picked for the  destination so that visitors could visit the magical place throughout the  year

 

More than 700million visitors have visited the four theme parks and huge Disney complex
More than 700 million visitors have visited the four  theme parks and huge Disney complex – and for many children, it’s a dream come  true once they visit

Up until his death in December 1966, Walt  developed his ideas, directed planning outlined his philosophies for the new  complex.

In 1967 a flurry of work began, including the  development of a 45-mile network of water-control channels.

Construction for the ambitious project began  in April 1969 after an opening date was set for October 1,  1971.

Some 9,000 workers were involved in the  two-year construction effort producing an entertainment paradise around lakes,  forests and meadows.

During the final 18 months before opening,  one million guests visited the Walt Disney World Preview Center where models,  drawings and motion pictures explained details of the vast development. Total  cost of the project by opening was $400 million.

Clearly the hard work was worth it, as today  the four Disney theme parks have welcomed more than 700 million  guests.

The Magic Kingdom as it is today
The Magic Kingdom as it is today: Years of hard toil and  a huge vision produced the well-known theme park, which is known the world  over

Attribution: Anna Edwards, Daily Mail

Bomb Sniffing Bees

The Croatian ‘bomb bees’ that can sniff out landmines from THREE MILES away

Scientists in Croatia have unveiled specially-bred colonies of bees that can detect buried landmines from more than three miles away.

The bees are trained by being fed an irresistible sugar solution mixed with the smell of explosives.

Experts have spent several years training and perfecting the training technique.

 
The specially-bred colonies of bees can detect buried landmines from more than three miles away, scientists say
The specially-bred colonies of bees can detect buried landmines from more than three miles away, scientists say

 

 

A MASSIVE PROBLEM

Minefields in Croatia cover 683.4 square kilometres (263.9 square miles) of territory, and the area is thought to contain approximately 90,000 land mines as well as unexploded ordnance left over from  the Croatian War of Independence.

Land mines were used extensively during the war by all sides in the conflict, and about 1.5 million were deployed.

A hive of bees sits at one end, with several feeding points for the bees set up around the tent.

But only a few of the feeding points contain food, and the soil immediately around them has been impregnated with explosive chemicals.

The idea is that the bees’ keen sense of smell soon associates the smell of explosives with food.

‘Eventually they come to associate the smell of any explosives with easy food and will literally make a bee line for them,’ said Professor Mateja Janes, who trained the bees.

 
The idea is that the bees' keen sense of smell soon associates the smell of explosives with food, and Croatian scientists have been developing a training technique since 2007
The idea is that the bees’ keen sense of smell soon associates the smell of explosives with food, and Croatian scientists have been developing a training technique since 2007

 

Minefields in Croatia (in red), which cover 683.4 square kilometres (263.9 square miles) and is thought to contain 90,000 land mines
Minefields in Croatia (in red), which cover 683.4 square kilometers (263.9 square miles) and is thought to contain 90,000 land mines

Croatia is still riddled with unexploded landmines from the violent independence struggles in the Balkans during the 1990s.

‘We have been refining their abilities for many years and they are faster and safer than sniffer dogs.

‘Another advantage is that when they’re not working they make delicious honey too,’ added the professor.

When the project began in 2007, training the bees to find mines takes place in a large net tent pitched on a lawn at the university’s Faculty of Agriculture.

Minefields in Croatia cover 683.4 square kilometers (263.9 square miles) of territory, and the area is thought to contain approximately 90,000 land mines as well as unexploded ordnance left over from  the Croatian War of Independence.

Land mines were used extensively during the war by all sides in the conflict, and about 1.5 million were deployed.

BEEKEEPERS PROTEST ON PESTICIDES

Beekeepers and their supporters have gathered in Parliament Square to urge the Government to support an EU-wide ban on certain pesticides.

The demonstration came ahead of a vote in Brussels on Monday which will decide whether Europe introduces a two-year moratorium on various neonicotinoid pesticides.

One of the organizers, Matt Shardlow, chief executive of nature conservation organization Buglife, said: ‘Britain abstained last time and has made no commitment this time, but we want them to support a ban across Europe. Some 73% of the British public support a ban on these insecticides, we want the Government to follow their lead.’

 
Ruth Westoby, 33 from London protests in Parliament square. Protesters join in Parliament Square, Westminster to get the pesticide Neonics banned from British fields as it is killing the bees.
Ruth Westoby, 33 from London protests in Parliament square. Protesters join in Parliament Square, Westminster to get the pesticide Neonics banned from British fields as it is killing the bees

He said that even if the vote was lost, he was hopeful that there may be other ways forward as the European Commission has a legal responsibility to protect the environment.

One of the protesters, biological research graduate Robert Mitton, 28, from Ealing, west London, said: ‘They started using these pesticides in the 90s. Since then there has been a rapid decline in the abundance and diversity of bee species globally.

‘There is a mounting body of scientific evidence that these pesticides are having some lethal effects and making the bees sick. They can make them forget things, such as which flowers are rewarding to them, and impair their ability to reproduce, affecting their long-term survival.

‘Bees are responsible for a large proportion of the world’s pollination, they are very important economically as well as ecologically.

‘I would see a two-year moratorium as a start. If it came into effect, we would see bee species start to recover, and would then need to extend the ban further.’

 
Around 100 beekeepers are urging the government not to block the EU proposal to suspend the use of certain pesticides.
Around 100 beekeepers are urging the government not to block the EU proposal to suspend the use of certain pesticides.

Beekeepers dressed in their protective costumes for the protest and many protesters wore brightly colored striped clothing.

Other groups involved with organising the event included Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network UK, RSPB, and the Soil Association.

OrganiZers said dress designers Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett had handed a petition at 10 Downing Street in support of their aims. Iain Keith, senior campaigner at the organisation Avaaz, who helped organise the rally, said the petition was signed by 2.6 million people, including 600,000 in the UK, Avaaz said.

Attribution: Mark Prigg, Mail Online

Bell Recording

Researchers have identified the voice of Alexander Graham Bell for the first time in some of the earliest audio recordings ever created.

The National Museum of American History discovered the recording on a wax disc from 1885, which had been donated to the Smithsonian Museum.

Recent technological advances have allowed the recordings to be played for the first time in over 100 years.

Scroll down to hear the recording

The phonorecord by Alexander Graham Bell which contains the only known recording of his voice.
The phonorecord by Alexander Graham Bell which contains the only known recording of his voice. The National Museum of American History identified the recording with help from technicians at the Library of Congress and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California

 

A SCOTTISH PIONEER

Best known for the first practical telephone, Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh and was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator.

Both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work into hearing devices, and he was awarded the first US patent for the telephone in 1876.

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He went on to carry out groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics, and in 1888, Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.

Technicians at the Library of Congress and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California worked with the museum, which holds some of the earliest audio recordings ever made.

Researchers found a transcript of one recording signed by Bell.

It was matched to a wax disc recording from April 15, 1885.

‘Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell,’ the inventor is heard to say.

The experimental recording also includes a series of numbers.

The transcript notes the record was made at Bell’s Volta Laboratory in Washington.

Other recordings from the time include lines from Shakespeare.

In late 2011, scientists played back some of Bell’s earliest recordings for the first time with new technology that reads the sound digitally from tiny grooves in the wax disc using light and a 3D camera.

The breakthrough offered a glimpse at the experiments with sound and recording at the dawn of the information age when inventors were scrambling to secure patents for the first telephones and phonographs.

The recordings were packed away for more than 100 years and were deemed obsolete until new technology allowed them to be replayed.

‘Identifying the voice of Alexander Graham Bell, the man who brought us everyone else’s voice, is a major moment in the study of history,’ said John Gray, director of the Smithsonian’s American history museum, in announcing the find.

‘It enriches what we know about the late 1800s – who spoke, what they said and how they said it.’

In autumn 2011, Patrick Feaster, an Indiana University sound-media historian, compiled an exhaustive inventory of notations on the discs and cylinders – many scratched on wax and all but illegible.

A closeup of the recording that revealed Alexander Graham Bell's voice for the first time
A closeup of the recording that revealed Alexander Graham Bell’s voice for the first time

 

The grooves that identified Alexander Graham Bell: Modern technology allowed the wax disc to be replayed for the first time in over 100 years
 Modern technology allowed the wax disc to be replayed for the first time in over 100 years

Documents indicated that one wax-and-cardboard disc, from April 15, 1885, a date now deciphered from a wax inscription, contained a recording of Bell speaking.

On June 20, 2012, at the Library of Congress, a team heard the recording for the first time this century.

From the 1880s on, until his death in 1922, Bell gave an extensive collection of laboratory materials to the Smithsonian Institution, where he was a member of the Board of Regents.

The donation included more than 400 discs and cylinders Bell used as he tried his hand at recording sound.

The holdings also documented Bell’s research, should patent disputes arise similar to the protracted legal wrangling that attended the invention of the telephone.

The museum also identified the voice of Alexander Melville Bell, the famous inventor’s father, in an 1881 recording.

Bell deposited this recording and his recording machine at the Smithsonian in 1881 in case of a patent dispute.

He conducted his sound experiments between 1880 and 1886, collaborating with his cousin Chichester Bell and technician Charles Sumner Tainter.

They worked at Bell’s Volta Laboratory, at 1221 Connecticut Avenue in Washington, originally established inside what had been a stable.

In 1877, his great rival, Thomas Edison, had recorded sound on embossed foil; Bell was eager to improve the process.

Some of Bell’s research on light and sound during this period anticipated fiber-optic communications.

Attribution: Mark Prigg, Daily Mail