Power Shorts

 

Festival goers need never run out of phone battery again thanks to a new range of denim shorts and sleeping bags that use body heat and movement to generate electricity.

The Power Shorts and Recharge Sleeping Bag can charge a phone’s battery by harvesting energy from the human body using kinetic and thermoelectric technology.

The wearable phone chargers have been designed by mobile phone company Vodafone with help from the University of Southampton.

 
Vodafone has teamed up with Southampton University to create wearable phone chargers for festival goers.
Vodafone has teamed up with the University of Southampton to create wearable phone chargers for festival goers. The Power Shorts, pictured, capture kinect energy from the wearer’s body movements. This energy can then be used to charge mobile handsets

 

 
 
This image explains how the Power Pocket in the Power Shorts work. They are fitted with foam-like ferroelectret smart materials which contain voids.
This image explains how the Power Shorts work. They are fitted with foam-like ferroelectret smart materials which contain voids. The surfaces of these voids are permanently charged and as the size and shape of the voids in the shorts changes,when they’re squashed or deformed, a charge is produced

HOW DO POWER SHORTS WORK?

The shorts are fitted with a phone connector and ferroelectret materials.

As the wearer moves, the shorts gather kinetic energy when these ferroelectret materials are squashed or deformed.

The surfaces of these voids are permanently charged.

As the size and shape of the voids in the shorts changes, a charge is produced on the surface of the material.

The Recharge Sleeping Bag harvests thermal energy using the ‘Seebeck Effect’.

This effect is a process that produces an electrical charge causes by the changes in temperature of a thermoelectric module.

These modules are printed on the fabric of the sleeping bag.

The Power Shorts are fitted with foam-like ferroelectret materials.

As the wearer moves, the shorts gather kinetic energy when these ferroelectret materials are squashed or deformed.

These foam-like materials contain voids.

The surfaces of these voids are permanently charged and exhibit piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties.

The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure.

When pressure is applied to the materials in the shorts they generate an electric charge.

As the size and shape of the voids in the shorts changes this creates the electricity needed to charge the phone attached to the shorts by a connector inside the Power Pocket.

The Recharge Sleeping Bag harvests thermal energy using the ‘Seebeck Effect’.

This effect creates pyroelectricity, which is the ability of certain materials to generate a temporary charge when they are heated up or cooled down.

In the case of the sleeping bag, this process monitors the change of temperature through a thermoelectric module fitted to the fabric of the bag.

Heat from the sleeper’s body flows through this module contained within a multi-layered ‘power felt’.

This felt contains polymer films and two semi conductors that generate an electric charge as they heat up.

The Recharge Sleeping Bag works by harvesting thermal energy from the sleeper's body heat.
The Recharge Sleeping Bag works by harvesting thermal energy from the sleeper’s body heat. As the wearer sleeps, thermoelectric modules capture thermal energy. These modules contain insulating polymer films and two semi conductors that create an electric voltage to charge the phone in the Power Pocket
 

 

ORANGE’S POWER WELLIES

Vodafone’s Power Shorts and sleeping bag are not the first wearable phone chargers.

In June 2010, phone operator Orange announced its Power Wellies that have a power-generating sole which converts heat from the wearer’s feet into electrical current.

This ‘welectricity’, as the makers call it, can then be used to charge a mobile phone.

Twelve hours of stomping through the muddy fields of festival sites will give you one hour of phone use.

Bouncing up and down in the dance tent gives you even more call time – because the hotter your feet get, the more energy is produced.

The Power Wellies were created with renewable energy experts GotWind.

 

Trials conducted by Vodafone found that a full day’s walking and dancing while wearing the shorts can provide enough energy to charge a phone for four hours.

While heat from a night in the sleeping bag is said to create 11 hours of charge.

Prof Stephen Beeby from the university said: ‘We’re exploring two specific technologies to charge the Power Pocket – thermoelectrics and kinetic energy harvesting.

‘Both represent cutting-edge research around smart fabrics and, in this case, we’re looking to integrate these into a sleeping bag and a pair of denim shorts.’

Vodafone’s Christian Cull added: ‘Our ambition was to create a practical but exciting solution to the charging-related issues experienced by many at outdoor events.

‘We hope people harness the power in their pocket to keep them chatting, texting, browsing and photographing throughout the entire festival season.’

The ‘smart fabric’ technology will be unveiled ahead of this weekend’s Isle of Wight Festival and will continue to be developed throughout the summer.

 
The Recharge Sleeping Bag harvests thermal energy using the 'Seebeck effect'.
Trials found Vodafone’s Power Shorts can provide enough energy to charge a phone for four hours. While heat harvested from the bodies of people using the sleeping bag, pictured, is said to create 11 hours of charge

Vodafone’s Power Shorts and sleeping bag are not the first wearable phone chargers.

In June 2010, phone operator Orange announced its Power Wellies.

These wellies have a power-generating sole which converts heat from the wearer’s feet into electrical current.

This ‘welectricity’, as the makers call it, can then be used to charge a mobile phone.

Twelve hours of stomping through the muddy fields of festival sites will give you one hour of phone use.

Bouncing up and down in the dance tent gives you even more call time – because the hotter your feet get, the more energy is produced.

The Power Wellies were created with renewable energy experts GotWind.

 
This image shows how the 'power felt' in the Recharge Sleeping Bag works. It contains two semi conductors that can turn thermal body heat into an electrical charge
This image shows how the ‘power felt’ in the Recharge Sleeping Bag works. It contains two semi conductors that can turn thermal body heat into an electrical charge

Attribution: Victoria Woollaston, Mail Online

More Arguments Against Datamining

by: the Common Constitutionalist

I recently heard an argument presented by a pro-surveillance advocate.

I’m paraphrasing: The metadata being compiled is no more dangerous or intrusive than the Post Office scanning every single envelope they handle, which they do. How is collecting phone numbers or e-mail addresses any more intrusive than that?

I can think of three things right off the top of my head. First: The intrusiveness is immaterial. Unless I’m mistaken, the fourth amendment of the Constitution does not have a clause indicating that search and seizure is okay depending on the severity of the intrusion.

Second: there is an “intention” that the Postal Service will scan and read the envelope that you send. Otherwise, how would it get to its intended destination? The same cannot be said of the electronic data the government is collecting. There is no “intention” of me allowing the government to see this data without first clearing the fourth amendment hurdles.

Third: the Postal Service is a government/public agency. Yes, it’s supposed to support itself, so one might call it quasi-governmental, but it ain’t private.

The companies being mined for data are all private. They are not public entities so they should be afforded the same benefit of the fourth amendment as you and I.

This massive data collection is supposed to be for our own safety and security. That is the way it is being portrayed to the low information citizen, and frankly to all of us, is it not?

Well, anyone who has ever been a cop, or a spy, or done any investigatory work knows that mining for gazillions of bits of information is not the way to catch anyone. Human intelligence, feet on the street and interrogations. These are the things that lead to real actionable intelligence. Electronic data collection is also quite useful when limited and focused properly.

That focus is how we found bin Laden and how we could have found the Tsarnaev brothers ahead of time.

What about the FISA court? Doesn’t it is still have to sign off on this surveillance?

To tell the truth, I’m not 100% sure about that, nor do I think this administration gives a flying crap about getting permission to do anything. But if they did happen to seek permission to hack, eavesdrop or collect everyone’s firstborn, chances are pretty good that FISA would rule in the affirmative. It has been a virtual rubberstamp for the feds.

FISA was developed by Ted Kennedy and signed into law by Jimmy Carter. Without knowing anything about it, I would automatically reject just on that basis.

In its 34-year history, from 1978 through 2012, the FISA court has rejected a grand total of 11 government applications, while approving more than 20,000. That’s pretty good odds.

When running for president, candidate Obama pretended to have serious concerns about the law, then voted for it. He then vowed to rein in its excesses. But last year he demanded the renewal of the law with no reforms and Congress as they tend to do, complied.

Gee, what a shocker. Obama, or any other politician for that matter, said something and then did the exact opposite.

In 2011 there were 1676 applications presented to the FISA court and not one was denied. Let me repeat, not one.

In 2012, the Obamites ramped up the applications to 1789. Again, not one was denied. Give me those odds in Vegas baby!

There is no reasonable or justifiable reason for this data collection of American citizens and there appears to be absolutely no oversight. This is the stuff of paranoid dictators and Kings, not of a constitutional republic.

Mob Guns

From notorious bank robber John Dillinger’s prohibition-era revolver to an arsenal of weapons owned by Ma Barker and her gang, the FBI’s cache of firearms holds almost every gun ever made.

These fascinating photos give a rare insight into the Bureau’s 80-year-old collection which is kept at the FBI laboratory in Virginia.

With an inventory of more than 7,000 weapons, the endless racks of guns provide a reference point for the laboratory’s firearms examiners to support criminal investigations.

 

 
Arsenal: The FBI has a collection of more than 7,000 guns at its laboratory in Virginia
Arsenal: The FBI has a collection of more than 7,000 guns at its laboratory in Virginia

 

 
Hidden: The vast collection of weapons even features a pistol hidden in the cut out pages of an early edition of Gone With The Wind
Hidden: The vast collection of weapons even features a pistol hidden in the cut out pages of an early edition of Gone With The Wind

 

 
Disguise: A submachine gun hidden in a violin case is among the reference library of weapons held by the Bureau
Disguise: A submachine gun hidden in a guitar case is among the reference library of weapons held by the Bureau

 

 
John Dillinger
Ma Barker
 Notorious: The FBI collection even features weapons belonging to the likes of bank robber John Dillinger, above, and gang leader Ma Barker, below
 
Infamous: John Dillinger's .45 calibre, pictured, is among the guns in the FBI's collection
Infamous: John Dillinger’s .45 caliber, pictured, is among the guns in the FBI’s collection

Among the more unique items in the collection are an old Thompson submachine gun hidden in a guitar case and a pistol hidden in cut out pages of a rare first edition of Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Notorious depression-era bank robber John Dillinger’s .45 calibre and raider ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd’s Colt 1911 are held in the vault. 

The unique collection includes accessories like silencers and muzzle attachments as well as more heavy duty weapons such as grenades and rocket launchers.

A file of more than 15,000 types of ammunition are also kept on file.

John Webb, a firearms examiner for the FBI, said: ‘This collection is used in active cases in comparing known samples from our collection with question samples from the field.

‘Often, an investigator will receive a part of a firearm or a firearm that isn’t functional.

 
Unique: A key ring which doubles up as a tiny pistol is kept for reference by firearms examiners
Unique: A key ring which doubles up as a tiny pistol is kept for reference by firearms examiners

 

 
Reference: The collection features almost every gun ever made. Some are from closed criminal cases, others have been donated and some are bought by the FBI
Catalogue: The collection features almost every gun ever made. Some are from closed criminal cases, others have been donated and some are bought by the FBI

 

 
Helping with investigations: As well as the guns themselves, the collection also houses a number of firearms accessories including silencers and muzzle adaptors
Helping with investigations: As well as the guns themselves, the collection also houses a number of firearms accessories including silencers and muzzle adaptors

 

 
Evidence: Many of the guns in the collection were initially seized as evidence in closed cases. They are taken to the lab to be archived or completely destroyed
Evidence: Many of the guns in the collection were initially seized as evidence in closed cases. They are taken to the lab to be archived or completely destroyed

‘We can take that and compare it with our reference collection, determine what isn’t functioning, and repair it so we can obtain the test fires we need to conduct examinations with bullets and cartridge cases.’

Most of the staggering collection of firearms comes from closed investigations, others have been bought by the FBI and some even arrive as donations.

In most instances, the guns are held as evidence in court before being sent back to the lab where experts can either add them to the reference collection or destroy them completely.

 
Forensics: The guns are used by firearms examiners to crack new cases involving guns
Forensics: The guns are used by firearms examiners to crack new cases involving guns

 

 
Closer inspection: The inventory has been amassed over an 80 year period. Some items are just parts of retired weapons which can be matched up to firearms used in modern day crimes
Closer inspection: The inventory has been amassed over an 80 year period. Some items are just parts of retired weapons which can be matched up to firearms used in modern day crimes

 

 
Crucial: The FBI aims to duplicate every firearm in existence with the belief that sometimes a case could hinge on linking a firearm component to a similar part on one of their reference guns
Crucial: The FBI aims to duplicate every firearm in existence with the belief that sometimes a case could hinge on linking a firearm component to a similar part on one of their reference guns

 
Historic: FBI scientists have been using the gun vault for 80 years in a bid to crack crime
Historic: FBI scientists have been using the gun vault for 80 years in a bid to crack crime

The FBI aims to duplicate every firearm in existence with the belief that sometimes a case could hinge on linking a firearm component to a similar part on one of their reference guns.

John added: ‘The collection has been extremely useful in criminal cases. It has been directly responsible for assisting to solve crimes.

‘We are only a small part of this collection, it was here long before I was, and it will be here long after I’m gone.’

 
Storage space: The vast collection is stored at the FBI's laboratory in Virginia, pictured
Storage space: The vast collection is stored at the FBI’s laboratory in Virginia, pictured

3D Confectionery

 

For emergency office munchies, it sounds like a fantasy: print out your own sweet treats.

But Kyle and Liz von Hasseln from Los Angeles, California, who didn’t have an oven at their home, decided to create a printer that allows users to do exactly that.

At the command of the ‘go’ button, their machine produces incredible pieces of 3D confectionery that look more like works of art than sugary snacks.

Quick bake: Kyle and Liz von Hasseln from Los Angeles, California, have adapted a 3D printer that allows users print off these incredible sugar creations
 Kyle and Liz von Hasseln from Los Angeles, California, have adapted a 3D printer that allows users print off these incredible sugar creations

After creating the impressive piece of kit the couple set up a business called The Sugar Lab to sell their culinary designs.

The solid sugar statues can be eaten on their own, or used as decorative toppers for cakes and pastries.

Mrs von Hasseln, 32, told MailOnline that she believes 3D printing technology could be applied to a whole spectrum of baked goods one day.

 
Sweet treat: Flavorings can be added to the mixture to enhance the taste
Flavorings can be added to the mixture to enhance the taste
Winning idea: The husband and wife team say their 3D printed food has been greeted positively
 The husband and wife team say their 3D printed food has been greeted positively

‘We definitely think 3D printed sugar could catch on more widely, and we’re excited about the potential of the concept being available to a wide audience,’ she explained.

‘We can definitely visualize a time – in fact, we daydream about it – when there will be a sugar 3D printer in every custom bakery.’

To date, the von Hasselns have only experimented with using different types of sugar along with flavorings such as vanilla and almond.

 
Futuristic: Mrs von Hasseln believes the technology could be applied to a whole spectrum of baked goods
Mrs von Hasseln believes the technology could be applied to a whole spectrum of baked goods
 
Finishing touch: The solid sugar statues can be eaten on their own or used as decorative toppers
 The solid sugar statues can be eaten on their own or used as decorative toppers

The couple stumbled into the business as architecture students, when they wanted to make a friend a birthday cake but lacked an oven. Instead, they decided to try and ‘print’ a cake, making use of a 3D printer on campus.

3D printers are used by architects to create physical models of buildings before construction begins.

After numerous attempts they finally managed to produce a tiny cupcake topper that spelled their friend’s name, Chelsea.

From there they developed the concept and launched The Sugar Lab two years ago after graduating.

 
Tickling the taste buds: Mrs von Hasseln says that sculptures just taste like sugar lumps, although flavorings such as peppermint and almond can be added to alter the taste
 Mrs von Hasseln says that the sculptures just taste like sugar lumps, although flavorings such as peppermint and almond can be added to alter the taste
 

They are currently collaborating with celebrity pastry chef Duff Goldman, who runs Charm City Cakes in Hollywood, on a four-tiered wedding cake which will feature a 3D-printed sugar cake stand and sugar columns.

Mrs von Hasseln added: ‘Everyone recognizes that dessert is for fun, a chance to experiment and embellish.

‘When you see a 3D printed sugar sculpture that’s unlike any food you’ve seen before, it’s immediately clear that a whole new set of possibilities has opened up, and that’s exciting.’

Attribution: Sadie Whitelocks, Mail Online

The Helicar

 

It could be the future of transportation – and is one of most impressive hi-tech toys on the market as well.

A British inventor has unveiled the B – and combined off road remote control car that can turn into a quadcopter and take off.

Witold Mielniczek of the University of Southampton says his invention could even be scaled up to create a full-sized car.

 

The B has both large off-road wheels and four rotor blades to turn it into a quadcopter - and its inventors say it could be scaled up to a full sized car
The B has both large off-road wheels and four rotor blades to turn it into a quadcopter – and its inventors say it could be scaled up to a full sized car
 
The B in mid-air: The rotors allow it to be controlled exactly like a normal quadcopter
The B in mid-air: The rotors allow it to be controlled exactly like a normal quadcopter

‘B is a revolutionary new remote controlled hybrid car-helicopter with a patent pending design,’ he says on the Kickstarter site set up to fund the project.

‘It is capable of driving across difficult terrain using its large rear drive wheels and when the obstacles become too big, simply take-off and fly over them.’ 

Prototype cars have already been built, and are able to almost instantly swap from car to quadcopter.

‘B is a toy that provides an extraordinary experience,’ the site claims.

‘B is virtually unstoppable, capable of transitioning between ground and air allowing the development of tricks otherwise impossible to achieve.’

The car also has a HD video camera to send back live footage of its exploits – and luckily for novice pilots has been designed to survive major crashes.

‘The combination of the design and material selection creates a solid construction that is capable of surviving the worst of landings,’ the site says.

‘When the vehicle crashes from high altitudes, the driving rings detach from the housing and can be easily put back together.

‘The main chassis is made out of Polycarbonate, which is the same material used in protective goggles and bullet proof windows.’

 
How it works: The B is controlled by an on-board computer, with a HD video camera in its nose and a design its inventors say can survive most crashes
How it works: The B is controlled by an on-board computer, with a HD video camera in its nose and a design its inventors say can survive most crashes

 

 
Inside the B: The design is based around a polycarbonate shell to protect the craft from crashes
Inside the B: The design is based around a polycarbonate shell to protect the craft from crashes

‘The body shell not only serves as a protective and decorative feature, it is also a structural element.

‘The chassis when combined with the body shell not only forms a rigid and light construction that maintains its shape when flying or driving, but is also flexible enough to absorb excessive forces generated during crash landings.

‘Therefore, you can push B to the limits even when your skills are not at the highest level.

‘This makes B an excellent platform for all users ranging from newcomers to experts. ‘

 
The design is one of the first to combine a helicopter a car
The design is one of the first to combine a helicopter a car

 

 
Several prototypes have already been built, and the project hopes to raise £85,000 to begin production
Several prototypes have already been built, and the project hopes to raise £85,000 ($129,000) to begin production

Attribution: Mark Prigg, Daily Mail

What Makes Us Itch

Scientists may have put their finger on what makes us itch – they’ve pinpointed a chemical that tells the brain about the maddening sensation.

Without it, there’s no impulse to itch – and therefore no scratching.

The breakthrough by the U.S. government’s health research arm offers hope of new treatments for conditions that cause severe itching, including eczema.

Others that could benefit range from cancer patients to people on kidney dialysis.

The team from the National Institutes of Health in Maryland tested a range of chemicals that carry information to the brain to find out which were essential to the perception of itchiness.

This led them to a key compound called Npbb – and they showed that mice that can’t make it don’t itch.

Lead author Santosh Mishra said: ‘When we exposed Npbb-deficient mice to several itch-inducing substances, it was amazing to watch.

‘Nothing happened. The mice wouldn’t scratch.’

However, if the creatures were injected with Npbb they started to scratch.

Further research established the chemical as an essential first step in the process that transmits information about itchiness to the brain.

 
The breakthrough offers hope of new treatments for conditions that cause severe itching, including eczema
 
The researchers say that it is likely same process occurs in people, raising new hope of better treatments for those who are plagued by conditions that make the skin unbearably itchy.

Likely beneficiaries include eczema sufferers, as well as diabetics and liver patients, who are often overcome with the need to scratch.

Pugh

Kidney dialysis patients can suffer severe itching, while some cancer patients find their painkillers irritate their skin to such an extent that they have no option but to cut back on the medication.

In addition, the damage done by constant scratching can lead to infections in patients who are already very ill.

However, with Nppb also having other important roles in the body, it wouldn’t be safe to simply create a drug that stops it from working.

Researcher Dr Mark Hoon said: ‘The challenge is to find similar biocircuitry in people, evaluate what’s there and identify molecules that can be targeted to turn off chronic itch without causing unwanted side-effects.

‘So this is a start, not a finish.’

Previous research has shown why it feels so good to dispatch an itch.

Brain scans revealed that scratching numbs the part of the brain linked to unpleasant thoughts and memories.

It also ramps up activity in regions linked to compulsion – perhaps explaining why we sometimes can’t help but scratch and scratch and scratch.

Attribution: Fiona Macrae, Mail Online

Cheaper is Sometimes Better

Target’s own-brand sunscreen costing under $7, has been ranked number one in a study investigating the most effective sun protection products on the market.

Researchers from the ratings site Consumer Reports tested 12 popular SPF lotions on their ability to block harmful ultraviolet radiation, considered the main cause of skin cancer.

Target’s spray-on Up & Up Sport SPF 50 priced at $6.94, scored 80 out of 100 beating pricier, better-known brands such as Hawaiian Tropic, Neutrogena and Coppertone.

 
Health advice: Target's own-brand sunscreen costing less than $7, fared the best in a study investigating the top sun protection products on the market
 Target’s own-brand sunscreen costing less than $7, fared the best in a study investigating the top sun protection products on the market

Dr Ellen Marmur, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, told Today that consumers should ‘save’ their money and realize that price doesn’t always mean better quality.

Another of the cheaper options, Walmart’s Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50, $7.50, came in second place with 77 points. 

Right behind it with a rating of 75, was Coppertone’s Water Babies SPF 50 at $11.

Walgreens Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50, $8, Hawaiian Tropic’s Sheer Touch, SPF 30, $11, and
Coppertone’s Sport High Performance, SPF 30, $10, were other recommended buys.

 
Walmart
Target
 Target’s spray-on SPF 50 priced at $6.94, came top place in the ‘top sunscreen’ study (below) while Walmart’s Equate SPF 50 (above), $7.50, scored second place

Nicole Sarrubbo, from Consumer Reports magazine, explained: ‘We found six that are really good at protecting against UVA and UVB rays, and they’re at a very affordable price.’

Sunscreens that scored the lowest in human and lab tests were from the likes of California Baby, Neutrogena, Kiss My Face.and Badger.

Consumer Reports’ study also found that many products actually offered less protection than advertised.

 

SIX MOST EFFECTIVE SUNSCREENS

  1. Target: Up & Up Sport SPF 50, $6.94
  2. Walmart: Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50, $7.50
  3. Coppertone: Water Babies SPF 50, $11
  4. Walgreens: Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50, $8
  5. Hawaiian Tropic: Sheer Touch SPF 30, $11
  6. Coppertone: Sport High Performance SPF 30, $10

Source: Consumer Reports

A lack of protection can cause sunburn, premature aging and also contribute to melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer.

It was suggested that new labeling and test requirements from the Food and Drug Administration, which came into play last year, could have led sunscreen makers to ‘tweak’ ingredients.

However manufacturers insisted they hadn’t changed formulations since previous tests and their sunscreens are tested by third-party labs to ensure that they meet or exceed FDA guidelines.

In their conclusion Consumer Reports advised consumers to look for lotions or sprays that offer ‘broad-spectrum protection’ and have a claimed SPF of at least 40. These should be rubbed on 15 to 30 minutes before heading into the sun and reapplied every two hours.

Some doctors say that sunscreens with ultra-high SPFs do not offer better protection. Dr Marmur added: ‘I tell my patients SPF over 50 is useless. Stick with the 30 to 50.’

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. with an estimated 76,600 cases expected in 2013.

Attribution: Sadie Whitelocks, Mail Online

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).

Scroll down for video

 

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.

Continue Reading

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