Category Archives: Technology

GEODESIC DOMES – OUT OF THE PAST AND INTO THE FUTURE

Build the future with geodesic domes! This technology has been around for nearly 100 years. Geodesic domes utilize the power of natural geometry to make mind-blowing, incredibly efficient structures. Think of how the shell of an egg can hold its shape, and how a spider web can be very light and yet be strong enough to catch prey. This technology is a celebration of nature as opposed to an attempt to conquer it. For those more technical readers out there… A geodesic dome is a spherical or hemispherical thin-shell structure (lattice-shell) based on a network of geodesics (great circles) on the surface of a sphere or a hemisphere. The geodesics intersect to form triangular elements, which have local, triangular rigidity, and so distribute the structural stress throughout the geodesic sphere.

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The first dome was designed and patented for a planetarium right after World War I. Twenty years later R. Buckminster Fuller gave the dome the name geodesic. Although Fuller was not the original inventor, he is credited with the U.S. popularization of the idea for which he received a U.S. patent. The geodesic dome appealed to Fuller because it was extremely strong for its weight, its “omnitriangulated” surface provided an inherently stable structure, and because a sphere encloses the greatest volume for the least surface area. Fuller hoped that the geodesic dome would help address the postwar housing crisis.

These homes are extremely energy efficient for many reasons. More specifically…

  • Its decreased surface area requires less building materials.

  • Exposure to cold in the winter and heat in the summer is decreased because, being spherical, there is the least surface area per unit of volume per structure.

  • The concave interior creates a natural airflow that allows the hot or cool air to flow evenly throughout the dome with the help of return air ducts.

  • Extreme wind turbulence is lessened because the winds that contribute to heat loss flow smoothly around the dome.

  • It acts like a type of giant down-pointing headlight reflector and reflects and concentrates interior heat. This helps prevent radiant heat loss.

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The net annual energy savings for a dome owner is 30% less than normal rectilinear homes according to the Oregon Dome Co. This is quite an improvement and helps save the environment from wasted energy. Domes have been designed by Bucky and others to withstand high winds and extreme temperatures as seen in the Polar regions. Dome homes can be kind of weird looking and they don’t necessarily fit in all the beautiful square neighborhoods when you’re walking around the suburban world, but Fuller saw much potential in those triangles. Dome homes have become one of the most efficient building systems available. Not only are they energy-efficient and cheaper to build than a standard home but they are beautiful in appearance and and have endless design possibilities both interior and exterior.

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In the future large urban areas could be domed under a single roof. The dome would be airtight and pressurized, creating a habitat that can be controlled for air temperature, composition and quality, typically due to an external atmosphere (or lack thereof) that may be harmful to habitation for one or more reasons. These cities may be situated on Earth, a moon or another planet. The world’s first climate controlled domed city is being built in Dubai.

Forest Sage & Alistair Jordan Hunt

Scientists Have Developed A Quartz Coin That Can Store 360 Terrabytes Of Data For Billions Of Years

This is amazing! A new breakthrough for science and technology as given us the next evolutionary step in data storage. The quartz crystals can hold hundreds of terra bytes of information and with stand crazy amounts of damage, it is a stone after all. Produced by Hitachi, the information is etched, in several layers, then read out with a optical microscope. Future generations will not need a proprietary drive to read the information. Anyone with a microscope and an understanding of binary language will be able to decipher the information!

Current methods of optical, flash, and magnetic information storage have fairly limited shelf lives. The information written on the quartz will last as long as the stone does. Hitachi tested the media by subjecting it to two hours of 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit with no discernible damage.

For those having a hard time grasping the longevity of this storage, lets add perspective. The Earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago and the universe is pushing 13.82 billion years. If someone had engraved information on this medium at the start of the universe it would still be usable today!

The entirety of human knowledge and history could be placed on a few SLIVERS of this medium. It has been officially referred to as the 5D storage device. A research team at Southamton University has already taken the liberty of inscribing: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Newton’s Opticks, The Magna Carta, and The King James Bible.

If everything fails, and humanity is wiped out these crystals will be the best ways for us to never be forgotten. If some tragedy befalls us, the wealth of our knowledge will never be lost. The survivors will have the means to pick up where we started.

“Power Plant” Takes On New Meaning With This New Green Energy Technology

Plants are the most efficient harvesters of solar energy to be found in nature. They do this through a process called photosynthesis. This process turns light into chemical energy by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. The electrons freed and created during this breakdown aid in sugar production. The sugar is used to fuel growth and reproduction. There are more than a few projects being conducted globally to emulate and harvest the energy that plants create. Researchers at the University of Georgia are trying to perfect the process of collecting the energy plants naturally create.

Specifically targeting the pathways the electrons travel, the team hopes to power man made devices. They manipulate the proteins found in thylakoids. Thylakoids are compartments at the source of photosynthesis, responsible for capturing and storing energy collected from sunlight. They are like the first stage  batteries for plants. These membrane bound containers are key to taking the energy from the plant before it is integrated into the rest of the organism.

The modified thylakoids rendered immobile on a specially designed backing of carbon nanotubes. These tubes act as a sort of electrical conductor to take any electrons and send them through an attached wire. The small scale experiments are very promising. Their process has yielded a maximum current density that is two orders of magnitude than reported previously for similar systems. The way that these researchers are harvesting energy is more efficient than other experimental processes.

This process is still very much in the beginnings of its experimental phase. The success thus far give head researcher, professor Ramaraja Ramasamy,  reason to believe in a bright future for the project’s continuation.

“In the near term, this technology might best be used for remote sensors or other portable electronic equipment that requires less power to run,” he said. “If we are able to leverage technologies like genetic engineering to enhance stability of the plant photosynthetic machineries, I’m very hopeful that this technology will be competitive to traditional solar panels in the future…We have discovered something very promising here, and it is certainly worth exploring further. The electrical output we see now is modest, but only about 30 years ago, hydrogen fuel cells were in their infancy, and now they can power cars, buses and even buildings.”

Its fun to imagine the possibilities with this concept. Plugging your laptop up to a tree in a city park, or having lights on a street powered by the surrounding plants, the potential is pretty staggering. Definetely keep your eye n the horizon for ‘power plants’ you can grow at home!

What is This Strange Object That’s Been Orbiting The Earth Since 1920?

The Black Knight Satellite is an metallic object in a polar orbit with Earth. There has been a lot of fairly fantastical speculation over the origins and purpose of this 100 meter long (328 feet) satellite. The satellite was discovered in the 1920’s by means of radio transmissions. Scientists, including the brilliant Nikola Telsa were believed to receiving radio transitions from the spinning hunk of metal. This was one of the first recorded cases of Long Delay Echoes (LDE), a phenomena in which the sender of a radio transmission receives an echo of the transmission after a minimum of 2.7 seconds.

The orbit of the object is highly eccentric. It is in a polar orbit, meaning that its flight path passes over both magnetic poles of the planet. Humans launched the first satellite that had an intentional polar orbit in 1960. The Black Knight is the only non terrestrial object to have this flight pattern. It circles the Earth at 79 degrees off the equator, not the 90 degrees that is considered a standard polar orbit. The Black Knight is moving quickly, completing it’s orbit every 104.5 minutes. No country has claimed the object.Black_Knight_Satellite_(cropped)

This ends the factual list for the Black Knight Satellite. The rest of the available information is mainly speculation. The United States and Russian government have shown marked interest in the device but not shared much of it’s information.

 ‘Black Knight is a jumble of completely unrelated stories; reports of unusual science observations, authors promoting fringe ideas, classified spy satellites and people over-interpreting photos. These ingredients have been chopped up, stirred together and stewed on the internet to one rambling and inconsistent dollop of myth,’ said senior education support officer, Martina Redpath, of Armagh Planetarium.

There is the theory that it is a bungled spacecraft part or a broken satellite. This is the most easily dismissed theory, as the discovery of the object predates the first satellite launch. Its massive size also eliminates the remaining probability of it being a forgotten human construct.

The more popular theories say the Black Knight is an alien probe, spy device, or part of a larger alien communication network. This is due to a number of people recording radio transmissions seeming to originate to the satellite. Tesla said the frequency and elements of the transmission were unlike any he had seen before. There are many natural phenomena that Tesla could have been receiving that science as a whole had not yet to identify. While we can not validate the theory that he was listening to the Knight it is an interesting theory.

In 1973, Duncan Lunan, a science fiction author and graduate of the famous University of Glasgow, experimented with the transmissions emanating from the Black Knight. The strength and intervals of the transmissions led him to believe that the signals were coming from Epsilon Bootis, a star near the Moon. Translating the messages led him to believe the transmissions had been going on for 13,00 years. The Black Knight was send star charts and information to find other intelligent life!

The lack of information creates appropriate space for varied interpretations of available fact. People desperate for conformation of alien life are willing to view elements in a certain light to create hope. As space travel becomes more sophisticated, hopefully we will be able to extract the device for study. It is bizarre that such a mystery has been spinning around our planet for at least decades, and organizations aren’t more interested in it.

 

Shipping Container Homes Are The 21st Century Solution For Simple Living

In today’s age of high powered manufacturing, we are left with many left over ins and outs of our century. We create and ship the weight equivalent of mountains. as the volume increases to meet our many needs, the standard by which we achieve these goals change. These changes come in the form of design reforms and exchanging methods of technique. This process, which we frequently call progress, inevitably creates waste.

Turning to the mountains of outdated equipment, we are tasked with ignoring it, destroying it or my favorite option, re-purpose it. A Danish firm, Vandknusten Architects and a Copenhagen based container architecture firm CPH Shelter have joined up to bring the world a solution to one aspect of the modern ‘waste’ problem. They have bought up large numbers of old shipping containers and modeled them into surprisingly chic and comfortable houses.

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They are teaming up to build ‘CPH Village’, a much needed student housing complex for Copenhagen. This is a larger scale version of the stand alone CPH Shelter. This will be an excellent debut of the Shelter’s easy transferred and merged design. The individual unit comes with a kitchen, bath and integrated, multi functional cabinets and storage area. The walls are insulated and left unpainted to avoid further chemical exposure.

Smaller and more functional homes have been on the rise. The desire to spend money on superfluous and large homes doesn’t apply to the newer generations as much as previously. We understand that utilitarian designs are not only clever but can be made to be very stylish. The money saved on space and materials can go into funding amazing trips or nifty additions to your home. These shipping containers are basic boxes that are entirely modified for creature comforts. This relates to an unbelievably high customization element to each aspect of the home.

Even after the initial creation, the boxes can be rearranged and re modified easily. The ease of modification and transportation are dwarfed only by the ecological benefits. The CPH Shelter creates a 80 percent lower CO2 foot print than traditional houses during the production phase.  Also waste that would have been is averted. The costs and by products of the crate’s destruction is also avoided.

CPH Shelter is much cheaper to make, so the savings can be easily passed on to the consumer (or in this case students). Students will be expected to pay the equivalent of 170 dollars in monthly rent as opposed to the 675 dollar average for the area. I certainly could have used that kind of savings when I was in school.

Highly versatile, easy to customize and transport, the CPH Shelters look like an appeasing alternative for traditional buildings in community settings. So often an apartment complex or student housing or subsidized housing are built, but the intention for them changes. Everything would be so much better if the west side of the complex could be simply moved to the south eastern side. Or structural integrity is compromised so the entire structure must be tore down and started from scratch. With the CPH  and a crane, many of these costly complications can be avoided or minimized.

Featured Image Credit.

Proposed Legislation Will Ban Solar Power And Limit Its Use

Cost, availability, along with consumer awareness already stand in the way of the expansion of solar energy’s use on the open market. It’s not only confusion but seriously irritating that the government is making moves against its progress. Most arms of the various levels of the government are providing incentives for citizens making the switch renewable energies.

Arizona law makers are placing new taxes on solar panels. Legislators in Maine and Hawaii are also taking strides against the green revolution. Maine is trying to stop and eliminate the process by which owners of solar panels can sell back their excess energy to the cities. Obviously local residents responded negatively and in an organized fashion. Over 4,000 signatures were collected in the form of a petition to preserve their rights to sell energy to the state or city.

In Hawaii, the insanity goes a little deeper. Legislators want to outright ban solar energy and panels.

“House Bill 2636 would put a 25-kilowatt cap on solar generation projects located on land that is zoned agricultural but also serves as a residential area. Creagan introduced the bill in response to outcry from residents of Hawaiian Ocean View Ranchos, who oppose a plan by SPI Solar to place 30,000 solar panels on 26 lots in and around that subdivision.” (Citation)

Twelve percent of homes in Hawaii have solar panels. There is pressure to change what the state pays fo its surplus energy and to relieve the state of the its ‘solar panel eye sores’. Chris Yuen, former planning director for Hawaii County had this to say,

I can understand why a neighbor of a project like this might rather see a vacant lot next door rather than a solar array protected by a fence. It is not visually appealing. But it is not significantly less attractive than many other uses that can be made of that same lot in the ag district. For example, the lot could be covered in shade cloth structures. And I don’t see why the government, in balancing the various interests involved, would change the laws allowing a solar development like this, which would, on each lot, generate enough electricity for 50-100 homes.”

Its fairly ridiculous that states would be opposed to renewable energy sources. There’s bound to be major infrastructure changes over the next few decades. The states that are already considering the shift and support this inevitable change are going to succeed more than their neighbors that fight it. Every state should be doing what it can to support the rights of the citizen’s therein. It’s not fair to the people who spent the time and money to get solar energy, to pull the rug out from under them like this.