Tornado-Proof Homes

YouTube - Tornado-Proof Suburb

A series of hydraulic levers are used to move the housing units in and out of the ground, warping and deflecting the outer skin in response to external stimulation. The mobility also offers the home a chance to aim itself into the prevailing wing to capture maximum breezes or avoid them. Solar cells on the skin rotate and flex to attain maximum solar intensity. A translucent outer skin consisting of clear insulation sandwiched between two layers of Kevlar provides the weather barrier, structure, and diffuse lighting.

Proto-Teck :: Indestructible House

The "INDESTRUCTIBLE HOUSE" is in reality a houseboat floating in a large buried concrete silo filled with water.  Earth excavated to bury the silo would be back-filled around the upper 1/3 of the silo, forming a berm.  The house structure is constructed on a waterproof concrete cylinder, called a barge.  The barge will also be a basement for storage and equipment, such as a electric generator in case of a power failure.

Collected from: Korvelo

► High-strength solid concrete walls and roofs.

► Bunker like doors. 
► Window shutters built with a heavy metal frame and 1/4 steel plate minimum, with the ability to bolt them shut.
Our pyramid is designed for 500 MPH winds minimum, something that only an explosion at close range can create.

F5 tornadoes will top at over 300 MPH, what will destroy most buildings and throw large objects like cars around like missiles. What will damage any building, unless it's designed and built properly.

Even if a super-tornado could potentially push/slide our buildings, they would still be intact and our PYRAMID IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO TIP REGARDLESS OF THE WIND FORCE .

Homes | Monolithic

Monolithic Dome Homes

Collected from: Homes | Monolithic

Monolithic Dome Benefits: Survivability

Whether it’s your home, your children’s school or some other structure that you and your loved ones spend time in, nothing beats knowing that you’re in a place that cannot be destroyed by most natural or manmade disasters. That’s the confidence Monolithic Domes offer. They meet or exceed FEMA’s standards for providing near-absolute protection. Monolithic Domes are proven survivors of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and fires. (Continued…)
Collected from: Benefits | Monolithic

Futuristic Materials Could Build Tornado-Proof Homes | Bradley Quinn | Carbon Fiber | InnovationNewsDaily

″Carbon fiber is incredibly strong and very flexible. The thinking behind carbon fiber architecture is that it can withstand earthquakes. It would be more flexible in the wind than regular structures,″ said Bradley Quinn, author of the new book on advanced materials called ″Design Futures″ (Merrell Publishers, 2011). ″Then there′s the DuPont Storm Room. It′s like a tent made of metal mesh and Kevlar. It can be erected inside and protect the people from all the debris that flies around.″

Kevlar, metal mesh and carbon fibers all provide a flexibility that traditional materials such as wood or concrete simply cannot match. By bending with the wind instead of bending against it, houses constructed from more supple frames have a lower chance of collapse than the more rigid structures build today. There′s a new school of architecture devoted to designing softer buildings that integrate with, rather than resist, nature in both its calm and furious moods, Quinn said.


Google Correlate

FAQ - Google Correlate

What is Google Correlate?
Google Correlate is an experimental new tool on Google Labs which enables you to find queries with a similar pattern to a target data series. The target can either be a real-world trend that you provide (e.g., a data set of event counts over time) or a query that you enter.

Collected from: FAQ - Google Correlate

Google Correlate lets you see how your data relates to search queries

A while back, Google showed how Influenza outbreaks correlated to searches for flu-related terms with Google Flu Trends. It helped researchers and policy-makers estimate flu activity much sooner than with previous methods. Google Correlate is the evolution of Flu Trends in that now you can correlate search trends with not just flu cases, but with your own data or other search queries.

Google Correlate

Find searches that correlate with real-world data

Most search terms vary in popularity over time. Find search terms that…
Search terms are often more popular in some states and less popular in others. Find terms correlated with…
Collected from: Google Correlate

How To Use Correlate, Google's New Data-Mining Tool, To Help Your Business | Fast Company

After logging in, you can upload any data and leverage Google's huge search history and algorithms to see if there's a correlation over time. Brand managers keen to see if their promotional TV ad campaigns result in echoed online activity searching for their brands (and possibly compared to their competition) can do so with a few clicks. Publishing houses can see whether readers are searching for their magazine, or their online entity. Economists and sociologists pondering if searches for "credit card" and "no interest credit card" decline proportionally to a recovering economy now have a powerful data ally (spoiler: yes, that correlation is true).


Tardigrades in Space

Collected from: YouTube - The Water Bear

Tardigrades: Water bears in space

Tardigrades are microscopic animals commonly known as water bears

In 2007, a little known creature called a tardigrade became the first animal to survive exposure to space.

Tardigrades join other microscopic organisms selected to be part of a project into extreme survival.

Project Biokis is sponsored by the Italian Space Agency and will investigate the impact of short-duration spaceflight on a number of microscopic organisms.


Brief Summary

BIOKon In Space (BIOKIS) involves the investigation of seven experiments sponsored by the Italian Space Agency (ASI-Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) in the areas of cellular biology, radiation and radioprotection, aging, germination and plant growth. These experiments will aim to evaluate various biological species to determine genetic distinctions following short-duration space flight; also, BIOKIS will utilize a variety of dosimeters to monitor radiation.

Since the exposure to the space environment can induce rapid changes in living systems, this study aims to define the countermeasures needed to protect sensitive organisms, including humans, which are not naturally able to withstand extreme stresses under space conditions; and for the study of future long-term explorations of the solar system.

Tardigrades In Space (TARDIS)

Tardigrades In Space or "TARDIS" is the first research project to evaluate the ability of tardigrades to survive under open space conditions. TARDIS is one of the projects within the Biopan-6 research platform provided by European Space Agency (ESA), and will be sent into space with the russian FOTON-M3 mission.

What is the aim of TARDIS?


At a more mechanistic biological level, exposure of organisms to space conditions will reveal how living cells react to the potentially very stressful impact of space parameters. And organisms that can handle the damaging space parameters will be important sources of knowledge for how to generate the space ecosystems that will be necessary for the more permanent human establishments in space that is envisaged today.

The TARDIS experiment consists of two sets of samples: one set exposed to both space vacuum and solar radiation, and another set exposed to space vacuum only. All tardigrade specimens included in the study are in a dry, anhydrobiotic state. Species included are: Richtersius coronifer, Milnesium tardigradum, Echiniscus testudo, Ramazzottius oberhaeuseri. These are all known to be very tolerant to desiccation.

Once on the ground again, these samples will be analysed for survival and reproductive potential, and for damage on DNA.


The Google Chrome Desktop Xi3 ChromiumPC

Xi3 ChromiumPC: First desktop PC to run Google Chrome OS due in July | ZDNet

Xi3 had designed a modular architecture for the ChromiumPC, which means that it consists of processor and I/O modules rather than a traditional motherboard. Further, the I/O modules — one for communications ports and the second for other connectivity — are swappable. Though few specs are known for the ChromiumPC, it will use an x86-based processor — either single or dual-core — and be released in several color choices. Xi3 says third parties are interested in creating their own modules, and flavors of ChromiumPC running other operating systems will also be available.

Xi3 | Xi3 News

News Release: Xi3 Corporation Announces its ChromiumPC Modular Computer – the World’s First Desktop Computer Running Google’s Chrome Operating System

SALT LAKE CITY--Xi3® Corporation today announced its ChromiumPC™ modular computer, the world's first desktop computer designed to run Google's Chrome operating system.


"The Xi3 Computer Architecture is designed to support any x86-based operating system, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and other open source-based operating systems," said Jason A. Sullivan, president and CEO of Xi3 Corp. "Although we've been promoting, discussing and working on modular computers for some time, we feel the market is now ready for a desktop computer with a cloud-based operating system like the one offered by Google. If someone chooses to switch their ChromiumPC to run a different operating system, it's as easy as swapping out one of the three boards inside the computer.


Each Xi3 Modular Computer, including the ChromiumPC, is housed in an aluminum chassis that holds three small but interconnected boards (or modules), namely
  • The Processor Module™,
  • The Primary I/O Module™, and
  • The Secondary I/O Module™.
Taken in concert these three modules form the basis of what has been the classic motherboard, with the Processor Module housing the microprocessor and RAM, the Primary I/O Module typically housing the majority of the external communications ports, and the Secondary I/O Module typically housing Ethernet, video and power connections.

Unlike traditional computers, however, the Xi3 Computer Architecture makes it possible to change the so-called personality and/or functionality of an Xi3 Modular Computer, including the ChromiumPC. [...]
Collected from: Xi3 | Xi3 News

The design of the Xi3 PCU from ISYS Technologies is one of the most unique and stunning features of the product. Check out how the Xi3's design differs from that of traditional personal computers.


Lingodroid Robots Invent Their Own Language

Robots learn to create language

(PhysOrg.com) -- Communication is a vital part of any task that has to be done by more than one individual. That is why humans in every corner of the world have created their own complex languages that help us share the goal. As it turns out, we are not alone in that need, or in our ability to create a language of our own.

Researchers at the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology have created a pair of robots who are creating their own language. The bots, which are being taught how to speak but not given specific languages, are learning to create a lexicon of their own

The go-to game allows the agents to test their toponymic lexicon by specifying a target location (B) to meet at. Image credit: Ruth Schulz

Here's the basic gist of how it works. The Lingodroids assign a randomly chosen syllable combination to name a specific location. Once they've agreed on the meaning of that initial word, they have the foundation for a language. From there the robots continue to make up and agree on words for different spots, directions, and approximate spatial distances (near, far, medium-far, and so on). The result is this exceedingly polite conversation in Lingodroidese:

The University of Queensland Homepage


Toponymic Lexicon:

The robots play where-are-we games, in which they name the current location, to form a toponymic lexicon, where toponyms are names for places.

Testing a Toponymic Lexicon:

They can test their toponymic lexicon by playing go-to games, in which they attempt to meet at a distant location.

Generative Games:

Once they have a toponymic lexicon, they can expand their concepts by playing generative games to form concepts for distances and directions.

With distances and directions, they can now expand the places they can talk about, and actually meet at these new locations, should they become accessible, for example, if office doors are opened.

e.g. “reya rije duka hiza heto” = “If I’m at the bottom right corner of the room facing the top right corner of the room, then nearby to the right is a place that I can’t get to that I’m calling heto”

Collected from: Lingodroids

Lingodroid Robots Invent Their Own Spoken Language - IEEE Spectrum

In the future, researchers hope to enable the Lingodroids to "talk" about even more elaborate concepts, like descriptions of how to get to a place or the accessibility of places on the map. Ultimately, techniques like this may help robots to communicate with each other more effectively, and may even enable novel ways for robots to talk to humans.

Schulz and her colleagues -- Arren Glover, Michael J. Milford, Gordon Wyeth, and Janet Wiles -- describe their work in a paper, "Lingodroids: Studies in Spatial Cognition and Language," presented last week at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), in Shanghai.


Aero-Train a High-Speed High-Efficiency Ground-Effect Train

Collected from: AeroTrain main page

Levitating locomotive developed by Japanese scientists | Mail Online

A research team, lead by Tohoku University's Yusuke Sugahara, has made a prototype of the train-plane which floats just above the ground on a cushion of air.

Since the train does not come into contact with the ground, there is no friction reducing its forward momentum, allowing the vehicle to potentially reach greater speeds than regular trains with less energy expenditure.

A Train That's Part Plane, Flying Inches From The Ground | Fast Company

It's being called the Aero Train and it's prototype was developed as a proof of concept for a paper given at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. It works on the principles of the "wing-in-ground effect," which is that as planes get very low, drag decreases significantly. Take one of these planes and attach some passenger cars to it--voila!--you have yourself a very efficient flying train that doesn't require that much energy to move. Here's a video of the prototype in action, flying just inches above the ground:

Levitation Control of Experimental Wing-in-Ground Effect Vehicle along Z Axis and about Roll and Pitch Axes

The goal of this study is to develop a control method for levitation stabilization of an aerodynamic levitated train named the “Aero-Train,” which is a high-speed, high-efficiency train system. The levitation in this system occurs because of the wing-in-ground effect that acts on a U-shaped guideway. In order to achieve the goal of this study, a small experimental prototype and a control method for stabilization along the Z axis and about the roll and pitch axes were developed, as described in this paper. The effectiveness of the developed control method is confirmed by experimental results.
Collected from: ICRA 2011 Paper Abstract

YouTube - Japan WIG train - Ground Effect Train

Solar panels are placed on the guide-way's roof, while wind generators are placed alongside in those places where wind energy is generally available. The generated electricity can be fed to the train directly or stored in its on-board batteries. The researchers expect the system to generate much more energy than is consumed by the Aero-Train, thereby making it double as an electric power plant.

The next stage in the development is to build a larger Aero-Train prototype with room for six passengers and a maximum operating speed of 350 kilometres per hour (217 mph). The final, full-scale Aero-Train, with a length of 85 metres (279 ft) and seating capacity for 325 passengers, is aimed to begin service in 2020.



Google's Android Apps for Cloud Robotics

Google aims to bridge Android, cloud computing with robotics | ZDNet

Cloud computing and robotics could create one fine mashup that preserves battery life, adds capabilities and allows robots to form groups.

That’s the high-level takeaway from Google’s I/O conference this week. Google launched rosjava, a ROS (robot OS) framework in Java that is Android compatible. The move coupled with Google’s Android Open Accessory API, which aims to connect a bevy of devices—phones, bikes, cameras, clocks and other household items highlights how it is positioning the Android operating system as a robotics tool.

rosjava - An implementation of ROS in pure Java with Android support. - Google Project Hosting

rosjava is the first pure Java implementation of ROS.

From ROS.org: ROS is an open-source, meta-operating system for your robot. It provides the services you would expect from an operating system, including hardware abstraction, low-level device control, implementation of commonly-used functionality, message-passing between processes, and package management.

Developed at Google in cooperation with Willow Garage, rosjava enables integration of Android and ROS compatible robots.

Collected from: Cloud Enabled Robots



Raspberry Pi -- The USB computer

Raspberry Pi: Computer on a stick for only $25 | Crave - CNET

A British nonprofit has a novel idea for getting kids interested in computer programming--a computer that fits in a pocket and costs less than the latest video game.

It's called Raspberry Pi, and the prototype isn't pretty--it looks like a leftover scrap from electronics recycling day. But it's a working computer that game developer David Braben and his Cambridge-connected colleagues expect to make available for only $25 for a fully configured system.

π Raspberry Pi Foundation
Provisional specification:
  • 700MHz ARM11
  • 128MB of SDRAM
  • OpenGL ES 2.0
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)

Raspberry Pi device running Ubuntu 9.04
Raspberry Pi device with attached 12MPixel camera module

Collected from: Raspberry Pi Foundation

BBC - dot.Rory: A 15 pound computer to inspire young programmers

They believe that what today's schoolchildren learn in ICT classes leaves them uninspired and ignorant about the way computers work. David Braben says the way the subject is taught today reminds him of typing lessons when he was at school - useful perhaps in preparing pupils for office jobs, but no way to encourage creativity.

Raspberry Pi is a non-profit venture, whose founders are mostly part of Cambridge's thriving technology sector. Their hope is that teachers, developers and the government will come together to get the device into the hands of children who may not have access to a computer at home or would not be allowed by parents to "muck about with it".

In some ways, the project resembles the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) scheme, which sought to create a laptop for children in the developing world at a cost of $100. OLPC was successful in promoting the idea of cheap computing, spawning lots of netbook imitators, but has struggled to get the price as low as they promised and to convince governments to back the idea.



Weight Loss Virus

A Virus That Could Help You Lose Weight - PSFK

A new study has found evidence that a virus could be used to convince your brain you aren’t hungry. The study, published in Cell Metabolism, explains how researchers at Johns Hopkins University gave some rats a virus that inhibited hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY), a protein linked to appetite.

Turning 'bad' fat into 'good': A future treatment for obesity?

ScienceDaily (May 5, 2011) — By knocking down the expression of a protein in rat brains known to stimulate eating, Johns Hopkins researchers say they not only reduced the animals' calorie intake and weight, but also transformed their fat into a type that burns off more energy. The finding could lead to better obesity treatments for humans, the scientists report.
For five weeks, two groups of rats were fed a regular diet, with one group also treated with a virus to inhibit NPY expression and the other left as a control group. At the end of five weeks, the treated group weighed less than the control group, demonstrating that suppression of NPY reduced eating.

GEN | News Highlights: Scientists Claim Region of Hypothalamus Could Represent New Target for Obesity and Diabetes

U.S. team finds knocking out DMH neuropeptide Y increases energy expenditure, reduces food intake, improves insulin sensitivity and triggers brown fat adipogenesis. [V. Yakobchuk/Fotolia.com]

NPY in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) region of the hypothalamus has previously been shown to be involved in energy regulation, report Sheng Bi, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues. Meanwhile, observations that DMH lesions result in hypophagia and decreased body weight indicate that this region of the hypothalamus also plays a role in maintaining energy homeostasis.

Although NPY is expressed by neurons within the DMH, its function in this region of the brain remains unclear. NPY in the ARC is under the control of leptin, but NPY in the DMH is leptin-independent, suggesting that different neuronal mechanism are involved.

Cell Metabolism - Knockdown of NPY Expression in the Dorsomedial Hypothalamus Promotes Development of Brown Adipocytes and Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity

Cell Metabolism, Volume 13, Issue 5, 573-583, 4 May 2011
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Pei-Ting Chao, Liang Yang, Susan Aja, Timothy H. Moran, Sheng Bi


Curved Origami Sculpture

Demaine’s artwork selected for Smithsonian exhibit

"Natural Cycles," part of a series of curved origami structures created by Erik and Martin Demaine.

For more information on the exhibit, visit http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/renwick40/, and for more on the Demaines' artwork, visit http://erikdemaine.org/.

Curved-Crease Sculpture by Erik and Martin Demaine

Paper folds itself into a natural equilibrium form depending on its creases. These equilibria are poorly understood, especially for curved creases. We are exploring what shapes are possible in this genre of self-folding origami, with applications to deployable structures, manufacturing, and self-assembly. This transformation of flat paper into swirling surfaces creates sculpture that feels alive.
Computational Origami (2008)


Pushing Curves to the Limit (2009)

Waves in Glass (2010)

YouTube - Curved origami

This is what paper rings do when you impose concentric mountain and valley folds onto them. Inspired by the work of Erik and Marty Demaine.

Collected from: YouTube - Curved origami


Neurowear's Necomimi -- Brainwave-Controlled Cat Ears

Brainwave-controlled cat ears for humans created by Japanese Neurowear (Wired UK)

Japanese company Neurowear is creating a range of fashion items that are operated using brainwaves, including a pair of moveable cat ears.

The cat ear product, called "necomimi" is a novelty hair band that is worn in the normal way but features sensors that pick up on brain signals and convert them into visible actions -- in this case by wiggling the cat ears.


”neurowear” is the name of our project to develop fashion items and gadgets using brain waves and other biosensor with “Augumented Human Body” as the concept. Other than the first project “necomimi”, we are planning to development other various items.
Collected from: neurowear.net

YouTube - neurowear vol.1 "necomimi" (脳波で動く猫耳)

We created new human's organs that use brain wave sensor.
"necomimi"is the new communication tool
that augments human's body and ability.

YouTube - Try! "necomimi" (脳波ネコミミを体験!)

Many people experienced our neurowear "necomimi". It works with your brain signal.

The product, although at present a bit of a commercial gimmick, could actually be used for a number of other functions. For example, to help allow mentally disabled people show their feelings and easing frustrations within those who are verbally challenged. This kind of technology that doesn’t require too many intrusive components could certainly help in treatment by non verbally demonstrating wearers emotions, particularly in children. The same technology could also be used within other applications. Embedded in a hard hat for example the same brain signal monitor could be worn for workers involved in particularly demanding tasks requiring constant concentration. This kind of new technology aimed at health and wellbeing is a particularly growing market in Japan with its increasing greying society.


TV in a Card

Greeting card with built-in LCD is cute, but not practical | DVICE

Sending a paper card is like trying to get you to send snail mail to your pen pal in France. The time has come for boring old paper cards to be replaced with "TV in a Card" — a cardboard case with a 4.3-inch LCD for sharing videos with that special someone.

When the TV in a Card is opened, the embedded screen automatically starts playing. The idea is to bring back the surprise and heartfelt sentimental value that a paper card once brought to a person. Each card has a rechargeable lithium battery that lasts about 90 minutes and can play 30 minutes worth of video. Additionally, each paper card can be customized for a specific design or purpose. The TV in a Card can even be used as a digital brochure for selling wares.

TV in a Card
Thinking inside the box
Imagine the impact on your customers when they open a beautifully printed folder from you, and instead of seeing just text and photos, a full colour video with audio starts playing almost instantly.
Now you can combine surprise with the strong impact of video to both captivate your audience and deliver your message

Collected from: TV in a Card

TV in a Card available from http://www.tvinacard.co.uk/ is the ultimate way to showcase your company with a real WOW factor. Send out these cards to your high value customers and when they open them, instead of, as expected, seeing some text and pictures, a video starts playing. Self contained, no computer needed, no mains lead, nothing. Just your message. Customers will want to watch.

Collected from: YouTube - Tv in a Card

TV in a Card brings video to brochures and greetings cards

The brainchild of Russell Lawley-Gibbs and Robert Green, a standard TV in a Card folder has A4 (297 x 210 mm / 11.7 x 8.3 inches) dimensions and opening the cover reveals a 4.3-inch, 320 x 240 resolution, 16:9 aspect LCD display powered by a custom board with built-in storage for about 30 minutes of video footage. There's an included speaker and headphone jack, and the Li-ion battery lasts about 1.5 hours before needing to be charged via the included USB port.

If required, battery capacity can be increased to up to 7.5 hours and onboard storage boosted up to 2GB – which is said to be enough for 4.5 hours of video. Customers can opt to have the video auto-start when the card is opened or manual control buttons can be positioned under the display (or elsewhere, if desired). Available controls include a power on/off switch, volume control, program/episode selection, play/pause, and fast forward/rewind.