Category Archives: ThinkMachine

Like a gymnasium for your mind ThinkMachine will keep your brain fit, or run it down with a machine.

Norway’s Auto Dimming Street Lights, Street Lights Just Got a Little Smarter…

Highway 155 in Norway is the site of a very interesting experiment being conducted by the Norwegian government. 220 light poles have been fitting with technology that will allow them to automatically dim at night when no cars are on the nearby road. This 9.5 km stretch of highway is now one of the first smart highways in the world.

Bjørn Nyland was so fascinated by the project that he ventured down to this little stretch of highway near the Norwegian town of Hole to shoot a video of the street lights in action, and it turns out to be fascinating.

Each of the auto dimming light poles is fitted with radar and LED lights. When they sense that there is no traffic around they dim to 20%. When traffic is present they switch back to 100% brightness, they’re even smart enough to communicate with each other allowing them to switch up well in advance of the oncoming traffic. This one small change is estimated to save 2,100 kWH of power a week, enough to pay for the extra technology in 4.5 years.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is Bjørn’s video documenting the lights in action. An interesting perspective of the smart street lights of the future in action today. Sit back relax and prepare to drive down the highway of the future today.

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SpaceX Falcon Heavy Drone Fly By…

Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX has released a spectacular video of their brand-new rocket the Falcon Heavy on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. Scheduled for launch on the 31st of January 2018 this is the first time the Falcon Heavy has been fired up and should prove the technology has what it takes to take payloads all the way to Mars.

The most powerful launch vehicle since America went to the moon on the Saturn V Apollo rockets the Falcon Heavy first stage rockets produce over 5 million pounds of thrust and can carry 63,800 kilograms of payload into low earth orbit, or 16,800 kilograms to Mars. While the Space Shuttle did technically produce more thrust with the 3 liquid engines producing over 3.54 million pounds of thrust and the two solid boosters providing 5.6 million pounds of thrust the payload that it could lift into orbit was only 27,500 kilograms.

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Mechanical Problems Mega Mix…

The automobile is without a doubt one of the most influential inventions of the modern era. Enabling travel and transportation of goods it has mobilised the entire world but these complex machines need to be maintained otherwise mechanical problems may ensue.

The men and women that we entrust with maintaining our wheels are witness to these mechanical problems, and from time to time they are asked to fix problems so extreme that they are left shaking their heads and reaching for their phone to record the situation. Treat your car badly and it may just end up being part of the mechanical problem mega mix.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are some of the most extreme mechanical issues encountered by the mechanics entrusted with fixing our cars. Problems so extreme that they needed to be recorded for posterity. Sit back relax and prepare to be amazed by the worst mechanical problems captured during 2017.

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Lightning from Above, Spectacular Sights at 40,000 Feet…

From our normal vantage point on the ground thunderstorms put on an amazing show but change your angle of perspective by 40,000 feet and these electrical discharges become spectacular. Filmed from the relative safety of a commercial airplane these thunder clouds can be seen to light up with lightning spreading throughout the cloud. Remember most of these cumulus congestus clouds are over 10 kilometres high and these flashes are spreading from the top to bottom in the blink of an eye.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are the best videos capturing thunderstorms from above, as the pilots of these aircraft skirt around the edges of these unstable areas of the atmosphere. Sit back relax and from the safety of your lounge room chair enjoy these electrifying natural displays.

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Watching Soap Bubbles Freeze, Fascinating…

Blowing bubbles is a childhood pastime that almost everyone has enjoyed but it is a pastime that becomes truly stunning when enjoyed in freezing temperatures. Once the temperature outside dips below freezing the bubbles will lose their ability to be carried away on a breeze and instead slowly convert to a spherical icicle.

The process of this conversion is visually stunning as you watch ice crystals forming and growing with the soapy bubble becoming frozen. Ice crystals are usually elusive creatures and typically the process of their formation and growth is hidden from our eyes but through the magic of bubbles you can easily see this process in action.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are the videos capturing this process in action. Having endured freezing temperatures these videographers captured one of nature’s incredible moments as liquid is transformed into a solid. Sit back relax and prepare to be amazed by bubbles.

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China’s New Solar Expressway…

With over 64 million kilometres of roads and highways in the world these ribbons of black seem like a logical place to start when converting the world to renewable energy. But while it may sound like a simple idea there are many engineering challenges to tackle before cars and trucks can roll down solar highways.

Engineers in China have decided that a good idea is a good idea and have begun construction of the world’s first solar expressway by converting 2 kilometres of the Jinan South Ring Expressway into a PV electricity generating expressway. Smaller solar roads have already been tested in France and within Jian South city centre itself but this is the first expressway or highway.

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Keyless Unlawful Entry, Stealing Cars using a Key Relay Device…

Law enforcement officials around the world are constantly facing new challenges when it comes to unscrupulous individuals taking other people’s stuff. The latest challenge for police is the Key Relay Deice that can be used to steal your car by transmitting its fob signal to open and start the car with almost no effort.

Security experts have been aware of the Key Relay Devices since 2011 but in recent years their use has become more wide spread. As you will see from the video below thieves using a key relay device are able to simply stand within the transmission range of your key fob and using a relay transmitter send the signal to another relay device held near your car and hey presto your car is opened. This isn’t a security flaw but a natural by-product of cars using a proximity sensor to unlock the car, if you must press an open the doors button on your fob your car isn’t susceptible to this attack.

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Diplomatic Warfare: The Mysterious Beam Weapon Attacks on the US Embassy in Cuba…

There is a high-tech case of cloak and dagger unfolding just off the shores of the US. A mysterious attack is being executed against the American Embassy in Cuba and for the past year no-one has been unable to explain who, how or why this is occurring.

This tale of highly strange diplomatic warfare begins in late 2016 with US intelligence operatives based in Havana reporting hearing bizarre buzzing noises that are quickly followed by nausea, dizziness, memory loss and head-aches. Medical tests conducted by doctors at the University of Miami and the University of Pennsylvania found the attacks have left brain tissue damaged in many victims.

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Asteroid 1I/2017 U1 Oumuamau: Asteroid or Kick Ass Alien Space Ship?

Space, the final frontier may seem to be a vast empty void but that may just be a perception driven but how little we know. In October the modern world had its first encounter with an object from interstellar space and it was not what we expected.

Discovered by the Robert Weryk using the Pan-STARRS observatory (University of Hawaii) Asteroid 1I/2017 U1 is one very interesting interstellar visitor and it attracted so much attention that it was given another name ‘Oumuamau’, pronounced oʊˈmuːəˈmuːə which is a Hawaiian term meaning ‘scout or messenger sent from afar’.

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Atlas Does Robotic Back-flips…

Boston Dynamics have been beavering away feverishly in their labs to produce their very own Terminator replicant, and they have definitely made progress over the last year. Atlas is the designated title for this mechanised humanoid and in the last month they have taught this autonotom to do back-flips. Soon their terminator will be taking over the world with its impressive gymnastic skills.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is Atlas leaping, jumping and performing a back flip. Here at Highpants we just love his little ‘arms in the air’ celebratory gesture. Sit back relax and prepare to be amazed, and a little creeped out, by the future of robotics.

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