Category Archives: ThinkMachine

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

Chevrolet Sheep Do Dream, Mi-Ray…

Chevrolet has looked to the future and created their vision. The Mi-Ray was developed at the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul and is a departure for Chevrolet, this is a risky gamble.

The car will earn a lot of fans for its sharp edgy design. It’s one of those cars that looks like its speeding even when at a stand still. Cue’s have been taken from modern jet fighters, from the sculptured interior to the wing like doors the aircraft inspiration is revealed in.

With a full wrap around cock pit style interior, more of an artist impression of a jet fighter than it is an old war bird, the show car nature of the Mi-Ray is apparent. It is very well executed but it is a show car, a technology demonstrator and style changer.

Continue reading Chevrolet Sheep Do Dream, Mi-Ray…

Silicon Fish and Plastic Chips…

The science of making electronics out of plastic has recently taken a huge leap forward with the creation of the first working computer CPU chip – processor – made entirely from plastic. While it may sound like an un-natural combination electricity and plastic can work and the scientific types at the IMEC nanotechnology centre in Leuven, Belgium have produced a simple demonstration circuit. Plastics offer the interesting ability to be printed directly onto a glad wrap like plastic, allowing for cheap computing devices – in the cent per chip or less – that may one day appear in places where the cost and lack of flexibility has always stopped traditional computer chips.

Researchers used 4,000 plastic transistors to build the plastic processor. The device measures roughly two centimeters square and is built on top of flexible plastic foil. “Compared to using silicon, this has the advantage of lower price and that it can be flexible,” says Jan Genoe, lead designer.

Continue reading Silicon Fish and Plastic Chips…

Sprites. Space Lightning…

Just above the clouds, on the other side of the sky is a phenomenon that’s caught the eye science, Sprites.

Sprites are a relatively newly discovered – 1989 – high altitude atmospheric optical emission – flash – they are a large-scale electrical discharge that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a quite varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky.

They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground. Sprites only last for Milli-seconds and can be quite dim compared to the lightning flash below the clouds. They look like recoil from lightning.

Sprites are often inaccurately called upper-atmospheric lightning. However, sprites are cold plasma phenomena that lack the hot channel temperatures of tropospheric lightning, so they are more akin to a fluorescent tube discharges than to lightning discharges.

Continue reading Sprites. Space Lightning…

Spintronics, The Secret of the Spin…

Spintronics, sounds like a new dance move for the doof doof crowd but no, Spintronics is a new field of Quantum Physics that is working towards making the inner workings of computer chips smaller and faster.

Spintronics refers to the science of using the direction of electrons spinning around an atom to store information. If you could zoom into an atom you would see electrons spinning around a central core – nucleus -, between the circling electrons and the core is a whole lot of space, even atoms aren’t solid. The direction the electrons circle the nucleus – left or right- is its spin. This spin is the main characteristic that scientists are trying to work with in order to make a whole new kind of gadget. By being able to alter the direction of the spin and then read it back at any time scientists will be able store information by using lots of atoms.

Continue reading Spintronics, The Secret of the Spin…

A Photographers Dream and a Nurses Nightmare…

March 19 will be a good day for photographers and astronomers. The moon will be the biggest, fullest it has been for 18 years. This point of the moons orbit – where it is closest to Earth – is known as the Lunar Perigee.

While this is common, this closeness happens every 9 years, it doesn’t often coincide with a full moon. As long as there is a clear sky in your neighborhood get ready for a big moon. Even with binoculars or a good zoom lens on your camera you will be able to see incredible detail.

A combination of effects have aligned to put this show on for us all. The elliptical orbit of the moon – it’s sometimes called our Eccentric Companion – along with Earths elliptical orbit and the gravitational effects of the sun mean the moon will be 30,000km closer to earth than usual – normally it’s 354,000km from earth.

Continue reading A Photographers Dream and a Nurses Nightmare…

Frozen Smoke to Supercharge Batteries…

Aerogel. Our favourite almost there material

AeroGel – Frozen Smoke, so called as it has a transparent smokey look – has added another use to its growing list of can do’s. Scientists at the University of Southern Florida are working to develop batteries using the material. There is something impossible about this strange material, something very cool.

So what makes AeroGel so great? Firstly it’s 99.98% air but still manages to be a solid, there is literally nothing too it. It has the texture of polystyrene when you hold it but it looks fairy floss. It is a great insulator of both heat and electricity. Currently it holds 15 Guinness World Records for various properties, worlds lightest solid, worlds lowest density solid, worlds highest insulation value. It is an extreme material, it doesn’t do that many things but what it does do is always a world record.

Continue reading Frozen Smoke to Supercharge Batteries…

Pole Shift. Not just when strippers take a break…

Mother Natures B_tch Slap

Is a Pole Shift underway as we speak ? A geomagnetic reversal could have dire effects on our high tech lifestyles, temporarily knocking us back into the dark ages, time to get ready to be cave men again. If worst the case scenarios eventuates.

The British Geological Survey has reported as part of the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly and South Georgia Magnetic Observatory’ report that there may be some signs of the Earths magnetic pole shifting, a geomagnetic reversal.

The magnetic poles of the Earth are part of the magnetic field that surrounds the earth. This field is generated by the spinning core of the earth just like an electric motor and the poles are just the same as the poles on a bar magnet. While the earths North and South pole do wander around a bit, if you were to make timed observations of a compass you would see slight movements in where the compass points, a pole reversal refers to the switching of North and South magnetic poles, in effect the compass needle would swing 180 degrees. Once the poles have swapped place things continue on as normal, it makes surprisingly little difference which is actually north and south.

Continue reading Pole Shift. Not just when strippers take a break…

Solar Flares, A Slap in the Face from Space!…

With the solar maximum of 2012 building up the sun is putting on quite a show for us all. The sun, our all gas jolly giant is due to reach the peak of its solar flare activity in 2013. The peak called Solar Maximum is generating a lot of interest. Scientist have calibrated instruments, created classifications, the rest of us just have to sit back and enjoy the wild ride. We actually know a lot about how the flares happen we just can’t do much about it.

Solar flares – also called Mass Coronal Ejection – consist mainly of super excited protons and electrons, heated to millions of degrees before spewing out of the sun. The individual particles don’t have enough mass to do any direct damage, no bullets from the sun, but collectively there is so much energy being sent out in the flare that they can be very dangerous. At most risk are astronauts and soon to join them space tourists. When travelling outside the Earths magnetic field the radiation – especially X-rays and Gamma rays – is extremely dangerous to living organisms, doing damage to each cell in your body. Currently no space craft are able to completely protect its crew from this radiation. Ironically Solar Flares actually cut the number of cosmic rays hitting Earth by deflecting the stream – solar wind – of particles.

Continue reading Solar Flares, A Slap in the Face from Space!…