Video courtesy of Focus on Marshfield.
8 March 2013 At Hakskeen Pan, a dry lakebed in South Africa’s Northern Cape, a team of 317 previously unemployed people funded by the provincial government is finishing up its job of clearing rocks and stones from 10-million square metres of desert race track – by hand. When they’re done, they’ll have helped create what “the fastest man on earth”, land speed record holder Andy Green, has described as “the world’s best race track, just waiting for the world’s first 1 000 mph car to arrive”. That will be in late 2013 or early 2014, when South Africa will host the most ambitious attempt yet made on the world land speed record – a crack at a new record of 1 000 mph (1 610 km/h) which, if successful, will mark the biggest ever increase (30%) in the history of the record, and will also exceed the low altitude speed record (around 994 mph) for aircraft. The Bloodhound Project is the name of a global education initiative that has been built around the record attempt. It aims to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and its centrepiece is the Bloodhound SSC (Super Sonic Car), a 33 000 horsepower jet- and rocket-powered racing car. The car, currently being built in a special technical centre near Bristol in the UK, will come to South Africa towards the end of 2013 or early in 2014 for test runs, before returning about a year later for the record attempt. Behind the venture is the same British team, led by Andy Green and project director Richard Noble, that holds the current record of 763 mph (1 228 km/h), set in the Black Rock Desert in the US in 1997. Green, a British Royal Air Force fighter pilot, was the man behind the wheel then, and will be again when Bloodhound SSC fires up in the Northern Cape from late 2013.Faster than a bullet – literally What will happen then makes for some hair-raising mathematics. The Bloodhound SSC will be powered by an EJ200 jet engine from a Typhoon fighter jet, which will be coupled with a prototype hybrid rocket. Together, they will put out 100 000 KW – the equivalent of 180 Formula One cars. According to the team’s preliminary calculations, the 12.8-metre long, 6 422 kilogram (when fuelled) vehicle will “be more advanced than most spacecraft and faster than a bullet fired from a handgun. “Its 900 mm diameter wheels will spin at over 10 000 rpm, generating 50 000 radial g at the rim. The car will accelerate from 0 to 1 050 mph in 40 seconds and, at V-max (maximum velocity), the pressure of air bearing down on its carbon-fibre and titanium bodywork will exceed 12 tonnes per square metre. “At this speed, Andy Green will be covering a distance equivalent to over four football pitches every second, or 50 metres in the blink of an eye.”Ideal location for horizontal rocket launch The venue for this hi-tech venture, South Africa’s Hakskeen Pan, was chosen over 34 other locations after a satellite programme identified level strips of land around the world that could handle a vehicle weighing nearly 6.5 tonnes travelling at inhuman speeds. For a record attempt to be successful, Bloodhound will have to complete two runs within the space of an hour, with the average times calculated as the new record. “The ability to control the car’s stopping, and therefore the turnaround time, is key to the success of the record attempt,” the Bloodhound website notes. Hakskeen Pan, located about 160 kilometres north of the town of Upington, fitted the bill perfectly. Over 20 kilometres long and five kilometres wide, it has a vertical variation of only 61 millimetres over the entire 20-kilometre distance of the run, making the pan’s surface ideal for a record attempt. Predictable dry weather conditions for key parts of the year added to the site’s appeal. According to the Bloodhound Project, the Northern Cape provincial government has been a crucial partner in creating the ideal run site for the record attempt. In a November update on the Bloodhound website, project member Rudi Riek noted that the government had spent close to R8-million on clearing Hakskeenpan, in the process creating employment for 317 people. The decision to clear the stones on the pan by hand was, Riek said, made for two reasons: because it would be the best way to ensure minimal impact on the surface, but also because it was the best way to uplift the community living in the vicinity of the pan.6 000 tonnes of stones and rocks Between November 2010 and November 2012, the team worked a total of 130 days, due to heat and rain delays. It is, as Riek noted, an extreme environment: “The temperatures range between minus 6 degrees and plus 45 degrees Celsius, and if it is not extremely dry, then it is extremely wet.” The job they’ve done has been monumental. The track is 20 kilometres long and, including the safety zones, 1.1 kilometres wide. “I need to give you some perspective,” Riek wrote. “20 000m x 1 100m = 22-million square metres of area cleared by 317 people in 130 days. Add to that the fact that even the smallest little stone is lodged into the clay and needs to be forcibly removed, and then imagine doing this in extreme conditions, including sub-zero temperatures in the morning, soaring temperatures in the afternoon, and on some days severe dust storms.” Their harvest? By the time of project director Richard Noble’s visit to the site to thank the workers and their families in January, the team had removed 6 000 tonnes of stones and rocks, resulting in what the Bloodhound website has claimed as “the first world record associated with the Bloodhound Project – the largest land mass cleared by hand, amounting to the equivalent of 4 000 football pitches”. Additional work undertaken by the Northern Cape government has been the removal of a large number of stone slabs, the removal of an elevated road surface stretching across the width of the track, and the completion of a new fence to secure the pan from access by animals or vehicles.‘World’s best race track’ The result has exceeded expectations. Green, in his latest “Bloodhound Diary” update for the BBC News website, wrote in February that wheel tests conducted at Hakskeen Pan in November had enabled Bloodhound performance expert Ron Ayers to come up with a figure for the hardness of the pan – an important consideration, given that each wheel of Bloodhound SSC will be supporting a load of nearly two tonnes. “The desert hardness is (and here’s a figure you will never use in a pub quiz!) about 400 cubic mm per kiloNewton,” Green wrote. “That means that the wheels only penetrate about 10mm into the surface, even under two tonnes of load. Or put another way, the 2-tonne (20 kN) load only displaces about 8 000 cubic mm of desert soil – about a fifth of the volume of a golf ball! “This is a very firm surface by anybody’s standards,” Green continued. “Now that the Northern Cape team is finishing up the clearance work, it really is the world’s best race track, just waiting for the world’s first 1 000 mph car to arrive. We’ll be there soon enough.” When they do arrive, one of the most sparsely populated areas of South Africa will receive an extraordinary amount of global attention. For the Bloodhound Project is not primarily about speed. Rather, it is an international education initiative aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians by demonstrating these subjects in the most exciting way possible. “The unique nature of the world land speed record, where the challenge comes from confronting the laws of physics rather than other teams with similar technology, means the Bloodhound Project can share all its data, designs, achievements and setbacks in the process,” the Bloodhound website states. As a result, the initiative is already being followed in 217 countries, with approximately 7-million learners from 48 countries registered to access Bloodhound information and lesson materials in class. The team has also made presentations to hundreds of thousands of people since its launch at London’s Science Museum in October 2008.Extreme science, extreme sport According to Crizelda Cjikela, Northern Cape MEC for Education, the educational and scientific aspects of the project are key to the province’s collaboration with Bloodhound. “As a government collective, we are obligated to explore all opportunities to develop the province as a hub for technological and scientific advances,” Cjikela said in July 2012, when Andy Green paid a visit to view progress on his Hakskeen Pan race track. “In recent years, this vision has been substantiated by not only being selected as the preferred site for the Bloodhound attempt, but also by winning the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array,” Cjikela said. “With the recent announcement that the province’s first university will be established in Kimberley, we are firmly on track to provide our youth with the opportunity to build an incredibly bright future.” Besides the educational benefits, the land speed record will also create massive media exposure internationally, allowing the province to showcase the unique diversity of its tourism offerings. Since repositioning itself as a premier destination for adventure and extreme sports, the Northern Cape has already attracted niche markets such as skateboarding, waterskiing and even motor racing. Meanwhile, Dave Rowley from the Bloodhound education team, based full-time in South Africa with the Northern Cape Department of Education, has been developing links with schools, colleges and universities across the country. South African partners support this programme include Scifest Africa, Sci-Bono, the City of Cape Town, the Sci-Enza science centre, and the South African Institute of Mechanical Engineering. An ambassador programme has also been launched, with 15 engineers, scientists and speed enthusiasts recruited to help promote and deliver the Bloodhound education programme to schools across South Africa. Green himself has no doubt about the project’s potential reach. Speaking at the project’s launch in 2008, he said: “I’ve met graduate engineers who are adamant that our previous record was what inspired their career choice as youngsters: that sort of thing makes all the effort worthwhile. “Bloodhound SSC will be so much faster and, we hope, will fire up every school kid about the science and technology. We’re going to invite everyone to follow our adventure in this, the most exciting and extreme form of motorsport – the world land speed record. Both as a mathematician, and as a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, I can’t think of anything better.” SAinfo reporter
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A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… This is Part Two of a two-part series. Part One: Study: Kids are the Road to Tech InnovationLatitude recently completed a multi-phase innovation study, Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internet, which asked kids across the world, ages 12 and under, to draw the answer to this question: “What would you like your computer or the Internet to do that it can’t do right now?” In our last post, we highlighted three themes that recurred across kids’ ideas for new technologies.The Digital vs. Physical Divide is Disappearing (Tech = World) Technology Can Improve and Empower Us (Me = World)We also pinpointed three key recommendations for creators of new content and technology experiences (for both kids and adults):Download the study summary (PDF) for Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internet.Kadley Gosselin is a writer for Latitude, an international research consultancy. Visit latd.com/ for other studies in Latitude’s open innovation series.“I want to travel to another place as if I was really there–like a virtual reality thing where you can move around in the environment as it exists in real life.” –Female, 10, Melbourne, AustraliaDon’t think robots are just for schools. The majority of kids (77%) imagined future technologies with human-level responsiveness, often in the form of robots or virtual companions that could assist them with real-world tasks and abilities like doing chores or troubleshooting homework issues, suggesting that humanoid robots are a promising area of opportunity, as they can teach while feeling like a mentor or friend rather than an electronic console. (Check out Latitude’s Robots @ School study here.)“My son wishes the computer was a robot he could take everywhere with him–to play chess with him or soccer outside… in other words, he wants it to be a friend he can share with his other friends.” –Male, 7, Barranquilla, ColombiaFor kids, learning systems equipped with networking functionality and real-time, natural language processing – such as a robot that can look up and recite Wikipedia entries – can create a greater sense of independence and control. Robots such as LEGO Mindstorms offer kids the thrill of creating while helping them to understand algebra, while some robots are being piloted in schools to help with language-learning. However, there’s a clear opportunity to move beyond school environments, bringing robots into the home to motivate independent learning and to foster new interests.“I would like a ballet teacher on the computer.” –Female, 5, Kankakee County, Illinois “Kids are not only learning computer programming, they are also learning how to participate in a peer-production environment where they collaborate with others by remixing and exchanging ideas.” – Andrés Monroy-Hernández, researcher and designer of the Scratch online community.For adults, robot interactions can offer encouragement, increased motivation and progress-tracking to help them achieve their personal goals. Robots can be used to practice physical therapy, play sports and even provide training and track fitness goals. For example, Autom is a humanoid health coach by MIT’s Personal Robots Group that becomes part of the user’s social support network. Over long-term evaluation, Autom was shown to be more effective at keeping people engaged than a stand-alone desktop computer running the same software and a traditional paper log.Bring “grown up” skills within reach. One-third of participants invented technologies that would empower users by fostering knowledge or “adult” skills, such as playing a musical instrument, making Web sites, or learning how to cook. Tech developers should focus on products and services that transfer knowledge or skills to users without the burdens traditionally associated with self-improvement–and which allow them to flex their mastery of these advanced skills in the context of creation and creativity.Story Patch is a smartphone app that enables users to create their own illustrated storybook–essentially, the child version of Blurb, a site that provides a quick and easy means to design and publish a book. Other current “creatitainment” games along the lines of Guitar Hero and Rock Band answer a huge demand while serving a similar need. Moreover, when building apps and other tools that enable “advanced creations,” ensure that users also have the ability to instantly show off what they’ve made.“You should be able to record a video of yourself singing a song without having a video recorder or audio recorder attached to your computer. You should be able to put different backgrounds on, and make yourself wear different things. And share the videos with your friends if you want.” –Female, 9, Canberra, AustraliaMIT’s Scratch is a programming language and online community that allows kids to produce their own interactive content and games and share their creations with others. “People often think of programming as an activity reserved for expert adults. We think programming, like reading and writing, is for everyone,” explains Andrés Monroy-Hernández, researcher and designer of the Scratch online community. “Kids are not only learning computer programming, they are also learning how to participate in a peer-production environment where they collaborate with others by remixing and exchanging ideas. In the future, I hope to see a broader range of socio-technical platforms that empower amateurs to be active participants in a world increasingly mediated by social computing environments.”Offer games and entertainment with real-world outcomes. Kids expect their online activities to have real-world impact and vice versa. Web, mobile and game developers are bridging online and offline experiences for both kids and adults through sites like Nickelodeon’s The Big Help and Recyclebank which assign real-world rewards for eco-friendly actions. Healthcare companies and Web services like Health Month have also been working to extend games into traditionally “offline” spaces–specifically, games that motivate personal wellness through tech-enabled tracking and tangible, real-world rewards like saving money, meeting personal health goals and forming new social connections.This is Part Two of a two-part series. Read Part One: Study: Kids are the Road to Tech InnovationLooking beyond basic Web and mobile apps, there are significant opportunities for networked objects (e.g., The Internet of Things) to reinvent gaming in the real world. Just last week, Angry Birds announced its integration with the physical world using NFC (near field communication) technology, which is currently built into some mobile phones. Users will be able to advance in the game and unlock virtual achievements by tapping two NFC-enabled phones together or by tapping their phones to objects bearing NFC-enabled tags. In a similar vein, GreenGoose is another “real life” game that allows user to place stickers (affixed with tiny sensors and accelerometers) on everyday objects to automatically record positive behaviors and track them online–transforming healthy and socially responsible behaviors into a tech-driven game.“I want to play a 3D game while earning real money at the same time.” –Female, 9, Sydney, AustraliaDownload the study summary (PDF) for Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internethere.Study lead: Jessica ReinisLatitude is proud to have partnered with ReadWriteWeb on phase 1 of Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internet. Latitude is an international research consultancy helping clients create engaging content, software and technology that harness the possibilities of the Web. To learn more about working with Latitude, contact Ian Schulte (email@example.com).Image credit Kai Schreiber, (cc) some rights reserved. Why Aren’t Computers More Human? (Tech = Me) Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market kadley gosselin Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Analysis#conferences#RWW 2WAY 2011#web Related Posts
Mumbai-based realty major Lodha Developers on Tuesday announced plans to build the world’s tallest tower at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore in central Mumbai. Players in the real estate business are of the opinion that there would certainly be demand for this mammoth project.According to Yashwant Dalal, president of the Estate Agents Association of India, a project of such magnitude will surely invoke a lot of curiosity. The tower is expected to be ready by 2014.”The property prices in Worli in central Mumbai are anywhere between Rs 60,000 to Rs 65,000 per sq ft depending on the building and the amenities. A project of such big magnitude would surely be priced at a premium. We anticipate that there would be some demand for the project from high net worth individuals,” he said.For the project, Lodha Developers has tied up with New York-based architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed and Partners and structural engineering firm LERA. The project, christened World One, is to be built over 17 acres at Upper Worli.”Through the partnership with global architects, designers and engineers, the company seeks to bring to Mumbai a landmark, which would exemplify the spirit of Mumbai – to always soar higher through hard work and passion,” Abhisheck Lodha, director of Lodha Developers, is reported to have said.The company, which plans to launch a $650-million initial public offering (IPO) later this year, will start bookings by the end of June, 2010. The company plans to fund the project through a combination of customer receipts, accruals of the company and debt finance. “If need be, we might also go in for private equity funding,” Lodha added.advertisementThe building would include about 300 exclusive homes, including three-four bedroom World Residences, lavish World Villas with their own private pools and a limited number of uber-luxurious duplex-world mansions. The company plans to construct three residential towers, a high-end shopping avenue and a world-lass office building.”At over 1,450 ft in height, World One would be the tallest residential tower in the world, which would be rated as Gold Leed certified building,” Lodha added. The units would be ranged between Rs 7.5-Rs 50- crore. Lodha’s also stated that it has already received booking for a few units during prelaunch, which are priced at over Rs 25,000 per sq ft.”We have taken special measures to ensure the highest levels of fire safety and have designed the structure to manage the effect of wind and seismic movements,” Lodha said.The site would have over twolakh sq ft (or five acres) of landscape area for the residents, including a special 80,000 sq ft sports club at a height of 175-feet above ground.Pawan Swamy, managing director (western India), of Jones Lang Lasalle Meghraj, a global realty consultancy firm, said Lodha Developers have the necessary permissions to build a similar project at their recently acquired plot at Wadala for a whopping Rs 4,050 crore.Anand Gupta, Honorary treasurer of the All India Builders Association of India, said the project is something that all should all be proud of.”The structure and the skyline of the city symbolise the development and the progress of the city. If 10 to 20 such projects come up, it would not only mean a huge inflow in terms of revenue to the state government but also the growth the state is seeing,” he said.Earlier, in the first week of April, 2010, a 3,640- sq ft sea facing duplex flat on the 19th and the 20th floors of Samudra Mahal in Worli, Mumbai was sold for Rs 33 crore making it one of the most expensive deals in the country with a flat rate of over Rs 90,000 per sq ft.
If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Given the fact that Emmanuel Ogbah’s decision to stay in college or jump to the NFL could have major implications, it’s fair to assume he has gotten a lot of questions regarding where he stands on his decision. As the Cowboys prepare for the upcoming Sugar Bowl, Emmanuel Ogbah released a statement making it clear that he is focused on one thing: helping his team prepare to win the Sugar Bowl.“I am focused on helping my team win the Sugar Bowl and I ask that you please respect that and do not ask me questions about the NFL Draft. There is a time for all of that, but it’s not now. Team first. Go Pokes.#gopokes pic.twitter.com/eoV84uKZgg— Emmanuel Ogbah (@Eman_OSU38) December 21, 2015
CALGARY – The mother of a terminally ill Calgary boy who requires around-the-clock care says she is being hassled by neighbours over street parking.Melissa Huitema has a team of nurses and other professionals who take care of five-year-old Cade at home. She, her husband and three boys live on a suburban street where the single-family homes are spaced tightly together.Street parking is a “free for all,” she said. No one has driveways and garages are in the laneway.She said there have been confrontations with neighbours over the parade of care staff who park by the home.“I’ve had people come to my door and tell me that I needed to move the vehicle or they were going to hit it. I’ve had people leave notes on the vehicle asking not to park here, park there. I’ve had people saying ‘Can you not park in front of my house?’ when I’m walking out with my kids,” she said.“I’m trying to deal with other things. There’s kind of a lot going on.”She said many of those complaining are aware of Cade’s condition.“It’s just infuriating.”The Calgary Parking Authority says it doesn’t comment on specific cases, but says the street space in front of residential homes is public.The family has a wheelchair accessible spot in front of the house, but it’s open to anyone with a permit and is sometimes taken up.Huitema declined to say in which neighbourhood she lives. She said she doesn’t want to call out her neighbours or worsen tensions with them.She just wants people in general to have more empathy.“We need to be more aware of what people are going through,” she said. “You need to take a step back and think about your actions.”Huitema said she has many supportive neighbours who will leave parking spots open when they can.Cade, her middle son, has Krabbe disease which affects the nervous system. Set to turn six in November, he has lived well past the typical life expectancy of two.“Cade is completely aware of what’s going on around him, but his body is failing him,” said Huitema, who is a registered nurse.He takes 20 medications a day. He cannot swallow and is fed through a tube. His airway constantly needs to be suctioned so he does not develop pneumonia.A nurse cares for him from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., when Huitema takes over. Then, around 11 p.m., another nurse comes for the night shift.There are also often physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Social workers sometimes come by, too.Developmental specialists help Cade learn. This week, they were doing crafts and science experiments with him in the home.“They’ve taught him how to communicate. He looks to his right for yes, his left for no,” said Huitema. “He makes decisions on his own. He picks his books. The nurses even let him pick out what he wants to wear for the day.”Mezaun Lakha-Evin, with the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta, said she was flabbergasted when she heard what Huitema is dealing with.Lakha-Evin’s 29-year-old daughter, who has severe cerebral palsy, lives with her and there are constantly caregivers in her home.“Everyone in my area is very aware of the copious comings and goings of people and it’s never been an issue,” she said.She knows of some cases where a family has circulated a note to neighbours explaining why there are so many visitors. She said it’s not up to the city to step in when there’s a conflict.“You cannot mandate compassion.”