Category Science

Steps to Adding Value to a Commodity.

How to get value out of the unfortunate fact that nearly all bottled water is extremely similar in taste?

Concept: A Car that Travels at the Speed of Light

This a strong example of bad design. Rather than thinking about the problem the designer just tried to cram a solution into our current paradigm of cars that can cover a distance on a road quickly arrive at places faster. Regardless of what your intuition tells you the straight path isn’t the quickest way between two point when relativity is involved.

Glass X – Smart Design Solution

Glass X makes housing glass which has a prismatic filter in between the panes to take advantage of the fact that rays of sunlight in the summer pass through at a higher angle than in the winter.

Building with Glass X

This is the sort of innovation you can come up with you when really think about a problem and the bigger picture (system) in which the problem exist in.

Read more about Glass X at

Mario Bros Theme as Played by Tesla Coils

Mario Theme As Play By Tesla Coils   (829 KB)
Listen on posterous

Louisiana’s Flood Predicted

I found a interesting article giving some detail on what happened in Louisiana, the interesting thing about the article is that it was written in October of 2004. The article called “Gone with the Water” was written Bourne, Joel K Jr for the National Geographic. Volume: 206; Number: 4; ISSN: 00279358; Publication Date: 10-01-2004; Page: 89) The highlights of the article are shown below:

HUMAN TRACKS in the form of pipeline canals slice through the marsh near Leeville, an area suffering a high rate of wetland loss. More than 8,000 miles of canals crisscross the state’s wetlands, fueling erosion and saltwater intrusion and altering the natural hydrology.

It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV “storm teams” warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.

But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however-the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level-more than eight feet below in places-so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn’t yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.

Such high stakes compelled a host of unlikely bedfellows-scientists, environmental groups, business leaders, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-to forge a radical plan to protect what’s left. Drafted by the Corps a year ago, the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) project was initially estimated to cost up to 14 billion dollars over 30 years, almost twice as much as current efforts to save the Everglades. But the Bush Administration balked at the price tag, supporting instead a plan to spend up to two billion dollars over the next ten years to fund the most promising projects. Either way, Congress must authorize the money before work can begin.

“We’ll go to war and spend billions of dollars to protect oil and gas interests overseas,” Breaux says as he drives his truck past platform anchors the size of two-story houses. “But here at home?” He shrugs. “Where else you gonna drill? Not California. Not Florida. Not in ANWR.

This article is worth reading in it’s full entirety. The article also talks about the wetland destruction, the oil industry in the area, and it’s importance to the people of Louisiana and the U.S.. The article also contains discussions with the local people and they give some insights about Louisiana’s condition.