The R&D 100 award, previously given for inventions like the fax machine and automated teller machine, has been given this year for a biologically-inspired design that could revolutionize society in many ways.Pitcher plant: How would you like a non-stick frying pan that really is non-stick? Self-cleaning windows? Clothes that don’t stain? These may be coming due to SLIPS, a non-stick surface developed at Harvard School of Engineering by a team led by Joanna Aizenberg, a core professor at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering (see entry from 10/10/2011). The Harvard Press release announcing its win said, “‘SLIPS’ technology … has transformative potential for everyday life.” Surgeons and hospitals will benefit from tools and surfaces that resist bacteria. Oil will someday flow through pipes that resist sticking. Refrigerator coils will no longer have ice buildup. The possibilities are endless, and this prestigious award, on its 50th anniversary, went to a technology inspired by a pitcher plant. In a video on PhysOrg‘s article, Aizenberg describes SLIPS and demonstrates its effectiveness.Biomimetics is solving the world’s problems in numerous other ways:Anti-bacterial coating: PhysOrg reported that the BIOCOAT project in Belgium is “looking to develop a new concept of coating stainless steel surfaces through bio-inspired processes which respect the environment and are not costly.” Researchers have developed a “bio-inspired multi-functional polymer” that can be applied to stainless steel by soaking or spraying. It will resist bacteria and thus improve the safety of numerous objects humans touch every day that otherwise could be vectors of disease. Someone should invent a way to apply this to TV remotes, among the germiest objects found in hotels.Micro-adhesion: How do cells stick together? Scientists publishing in PNAS wanted to know. The paper by Pontani et al., “Biomimetic emulsions reveal the effect of mechanical forces on cell–cell adhesion” (PNAS, June 1, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201499109 ) produced measurements that may “reveal adhesion strengthening with increasing external pressure even in the absence of active cellular processes.”Deepwater horizons: Research into how ocean microbes responded to the Gulf oil spill two years ago is providing insight into how they degraded the oil quickly and effectively at certain depths, according to Science Daily. This knowledge may allow future responders to catastrophic oil spills to deploy “cleanup microbes” to forestall damage naturally. Maybe the robotic fish reported on Live Science could be the first responders to find pollutants.Moth eye: Would you like less reflection on your TV display? PhysOrg reported, “Drawing their inspiration from nature,” (in this case the eyes of moths), “researchers develop a brand new type of anti-reflective plastic.” The article began with a sermonette for biomimicry (but no mention of evolution):Nature has long been a source of inspiration for both scientists and artists alike. Some of the most ingeniously designed products and gadgets familiar to millions of people worldwide owe their origin to seemingly simple forms and patterns found in plants and wildlife. The ability to adapt these natural forms to develop ever more innovative products and processes has given rise to the field of biomimetics — literally meaning ‘imitation of life’.Natural robots: A recent symposium at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, reported by PhysOrg, described how biomimetics is inspiring a new generation of robots. Participants “heard about how advances in the field are improving artificial limbs, about how other devices are teaching injured people to walk, about manufacturing and control of small flying robots, and about advances in ‘swarm intelligence’ controlling bunches of machines.”Copying clumsiness: Ever wonder why insects bump against walls and windows? That apparently clumsiness is a way for them to learn about their environment. The light bulb went on in the heads of Swiss researchers who, according to Live Science, are creating flying robots that do just that: use bumps for exploring their air space. This allows them to operate in unstructured, cluttered environments without the high overhead of remote sensing software. “The ability to actively bump around unfamiliar environments means that AirBurr could navigate even with the loss of GPS indoors or underground,” the article ended. “Having cheap swarms of such robots may prove the path forward for making robots ready for the real world.”If a robot can be natural, can nature be considered robotic? Maybe plants and animals use a kind of robotics technology that was bioengineered by an Intelligent Designer. No wonder we can learn from them. (Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Johannesburg, Tuesday 27 March 2018 – Brand South Africa through the Play Your Part programme is collaborating with various stakeholders provincially and nationally, to deliver the road safety awareness campaign on the 28th March in Mpumalanga ahead of the Easter season. The stakeholders include Sasol, Govan Mbeki Local Municipality and the Black Management Forum.Brand South Africa understands the impact of negative road safety statistics on the Nation Brand and therefore, the objective of this collaboration is to encourage citizens to play their part and exercise positive road safety habits in order to positively project the image of the Nation Brand.This collaboration is in line with Brand South Africa’s the Play Your Part programme to interact with road users and promote road safety ahead of Easter, when many will be on the roads to various destinations in the country.“We have been pushing the road safety message with various stakeholders throughout the country as it is imperative that citizens are constantly reminded of their role in protecting one another on the roads especially during these busy times. Our key message through the Play Your Part programme is “PLAY YOUR PART AND BE SAFE”, said Brand South Africa’s Stakeholder Relations Manager for Government, Ms Toni Gumede.Guidelines on how citizens can further Play Their Part on the roads are:Play Your Part- Rest after two hours of drivingPlay Your Part – wear a safety belt, even if you’re not the driverPlay Your Part – Drive within the speed limitPlay Your Part – have a valid driver’s licence and a valid car licence.Play Your Part – don’t drink and driveProgramme:Easter Road Safety Campaign: Govan MbekiTuesday, 28 March 201807:30 – 13:00 Activation One07:00 All Teams arrives at Lifa Lethu Primary School for briefing and set up07:30 Opening and Welcoming by School Management07:45 Address by Brand South Africa08:00 Address by Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison09:00 Industrial theatre and engagement10:00 Vote of Thanks Brand South Africa Activation Two11:00 All Teams arrives at SASOL N17 Bethal for briefing and set up11:30 Traffic inspections, activations and interaction with motorists by Officials12:00 Media interviews by each team lead and principals from ALL parties12:45 Vote of thanks by Brand South Africa13:00 Debriefing meeting with all stakeholders13:15 Closure13:30 Activation ends and teams depart
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Stink bug damage is becoming a greater concern in Eastern Corn Belt soybean fields, especially with the presence of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), a species that has moved into our sales footprint in recent years. While other stink bugs cause damage, the BMSB is of special concern because it is an invasive species from Asia that was introduced into the United States within the last 15 years.First discovered in Pennsylvania in 2001, the BMSB has continued to move west. Over the last few years, university experts and company agronomists have heard more reports of stink bug damage to soybeans. Pictured left is damage that was found by Seed Consultant’s seedsmen. Growers scouting their soybean fields around harvest time may have seen some pods that were shriveled and/or soybean seed that was very small or appeared to be missing. This damage may have been a result of stink bug feeding. Stink bugs prefer to feed on reproductive tissues, they have piercing mouthparts that allow them to feed on soybean seed in the pods of plants. As the presence of the BMSB grows, this damage may become more common in parts of the Eastern Corn Belt.
Tags:#cloud#news VMware is launching an iPad app today that gives access to a virtual Windows desktop. The new VMware View Client works in combination with VMware View, which moves applications into the cloud and deliveres them as a managed service. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting alex williams A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market The app shows how the desktop can be moved anywhere. VMware cites Children’s Hospital Central California, one of the 10 largest hospitals of its type in the United States, which is using VMware View to provide secure “follow-me” desktops. The hospital plans to start using iPads to further mobilize its care and provide faster service.Citrix, a VMware competitor, launched a similar app last spring for viewing apps. Citrix Reciever uses software virtualization to bring back office applications to smart clients, including Windows, Windows Phone, iPhone, and iPad. Related Posts
Cost may be a factorNor is Inverter a fan of ceiling-mounted cassette minisplits. He thinks the 2-foot-square unit would look “massive” in one of the smaller bedrooms, and he doubts he would be able to buy three cassettes and an outdoor compressor for less than $20,000.Not so, Dorsett says. He’s certain that Inverter could get a three-zone compressor and three cassettes for “well under” $20,000, possibly even less than $10,000 if he put the job out to bid. Buying the hardware on line is about $6,000, he said, and a competitive bid shouldn’t be any more than twice that, even in an expensive market like New Jersey. Units with a smaller capacity would be even less.Yes, adds Walter Ahlgrim, with enough equipment in the attic it would be possible to keep the second floor of the house cool — but don’t start there.“In my opinion, the contractor’s solution is the one that puts the most cash in the contractor’s pocket,” says Ahlgrim. “It is also the solution with the highest operating costs. Putting equipment and or ductwork in any unconditioned space is not just a bad idea, it is a stupid, dumb, and lazy idea. The real solution starts with an energy audit including blower door testing with [infrared] photography. This will help you identify and fix the air leaks and get you get the correct insulation installed. If you still have a problem, get a Manual J calculation to tell you if need more equipment or better ductwork.”Air-sealing and insulation will cost less than buying new equipment, he adds. “The real payoff will come from savings on your electric bills for years to come,” he says. “Adding more equipment will only raise your monthly bills.” Insulation and air-sealing may be to blameThere is one more preliminary before we get to that, says Yupster.“It sounds like you have an existing forced-air system in the basement. If this is the case, the likely cause of your uncomfortable rooms is a combination of things,” Yupster writes. “Poor insulation and poor air sealing will make any room uncomfortable regardless of how much energy you pump into it.”Air sealing is a particular concern, and that’s something that Inverter can solve fairly easily. With air leaks reduced, Yupster suggests calling in an HVAC contractor who can measure air flow through the ductwork to the upstairs bedrooms and correct any imbalances in the system. To do that, Inverter will have to find the right contractor.“The key is getting someone who is willing to do measurements, static pressure, flow at the register, temperature change through the system, etc.” Yupster says. “I design these systems every day and measure and commission as many systems as I can.”Plus, Yupster adds, correcting any problems with Inverter’s existing heating and cooling system may prove far less expensive than installing new equipment.“As far as your ductwork goes, often you can’t get appropriate air flow upstairs because something in the system is too restrictive,” he writes. “Sometimes it’s a high-efficiency filter, sometimes it’s a cooling coil with a high pressure drop, sometimes it’s undersized ductwork. All of these can be remedied at significantly less cost (usually) than a whole new system.”Air-sealing the house would reduce the tendency of indoor air to stratify, and thereby lower cooling loads upstairs, he adds. If the air ducts are too small, reducing the flow of air through them is one way of making them the right size, and air-sealing and insulation would allow Inverter to do that.>There are other optionsDavid McNeely points to some potential problems with the ducted minisplit option, and, like other readers, suggests that Inverter have a look at some alternatives.A ducted unit will require return air in the form of a 400-square-inch grille, he says, and if Inverter wants a MERV filter in the system he should plan on a grille of about 20 inches by 25 inches. In addition, he’ll need service access, plus another 12 inches on the side where controls are located.“So that’s a lot of square footage out of a ceiling, and don’t think you can stick it in a closet or bathroom ceiling without cutting a major hole in the closet door or wall, because a 400 cfm draw requires it to come from the whole upstairs,” he says.For these and other reasons, McNeely, Yupster and Dana Dorsett all suggest that Inverter look at some alternatives, such as wall-mounted ductless minisplits or ceiling cassettes.Dorsett, for example, says three half-ton heads (6,000 Btu/hour each) would do it with one installed in each of the three bedrooms. Or, he adds, install one unit of 6,000 to 9,000 Btu/hour in the master bedroom, and a shared 9,000 Btu/hour ducted unit in a closet between the other two bedrooms.Walls that might be used for a ductless minisplit are interior walls, Inverter replies, and there’s a problem with what wall-mounted units look like. “I am aware that nothing performs as well and as efficiently as a wall unit, but it really is not an option,” he says. “There is no closet between the bedrooms that can be used, so that’s not an option either.” RELATED ARTICLES Keeping Cool in a Two-Story HouseMy House is Too HotAll About Furnaces and Duct SystemsAir Conditioner BasicsWindow-Mounted Air Conditioners Save EnergyGBA Encyclopedia: Air ConditioningUsing Ceiling Fans To Keep Cool Without AC The units seem oversizedWhat strikes Chris King first, though, is the capacity of the minisplits that the contractor has recommended. At 20,000 Btu/hour, King says, they seem “incredibly overpowered” for cooling just three bedrooms.“I also live in N.J. and use a 18,000 Btu/h unit for 1,500 square feet of 1960s poorly insulated home,” King says. “Seems like your biggest issue is that your current system is single-zone.”Each of the units the contractor recommends, however, can be dialed back to 3,800 Btu per hour, Inverter says, and the output of the outdoor condenser can be lowered to 6,000 Btu/h. That means that if both units are running, each can operate at between 3,800 and 12,000 Btu/h.Another option, he adds, would be to install a single SEZ model with a capacity of 18,000 Btu/h — but a single unit would not allow the room temperatures to be controlled separately.That said, it’s the proposed location of the units rather than their capacity that has prompted Inverter’s question. And on this count, Yupster and others are unequivocal in counseling against putting the minisplits in an uninsulated attic.“This is a terrible idea,” he says. That’s the underlying question for this Q&A Spotlight. A GBA reader named Inverter0815 lives in a two-story colonial in New Jersey that’s hard to keep comfortable in summer. In order to get the three upstairs bedrooms down to a relatively comfortable 75° in July and August, Inverter must set the thermostat on his single-zone 2 1/2-ton air conditioner to 67°.An HVAC contractor has taken a look at the house and has a recommendation, Inverter explains in this Q&A post: install two Mitsubishi SEZ model ducted minisplits in the attic. One will cool the master bedroom, the other will cool the two bedrooms where Inverter’s children sleep.There’s one snag. The attic at Inverter’s house is unconditioned.“What got me thinking is that Mitsubishi recommends installing the SEZ units in a dropped ceiling or closet,” Inverter writes. “Can these be installed in an unconditioned attic as well? The [temperature] gets up to 130° on a sunny day in the summer, so I am a little worried. Would a traditional air handler be a better idea?” Our expert’s opinionPeter Yost, GBA’s technical director, had this to say:I think Yupster and Ahlgrim have this right: This is an enclosure/ducting problem looking for a mechanical system solution. Inverter did not respond to Yupster or Ahlgrim with any information about building enclosure performance, and we don’t know enough about existing ducting to know if an approach such as Aeroseal could completely change the air delivery problem to the second floor.Inverter should be looking for:An HVAC contractor who can do a Manual J load calculation for his current home and system size and who can give him more information on his duct system.An auditor certified by the Building Performance Institute who can do a performance assessment of his enclosure. Inverter should use those results to prioritize enclosure improvements before installing any additional cooling capacity.
October 17, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego plans to crack down on local Segway tour operators following a $1.7 million injury settlement in June and another lawsuit filed last spring claiming a protruding sidewalk caused the death of a Segway rider two years ago, it was reported Wednesday.An ordinance proposed by city officials would require Segway tour companies to apply for special permits, follow safety procedures and obtain commercial liability insurance of at least $2 million per case and $4 million per year, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.The ordinance discussed aims to shrink the number of injury crashes and limit the city’s vulnerability to large payouts when injuries occur.In the case that led to the $1.7 million settlement, the tour company that rented out the Segway didn’t contribute to the payout because it didn’t have liability insurance and the company’s owner had limited assets, according to the Union-Tribune.Segways, which were invented in 2002, are two-wheeled motorized vehicles that carry one person standing upright. Segway is the name of the leading company in the industry.In order to make sure the city’s new law would also apply to competitors, it refers to the vehicles as “electronic assistive personal mobility devices,” the Union-Tribune reported.The new law would not apply to the electric scooters that have become increasingly popular in San Diego this year, according to the Union-Tribune. City officials are exploring separate legislation for those devices.The ordinance would require Segway tour companies to obtain a special permit requiring them to have adequate insurance and follow new safety procedures.Those safety procedures would include prohibiting Segway use by intoxicated people, requiring users under 18 to be accompanied by an adult, requiring tour guides to have a driver’s license and conducting on-site training for all riders before tours, the Union-Tribune reported. Companies would have to pay a $48 annual fee for a permit.The new legislation was prompted by a $1.7 million payout by the city to a woman who suffered a shattered pelvis in a Segway crash on a La Jolla street three years ago.The settlement includes $1.5 million for Regina Capobianco, who was injured when she drove a Segway over a large area of damaged street on Camino de la Costa at Winamar Avenue in July 2015, and $200,000 for her husband, Christopher Capobianco, because her injuries damaged their marriage, according to the Union-Tribune.A few months before the city settled that case in June, the family of Jeff Hassett filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city blaming a protruding section of sidewalk in Old Town for his eventual death.The suit, filed by Hassett’s four siblings, claims Hassett struck a 3- inch to 4-inch concrete stub in the sidewalk, created by a light pole removal on Taylor Street near Congress Street, while riding a Segway in March 2016, the Union-Tribune reported. Hassett suffered broken ribs, a toe injury that required amputation and damage to an internal heart defibrillator.The heart issue and an infection eventually caused his death in May 2016, according to the Union-Tribune. The budget committee will continue to research the issue and will resume discussion at their next meeting scheduled for November 14, 2018. Updated: 11:55 AM Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom San Diego proposing ordinance to regulate Segway tour companies Posted: October 17, 2018
Share The U.S. Forest Service has confirmed that the United States Department of Agriculture, its parent agency, has “engaged an independent investigator” to look into complaints against Chief Tony Tooke.News of this investigation comes as the Forest Service is dealing with allegations of a broader culture of harassment and retaliation within its ranks, as detailed in an investigation published by the PBS NewsHour this week.In the course of reporting its investigation, the PBS NewsHour discovered allegations of sexual misconduct against Tooke, specifically relationships with his subordinates, before he became chief.In a statement, Forest Service press officer Babete Anderson said the investigation would “undertake a thorough review of [Tooke’s] conduct. We take very seriously the responsibility to promote a safe, respectful and rewarding work environment for all employees.”When asked about the allegations, Tooke said in an email: “I’m in support of this investigation, and I have fully cooperated from the start. I expect to be held to the same standards as every other Forest Service employee.”In an email to employees responding to the NewsHour’s original report, a spokesman from Tooke’s office said: “The stories the Forest Service employees shared during the PBS NewsHour piece are important to hear, difficult and heart-wrenching as they may be. Stories like these, which have come to light over the past few years, have underscored that there are elements of sexual harassment in the Forest Service that have existed and continue today.”It continues: “While we have taken significant actions over the past several years to address sexual harassment in the Forest Service, we acknowledge that we have more work to do. These are critical issues that the Forest Service must continue to take on to increase our efforts to protect our fellow employees so they know they can speak up and speak out, without any fear of retaliation or reprisal. We continue to consult with outside experts and focus internal resources to help us better support victims of harassment during investigations. Victims must know that there will be accountability for persons who engage in sexual harassment and reprisal. We are committed to our duty to create a workplace that is respectful, rewarding, and above all, a safe place for all employees. The Forest Service is committed to permanently changing our culture to create the workplace we all deserve”The statement, from Dan Jiron, acting deputy undersecretary for natural resources and the environment, did not mention Tooke.After the NewsHour team reported on those allegations this week, more than 45 women and men also came forward with their own stories about the agency. If you are in the U.S. Forest Service and want to share your experience, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Popular on Variety Disney Earnings Miss the Mark, Stock Slides Disney to Offer Streaming Bundle of Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu for $12.99 “I’ve been really impressed with the quality and the variety and the volume” of original production for Disney Plus, Iger said.Iger also emphasized Disney’s flexibility with the content it creates. The FX team may produce an original series for Hulu that will have a second window down the road on FX.Iger acknowledged that the company faces a “balancing act” in the near term as it weighs how much to invest in its new direct-to-consumer businesses and how much it needs to maintain its traditional linear TV operations including ABC, Freeform and FX.“It is important for us to continue to fuel those channels with enough quality and original programming to support these businesses as they exist today,” Iger said. At the same time, “the pivot to direct to consumer businesses is designed not only to address the opportunity that exists in that space but also address the challenges that exist on the traditional side.”Iger added that Disney is in the midst of “setting ourselves up in a way to be more resilient than any of our competitors should the traditional side erode so significantly that it is not as viable as it was.” Iger said consumer marketing for Disney Plus will start to emerge later this month. On the tech side, the Disney Plus team is devoting considerable energy to making it easy for prospective subscribers to sign up. “We know how important it is to create a friction-less experience,” he said.Disney’s investment in its budding streaming services is only growing. Disney chief financial officer Christine McCarthy told analysts that the company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International divisions are projecting an operating loss of $900 million in the fiscal fourth quarter, up from $553 million loss in Q3 and up from a loss of about $370 million in fiscal Q4 2018.The Hulu venture is now entirely on Disney’s books, which contributed to Disney’s widening loss in Direct to Consumer and International. Iger said Hulu’s subscriber base stands at 28 million. The Hulu Live digital MVPD service grew faster than any of its digital rivals in the quarter, McCarthy said.In discussing the Q3 results, Iger emphasized the complexity of the 21st Century Fox integration and the need to invest as Disney makes significant shifts in its business priorities as it bets on streaming as the future of content distribution. Despite disappointing numbers from 21st Century Fox legacy units, including the Star TV satellite platform in India, Iger stressed that the company remains bullish on the $71.3 billion Fox deal.“Our appreciation of the long-term value that we can create has increased,” Iger said.Disney Plus will launch with more than 300 movie titles on day one, growing to 400 by the end of its first year. The tall includes eight “Star Wars” pics, four from Marvel plus eight more by the end of year one, 18 Pixar-produced features, 70 from the Disney animation vault and some 7,500 episodes of television. Iger said the Disney Plus originals are coming in strong. He’s watched the first season of “The Mandalorian,” the “Star Wars”-themed live-action series. Disney disclosed Tuesday that it will offer a streaming bundle of Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and the advertising-supported version of Hulu for $12.99 a month.The bundle of Disney direct-to-consumer properties will be available for purchase on Nov. 12, the day that the ambitious Disney Plus service is set to bow in the U.S.Disney chief Bob Iger revealed the plan for the bundle during Disney’s quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts. Disney’s fiscal second quarter numbers came in below expectations, a shortfall Disney chalked up to lower than expected performances by key divisions of 21st Century Fox, which Disney formally acquired in March.“Nothing is more important to us than getting this right,” Iger said of Disney’s aggressive move into direct-to-consumer streaming.Iger also disclosed that Disney is in talks with Apple, Amazon and Google to distribute Disney Plus and presumably the newly disclosed bundle on their platforms. “We think it’s important to achieve scale relatively quickly and they’ll be an important part of that.” Related ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15