That model isn’t exactly in production yet, though—it’s a conceptual design of what the next PSP system could be, based on existing technology (or technology that will be practical within a few years). Its designer, Tai Chiem, is exploring how the technology could be implemented in multiple portable electronic devices, including gaming systems.
For those of you unable or unwilling to click on the link above, the new PSP concept is based on a large, flexible screen that can roll up around the cylindrical controller (which looks to be about the same size and shape as a cigar case). Controls would be on the face of the cylinder, and stereo speakers would occupy each end. The screen, when unrolled, would be made stiff by a small electrical charge.
The screen is based on organic light emitting diode technology. The difference from normal LED tech is that the light emitting layers of OLEDs are based on organic compounds. A variety of compounds, which emit different colored light when subjected to electrical current, are deposited on a polymer surface in a similar way to ink being deposited on paper during the printing process. Although there is some concern over the degradation of the light emitting compounds over time, because OLEDs emit light themselves, they don’t need a backlight like LCD screens, and they require less power to run. OLED screens are already being manufactured by Sony, and have been used in demonstrations of flexible display screens.
Because the controls of this future PSP don’t exactly look comfortable to handle, I’m assuming that the impetus of the design was primarily ease of smuggling. You wouldn’t want to try to sneak a whole crate of these anywhere, but just one of them, I’m guessing, would fit pretty well in any one of a number of common smuggling compartments. The location of the speakers on each end could lend itself to some hilarious sound effects too. The potential for a stray electric charge to erect the screen, however, is disturbing. It could make things tremendously uncomfortable for the smuggler, and put an end to any sneakiness previously underway.
What do y’all think? Cool technology for portable gaming? Or is this going in the wrong direction?
Courtesy RoadsidepicturesIt’s a monumental day, Buzzketeers, a monumental day. Not only will y’all shortly have your cerebral cortexes blown like Kleenex, but I will also soon have the great honor of presenting the “Hey, Scientist, That’s Funny!” Award.
Physics, it seems, is everywhere. It’s like glitter, really—you use it once, for a craft project, or something, and then it’s in your clothes and on your skin for the rest of your life. And, as with glitter, sometimes I think I could really do without physics.
How did physics corner the market on awe? Seriously, what can physics do that I can’t? Light up a room? Please—I’ve got that. You practically have to scrub the charm out of the carpet after I smile. What else you got, physics? Gravity? Um, I can pop, lock, and drop, so it’s going to take more than a falling apple to impress me.
So I say to physics, “Physics, give me something good! Give me something I can bring to show and tell!”
And physics does. Physics delivers, and I remember how it got to be the top dog.
Scotch tape emits x-rays when it’s unrolled. When you grab a little piece of tape to stick your Ben Affleck magazine clippings back next to your J-Lo clippings (where they belong), you are toying with the same radioactive energy that can see through your clothes and give you cancer of the everything.
But you don’t have to worry about that, because unrolling Scotch tape only produces x-rays when it’s done in a vacuum chamber.
Scientists found that tape, as it’s being unspooled, actually releases kind of a lot of x-rays, enough that one of the researchers was able to create an x-ray image of one of his fingers.
When tape is coming unstuck from thee spool, electrons jumped about two thousandths of an inch from the non-sticky outside of the spool to the sticky underside of the tape. When the electrons hit the tape, they are forced to slow down very quickly, and they release energy in the form of x-rays. But, again, it only works in an airless chamber.
Juan Escobar, a graduate student who worked on the research, believes that the process could be refined to create cheap x-ray machines for use in areas where electricity is expensive or hard to get.
When asked whether or not x-rays from everyday tape peeling posed any sort of hazard he said, “If you're going to peel tape in a vacuum, you should be extra careful. I will continue to use Scotch tape during my daily life, and I think it's safe to do it in your office. No guarantees.”
And for that Juan Escobar has earned the Hey, Scientist, That’s Funny! Award. Because, hey, scientist, that’s funny. And you’ve got this bizarre discovery about Scotch tape emitting X-rays! What a day!
Courtesy Public domainThat's right - the Bee Gees, the Brothers Gibb, those high-pitched Kings of the Disco Era! Well, to tell the truth it's not really the Bee Gees, per se, but rather one of their songs - the classic (and in this case appropriate) "Stayin' Alive". Researchers at Illinois College of Medicine have determined that the number of beats in that particular song (103 per minute) is almost exactly the number you want to count out while performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on someone. Bottom line: if you have that song looping through your head while you're doing heart compressions on a heart attack sufferer, you'll keep the recommended per minute rhythm and triple the victim's chances of survival. Read more here.
Courtesy The Quiet ShotgunI used to live in a small town along the Mississippi River. Each fall, on the opening day of every waterfowl-hunting season, I’d be rattled awake at sunrise with the booming of shotguns of hunters getting in their first shots of the season. To put in mildly, I was never enthused to hear the start of another hunting season.
With increased housing development of rural areas, the noise of hunting is encroaching on the quiet and relaxation of people wanting to live in the country. But Wendell Diller, a Twin Cities area hunter and inventor, has come up with a device to reduce those conflicts. Here's a link to his website about his latest invention: the Quiet Shotgun.
I saw a report on his quiet gun on a recent episode of Minnesota Bound. While the main focus of the report was on hunting mentorships for urban kids, the guns they were using in the goose hunt were Diller’s Quiet Gun shotgun. Click here to see the guns in action in the video report.
Here’s how the shotgun works.
The Quiet Gun reworks gun technology to reduce a shot gun’s usual boom to the “whoof” similar to an air-rifle. Diller likes to describe the sound as “an air-rifle on steroids.”
To do this, a barrel extension is put on to the shotgun. Along the extension are port holes that allow the high-pressure gases of the shooting action explosion to leak out along the chamber rather than erupting out in one loud belch at the end of the gun.
Courtesy The Quiet ShotgunThe extension also greatly reduce the amount of kick a shotgun fires back into the shoulder of a hunter. How effective are these guns? Quiet Guns are being used with the group Capable Partners – a group for disabled hunters who’ve been proficient in both hunting trips and trap shooting events.
So far, the Quiet Gun is not commercially available yet. And for safety concerns, Diller strongly discourages anyone from experimenting with this new shotgun technology on their own.
So what do you think? Is this a good application of science for easing a growing problem with the outdoors sports? Will the Quiet Gun be featured in a upcoming Coen Brothers’ film? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.
Buying locally not only saves transportation costs, but also puts money into local economies. Wind turbine gearbox manufacturer, Moventas, based in Finland, is going to build components locally. In addition to about 90 jobs and an initial annual payroll of roughly $4 million, the construction of the $9 million dollar facility will mean more employment for Faribault area workers. Faribault Daily News
In Newton, Iowa, TPI Composites opened a wind turbine blade manufacturing facility that hopes to provide 500 jobs. The Faribault factory hopes to add 30 jobs per year to total 200. Click here to read about more wind energy jobs created.
The American Wind Energy Association was relieved by the passage of the Economic Stabilization Act.
These tax credits are essential to the continued growth of wind energy, to the economic and energy security of the United States, and to a successful beginning in the fight against global warming.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) also was happy to see the legislation extend the 30-percent federal investment tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations for 8 years.
“This long-term extension of the solar tax credits will create a domestic solar industry with hundreds of thousands of jobs while providing clean, affordable, carbon-free energy to millions of American families, businesses, and communities.” SEIA press release
i would count this video as a video that contains "current science". It's all in methods and g-force. If ya wanna see MORE videos like this, again, youtube.com. c ya all!
Courtesy Art Oglesby The Rock-Tenn Company paper recycling plant (at Hwy. 94 and Cretin Ave. in St. Paul) lost their cheap source of steam energy when the High Bridge coal plant was closed. My Buzz post from May 3, 2007 explained how the Saint Paul Port Authority proposed building an incinerator at the Rock-Tenn plant to burn RDF (refuse derived fuel - garbage) for fuel.
A group called "Neighbors Against the Burner" explain why incineration is not the best solution for Rock-Tenn. This page on their website has lots of links to local media coverage about the Rock-Tenn burner controversy. I also recommend looking at their "freqently asked question" page for more information on refuse derived fuels (RDF).
After a year of study and 24 meetings with citizen volunteers participating as members of the Rock-Tenn Community Advisory Panel (RCAP), as well as input from other interested citizens and the City of Saint Paul, the Saint Paul Port Authority is recommending re-powering Rock-Tenn with discount-priced natural gas, utilizing carbon offsets from renewable biogas. The biogas would be produced at an anaerobic digestion facility to be built in out state Minnesota. The anaerobic digestion facility required would be the largest of its kind in the US.
Rock-Tenn Renewable Energy Report (81 pg pdf)
Community members are invited to attend a brief presentation and share their comments and questions on the Rock-Tenn Renewable Energy Report and recommendations. Click here for more information
Monday, September 15th beginning at 6:30 PM
Wilder Center, 451 Lexington Pkwy N
Solar cells become ineffective when the sun goes down. At night, the earth radiates heat back toward the sky. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory are working on a device to turn infrared radiation into electricity.
Billions of nanoantennas printed onto thin, inexpensive sheets will transform heat energy into electricity. The physics behind this conversion is the same as that of a radio antenna. The only difference between radiowaves and infrared light is wavelength. Antennas 1/25 the size of a human hair resonate when bombarded with heat radiation. If the resulting alternating current can be passed through a rectifier (one way valve) the current can charge up batteries. The infrared rays create alternating currents in the nanoantennas that oscillate trillions of times per second.
"Today's rectifiers can't handle such high frequencies. "We need to design nanorectifiers that go with our nanoantennas," says Kotter, noting that a nanoscale rectifier would need to be about 1,000 times smaller than current commercial devices and will require new manufacturing methods. Another possibility is to develop electrical circuitry that might slow down the current to usable frequencies." Eureka Alert
If these technical hurdles can be overcome, nanoantennas have the potential to be a cheaper, more efficient alternative to solar cells. Computer models of nanoantennas predict up to 92% efficiency (compared to solar cells around 20%).
Courtesy Mark RyanWhile Gene continues obsessing over the ways of the flesh (see below, and here), I shall take the high road and offer this post that involves both our corporeal and spiritual realms.
A recent study out of Australia's Queensland University of Technology shows that tiny particles of gold embedded in the paint of stained glass windows not only add to the beauty of church windows (which no doubt enhance the experience of being inside the church), but also have some health benefits.
It seems medieval glaziers, who could be considered the first nanotechnologists, used different sized gold particles to create a variety of colors. The windows produced over the centuries for churches across Europe are certainly uplifting to look at, but until now nobody realized the additional health benefits they carry for our physical beings.
What happens is when sunlight illuminates the stained glass, the gold nanoparticles resonate as they heat up. This resonance increases significantly the magnetic field across the element’s surface that in turn interacts with and destroys nasty pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are present in the air.
"These VOCs create that 'new' smell as they are slowly released from walls and furniture, but they, along with methanol and carbon monoxide, are not good for your health, even in small amounts," said associate professor Zhu Huai Yong, a member of the team that did the study.
The chemical reaction purifies the air with only small amounts of carbon dioxide as a byproduct. Yong is excited about the prospect of using gold nanoparticles in future research.
"Once this technology can be applied to produce specialty chemicals at ambient temperature, it heralds significant changes in the economy and environmental impact of the chemical production," he said.