Thursday, October 30, 2008
Looking for the best way to feed the world's hunger for energy, James May visited a solar furnace to see how powerful they really are. Usually, solar furnaces are used to boil water into steam to generate electricity or make hydrogen fuel. But May thought that the best way to make people understand their insane power is to do something equally as insane: Melt steel almost instantly.
A solar furnace is a mirror structure used to concentrate sun rays into a small area called the focal point. As you can expect, the concentrated rays produce extremely high temperatures: At the focal point, solar furnaces can achieve temperatures of 5,430 ºF (3,000 ºC). The idea is not new—coming from ancient Greece—but their potential is starting to become more relevant now as we try to cut dependency on fossil fuels.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This "PSA" on the upcoming switch to digital broadcasting that requires anyone who watches TV via an antenna to get a converter box is one of the funniest gadget-related videos I've seen in a long, long time. In it, Mae LaBorde, a 99-year-old grandmother, tries to figure out how to acquire and then set up a digital converter box. Man, do I love this video. What are you still reading these stupid words for? Just watch the video.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Here's the video of the Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display, one of those technologies that will probably change entertainment forever: A high-fidelity 3D force field on the air that allows you to actually touch virtual objects with your bare hands. Initially, this technology could find its way into virtual keyboards, but in the future—as the size and resolution increases—there are endless possibilities.