Archive for August, 2010

Mandelbrot’s Fractals

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Benoit Mandelbrot, the pioneer of the theory of fractals, recently spoke at a TED event.  Fractals are mathematical objects that exhibit infinitely repeating complexity.  That definition may be  hard to grasp, but the graphical representations of fractals aren’t, as seen by the picture above.

Mandelbrot is able to describe his work in layman’s terms.  View Mandelbrot’s talk on the TED website.

You can also view a cool video of animated fractals in this YouTube video:

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Rainbow Folding Bike

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Village/Vanguard of Japan has created a bicycle that’s the ultimate in convenience and portability.  With a single motion, the bike folds to a quarter of its operating size.  Besides an incredible design, the bike comes in a rainbow of 8 different colors.  The bike has 20-inch wheels and is suitable for most children and adults.  It’s available on the Village/Vanguard website for a reported $150, but unfortunately the website is in Japanese.  Hopefully it will be easily available outside of Japan soon. 

If you’d rather share a bike than buy one, see this blog post about a new kind of bike sharing program.

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The Laptop Lock for Computing on the Go

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Fall will soon be here and students will be returning to school. Many of them will be packing expensive laptops and notebooks in their backpacks. Now they can secure their laptop with its own lock when they need to take a study break. The Kensington’s ComboSaver Portable Notebook Lock consists of a combination lock attached to 6 feet of coiled cable. According to Kensington, it fits into the security slot that’s available on 99% of laptops and notebooks. The laptop lock is also great for company workers or anyone who uses a laptop in a public place.

The ComboSaver lock costs about $25. For more information, see the Kensington website.

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The $7 Billion San Francisco Bay Bridge Upgrade

Monday, August 09th, 2010

For several months, the San Francisco / Oakland Bay Bridge has been in the midst of a major renovation and seismic upgrade.  The $7 billion dollar project has included building the world’s largest self-anchored suspension bridge, which was done without interrupting the daily traffic flow of more than 250,000 cars per day.  Now the project is finally winding to a close.

Several amazing construction feats took place during the course of the project, not the least of which was moving out a section of the bridge over a holiday weekend to allow a bypass to be installed so that construction could continue without closing the bridge.  See video of the bypass here.

The Bay Bridge is located in one of the most active earthquake regions in the world.  The new bridge is designed to withstand major quakes and is reported to have an expected lifetime of 150 years. Take a look inside the new Bay Bridge in this video at the Wired Gadget Lab and find complete details at the official Bay Bridge Info site:

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