Tuesday, March 19, 2013



Electric tilt-rotor can be self charging

 AgustaWestland has sold tilt-rotor AW609 craft for several years. It recently unveiled the world’s first electric tilt rotor airplane. It’s known simply as Project Zero. As with other tilt rotor aircraft, Project Zero’s two rotors can be tilted up to 90 degrees. This allows it to take off and land vertically and to hover, like a helicopter, while also flying forward with the speed and efficiency of a fixed-wing aircraft. Each of the rotors are driven by their own electric motor, which is powered by rechargeable batteries. When parked on the ground, those rotors can be tilted to “windmill” in the oncoming wind, charging the batteries as they do so.
  The aircraft’s control systems, flight controls and landing gear actuators are all electrically powered. Because Project Zero’s electric motors don’t require oxygen, the aircraft could conceivably fly at very high altitudes or in heavily-polluted air. It should also be difficult to detect, as it makes little noise and has a low thermal signature while in flight.

James Webb Space Telescope

     The JWST is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. The project is working to a 2018 launch date. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Webb will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. Webb's instruments will be designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range.
     Webb will have a large mirror, 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter and a sunshield the size of a tennis court. Both the mirror and sunshade won't fit onto a rocket fully open, so both will fold up and open once Webb is in outer space. Webb will reside in an orbit about 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from the Earth.
     The James Webb Space Telescope was named after the NASA Administrator who crafted the Apollo program, and who was a staunch supporter of space science


Teach your car the way home

Use your iPad to make your car into a self-driving iPad robot car. The low-cost navigation system can recognise its surroundings using small cameras and lasers discreetly built into the body of the car and linked to a computer in the trunk. The technology is controlled from an iPad on the dashboard that flashes up a prompt offering the driver the option of the car taking over for a portion of a previous familiar route by touching the screen to 'auto drive'  for the robotic system to take over.

 "UFOs" on the highway

      Audi has revealed a car lighting  technology using thousands of tiny OLED colored lights that cover the width of the trunk to look like a moving "swarm" of animals that respond to movement and the direction of the car. As the car speeds up the 'animals' move faster.
      The displays are designed to show other drivers what the driver it doing or planning to do.  
You have it see it to believe it.


If you would like a less "glamorous", but more informative video, click HERE. 

(The OLED has made this kind of display feasible - not so sure about how useful)
OLED is flexible sheet organic LED



“Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should be”

Scientists clone extinct frog that gives birth from its mouth

   Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The "Lazarus Project" team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog.

Clawed micro-drone swoops up prey mid-flight

   Here's something you don't see everyday: a Micro Unmanned Aerial vehicle (MAV) that can grab objects on the fly with all the elegance of an eagle snatching a fish from the water's surface. Although MAVs and UAVs are increasingly being equipped to pick up, transport, and drop off payloads, we've never seen this incredibly precise form of grasping on the fly replicated – until now.

Starting with one mouse, scientists create 581 successive clones

  Using the technique that created Dolly the sheep, researchers from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, have identified a way to produce healthy mouse clones that live a normal lifespan and can be sequentially cloned indefinitely. In an experiment that started in 2005, the team led by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama has used a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SNCT) to produce 581 clones of one original "donor" mouse through 25 consecutive rounds of cloning.

One of the world’s oldest preserved beers to be reproduced 

Produced at least as far back as 5,000 BC, beer has been with us for a long time. But coming third only to water and tea in terms of worldwide popularity means that the lifespan of individual beers is more likely to be measured in days or weeks rather than years or decades. The exception is if they’re preserved at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in a shipwreck. One such shipwrecked beer that is about 170 years old has been salvaged and analyzed and will be reproduced using modern industrial techniques.

(by creating political crimes and making criminals out of innocent bystanders

by Douglas J. Johnston, Winnipeg lawyer - from the Winnipeg Free Press March 16, 2013)

     The Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act, which amends Canada's Criminal Code to allow a citizen's arrest within a "reasonable" period of time after a crime occurs, came into force this week. Prior to the amendments, a felon had to be caught red-handed for a citizen's arrest to be lawful.
     The amendments were dubbed the "Lucky Moose" bill, after Toronto's Lucky Moose food mart, whose owner was charged with assault and forcible confinement in 2009 after he and two employees chased down, tied up and held a shoplifter until police arrived. The store owner, David Chen, had witnessed the career thief (43 prior convictions) steal from his store earlier that day, but he'd gotten away before Chen could act. When the shoplifter returned an hour later, Chen nabbed him.
     The case became a cause célèbre when the Crown attorneys' office prosecuted Chen for trying to protect his property. He was acquitted at trial.
The amendments have attracted their share of criticism. Critics contend the bill encourages victims to take the law into their own hands. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association sees it as leading to "forms of vigilantism."
     But the Lucky Moose amendments aren't the only citizen-as-cop provision in the Criminal Code. In fact, they pale beside our treason law. Because, where there's an alleged crime against the state, the law deputizes us all.
     The exercise of citizen's-arrest powers is voluntary -- you can, as ever, forget about apprehending a thief and just call the police. Our treason law, however, dictates that you must get involved with the crime-in-progress.
     The Lucky Moose amendments also have the benefit of, logically, involving only the players in a crime -- the victim and offender. Our treason law ropes in witnesses, too, and turns them into criminals if they don't do something to foil the plotters.
     In short, the Criminal Code makes it compulsory to protect the state, whether you want to or not.
     An example: You're sitting in a local doughnut shop one morning, sipping your coffee and munching your muffin, minding your own business. Then, two tables over, you hear a couple of guys plotting what sounds like a crime.
     Do you have a legal duty to report them to the police? Or to stop them from carrying out their plan? If they're working up a break and enter, a drug deal or a robbery, the answer is "No."
     But if it's treason they're scheming, you're obligated to report them to the police, or to attempt to thwart their plot. If you don't, you're guilty of a criminal offence. Sec. 50 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment if you neglect your citizenly duty to report, or stop, them.
     Nowhere else in our law is there an affirmative duty, coupled with a major-league criminal penalty, either to warn police or personally confront would-be offenders -- not even if what's being plotted is murder.
     A duty to report to authorities -- and merely report -- a criminal plot may in and of itself not be a bad idea. However, applying it to treason is.
    Treason is one of the most nebulous crimes in our Criminal Code. Lawyers, judges and legal academics have written volumes about where legitimate political protest ends and treason begins, and when acts of civil agitation morph into revolutionary insurrection.
It's also a notoriously elastic crime -- one that suddenly loses its criminality when there's a regime change or the political winds blow a different direction. Sixteenth-century English courtier Sir John Harington's famous epigram -- cited in several judicial decisions -- nicely catches its pliability:

Treason doth never prosper:
What's the reason?
For if it prosper,
None dare call it treason.

     Nonetheless, the Criminal Code requires anyone sitting in a doughnut shop to rush to judgment, decide whether it's a crime against the state being discussed two tables over, and leap into action -- or maybe not.
    That the state's coercive power is so heavily brought to bear, not against wrongdoers, but mere witnesses, underscores the law's transparent result: It doesn't target crime, it creates political crimes. Worse yet, it makes criminals out of innocent bystanders.
     Sec. 50 (1) (b) is an utterly unprincipled provision. It so overreaches the acceptable limits of criminal law that it's an embarrassment.
    In the late 1980's it was on the political radar map for repeal, but it disappeared from view.
     It's possible, over time, that on the ground there will be instances of excess in applying the new citizen's arrest law. But, next to our treason law, its reach, and objects, are pretty modest.

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