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Concrete Flash Drives


These flash drives by Shu-Chun Hsiao are serious. The drives are encased in concrete and are embossed with the weight of each one, a number that correlates with the flash drive’s capacity.

I love the idea, but 256g sticking out the front of my desktop is just going to destroy itself.

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Transocean Deepwater Horizon Accident


On April 20, 2010, a loss of well control occurred and resulted in an explosion and fire on the Transocean/BP Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon.

Eleven lives were lost in this incident and the MODU subsequently sank.

The well has not yet been secured, and the resulting release of oil has been declared a spill of US national significance with oil threatening sensitive coastlines and resources in the Gulf of Mexico. This has having a Global Impact on offshore drilling well control.

What Went Wrong?

At the time of the accident, the Deepwater Horizon was operating 52 miles from shore in 4,992 feet of water with a subsea Blow Out Prevention (BOP) stack. After the Deepwater Horizon sank, Remote Operating Vehicle’s confirmed that the riser was bent over and still attached to the BOP and that oil is flowing from leaks in the riser above the BOP. Numerous attempts to actuate the BOP have failed.

Corrective actions and Recommendations

While the exact causes of this event are now under investigation, the tragic nature of this accident compels operators and drilling contractors to inspect their drilling equipment and review their procedures to ensure the safety of personnel and protection of the environment.

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The Mirror Man of LA Griffith Observatory


When you live in a world of mirrors, can any fact go unchallenged? When you are the mirror itself, what do you see? Who can say what thoughts were going through the mind of this extraordinary street performer when he came up with his design for the ‘Mirror Man’.

The sight of this man made of mirrors certainly must have been a surprise for the visitors to Griffith Observatory in LA late last year. A few hours spent contemplating the far off mysteries of the universe only to have one land in front of you must have perplexed a number of people that day.

The views from the Observatory of downtown Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Basin are wonderful on a clear day. Possibly that is the reason why the Mirror Man climbed the slopes of Mount Hollywood. What a glorious reflection that would make, he perhaps thought. To see the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone – as a mirror. The mind boggles.

Paul Morand once said ‘Mirrors are ice which does not melt: what melts are those who admire themselves in them.

Perhaps that was the main idea of the mysterious Mirror Man. Who can say? Conceivably, it is an attempt to turn these many faceted mirrors in to windows. What do you see in the reflection?

The Human League – pop uber-icons of the eighties had a song called The Mirror Man. Perhaps it is appropriate if we leave with a few lines from that delightful tune.

Conceptual Contact Lens Technology


The proponent of this idea – a professor at Washington University Babak Amir Parvi. He proposes to make contact lenses, which integrates a lot of electronics have not yet established.

For example, a display consisting of microlenses, power supply, wireless communication modules, solar panel and various sensors. If we draw an analogy with virtual reality, the pair of contact lenses, virtually unnoticeable to others easily replace bulky helmets virtual reality.

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Running the Numbers by Chris Jordan


Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.

This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a collective that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

  • Packing Peanuts

Depicts 166,000 packing peanuts, equal to the number of overnight packages shipped by air in the U.S. every hour.

  • Oil Barrels

Depicts 28,000 42-gallon barrels, the amount of oil consumed in the United States every two minutes (equal to the flow of a medium-sized river).

  • Toothpicks

Depicts one hundred million toothpicks, equal to the number of trees cut in the U.S. yearly to make the paper for junk mail.

  • Barbie Dolls

Depicts 32,000 Barbies, equal to the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the US in 2006.

Intel’s 48-core processor debut


Intel debuted and demonstrated its Single-chip Cloud Computer (SCC) processor Wednesday. The processor has 48 cores–24 dual-core “tiles”–connected with a high-speed mesh network. Intel wants the experimental chip, at least 100 of which it’ll distribute to researchers in 2010, to lead to new attempts to tackle multicore system and software design. Ultimately, Intel believes its aggressive multicore approach will be the way computers get enough power for tasks such as vision and speech comparable to what humans have.

Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner showed off the SCC chip. Here he holds a silicon wafer of the processors at a press event in San Francisco. The processor consumes between 25 and 125 watts of power-the numbers from Rattner’s slide presentation projected on the wafer.

Intel had two SCC prototype computers on display. Because the SCC chips use ordinary x86 processor cores, regular software such as Windows and Linux can run on them. The SCC systems can accommodate up to 64GB of memory, but this machine had 16GB.

Intel’s SCC chip’s x86 cores each are comparable in power to the lower-end Atom line used in Netbooks today. Intel expects programmers eventually will have to reckon with many more cores. That’s an issue that the computing industry is struggling to adjust to because most PC software is geared to perform a single sequence of instructions, not many things in parallel.

Each node on the SCC chip includes two x86 cores with its own memory cache. Linking them to the outside world is router circuitry that handles networking on the chip. The network lets processors exchange information and communicate with any of four DDR3 memory banks.

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The Battle Mug


Here is what the description says:Battle Mug starts as a 13.5 pound solid block of 6061 T6 billet aluminium before it enters a state of the art CNC facility which produces specialized parts and equipment for the U.S. Department of Defense, major weapons manufacturers, NASA…etc. Built to military specifications, Battle Mug features a M1913 rail interface system which allows the operator to mount a standard issue M4 carry handle, tactical light, laser device…” Each unit costs $279.

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