Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Techno-Palooza

I haven't done one of these for a while and my 'notes' collection is getting unwieldy, so it's time for a Techno-Palooza, where I write about tech-stuff that has caught my eye

First up is this little Motorbike:

Ride Apart (H/T Jalopnik)
A bike with massive acceleration, long range, and a 60 minute recharge time. Finally a 100% electric vehicle that is just like a regular vehicle. Unfortunately i'll never own it. The $50000 price tag is out of my league. It would also be interesting to know how long the batteries last and how much they cost to replace.

This waterproof spray (H/T Gizmodo) is the natural end of where waterproof coverings have been going for years. What is opens up though in thought provoking. Consider that the most difficult part of designing ROVs is the necessary pressure housing for the electronics. If you could just side step that, then ROVs would be much easier to make. Thought provoking, eh?


A old coastal defense fort made into a luxury hotel? That is exactly what they have been trying to do with Fort Carroll for 30 years. Also known as 'bird island' due it it literally being covered in bird crap, Fort Carroll was originally constructed in the Civil War in defense of Baltimore. It was abandoned in WW1 and though changing hands several times, has basically been left to rot due to the impracticality of overcoming environmentalist objections to ejecting the squatting bird population. Not that there are any 'endangered' species there - just flocks of  'rats with wings'. Why am I fascinated with it? It is one of those old civil war locations that is very much off the beaten path.

Finding  a dead body in your grandma's attic is pretty much every 10 year old boy's fantasy. Finding a mummy at grandma's house? Priceless.

So San Fran is considering a water treatment plant that will convert pee to drinking water. Given the high estrogen content of the citizens of that town, and the unusual effects associated with consuming it, one wonders if this is really a good idea. As an interesting aside to the, it is a little known fact that Fairfax county, a bastion of Democrats in northern Virginia, gets it drinking water from a similar source. I am guessing the current administration doesn't want to pay for a study of that phenomenon.

I have been a big fan of 'toe shoes' for a while. I got my first 'skele-toes' over a year ago after recovering from platar-fascitiis surgery - so I think I have a pretty good idea of how barefoot shoes are supposed to work. Thus I looked into this new shoe by Nike (H/T Gizmodo) The main issue with these type of shoes is a) toe comfort - i.e. rub points where your toes go, and b) the firmness of the shoe attached to your foot. Since these aren't actually toe shoes, (a) does not come into play. However, I cannot imagine that a knit construction would leave you with a feeling of security after getting wet. I would be hesitant to fork out the kind of money that Nike is asking on that basis alone.



This idea (H/T Gizmag) for putting lights under a paddle board or kayak is just neat tech. For a kayak I have to wonder how much drag it introduces though. Also, the price is pretty steep. On the other hand, it would be pretty hard to not see a kayaker at night with one of those, at least in calm conditions. I can't imagine they would be very visible in a heavy rain or rough seas. I also might be a little concerned about what kind of wildlife such a light might attract, given bull shark's proclivity for appearing in fresh water locations.

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