The annual Tales of the Cocktail convention happened again in New Orleans last week, I seem to recall. And somewhere between the sazeracs and the rusty nails, I attended a series of enlightening seminars (each accompanied by appropriate cocktails, of course).
Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking and probably the most famous name in food science, was present at Tales for the first time, to lend his expertise to a deserving cocktail world. He sat on a panel with Audrey Saunders, celebrated owner of New York's Pegu Club, and Tony Conigliaro, who pushes the frontiers of molecular mixology at London's 69 Colebrooke Row.
The world's most sophisticated robots don't assemble trucks or cruise around Mars. They're designed to support our surging population of elderly and disabled citizens. Meet 10 of the most promising senior-friendly 'bots.
Let's assume that someday you will have, in your home, a humanoid robot helper. The robot, because it's shaped like you, can use your tools and move easily around your house. It folds the laundry, it helps your elderly mother up the stairs, and on Sundays it makes brunch for the family. It's capable of handling almost any household chore you can throw at it.
Now let's imagine that you're out on the lawn, kicking a ball around with your son. Your robot helper is in another part of the yard, its back to you both, fixing a drainpipe.
In orbit, debris as small as a metal screw can cripple a vehicle or kill an astronaut. Here are five ideas for cleaning up the growing band of trash circling Earth
By David KushnerPosted 07.13.2010 at 10:05 am 1 Comment
One Friday last November, the six astronauts onboard the International Space Station received an urgent warning from mission control: Watch out for space junk. A piece of orbital debris, possibly a chunk of satellite, was hurtling toward the station. A direct hit could break through the hull. The crew prepped for escape.
The team behind the world’s fastest sailboat—l’Hydroptère, a 78-foot trimaran that sailed at a record-breaking 50-plus knots (nearly 58 mph) for more than a nautical mile last year—is designing a new model to break another big racing record. With l’Hydroptère Maxi, a crew 0f 10 hopes to sail around the world in less than 48 days and eight hours, beating the current fastest time as set by the French crew of Groupama last March.
When I decided to invite some people over to my house last Friday to watch the World Cup on a new 50-inch plasma 3-D TV, a loaner from Panasonic, I made the mistake of emailing out a picture of myself wearing the 3-D glasses. My brother, bless him, replied, "I love the third dimension!" Everyone else seemed a little put off. "If I can extract a promise that no photos of me will appear on Popsci.com, I'm in," emailed one friend.
I can understand the hesitation. 3-D glasses flatter no one. You'd feel less conspicuous wearing a clown nose. But that was the half the point of the party. With the recent hubbub over 3-D TV, I wanted to find out if people could take the technology seriously. Can you wear the glasses without feeling as though you're part of the entertainment? Is it possible to enjoy an entire soccer game with such an awkward, uncomfortable accessory strapped to your face, and in the company of others? I figured I'd let my friends be the judge. And judge they did.
Reporting from the Gulf, an offshore oil rig worker finds mundanity, a complacent obsession with safety, and the doom beneath it all
By Jasper CollumPosted 06.29.2010 at 2:00 pm 8 Comments
It's a recurring dream. I'm standing next to a machine, some giant warm Fritz-Lang-inspired monster. I live in it. I am a piece of it. But I know at any moment this machine could destroy itself and there won't be a thing I can do about it. What a mutinous thing when a machine, usually so faithful and repetitious, turns against us.
I'm afraid of this dream, and every morning I wake up in the Gulf and go to work on an offshore drilling rig the dream gets worse. Though it shouldn't.
Lithium is cheap and widely available, so why do we care about a new resource in a war zone? Because it’s another counter to the irrational fear that the automobile’s lithium-powered electric future is doomed before it begins
Immediately after the New York Timespublished a report last week of the Pentagon's "discovery" of nearly $1 trillion worth of mineral reserves in Afghanistan, the backlash began. The U.S. Geological Survey released a report on the country's mineral reserves in 2007, it turned out. Why was this coming up now? The bloggers pounced. By the end of the week, the accepted wisdom was that there was nothing new in this latest piece of government spin.
Drowned in the noise, however, was a fascinating bit of news: that just this month a Pentagon team was hunting for minerals in Afghanistan's dry lakes, and that early findings suggested that one site alone might contain more lithium than Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, which is believed to hold up to half the world's known supply.
It's 2:30 in the afternoon in the Dominican Republic, and Karen Velline, a 66-year-old grandmother from Cold Spring, Minnesota, is lying on an operating table, swaddled in sterile surgical sheets. She's just moments away from a procedure so experimental that no doctor will perform it on U.S. soil. Yet she calmly stares up at the ceiling, more excited than anxious.
On the eve of its first race--at one of the toughest and most dangerous motorcycle racetracks in the world--we take an exclusive inside look at one man's quest to engineer the ultimate electric race bike
This is the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc, a race bike built by a tiny Oregonian company focused on pushing the limits of electric performance to the absolute max. It packs 10 times the battery capacity of a Toyota Prius and 2.5 times the torque of a Ducati 1198 into a package that looks like something out of a 24th-century Thunderdome.
Tomorrow it will race in the Isle of Man TT, the toughest motorcycle race in the world. The technology at work is so advanced, so unprecedented, that we may be looking not just at the future of motorcycles, but of all electric vehicles.