By Tim NewcombPosted 04.24.2012 at 10:15 am 7 Comments
Next year, workers will start digging a 1.7-mile tunnel underneath downtown Seattle using the world’s largest tunnel-boring machine. The 57.5-foot-diameter, $80-million drill, which is currently under construction for the State Route 99 project, has about 600 cutting tools—steel bits and spinning disks on the borer’s face that break up dirt and rock. The tools may need to be inspected as often as every 400 feet, or about 20 times over the course of construction.
By Juliet EilperinPosted 06.16.2011 at 10:17 am 10 Comments
In 2005, Eric Stroud, the managing partner of Shark Defense, a New Jersey company that specializes in shark-repelling technologies, happened to be carrying a rare-earth magnet as he passed a tank full of sharks. The sharks fled, and Stroud took note. After further tests, Stroud and his colleagues found that sharks that came within 20 inches of rare-earth magnets similar to the one he had been carrying would consistently swim away.
By Chadwick MatlinPosted 05.31.2011 at 1:10 pm 2 Comments
The U.S. Forest Service has battled fire with fire for nearly a century, but it wasn't until the past decade that backburning--in which professionals set brush alight before a wildfire does--became an exact science. Wildfire experts call this science prescribed burning, and its practitioners are known as burn bosses. Here are three increasingly precise tools to stop a wildfire cold.
Saving the oceans seems like an impossibly daunting task, one most people would have no idea how to even begin. So we asked 12 of the world's foremost ocean experts--scientists, policymakers, and a reality TV star/sea captain--how they'd do it. The answers were varied, from political to high-tech solutions, from big to small, but they were all very clear: this is something we all must do, and it's something we all can do.