An unorthodox, highly scientific training regimen made Andy Potts the top triathlete in the country
By Arianne CohenPosted 07.20.2008 at 5:28 pm 6 Comments
At the starting dock of the Olympic triathlon trials, the expression on Andy Potts’s face seems to say I will kill you with my eyes. As the starting gun fires, he plunges into the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and, in a burst of white foam, quickly pulls ahead of nine rivals. The second-ranked Hunter Kemper manages to hold pace with Potts for a few minutes, then drifts back into third place.
This cycle’s shock adjusts itself to suit the ups and downs of your terrain
By Berne Broudy Posted 07.17.2008 at 5:49 pm 3 Comments
To power up a mountain, you need a stiff bike frame that transfers pedaling force straight to the wheels. But zooming downhill without jolts or spills calls for more cushioning. So Kona's Coilair bikes feature a lever that automatically shortens the shock when you pedal and lengthens it when you coast. The lever also pushes the seat closer to the ground, lowering the center of gravity to match the stability of a dedicated downhill racing bike.
The first submersible speedboat transforms from wave rider to deep diver in seconds
By Jessica Cheng & Day GreenbergPosted 07.16.2008 at 6:16 pm 8 Comments
Nautical engineers have long dreamed of a craft that could race across wave tops like a speedboat and seconds later dive beneath them like a submarine. But crossing the two breeds presents a catch-22: Subs need heft to sink, but speedboats need to be lightweight to go fast. With an investment of nearly $2 million and years of research, former auto-shop owner Reynolds Marion of Lake City, Florida, has finally hit on a solution, a machine he’s dubbed the Hyper-Submersible Powerboat. When complete, it will reach speeds of up to 45 mph and dive down to 1,200 feet.
Robotic jellyfish just like the real thing, but without the sting
By Jessica ChengPosted 07.16.2008 at 4:47 pm 3 Comments
All Together Now
AquaJellies are an experiment to create autonomous robots that can work alone or cooperatively.
AP Photo; Kai-Uwe Knoth
Swimming around in their tank, these autonomous robotic jellyfish move alone or in a swarm and communicate with their brethren to avoid underwater collisions. Developed by German industrial-automation company Festo as an attention-grabbing experiment in cooperative robotics, each AquaJelly uses eight bendable "tentacles" to propel itself forward.
A floor-to-ceiling virtual instrument that can rock for real
By Mike KobrinPosted 07.16.2008 at 12:19 pm 9 Comments
Playing the harp isn't the most high-tech pastime—unless, like Stephen Hobley, you use lasers in place of the strings. Though not the first home-built laser harp, Hobley's creation is unquestionably the coolest. Played by disrupting the laser beams with his hands, it can produce just about any sound. Better yet, it's also a fully functioning controller for a version of Guitar Hero.
Check out the cutting-edge features that might just make tomorrow’s stadiums worth the outrageous price of admission with our animated fly through
By Patrick J. SauerPosted 07.16.2008 at 11:24 am 6 Comments
We combined the best design and technology features from a dozen cutting-edge stadium plans to create the ultimate Stadium of the Future, seen on these pages.
Now that fans can enjoy high-def sports action from their living rooms, stadium owners need to offer more to potential patrons than $8 beer. What can you expect from the stadium of the future? Comfortable seats close to the action, interactive screens that provide real-time game stats, sustainable design, and architecture that directs the roar of the home crowd onto the field.
With a DIY audio streamer, you can send your favorite tunes wirelessly from your computer to other rooms
By Dave ProchnowPosted 07.14.2008 at 11:45 am 18 Comments
Here’s the scenario: You have a thousand MP3 music files sitting on your home computer—which is great when you’re actually sitting at your computer but a lot less useful when you’re in the kitchen or living room. What you need is a dedicated device in another room that can pull songs wirelessly from your PC’s music library and play them through its own speakers. Several off-the-shelf products can handle this task, such as Logitech’s Squeezebox; unfortunately, they start at around $300.
A physicist in Congress weighs in on electronic voting, missile defense and why politicians tend to ignore science
By Gregory MonePosted 07.11.2008 at 1:20 pm 10 Comments
Representative Rush Holt of New Jersey has served in Congress for a decade, but he’s not your average politico. The physicist is a five-time Jeopardy champion, an inventor of a solar collector, an arms-control expert and a former assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. He likes to pop into science conferences so that he can drop terms like “impedance matching” and not catch weird stares.
By Harry SawyersPosted 07.11.2008 at 12:23 pm 2 Comments
It’s hard to tell if you've sanded a board smooth when you can't feel your fingers. That’s the dilemma with random-orbit sanders, which work the wood's surface using a round pad that not only spins but also slides from side to side randomly in all directions—in effect orbiting the center of the device. That shaking motion is great for removing material without gouging the wood. Unfortunately, it also rattles your hands, causing numbness and even lasting nerve and circulatory damage.
Scientists design a microwave device to halt invasive aquatic critters
By Corey BinnsPosted 07.11.2008 at 11:28 am 5 Comments
Transoceanic freighters haul 80 percent of the world's commercial goods. But those boats inadvertently carry destructive cargo as well. An empty ship can suck up more than 10 million gallons of water to stay balanced as it crosses the open ocean. Upon its arrival into another port, the crew pumps the ballast water and any small animals or plants living in that water—sometimes thousands of organisms per gallon—into foreign harbors, where they invade and damage local ecosystems.