Today in truly odd jobs: China is apparently hiring “human sniffers” to act as living, breathing sensors to detect potentially unhealthy gases around waste and sewage treatment plants. In fact, Beijing has been doing this for years. China’s rapid urbanization in recent decades has resulted in the construction of many new treatment facilities for waste and sewage that can emit unhealthy and offensive vapors into the air, and the state has dealt with this via a small army of human smell detectors.
You may not have heard about it during your local traffic report this weekend, but anyone negotiating the Beijing-Tibet expressway in recent days is painfully aware of the problem: a 62-mile jam that slowed traffic to a crawl between the Chinese capital and Jining city. But while such huge traffic jams aren't unheard of, China’s traffic woes are unique in their duration – the current traffic snarl (it’s still ongoing) has been unfolding since August 14, making for nine days of gridlock.
Public transit in a metropolitan area is all about balance; if there aren't enough public transit options, too many people choose to drive, clogging roadways and adding to pollution. But trains are expensive (and, if above-ground, contributors to traffic) and adding more buses to the road can magnify traffic woes further.
No one loves that trash smell in the morning, and certainly not Beijing residents who have complained about a landfill at the city's edge. Chinese officials will respond to the Asuwei dump crisis by installing 100 deodorant guns that can literally cover up the problem temporarily with the sweeter smell of fragrance, The Guardian reports.
Our own Theodore Gray (the man behind Gray Matter's mad science) is currently in China, and he's taken the opportunity to put his new Casio EX-F1 high-speed camera to excellent use at the Beijing Zoo. And when we say excellent we mean the majestic hawk at the Beijing zoo defecating and flapping its wings at 300 frames per second kind of excellent. And if that's not enough, he's got a dolphin leaping from beneath the water and a sparrow taking flight to boot.
PopSci takes a look inside Beijing's Olympic architectural marvel
By Brett ZardaPosted 04.18.2008 at 3:18 pm 1 Comment
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After a landslide of negative news about the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, the hosts finally got a breath of (sort of) fresh air this week by opening the doors to the much-anticipated Birds Nest stadium. Nicknamed after its unique structure of woven steel, the stadium stands 230 feet tall and will seat 91,000 spectators. At a cost of nearly $500 million, the stadium, which went under construction in December of 2003, was completed just 14 weeks behind schedule thanks to a largely migrant force of nearly 7,000 workers.
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Even we didnt guess it would be this good. When I wrote last month about Speedos latest swimsuit—an extremely high-tech full-body wonder—three world records had already been broken by LZR-clad swimmers. Coincidence? Maybe. But, after eight more records fell in the past month, the suit is causing some serious waves.
A top-of-the-line motion tracking technology may give British swimmers an edge come summer
By Brett ZardaPosted 03.04.2008 at 12:13 pm 0 Comments
British swimmers are known for their good form, and theyll enhance that reputation this summer as they train for the Beijing Olympics using novel motion tracking technology. Research funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in collaboration with UK Sport, will use water-resistant markers drawn on the swimmers bodies to provide real-time feedback to coaches and athletes. Unlike the spherical markers used in other motion tracking, the Brits markers are painted on to eliminate any effect they might have on drag.