An iron crowbar costs about $8; one made of titanium, $80. Solid-titanium scissors start at $700, and don't even ask about the titanium socket wrench. Titanium must be a rare and precious substance, right?
Actually, as raw ore, titanium is 100 times as abundant as copper. Nearly all white paint is white because of the titanium dioxide found in the ore. Something like four million tons a year go into paint, sunscreen, toothpaste, even paper.
Those maps on GPS devices and Google don’t just appear. Here’s how a fleet of minivans is working to digitize every road, building and sign in the world
By Doug CantorPosted 12.18.2008 at 10:23 am 3 Comments
The Netherlands-based Tele Atlas is one of two companies that build and update street maps to feed to GPS-device makers and Web sites such as Google Maps. Its raw data: photographs captured by more than 300 drivers, who collectively covered 350,000 miles last year.
By Michael BeharPosted 12.16.2008 at 9:55 am 9 Comments
Zero to 60 mph in about nine seconds may sound sluggish, but it's a breakthrough for a zero-emissions, all-electric car that can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge and hit speeds of 85 mph. That's the claim of the i MiEV (for "Mitsubishi Innovative motor Electric Vehicle"), a new plug-in four-door coupe. The i MiEV runs on a pack of 22 lithium-ion batteries, but unlike other electric cars, including the Chevy Volt and Tesla Roadster, the i MiEV doesn't require a liquid cooling system to avoid overheating.
Popular Science talks to dot-com billionaire Elon Musk about why he's banking on American-made electric cars
By Arnie CooperPosted 12.15.2008 at 10:21 am 9 Comments
If there's a gene for entrepreneurship, Elon Musk has it. From his first project at age 12 creating and selling a videogame called Blastar for $500, to his $1-billion-plus sale of PayPal to eBay in 2002, the 37-year-old South African is every bit the born mogul. These days he's chairman of Solar City, the largest residential solar-power provider in California. He's also the founder and CEO of Space X, a space-exploration company that made headlines last September when it launched the first privately developed rocket into orbit. But lately it's Musk's newly minted role as CEO of the San Carlos, California-based start-up Tesla Motors that is drawing the most attention.
To create this image, which won the popular vote in the 2008 Nikon Small World contest, 22-year-old Tomás Pais de Azevedo, a graduate student in evolutionary and developmental biology at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, removed an eight-day-old, two-inch-long chicken embryo from its egg and stained it with a dye that binds to cartilage. The process took three days, after which he photographed the embryo through a stereo microscope. The dark-blue areas of the chick indicate where the cartilage will ultimately solidify into bone.