By Caitlin KearneyPosted 04.19.2011 at 10:13 am 81 Comments
In a roundabout way, yes. But first we must heat that atmosphere, since the surface of Mars is about –58°F. “We know how to warm planets; we’re doing it right now,” says Robert Zubrin, the president of the nonprofit Mars Society, a group devoted to Martian exploration.
Pearl, my beloved labradoodle, dutifully watched me build myself a new house for the past three years. So when I was almost finished, I decided to build her a place of her own. A standard model just wouldn't do, though, so I went a little overboard. After creating the design with CAD software, I added a solar hot-water radiant-heating system and made a green roof that retains rainwater, creates oxygen, and improves insulation.
By Mark AndersPosted 04.18.2011 at 10:05 am 22 Comments
Surfers want to ride waves, not tire out while paddling to them. That’s where the WaveJet comes in. Two battery-powered jets tucked into the shortboard’s three-inch shell provide 20 pounds of thrust to propel riders at 12 mph—three times the average paddling speed.
By Mark JannotPosted 04.15.2011 at 3:14 pm 3 Comments
Two years ago, I sat with roughly 1,500 fellow attendees of the annual TED Conference and listened as one of the world's greatest explorers explained why we must stop plundering the oceans and start protecting them—immediately. "Business as usual means that in 50 years, there may be no coral reefs and no commercial fishing, because the fish will simply be gone," the explorer said. "Imagine the ocean without fish. Imagine what that means to our life-support system."
The remote control for these fun devices isn't under the couch
By Caitlin KearneyPosted 04.12.2011 at 2:41 pm 0 Comments
The toy department just got its game on with technology that transforms your smartphone into a remote control. This switch means you'll be able to guide helicopters into smoother swoops and swirls and to play augmented-reality games with friends.
Some 45 million Americans have a ready-made, near-universal remote control in their pockets. We already use smartphones to turn up home stereos, scroll through iTunes playlists, and pause Apple TVs. The devices' built-in radios, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, can also control toys.
For 35 years, Gore-Tex has dominated the market for waterproof, breathable fabrics, but this spring it has some competition. Textile maker Polartec has developed its own waterproof, breathable fabric that threatens to trump Gore-Tex's latest. We put both through the wringer to see which stands out.
High speed trains will cross the states in the upcoming decades, but at slower speeds than China's trains
By Katherine BagleyPosted 04.11.2011 at 1:03 pm 0 Comments
Last December, a prototype passenger train traveling between Shanghai and Beijing reached 302 mph, breaking the speed record for unmodified commercial-use high-speed rail. The feat, a culmination of six years of development by CSR Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock, was an example of the revolution quietly transforming rail.
"Cabled observatories" will give scientists a better picture of the unknown
By McKenzie FunkPosted 04.11.2011 at 12:44 pm 0 Comments
All we really know is that we know very little. We don’t know how temperatures are changing in the midwater zone: Satellite sensors penetrate less than seven feet below the surface. We don’t know the terrain: Our charts cover less than 10 percent of the seafloor. And we don’t know what lives there: The scientists who completed the first Census of Marine Life, an international research initiative, last year documented some 190,000 species—but know next to nothing about as many as a million more.
A carbon tax would make companies think harder about using fossil fuels, which spur rising acidity in the seas
By Donovan HohnPosted 04.11.2011 at 11:21 am 0 Comments
In the past two centuries, at a pace unprecedented in the geological record, the chemistry of the oceans has changed. Seawater has become approximately 30 percent more acidic. It won’t burn human flesh (at least not anytime soon), but it has begun to dissolve the shells and exoskeletons of many sea creatures, with potentially disastrous consequences for the entire marine biosystem.