Futuristic Taiwan tower to have floating observatories

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Futuristic Taiwan tower to have floating observatories

Futuristic tower called "Floating Observatories," which resembles a tree trunk with eight floating elevator observatories shaped like leaves, will soon become a major landmark in Taichung, Taiwan's third largest city.

The conceptual design of the tower was made by a team from the companies Dorin Stefan Birou Arhitectura (DSBA), Upgrade.Studio, and Mihai Cracium, and led by DSBA principal architect Stefan Dorin from Romania. The tower design won first prize in the recent Taiwan Tower Conceptual International Competition. Dorin explained the design represented a "technological tree," with elevator observatories shaped like the island of Taiwan, which is leaf-shaped.

The tower, standing over 300 meters high, will include an information center, museum, office tower, conference venue, fixed and floating observation decks, restaurants, and an urban park.

The floating elevator observatories can take up to 80 people and are built from lightweight materials developed by the space industries, and covered by a new generation membrane of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Their design was influenced by science fiction computer games. They move up and down on a vertical track positioned within a strong electromagnetic field and are “self-sustained” by helium balloons. The observatories provide the key exhibit of the museum for the visitors — the city itself — and when nested they are themselves exhibits.

The design’s “green” features include a small footprint, natural ventilation through the “chimney” effect, turbines and solar cells to generate power for the building, a fiber optics dome to light basement areas and museum spaces, and rainwater collection and purification. There is also a geothermal power plant in the basement for heating in winter and for heating water.

The Taiwan Tower will be the tallest building in Taichung, but is much shorter than the tallest building in Taiwan, the Taipei 101 skyscraper. The design was chosen from 237 entrants from 25 countries and gives Dorin a prize of around $130,000 as well as the chance to have the tower built to his design. Building of the tower on the one hectare site within sight of the Taiwan Strait is expected to begin in 2012 and take two years to complete. The competition was held to celebrate the centenary of the founding of Taiwan and to commemorate the merger of Taichung County and Taichung City. The government of Taiwan will fund the building.

The World’s First Ferrari Theme Park

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The World’s First Ferrari Theme Park – Featuring a Heart Pounding 240 km/h Roller Coaster

You would be forgiven for thinking that this is a space ship of some kind when viewing it from the top. It certainly looks like one. It’s probably the most futuristic building (if one could call it that) that I have ever seen.

However, upon closer inspection even from the air, you would notice an all too familiar logo on the structure’s roof. Yep, that is none other than the Ferrari logo. So have Ferrari now jumped on the band-wagon and joined the space race afterall? Actually, no, this is not the case.

What they have done however, is build what is apparently the world’s very first Ferrari Theme park. Yes, Abu Dhabi in the Middle East is now the home of the world’s first and most elaborate Ferrari Theme park. And, considering the amount of money that has been poured into the oil rich nations of the middle east over the past decade in an effort to establish tourist destinations for when the oil eventually dries up, this theme park is certainly one of a kind in the world.

The figures are quite impressive – the park covers an area roughly the size of 7 football stadiums. Yes,seven football stadiums. And if the structure is not impressive enough from the outside, tucked underneath the roof is the world’s fastest roller coaster. (We could not have expected anything less now, could we? This is afterall Ferrari we’re talking about.)

The roller coaster, called Formula Rossa, is a heart pounding, 150 mph (240 Km/h) adrenalin rush, designed to exert the same G-force a real Formula 1 driver would experience during a race. The park does however also cater for kids.
The park has over 20 different attractions, and also caters for kids.

Here are just some of the park’s features:
The G-Force allows you to strap yourself in and be launched over 60 meters into the sky, this designed to give you a sense of what the G-force of an accelerating F1 racecar feels like.

The V12 ride gives you a glimpse into the heart of a V12 Ferrari 599 engine. You literally move through the engine with this ride, to see what goes on in the heart of the V12 engine.

The Scuderia-challenge is designed to simulate driving conditions of a F1 race car, giving you all the thrills of actually racing, by putting you in control.

The park was officially opened just a few days ago, ready for Decemember 2010, during an inauguration ceremony where HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was present.

“The ambitious development projects in progress in Abu Dhabi will help position the Emirate prominently on the global map as a sought after tourist destination. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is a quality addition to our tourism industry which is one of the pillars of our national economy,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

The park naturally also features the ultimate display of Ferrari cars all the way from 1947 to the present day, and the ceremony attracted 2000 VIP guests.

All Images by PR-Nord Neue Kommunikation

Androids in space? Google launches phones into orbit

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Androids in space? Google launches phones into orbit

Androids in space! Google launched seven Nexus S smart-phones into orbit, using air balloons.

Google's new Nexus S smartphone has launched.

To celebrate the release of the Nexus S, Google employees constructed seven hobbyist-style air balloons, each containing a phone, and sent them into orbit.

In a company blog post chronicling the nerdy stunt, Google's Zi Wang wrote that the project was intended to help test some of the hardware sensors in the phone. But that could just be a front to convince their bosses they weren't goofing off.

Or it could be related to a project Wang mentioned in an interview with New Scientist last week. Google is in talks with a UK satellite manufacturer about contributing the core technology in the Nexus S to help build small satellites, according to that report.

"The phone is powerful enough," Wang told the science publication.

Google says it recovered all seven capsules from the test run. At least one of those reached higher than 100,000 feet (more than 20 miles).

The phones stopped functioning at 60,000 feet -- about twice as high as most planes fly. Not bad for being in space without a helmet.

Google says the phones started working again on descent.

The company posted several videos about the project on YouTube.

Green Concept Car

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Green Concept Car: Green Apple by Julien Sarremejean

Automobile industry has taken plenty of slack over the decades about how it has been spewing tons of pollutants into the atmosphere causing air quality to gone down to deplorable levels. For that reason most of the manufacturers embraced the ‘green way’. And designers started drawing so here’s an amazing concept car, dubbed Green Apple.

Designed by Julien Sarremejean and unveiled at the Local Motors competition it’s a NYC-centric car, that features an accessible battery pack, an air intake system that can revolutionize the way we drive cars today and a space-conscious design that makes it perfect for big city life. Unlike traditional air intake systems this one sucks air in and twirl a set of small windmills that purify air.

Green Apple is a new concept that could change the whole perception of a zero-emissions car. If you can purify the same amount of air that comes out of the exhausts, then it relatively means you are causing no pollution at all. If ever built, such a futuristic idea (both tech and design) is a sure hit, so there shouldn’t be any reasons why it cannot be the blueprint for future eco-friendly vehicles. No?

Urban Agriculture for a Subtropical

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Urban Agriculture for a Subtropical

Community Work Days!!

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It is a sad thing to notice the last posting we managed to get on our website was the spring move, and here we are looking at the Fall move... sigh.. How does summer get away from us so easily??

Growing Lots is on the move once more... ! Ironically enough we are moving back down the block to the site we came from earlier this year... yep, we are indeed feeling a bit like yo-yo's. However, the move was necessary, and now we will have an expanded site available, a building with electricity (we know! watch out here we come :) , and at least a 3-4 years of stability. wheeew!

Growing Lots will be holding 2 work days for friends, family and community members to come help move the farm. We will have lots of jobs, and many hands make fun work, yes? Drop us an email (growinglots@gmail.com) for more information!!

Saturday, September 17th 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday, September 24th 10 am - 4 pm

Task List:

  • Cleaning new site
  • Leveling Soil
  • Trimming brush
  • disassembling chicken coop, moving and reassembling
  • move shelving
  • disassembling potato towers and moving fencing
  • laying down plastic at new site
  • spreading out delivered soil into new beds
  • building compost bins
  • moving soil/compost from current site to new site
  • laying down straw/wood chips
  • planting cover crops
What to bring:
  • shovels
  • gloves
  • wheelbarrows
  • heavy bristled push broom
  • water bottle