This week, light and movement play a big role in our line up. Check out the underground trampolines (above), 3-D light projections on famous monuments and solar-powered lamps helping people living in poverty. To catch some air, go underground. At Bounce Below in Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, a network of trampolines and slides mounted safely (we hope) to the walls of an old slate mine allow visitors to climb, bounce and slide 20 feet to 180 feet off the ground. A light show enhances the experience. Get your ticketshere
Apparently supersonic passenger flight didn't die with the Concorde. NASA is working on new technologies that could come to market in 15 years. To reduce sonic boom, the jets will have a needle-like nose, a streamlined fuselage and a delta wing. NASA engineers are testing designs that can travel at various speeds from subsonic to supersonic to Mach 1.8. At Mach 1.8, a jet flies 1,370 miles per hour and could travel between New York and Tokyo in about five hours.
Naziha Mestaoui, Electronic Shadow
As a way to celebrate and promote the United Nations climate conference in Paris next year, artist Naziha Mestaoui has been commissioned to do a light show. Forests of Light will project images of trees onto famous buildings and monuments. An augmented view of the light show -- that one gets via a smartphone -- produces images that grow and change according to the user's heartbeat. Above, trees are projected on Rome's Coliseum. To see other projections, visit theElectronic Shadow website
Los Angeles, Calif.-based architect and designer Michael Jantzen has proposed a public building where great minds could gather to discuss global warming. The Global Climate Change Pavilion would be constructed from air-scrubbing photocatalytic concrete, get its power from the sun and have a rainwater collection system. Inside, interactive exhibits would explore the relationship between the earth and its rapidly warming climate.
Dr. Hakan Gürsu, Designnobis
In many parts of the world, millions of impoverished people living off the grid rely on kerosene to light their homes. The gas is expensive, toxic and explosive. The solar-powered Infinite Light from Hakan Gürsu of Designnobis could provide a better solution. Batteries encased in a PET bottle are charged by a flexible solar panel wrapped around the exterior. A wire handle makes the lamp easy to hang or carry.
Michal Pospiech, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts
Air quality is poor is some of the most populated cities in the world -- and it's only getting worse. Until it gets better, student designer Michal Pospiech of Poland’s Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts offers the UrbanCone, a drone that follows an individual around to filter the surrounding air. The concept is a 2014 Electrolux design submission, and has made it to the second stage.
From the same man who brought us theSky Whale
concept plane, comes the energy efficient GigaBay cargo plane. Oscar Viñals version for cargo transport emits much less pollution and noise than current air carriers thanks to four hybrid turbo-electric propulsion engines and two more additional all-electric engines. Active wings reduce drag. Viñals sees the plane as more than just a package delivery system too. The plane could morph into a mobile hospital or even be converted into a space launcher with an electro-magnetic catapult system.
Frank Gehry Studio
The new building for the headquarters of the Louis Vuitton Foundation was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry and is scheduled to open Oct. 27. The exterior seems to have been made of billowing sails of glass and give the structure an airy, cloud-like feel. The building will house a charitable arts program as well as 11 exhibition galleries devoted to contemporary art.
Speaking of billowing sails, the Kaira ice sailboat actually has sails that power the three-skated vehicle up to speeds of 100 miles per hour.
Ecos PowerCube, developed by Stuart, Fla.-based Ecoshpere Technologies, is a self-sustaining solar-power system housed in standard shipping containers. The panels generate up to 15 kW of electricity and the containers have other technology meant to clean water and emit Wi-Fi signals. Military personnel, emergency responders could put these structures to good use.
In 1872, French artist Claude Monet painted an image of the harbor outside his window in the city of Le Havre and — on a whim — titled it Impression, Sunrise. That single painting would give rise to an entire movement called Impressionism.
Fast forward 142 years, and Monet’s image has been scaled down to 300 micrometers in what’s being called the world’s smallest recreated masterpiece. It’s pretty small, all right — about the size of a single pixel on a standard 17-inch computer monitor.
Scientists at the Singapore University of Technology and Design managed the feat by way of aluminum nanostructures that generate a full spectrum of color when struck by light.
Rather than applying paint to a surface, the technicians replicated the image by using the structures to scatter light on a microscopic scale, producing a palette of around 300 distinct colors.
According to the study abstract, published by the journal Nano Letters: “Our work expands the visible color space through spatially mixing and adjusting the nanoscale spacing of discrete nanostructures.”
I trust that all makes sense, but my nanotech files are just a mess. In any case, the technology isn’t just pretty — the research team hopes the technique will have practical applications in information storage, security tagging and cryptography.
Photo: Nano Letters