Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Worst Places To Seek Refuge During The Zombie Apocalypse

Posted: 10/21/2014 8:26 pm EDT
If and when the zombie apocalypse is nigh, we will all have to make one monumental decision: Where to seek refuge?

Steer clear of the 25 cities on the map below, produced by real-estate website Trulia. Unless you’re a zombie, in which case, live it up! (Oh wait, you can’t.)


When the undead rise up, hitting the beach in zombie-free bliss will not be an option. Honolulu is ranked as the most appetizing city for hungry zombies.

Residents of Honolulu will make easy targets for the walking dead, what with the city’s high walkability and lack of hardware stores (where there are potential zombie-killing weapons). Honolulu also has a high hospital density, making it easy for zombies to find weak victims, and it is extremely congested, with some of the worst traffic in the nation.

New York is number two on the list, followed by Newark, Boston, and Washington D.C.

Trulia calculated the survivability of the cities using the following criteria: highest walk score, lowest hardware store density, highest hospital density, and most congestion.

So where should we find refuge? We might take a page from the book of “The Walking Dead’s” Rick Grimes and build a fortress in Atlanta — it doesn’t even appear on the map.

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Old Video Screens Predicted Facebook Response to SCOTUS Ruling…

I knew that the rainbow lens used on so many Facebook profiles following the SCOTUS ruling reminded me of something…  Now only the very old will get this – because you had to grow up in an era when you went to an arcade to play video games and you had to put in quarters.

The screens on those video machines were cathode ray tubes that illuminated pixels with electron beams generated by an electro-magnet.  This caused a Gauss problem due to the lines of flux.  Not to get too technical, but the imbalance of magnetic waves messed up the screen and made it swirly and look like a rainbow.  You had to fix the screens by using a circular magnet known as a De-Gausser.

Coincidence?  Or were early gaming companies using Nostradamus like screens?

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Ten photos of 3D printed bridges, buildings and other supersized structures

By , June 22, 2015, 6:20 AM PST // @nickjheath

If you thought 3D printers were only good for building tiny plastic toys then you’re mostly right, especially when it comes to desktop models.

However, there are people using the technology to realize grander designs, to create bridges and even buildings. Here are 10 projects promising to make 3D printing bigger and better.



A Dutch start-up, MX3D, plans to use robotic arms to weld layer upon layer of molten steel together into a steel bridge across a canal in Amsterdam. MX3D hopes to begin work on building the bridge, using the process seen in an artist’s impression above, in September.

Image: MX3D



This five-storey building was built using a 150-meter long 3D printer, using “ink” made from recycled construction waste. When it was built earlier this year, the structure in Suzhou Industrial Park, Shanghai, China, was claimed to be the “world’s tallest 3D-printed building”.

Image: WinSun Decoration Design Engineering



This concept for a 3D-printed lunar base was devised by the European Space Agency with architects Foster+Partners. Their vision is for two robot 3D printers to mix lunar soil with other materials and layer it over an inflatable dome to form a protective shell over a moonbase, which could house four people.

Image: ESA



The Strati is an electric car with a 3D printed body and chassis made of just 40 parts, compared to more than 20,000 in a typical vehicle. The vehicle is built from a single block of ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fiber and takes 44 hours to print. Manufacturer, Arizona-based Local Motors, says the car, due for release in 2016, will have a top speed of 50mph and range of about 62 miles.

Image: Local Motors



This nine-feet high pavillion measures 12 by 12 feet across and is made up of 840 3D-printed bricks. The structure was made by researchers at UC Berkeley, who developed a new type of iron oxide-free Portland cement polymer formulation, which allowed for faster and lower cost construction than alternate materials for 3D-printing structures.

Image: UC Berkeley



Even though it’s described as a house, this is at best a 3D-printed room, and a rather cosy one at that. The pod, created by students in the US and England, packs a toilet, kitchenette, and furniture into a compact structure. It took 60 hours for the voxeljet VX4000 printer to make and cost about €60,000.

Image: voxeljet



This plane is full of 3D printed parts. This Airbus A350 XWB plane has more than 1,000 flight components made using high-end additive manufacturing 3D printers. The A350 XWB is Airbus’ extra wide body plane that seats about 315 passengers and has a range of 7,750 nautical miles. The parts were made out of ULTEM 9085 resin using an FDM 3D Production Systems machine.

Image: Airbus



Satellite company Rocket Lab says its Rutherford rocket engine is the first of its type to use 3D printing for its primary components. All its parts – the regeneratively cooled thrust chamber, the injector, the pumps and the main propellant valves – can be printed from titanium alloys within about three days using a 3D printing technique called electron beam melting. Traditionally manufacturing the parts would take months, according to Rocket Lab.

Image: Rocket Lab


Sizable sculptures

Resembling a Minecraft creation made real, this 3D-printed head by artist Miguel Chevalier depicts the Roman God Janus, who legend claimed could gaze into the past and the future at the same time. Printed in 40 hours as a single block using a voxeljet VX4000 printer, it weighs 120kg and measures 1000 x 1000 x 820 mm.

Image: voxeljet


Building bots

The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia claim their Minibuilder robots can construct large structures of many different proportions. The bots use robotic arms, rollers and vacuum suction cups to build layer by layer, as seen above.

Image: Institute for Advanced Architecture

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.


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Cute Dog Pictures – Late Edition

Sorry fans for the dirth of posts over the weekend.  My son Alex married an awesome young lady named Suzanna and I was in Sedona, Arizona for the wedding all weekend.  Today, I was busy with my day job so I apologize for missing some posts, but I had good reasons.  I will try to find some particularly interesting things to post this week to make up for it.  Enjoy!

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Random Humor for the Start of Your Weekend

Some random humor…

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Cute Dogs for Your Monday Blues

Cute dogs to start off the week with a smile…


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Cosplay Pictures

Sorry for the late post.  I found some more PCC 2015 pictures and mingled those with some others.  Enjoy!

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The Rivet: A Steampunk Trike Built For A Captain


William Shatner, a lifelong motorcycle rider, has partnered with Illinois-based custom bike shop American Wrench to create a steampunk trike called the Rivet by Iron Bill.

rivet image 2 IIHIH

The partnership between American Wrench owner Kevin Sirotek and the Captain of the Starship Enterprise came about when a staffer from American Wrench was waiting in line for an autograph from Shatner and suggested the idea of building him a motorcycle.

william and kevin
above: William “Iron Bill” Shatner and Kevin Sirotek of American Wrench

The RIVET, which the designers refer to as a “Landjet,” was designed from the ground up as a 3 wheeled vehicle, with an exposed cockpit and command center. Although the renderings imply that it’s a single seater, the finished product will actually seat two. Each vehicle will have riveted aluminum body panels that are hand-molded, giving it a steampunk machined look and feel.

rivet image 1 IIHIH

The 2,500-pound vehicle is outfitted with a V8 and is said to produce around 500 hp, though the company hasn’t revealed what systems will be keeping it in check.

rivet image 3 IIHIH

Sirotek likes to describe Rivet as having a drive train similar to that found on a modern Corvette. “With its powerful V-8 engine mated to a high-performance transmission and rear end with independent suspension and big disc brakes, its setup is much like what you would find on a high-end American sports car like the Corvette. There are several things that set this design apart, but the obvious one is the front wheel and steering setup. Rather than using a set of traditional motorcycle forks on the front end, we opted to use an independent swing-arm solution. By doing this, it enabled us to give the vehicle a very unique, organic design feel.”

rivet image 4 IIHIH

The single-sided front-end suspension on the Rivet will give the perception that the wheel is floating out in front on one side. A lot of trikes have straight axles in the back, but the Rivet will have an independent rear suspension, like the Boss Hoss. While the first Rivet will be made for Shatner, more will be made for those interested in purchasing one of the handmade rides.

The design inspiration for RIVET is pulled from the timeless designs of the machines that helped win WWII, with particular attention to one of the most feared airplanes in American history, the B-17 Bomber.

Early concept sketches:
rivet early-concept-sketches IIHIH
rivet early-concept-sketches2 IIHIH
rivet image 5 IIHIH

William Shatner and American Wrench Drive The Rivet Cross Country

rivet ride header IIHIH

Beginning June 23rd, Shatner will be piloting the vehicle from Chicago to LA following the historic Route 66 in a trip scheduled to last eight days. Shatner will be joined on the 2,400-mile ride by members of the American Legion and American Wrench crew with stops in several major cities to promote the work of the American Legion.

RIVET’s intent is not only to draw attention to the pilot or the vehicle itself, but to the art and craft of hand built machines, done in the spirit of keeping America’s “routes” alive.

The final cost of each machine hasn’t been determined yet. The company also plans to make a lighter version – and quite possibly an electric version- at a more affordable price.

You can be one of the first to own one and secure your spot on their build list at

What Is Rivet?

images and info courtesy of Rivet Motors, American Wrench, Motor Trend, and Autoweek

– See more at:

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Deep, hidden trench discovered beneath Antarctic glacier


Radar that can penetrate ice helped researchers make this 3D map of the bedrock beneath the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland. (Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets)

Ice-penetrating radar has uncovered a previously unknown ice-covered trench, and other detailed terrain, in the bedrock hidden beneath two massive, bluish glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.

The gaping features were revealed in the first, highly detailed 3D maps of the frozen bedrock the land under Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier and Antarctica’s Byrd Glacier which may help researchers predict how glaciers, ice sheets and sea levels may change in the future.

“Without bed topography, you cannot build a decent ice-sheet model,” lead researcher Prasad Gogineni, director of the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) at the University of Kansas, said in a statement.

For the study, the CReSIS team analyzed survey data, collected from 2006 to 2011, with a NASA device called a multichannel coherent radar depth sounder/imager (MCoRDS/I) that can send radar through ice to map the ground beneath. [See Stunning Photos of Antarctica’s Ice]

Researchers operate MCoRDS/I by sending radar waves down to the glaciers. The radar signals not only reflect off the ice’s surface, but they also bounce off layers within the ice sheet and the bedrock below. Taken together, these signals give researches access to a 3D view of the terrain.

However, even MCoRDS/I faces challenges when mapping bedrock. Warm ice and rough surfaces can weaken and scatter radar waves, the researchers said. To help overcome this challenge, the researchers used a sensitive radar tool that has a large antenna array, and relied on cutting edge signal- and image-processing techniques to remove interference and create a bedrock map.

“We showed that we have the technology to map beds,” Gogineni said.

After analyzing the data in a computer program, the researchers were able to create comprehensive, 3D maps of the terrain under the Jakobshavn and Byrd glaciers.

Interestingly, glaciologists have wanted a detailed map of Jakobshavn Glacier for years. It’s the world’s fastest moving glacier, and it drains about 7.5 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the researchers said.

Byrd Glacier, which also moves faster than average, was previously mapped in the 1970s. Yet, beneath the glacier, the researchers recorded a trench about 1.9 miles below sea level that the old mappers had missed. With the new maps and knowledge of the trench, the researchers revised depth measurements of the bedrock, finding the old depth measurements were off by about a half-mile in some areas.

Future technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), may help create even more detailed maps of bedrock beneath glaciers, the researchers said.

“Improving ice-sheet models means we need even finer resolution,” Gogineni said. “To do this, we need lines flown much closer together, which small UAVs would be well-suited for.”

The study was published in the September issue of the Journal of Glaciology.

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Cute Dog Pics at the Start of the Week

Cute dogs to cheer you up!

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