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Genius and Technology

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Genius and Technology

Human ingenuity:

Appliances, machines, gadgets, apps, widgets and gizmos. They shape our lives and most of us couldn't survive without them.

Location: #science
Members: 25
Latest Activity: Dec 12, 2016

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Comment by doone on June 30, 2013 at 6:02pm

Ancient Roman Concrete: The Building Material of the Future?

June 27, 2013 at 9:45:00 AM by Tim Layton | 4 Comments
 

Image: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 

It only took us two millennia to figure out how the Ancient Romans made such amazingly durable concrete. Scientists at the Berkeley National Lab and a team of researchers from around the world have discovered the unique recipe used to construct Roman cities and landmarks—a surprising number of which still stand after 2000 years of use. 

Compare that with modern concrete, which is engineered to maintain its design strength for anywhere from 50 to 100 years, and you can see the value of the Roman recipe. The two most surprising ingredients: Volcanic ash and seawater. 

In addition to longevity, the Roman recipe is reported to be a much greener material, requiring substantially less energy in the manufacturing process. Making Portland cement—which makes modern concrete stick together—produces an enormous amount of CO2. It turns out that the Romans would've baked their ingredients at much lower temperatures, reducing the amount of fuel burned to make concrete. 

If you're as intrigued by this new development as I was, here's plenty more

Tim Layton is a home and DIY blogger for Popular Mechanics. Follow him on Twitter: @RemodelingGuy



Read more: Ancient Roman Concrete: The Building Material of the Future? - Popu... 
Follow us: @PopMech on Twitter | popularmechanics on Facebook 
Visit us at PopularMechanics.com

Comment by doone on June 21, 2013 at 7:22pm
Comment by Neal on June 21, 2013 at 10:14am

Here come the Cylons. =)

Comment by doone on June 21, 2013 at 8:18am

ROBOT EVOLUTION

Quadrupedal-robot

Emily Monosson in Aeon:

In a laboratory tucked away in a corner of the Cornell University campus, Hod Lipson’s robots are evolving. He has already produced a self-aware robot that is able to gather information about itself as it learns to walk. Like a Toy Story character, it sits in a cubby surrounded by other former laboratory stars. There’s a set of modular cubes, looking like a cross between children’s blocks and the model cartilage one might see at the orthopaedist’s – this particular contraption enjoyed the spotlight in 2005 as one of the world’s first self-replicating robots. And there are cubbies full of odd-shaped plastic sculptures, including some chess pieces that are products of the lab’s 3D printer.

In 2006, Lipson’s Creative Machines Lab pioneered the Fab@home, a low-cost build-your-own 3D printer, available to anyone with internet access. For around $2,500 and some tech know-how, you could make a desktop machine and begin printing three-dimensional objects: an iPod case made of silicon, flowers from icing, a dolls’ house out of spray-cheese. Within a year, the Fab@home site had received 17 million hits and won a 2007 Breakthrough of the Year award fromPopular Mechanics. But really, the printer was just a side project: it was a way to fabricate all the bits necessary for robotic self-replication. The robots and the 3D printer-pieces populating the cubbies are like fossils tracing the evolutionary history of a new kind of organism. ‘I want to evolve something that is life,’ Lipson told me, ‘out of plastic and wires and inanimate materials.’

Posted by Robin Varghese at 02:29 AM | Permalink |

Comment by Michel on June 15, 2013 at 10:39am
Comment by Neal on June 15, 2013 at 10:34am

I missed all these doone, fantastic.

Comment by doone on May 12, 2013 at 12:02pm

Artist: Mehdi Ghadyanloo
Location: Tehran, Iran

Source: behance.net
Comment by doone on May 3, 2013 at 9:01pm
Comment by doone on May 2, 2013 at 6:50pm

Popular Mechanics, 1949.

Comment by doone on May 2, 2013 at 6:50pm

Thomas Edison, 1889. The lightbulb inventor insisted his own direct current (DC) system was superior to competitor George Westinghouse's AC power, and took every opportunity to discredit alternating current.

Image by Hulton Archive / Getty Images
 
 
 

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