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Showing posts from October, 2015

Hummingbirds : Now a model for micropumps too!

For many years now, scientists have been studying the hummingbird for its flying abilities. Their acrobatic flight is a great model for aeronautical engineers to develop air-crafts for the the future. While everybody concentrated on the wing action, dynamics of the air flow below and over them and the structural differences between humming birds and other fliers to figure out what makes these birds such special fliers, there was something that we had wrongly presumed many years ago, waiting to be discovered about these wonderful birds. 
Since the year 1833, we have been assuming that humming birds feed themselves using capillary action. This means, that bird dips its beak into the flower nectar and waits for nectar to slow rise along its longish beak, much like what happens when you sip a cola with a straw, except that you are actually using your mouth to sip in the cola but the humming bird simply waits for the nectar to reach its mouth. 
There are two issues with this theory. One Scie…

Buying plants online is not a good idea. Here's why?

Can you recollect the episode from The Simpsons where Bart takes a bull frog to Australia and unconsciously ends up introducing an entirely new species in the ecology. Bart's innocent act invited the anger of the island nation but ended in Bart mooning the Australians that had gathered around the American embassy and the Simpson family needing a bail out to save their lives. If you remember further, the episode ended with a koala piggying back a ride on the helicopter that was taking the Simpson's home but like most Simpson's episodes the end is not followed through (what happens next is left to the imagination of the viewers and also quickly forgotten before the next episode airs). What deserves special mention is that this episode aired in 1995 managed to highlight the major issue that is facing the connected world today, the loss of native habitats.
As we move towards a society that is well connected and where movement of people and goods occurs seamlessly, we are also f…

An Elevator that's 20 kilometres high

The Burj Khalifa is the currently the world's tallest building at 829.8 metres and has the world's third fastest elevator. You might have seen a few YouTube videos that showcase how the elevator travels from ground to Floor 124 in just under a minute and many think that its an amazing feat. But, did you know that the Burk Khalifa elevator travels at modest pace of 10m/s whereas the elevator at the CTC Finance Centre doubles this speed with quite an ease. Check this nice graphic from the Financial Times which takes you through the transit times in the elevators in the high rise buildings
But today, we will not be talking about how fast can elevators go. Instead, we are going to look at how tall an elevator can we build? Going back to the graphic from the Financial Times, we know that tallest elevator shaft award will go to the Burj Khalifa for its public/ high speed elevator travels just under 600 metres, if you count from the Ground Floor. So, to break this record, one woul…