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The Futuristic TF-X Flying Car, Is Sure To Blow Your Mind !

22 jULY 2015

Could cars fly? Massachusetts-based company Terrafugia has proved, time and again, they can. The Terrafugia Transition, a roadable aircraft and the firm’s original flying car model, completed its first public flight back in 2013. While the vehicle is still under development, the company is already in the process of building an improved version of the Transition. A stunning piece of innovation, the TF-X is an incredibly futuristic, vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) electric car. Recently, the developers have unveiled photos of the vehicle’s new, and more advanced, design.

An upgraded version of the Transition, the TF-X boasts a number of improvements, including the ability to take off as well as land vertically. Unlike the former, which requires an actual runway to get airborne, the new model can lift-off from a field, no more than 30.5 meters (around 100 feet) in diameter. Additionally, the four-seat car features two retractable wings, each of which contains a powerful 600-hp electric motor pod affixed to its end. During take off, the wings fold out from the sides, and specially-designed propellers extend from the twin motor pods. When sufficiently airborne, the propellers withdraw to their original position, while a ducted fan provides the necessary thrust to keep the vehicle at a cruising speed of around 200 mph (nearly 322 km/h).

Powered by a 300-hp engine, it can fly up to 500 miles (about 805 km), before it has to be refueled. While on the ground, however, the TF-X drives like a normal car, with the wings folded back into their former position. According to the developers, it is far easier to operate than a helicopter, so much so that the user can learn to fly the vehicle in less than five hours. This is mainly because it offers an automatic flight option, needing only the destination information from the user. In this mode, the TF-X can automatically predict air traffic and restricted airspace, as well as bad weather conditions. What is more, if the technology malfunctions mid-air, the pilot can actuate an emergency parachute system.

The recently-unveiled photos show off a sleeker and more futuristic design. According to Terrafugia’s press release, a prototype, one-tenth the size of the actual TF-X flying car, has already been developed and it currently on display at Wisconsin’s EAA AirVenture. It will soon undergo testing at MIT’s Wright Brothers wind tunnel. The technology, however, is still 8 to 12 years away from being commercial viable.



22 July 2015

A collaborative effort from the United States Army and Boeing’s defense and security division entails a brand new Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) that is capable of emitting a highly focused beam of energy. In other words, it is a big laser cannon with a bad-ass name of High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD). So what exactly are the merits of an advanced photon cannon? Well, according to the engineers, the HEL MD has the capacity to emanate a 10-kilowatt energy laser from the mobile vehicle – which is enough to take out incoming missiles and mortar shells (see video below). Furthermore, the Boeing scientists are in talks to develop an even more potent version that could fire up 50 to 60-kilowatt laser shots that can easily dismantle (or at least disperse) high-range missiles and UAVs.

And quite interestingly, the HEL MD cannon can be operated with the help of the familiar Xbox controller. This is how it works – while one of the men drives the truck (along which the HEL MD is mounted), the other person sits snugly with his laptop and an Xbox controller. This simple connected system is used to lock on to targets, and presumably take it out.

Gold tumbles 4% after 33 tonnes of the metal were traded in China !

22 July 2015

Gold’s 4 per cent slide in a matter of minutes on Monday came after a record 3.3 million lots of the metal, or about 33 tonnes, were traded on a key Shanghai physical contract, as top consumer China appears to be increasingly shunning bullion. The selling came as investors have been finding less and less reason to hold gold as a safe haven, with the dollar strengthening ahead of what is expected to be the first increase in US interest rates for nearly a decade. Spot gold ended a 12-year rally in 2013, after hitting a record high of $1,920 an ounce two years earlier. With the US dollar increasingly gaining favor as a rate hike looms, gold faces still more downside risk. “It looks like the end of an era for gold,” said Howie Lee, analyst at Phillip Securities in Singapore, saying China has been grappling with oversupply after importing a record volume in 2013. China said on Friday its gold reserves were up 57 per cent at the end of June from the last time it adjusted its reserve figures six years ago. Despite the tonnage increase, gold now accounts for 1.65 per cent of China’s total foreign exchange reserves, against 1.8 per cent in June 2009. Spot gold fell to as low as $1,088.05 an ounce – its weakest since March 2010 – shortly after the Shanghai Gold Exchange opened. Gold regained some ground as the selloff subsided, trading above the key $1,100 support level.

Just over 3 million lots were traded on a key contract in Shanghai, compared to less than 27,000 lots on Friday, Reuters data showed. Prior to Monday, the volume for July had averaged less than 30,000 lots.” “We do see a lot of people in China selling gold to get fast cash to go back into the equity market,” said a Singapore-based trader. The Chinese have snubbed gold in favour of equities for the most part of this year, fuelling a rally in stocks before the meltdown earlier this month and the subsequent recovery. Monday marked the sixth straight day of decline for gold, which took a hit last week after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the US central bank is on course to raise rates this year if the US economy expands as expected. But the speed and magnitude of Monday’s fall shocked some traders, many of whom had been used to gold’s lethargic trading this year, despite the Greek debt crisis and China’s stock rout. The Singapore-based trader said stop-loss orders had added to the slump after the Chinese market opened and warned that gold exchange-traded funds were likely to be dumped if the rout persisted. Holdings at SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, dropped more than 11 tonnes to 696.25 tonnes on Friday. That outflow was the largest in a single day since 2014, said Victor Thianpiriya, an analyst at ANZ Bank. “Clearly the market momentum is down. We’ve had a price forecast of $1,100 in the short term, but it looks like the market is certainly trading very much on the weak side and could test levels below $1,100 and stay there for sometime,” Thianpiriya said.

Florida : A leprosy outbreak is being attributed to the armadillos !

22 July 2015

A leprosy outbreak is being attributed to the armadillos. Nine cases of the disease have already been reported so far in 2015. Usually the state only sees twelve in a year. People are being warned to avoid contact with the creatures by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC state that some armadillos are “naturally infected” with leprosy and they are believed to be the only animal able to carry the disease. They also estimate that more than 60 percent of infectious human diseases originate from animals, and this process is the cause of major illnesses including malaria, Ebola, and tuberculosis.

Dr. Sunil Joshi said to news channel WFOX: “What’s happened this year is not necessarily concerning, but what is interesting is those cases involved people who were in direct contact with armadillos.” The first connections between the disease and the mammals were established in a 2011 paper entitled “Problematic Zoonotic Leprosy in the Southern United States.” The CDC reports that the disease is treatable, and advises people to immediately wash their hands if they come into contact with an armadillo. Around the world, as many as 2 million people are permanently disabled as a result of leprosy which causes nerve and skin damage.

Kazakhstan villagers are mysteriously falling asleep !

22 July 2015

Since 2013, a mysterious sleeping sickness has been affecting two isolated villages in northern Kazakhstan. Over the past two years, more than 140 people in Kalachi and Krasnogorsk have fallen asleep suddenly, sometimes while walking or riding their bikes, and occasionally becoming unconscious for up to six days at a time, waking up with memory loss, headaches and grogginess. Others suffered more temporary blackouts, as well as vivid hallucinations.

“The sick person appears to be conscious and can even walk,” the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravdareported in 2014. “But all the same he then falls into a deep sleep and snores, and when they wake him up … the person remembers absolutely nothing.”

No one seemed immune to what doctors diagnosed as “encephalopathy of an unknown origin”, with everyone, including the elderly and school children, suffering from symptoms. Even a villager’s cat was reportedly affected. It sounds like some kind of Body Snatchers-esque horror plot, and in the beginning, the primary suspect for the illness was counterfeit vodka. But when it became more widely spread, many started to suspect that nearby uranium mines – closed after the fall of the Soviet Union – were to blame. They just couldn’t figure out why.

Now scientists think they might have solved the mystery, with the Kazakstani government announcing this week that the sleeping sickness experienced in the villages is effectively a form of carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by large amounts of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons being released into the air by the defunct uranium mines.

“The uranium mines were closed at some point, and at times a concentration of carbon monoxide occurs there,” Deputy Prime Minister Berdibek Saparbaev told the press. “The oxygen in the air is reduced accordingly, which is the real reason for the sleeping sickness in these villages.” The conclusion makes sense, as carbon monoxide binds to human blood 200 times more strongly than oxygen, which means that just a small amount of it is enough to cut off the oxygen to someone’s brain. But not everyone is convinced. “The symptoms fit,” Claude Piantadosi, a lung specialist at Duke University Medical Centre in the US, told Sarah Zhang over at Wired. “But the symptoms are not specific … and that’s the problem.”

Zhang also adds that it seems improbable that closed uranium mines would be releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which is a byproduct of combustion. While the mystery may not be solved just yet, the government is currently in the process of evacuating the remaining residents in the villages to prevent further sickness.

A system that could turn atmospheric CO2 into FUEL !

22 JULY 2015

Scientists in Canada are developing an industrial carbon dioxide recycling plant that could one day suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and convert it into a zero-carbon e-diesel fuel. Developed by tech start-up Carbon Engineering and partly funded by Bill Gates, the system will essentially do the job of trees, but in places unable to host them, such as icy plains and deserts.

Just like these new solar cells that are designed to split water into a hydrogen fuel, the CO2 recycling plant will combine carbon dioxide with hydrogen split from water to form hydrocarbon fuel. The plan is to provide the technology that could one day produce environmentally friendly fuel to complement the renewable energy systems we have now. “How do you power global transportation in 20 years in a way that is carbon neutral?” Geoff Holmes, business development manager at Carbon Engineering, told Marc Gunther at The Guardian. “Cheap solar and wind are great at reducing emissions from the electricity. Then you are left with the transport sector.”

Carbon Engineering is one of a handful of companies around the world that are now set on coming up with ways to suck enough carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to actually put a dent in the effects of climate change. There’s also the New York City-based start-up Global Thermostat, and Swiss-based Climeworks, which demonstrated earlier this year with Audi how its technology can capture carbon dioxide, and deliver it to German company Sunfire, where it was recycled into a zero-carbon diesel fuel. While Climeworks’ demonstration was impressive, what all three companies now need to do is figure out how to make their atmospheric carbon dioxide to fuel systems economically viable. And this won’t be easy. One problem they’re going to have to overcome is the high cost of heating their carbon dioxide to around 400 degrees Celsius so they can process it properly. Another problem is that few investors are interested in giving them money until they can prove that this is actually feasible.

As Gunther reports for The Guardian, governments and private investors aren’t interested in paying anyone to come up with ways to simply suck carbon dioxide out of the environment, no matter how beneficial to the environment it might be. Plus even if someone was interested, they’d better be willing to fork out the billions of dollars it’s going to take to build a system that could actually make a discernible difference to the world’s climate. These developers need to offer their investors something valuable in return, and the obvious answer is fuel. Right now, Carbon Engineering’s planned system could only capture only about 450 tonnes of CO2 each year, which would barely cover the carbon emissions of 33 average Canadians, but they say this system could be scaled up to 20,000 times to make it more practical.

NASA cuts live video transmission as 3 UFOs fly past Earth !

21 July 2015

NASA was reportedly forced to end a live stream from the International Space Station as THREE UFOs blasted out of Earth’s atmosphere. This shocking footage is causing quite a stir online. Some have already branded the clip definitive PROOF of alien lifeforms. The video – which is reportedly shot from the International Space Station – shows three unidentified flying objects blast out of Earth’s atmosphere. The lights leave our planet seconds before the live video feed is cut by NASA due to a reported “loss of signal”.

Conspiracy theorists have already labeled the YouTube clip – which has been watched more than 15,000 times – proof of alien life. “BINGO Caught them red handed leaving earths orbit,” one viewer wrote on Youtube, “Thats the kind of proof that is needed.” Another posted on the video sharing website: “Cut the cameras more that just confirms its true.” The NASA footage – entitled “UFO Mysteries: UFOs, Angels Or Biological Creatures Seen Leaving The Earth?” – appeared online earlier this week.

NASA has not yet commented on the flashing lights captured during its live broadcast. Of course, its possible the YouTube video has been doctored, or the unexplained objects are simply a trick of the light. But this is not the first time conspiracy theorists claim NASA has inadvertently captured extra terrestrial activity. Live streams from the International Space Station have triggered hundreds of viral videos claiming to show proof of alien crafts. One such clip – posted on YouTube by user Streetcap1 – reportedly shows a small white disc flying near to the space station. Critics claim the alleged UFO sightings on the live feed are simply down to NASA’s poor camera and this latest sighting is likely to be a distorted view of the Moon.

Japanese Hotel Replaces Human Workers with Robots !

21 July 2015

A hotel in Japan almost entirely run by robots has opened its doors to the public. The 72-room Henn na Hotel — whose name means “weird” — will offer a different experience to visitors at Huis Ten Bosch, an amusement park in Sasebo.

Guests are received at the reception manned by a mechanical dinosaur, a female android and an automated receptionist. After checking in, using a touch screen and facial recognition system, guests are directed to their rooms, priced at $72 per night, by two concierge robots. A robot porter helps them with their luggage.

Guests are unlikely to come across even 10 human beings during their stay at the hotel, operated by Huis Ten Bosch Co., which claim to have reduced salary costs by 25 percent. The company said it will be adding robots capable of cleaning rooms in a few weeks. An annexe with another 72 rooms is expected to be completed by spring next year

Dollar Sinks from 3-month’s peak but Gold Supports commodity currencies !

21 July 2015

The dollar retreated from a three-month high against a basket of currencies on Tuesday on mild profit-taking, while commodity-related currencies stabilized on a pause in gold’s recent sell-off. Traders dialed back their short-term bearish bets on the euro in light volume as Greece proceeded to adopt the tough measures required by its lenders to obtain cash and avert bankruptcy.

The dollar is expected to strengthen again in the coming weeks as traders anticipate the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by year-end. Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other top central bankers have said higher rates are appropriate later this year if the U.S. economy continues to strengthen.

“The tension is fading on the euro down there,” said David Rodriguez, quantitative strategist at FXCM in New York. “The dollar is still in control.” The euro was up 0.4 per cent at $1.0873 after retesting a near three-month low of $1.0808 set on Monday. It is down 2.3 per cent so far this month. The greenback was firm at 124.34 yen, hitting a five-week high of 124.48 late in the Asian session. The dollar index dipped 0.2 per cent to 97.782 after touching a three-month peak at 98.151 earlier Tuesday. The pullback in the dollar was mitigated by a rise in U.S. Treasuries yields on expectations of a Fed rate increase and heavy supply of corporate bonds.

Meanwhile, the gold market stabilized after a steep drop on Monday, helping commodity-linked currencies including the Canadian, New Zealand and Australian dollars. But minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest meeting saw more declines in an Aussie dollar already at its lowest in six years. RBA’s view differed from New Zealand’s, where Prime Minister John Key on Monday offered the currency some verbal support. The Aussie dollar was up 0.2 per cent at $0.7383, while the kiwi rose 0.7 per cent to $0.6604. Spot gold prices held above a five-year low on Tuesday but there was anxiety that their fall would resume toward $1,000 an ounce due to sluggish Chinese demand and a possible Fed rate hike that would raise the appeal of the dollar.

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