The unlikely Hand-Sanitizer we need

I’m declaring myself a Germophobe (germaphobe, mysophobe) after hearing what scientists have to say about escalator handrails. Brace yourselves, but those handrails on escalators and walkways are by far some of the dirtiest things your hands can touch. Microbiologists have tested these handrails positive for traces of (read further only if you have the stomach for it) food, blood, mucus, urine, feces and E.coli, aside from other bacteria and viruses. It’s a rather strange compromise, to hold onto something for balance only to find it contaminated with absolute filth.

The good thing is there’s a solution for it too that doesn’t involve face masks and disposable gloves. The UV Handrail Sterilizer from LG Innotek and Clearwin is a simple yet effective solution that just snaps onto the handrails of these escalators and walkways. The retrofittable design consists of a universal clamp, a power-unit, and a UV bulb that blasts all these germs and vermin to oblivion. The bulb has a life of about 10,000 hours (which should last one and a half years if used for 20 hours a day) and runs on no external power supply. It cleverly draws power from the handrail’s movement itself, turning mechanical energy into electrical energy that powers the UV bulb so you don’t have to roam around in a Hazmat suit every time you want to use the subway.

Designers: LG Innotek & Clearwin.




AeroMobil 4.0 Flying Car

The idea of cars that can fly has been around since at least 1940 when Henry Ford said flying cars were on the way. What he didn’t know was that it would take until now for one to get beyond the prototype stage and go into production.

AeroMobil 4.0

If Slovakian company AeroMobil is correct, that barrier will be broken when its model 4.0 flying car goes into production later this year. With space for a driver and one passenger, it will be capable of speeds up to 100 mph on the ground and 240 mph in the air. It’s expected to sell for about $1.5M.

As with most designs for flying cars, the AeroMobil 4.0 has wings that fold out from the body for flying and back into the body for driving. 

Design features of the AeroMobil 4.0.

The vehicle is 19′ 4″ long and 7′ 3″ when configured for driving, which gives it about the same footprint as a midsize pickup truck. It’s 28′ 11″ wide when the wings are extended for flying.

Power train and suspension.

The AeroMobil is hybrid electric on the ground and gasoline-powered in the air. In ground mode, the gasoline engine drives a generator that powers the electric motors that turn the wheels. In flight, engine power is conveyed to the rear-mounted propeller by a custom-made transmission.

Test flight of the previous generation, AeroMobil model 3.0.

While there is little doubt the AeroMobil 4.0 can be made street legal for driving, it has yet to be approved for flight in the U.S. 

Terrafugia Transition

AeroMobil is just one of several companies currently developing flying cars. Terrafugia is developing the Transition, a flying car with wings that fold vertically against the side of the vehicle. Like the Aeromobil 4.0, the propeller driven Transition requires a landing strip.

Lilium VTOL electric jet.

German-based Lilium is testing an electrically powered jet capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). 

Uber says it will begin testing autonomous VTOLs in 2020. The VTOL design makes sense because it allows the vehicle to take off and land almost anywhere—as opposed to having to drive to and from an airstrip. Autonomous control makes sense because there aren’t enough trained pilots to fly the number of vehicles required for an Uber-like service.

Developing the technology needed for flying cars is only part of the challenge. It will be equally difficult to get FAA approval to fly them into airports or onto city streets. Given how long it took the FAA to create a regulatory framework for small UAVs (drones) I would not hold my breath while waiting for rules to be issued for cars that can fly.

Aerocar circa 1949.

One of the flying cars currently under development may become the first commercially produced vehicle of its kind.  But it won’t be the first flying car. That distinction belongs to the Moulton Taylor Aerocar, a roadable aircraft designed in the 1940s and certified by the Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1956. 

Only 6 were ever built because the inventor was unable to come up with the 500 orders needed to go into production. It will be interesting to see how many (or if any) of the current crop of flying cars are actually produced.

Game of Thrones: "The Queen's Justice" Recap

As per usual, last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” was so visually dark that you couldn’t see how much work the set designers put in. An example:

Here’s another. It’s so dark in this scene that you can’t even tell there’s a guard standing behind Jon Snow and Ser Davos:

You just know that the extra who played the guard told all of his friends and family to watch the show, then it aired and he was like “Goddammit.”

So here’s some things you may have caught and some you may have missed. This week’s episode started off on Dragonstone, where we now see why the castle’s throne was presumably sculpted from indigenous rock on-site:

Because there’s no way that they made it someplace else and then humped it up that crazy Great-Wall-of-China staircase. There doesn’t exactly seem to be a service entrance with freight.

As for Dragonstone’s throne itself, it doesn’t appear to be very comfortable.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about. This thing gives me lumbar AND popliteal support.”

In contrast, the Iron Throne Cersei sits on in the Red Keep has an ergonomic advantage I’d not noticed before: Armrests!

Well, maybe not proper armrests, but the throne’s original designer has at least placed the pommel of a sword on one side, so that stressed-out throne-sitters can squeeze it like a stress ball.

As for the Red Keep’s throne room, it’s much the same as last we saw it, but this time we can see they lay protective carpet down over the marble if a horse is going to walk on it. Probably a clause in the Lannister’s liability insurance agreement.

Inside the Red Keep we get a better look at Jaime’s golden hand. And we realize what a terrible materials choice heavy gold is for a prosthetic hand. I guarantee you his right elbow is killing him.

Cersei meets with a bank representative. And not only is she drinking during the meeting, she’s got two glasses for herself and none for the banker. She’s a lush and she’s selfish!

The stemware is fee-yancy.

Over on the high seas, we can see that Westeros does not have life preservers, but makes do with regular rope.

“I shouldn’t have shampooed my hair this morning. That was kind of a waste”

Over at the Citadel, Maester Nay-Say inspects Ser Jorah with this interesting telescoping device.

“I’m not going to lie. You look really, really gross.”

The Maester’s also got an interesting object in his study, behind him and to the right. I can’t decide if it’s a laundry rack, a loom or something you hang periodicals on.

Oh, I forgot to mention: Back at the Red Keep we got a better look at The Mountain’s whimsical helmet-mask. It’s kind of like Celtic Darth Vader with a Mohawk.

I thought it was similar to the other Lannisters’ helmet-masks, but in the medium shots you can see they’re kind of inconsistent.

This is a shot of the Lannister army marching on Highgarden, by the way. From this vantage point it’s not obvious what they’re doing…

…but from this perspective, you can see that they’ve designed their formation to look like a Space Invader, in order to sow terror.

Inside Olenna Tyrell’s chambers we see she’s got the most pimpish interior design feature of anyone’s crib in Westeros: Wall-to-wall carpeting!

She’s also got two of these enormous China-hutch cabinet-thingies in the corners. I do wonder what she stores in there.

Jaime, miffed that he’s given a chair without armrests, storms out of their meeting.

“Do you know how heavy this freaking hand is?”

Some other random things I noticed this episode. First off, this is how you vault a bridge that projects outwards at an angle to its foundation.

The eco-friendly Unsullied storm Casterly Rock using bamboo ladders. They’re sturdy and sustainable.

It’s presumably freezing up at Winterfell, but their armor makers like to work out-of-doors.

The dragon mural in Daenarys’ war room is pretty bad-ass.

Lastly, Dragonstone apparently has a long, winding back stairs too, where Danaerys asks Jon to meet her.

Jon: “Couldn’t we just have met upstairs?”
Jon: “That trip was so long and precarious I feel like I should have a freaking GoPro on my head.”
Daenarys: “It’s not even that chilly out here. You look like you’re wearing, like, an entire bear.”
Jon: “I get cold easily. May I ask you a question…”
“…why is your hair so complicated?”

Bollinger Motor’s B1 Electric Sport Utility Truck: An entrepreneur's solution for the high-tech vehicle he couldn't find

Bollinger Motor’s B1 Electric Sport Utility Truck

by Sue Mead

The global reveal of Bollinger Motors’ B1 sport utility truck (SUT) at the Classic Car Club of Manhattan wasn’t simply an opportunity to showcase the world’s first all-electric SUT, but also the culmination of a childhood dream of……

Continue Reading…

New iPhone likely to feature facial recognition and an all-screen design

Apple‘s next iPhone will be unlocked using facial-recognition technology and will feature a screen covering almost its entire front, according to reports.

A pre-release of firmware for the tech giant’s upcoming HomePod smart speaker, due to launch late 2017, contained hidden details about several new features for the world’s most popular smartphone.

Sent out to developers last week, the firmware – permanent software programmed into a read-only memory – was found to contain references to other products, including one codenamed D22.

Developers have claimed this will be the next iPhone iteration, which is expected to be announced in September 2017, and launched shortly after.

The firmware outlined the use of infrared facial recognition, which could be used to unlock the phone rather than a passcode or a thumb scan. Both Microsoft and Samsung have already introduced similar features into computers and larger smart devices.

The developers, Steve Troughton-Smith and Guilherme Rambo, said that Apple has codenamed the tech Pearl ID and referred to it throughout the HomePod firmware.

The pair also found a visual icon used to represent D22. It looks like a smartphone, with no home button and a screen that wraps the full front, apart from a small portion at the top reserved for a camera, speaker and sensors. Rambo shared the image on Twitter.

The new iPhone will work on the upcoming version of Apple’s operating system, iOS 11, which the company has already confirmed will automatically block incoming notifications while driving.

Speculation around the device’s name includes iPhone 8 – following consecutively from the previous iPhone 7 – and iPhone X or iPhone 10, as the first version of the smartphone was released a decade ago.

Apple – which was beaten by IKEA in the Brands category of the first Dezeen Hot List – is currently moving into its vast new headquarters in California. The company’s head of design Jonathan Ive recently revealed his feelings about the building in an interview with WSJ Magazine.

The post New iPhone likely to feature facial recognition and an all-screen design appeared first on Dezeen.

Helsinki Design Week 2017

Founded in 2005, Helsinki Design Week is the largest design festival
in the Nordic countries. Held annually in September, the
multidisciplinary fe..

#createthenew – me convention

In September 2017, the first edition of the me Convention will be held
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Reader question: How to dispose of unused medications

A reader sent us the following question:

“A family member is taking medications for a long term illness. Periodically, the medication is changed. We have ended up with many partial bottles of medications and empty bottles. The prescription bottles have info on it that you wouldn’t necessarily want to get in the wrong hands if you just threw it in the trash as well as old meds. What is a good way to dispose of these?”

When I was younger, I dumped old medicines down the toilet and flushed them. Just so we’re clear, this was the WRONG thing to do. I had no idea that medications (prescription and over-the-counter drugs) are hazardous waste, which they are, and I was just polluting the environment unwittingly. Shame on me.

I have learned my lesson, however, and can offer some advice to you on this issue:

  • DO NOT flush unused medications down the toilet or wash them down the sink.
  • Many pharmacies and doctor’s offices have pharmaceutical take-back programs. Call before you go, but this is a simple option if you’re headed to the pharmacy anyway to pick up a new prescription.
  • The EPA suggests that you black out with a permanent marker your personal information and your doctor’s information on the container, and then take your unused medications to your local hazardous waste facility. To find your local facility, check out the search tool on the Earth911 website.
  • Look at the printed material accompanying your medications to see if there are special disposal instructions. In some cases, the FDA advises what procedure to use. The list of special drugs can be found on this page if you have inadvertently discarded your original printed materials.

I hope that this advice is helpful. This is also a good opportunity to remind everyone to regularly clean out your medicine chest for health, safety and uncluttering reasons!


This post was originally published in July 2007.

Post written by Erin Doland

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