To state that China has traffic issues is an understatement. A 2015 study conducted by navigation system maker TomTom revealed that the country is home to five of the top twenty most traffic congested cities in the world. Though Chinese authorities have tried to control the traffic flow with tactics that range from charging road tolls to building expressways with 50 lanes, nothing appears to be working. Now, some engineers are proposing an ingenious solution to ease the country’s traffic woes — An elevated bus that glides over cars!
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Today, June 20, happens to be the first day of summer or summer “solstice.” Derived from the Latin words “sol” for “sun” and “sisto” for “stop,” it is the day when the North Pole is most inclined towards the sun. As a result, residents of the Northern Hemisphere enjoy the longest day of the year. The opposite, of course, is true for the residents of the Southern Hemisphere who will experience the shortest day of the year. What makes today’s summer solstice even more unique is that for the first time in many years, it coincides with a full moon.
A few days after a massive storm battered Australia’s East Coast, sections of the coastline experienced a rare phenomenon – An ocean so foamy that it resembled a giant bubble bath. Experts say the marshmallow-like waters are a result of powerful ocean currents churning together salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish, and seaweed excretions.
Controlling and interacting with content on a smartphone or tablet is a relatively easy task given their large screens. However, the same is not true for smartwatches which are proving to be more of a fashion statement than a piece of useful technology. Now a group of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute’s Future Interfaces Group (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University is trying to change that with an invention that transforms the arm into a touchpad.
Zebra crossings — the alternating dark and light stripes on the road surface — are meant to alert drivers that pedestrians may be trying to get across. Unfortunately, they are not very effective. A 1998 study done by the Department of Traffic Planning and Engineering at Sweden’s Lund University, revealed that three out of four drivers maintained the same speed or even accelerated as they were approaching a crossing. Even worse? Only 5% stopped even when they saw someone trying to get across. Now a mother-daughter team in Ahmedabad, India have devised a clever way to get drivers to pay more attention — A zebra crossing with an optical illusion.
On May 26, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams spent seven hours inflating the first expandable room at the International Space Station. Called Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, the balloon-like structure that measures 10-feet by 13-feet, (about the size of an average bedroom) when fully inflated, is the first prototype of what NASA experts hope will be the space habitat of the future. The compressed module arrived at the ISS aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on April 8 and was put in place outside the Tranquility module by ISS’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.
On May 9, Japanese online retailer Rakuten announced the nation’s first drone delivery service at Tokyo’s Camel Golf Resort. Called Tenku, the autonomous vehicle, which has the capacity to carry up to 2kg can be summoned by golfers to bring snacks, drinks, and even equipment like balls, while enjoying a round of golf.
Laughter, be it a loud guffaw or a well-mannered giggle, is a universal way to express joy. But as it turns out, your chuckle reveals a lot more than the fact that you are happy. It enables listeners, even those that cannot observe you, instantly realize if you are having a good time with a close friend or laughing politely with a complete stranger.