AIR MIXER: Nothing is free from side effects. We've heard of wind farms affecting birds, but now it seems they may change the local weather too. A study from the University of New York found a significant warming trend over wind farms, particularly at night. The turbines play a role in mixing warmer and cooler air. Farmers who worry about the effect of frost on their crops should maybe look into this. Perhaps they could make money from generating power while saving the costs of preventing frosts. The Telegraph explains.
SMART CARD: Rapid Diagnostic Tests are becoming popular: a sample is added to a small slide and after a short time the slide changes colour, offering a quick diagnosis. But reading the tests correctly and using the information is prone to human error. Scientists at the University of California developed a small attachment and app so a smartphone can photograph, enlarge, read and validate the test results. A health worker can then add information and send the whole record to a server. Collating such data on a map quickly shows trends and patterns for disease. It's great to see these technologies being put together for such useful purposes.
FOLLOW THE WIND: One man in Beijing's Tangzhou Wangji Yongle Town created his own high-speed wind-powered car, with a range of 140 Km. It took him 3 months and 10,000 yuan to build. Not bad. For further details go to ChinaSmack. Video here.
TRUTHFUL TROLLEY?: Lambent Shopping Trolley Handle incorporates LED lights and a barcode reader. A shopper scans an item they're considering buying and lights on the handle light up to display a value for criteria such as food miles, salt or fat. In tests shoppers changed their buying behaviour in response to the lights on the handle. And that would never be open to 'manufacturer suggestions', of course ... Discovery News has more.
QUAKE NEWS: NASA is starting to test the Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster Mitigation Network, or Readi. It's a network of GPS sensors in the US Pacific-coast states of California, Oregon and Washington. The point of the system is to analyse earthquake events quickly to help with disaster response and tsunami predictions. While data from the devices has been analysed in the past, that has often been well afterwards. This project will check the data within minutes of a shake. Well, gosh. Analysing information when it's most useful. What an idea! Visit BBC.
Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nzBy Miraz Jordan