Posts Tagged ‘flippers’
It’s perhaps inevitable that as video gaming technology advances, some of us may start to long for the simpler nuts-and-bolts arcade games of our youth. Well, they never got much nuttier and boltier than pinball, and the new Pinball Magic “(app)cessory” allows you to transform your iPhone or iPod touch into a digital version of just such a machine – complete with its own functional iDevice-sized cabinet. Just fire it up, turn up the Buddy Holly, Jefferson Airplane or Joan Jett, then pretend you’re back in the days of broken curfews and wedgies.
The Pinball Magic cabinet has working side-mounted flipper buttons, a ball-launching plunger and a credit/select button. Its legs fold up for transport, while an oscillating top-mounted LED and animated backbox light display add to the tacky realism.
I’ll wait till they make an iPad model.
Daylife/AP Photo by David Zalubowski
With eyes tearing, some stare off into space. Others sit quietly with an expressionless pain as they wait for the inevitable.
When you are called before this court, it’s the end of the line. You are about to lose your home. This is foreclosure court in Fort Myers, Florida.
At this point in the legal process, all that’s needed is a judge’s signature. CNN was in court Friday to witness the process, which takes seconds. It’s called the “rocket docket.” On some days the court hears up to 1,000 cases. “It is a legal, procedural response to an overwhelming number of filings that unfortunately is necessary,” Judge Hugh Starnes told CNN…
Casey McNeer couldn’t even speak her name when the judge called her case. Her face red from crying, she wiped away tears as she told the judge her story. “My husband passed away and the debt just kept getting higher and higher,” she said.
Nice human interest story, well-written. Just one paragraph deals with another side of this reality:
Sixty percent of the cases handled here involve homeowners who were speculators and out-of-towners. They don’t bother showing up for the court hearing, so the process is quick, and many are handled in seconds.
These are the people who precipitated most of this disaster. These are the people who supported and sustained sleazy storefront “mortgage brokers” who have about as much business doing home loans as Dick Cheney would have teaching business ethics.
A Whalepower test blade
A West Chester University professor has developed a new wind turbine that draws inspiration from a blubbery source: the flippers of a humpback whale. Those knobby flippers were long considered one of the oddities of the sea, found on no other earthly creature.
But after years of study, starting with a whale that washed up on a New Jersey beach, Frank Fish thinks he knows their secret. The bumps cause water to flow over the flippers more smoothly, giving the giant mammal the ability to swim tight circles around its prey.
What works in the ocean seems to work in air. Already a flipperlike prototype is generating energy on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, with twin, bumpy-edged blades knifing through the air. And this summer, an industrial fan company plans to roll out its own whale-inspired model – moving the same amount of air with half the usual number of blades and thus a smaller, energy-saving motor.
Some scientists were sceptical at first, but the concept now has gotten support from independent researchers, most recently some Harvard engineers who wrote up their findings in the respected journal Physical Review Letters…
It has all been a bit of a culture shock for Fish, who is more at home in the open world of academia than the more secretive realm of inventions and patents. Two decades ago, his only motivation was to figure out what the bumps were for.
“I sort of found something that’s in plain sight,” he says. “You can look at something again and again, and then you’re seeing it differently.”
A long, thoroughly enjoyable in-depth article. Read it and reflect.
Could be a beginning to advancements in technology in wind generation. Cripes – this may be useful in aerofoil design in general.