Take a virtual ride in an RC toy car

first_img Citation: Take a virtual ride in an RC toy car (2008, May 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-05-virtual-rc-toy-car.html Engineers develop computerized camera without optics that instead uses an ordinary window as the lens Explore further A new RC car available at Red5.co.uk offers a completely immersive and interactive driving experience, virtually putting you in the driver´s seat. The Vision Tracking System (VTS) Camera Car is equipped with an onboard camera that wirelessly broadcasts VGA video to a pair of LCD goggles, giving you a first-person view of the road. Plus, when you turn your head sideways or up and down, the goggles can track your head motion and send it to the onboard camera, which follows your gaze in real time. So, you can check for obstacles before turning, or just make yourself really dizzy. The device also includes stereo sound to complete the experience.While there are a few other RC cars that have onboard cameras, they generally just beam back images to the handheld controller, rather than a headset. With its virtual-reality-like goggles, the VTS Camera Car seems a lot like playing a video game in the real world. Multiple players could make the experience even more game-like.The car and control system itself is equipped with precision gyro control, and the controller enables fine-tuning by controlling the trims.The VTS Camera Car is a step up from your average RC car, with the car, goggles, and 27-MHz radio controller priced at £599.95 (about $1,172). More information, including a video, is available at Red5.co.uk.via: OhGizmo! The Vision Tracking System Camera Car has an onboard camera that beams back streaming video of the road to a pair of LCD goggles. Credit: Red5.co.uk. Have you ever wished that you could hop into the cockpit of your remote-controlled car and experience what the ride would really be like? This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Are We in the Peak of an Oil Bubble

first_img Explore further Algae: Here, there, and everywhere Citation: Are We in the Peak of an Oil Bubble? (2008, July 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-07-peak-oil.html Around this time, from mid-2006 to early 2007, supply and demand fluctuated. Then, supply, demand, and price rose together, and have been continuing to rise through the most recent data point, which was taken in early 2008. A comparison of supply and demand showed that, most recently, supply has been exceeding demand by more than a half million barrels per day. Meanwhile, the price continues to increase. Since it appears that the supply-demand balance has only a small effect on the price of oil, the researchers suggest that a major effect lies elsewhere. They point out several reasons why speculation, fed on rumors of rising oil scarcity, may be the positive feedback causing high oil prices. As one motivating factor, investors could be searching for a new high-return investment following the collapse of three recent economic bubbles in the US (communication technology, which peaked in 2000, real-estate in 2006, and sub-prime mortgage lending in 2007). Also, speculation may have increased due to the deregulation of oil futures in the US in early 2006, corresponding to the fluctuations that occurred shortly after that time. Investors may also be concerned about a weakening US dollar, which may encourage protective hedging against future oil price increases.“I expect rather soon some calming with a correction of the price,” Sornette said when asked about his prediction of future oil prices. “But it seems that, for the medium term, one has to be bullish on oil.”More information: Sornette, D.; Woodard, R.; and Zhou, W.-X. “The 2006-2008 Oil Bubble and Beyond.” Arxiv:0806.1170v2. 13 Jun 2008. Submitted to Physica A.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. This figure shows the total world oil demand and supply (left scale) and the oil price (right scale) from 2004 to the first quarter of 2008. Data from: International Energy Agency and US Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.doe.gov/ emeu/international/ oilother.html). Image credit: D. Sornette, et al.center_img Since 2003, worldwide oil prices have quadrupled. According to a new study, the price of oil is rising at a faster-than-exponential rate, and cannot be sustained. In other words, we’re in the midst of an oil bubble, say researchers Didier Sornette and Ryan Woodard of ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Wei-Xing Zhou of the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China. By analyzing oil prices over the past four years, the researchers have demonstrated more support for the hypothesis that the recent oil price run-up has less to do with supply-demand interplay and more to do with speculation.In their analysis, the team gathered data on oil prices since 2005 in US dollars, euros, and other major currencies (to confirm that the results are not a consequence of the weakening of the US dollar). They also examined worldwide oil supply and demand data, specifically investigating the extent of increased demand from emerging markets such as China and India.Then, the researchers analyzed this data using a method that Sornette’s group started to develop in 1996 that identifies bubbles as “transient superexponential regimes” – basically, areas of rapid growth that occur due to a source of positive feedback within the system. The scientists looked at the data in the context of three different models, and all three models revealed the existence of a “log-periodic power law,” in mathematical terms – in other words, a bubble. In economic terms, the researchers explain, a bubble refers to a situation in which expectations of future price increases cause prices to temporarily rise without justification from fundamental valuation.Further, the models showed that the bubble is close to a local peak, and we may have even reached the peak already. On the other hand, the researchers noted, this critical peak may also be embedded in a larger-scale bubble, one that could develop in the coming months and years.“The most fundamental difficulties [in trying to describe oil prices] lie in the operational definition of a ‘bubble,’” Sornette told PhysOrg.com. “There is no consensus. One standard definition is ‘exponential growth of price.’ But exponential growth of price is normal in economics, because it just corresponds to a constant growth rate. Our definition is ‘faster-than-exponential’ growth of the price, which is necessarily unsustainable.”The team also identified several particular characteristics of oil price dynamics that may help researchers understand the causes of the bubble. First, in the years 2004 and 2005, worldwide supply, demand, and price all increased together. In early 2006, supply started to drop, followed a few months later by a drop in demand, and six months later by a drop in price. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

How cobras form hood flares

first_img Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Cobras, and several other groups of unrelated snakes, form a menacing hood flare by expanding the sides of their necks as part of a defensive display. Now scientists in the US have identified the groups of muscles the snakes use to produce the effect. Here’s venom in your eye: Spitting cobras hit their mark The researchers, Bruce Young from the University of Massachusetts, and Kenneth Kardong from Washington State University, wanted to examine what they called an “intriguing problem in evolutionary biology,” and find out how snakes produce a hood. They knew both rib bones and muscles were involved in the process, but wanted to find out how the ribs were able to rotate into the position required. They did this by implanting tiny electrodes into the muscles in a cobra’s neck to allow them to measure the electrical activity in all the muscles as the snake flared its neck to form a hood. Professor Young said the surgery was quite risky because cobras can wake while under anesthetic, which he said could be “disconcerting”.They found the hooding process begins at the head and extends downwards through the actions of eight sets of muscles, with a set of axial muscles along the ribs being the primary erector muscles that lift the hood. Another set of muscles that connect the ribs to the skin keep the hood skin taut, and a third set of muscles between the ribs spread the load. The eight muscle sets are also found in non-hooding snakes.They discovered that keeping the hood erect requires continuous muscle activity. It relaxes when the event prompting the display is ended, partly by passive recoil of the costovertebral ligaments, and partly due to active muscle contractions of a further set of axial muscles. Professor Kardong said the hood evolved through “co-opting” of the ribs, and is an example of how evolution remodels existing systems. In this case there has been a change in the nervous system control over the muscles involved, he said.The findings are reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology. The research team now hope to study how other hooding snakes produce their display. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Indian Spectacled Cobra. Image credit: Wikipedia. Citation: How cobras form hood flares (2010, April 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-cobras-hood-flares.html More information: The functional morphology of hooding in cobras, First published online April 16, 2010, Journal of Experimental Biology 213, 1521-1528 (2010), doi:10.1242/jeb.034447 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Removing intercalated water from nitrogendoped grapheneoxide sheets

first_img Citation: Removing intercalated water from nitrogen-doped graphene-oxide sheets (2016, April 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-intercalated-nitrogen-doped-graphene-oxide-sheets.html Schematic of the process developed to make NrGO catalysts. Natural graphite (with a d spacing of 3.4 Å) is chemically functionalized and exfoliated using potassium permanganate and sulfuric acid (modified Hummers method) to produce a GO powder with a d spacing of ~1 nm. GO is then subjected to different solvent-rinsing treatments followed by vacuum drying to effectively remove unbound intercalated water as indicated by the decrease in d spacing (8.6 to 5.4 Å, depending on solvent used for rinsing). The resulting dried GO is doped with nitrogen (NH3 at 850°C), leading to the formation of NrGO catalysts with a final d spacing of 3.4 Å. Atoms: C (gray), Mn from KMnO4 (purple), N (blue), O (red), and H (white). Credit: U. Martinez et al. Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501178 Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: U. Martinez et al. Critical role of intercalated water for electrocatalytically active nitrogen-doped graphitic systems, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501178AbstractGraphitic materials are essential in energy conversion and storage because of their excellent chemical and electrical properties. The strategy for obtaining functional graphitic materials involves graphite oxidation and subsequent dissolution in aqueous media, forming graphene-oxide nanosheets (GNs). Restacked GNs contain substantial intercalated water that can react with heteroatom dopants or the graphene lattice during reduction. We demonstrate that removal of intercalated water using simple solvent treatments causes significant structural reorganization, substantially affecting the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and stability of nitrogen-doped graphitic systems. Amid contrasting reports describing the ORR activity of GN-based catalysts in alkaline electrolytes, we demonstrate superior activity in an acidic electrolyte with an onset potential of ~0.9 V, a half-wave potential (E½) of 0.71 V, and a selectivity for four-electron reduction of >95%. Further, durability testing showed E½ retention >95% in N2- and O2-saturated solutions after 2000 cycles, demonstrating the highest ORR activity and stability reported to date for GN-based electrocatalysts in acidic media. © 2016 Phys.orgcenter_img The process of making graphene-oxide nanosheets is done in an aqueous media and results in water molecules residing between the graphene sheets. Several researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Rutgers University have characterized the effects of removing these intercalated water molecules. They found that the water molecules not only affect the nanosheets’ physical structure and the concentration of heteroatoms that are added to it, but removal of the water molecules changes the nanosheets’ catalytic activity. Their work appears in Science Advances.Graphite is oxidized to form graphene oxide sheets. These sheets typically have intercalated water molecules between the sheets. To make the catalyst, these sheets are reduced and doped with a heteroatom to form doped graphene sheets. Few studies have been conducted to understand the effects that the intercalated water molecules have on graphene-oxide nanosheets.Using vacuum-drying and solvent washing with solvents that satisfy certain Hansen solubility parameters, Martinez, et al. were able to dry graphene-oxide sheets and remove the intercalated water molecules between the sheets. XRD studies verify that the intersheet distance decreased significantly after vacuum drying and then even more so after solvent drying. The intersheet distance changed from 10.8Å to 8.6Å after vacuum drying and then to 7.5Å after solvent drying with ethanol or diethyl ether. Furthermore, XRD data also showed evidence of long-range order.XPS and IR data also verified that the sheets lacked intercalated water. Molecular dynamics studies confirmed that the solvents substantially alter the structure of water-intercalated graphene-oxide sheets. Notably the ether-treated sheets demonstrated a kind of “wrinkling” that may be partly why the ether-treated sheets displayed the best catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction.Nitrogen-doping was accomplished using a known method. Martinez, et al. treated the solvent-rinsed and vacuum-dried graphene oxide sheets with ammonia at a high temperature. They noted that the ethanol- and ether-treated sheets had large holes in the sheets, which is helpful for catalysis because it exposes interlayer active sites.Martinez, et al. then tested their new nitrogen-doped reduced graphene-oxide catalyst (NrGO) with a rotating-ring disc electrode in acidic media. They looked for the three key features for a good catalyst: low overpotential, high half-wave potential, and selectivity for oxygen’s four-electron reduction to water. The overpotential is the additional potential beyond the theoretical potential for an oxygen reduction reaction (Eo = 1.23V vs. RHE). Oxygen can undergo either a four-electron reduction reaction to produce water or a two-electron reduction reaction to form hydrogen peroxide. The more selective the catalyst is for the four-electron reaction, the better.They found that the NrGO that was treated with diethyl ether showed the best overpotential, half-wave potential, and selectivity values compared to vacuum dried, ethanol-treated, and untreated graphene-oxide sheets. Martinez, et al. reported that this is the highest oxygen reduction reactivity to date for NrGO catalysts in acidic media. This research provides valuable insight into how intercalated water affects the catalytic activity of graphene-oxide nanosheets. According to Dr. Gautam Gupta, principle investigator in this study, this study is important for proton exchange membrane fuel cells because they require acidic conditions. When asked about the implications of his research, Dr. Gupta said, “This is the first report that emphasizes the key role of water in catalysis and the research has significant implications in designing 2D materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides for energy applications.” Pumping up energy storage with metal oxides Journal information: Science Advances (Phys.org)—Fuel cells require a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction. One type of catalyst is nitrogen-doped graphene-oxide nanosheets. Graphene-oxide nanosheets are easily functionalized with other atoms such as boron, nitrogen, or sulfur, as well as metals such as iron, nickel, and cobalt, making them a versatile material for practical applications.last_img read more

Take this lone culinary journey

first_imgIt is indeed a rare experience when you walk into a restaurant and find it completely empty save for the staff. You first take a step back, wondering if you are indeed at the right place, then you confirm and a certain amount of incredulousness sets in. Well, that was my first brush with Lure Switch, a newly opened restaurant at Tavern on the Greens. The decor is nothing out of the world and it has your regular mish mash of bar and DJ, even a outdoor dining area; the first impression of the restaurant doesn’t really stay with you. The setting is lovely but then the restaurant needs to decide what sort of patrons. Because ‘everything’ won’t work for Lure Switch. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Now, to the food part. The menu comprises a little bit of this and a little bit of that. So from Thai to Italian to Mediterranean, you could pick and choose according to your whims. Which works for most people, I would guess, especially if you are out in a big group. However, the good thing is that food at Lure Switch is actually quite delectable. After quite some time, I happened to like each of the dish that I tried, the mocktails and the cocktails too were tasty. The portions are large and can easily be split into two. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix I tried a Peri peri chicken which had hints of almond. The Zesty lemon and garlic shrimps (which were served cold) appeared blah at first, only till the tang of the lemon hit you. The mains were a mix. While I quite liked the grilled basa, the Thai curry was nothing to write home about. The blueberry cheesecake though, more than made up for the disappointment. Purely on food terms, the restaurant has potential.DETAILAt: Tavern on Greens, LadoSarai, Aurobindo MargDecember Timings: 11am to 1 amphone: 9810125070Meal for two: Rs 2,500(without alcohol)last_img read more

When you can jam in the reading room

first_imgTime was there when books used to be serious business. Oh, they still are. Business that is. But no more are they locked within the silent, brooding rooms of a library, or in the glass-fronted cupboards of a salt-and-pepper haired bookstore owner, who would frown over the top of his glasses, as he reverentially handed over one from his collection for you to peruse and buy. As boundaries between creative forms continue to erode, books today are just another form of expression, that is meant to be discussed, debated and thumbed over endless cups of tea, or coffee, not just with friends, within the walls of your bedroom or study, but with strangers, and even the author of the book at the neighbourhood café, that blends with its brew, food for the soul — books, music, photography, the arts or expressions, on paper, canvas and maybe even textiles.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’If a Crossword, Landmark or Oxford Bookstore had added CDs, toys, other knickknacks, and a café to their book outlets, to give patrons the comfort of sipping a steaming cuppa as they browsed through the collection and made their choice of purchase, stores like Cafela, which opened its shutter on Kolkata’s busy Jatin Das Road approximately two months ago, have gone a step further to create an alternate art space. Cafela brings together all kinds of lifestyle offerings such as tribal arts, silver and junk jewellery as well as apparel under one roof, along with a good measure of live music, books and ‘book-and-music events’. The café -store, a brainchild of Sanjoy Som and Dwaipayan Roy, offers a range of mostly continental and British bites and varied brews to add to the experience. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIt’s a step forward in the cultural progression of a city that has always enjoyed its adda, or meaningful conversation that can have as its subject something as banal as a traffic jam, or as vibrant as the arts or politics of the state and nation. On one of the walls, to complement the tastefully done up decor at Cafela, hangs a guitar, and patrons are encouraged to pick it up and start an impromptu jam session any time they feel the urge to indulge in some music.  Of course, books are an integral part of the mix. Bookshelves offer poetry, autobiographies and a blend of light and serious reads in both English and Bengali. ‘We have already played host to a book launch and intend to have more book-oriented programmes in the future, book launches, readings and discussions,’ explains poet Souvik Bandopadhyay, who is a creative consultant at the cafè-store. Cafela also regularly hosts musical evenings. ‘The idea was that while there are still places that host artistic discussions over alcohol, there are none that indulges one’s mood for music and literature over coffee. Of course, Calcutta has had its iconic Coffee House, and many a storm was born in the tea-cups here, but as singer Manna Dey said in one of his songs, ‘Coffee House er shei adda ta aaj ar nei (The days of conversing at the Coffee House are long over).’ For today’s generation, hanging out over coffee means spending time at a Barista or Café Coffee Day. We wanted to create an alternative where one can spend time with friends, converse, indulge in music, literature and the arts over coffee,’ says Bandopadhyay. The patrons, he adds, include both the young and the young-at-heart. The popularity of just-opened café-cum-lifestyle-and-arts store can be gauged from the fact that it has already garnered 1,100 ‘likes’ on Facebook and counting.Cafela is not the only one of its kind. Three years ago, the national capital got Kunzum Travel Café at Hauz Khas Village. If you take out the travel theme out of the equation, Cafela and Kunzum share similar character traits. Kunzum was conceptualised by travel photographer and author Ajay Jain, as a place where like-minded people can meet and swap experiences and ideas related to travel. There is no pressure from the servers to order or buy anything. Bookracks with well-thumbed titles, mostly on the travel theme, line the walls. Ajay’s own books and photographs are available for sale. The café hosts book launches, authors’ meets and discussions. Bookclub buffs also gather at Kunzum, and Ajay plans to make it a more regular affair at the café. He is trying to reach out to more independent publishers to launch their new titles at Kunzum. ‘It’s like an offline extension of an online Facebook community,’ says Ajay of Kunzum, adding, ‘With the growth of the social media, more and more strangers are interacting.’Often these interactions and exchange of ideas translate into offline communications. Kunzum offers that space to communicate. Besides book-centric events, the café also hosts talks by traveling photographers and others. Related brands also use Kunzum to hold events or for sales promotions. There are coffee and cookies, too, on offer. But they are not priced. Just drop what you feel like in a box placed near the door.Of course, not everyone is a fan of such a seamless space. Says Ajit Vikram Singh, a passionate book lover who owns the niche bookstore Facts & Fiction bookshop at the national capital, ‘The idea of a café-cum-bookstore is not new.  But you can’t have serious book buying in such a setting. In such places, books are incidental to the whole thing. And rather than the café helping the sale of books, it is the other way round.’last_img read more

Divine forms

first_imgGods and goddesses get a new form through the brush strokes of artist Harish Kumar. His solo show is on in the Capital and in the season of innumerable religious festivities, his canvases fit right in! Gods have always been an integral part of art and sculpture, not only in India but across the world as well, and artistes have always had their freedom to re-interpret divinity through their work. Kumar as a Delhi based artist works from his studio and loves to travel and explores the places so that he can add more colours to his art. His passion remains intact till he grew up. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’After having had several exhibitions and solo shows all over India and abroad, He is presents to you his work in really abstracts forms highlighting the fundamental of the rich Indians culture which India gift to the world, a land that offers all that is auspicious, beautiful, calm and serene. He achieves this with is vision of colours, of the bold lines and blends with sharp strokes and soft moods. Being spiritual at heart, Lord Krishna and Buddha remains a theme always close to his heart. It could be evident in his abstract work. WHERE: Hotel Galaxy Shopping & Spa, Sec-15, Gurgaon WHEN: On till 2 October, 11am to 9pmlast_img read more

Elderly couple found dead at guest house in Dakshineswar

first_imgKolkata: Bodies of an elderly couple was recovered from a guest house near Dakshineswar temple on Saturday morning. The duo had checked in at the guest house on T N Biswas Road on Friday night and were supposed to offer prayers at the temple the next morning.The duo — Subrata Niyogi (78) and Kakon Niyogi (70) were residents of Rajendralal Ganguly Lane in Charu Market area in South Kolkata. According to police sources, when the hotel staff knocked the door in the morning, there was no response. The door was bolted from inside and repeated knocks at the door went unanswered. Suspecting something unusual, the hotel authorities informed the Belgharia police station. The cops broke open the door and found their bodies lying motionless on the bed. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPreliminary enquiry by the police have hinted at suicide with no injury marks on the bodies. However, the motive behind the act is still to be ascertained.”We are waiting for the post-mortem report which will give us an idea of the cause of their death,” a senior police official of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate.The owner of the guest house — Nikunja Bihari Nandy — said the duo had checked in at the hotel at around 8.30 pm on Friday and had instructed him to call them early on Saturday morning as they would visit the temple to offer puja. “One of our staff members went to their room early in the morning to wake them up. But when repeated knocks at the door yielded no response, we called the police,” Nandy said.The police have already informed the family members of the couple. The hotel staff and the family members of the duo are being questioned for further leads.last_img read more

India for implementation of UN embargo to check terror

first_imgIndia has voiced concern over the easy access to arms and weapons provided by some states as a deliberate policy, saying such availability facilitates terrorism across the world.Calling for the strict implementation of the UN Security Council arms embargo to check the menace of global terrorism, India said the use of such weapons against UN peacekeepers by terrorists remained a concern.”India shares the concerns of the international community on the adverse security, political, socio economic and humanitarian impact in states affected by illicit transfers of small arms and light weapons to terrorists, illegal armed groups and unauthorised recipients,” said Asoke Mukerji, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN. Easy availability of such weapons in large numbers and the easy access often provided by some states as deliberate policy has been one of the main reasons for the growth of terrorism in various parts of the world, Mukerji said at a Security Council debate on Wednesday.He also noted with concern the use of such weapons against UN peacekeepers by armed groups and terrorists.last_img read more

Sleep well to avoid body inflammation

first_imgMiddle-aged men who sleep less than six hours or more than 10 hours suffer from low-grade inflammation more often than men sleeping seven-eight hours per night, finds a new study.Furthermore, low-grade inflammation occurs more in people who are overweight, depressed and have diabetes. The study is the first to analyse the association between sleep duration and serum micronutrient concentrations.It found a link between high serum copper concentration and long sleep duration.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Serum micronutrient concentrations are affected by many factors, including an individual’s general health and diet.“Based on this study, however, it is impossible to say whether sleeping long results in high serum copper concentrations or vice versa,” said Maria Luojus, one of the study researchers from University of Eastern Finland. It has been suggested that high serum copper concentration associates with pro-oxidative stress. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Nevertheless, when the participants’ cardiovascular diseases were taken account for, our results remained unchanged. The association between serum copper concentration and sleep duration persisted independently of cardiovascular diseases,” Luojus explained.The study involved 2,682 men living in Eastern Finland. Earlier studies have also found a relation between reduced sleep and low-grade inflammation.last_img read more