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Australia

Architecture

Light- and sound-emitting urban canopy offers city folk a high-tech garden getaway

Melbourne's plentiful parklands have no shortage of shady trees under which to relax on a balmy summer evening, but a new addition to the city's gardens offer a different way to wind down. The recently constructed MPavilion in the center of the arts precinct features a ceiling made of translucent, sound- and light-emitting leaves that emulate the motions of a forest canopy by swaying in the breeze.Read More

Space

SkinSuit designed to reduce harmful physical effects of weightlessness tested on ISS

The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) got a fashion show with a medical twist last month as Denmark’s first astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, donned a SkinSuit designed to counteract the harmful effects of prolonged periods of weightlessness on the human body. Developed as part of an international effort led by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, the new suit is designed to simulate the pressures of normal gravity to prevent unhealthy stretching of the spine.Read More

Collectibles

Rare Harley-Davidson barn find breaks auction record in Australia

Early 20th Century Harley Davidson motorcycles are rare enough items in themselves. But when one surfaces that was uncommon even when new, and from a line of racing models largely destroyed over the years in the pursuit of speed, you know that you probably have an exceptionally scarce item on your hands. So when a barn-find Harley-Davidson racing machine and sidecar is found after 50-plus years in storage in Australia and then sent to auction, the bidding is sure to be fierce. With a final winning bid of AUD$600,000 – and a new Australian auction record – that was certainly the case.
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Space

Scramjet-based project looks to blast Australia into space

The list of spacefaring nations remains small, but thanks to continuing advances in technology that promise to reduce the financial and logistical hurdles involved, the numbers are set to increase. One country that could be joining the club, if the University of Queensland (UQ) and Heliaq Advanced Engineering get their way, is Australia. The two are teaming up on a project intended to deliver payloads weighing from 50 to 500 kg (110 to 1,102 lb) into orbit.Read More

Architecture

Beyoncé's backside begets bootylicious building

It's been about almost two years since Beyoncé last visited Melbourne, but her influence can still be felt in mainland Australia's southernmost capital. Don't believe us? Well, maybe a 68-story skyscraper bearing her famous curves will convince you otherwise. The Premier Tower will be built smack bang in the city center, and though its aesthetics are sure to draw their share of attention, the architects tell us there's a very practical thinking behind its Beyoncé-like bows.Read More

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