Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

History

Matterbetter is seeking ideas for new uses of the Russian Typhoon nuclear submarine

Reappropriating structures or spaces for new uses is a common occurrence. Sydney's Goods Line and Battersea Power Station are both the focus of such projects. Now, architectural firm Matterbetter is asking for submissions to reimagine perhaps the most unusual thing yet: a Russian nuclear submarine.  Read More

The pioneering integrated circuit has an estimated value of US$1 million and $2 million

If it weren't for the microchip, your smartphone would be size of a building and need its own power plant to work. Thanks to the integrated circuit and its modern incarnation in the microchip, electronics are a bit easier to carry around than that, and this week, Christie’s put one of the very first integrated circuits up for auction. Designed and constructed in 1958 by Texas Instruments, it's one of the three earliest "chips" ever made and went on the block with an estimated value of up to US$2 million.  Read More

D-Day beaches recce photos from 2014 and 1944 (Photo: Ministry of Defence)

Seventy years ago, the greatest military operation in history was launched as the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe in what history recalls as D-Day. We’re used to seeing newsreel images of marines and infantrymen rushing from landing craft in the face of the German guns, but overhead there was another war raging as men in fragile aircraft risked their lives to capture vital images of the battle’s progress. As part of the 70th-anniversary commemoration, RAF Tornado jets from II (Army Co-operation) Squadron (II (AC) Sqn) recreated that historic D-Day recon mission over Normandy, giving us a glimpse of how far aerial reconnaissance has come in three generations.  Read More

Detail of da Vinci's famous self-portrait, which is rapidly deteriorating from the effects...

A famous red chalk on paper drawing, widely accepted as a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, is rapidly deteriorating from the effects of years of exposure to pollution, light, and heat. Worst of all, many centuries in unregulated and humid storage has led to extensive yellowing and browning of the paper. Recently, however, researchers from Italy and Poland have developed a new non-destructive, nano-level method to identify the root causes of the degradation and assist in planning appropriate conservation strategies.  Read More

Longitude 2014 commemorates 300 years since the Longitude Act 1714 and seeks to solve one ...

Three hundred years ago, the British Parliament established the Longitude prize; one of the most important technology competitions in history. Longitude Prize 2014 hopes to duplicate that feat with a new competition with a £10 million prize aimed at solving one of today’s great technological challenges, with the British public voting for which issue the prize will be given to.  Read More

The Lunar Module rotational hand controller used by Dave Scott on board Apollo 15’s Lunar ...

If you've been building an Apollo Lunar Module out of scrap parts in your back yard, then you’re in luck. RR Auctions is putting hundreds of items up for bid as part of an auction of air and space memorabilia ranging from the Wright brothers to the present day. Amongst a number of standout items is the joystick from the Apollo 15 Lunar Module, which goes on the block with a starting bid of US$10,000.  Read More

The marine chronometer heading for the auction block on July 9 has certainly witnessed its...

In an age where accurate time measurement is taken for granted, the upcoming auction of an 1825 marine chronometer highlights just how far science has advanced in the last 200 years. The marine chronometer was a critical technology enabling navigation at sea. This 190 year-old example, which is heading for the auction block on July 9, has certainly witnessed its fair share of history in fulfilling that critical scientific role, having accompanied Charles Darwin on his epic five-year second voyage (1831-1836) to South America and the Galapagos Islands, the North American Boundary Expedition (1843-1846) which established the border between the USA and Canada and the 1857 survey of the Australian coastline which saw the naming of Darwin and the Fitzroy River. Given its stellar provenance, the chronometer seems ridiculously cheap if it does fall within its expected price range of … £30,000-50,000.  Read More

The miniature sledge-testing rig used in the study

In Egypt's tomb of Djehutihotep, a wall painting depicts someone pouring water into the sand in front of one of the sledges that hauled the blocks used in the construction of the pyramids. According to new research, they had a good reason for doing so – by wetting the sand, as little as half as much pulling force would have been required to move those sledges.  Read More

Google's new Street View feature

So, if it isn't enough for you that it's now possible to see the view from almost any road in the world while sitting at your computer, today Google announced a new Street View feature. If there's a clock in the upper left-hand corner of an image, it means you can see what that scene looked like up to seven years ago.  Read More

Bugatti shows the new Vitesse Legend next to the original Black Bess in Beijing

It seems the only constant at international auto shows these days is a new Veyron special edition. Bugatti has been unloading these superficial Veyron updates one by one, in an effort to keep attracting buyers to the decade-old model. The latest such special edition brings a little more intrigue than the average package, recalling what Bugatti calls "one of the first ever street legal super cars."  Read More

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