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The Baltika at the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard

Last August we heard about the Baltika, a rather clever icebreaker that can temporarily increase its frontal area by traveling sideways into the ice. At the time, it was still under construction, and the only images available were renderings. Now, however, it's complete and has begun sea trials.  Read More

The studs in their extended state

Studded tires may make it easier to drive on ice, but those same studs will quickly wear down when used on dry asphalt – plus, they'll create a very rough, noisy ride. The problem is, most winter drivers encounter both types of road conditions, often even on the same trip. That's why Nokian has created a snow tire with retractable studs.  Read More

The dwarf planet Ceres emitting plumes of water vapor from its surface (Photo: ESA)

In mid-2015, the asteroid probe Dawn is scheduled to establish orbit around Ceres, the only dwarf planet in the inner Solar System, as well as the largest asteroid, to begin roughly six months of close-up observation. The level of interest in this mission has significantly increased with the detection by the ESA's Herschel space observatory of plumes of water vapor being exuded from Ceres' surface from a pair of local sources.  Read More

Canadian Tire's ice truck was designed as part of an advertising campaign to be aired on N...

With Eastern Canada experiencing one of the worst ice storms in recorded history, the idea of an ice truck might seem overtly ironic to some. The ice sculpting house of Iceculture and Canadian Tire, however, already had their 15,000 lb ice truck planned, built and ready to go before the storm hit.  Read More

Will the F1 be among the last of McLaren's cars to have windshield wipers? (Photo: McLaren...

Windshield wipers are life-savers, but also can drive one to distraction with their incessant streaking and chattering. Well, the tyranny of the wipers may soon be over. McLaren Automotive’s chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles. While Stephenson referred to a military source for McLaren's tech, there appears to be very little public information on how such force fields might clean a windshield during a storm, so I'm taking a look at the patent history to see how this might be accomplished.  Read More

Spin Chill's Beerouette flash-chilling a bottle of beer (Photo: Spin Chill)

Since the earliest days of brewing beer and making wine, the search has been on for an easy, affordable method of chilling drinks quickly without diluting them in the process. Florida-based start-up Spin Chill claims to have a solution to this vexing problem with a portable device that (literally) turns beverages ice cold in 60 seconds.  Read More

The NB 508 (aka the Baltika) crashes through the ice side-on (Image: Arctech Helsinki Ship...

Given that icebreakers clear a path for other ships by traveling through the ice head-on (or sometimes butt-on), then in order for one of them to clear a wider path, it would have to be wider and thus larger overall ... right? Well, Finland’s Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is taking a different, more efficient approach. It’s in the process of building an asymmetric-hulled icebreaker that can increase its frontal area, by making its way through the ice at an angle of up to 30 degrees.  Read More

The ON-WINGS system being lab-tested

On most aircraft ice-detection systems, the sensors can’t be located right on the aerofoil surfaces that most need to be kept ice-free – the addition of a protruding sensor would ruin their aerodynamics. Now, however, UK-based GKN Aerospace has announced the new ON-WINGS system. It mounts completely flush with the skin of the aircraft, allowing it to be integrated directly onto wings, rotor blades, or anyplace else that needs to be kept sleek and free of ice.  Read More

NASA's high altitude ice cloud test rig being readied for action (Photo: NASA)

About once a month on average, an incident is reported in which turbofan jet engines flying at high-altitude lose power. The pilots report that there is little if any bad weather that might explain the power loss and although uncommon, this fault is potentially disastrous. The culprit is called ice crystal icing, and NASA scientists are making progress in understanding the problem using a world first test facility that creates an artificial ice cloud similar to that encountered by planes at high altitudes.  Read More

The GT-R captures Russia's ice speed record

The Nissan GT-R really didn't need a new speed record to remind us that it's a lotta car for a little buck – we remember that every time we look at its specs. But, in conjunction with LAV Productions company, Nissan went ahead and brought a specially outfitted GT-R to one of the coldest, least hospitable places on earth – Siberia – and returned with a new ice speed record.  Read More

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