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Wind

Mobile Technology

Vaavud smartphone wind meter contains no electronics

While the average person may not care too much about the current wind speed, it’s very important to the likes of windsurfers, kitesurfers, and sailors. Although official monitoring stations do provide readings, those stations aren’t always particularly close to the locations where these people do their respective things. That’s why Copenhagen-based Vaavud has created its smartphone-paired wind meter, of the same name. Interestingly, the plug-in device itself contains no electronics. Read More

Music

Weird and wonderful: the best instruments of 2012

Should you find yourself thinking about supergroups, you'll likely center on the famous names that make up the bands and not the instruments they use. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, for example, rather than the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275, or Cream's Jack Bruce instead of his Gibson EB-3, or Brad Wilk of Audioslave/RATM and not the custom Gretsch drumkits he uses. Being as much fans of the tech behind the hits as the talented folks who create them, we've grouped together a super collection of favorite music-making gadgets from the past year.Read More

Elvis-evoking Cat-Ears reduce wind noise while you cycle

Sometimes when you’re cycling, especially if you’re out on the open road, the constant wind noise in your ears can get rather annoying. It can also be potentially dangerous, as it may mask traffic noises. Well, if you’re OK with sporting what at first glance looks like a pair of dark sideburns, Cat-Ears might be the answer.Read More

Good Thinking

FIU unveils mother of all wind machines

Seven years after constructing its initial prototype, Florida International University has lifted the lid from its latest and greatest machine: a 15-foot (4.6-m) tall Wall of Wind capable of generating 157-mph (70-m/s) winds. As such the machine is capable of simulating top-tier category five hurricanes according to the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Acoustic wind pavilion makes music out of thin air

Aeolus, a fascinating acoustic wind sculpture made by prolific Bristol artist Luke Jerram, is as much a feast for the ears as it is for the eyes. Named after the mythical Greek ruler of the four winds and built in conjunction with the University of Southampton's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and the University of Salford's Acoustics Research Center, the giant aeolian wind harp is intended to inspire the public to learn more about the amazing things that can happen when engineering, acoustics and aerodynamics are blended together.Read More

Marine

The GPS built JUST for sailing with Bluetooth Wind Monitoring (required reading if you sail)

One of the problems of using GPS chartplotters on a sailboat is that it is extremely difficult to calculate accurate arrival times given the amount of tacking often involved. Now there's a purpose-built Sailing GPS that not only accounts for the tacking that sailboats do, but can can tell you the optimal tacking angles and your Tacking Time to Destination (TTD).Read More

Space

NASA Observatory records 20 million-mph winds off stellar-mass black hole

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has recorded ultra-fast 20 million-mph (32 million km/h) winds roaring from a gas disk around the stellar-mass black hole IGR J17091-3624. The wind speeds are a record, a factor of ten greater than any previously recorded, for a black hole of this kind. It is hoped the surprise discovery will shed new light on the behavior of stellar-mass black holes.Read More

Environment

World's largest offshore wind farm opens for business

Walney wind farm off the coast of Cumbria in the UK yesterday became the world's largest offshore wind facility. One hundred and two turbines over 73 sq km (28 sq miles) provide a maximum output of 367.2 MW. It's claimed the facility will provide enough power for about 320,000 homes - half as many again as the total number in Cumbria.Read More

Architecture

Wind tunnel office concept pitched at tropical climes

By embracing wind "as an architectural element", architectural practice Betillon/Dorval-Bory believes its anabatic office concept is ideally suited to hot and humid climes. But rather than relying on natural air movement, the anabatic office seeks to create its own wind, so that energy-efficient cooling can occur where little natural wind occurs. Anabatic is a word that describes an uphill wind generated by a localized heat source.Read More

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