2016-04-26 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

Amidst all depressing news about threats of terrorist attacks, the 30-year anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and its consequences, at least one ray of sunshine found its way to me today.

I just learned that researchers at the University of California in Irvine have developed a new kind of battery. In comparison with the ruling lithium ion batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte, the new battery is composed of various strands of nano wires in a gel electrolyte. Preliminary results have shown that it may be possible to recharge this new battery hundreds of thousands of cycles with no or just a small degree of degrading in its charging capacity, as opposed to the lithium ion batteries which normally lose much of their powers already after some thousand cycles. However, there is no word yet of when we might eventually see these nano wire batteries as commercial products.

nanowires

Is this the battery of the future? The researcher Mya Le Thai at the University of California in Irvine (UCI) shows us the promising object we all might crave for in a not too distant future. Photo by Steve Zylius, also from UCI.

References #1 and 2 below are brief articles about the new type of battery, and reference #3 is the scientific paper which was recently published.

But until we see those new batteries in production, we have to make use of what we have to the best of our knowledge. And then it can be good to verify what Android Authority wrote in their article about 6 common battery myths, reference #4 below. Read it and take lessons from it!

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: New Nanowire Batteries Can Be Charged More Than 100,000 Times

2: Accidental discovery could help batteries last years longer

3: 100k Cycles and Beyond: Extraordinary Cycle Stability for MnO2 Nanowires Imparted by a Gel Electrolyte

4: 6 common battery myths you probably believe

+: What did you learn in school today ?

Advertisements

2016-04-23 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

The photo below is one I took on 2009-01-16 of the Stone Mountain, in the Metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The original photo, a huge gigapan photo with a file size of 110 MB, can be found in reference #1 below. The built-in photo browser will permit that you zoom in on interesting parts of the photo, e.g. the carvings in the stone in the center of this photo. Reference #2 below contains interesting information about Stone Mountain.

SM+

Photo I took on 2009-01-16 of the Stone Mountain, in the Metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The original photo, a gigapan photo of 110 MB, can be found on http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/15165 . The built-in photo browser will permit that you zoom in on interesting parts of the photo, e.g. the carvings in the stone in the center of this photo.

This is my way of paying a tribute to the saint which is celebrated today and whose name I am also proud of bearing. I am of course talking about Saint George. According to the legend, he was a Roman soldier who died on 304-04-23. His big contribution to history was as a martyr who battled successfully with a dragon. References #3 and 4 below give more information.

SGod

The famous sculpture of Saint George battling with the dragon, from Storkyrkan in Stockholm, Sweden

That Saint George is still remembered today, can be seen in the many countries, states, cities, etc. that incorporate his name, such as the republic of Georgia, ex-USSR; the US state of Georgia, etc. The red cross in the English and British flags is called Saint George’s cross. Furthermore, it is still a popular name which many parents give to their new-born baby boy, as can be seen below:

English: George; Deutsch: Georg, Jürgen; Français: Georges; Italiano: Giorgio, Español / Português: Jorge; Svenska: Georg, Göran, Jörgen; Suomalainen: Yrjö; Pусский (Russian): Юрий (Yuri); Polski: Jerzy; etc., and of course their female correspondences.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: View from Stone Mountain Inn

2: Stone Mountain

3: Saint George’s Day

4: Saint George

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-04-21 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

What do you if you live far from the city, it is in the middle of the night, the only jar of baby food fell to the floor and got crushed, the only grocery store is of course closed, but your baby is still crying because s/he is hungry?

The Icelander Robert Ilijason, who lives in a village called Viken, in the county of Skåne in the South of Sweden, met with exactly that situation. His solution was to set up a new type of convenience store, a totally unmanned store, open 24/7. The registered customers download an app to their smartphone, which gives them access to entering the store anytime. They pick up a product,  use their phone to scan its label and register the purchase. Once a month, they receive an invoice to pay. And the store owner cannot complain, so far nothing has disappeared from his shelves uncounted. Video monitoring guarantees that fact.

The store has created a lot of interest from all over the world, quite understandably so. Reference #1 below, in Swedish, from Radio Sweden, interviews the owner and gives more details. An article in English can also be found in reference #2 below.

autostore

Robert Ilijason in his unmanned convenience store. Photo by Linnea Edin/Sveriges Radio

Finally, my around-the-globe-trip is close to coming to an end. After the 37-hour day before, it was good to lay over in Montreal. And even though the weather was rainy, I did not mind, because as you know, Montreal has a famous huge underground city with shops and food places. Nearby is also the McCord museum, which showed handicraft and traditional Canadian interests. See also references # 3 and 4, as well as the photos, below.

20AD

Photos I took in Montreal on 2005-04-20. In the upper row are external and internal views of the underground city, and in the lower row are shown two favorite Canadian pastimes, ice hockey and hunting, from the McCord museum.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Sveriges första obemannade matbutik

2: Sweden opens unmanned 24-hour convenience store

3: Underground City, Montreal

4: McCord Museum

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-04-18 (Monday)

Today, I learned that:

A few days ago, I heard an interesting story from the SR local radio station in Borås, named SR Sjuhärad. SP (The Swedish Technical Research Institute) in Borås, together with the University of Göteborg (Gothenburg) has developed a new type of paint, to be used in the hull of boats and maintain them clean from the plants that tend to propagate there. If the boat owner can keep the hull clean from Balanidae, then s/he can reduce friction during travel and save up to 20 % of fuel.

The traditional paint used today to keep those plants away contains copper, which contaminates the water. The revolutionary paint does not contain copper, but instead a chemical compound named Abamectin and is produced by bacteriae. The difference between the old and the new paint is that the latter one permits the plants to attach themselves to the hull and once there they are poisoned by the paint, die and eventually fall off the hull.

The new paint should be available commercially by a German company within three years. See references #1, 2 and 3 below for further details.

One week ago I talked about the technology podcast This Week in Tech, which then discussed a US draft for law that demanded that producers of any equipment or software containing encryption technology should also provide non-encrypted access, if any authority so requested. Yesterday’s program have further information in this polemical subject. And also, this program celebrates 11 years of regular, weekly podcasts by Leo Laporte and his team. Congratulations to all of you!

And speaking of 11 years ago, on 2005-04-18 I had a pleasant field day with my sister-in-law Sônia to the region around Japan’s sacred Mount Fuji, which we ended with a purchasing spree in the electronic district Akihabara downtown Tokyo. Below are some photos I took that day.

18AD

Out and about in the Tokyo vicinity, photos taken on 2005-04-18

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: SP i Borås bakom framtidens båtfärg

2: Havstulpaner

3: Balanidae

4: This Week in Tech 558 Rattlesnake in a Piñata

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-04-17 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

In the Guizhou province in the Southwest of China, an impressive construction is underway. It is the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). This exact location was chosen because it is very well shielded from magnetic disruptions, the ground is both stable enough to hold the structure and porous enough to drain away water and protect the telescope.

When concluded later on in 2016, FAST will be the largest single-aperture radio telescope in the world, with a 500 meter diameter, 60 % larger than the current largest one, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. It will be comprised of 4,500 triangular panels, which when combined with an active adjustable reflector, will enable scientists to observe a larger area of space in greater fidelity than any telescope before it. See also reference #1 below.

ST

The Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, currently under construction in Guizhou province, China. Photo credit: ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

And today I also learned that within the next few months, Sweden will exhibit a topological map with a resolution 25 times greater than the current one. The older aerial photos will give way to a modern method where an airplane flying on an altitude of 2 km beams a laser over a 1,5 km wide area, thus permitting a ground resolution of 2 m! Not bad, considering that Sweden has a total area of 450 000 km2. The new map has already revealed surprising archeological facts about the Swedish landscape that were unknown before. Reference #2 (in Swedish) gives more details.

And finally, why is everybody talking about “April in Paris”? I say “April in Tokyo”, with cherry trees in blossom like the one in the header photo. I had left Beijing a couple of hours earlier, but before that I had one of the biggest surprises ever in my life. While waiting for my flight to be called out, I visited the VIP lounge at the Beijing airport to check e-mails, and there I met a good old friend from the same small village where we both were born. He had been in China together with his wife to inaugurate a new production plant. Now I perfectly understand the meaning of the expression “It is a small world we live in!”

17AD

Arriving in Tokyo on Sunday afternoon 2005-04-17, my sister-in-law and her family brought me to see some interesting sights and take these photos. The ones in the top row are from the lush gardens of Edo Castle, and the ones in the lower row are also from downtown Tokyo, giving both a birds-eye view of the center and a street view of the Kabuki-za in the Ginza district. For more information, see references #3, 4 and 5 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: An otherworldly visitor nests in rural China

2: Ny höjdmodell över Sverige

3: Edo Castle

4: Ginza

5: Kabuki-za

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-04-16 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

It is getting easier to achieve good quality of an action video, when the photographer is holding the camera in his/her hands and records whatever is shown ahead. Engadget covers that subject in an article in reference #1 below.

The secret is to equip the camera with a device that compensates for the shaking motion. One such company with success in this area is FeiYu Tech that offers their stabilizers (so-called gimbals) to be attached to the camera. Have a look at the video in reference #2 below, which shows the amazing improvements. But very soon, we should be expecting to see such gimbals integrated into the cameras, such as in th case of Revl and others.

Continuing my trip to China, on Saturday 2005-04-16 I had the pleasure of reaching the highest peak, in all senses, of my trip, when visiting the Great Wall. The guide that had met me at the airport the day before had to transfer his duty to a friend, who normally worked in the Motorola office in Beijing. And she had to sweat to earn her day’s work. Look at the pictures below, the ascent on foot was very steep, but the perfect Spring Saturday made us challenge it with great pleasure. Besides the photos below, consult also references #3 and 4 below for further details.

16AG

Photos taken on 2005-04-16 in the area of the Juyong Pass, 50 km North of Beijing center. Climbing up to the top of the Great Wall took 1,5 hours, with frequent stops. Both my guide and I were of course very happy once we have arrived at the top. The descent, in which I counted 2 613 steps, took a mere 30 minutes. On our way back to the hotel, after a good lunch, we stopped at Changling, where the Ming dynasty tombs are located. The photo on the bottom left shows a stove used to burn commemorative inscriptions and sacred silk materials after sacrificial rites in the Ming dynasty.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: The revolution in action cameras will now be stabilized

2: GoPro FeiYu G3 gimbal test

3: JuYongGuan

4: Ming tombs

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-04-15 (Friday)

Today, I learned that:

One has to be totally certain about what a certain computer command will really do before typing it. If not, it is possible to end up with deleting deleting multiple web site, as you can see in reference #1 below.

On my business/tourism trip exactly 11 years ago, on 2005-04-15 I took a plane from Shanghai’s domestic airport to Beijing’s international airport. The compulsory guide picked me up and brought me downtown to the hotel. In sequence, I took the subway to the Tiananmen Square (aka the Square of the Heavenly Peace). After contemplating the size of the square for some minutes, I entered the Imperial Palace, aka the Forbidden City.

Below you can see some photos from my visit there. Some parts were being refurbished for the Olympic Games three years later, but that did not hinder me very much.

15AD

15EG

15HK

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Man erases thousands of websites with a bad command

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-04-14 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

As you know, the Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August this year. And in 2020, the host city will be Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

Thinking about facilities for all the expected tourists during the games, the Japanese authorities have developed an identification system based upon the person’s fingerprints, that is planned to be used when making payments, checking in at the hotel, etc. Trial will start already this month. See the figure below and reference #1 for further information.

Fingercurrency

A brief description of how the ‘Finger currency’ system is supposed to function.

On my last day in Shanghai, 2005-04-14, I spent some hours visting the Shanghai Museum, located in People’s square. Below are some photos from there.

14AD

Of the many fine collections of ancient Chinese art in the Shanghai museum, let me just appoint one here. In the upper right photo are shown the Bells of Marquis Su of Jin, from the ninth century BC. I have a sound recording of the bells. If I can find that file, I will update this post so that you may hear it. See also reference #2 below for information about this impressive museum.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Fingerprints to be tested as ‘currency’

2: Shanghai Museum

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-04-13 (Wednesday)

Today, I learned that:

It seems that SHL (Swedish Hockey League) has yet another thing in common with big brother NHL (National Hockey League). Further to the similarity of the names, in today’s radio program about ice hockey from Radio Sweden, also called Istid (literally meaning ‘Ice time’), it was explained that there is also a rule in SHL regarding the nuance of the uniform used by the two opponents, which also smells very NHL. The rule requires that the home team use dark colored shirts and the away team use light colored ones. The classical team Leksand, which will return to SHL next season, pleaded to use their traditional white jerseys at home, but without success.  I apologize for any contrary information in my post of 2016-02-11.

SHL11&13

Two photos which prove the SHL rule of dark colored shirts at home and light colored ones away. The leftmost photo shows a happy Robert Rosén from Växjö Lakers after his team, playing at home, forced a seventh semi-final game against Skellefteå AIK on 2016-04-11, by scoring one second before the end of regulation! The rightmost photo shows players from Skellefteå AIK, in their home jerseys, celebrating the decisive goal during the sudden death over time, when playing at home today, 2016-04-13. The photos were taken by photographers from TT, Mikael Fritzon (left) and Robert Granström (right), respectively.

Finally, the photos below were taken exactly 11 years ago, showing typical means of transport in Shanghai then. I understand that now there are many more private cars in the streets, as well as many more options to travel by subway. In 2005, there were only 2 subway lines, but as a preparation for the 2010 World Exhibition, 15 more lines were built during those 5 years!

13AD

Photos I took on 2005-04-13 in Shanghai. Regarding the two bottom photos, taken in the subway, many other subway cars around the world have monitors inside them nowadays, but I think that signs like the ones on the bottom left should be used more frequently also elsewhere to avoid disgusting passenger behaviors.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Istid 13 april

+: What did you learn in school today ?