2017-06-23 (Midsommarafton)

Today, I learned that:

The world today is upside down, even in the so called Developed world, between old traditions, which seem to hinder more than help, and interesting innovations using old concepts in a totally new way.

The latter can be clearly seen in this lecture held at the branch offices of Chalmers University of Technology at Lindholmen in Gothenburg, Sweden. Since I was visiting Gothenburg that day, I first visited my friend Lars Lindsköld, who made that interesting lecture about personal identification numbers in March, see my post of 2017-04-01. Here is a selfie we took to immortalize our encounter:

Lars Lindsköld och jag

Selfie of Lars (to the right) and me, photo taken on 2017-05-30

Then I listened attentively to a lecture by Lars Larsson, professor in Mechanics and Marine Science at Chalmers, where he described a concept boat. Starting with a small dinghy which top speed was 5 knots, by placing wings on centre board and rudder, and using carbon fibre and graphene, he and his team were able to transform that slow boat into a racer boat reaching 20 knots! See references #1 and #2 below, showing the main highlights of the lecture and a video of the foiling optimist. Thanks Lars for letting me share your knowledge with the world! Also, here is a photo of the professor and his racer dinghy:

Lars Larsson and his flying dinghy

Professor Lars Larsson and his concept dinghy. Photo taken on 2017-05-30.

Returning to the initial paragraph of this post, the old traditions which hinder the contemporary life are of course the British habit of the Queen announcing the new government by reading from a document, which was manually written with ink on “goatskin” that takes three days to dry! See reference # 3 below.

Trevlig midsommar!

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:
1: Den flygande Optimisten – så fungerar den

2: The foiling optimist

3: The British practice of printing the Queen’s speech on goatskin is delaying the opening of their parliament

*: 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 ?

2016-02-14 (Sunday)

Today, I learned once more that:

How good it is to have a quiet Sunday and just relax together with the family. And to open up the appetite for yet another tasteful lunch, nothing better than a refreshing drink. Although there are many wonderful drinks, gin and tonic being one of them, ever since the day I first set foot on Brazilian soil, I have been a fan of their national drink, called Caipirinha, as depicted in the following photo.

cropped-caipirinha1.jpg

And if you have the right ingredients, there is nothing easier than making a Caiprinha. Here is the recipe:
Take one lime fruit and cut off the ends. Divide it into eight equal parts.
Put the parts in a tumbler glass.
Bring out the sugar, which must be made out of sugar cane to have the right sweetness. Depending on how sweet you like your drink, add the desired quantity of sugar. I normally use two soupspoons.
Using a wooden muddler, squeeze the juice out of the lime and let it blend with the sugar.
Add some cubes of ice on top.
Pour the sugar cane liquor, cachaça or pinga as it commonly known, over the solution.
Stir it very well, so that the liquor mixes well with the sweet solution.
Saúde !

But life is not only food and drinks. Although not my favourite pastime, I can very well understand those who look forward to when they can put their boat into the water and go for a trip. I recently came across a fantastic pulling boat, handmade only by wooden marine plank, no plastic! The marine planks were delivered by a Finnish company named Vendia, and currently they are exhibiting boats made of their planks at an international boat show in Helsinki, their capital. Look at the following photo, ain’t she a beauty:

Niko

Pulling boat made of mahogany veneer marine plank. Photo by Vendia

… That’s what I learned in school!

Refs.:

1: Caipirinha

2: Mahogany pulling boat

+: What did you learn in school today ?