2016-06-21 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

The world is changing and besides the traditional places where advanced technology is being used we now also see countries like Rwanda in Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Middle East.


Photo of the city of Dubai, with the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, 828 meters, in the center. Courtesy of Chiara Anzalone.

One of the seven emirates in UAE is Dubai, and Dubai is also the name of its capital. My deepest gratitude to my friend Chiara, who took this impressing header photo of Dubai. It shows the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, 828 meters, in the center. See more about Dubai in reference #1 below. Today, I want to talk about recent technologies that are being employed in Dubai.

The first one deals with construction of buildings. Besides being the city with the tallest building in the world, now there has been demonstrated a method similar to 3D printing to be used in the construction process. But instead of resulting in traditional small 3D printed objects, this time it is a complete office building. Using a printer with dimensions of 6 m x 36 m x 12 m, in 17 days was built a 250 m2 fully functional office building, at half the cost of traditional methods. Initially it is the temporary headquarters of Dubai Future Foundation, and it was opened one month ago. Reference #2 below gives more details.


The world’s first 3D-printed office. Photo by REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Another field where Dubai is showing its advanced state of technology is in a communications technology abbreviated Li-Fi. Most of you know what Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) is, a technology which permits that we connect our computers and smartphones to the internet via hotspots. However, one of the drawbacks with Wi-Fi, as compared to wired connections, is the slower speed and susceptibility to interference from other sources.

Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is similar to Wi-Fi, but instead of radio waves it uses infrared light to convey the information. It can therefore be used in electromagnetic sensitive areas such as in aircraft cabins, hospitals and nuclear power plants without causing electromagnetic interference. Typically one can also expect data transmission speeds 100 times higher than when using Wi-Fi. Reference #3 below offers further information about Li-Fi. The communications provider du has recently performed a trial in Dubai and the result confirmed that Li-Fi can be a major communications technology in the near future, as described in reference #4 below.

Finally, speaking about light, today was inaugurated MAX IV in Lund in the south of Sweden. It permits researchers to make their investigations in the strong synchrotron radiation. Listen to Radio Sweden’s program in reference #5 and read more about synchrotron in reference #6 below.


The Max IV installation in Lund. Photo by Perry Nordeng

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Dubai

2: Dubai opens the world’s first functioning 3D-printed office

3: LiFi

4: du trials Li-Fi, 100 X faster internet than WiFi

5: Lysande start för Max IV

6: Synchrotron

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-03-17 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

Although we are used to all the facilities connected with international travel, primilarily on the Northern hemisphere, there are still people who suffer a lot when the they change their physical location. An example of this is in a report made by Radio Sweden’s correspondent in Africa, Richard Myrenberg, based in Kigali, Rwanda. He needed to travel to Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon, and for that purpose had to obtain a visa at the Cameroonian embassy in the neighboring Kinshasa, Congo. So he travelled to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, where he boarded another flight to Kinshasa. He finally got his visa and could take one of the only 7 international flights leaving the brand new airport of N’Djili Airport in Kinshasa to his final destination in Yaoundé. If you think that sounds complicated, then you should know that not many years ago, for a person to travel from East Africa to West Africa or vice-versa, s/he had to make a stopover in Frankfurt, Germany or Amsterdam, the Netherlands!

But here follows two good pieces of news if you are exchanging flights in Keflavik, Iceland or Schiphol, the Netherlands:

Iceland, reference #2 below
When you fly Icelandair across the Atlantic, you can stop over in Iceland for up to seven nights at no additional airfare. And once on Iceland, the employees of Icelandair offer to be your travel partner and explore all the interesting things one can do on the island.

The Netherlands, reference #3 below
If your starting point lies in Canada, USA or Italy, and you have at least 6 hours between planes at Schiphol, then you can benefit from a new mobile app from KLM. It lets you connect with a local resident in Amsterdam for a brief sight-seeing. KLM pays the train round trip from the airport and even the first round of drinks for you and your local guide to enjoy.


An unusually fine day in Limerick, photo taken by Dina Videman on 2016-02-22

There once was a family in Limerick
Who from all the rain got pretty sick
So they went to meet the Sun
In the Canaries, oh what fun
And as a bonus they cheered for St. Patrick

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Richard Myrenbergs mödosamma resa till Yaoundé

2: Travel in Iceland with a stopover buddy

3: Layover with a Local

4: Saint Patrick’s Day

+: What did you learn in school today ?