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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stan Lee And The NHL Team Up For Fan Recruitment

In an attempt to appeal to new young fans the National Hockey League (NHL) has drafted comic book legend Stan Lee to create a new team of 30 super heroes with powers reflective of their corresponding city / team name. The partnership is called the Guardian Project and has reportedly been in the works for a year.

“I’ve always believed that every great plan starts with a great story,” Lee said in a statement. “In the creation of Guardian Media Entertainment and its unique and unprecedented relationship with the NHL, I truly believe we have the perfect combination from which to launch 30 new superheroes and excite young fans around the globe.”


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Urban Transportation Without The Congestion - Sweeb

In 2008 Google announced  it's Project 10^100 to fund innovative research aimed at world changing ideas and promptly received more than 150,000 categories from the public for which to consider funding. In September of this year Google Inc. announced an investment of $1,000,000 USD in a project/product named Shweeb, to assist with transit research and development.

Shweeb is a derivation of a German word "schweben", meaning to "float" or "suspend". As the tale goes, Shweeb's inventor Geoffrey Banett was living in Tokyo in the late 90's and found it extremely frustrating and unsafe to ride his bicycle to work each day. The English teacher's students also expressed their concerns and planted the seed for the development of Shweeb. Currently deployed at an adventure park in New Zealand Barnett plans to announce shortly where the first practical implementation as a public transportation system will take place. 

"Although it is pedal-powered like a bicycle, it's got none of the resistances that are inherent in a bicycle, being that you're riding feet-first into the wind with a very small frontal area," he said. "The wind resistance is really low compared to a bicycle. ... I can see people of any age and any fitness level being able to cover a kilometer [0.62 miles] without any effort at all, let alone sweat."

Source: CNN &

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Google Makes Investment In Off Shore Wind Farm

The Official Google Blog has announced an investment by the company in a backbone transmission project off of the mid-Atlantic. 
When built out, the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6,000MW of offshore wind turbines. That’s equivalent to 60% of the wind energy that was installed in the entire country last year and enough to serve approximately 1.9 million households.
Besides the environmental advantages of off shore wind energy, Google says the project makes good business sense as well and is "... investing 37.5% of the equity in this initial development stage, with the goal of obtaining all the necessary approvals to finance and begin constructing the line. Although the development stage requires only a small part of the total estimated project budget, it represents a critical stage for the project."

There certainly is ample wind off the east coast, and by locating the turbines offshore, in relatively shallow waters, the producers should not meet the same objections that land based wind farms do regarding noise and health affects to local residents. The turbines will supply power to the strongest land based grids along the coast via under water cables. At 1.9 million households it's still but a drop in the bucket, but it's a great start.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Here's a shout out to all of you geeks celebrating 10-10-10 which as we all know is binary for 42 and represents the "Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything" It doesn't get much better than this!

Google's Johny Cab

Drawing on the immense computing power of Google's server farms, the search giant has been quietly testing  self driving cars with the aim of aiding mankind according to the Official Google Blog
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents. We believe our technology has the potential to cut that number, perhaps by as much as half. We’re also confident that self-driving cars will transform car sharing, significantly reducing car usage, as well as help create the new “highway trains of tomorrow."
In order to accomplish it's goal Google has enlisted help from several leading participants in the field including "...some of the very best engineers from the DARPA Challenges, a series of autonomous vehicle races organized by the U.S. Government. Chris Urmson was the technical team leader of the CMU team that won the 2007 Urban Challenge. Mike Montemerlo was the software lead for the Stanford team that won the 2005 Grand Challenge. Also on the team is Anthony Levandowski, who built the world’s first autonomous motorcycle that participated in a DARPA Grand Challenge, and who also built a modified Prius that delivered pizza without a person inside." 

Here is a small video clip from the NYTimes article:  

Note that there is an occupant in the driver's seat who is a specially trained driver to man the controls in the event of a system failure, and a software engineer in the passenger seat who monitors the software. Google says that their major concern in the experiment was safety and that they had worked with local law enforcement on all test drives. The test drives where apparently scouted first by manned vehicles that mapped the route and noted road conditions.