Ancient Computer Hacked

A bizarre looking device that was used to chart and predict moon cycles. Researchers had to use the most modern of today’s technology to understand this 2,000 year old device.

“Using 21st-century technology to peer beneath the surface of the encrusted gearwheels, stunned scientists say the so-called Antikythera Mechanism could predict the ballet of the Sun and Moon over decades and calculate a lunar anomaly that would bedevil Isaac Newton himself.

Built in Greece around 150 to 100 BC and possibly linked to the astronomer and mathematician Hipparchos, its complexity was probably unrivalled for at least a thousand years, they say.”

Grow Your Own Luffa

Tired of not having your own personalized luffa?

Did you know that you can grow your own luffa in your backyard? Well you can. Groovy Green has not one but two posts on how to grow your own luffa.

“Many people are surprised when they find out I grow my own Luffa sponges. “Don’t those come from the sea?”, is the standard question to which I respond that the Luffa is a vegetable you can grow in your very own garden.”

Algae is Good Green Goo

algaeLong time readers of ThingsAreGood may know that we like to talk about algae. Today is no exception, Living on Earth is running an interview with a man who dearly loves algae, particularly burning algae for biofuels.

“Berzin grows algae because they’re super rich in oil. In some species, oil accounts for half the little creature’s body mass. In fact, algae synthesize 30 times more vegetable oil per acre than plants like sunflowers or rapeseed. The algae biodiesel can be used to run engines, or converted into methane or fermented into alcohol. And here’s the best part: algae eat carbon dioxide for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And one thing the global warming world has too much of is CO2 from fossil fuel burning power plants.”

Nailing it Right

In hurricane and tornado prone areas a very cheap and simple but effective nail can be used to help a house hold tight. The HurriQuake is a nail that is designed to hold better than other nails even in earthquakes. Popular Science as a lot of information on how the nail was designed and how the idea was inspired by a trip to the Caribbean, the article concentrates on the man who invented it – Dr. Nail.

The nail adds about $15 to the cost of an average 2000 sq. ft. house, it’s such a cheap and effective solution to keep a house standing.

Via MeFi

Future Ships to Float on Air

hulledSome researchers are trying to find a way to let ships ride bubbles through the water. Ships built in the future my have a specially built hull that releases tiny bubbles using an air pump to provide less friction than water.

The New Scientist article goes into the technical challenges of designing what they call a slippery ship and the positive impact that these ships can have on the environment.

“A craft that has less friction as it slides through the water will be far more efficient than standard ships. Slippery ships could travel across the sea much faster or carry a bigger load on the same amount of fuel, saving money and reducing pollution. This is crucial, considering that in 2003 more than 90 per cent of all goods that were sent around the globe went by ship – that’s more than 6 billion tonnes, and the figure is set to increase.”

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