Intelligent Spoon -Sensing the Properties of the Food
Two students,Connie Cheng andLeonardo Bonanni ofMIT Media Lab are behindthis sensor-laden smart spoon,which monitors the temperature,acidity, salinity and viscosity ofwhatever it happens to be stirringand feeds the information to acomputer for processing. Thisintelligent spoon has zinc, gold, zener diode, and aluminum sensors todetect the temperature, acidity, salinity, and viscosity levels of thehuman-feed it’s currently stirring.
The project aims to introduce computing into traditional culinaryutensils. It seeks to provide information, in an integrated manner, aboutany food the spoon is in contact with, and to offer suggestions to improvethe food. The built-in sensors evaluate the different properties of thefood, and send them to the computer for further processing.
Apart from consolidating measurements that are normally done byan array of equipment into a single spoon, the information obtained canbe used to advise the users what their next step should be; for example,it tells the user if there is not enough salt in the brine prepared to makepickles.
In the 1950s the world made less than 5 million tonnes of plastic products, now we produce 80 million tonnes!
Car Fuel from Food Waste
Chain of fast food eateries and restaurants world over, push out billions of gallons of animal fat and waste vegetable oil which is an untapped source of transportation fuel – cleaner-burning bio-diesel. As a fuel source, bio-diesel has distinct advantages over conventional diesel based on fossil fuels. When burned in cars, it produces far less carbon dioxide in most cases and can produce fewer sulfur compounds, claims advocates of bio-diesel.
In US, most food outlets currently pay 10 to 15 cents a gallon to waste disposal companies to haul away their food waste. The new bio-diesel companies entering the field, instead, will pay fast food outlets for their oil.
All are benefited, including the environment.
Humans as Professional Noses to Sniff out Pollution
For years, dogs have been man’s best friend when it comes to sniff out drugs. Now humans themselves are being trained as ‘professional noses’ to sniff for illegal emissions while patrolling the southern city of Guangzhou, in China.
Environmental experts train the selected people in the laboratory to differentiate between hundreds of odors and gauge their threat to human health. A dozen such sniffers will be employed by an environmental monitoring station in the city to detect noxious gases released by chemical and rubber factories, as well as from rubbish dumps and sewers. The sniffers expect to receive certificates that will officially let them commence their careers as professional noses. The certificates will be valid for just three years, though, because humans’ olfactory capabilities tend to decline with aging.
Universal Cell Phone Charger-Chinese Stipulation
We are now in an era of portable gadgets, predominantly cell phones, powered by batteries to be re-charged regularly. Thus the charger has become part and parcel of people on the move, with its inconvenience.
China is now taking the lead to enforce a compulsory universal cell phone charger standard. The aim is to reduce the number of chargers that are thrown away each year because of very high cell phone upgrades in China – nearly 100 million cell phones are destroyed by the non-invasive radio waves.
Navigation Skills of Homing Birds
One of nature’s most intriguing mysteries is how some birds are able to retrace their path after the seasonal migration to places thousands of kilometres away. It has long been recognized that birds possess the ability to use the Earth’s magnetic field for their navigation. But the real scientific basis behind this navigation skill has not been clarified until very recently. The recent discovery of iron-containing structures in the beaks of homing pigeons in a new study by scientists at the University of Frankfurt offers some insight into this complex issue.
In histological and physicochemical examinations, iron-containing subcellular particles of maghemite and magnetite werefound in sensory dendrites of the skin lining the upper beak of homing pigeons.
China promotes Solar Water Heating
Nearly 80 % of China’s hot water requirements are met through solar water heaters. According to a recent plan, the Chinese government is encouraging new buildings and major users of hot water—such as hospitals, restaurants, swimming pools etc. —to install solar water heaters as the technology has become mature and cost-effective.
A typical device, consisting of a two-square-meter collector with rows of glass tubes and a 180-litre storage tank, can provide hot water for a 3 to 4 person family at a minimum cost of around US$195. In 2006, the Chinese solar water heater industry had a turnover of more than US$2.6 billion and provided nearly 600,000 jobs. The total installed capacity of solar water heaters nationwide has reached some 90 million square meters, or roughly 60 percent of the world total.
Courtesy: Executive Knowledge Lines