BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept – green & mean

BMW has followed up the M1 homage concept with a daring green and mean concept car. In one go, this concept – the Vision EfficientDynamics – concept vaults BMW straight into both the supercar and green vehicle categories in a single leap.

i do hope that this car makes it into production as the images are hot.

source of images and news from BMW Blog –
http://www.bmwblog.com/2009/08/29/meet-the-bmw-vision-efficientdynamics-concept/

http://www.bmwblog.com/2009/08/29/bmw-vision-efficientdynamics-photo-gallery/

For decades, BMW has made the reduction of emissions and fuel consumption a key part of its product development strategy, just as enhancements to the dynamic ability of each BMW have been a lasting, sustained brand value. BMW’s EfficientDynamics engineering philosophy – the pursuit of an enhanced, athletic driving experience while simultaneously lowering the consumption and emissions of each vehicle – resulted in the most dramatic drop in fleet consumption of any automaker from 1990 through 2005, according to an Environmental Defense study.

Now, the BMW Vision concept car clearly demonstrates that the EfficientDynamics objectives are fully compatible when applied to a sports car. Conceived as a 2+2-seater with plug-in full-hybrid technology, this unique car combines the performance of a BMW M vehicle with a standard of fuel efficiency and emission management that exceeds even the current levels achieved by the latest small cars. This outstanding result is made possible by the combination of BMW ActiveHybrid components with an extremely economical combustion engine, and outstanding aerodynamic qualities.

some facts:

* 2+2 seater
* Bird’s wings door
* Dimensions (length x width x height): 4.60 x 1.90 x 1.24 meters
* Combined power: 356 hp, 800 Nm(590 lb-ft) of torque
* 1.5 liter 3-cylinder turbodiesel engine placed at the rear of the car
* Diesel engine: 163 hp, 290 Nm(214 lb-ft) of torque
* Two electric engines, one near the front axle, one near the rear axle
* Electric-rear engine with constant 33 HP and a peak of 51 HP. Maximum torque 214 lb-ft
* Electric engine front axle with constant 80 HP. Extra power of 112 HP available for 30 seconds and for 10 seconds, 139 HP. Torque:162 lb-ft
* 4.8 seconds 0-100 km/h, limited 250 km/h (155 mph)
* DCT gearbox
* average 3,76 liter per 100 kilometer – 62.6MPG. CO2 99 gram per km
* Maximum Range: 690 kilometers – 428 miles
* Weight: 1.395 kg – 3,075 lbs
* Weight of the lithium-ion batteries: 85 kg – 187 lbs
* Charging time: Depending on the amperage between 44 minutes and 2.5 hours
* 3D HUD
* No Active Cooling Required

Bill Gates’ new mission: Saving lives

source site – TG Daily – Bill Gates’ new mission: Saving lives

When you already have transformed the way the world works, what do you do with the second half of your life? Ask Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, the insanely rich guy we so often loved to hate, but who is being credited with bringing computing to the mainstream. Today, Gates released the first annual letter describing his new role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. What we read is a passionate introduction to the challenges and goals of his charity. And I remember the old saying: There are those who say they are saving lives, and those who actually do.

this is pretty inspirational. yes, i do not like bill gates the microsoft man. but bill gates the man, is a different matter altogether. even at microsoft he was singularly focused on changing the way we work. i believe that this singular focus will allow him to achieve good things with his foundation. his work at the foundation is described on his 2009 annual letter.

this is one of the best ways to see wealth being shared across the world.

Woody Norris invents cutting edge sonic devices

source site – Woody Norris invents amazing things | Video on TED.com

Woody Norris shows off two of his inventions that treat sound in new ways, and talks about his untraditional approach to inventing and education. As he puts it: “Almost nothing has been invented yet.” So — what’s next?

Woody Norris is a serial inventor of electronics, tools and cutting-edge sonic equipment — such as the LRAD acoustic cannon.

The acoustic cannon he invented seems like a real cool device. can be quite scary hearing voices in your head that nobody else does…

Fasten Your Seatbelts – Forward the Future

source site – Fasten Your Seatbelts – washingtonpost.com

When the present promises only economic hardship and political upheaval, what does the future look like?

In 2009, it looks like a world of gleaming spaceships filled with enlightened people who have emerged with their humanity intact after a terrible war. They have entered the 23rd century, shed racism, no longer use money, possess seemingly magical technologies and are devoted to peaceful exploration. I refer of course to “Star Trek” and its powerful story of a better tomorrow, which has been mesmerizing audiences for almost half a century and returns to movie theaters this coming May with an eagerly anticipated 11th full-length feature.

But wait. The future also looks like this: a dark, violent world where a horrific war between humans and cyborgs leads to the near-extermination of humanity. This vision, in the latest “Terminator” movie, is also arriving at your nearest mutiplex in May.

We imagine the future in places other than the movie theater, of course. Still, these two familiar franchises underscore the conflicting stories we tell ourselves in uncertain times about what lies ahead: Either we’re bound for a techno-utopia of adventure, or a grim, Orwellian dystopia where humanity is on the brink of implosion.

science fiction stories can often be looked at as warnings of our future, or sell us hope for humanity. our present day is a complex cacophony of events, disease, strife, poverty, conflicts, discoveries, changes in human behaviours, alliances etc. for those of us with children, we wonder what sort of a world are we raising our children in, and what world is in store for their children. it is often scary. but hopeful.

many of the predictions in science fiction may or may not come true, but one thing that fascinates me is what is the prediction of human behaviours… as this will determine whether our future is bleak, or pleasant. once again, this is the very question asked by the Joker and Batman in Dark Knight.

Are we all madness waiting to come out, or do we have good in ourselves?

Scientists plan to ignite tiny man-made star

source site – Scientists plan to ignite tiny man-made star – Telegraph

While it has seemed an impossible goal for nearly 100 years, scientists now believe that they are on brink of cracking one of the biggest problems in physics by harnessing the power of nuclear fusion, the reaction that burns at the heart of the sun.

In the spring, a team will begin attempts to ignite a tiny man-made star inside a laboratory and trigger a thermonuclear reaction.

Its goal is to generate temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius and pressures billions of times higher than those found anywhere else on earth, from a speck of fuel little bigger than a pinhead. If successful, the experiment will mark the first step towards building a practical nuclear fusion power station and a source of almost limitless energy.

this seems like an exciting development. but how much will it cost and what are the safety implications? will it be practical?