Sci-tech: The wondrous world of science
A group of Czech companies (Technodat, Evektor and Duratec) are planning to build a flying bicycle that will allow you to fly above the traffic, when needed! The Flying Bike (“FBike”) will have a number of electrically driven propellers fitted on a light alloy frame of a two-wheeler bicycle. The bicycle will be able to take off vertically by bringing its six electrically driven propellers into action. This will allow it to keep flying as long as batteries last. It is planned to have lithium-polymer batteries fitted under the cross bar.
The FBike is being fitted with gyroscopes and accelerometres that will provide stability and ensure a smooth take-off, flight and a gentle landing. The rider will be strapped on to the specially designed seat in order to ensure safety. The first flights are expected to occur in mid-August this year.
World’s tallest building — in 90 days
Plans are afoot to construct the world’s tallest building “Sky City One” in a record time of 90 days! The 220-storey building will take only one-twentieth of the time taken by Burj Khalifa in Dubai that is currently the tallest building in the world. The Chinese construction company Broad Group plans to construct this building in the city of Changsha, Hunan, in south-central China. It will be 838 metres tall and will be taller than Burj Khalifa by 33 feet.
The building will be largely prefabricated, about 95 per cent of the building being assembled in modular form before work commences on site. Burj Khalifa cost $450 per square foot to construct whereas Sky City One will be constructed at a cost of only $63 per square foot. It will have 220 floors, 104 elevators and will be able to accommodate about 100,000 persons in it, providing space for offices, leisure and retail facilities. The total cost will be about $628 million, in contrast to Burj Khalifa that cost about $1.5 billion.
In view of the environmentally-friendly design, the energy consumed will be about one-fifth of that expected from other buildings of its size. This is achieved by its six inch thick exterior walls and quadruple gazed glass windows.
Vegetable products that taste like meat
Ethan Brown, a US entrepreneur, along with Fu-hung Hsieh and Harold Huff at the University of Missouri have developed plant-based proteins that look, feel and taste like chicken meat. The product known as “Beyond Meat” is manufactured using different plant ingredients such as soy, peas, carrots and gluten-free flour. The heating and cooling processes employed finally lead to the finished product that looks and tastes like strips of chicken meat.
About 18 per cent of green house gases are caused by animal food products, and about 50 billion land animals are slaughtered each year to end up on our dinner plates. The vegetable substitutes to meat would therefore address this environmental concern.
World’s fastest super computer
Fujitsu, a world leader in computer technologies, has boasted of having the world’s fastest super computer, “Fujitsu K” for quite some time.
IBM has been trying to overtake Fujitsu but without success. Now, however, IBM has announced its latest super computer (“Sequoia”) that has a performance of 16.32 petaflops per second, beating Fujitsu to second place. With Fujitsu’s dominance in high quality laptops, desktops, servers and other computer accessories that are largely manufactured in Germany, it is fast gaining a strong foothold in world markets. It is for the first time since November 2009 that a US computer manufacturer can claim to have the fastest computer in the world. So it is anyone’s guess how long IBM, that has been in second place for a long time, will be able to maintain its lead over Fujitsu in having the fastest super computer in the world.
A galactic collision
The latest data provided by the Hubble telescope indicates that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is on a collision course with the nearest neighbouring Andromeda galaxy. However, you need not worry as there is no immediate danger. The collision will start in about four billion years, and will continue for another three billion years after which the two galaxies would have merged into a single large elliptically shaped galaxy.
Our earth, however, faces serious problems much earlier. The sun is now approaching the time when it will transition to a red giant star.
This will cause all oceans to evaporate in about a billion years. In another two billion years, all water would have been lost from our planet, and finally Earth will be swallowed by the sun as the red giant star expands far beyond its present size.