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Tasty Tech Eye Candy of the Week (Sept. 4)
By Tracy Staedter,
Seeker, 4 September 2016.

Eighty-foot LEDs panels, an artificial eco-island and a sneeze-cam top this week's gallery.

1. 8-Story LEDs


Rising 86 feet up the wall of the lobby of the Wells Fargo Bank Building in Denver, Colorado, are five high-resolution LED displays. The eight-story screens are part of a digital installation developed by NYC-based ESI Design. The firm didn’t want to fill the cavernous glass atrium with one huge screen and so they decided to split it into five separate panels to accentuate the verticality of the lobby. The screens display video inspired by the nature surrounding Denver.

2. Sneeze Cam

Sneeze Cam

Using a high-speed camera and volunteers standing against a black backdrop, scientists recorded sneezes. Their goal was to better understand what happens when a person sneezes. The video, which was recorded at 1000 frames per second, showed that the motion and particle distribution of sneezes are more complicated than previously known.

For example, the particles in cloud range in size and travel through the air in swirls and eddies. The biggest surprise was the discovery that the finest droplets stayed suspended in the air for up to several minutes and could travel as far as several feet, which shows the potential for a sick person to infect other people in the room.

3. 3D-Printed Urban Cabin


Amsterdam-based DUS Architects 3D-printed this small, 86-sq-ft cabin to demonstrate the potential of 3-D printing in the construction industry. The Urban Cabin was printed over a period of about four weeks and is made from a bio-plastic that can be shredded and reused on another 3D-printed project.

4. Antibodies Affect Alzheimer’s Disease


Scientists at the University of Zurich have made a remarkable breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research. They found that an antibody called Aducanumab targets beta-amyloid plaques known to build up in the brain 10 to 15 years before symptoms of the disease begin to show. In tests, patients who received the highest dose of the antibody had almost no beta-amyloid plaque. Wider-spread clinical trials are now underway.

5. Artificial Island


China, already known for its artificial island building, is planning a man-made tourism hub for the country’s Haikou Bay. This week they announced that the New York City-based architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro won the competition to design the hub, called the South Sea Pearl Eco-Island.

6. Amtrak’s New Train


Amtrak’s Acela Express trains, which run between Boston, New York City and Washington D.C., are getting an upgrade. A sleek new exterior will enclose improved interior comforts, including more comfortable seating and better Wi-Fi and charging ports. The new trains will be capable of faster speeds, too. After track improvements, the train could top out at 186 mph, a decent improvement over the current 150 mph.

7. Picnic Towers


Twelve unattractive and unused electricity pylons in Stockholm’s Norra Djurgarden national park are getting a makeover. Swedish architects Anders Berensson is proposing converting at least two of the pylons into “picnic towers” that would offer people views of the park and nearby city. Although Berensson’s plans for the so-called Power Towers are conceptual at the moment, the firm is investigating way to fund them and make them a reality.

8. Autonomous Tractor


Self-driving cars are not just for the streets. Corn-rows may be seeing autonomous tractors, too. UK-based CNH Industrial’s NH Drive is a self-driving tractor chock full of software. LiDar, cameras, GPS and other equipment that allows a farmer to plot the most efficient course through a field, all from the comfort of his office.

9. Wheelie Competition Winner


At the 11th World Wheelie Championship held in Yorkshire, UK, Egbert Van Popta set a new world record for riding a wheelie one kilometer at 213 mph, beating the previous record of 210 mph, set by Gary Rothwell the year before.

10. Bat Cycle Prop


One of the fat-tired Batpot motorcycles that appeared in the Batman movies “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises” is up for auction on September 27. The UK-based Prop Store, a movie-lover’s paraphernalia company, is handling the deal. Expect to plunk down US$80,000 to US$106,000 for the machine.

Top image: Power Towers (“picnic towers”) in day time and night time. Credit: Anders Berensson Architects.

[Source: Seeker. Edited. Top image and some links added.]