Friday, October 18, 2013

Inspiring Technology: Concrete Canvas

I know I haven't been posting in the last few months, but with my first midterm under my belt, I have decided to begin making more Inspiring Technology reports. However, I will be structuring them differently from now on. Rather than having larger weekly reports, I am going to be posting more frequent, smaller articles from now on.

 Concrete Canvas

Earlier this week I happened to come across a YouTube video about a new type of concrete that acts like a thick fabric before it sets, allowing it to cover any curved or irregular surface and be set on site with little difficulty. Essentially, Concrete canvas is composed of a synthetic fiber fabric which has been impregnated with a special concrete mix and backed with PVC to make it waterproof.

A roll of Concrete Canvas, which acts like a thick fabric before it is set with water.
A bulk roll of Concrete Canvas. Courtesy of Concrete Canvas Ltd.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Inspiring Technology: Underwater Vibrations, Bacteria, Solar Wind

Over the past two weeks, the Inspiring Technology reports have been focused on advancements in energy, both in wind generators and solar panels. This week, I am going to bring to light some other, less conventional methods that many scientists and researchers believe could be the answer to our energy problems. Some of the ideas being posed sound odd. However, the forces that researchers are trying to harness have been around us a long time.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Inspiring Technology: Flexible Glass, Nanostructures, Carbon Solar Panel

Last week on Inspiring Technology I discussed the merits of wind technology and new advancements in the field. This week, and the next two after this, I am going to be discussing other advancements that are making alternative energy safer and more economical.

This week, I am going to be discussing new advancements in solar energy that makes it more affordable and accessible. For a long time solar power has been considered the energy of the wealthy, because it has a reputation of being extremely expensive. However, these new technologies might make it possible for anyone to afford solar power.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Historical Preservation, Your Property and Your Community Part 2: Repair, Restore, or Replace

An old house in Poland that needs work on the foundation and siding.
House in Disrepair. CC-A-ND, sollyth, Flickr.

If you have identified the architectural style of your home in part I, then you may feel ready to undertake projects to help restore your house to its original splendor. However, one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make when restoring any building is the one that has to be asked before any restoration is even started. Should the portion or component of the building be repaired, restored, or replaced. This question is commonly associated with old windows because of their frequent need for repair, but in recent years has been applied to any part of an old building.

For many people replacing a part seems like the easiest method, in many cases it requires the least effort and often will make a building more efficient, secure, and safe by modern standards. A new component in a house will promise less maintenance than restored parts. From a brief glance replacement seems like the best method for someone who doesn't have a personal interest in the historical value of their home and who could use some more money.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Inspiring Technology: Windstalks, Saphonians, Windbelts

A wind farm composed of numerous three-blade generators.
A traditional wind farm

Over the next four weeks the Inspiring Technology posts are going to tackle new technologies that are being used to revolutionize the energy industry. These designs not only make current energy sources more efficient, but they also take energy from some of the most unlikely places.

In today's post, I am going to show you three new ideas that are changing the way wind energy is being collected. From updating the current turbine to using totally different methods altogether, these new generators are inspiring both in their functionality and beauty.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Historical Preservation, Your Property and Your Community Part I: Determining the Architectural Style

Most people think that historical preservation is just maintaining the original splendor of castles, battlefields, mansions, and other important buildings. However, some of the most important historical preservation is being done on a smaller, more local scale. The heart of historical preservation is not just to protect national monuments and relics, but largely to protect local stories. Every region in every country has some story to tell, whether it happened 60 years ago or 600 years ago. These stories are important and that is what historical preservation seeks to protect. Local preservation has become extremely important in the last few years. Whether it is an old house that has been in your house for years or a local storefront that dates back to one of the gold rushes, it is important to try to restore these historical buildings into their original state.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Inspiring Technology: Neurostimulation, Glucose Monitoring, Healing Gel

Some of the largest advancements in technology today is happening in the medical field. As the average age of the United States continues to increase there is an increased need to provide new, innovative ways to treat many different diseases and illnesses. Thankfully, new technologies are being researched that can provide more efficient therapy without using as many chemicals. These technologies are being used largely to make living with chronic diseases such as diabetes much easier.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Inspiring Technology: Tube Transportation, Maglev, Automated Cars

There are very few technologies that are as old as transportation. As long as people have lived, transportation has been needed in civilization. From horses, camels, wagons, and sailboats to cars, trains, ships, and airplanes, the technology of our transportation has come a long way. However, in recent years, many new challenges have caused a shift in the way we design our technology. While it may seem that improvements in planes and cars in the last decade have been small compared to improvements in computers and communication, there are many company and research labs that are pushing for new technologies that both conserve energy and provide for the increasing population of  urban areas.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Life and Legacy of Nikola Tesla

Portrait of Nikola Tesla: Circa 1895

Today is Nikola Tesla's 157th birthday. He was born on July 10th in Serbia. He studied for three years at Austrian Polytechnic and later moved to New York to work for Thomas Edison. Tesla is well known for inventing the AC power system, the electric motor, and many other things. Many people have praised Tesla as one of the most brilliant inventors in history. Others claim that many of his postulations were merely the rantings of a mad man prone to nervous breakdowns. Despite this, no one can deny that his inventions have changed the way we live today.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why You Should Make Detergent at Home

When you mix 1 cup of Borax with 1 cup of Washing Soda and a shaved bar of soap, you get cheap and effective detergent.

A few months ago my family decided to try making detergent at home. Not only is homemade detergent inexpensive,  it is also extremely easy to make and contains less chemicals that can irritate skin. If there is one supply you make at home it should definitely be laundry detergent.


1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar soap (We use Fels-Naptha, but other soaps work just as well, you can even use homemade soap!)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Inspiring Technology: Roombot, Rosphere, Human Exoskeleton

A compilation of famous fictional robots.
Robots in Pop Culture
This week in Inspiring Technology, I am going to show you how new advances in robotics are going to transform many elements of communication, emergency response, and even design. While the robots being produced are nothing like those portrayed in movies, they are arguably more useful. Instead of being programmed to imitate humans and reproduce their actions these robots are designed to be what humans cant be. These modern robots rely on modular technology and swarm based actions to do what no person can do.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Light Up Your Patio or Deck

Outdoor barbeques and parties are a staple of the summer. However, they can often be cut short by the setting of the sun. Many people think they have to purchase special porch lighting for these instances, but there are many ways you make temporary porch or patio lights just with unused Christmas lights and a few other around the house items. Each of these projects will take no more than a couple of hours and can be torn down easily after a party or barbeque

Monday, July 1, 2013

Inspiring Technology: Voyager I, Pocket Spacecraft, and Solar Sails

Simulation of the launch of the spaceprobe Sunjammer, which uses revolutionary solar sail technology.
This week on Inspiring Technology I am going to highlight some of the amazing technologies that are shaping the way we look at space travel. From the first man-made object to leave the solar system to new technologies that can potentially fuel intergalactic flight, developments in the realm of space exploration are increasing rapidly. In the near future, Voyager I is set to leave the solar system, miniature rockets could be used for personal lunar research, and the first solar sail will be launched from Earth

3 Goals of Indigo Creek

Remembering the Past, Moving to the Future

 Some things are best if made the old-fashioned way, like canned jams or home-baked french bread. Other things, such as energy generators and transportation are best left moving forward. There are many blogs out there that seek to teach people the old-fashioned way to do just about everything, and there are many blogs that show how new technologies make everything easier. However, this one is different.
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