Smoky, strong, and bittersweet, the Boulevardier is probably the best cocktail to cozy up to on a chilly winter’s evening. This fancy drink, whose name transfers to “a wealthy, fashionable socialite,” is a subtle combination of bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari, making it a breeze to prepare and easy to impress.
Sometimes mistakenly called a whiskey Negroni, the Boulevardier cocktail is actually believed to predate the Negroni. According to Dave Karraker, director at Campari & Cynar Marketing, it maintains the bitter sweet character of the Negroni but isn’t as embracing.
“The Boulevardier has a deeper, smoother flavor than a Negroni thanks to the aged whiskey, which replaces the gin in the classic recipe,” Karraker said.
Dating back to 1927, the Boulevardier is credited to Harry McElhone, the founder and proprietor of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Read More
A team of scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed the world’s smallest electric generator. At just one atom thick, the device is made from molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), which is a clear, flexible material that opens up huge possibilities for the future of electricity generation.
The new electrical generator is an example of piezoelectricity, or electricity that’s generated from pressure. Piezoelectric materials have had almost an infinite amount of potential uses, especially in the nanotechnology field, but until now, scientists have struggled to make them flexible and thin enough to be practical.
Shown is a sample of the material that was tested as part of the research. Image: Rob Felt/Georgia Tech.
In order to test whether or not MoS2 would be piezoelectric on the atomic scale, the team behind the technology flaked off thin layers of the MoS2 onto a flexible substrate with electrical contact. Read More
Aerial Bold is the first map and typeface of the Earth
After realizing their mutual enthusiasm for maps, or, more likely, bizarre patterns in our planet’s surface, data visualization designer Benedikt Gross and geographer Joey Lee collaborated on a project called Aerial Bold. The project, which was inspired by the many shapes of pools in Los Angeles, will be the first typeface created from shapes and patterns from Earth’s topology.
Since the duo spends so much time looking at satellite images, it was only a matter of time before they got creative with it. After realizing there are some letters in the images, as with any oddity, they began noticing them all of the time.
From there, the two decided to turn topography into typology, and were off to a strong start with their successful Kickstarter campaign. To “read” the planet for letterforms or alphabet shapes “written” into the topology of roads, buildings, rivers, trees, and lakes, Gross and Lee had to traverse Earth’s satellite imagery and develop the tools and methods needed to map these hidden features. In order to stick to their word, they had to create a bespoke automated process to detect letter forms from aerial imagery. Read More
By 2050 the aircraft industry will be much different than it is today. The predicted seven-fold increase in air traffic will bring a four-fold increase in greenhouse gas emissions, unless significant changes are made. But how drastic will these changes need to be in order to prevent this issue and how will they affect today’s aircraft that cruise through the skies every day?
The airliner is about to be re-invented. Shown above is an aircraft with a blended wing body. Image via space.com.
The next big step towards ensuring a greener aircraft industry is the full electrification of commercial aircraft. That means zero CO2 and NOx emissions, with energy sourced from power stations that are sustainably fueled. In this case, the main technological barrier is to overcome the energy density of batteries, a measure of how much power can be generated from a battery of a certain weight. Read More
To everyone’s surprise, Amazon came out with a voice-controlled speaker that tells you what you want to hear
Seemingly out of nowhere, Amazon announced that it’s building a speaker that can be controlled with your voice. Called Echo, it acts like a personal assistant that’s similar to Siri or Google Now – just crammed into a speaker. By using seven microphones equipped with sensors that use beamforming technology, it listens for user requests, and can even understand you while it’s pounding out 360-degree audio to fill the entire room.
Standing 9 inches tall, Echo looks and serves just like any speaker would. But playing your favorite tunes from your cloud library isn’t the only thing it can do. Designed to make your life a little bit easier, Echo, which responds to “Alexa,” can tell you the weather and answer general questions with facts from Wikipedia. Read More
Wearable tech for canines is equipped with physiological and behavioral sensors
U.S. engineers have invented a new technology that can help you better communicate with your dog, and they’re hoping to make it available to everyone from service dog handlers to owners interested in training their furry companions more effectively.
Developed at North Carolina State University, the new wearable device, which your dog wears like a harness, is set to improve the way you communicate with your dog. Because it’s fitted with physiological and behavioral sensors, the harness gives owners a real-time picture of their dog’s mental and emotional state, and allows them to more effectively send back signals and commands, even if the dog is out of sight.
No bigger than a deck of cards, the device inside of the harness works using two types of communication technologies. Read More
Patient suffered withdrawal symptoms when prevented from using Google Glass
After using Google Glass for about 18 hours a day, a man was admitted to a substance and recovery program for Internet addiction disorder. He’s believed to be the first patient with Internet addiction disorder triggered by the overuse of Google Glass. Although the disorder is not officially recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it’s becoming increasingly problematic.
In the two months since he bought the device, the user, who remains anonymous, only removed it to sleep and take showers, and said he felt argumentative and irritable when he wasn’t wearing it. He also experienced dreams as if viewed through the device’s small window.
The 31-year-old man was serving the U.S. Navy when he was admitted to the program, where he was using Google Glass for his job making inventories of convoy vehicles. When he entered the Navy’s treatment center, he was suffering from involuntary movements and memory loss, and doctors observed him tapping his fingers at his temple as if he were using the Google Glass touchpad. Read More
By 2020 London will see 250 air-conditioned driverless subway cars with onboard Wi-Fi
Transport for London’s 19th-century Underground is in for a modern-day upgrade. By 2020 the city will have 250 new air-conditioned, driverless subway cars equipped with onboard Wi-Fi operating on the Tube for the first time.
Initiated by London’s mayor Boris Johnson, the idea behind the revamped Tube system is to increase rider capacity from 8.4 million people to 10 million by 2030. In order to accommodate more passengers, each train will feature walk-through carriages that allow more people on a line, along with double doors to allow commuters to get on or off the trains faster.
Instead of paper advertising boards inside each carriage, the new trains will display screens that can be automatically updated with Tube statuses and real-time travel updates. Read More
Michigan-based brewing company is brewing up solar energy
You can never go wrong with some sunshine and a glass of beer, right? That was the thinking behind the Michigan-based Dark Horse Brewing Company when it decided to green up its operations. Because brewing beer requires an abundance of refrigeration, compressed air, water, and light, it’s no surprise this progressive microbrewery became interested in making more beer with less energy.
Fitted with 140 solar photovoltaic panels in the form of two “farms” on its production facility, the brewery uses the harnessed energy to power its everyday operations. In the event that more energy is harvested than needed to power Dark Horse’s home grid, the excess power goes into the city grid for redistribution. Also in the works is the installation of a new dual compressor chiller, which is used to circulate glycol, a food-grade antifreeze, throughout the brewery’s pipes to keep beer cool and temperatures stable.
Dark Horse Brewery’s solar system. Image via Design News.
Because the project was triggered by the need to upgrade the old chiller, the brewery opted for an energy-efficient upgrade, since it needed to invest anyway. Read More
Plant-inspired robotic devices are being studied as part of an EU-funded project
We’ve seen plenty of animal-inspired robots these past few years — a lightning-fast cheetah, a super-swift snake, some pollution-sensing fish — but we haven’t seen much inspiration drawn from plants, because they just sit there, right? Well there’s more to plants than you may think. With that being said, Europe’s PLANTOID project consortium is currently in the process of creating a tree-like robot. And get this: its descendants may one day find use in the exploration of other planets.
The PLANTOID robot on display.
Inside the 3D-printed plastic trunk that serves as the base of the PLANTOID robot is a microprocessor to guide the robot’s motions. Extending from the sides of the trunk are four plastic branches, each with leaves, which are actually sensors capable of detecting and measuring factors including temperature, humidity, touch, gravity, and chemical elements. Though that’s more than impressive, down in the robot’s roots are where the real action happens. Read More