BMW shows off an electric scooter with 62 mile range, 75 mph speed, & 3-hour charge

A new BMW prototype is looking to split the difference between speed and range in electric scooters. BMW’s C Evolution, which the company recently presented as a “near-production prototype” in London, is a stylish but pretty ordinary-looking scooter that charges through sockets or a dedicated station.

Its three-hour charge time gives users up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range, BMW says, and it can reach speeds of 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).

“BMW has read the signs of the times and is expanding its business activities to include the facet of urban mobility. Electromobility has a key role to play in this new segment.”

 

 
Source: The Verge – BMW’s stylish electric scooter shown off in new video, can go 62 miles with three-hour charge

 

 

Continue reading BMW shows off an electric scooter with 62 mile range, 75 mph speed, & 3-hour charge

The Art of Fermentation in coffee, bread, beer, cheese, yogurt…

The list of fermented food in our lives is staggering: bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and soy sauce are all transformed at some point during their production process by microscopic organisms that extend their usefulness and enhance their flavors.

The process of fermenting our food isn’t a new one: Evidence indicates that early civilizations were making wine and beer between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago — and bread even before that.

But was exactly is fermentation? And how does it work? Those were the questions that fascinated Sandor Katz for years. Katz calls himself a “fermentation revivalist” and has spent the past decade teaching workshops around the country on the ancient practice of fermenting food.

“If you walk into a gourmet food store and start thinking about the nature of the foods that we elevate on the gourmet pedestal, almost all of them are the products of fermentation,” he tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross.

 

Listen to the full interview on NPR’s Fresh Air‘Fermentation’: When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good

 

The book – The Art of Fermentation.

Continue reading The Art of Fermentation in coffee, bread, beer, cheese, yogurt…

Hobbit Production Video #7 – behind the scenes at the studio

Peter Jackson has released his newest high definition HD Hobbit movie video blog from New Zealand. This time the video features Jackson at the studio and introduces many popular Hobbit characters. Enjoy!

Soon cars will be ultra-light-weight and made out of carbon-fibre composites

The race is on to replace steel cars with carbon-fibre cars. All of the major automakers have inked deals to make the switch. The reason being that carbon-fibre is:

Interior view of a production line for carbon fiber heavy tow.

“10 times stronger than regular-grade steel and one-quarter of steel’s weight.”

“Using carbon fiber in lieu of conventional steel can lower the weight of a vehicle component by up to 50 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Cutting a car’s weight by 10 percent can improve fuel economy by as much as 8 percent.”

via Reuters

Weight is a big deal in cars. The heavier the car, the bigger the engine and, typically, the lower the fuel economy. This is especially true for electric cars who face limited mileage on one charge, reduce that weight by 10% and you can go an extra 50 miles.

Currently, carbon-fibre is expensive to make and only really used in racing cars. BMW, the first company to invest heavily in carbon, has already found ways to cut production costs.

“The carbon fiber fabric is placed in a mold, and resin is injected under high pressure and temperature. The process, which once took 20 minutes per part, now requires less than 10 minutes. Robots cut and handle the material and components, which previously were made by hand.

The robots will help BMW achieved big savings. A pound of carbon fiber now costs only a third as much as a pound used in the M3 CSL coupe’s roof when the limited-edition car was introduced in the 2004 model year.”

via c|net

50K carbon fibers can be shaped and cured to produce spars for wind energy blades, golf shafts, compressed natural gas tanks, and pultruded beams.

 

Much of this production will happen in Germany or China, with both Volkswagon and BMW working with Germany’s SGL Carbon and General Motors signing with Teijin Ltd. But, just last month, Dow Chemicals signed a deal with Ford to begin research and production.

It’s exciting to think what this technology can do, not only for cars, but trucks, planes, boats, etc.

Energy researcher Amory Lovins, in this TED talk, thinks that when we fully start using carbon-fibre vehicles fuel economy in cars will shoot up to 200 miles/gallon. He says that halving the weight of the car creates compound effects: lighter car, requires a lighter engine, which makes the car even lighter.

 

Carbon aircraft brake disc.

 

// Photos – SGL Carbon

The Hobbit – behind the scenes production video #6

Peter Jackson’s first video production blog for The Hobbit for 2012.

Looks like they’ve started shooting part 2 of The Hobbit now which will be coming out in 2013, while the first part comes out this Christmas 2012. There’s also some cool footage of Andy Serkis directing the 2nd unit as well.

via ThinkHero

 

 

Previous production videos (#2-5) can be found at IanTeanStreet

For more on the special effects check out the WETA Workshop

Also, visit Peter Jackson on Facebook for more personal details.