Google’s Moonshot Factory
“As the polymath engineers and scientists who work there are fond of saying, Google X is the search giant’s factory for moonshots, those million-to-one scientific bets that require generous amounts of capital, massive leaps of faith, and a willingness to break things. Google X (the official spelling is Google [x]) is home to the self-driving car initiative and the Internet-connected eyeglasses, Google Glass, among other improbable projects.”
Some of the projects that have passed Google’s way include:
Airborne Wind-power Generators
The Makani AWT is a tethered, autonomous rigid-wing fitted with onboard turbines for power generation. Flying in circles at 1,000 feet (300 meters), the system mimics the motion, and speed, of a conventional turbine’s aerodynamically effective blade tips. Pictured is the Wing 7 flying in June 2012. Google bought Makani in May 2013.
Photo by Makani Power
Google’s augmented reality head mounted display as glasses.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons (Tedeytan)
Google’s Multigenerational Nerd Fantasy: Space Elevators
Google’s Lexus RX 450h Self-Driving Car
Artist concept of a space elevator.
Ballon-based Broadband Transmitters
Google Loon launch event of June 16, 2013 was a test of the use of high-altitude balloons to bring internet access to undeveloped parts of the world. The initiative never progressed beyond the experimental stage.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons (iLighter)
August 29, 2013
August 18, 2013
Just How Large is Google?
On 16th August 2013 between 23:52 and 23:57 BST the mighty Google went down. The real time analytics company, GoSquared Engineering reported a 40% drop in global pageviews per minute during the Google instance. The drop was followed by a spike afterwards as users got cought-up.
Credit: GoSquared Engineering
April 14, 2013
Scientists produce some amazing images while performing their research. Astronomers are no different. An April 11, 2013 solar flair provided astronomers the opportunity to track the sun’s solar cycle.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. This disrupts the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, anywhere from minutes to hours.
The flare’s coronal mass ejection (CME), another solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space, reached Earth one day later producing a temporary radio blackout.
It also produced the incredible image that is today’s cool image. Available as a 16″ X 20″ poster at our store.
June 12, 2012
Chart of critical periods of human development
Fetal development can be affected by environmental exposures occurring to either parent prior to conception, to the mother post conception, or to the fetus.
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