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02 May

There's nothing that says a construction project has to look ugly, particularly with regard to fencing that separates the sidewalk superintendents from the building mess.

That's even more true when the project is for a major museum, in this case the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which recently broke ground on a new wing, designed by Frank Gehry, that's part of a $525 million campaign to give the institution -- still probably best known for the steps scene in the movie "Rocky" -- a makeover.

Rather than ask visitors to abide a drab, plain 450-foot-long construction fence, the museum teamed up with Pentagram to provide copies of various museum pieces on the structure -- a great idea, given that visitors might have to wait until 2020 (or beyond, given how construction projects often drag on) to get a look at some of the 75 works of art, including those by Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Jasper Johns, and Barbara Kruger.

30 Apr

The so-called "tech-friendly, traffic-free hub" is said to be the first of its kind in the world, says its creator, the New West End Company.

The vaunted destination, Bird Street, located just steps away from Oxford Street, will experience new birth as "an oasis of technology, fashion, innovation and sustainability” as part of a project sponsored by Transport for London’s Future Streets.

The initiative will include several new sustainable technologies, including one from PaveGen that creates electricity from the movements of pedestrians and another from Airlite which uses paint to purify air.

According to The Industry London, "A curated and revolving selection of pop-ups will appear in the hub, in partnership with Appear Here, the leading marketplace for temporary spaces. Appear Here and The New West End Company, which represents the interests of businesses in London’s West End, are actively seeking 'interesting and innovative fashion and tech brands' to participate in the pioneering project, which launches [in May 2017]."

28 Apr

Thankfully, the ride is designed to slow down, not speed up, when the rider is feeling nauseous or scared.

The Neurotransmitter 3000, as the beast is known, is the brainchild of Dutch industrial designer Daniel de Bruin.

The "biometrically controlled thrillride" measures seven meters in height (or about 23 feet). It collects data from sensor's placed on the user's body. Fluctuations in heart rate, muscle tension, body temperature, and orientation/gravity can be processed to effect changes in the ride's motion.

The ride is launched at full speed -- roughly one revolution every two seconds -- when the user's resting heart rate hits 80 beats per minute (bpm). The machine continues to rotate as the heart rate increases. However, once that level reaches 130 bpm, the ride brakes to a stop. Increased muscle tension -- such as when a user grabs the seat of the ride with his or her hands -- can also cause the Neurotransmitter to grind to a halt.

26 Apr

Onward, a new app, helps overusers of technology change their relationships to online platforms ranging from dating apps to gambling to video games to pornography.

According to the Web site for the app, nearly 90% of committed Onward users experienced a reduction in their use of online platforms. And, the testimonial adds, "Most stopped using entirely."

What exactly qualifies as technology overuse? If a user can answer yes to any of several questions, chances are there's an overuse situation. Some of those questions include the following:

24 Apr

The buzz surrounding the race to Mars has mostly focused on what explorers will do once they get there. But astronauts will spend significant time aboard the spacecraft transporting them there, leading to long-overdue speculation about plans for a shuttle.

Boeing recently unveiled its own plans for both a shuttle and a lunar outpost. The outpost has a dual purpose. First, it will reside in the Moon’s orbit, serving in a capacity similar to NASA’s Space Station. Secondly, the outpost will serve as a resting place for vehicles on their way to Mars when those missions finally begin. Not only are Boeing’s concepts visually appealing, but they use solar electric propulsion technology, making them a winner with environmentalists.

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