Science

The Two-Way
11:25 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Birds Teach The Air Force A Better Way To Fly

A pair of C-17 Globemaster IIIs on the ground at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where "vortex surfing" is being tested.
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 1:36 pm

More than a century after the invention of powered flight, birds are still teaching us something about how to fly airplanes, with the Air Force studying the V-shaped formation of airborne geese as a way to save fuel.

The technical term is "vortex surfing" and it's already well-known — NASCAR drivers and Tour de France cyclists use it to "draft" off competitors.

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Space
11:03 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Eruptions on the Sun Set Off 'Solar Tsunamis'

Two recent eruptions on the sun sent solar tsunamis sweeping across its surface. Physicist David Long reported on the tsunamis in the journal Solar Physics, and he says the waves allowed him to calculate the magnetic field of a "quiet" area on the solar surface, which is 10 times weaker than a fridge magnet.

Krulwich Wonders...
10:40 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds In The Sky

YouTube

If you can't get to a beach this weekend, you can still see waves. Just look up.

Clouds, after all, are sculpted by waves of air. These clouds, in Birmingham, Ala., were formed when two layers of air — one fast, the other slow — collided at just the right speed to create rises and dips that caused the clouds to curl in on themselves and crash, just like waves on a beach.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Thirsty? 'Sweat Machine' Turns Perspiration Into Drinking Water

The Sweat Machine was unveiled as part of a UNICEF campaign promoting safe drinking water.
UNICEF

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:53 am

Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration — words that could well apply to a new machine promoted by UNICEF that turns human sweat into drinking water.

The Sweat Machine extracts moisture from worn clothes by spinning and heating them, then filters the resulting liquid so that only pure water remains. It was built by Swedish engineer and TV personality Andreas Hammar, and uses a technology developed by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and the water purification company HVR.

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