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Dead EV Batteries Might be Obsolete Soon With Magnetized Concrete Charging

The worry of losing power before reaching your destination is one of the most significant impediments to electric car adoption. In recent years, battery advancements have led to significant range increases in EVs. However, in terms of endurance and refueling speed, they still lag behind gasoline cars.

The idea of embedding some form of charging technology in highways is being studied, but replacing vast sections of highway with state-of-the-art charging infrastructure is a major undertaking.

Some organizations, such as Indiana’s Department of Transportation (INDOT), have already embraced the concept, announcing a collaboration with Purdue University and the German company Magment last month. They aim to see if embedding cement with magnetized elements could deliver an accessible solution to road-charging.

Most wireless vehicle charging solutions utilize inductive charging and their receiver coil would pick up charge via charging coils spaced out beneath the road at regular intervals.

It’s an expensive proposition, so Magment’s solution is to embed recycled ferrite particles into regular concrete, which can generate a magnetic field but are far less expensive. The corporation asserts that its device can attain up to 95 percent transmission proficiency with production at typical road construction costs.

Meanwhile, before being deployed on roadways, the Indiana project will go through two lab testing stages and a test run on a small stretch of roadway. However, if the cost savings are real, the strategy might be game-changing.

Various electric road experiment, beds are now operational, with Sweden leading the charge. Outside of Stockholm, they built an electric rail in the middle of a 1.2-mile section of road in 2018. It has a moving arm attached to its bottom that may disseminate power to a vehicle. In addition, an inductive charging system developed by the Israeli company ElectReon was successfully used to charge an all-electric truck over a one-mile stretch on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland.

The expected initial test project cost is roughly a million Euro per kilometer and 12.5 million Euros for the overall second phase. Automobile manufacturers appear to be warming to the notion, with Volkswagen joining a collaboration that will integrate ElectReon’s charging tech into EVs in a test study.

Another possibility is to instead install charging cables above the road that can power trucks similarly to how urban trams get fuel. The Siemens-built device has been deployed on around three miles of road outside of Frankfurt and is being tested by a number of trucking companies.

The system costs around $5 million per mile to install, but the German government believes it will be less expensive than switching to vehicles charged by hydrogen fuel cells or huge batteries to handle long-haul deliveries. The country’s transport ministry is weighing the pros and cons of the three options before deciding which to support.

Even if the economics are sound, putting in place road charging infrastructure will be a huge undertaking, and it might be decades before all highways can assist you with charging your vehicle. However, if technology advances at its current rate, empty tanks/dead batteries may become obsolete in the near future.

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Travel

Solar-Powered Aircraft Easily Stays in the Air for Almost a Month

Kelly Taylor

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With solar power, it was just a matter of time before someone would figure out a method by which to fly a plane a reliable, long distance with solar power. Given the fact that a plane could easily get above the clouds, it would have an endless amount of power as long as it flew on the daytime side of the planet, in theory.

Airbus took that idea into reality with its Zephyr plane which, given the ability to fly on sunpower, was designed to stay up in the air for weeks at a time versus just an extended number of hours. Part of the goal with the project was to provide Internet access to ground parties in areas disconnected from regular grids. Overall, the project has been functionally a success, with six flights at different atmospheric levels. The high up stratospheric trips ran for at least two thirds of a month each. Long-term, hammering out the bugs, Airbus expects to easily be able to provide months-long service via plane, a particularly useful resource for those on the ground with remote commercial projects as well as military interests. In the same regard, the airborne resource could also be a boon for disaster areas where normal communication grids are knocked out or there is no power.

The actual plane itself only requires two small propellers for its guidance and propulsion. There is no pilot; the entire vehicle is manned remotely and by computer, similar to a drone. As a new flagship for Airbus’ unmanned aerial system program, the Zephyr is quickly raising eyebrows with its possibilities. In the aircraft business it’s one thing to talk about concepts and quite another to actually perform them consistently, which is where Airbus is now at successfully.

The design of the Zephyr and its production meets all the demands of modern delivery on the non-military side. The plane literally runs on green, sustainable technology, it expands communication capability in areas where its otherwise not reachable, and the plane is far less complicated to fabricate than a land-based network.

Designers expect much more from later designs of the Zephyr as well. Right now, the plane’s batteries run approximately three months. Airbus expects improvements to double that duration period. That has become a game-changer in terms of expanding technology out in areas that it’s normally not available, but basic electricity on the ground is accessible. With both elements, communication in the individual’s hand becomes a reality versus spotty cellular within the range of physical towers.

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Travel

Winnie the Pooh’s Forest House for Rent

Kevin Wells

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If you know anything about Winnie the Pooh, the famous honey-loving bear from the Disney movie, as well as E.H. Shepard’s illustrations, then you know he didn’t live in a mansion. Instead, the tubby bear’s home was a modest forest dwelling with a small room, comfortable bed, and lots of practical knick-knacks that would make sense in the story, depending on what trouble Winnie got himself into that day.

As it turns out, deep in England’s Sussex region where A.A. Milne gained the muse to write about Winnie the Pooh, there is now a real, live treehouse that replicates exactly what Winnie the Pooh’s home was in the book and movie. To celebrate the 95th anniversary of the book and artwork, the treehouse was made real, including all the features and details pictured in the memorable illustrations. Kim Raymond ran project manager over the entire reconstruction, and he would be as good an expert as any to get it right. Raymond works for Disney and was in charge of the image creation of the cartoon bear for more than 30 years. To this day, he still studies E.H. Shepard’s work for inspiration and revisions of Winnie the Pooh for modern times.

So, as it turned out, the opportunity to create a real live version of Pooh’s treehouse couldn’t be passed up. Dubbed the “Bearbnb,” the set is authentic and lovingly dedicated to the original images from Milne’s story. Listed on Airbnb for a stay, the location will offer visitors a fully escorted tour of the entire area that represents Hundred Acre Wood. Folks will also get to see for themselves the famous Poohsticks Bridge, and there will be lots of delicacies involving honey as well. But don’t be alarmed, there will also be honey pots inside the Pooh Bear domicile as well.

Of course, there were some modernized upgrades to the current location to keep with the times. Operating plumbing is installed, and the rental is stocked with plenty of wellness products as well as yoga aids for those who want to fully relax during their stay. In a nutshell, the Bearbnb is going to be a great experience for Winnie the Pooh lovers and fans, of both the book and movie.

Some of the house rules are also pretty specific and consistent with how Winnie the Pooh kept his place. For example, no heffalumps are allowed across the doorframe inside, honey snacks are encouraged before lunch, one has to play Poohsticks always, naps are mandatory, no pets allowed (unless they are one of Pooh’s friends), and no smoking of any kind allowed. The honey bees won’t visit if they smell smoke.

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Travel

After Mailing Himself Home In A Crate From Australia, British Man Looks to Reconnect With Conspirators

Renee Yates

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When was the last time that you received an important package more than a day late? Waiting for the mail is never an exciting experience, but one British man was determined to see if he could change that concept all on his own. Brian Robson was just a teenager of 19-years-old when he became homesick while working for the Victorian Railways back in 1965. Unfortunately for Brian, he couldn’t afford to buy a plane ticket back home which would leave the youngster looking for alternative solutions. An answer would come in the form of a crate and one of the most audacious shipping decisions in recent memory.

Let’s take a moment to explore one of the zaniest stories to resurface in recent years!

One Wooden Crate, Two Irishmen, 0 Plane Tickets.

At the age of 19, Brian Robson wanted to leave home behind to find a career abroad. Taking a job with the Victorian Railways in 1965 would leave Brian flying to Australia to begin work. At the time, a plane ticket home cost roughly £700, or more than 17x Brian’s total monthly salary. So to say that a plane ticket was more than cost-prohibitive would be to put it lightly.

Still, Brian knew that he wanted to get home and that meant going the extra mile to make it happen, not that we’d recommend following in his footsteps. Rather than waiting 17 months to potentially purchase a plane ticket, Brian decided that he would take matters into his own hands. His home was back in Cardiff, Wales, and Brian was determined to make it back there in one piece.

So his planning began.

Robison quickly realized that he could afford to mail a crate back to Cardiff, but he couldn’t afford to get a plane ticket. Working backward from there, Brian would acquire a box roughly the size of a mini-fridge before stuffing it with a pillow, a suitcase, and a book filled with the latest Beatles songs. Understanding that he would be in a crate for upwards of 36 hours, Brian had to prepare. This was going to be a journey to remember.

Brian had found himself in Melbourne on an assisted immigration program. His expenses had been covered by the Australian government and Robinson would agree to sign a two-year contract with Victorian Railways in exchange. Robson would regret signing the contract almost immediately, but by then he would be stuck in Australia, a long ways from home, with no money to speak of.

A Trip to Remember (But Not to the Right Place!)

After having filled his box with the tools he’d need to survive his journey, Robson understood that he’d have to prepare himself physically for the quest. This meant that Robson would end up consuming laxatives for three days leading up to his departure to ensure his ability to survive inside the box. Outside his book, he had a bottle of water for drinking and another for urination.

Upon finishing construction of his ‘box’ and preparing the appropriate freight paperwork, Robson would hire two of his friends, a pair of Irishmen by the name of Paul and John, to help get him home. They would be responsible for nailing the lid closed on Brian while also marking the box ‘Fragile’. Delivered to the airport, Brian was ready for 36 hours of discomfort.

But the trip would turn into a disaster as Brian would get shipped to Los Angeles, landing four days later as a bleak and battered piece of cargo. At the time, Brian was assisted by the CIA, FBIA, and the American government. Brian said the police treated him like ‘a silly kid getting himself into trouble.’

Brian is still trying to reconnect with the men who helped facilitate his escape, however he has been incapable of remembering or discovering their surnames.

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Culture

A Unique Graduation Picture Set

Renee Yates

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High school graduations are occasions that get people thinking about both the past and the future. Many people become nostalgic when they graduate from high school. They think about their first school days. Dylan Bliss took this a step further.

He and his dog Ruger took an adorable picture together when he first started school more than a decade ago. Dylan Bliss’s mother Corie had a clever suggestion. She knew that the two of them had posed for a picture together when Dylan Bliss became a first grader. They could take a similar picture again, and this one would demonstrate the passage of time in a unique way. 

Ruger is a much older dog now, but he’s alive and well. He was able to take a picture with Dylan Bliss to celebrate his graduation day. The family got Ruger when he was still a little puppy. Dylan Bliss and Ruger genuinely grew up together.

In both pictures, Ruger is wearing a collar and leash. Both of the collar and leash sets in the pictures match quite well, which helps to make the pictures look more similar and establish continuity. Dylan Bliss is holding onto the leash this time. 

The expressions of both individuals have also changed. Ruger has his mouth closed in the first picture, but his mouth is slightly ajar in the second. Dylan appears to be more guarded in the first picture, since he’s barely smiling. He seems much more relaxed and confident in the second picture, as an accomplished high school graduate. 

It’s also interesting to look at the changes in the quality of the pictures over the course of more than a full decade. The new picture is much clearer and brighter. It’s easier to see lots of fine details in the picture. Technology has changed over the course of Dylan’s life and Ruger’s life. Both pictures manage to make this clear, and both of them are capturing historical moments. 

The backgrounds for both pictures are also different, and there’s something symbolic about that. In the first picture, the background is simple and fairly empty. In the second picture, there’s a stone wall in the background, as well as lots of green plants. Ruger has lived a very full life since the first picture was taken, and Dylan has become an adult. The new background of the picture helps to demonstrate that both of them have richer lives and histories now than they did in the past. It’s a complex set of pictures that communicates a lot at once. 

People often purchase middle school, high school, and college yearbooks. They’ll remember those parts of their lives more effectively as a result. Taking professional senior class pictures is also popular. However, the pictures that people take at home can be just as special, especially because they’ll have plenty of chances to be creative. 

Online, it’s popular for people to take pictures of themselves periodically and use those pictures to show how they have progressed over time. At the end of each decade, there are frequently viral trends where people compare photographs of themselves that were taken at the end and the beginning of the decade. Dylan Bliss’s picture with Ruger is similar, at least in a way. However, it’s much more personal.

The end of a decade is significant for everyone. However, people’s high school or college graduation years can all vary. A random year in any given decade could be particularly important to a person who graduated from school in that year. Dylan Bliss will probably remember 2020 in a relatively unique way for that reason.

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Entertainment

2 Months Later, a Lost Chihuahua Finally Returns Home

Shannon Jackson

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Pets are not just animals who live with us. They are considered family members.

Many of us celebrate the birthdays of our pets, take them on vacations, and mourn their passing. They are not just the family pet. They are simply family.

For all those reasons, even just pondering the possibility of your beloved pet going missing must strike fear into the hearts of many families. Unfortunately, that was the reality that Debra Niska and her family had to live with not too long ago.

Pumpkin Goes Missing

Trouble started for Niska and her family when their pet Chihuahua named Pumpkin suddenly went missing. The exact explanation for how Pumpkin somehow escaped from went home and got so far away remains unclear, but Niska knew right away that they were going to have a tough time bringing their pet back.

Aside from the difficulty of trying to find a small dog in a big city, Pumpkin was also lacking a microchip. The lack of a microchip meant that even if someone did find Pumpkin, they would not be able to know right away where she lived and the identity of her owner.

The missing microchip was a huge obstacle to Niska and her family finding their pet, but they would not allow that to keep them from trying.

Bringing Pumpkin Home

Debra and her family knew that it would be incredibly difficult to somehow find and bring Pumpkin back home when there was no microchip for her potential rescuers to scan. Understanding that, Pumpkin’s family went all out in their efforts to bring their pet home so that they could overcome the challenge.

According to this article from Little Things, Niska and her family went about looking for Pumpkin by implementing a multi-pronged approach.

They searched for Pumpkin in their neighborhood, scouring all the possible places where she could have gone. They also made use of social media to inform their friends and other people in their neighborhood that their dog had gone missing.

Lastly, Niska and her family also took the time out to contact rescue organizations in the hopes that maybe one of them somehow found a wandering Pumpkin on the streets.

Days and weeks passed without them knowing exactly where Pumpkin had wandered off to. At long last though, their wishes were finally granted following a two-month wait.

Pumpkin Returns Home

As it turns out, Pumpkin didn’t just stray away from her California home and wander to a different city nearby. She was apparently quite the traveler.

Somehow, Pumpkin managed to go all the way to Phoenix, Arizona. It’s unclear exactly how the miniature dog got that far from home, but it turned out to be a stroke of luck that she ended up in Phoenix as that was where she was found by rescuers.

Not long after she was found by the rescue organization in Phoenix, Pumpkin was put on a plane so that she could travel back to Pasadena, California and be with the family that had been missing her badly for two long months.

The reunion between Pumpkin and her family proved to be a joyful one.

This video shared by Inside Edition shows just how happy Pumpkin and her family were upon seeing one another. Pumpkin simply could not contain her excitement as she ran over to her family and threw her little body at them, with her tail wagging wildly as it all happened. She was also met with smiles by a family that had clearly missed her company.

Few things are worse than not knowing what happened to your missing family member. Thankfully for the Niska family, their adorable little Pumpkin managed to make her way back home.

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