I haven’t traversed one of those dangling rope bridges 500 feet up and spanning a crevice in the Himalyas, but I have driven across the Eggemoggin Reach - Deer Isle (suspension) Bridge in Maine. In fact, I did last week when it’s two narrow lanes were down to one. The ride was white knuckle all the way. Those cable stays you see? They’re about 1/2-3/4 and while there’s a lot of them, it’s still a bouncy ride. As I drove down to the bridge’s southern approach, I had to pull over and process its steepness, height and narrow width. I did not know then that it was "a sister" to The First Tacoma Narrows whose famous collapse in 1940 from a condition known as "mechancial resonance" was caught on video. I’m glad of that. Of course, bridge integrity following the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis is on a lot of minds.
I forged ahead only to be stopped at the top of the 1,088 long bridge for oncoming traffic. My palms sweated as a string of cars passed by. The bridge bounced moderately 98.7 feet about the famous Eggemoggin sailing channel. As the last car passed, all done, I thought. Time to move. Wrong! A lone and huge tractor trailer approach at slow speed, it’s driver’s hands welded to the steering wheel like Vice-Grips. The bridge’s bounce now seemed more like a wave or ripple through the roadway deck (The First Tacoma Narrows Bridge was nicknamed "Galloping Gertie"). That truck passed as did 90 seconds or so and it was time for second truck. Then we are allowed to pass and were quickly back on terra firma. It didn’t take long to realize only essentially one truck creeping along at 5 MPH was allowed on the bridge at one time.
Designed by David & Steinman (famous bridge architect David B. Steinman helped design Galloping Gertie), The Deer Isle Bridge was built in 1939 for much lighter less powerful vehicles and was undergoing major re-decking the day we crossed. That’s why it was down to one lane. On the way back to the northern approach, we were held on land waiting for oncoming traffic. Whew!
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.