It has been five years and literally tens of thousands of man-hours of work. Finally, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F-24 technical committee has wrestled a new standard for the amusement park industry from the clutches of a variety of task forces evaluating everything from appropriate restraint devices to—for the first time—g-force limits. High g-forces have been thought to pose the risk of brain injuries. This standard is unique not only for its comprehensiveness, but also its global reach (not to mention that consensus building always takes time.) "It was a huge effort, really the biggest single standard that the amusement ride and device committee has worked on in its 25 years," says Greg Hale, chief of safety at Walt Disney World Resort and an outspoken advocate of safety standards. Hale and co-workers devoted hundreds of hours of their own time to this effort. Known as the Standard Practice for the Design of Amusement Rides and Devices—Z9591Z to those in the know—the standard piggybacks on an existing ASTM standard, but is unique in that it addresses detailed design criteria intended to assist engineers in designing rides that make people only feel like they are in peril. Active committee members hail from Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S.—making for a truly global effort and ensuring that the best design practices from around the world made their way into the standard. Guess it's a small world, after all.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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