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Architecture & Design Technology Travel

The musical road in the Netherlands that sings Frisian national anthem

There’s a road in the Netherlands that starts to sing the Frisian Folk Song when cars hit the right speed of 60 kph/40 mph limit.

The musical road resides in the village of Jelsum in the north part of Holland.

The structure of the strategically laid “rumble strips” was built in 2018 to celebrate the unique language and culture of the Friesland region. But the special ‘singing road’ also served as a warning to slow down speedy drivers.

However, the musical experience struck a chord (literally) with the locals who grew tired of hearing the notes 24 hours a day.

According to Dutch News, the €80,000 custom-built pavement markers were finally removed for driving (see what I did there) ‘psychological torture’.

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Architecture & Design Science Technology

Watch styrofoam dancing to sound waves

Put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care.

What looks like a dubstep rave of little ghost people is actually styrofoam dancing to sound waves in a massive plexiglass pipe known as a Kundt’s tube.

In 1866 German physicist August Kundt constructed the apparatus to measure the speed of sound in a gas or a solid rod.

The faux mosh pit is the result of a process called sound looking which demonstrates what audible vibrations may actually look like.

No one can doubt that life moves to fascinating rhythms & vibrations.

Watch the entire video below.

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Architecture & Design Technology

Dual head-mounted listening devices

This dual-mounted listening device served as an aircraft detection device before the invention of radar in 1935.

The Dutch military used the elephant-looking ears to detect approaching enemy aircraft by listening afar for engine sounds.

There were various iterations of the acoustic locators.

The Germans created a dual sight and sound system in 1917 that combined sound-ranging capabilities with binoculars to scope out aircraft.

The Imperial Japanese army used massive war tubas (resembling the musical tuba instrument) in World War I to detect the sound of incoming aircraft.

Imperial Japan massive war tubas in World War I

The Dutch also created personal horns in 1935 that were double the size of the personal sound locator.

England built concrete acoustic mirrors around its coasts up until 1935.

Learn more about pre-radar objects here.

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Architecture & Design Technology

Pablo Picasso’s “light drawings”

“Everything you can imagine is real,” said the legendary painter Pablo Picasso.

In 1949, photographer Gjon Mili captured the painter using a small electric light in a dark room to paint the artist’s iconic centaurs, bulls and greek figurines.

The chaotic images vanished as soon as they were created but thanks to Mili’s two separate cameras, Picasso’s timeless “light drawing” live on.

Thanks to today’s advancements in virtual reality, one can replicate Picasso’s moves using Google’s Tilt Brush application on the Oculus Rift. The app lets your paint in 3D space with virtual reality.

Photos by Gjon Mili for TIME, 1949

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Architecture & Design Technology

RIP Gary Starkweather, inventor of the laser printer

The inventor of the laser printer at Xerox, Gary Starkweather, has died at the age of 81.

When Starkweather first proposed the idea of a laser printer to his boss at Xerox, they shut his idea down. But curious and determined, Starkweather persisted because he was convinced of the possibility of making precise copies.

Starkweather developed the printer at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center beginning in 1969 before completing it in November 1971

Even more interesting his how the genius inventor did it. Writes the Wall Street Journal:

To avoid blurry prints, Mr. Starkweather had to find ways to direct laser pulses precisely. He devised a cluster of revolving mirrors and a lens to guide the light. One of his breakthrough ideas came while he was mowing the lawn; he turned off the mower and drove to the lab to test it out.

Xerox created the first-ever laser printer in 1969

The Xerox printer found itself in nearly every office and home eventually, making the company an absolute fortune.

We often forget how people we’ve rarely heard of impact our lives. Gary Starkweather was one of them, as was Evelyn Berezin who developed the world’s first processor.

The prescient Starkweather also issued a warning about the negative effects of our over dependency on technology. The WSJ writes:

Though he never lost his fascination with technology, Mr. Starkweather worried about some of the consequences. “We talk about productivity,” he said, “but I’ve watched people go from 40-hour weeks to 60-hour weeks.”

He disliked the pressure to stay digitally connected at all times. “A big question about the future of information technology,” he said, “is, ‘Do I get to stay human in the process?’ ”

RIP Gary Starkweather