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The First Successful Full-System Test of a Hyperloop Just Happened
Hyperloop One announces completion of first successful full-system hyperloop test.
Elon Musk came up with the idea for hyperloop pods that could whisk riders through sealed tubes at 700 mph as an ultra-fast, future-friendly form of travel. While not interested in building them himself, he issued a challenge for others to create a hyperloop that would, compared to current transit systems, be:
Illustration from Musk’s original proposal (TESLA)
Musk’s hyperloop is based on an even earlier 1972 proposal from R. M. Salter of the Rand Corporation that envisioned an Very High Speed Transit System (VHST) based on magnetically levitated pods moving inside a low-pressure vacuum tube. The tube would ease pod movement with about “1/6 that of the pressure of the atmosphere on Mars” — the low pressure being maintained by vacuum pumps. A “hard” vacuum, according to Musk’s proposal is problematic: “All it takes is one leaky seal or a small crack somewhere in the hundreds of miles of tube and the whole system stops working.”
Hyperloop One, a company working to make the hyper loop system a working reality, has just announced a major achievement: The first full test of their hyperloop system in a private test taking place May 12, 2017 at DevLoop, the hyperloop test track they’ve built in the desert of Nevada. In the apparently nerve-wracking test, their prototype pod:
The team also tested all of the components throughout the system, including its motor, pod suspension, magnetic levitation, electromagnetic braking, and vacuum-pumping to ensure they function successfully as a single unit in a vacuum.
Obviously, there’s a way to go before attaining the hoped-for 700 mph speed, and hyperloop tubes will have to be constructed — Musk’s been promoting the digging of tunnels for various transit purposes, including hyperloop tubes — but it’s an exciting moment nonetheless. Hyperloop One’s Shervin Pishevar says in the company’s press release, “Hyperloop One has accomplished what no one has done before by successfully testing the first full scale Hyperloop system. By achieving full vacuum, we essentially invented our own sky in a tube, as if you're flying at 200,000 feet in the air. For the first time in over 100 years, a new mode of transportation has been introduced. Hyperloop is real, and it's here now."
Alongside the announcement of the successful test, Hyperloop One also unveiled their new pod prototype, the XP-1, 28 feet long and made of structural aluminum. The company says the pod achieves autonomous high-speed propulsion in low pressure using a proprietary “linear electric” motor.
The XP-1 (HYPERLOOP ONE)
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.