When I used to have a car in Manhattan I considered myself an expert at navigating the traffic sprawl, as I knew the city like the back of my hand and could usually work my little five-speed VW to the front of any pack. I'd often joke to my friends that Manhattan, due to all the one-way streets and congestion, was a place where you could often get to your destination faster by initially moving in the opposite direction. (No one ever laughed.)
The concept of going the wrong way to reduce overall trip duration can also be seen in the "diverging diamond interchange," a new (to the U.S.) form of highway intersection that reduces "conflict points" by asking drivers to temporarily switch to the "wrong" side of the road. It's kind of complicated, but see if you can follow along:
...The diverging diamond interchange allows for two-phase operation at all signalized intersections within the interchange. This is a significant improvement in safety, since no left turns must clear opposing traffic and all movements are discrete, with most controlled by traffic signals.
Additionally, the design can improve the efficiency of an interchange, as the lost time for various phases in the cycle can be redistributed as green time; there are only two clearance intervals (the time for traffic signals to change from green to yellow to red) instead of the six or more found in other interchange designs.
Still confused? Perhaps this visualization will help, where the little intersecting red lines signify traffic lights:
Pioneered in France, the first U.S. diverging diamond interchange was constructed last year in Springfield, Missouri.
And speaking of musical intrument interfaces: Eitan Shefer's final project at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design introduces a new type of electronic music keyboard controller called the samchillian, which pushes "relative notes" over "fixed pitches" (Best view the video on that one.) Pretty sweet way of showing your...
Near-future bionic technology proposes direct fusion from human bone to artificial limbs and motor command activity between the brain and spinal cord and the attachment, resulting in effortless, natural motion. read article
Adobe's ThinkTank has Tina Blaine's beyond-comprehensive overview of what's happening in (largely digital) musical interface design these days. So if you're at all interested, start there, and then get your own groove on. Here's a taste:Recent years have brought a proliferation of inexpensive controller devices that enhance player interaction primarily...
Lifestyledesign has designed a new flashlight that features Luxeon LEDs (lifespan 100,000+ hours) and can run for up to four hours on a single set of batteries. And in addition to bright, medium, low, strobe, and standby, the device can flash SOS. And if you've got enough batteries, it can...