Carbon-fiber epoxy honeycombs mimic the material performance of balsa wood

first_img Read Full Story In wind farms across North America and Europe, sleek turbines equipped with state-of-the-art technology convert wind energy into electric power. But tucked inside the blades of these feats of modern engineering is a decidedly low-tech core material: balsa wood.Like other manufactured products that use sandwich panel construction to achieve a combination of light weight and strength, turbine blades contain carefully arrayed strips of balsa wood from Ecuador, which provides 95 percent of the world’s supply.For centuries, the fast-growing balsa tree has been prized for its light weight and stiffness relative to density. But balsa wood is expensive and natural variations in the grain can be an impediment to achieving the increasingly precise performance requirements of turbine blades and other sophisticated applications.As turbine makers produce ever-larger blades—the longest now measure 75 meters, almost matching the wingspan of an Airbus A380 jetliner—they must be engineered to operate virtually maintenance-free for decades. In order to meet more demanding specifications for precision, weight, and quality consistency, manufacturers are searching for new sandwich construction material options.Now, using a cocktail of fiber-reinforced epoxy-based thermosetting resins and 3D extrusion printing techniques, materials scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed cellular composite materials of unprecedented light weight and stiffness. Because of their mechanical properties and the fine-scale control of fabrication (see video), the researchers say these new materials mimic and improve on balsa, and even the best commercial 3D-printed polymers and polymer composites available.last_img read more

Rosie O’Donnell Hosts Rare Standup Special Saturday

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In her long and somewhat bumpy career, Rosie O’Donnell was never afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. After all, it was the Commack native’s vulnerability that made her early work so memorable to audiences and producers alike.Almost seven years after her last stint of televised standup, on the short-lived variety program Rosie Live, O’Donnell will be returning to her roots to bare it all in the HBO special Rosie O’Donnell: A Heartfelt Standup.The special revolves around issues O’Donnell dealings with every day life—motherhood, marriage and health. While the comic may be naturally funny, there is more of a tell-all tone to her routine than typical standup. O’Donnell referred to it as a “heart-to-heart” on her Instagram.The special may have trouble finding an audience besides her most loyal fans because of the loftier issues, some critics have said.“She hasn’t shaped the comedy well enough to prevent a lot of this from feeling more like a public-service announcement than a stand-up performance,” Variety reported.But, the trailer of the special reveals some hilarious moments. O’Donnell entertains the audience with anecdotes ranging from the lesbian dating scene to her son masturbating.In the final 20 minutes of the show, O’Donnell openly discussed her recent heart attack. O’Donnell admittedly used this time to promote life saving and preventive measures for women with heart problems. She even performed a rap dedicated to the symptoms of heart disease.“When the doctor said I was having a heart attack, I’m like, ‘Shouldn’t that feel like Mike Tyson punched me in the tit?’” O’Donnell recalled.The special airs just two days after O’Donnell’s final appearance on The View. Viewers celebrated her re-taking a platform that enabled her to speak her strong opinions.O’Donnell was originally on The View in 2006, but left the show after multiple on-air disputes and an infamous celebrity feud with Donald Trump. Despite getting along with new co-workers and patching things up with Barbara Walters, O’Donnell made the decision to leave on her own this time.“The truth is I had a heart attack two years ago,” she said in a YouTube video, addressing her fans. “And stress is very bad for a heart attack.”In addition to the stress of hosting one of America’s most watched day-time talk shows, O’Donnell is also going through a divorce to second wife, Michelle Rounds.Fans hoped she would provide an explanation on The View this week, she said. However, O’Donnell rejected the idea and her departure was not mentioned.She used the video as a more personal address to her fans. O’Donnell also used it as an opportunity to continue spreading awareness of heart attack symptoms.“Survivors: You should minimize your stress, maximize your exercise and control your diet,” O’Donnell said. “That’s what you need to do for a healthy heart.”This new turn for O’Donnell may just be the next step of her evolution as a performer and a person. She’s played many roles in her life including comic, Star Search contestant, movie star, talk show host and gay rights advocate. No one’s career is certain, but for now O’Donnell is putting her family and her health first.Rosie O’Donnell: A Heartfelt Standup premieres 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14 on HBO and HBOGO.com.last_img read more

Increase in the number of punters in airports and seaports

first_imgIn September 2019, Croatian airports recorded 1 thousand passengers or 494% more than in the same month last year. Since the first month of this year, the number of passengers in seaports and airports has been continuously growing. Thus, the growth of passengers was also recorded in September. The largest passenger traffic was achieved by Split Airport with 468 thousand passengers (an increase of 3,2% compared to September 2018), followed by Dubrovnik Airport with 403 thousand passengers (an increase of 5,1% compared to September 2018) and Zagreb Airport with 348 thousand passengers (an increase of 1,3% compared to September 2018). The most significant international passenger traffic was realized with German airports, 319 thousand passengers, which is an increase of 8,4% compared to the same period last year. Source: CBS The number of passengers on ferries and passenger ships in the third quarter of 2019 amounted to 18,2 million passengers, which is 5,0% more than in the same period in 2018. The number of passengers increased in ports with significant passenger traffic such as Split, Supetar , Preko, Krk, Korcula, Zadar and Jablanac. 3,5% more passenger cars and 3,9% more buses were loaded and unloaded on ships compared to the same quarter of 2018. Increase in the number of passengers in seaports in the third quarter of 2019 as well. The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs at airports in September 2019 was 15, which is a decrease of 272% compared to September 2018. Almost 19 million passengers were embarked and disembarked in Croatian seaports in the third quarter of 2019, which is the highest in that period in the last five years. Compared to the same period in 2018, this is an increase of 4,9%. Source: CBS Of the total number of passengers in seaports, 3,2% or 607 thousand were disembarked from cruise ships and, among other things, visited the ports of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Hvar, Korcula, Rijeka and Sibenik. Compared to the same period in 2018, these passengers increased by 0,1%.last_img read more

UK pensions regulator wins court case on peripatetic workers

first_imgThe UK High Court has ruled in favour of The Pensions Regulator (TPR) in the first judicial review of the latter’s approach in relation to automatic enrolment.The case concerned the position the TPR took in relation to peripatetic workers, such as seafarers and airline pilots.It was brought by Fleet Maritime Services (Bermuda) (FMSB), a company that employs seafarers who work on ships owned by Carnival, such as P&O Cruises and Cunard.In July 2014, TPR effectively ordered FMSB to auto-enrol qualifying employees, setting out its approach and guidance in a compliance notice to the company. FMSB challenged this with TPR, but, in September 2014, the regulator affirmed its decision, prompting the employer to seek a judicial review of the decision.FMSB argued that many of its UK staff were not covered by the Pensions Act 2008, as they worked in international waters and could not be said to “ordinarily work in the UK”. TPR argued that the location of the workers’ base was the primary consideration and not their contracts.Shortly before Christmas, the UK High Court ruled that the regulator’s approach on peripatetic workers was correct and concluded that the “base test” and not the “contract test” was the most appropriate test to apply when establishing where such a worker “ordinarily works”.TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb welcomed the judgment, also noting that the judge made clear that “decisions of the regulator based on the assessment of particular facts are not ordinarily suitable for judicial review”.The High Court ruled in favour of the company in relation to those workers who regularly begin and end tours of duty in non-UK ports.last_img read more

Switzerland’s Publica names new director

first_imgPublica, Switzerland’s largest pension fund, has appointed Doris Bianchi as its new director, effective 1 November. She succeeds Dieter Stohler, who will leave the scheme on 30 September.Bianchi, who holds a doctorate in law, is currently personal adviser to Alain Berset, head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA). The department oversees mainly OASI (state pension) and health services matters.In her current role, Bianchi supports the head of the FDHA especially on issues relating to health policy and statistics.Prior to joining the Home Affairs Department, Bianchi was the executive secretary of the Swiss Trade Union Federation (SGB), where she was responsible for social security issues since 2011. She is an expert in the Swiss second pillar pension system, the occupational pensions, or zweite Säule. She chaired the board of the replacement occupational pension scheme Stiftung Auffangeinrichtung BVG, or Fondation Institution Suppletive LPP , and the security fund.The Kassenkommission, the highest institution at Publica with supervisory authority over the management team, is convinced that Bianchi is the right pick for the success of the pension fund, it said in a statement.Publica is an independent pension institution operating under public-law fund managing the assets of 20 Swiss public pension schemes – 13 of which are open and seven closed – which comes close to CHF41bn (€38bn) as of December 31, 2019. IIn a previous interview with IPE, the head of asset management at Publica, Stefan Beiner, said the fund was working on three timeframes depicting different scenarios to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Okagbare Runs First Sub-11secs in Almost Two Years

first_imgMany local athletics watchers had been doubting Okagbare’s ability to bounce back after a rather disappointing 2016 season when she not only failed to race inside 11 seconds in the 100m but also could not make the final of the event at the Rio Olympics.The last time she ran a sub-11 seconds in the 100m was way back in September 2015 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich where she closed her season with a 10.98 seconds performance.Interestingly, the Nigerian ran an incredible six sub-11 seconds in the 100m that season, topping it with the 10.80 seconds she ran at the IAAF Diamond League meeting at the Stade De France in Paris on July 4. It was her and Nigeria’s second fastest 100m time ever.It was also the third fastest time in the world that year. Okagbare broke 11 seconds for the first time in 2012 when she ran 10.96 seconds to place second in the first semi-final at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Crystal Palace, London on July 14.She ran three more sub-11 seconds to close the season with a 10.92 personal best on August 4 at the Olympics in London.She ran three more the following year with an incredible 10.79 seconds performance to become the first Nigerian nay African woman to break 10.80 seconds in the 100m.It was then a new African record which proved to be the second fastest in the world that year behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pyrce’s IAAF World-title winning 10.71 seconds performance in Moscow.In 2014,Okagbare broke 11 seconds thrice like she did the previous year and ended the season with a 10.85 seconds personal season’s best which not only fetched her the Commonwealth Games gold but also ensured she ended the year with the second fastest time in the world, again behind USA’s Torie Bowie (10.80 seconds).The following year she ran six times inside 11 seconds and was on course to becoming the first Nigerian to win a 100m medal at the IAAF Worlds in Beijing but wishes refused to turn to horses as she finished last in the final. Last year she did not legally break 11 seconds as the 10.92 seconds she ran at the Istvan Guylai Memorial Grand Prix in Hungary on July 18 was aided by a +2.6 metres per second trailing wind which rendered it illegal.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Picks bronze in IAAF Diamond League in LondonReigning Nigeria sprint queen Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor on Sunday at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London ran 10.99 seconds, her first sub-11 seconds performance of the season to place third behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson (10.94) and Dutch girl, Dafne Schippers (10.97). She has thus raced back to reckoning ahead of next month’s 16th IAAF World Championships also in London.It was the Nigerian’s first sub-11 seconds performance in the 100m in over 21 months and 17th of a very storied career since she raced into the limelight in Abuja on July 25 when she won her first national title in the blue ribband event.last_img read more