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.
View Comments So You Think You Can Dance finalist Carlos Garland is the latest to light up New World Stages in the off-Broadway hit iLuminate. The dancer began performances on June 23. The new 2014 edition of the show, directed, co-choreographed and co-written by Miral Kotb, opened on January 27,In addition to competing on the tenth season of the popular Fox series, Garland, along with his dance crew Systematic, won BET’s 106 & Park dance competition. He has also toured with Rasta Thomas’ dance company, Bad Boys of Dance.iLuminate, which first got attention as a contestant on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, tells the fantastical story of Jacob, a talented young artist who struggles to connect with the real world. He takes comfort in his magical paintbrush, which gives him the ability to turn the characters in his imagination into living creations. The show combines music, art, dance and technological magic to create a theatrical spectacle.
Foreign Direct Investment …points to complaints about judicial delaysA recent report from the United States Economic Affairs Bureau has painted an unflattering picture of Guyana’s legal system and the way it doles out justice in contractual and civil matters. Among other things, the report cites complaints of sloth in the Judiciary As a factor in its analysis.Guyana was among other countries that had their investment climates assessed by the US Department of State for 2018. The report makes it clear that the problem is not legislation; it’s the enforcement of said legislation.“Sufficient legislation exists in Guyana to support foreign investment in the country, but implementation of relevant legislation continues to be inadequate. The objectives of the Investment Act of 2004 are to stimulate socio-economic development by attracting and facilitating foreign investment,” it states.The Department noted that other relevant laws include the Income Tax Act, the Customs Act, the Procurement Act of 2003, the Companies Act of 1991, the Securities Act of 1998, and the Small Business Act.It was pointed out however, that the regulators are still required to act in order for much of these legislative measures to be implemented. And even though the State Department acknowledged that there is no known case of executive interference, it noted that the court systems are still perceived as lacking.“The judicial system is generally perceived to be slow and ineffective in enforcing legal contracts. The 2018 World Bank’s Doing Business Report states that it takes 581 days to enforce a contract in Guyana. Suspected corrupt practices and long delays make the courts an unattractive option for settling investment or contractual disputes, particularly for foreign investors unfamiliar with Guyana.”“In order to redress this obstacle to investment, the Government of Guyana, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), established a Commercial Court in June 2006. Given Guyana’s growth potential, there is need for expansion and strengthened capacity in the near future.”In summing up, the State Department noted that implementing the legal framework remains inadequate as the judicial system is slow and ineffective in enforcing legal contracts.The Department also noted that there have been no recent cases of expropriation. It went on to advise that all companies should conduct due diligence and seek appropriate legal counsel to have any concerns resolved prior to doing business in Guyana.Persons have long complained about the sloth of the Judiciary. A recent case was Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who had noted back in June that more than three years after his party filed an election petition in the High Court, the matter continued to languish in the courts.