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Amazing Shipping Container Houses

Container City

Invented more than five decades ago, the modern shipping container is the linchpin in our global distribution network of products. In the containers go toys from China, textiles from India, grain from America, and cars fromGermany. In go electronics, chocolate, and cheese.

While a number of resourceful people have converted shipping containers into make-shift shelters at the margin of society for years, architects and green designers are also increasingly turning to the strong, cheap boxes as source building blocks.

Shipping containers can be readily modified with a range of creature comforts and can be connected and stacked to create modular, efficient spaces for a fraction of the cost, labor, and resources of more conventional materials.

Discover some of the exciting possibilities of shipping container architecture, from disaster relief shelters to luxury condos, vacation homes, and off-the-grid adventurers. See what makes them green as well as cutting edge.

Redondo Beach House
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr )

De Maria Design Redondo Beach House

With its modern lines and appealing spaces, the award-winning Redondo Beach House by De Maria Design turns heads. The luxury beach-side showpiece was built from eight prefabricated, recycled steel shipping containers, along with some traditional building materials. According to the architects, the modified containers are “nearly indestructible, ” as well as resistant to mold, fire, and termites. Seventy percent of the building was efficiently assembled in a shop, saving time, money, and resources.

One of the containers can even sport a pool! The lessons learned from Redondo Beach House are being incorporated into a line of more affordable, accessible designs, soon available as Logical Homes.

London's Container City
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

London’s Container City

Conceived by Urban Space Management, London’s Container City first sprang up in the heart of the Docklands in 2001. It took just five months to complete the original 12 work studios, at a height of three stories. Shortly after that a fourth floor of studios and living apartments was added.

Container City was designed to be low cost, as well as environmentally friendly. Recycled materials made up 80% of building supplies. Architect Nicholas Lacey and partners and engineer Buro Happold used component pieces to build up adaptable living and work spaces.

Container City II
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr )

Container City II

Container City I was a success, and in2002, Urban Space Management added an addition, dubbed Container City II. Reaching five stories high, Container City II is connected to its earlier iteration via walkways. It also boasts an elevator and full disabled access, as well as 22 studios.

Port-a-Bach
(Photo: Paul McCredie)

Port-a-Bach

Need some flexibility with security? Need a temporary structure or small vacation home? Going off the grid? The Port-a-Bach system from New Zealand’s Atelier Workshop might be a good fit.

Costing around $55,000, Port-a-Bach sleeps two adults and two children comfortably, in a dwelling that folds up into a fully enclosed steel shell. It comes with large internal storage cupboards and shelves; a stainless steel kitchen; bathroom with shower, sink and composting toilet; bunk beds and dressing room. Fabric screens allow you to shape internal space, as well as shelter the outdoor deck area.

Bach (pronounced Batch) is Kiwi slang for “Bachelor Pad,” and refers to the many small cabins that dot the famously picturesque country.

Cove Park Artists' Retreat
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

Cove Park Artists’ Retreat

Set on 50 acres of gorgeous Scottish countryside, Cove Park is an artist’s retreat designed to stimulate and reinvigorate. Urban Space Management first brought in three repurposed shipping containers in 2001, and the center became so popular that more units have been added.

Doesn’t look like your average shipping box, does it?

All Terrain Cabin
(Photo: Bark Design Collective)

All Terrain Cabin

Canada’s Bark Design Collective built the All Terrain Cabin (ATC) as a showcase for sustainable (and Canadian!) ingenuity. The small home is based on a standard shipping container, and is said to be suitable for a family of four, plus a pet, to live off the grid in comfort and style.

The cabin folds up to look like any old shipping container, and can be sent via rail, truck, ship, airplane, or even helicopter. When you’re ready to rest your bones, the cabin quickly unfolds to 480 square feet of living space, with a range of creature comforts.

The Ecopod
(Photo: Courtesy of Ecopod)

The Ecopod

Another container home designed for on- or off-grid living is the Ecopod. Made from a shipping container, an electric winch is used to raise and lower the heavy deck door (power is supplied by a solar panel). The floor is made from recycled car tires, and the walls have birch paneling (over closed-cell soya foam insulation). The glass is double paned to slow heat transfer.

The Ecopod can be used as a stand alone unit or with other structures. It is designed to minimize environmental impact.

Adam Kalkin Quik House
(Photo: Quik House )

Adam Kalkin Quik House

Want your own container house? There’s a six-month waiting list for the Quik House by architect Adam Kalkin, who is based in New Jersey. The distinctive Quik House comes in a prefabricated kit, based on recycled shipping containers (in fact a completed house is about 75% recycled materials by weight).

The standard Quik House offers 2,000 square feet, three bedrooms and two and one-half baths, though larger options are also available. The shell assembles within just one day, and all the interior details can be finished within about three months.

The Quik House comes in two colors (orange or natural rust bloom), and the estimated total cost, including shipping and assembly, is $184,000. You can add even greener options such as solar panels, wind turbines, a green roof, and additional insulation (to R-50).

LiNX Temporary Structures
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr )

LiNX Temporary Structures

Dublin-based designer Richard Barnwall envisioned this design, dubbed theLiNX, as a temporary structure for construction workers. The two-storey model pictured is to be comprised of four 20-foot containers. Such designs offer flexibility and rapid deployment, and may even work for more permanent homes.

Ross Stevens House
(Photo: Ross Stevens / Flickr )

Ross Stevens House

Industrial designer Ross Stevens built this distinctive house inWellington, New Zealand. Repurposed shipping containers form an intriguing contrast to the surrounding hill. In fact, the unique home makes use of the hill itself, expanding interior space beyond the containers.

Parts of the Ross Stevens house are surprisingly spacious and comfortable. There’s even a cool table made from a repurposed door.

Student Housing Project Keetwonen, Amsterdam
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr)

Student Housing Project Keetwonen, Amsterdam

Billed as the largest container city in the world, Amsterdam’s massiveKeetwonen complex houses 1,000 students, many of whom are happy to secure housing in the city’s tight real estate market. Designed by Tempo Housing in 2006, Keetwonen is said to be a roaring success, with units that are well insulated, surprisingly quiet and comfortable.

Each resident enjoys a balcony, bathroom, kitchen, separate sleeping and studying rooms, and large windows. The complex has central heating and high speed Internet, as well as dedicated bike parking.

Keetwonen has proved so popular that its lease has been extended until at least 2016.

Site-Specific Exhibition
(Photo: Site-Specific )

Site-Specific Exhibition

Site-Specific and Buatalah Studio were asked to design a green building exhibition for Baan Lae Suan Fair in Bangkok. They came up with a design for a family of three, made out of four reused shipping containers and prefabricated modules. The home reuses graywater and incorporates spaces for growing food.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unusual Weather Phenomena – Amazing

Moon Bows – A rainbow is caused by the Sun shining on moisture droplets, most commonly in a post-rain atmosphere. A moon bow is much rarer, only seen at night when the moon is low and full to almost full. One popular place to see moon bows is at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky,


Mirages – Mirages occur when light is refracted to produce an image of an object or the sky where it is not. It is most commonly seen on hot surfaces, such as the pavement or a desert.

Haloes – Like rainbows, haloes are formed around the Sun due to moisture (in this case ice crystals) being refracted from the Sun’s rays in the upper atmosphere. Sometimes two or more areas of the circle or arcs surrounding the Sun will be brighter, forming what are called Sun Dogs. Haloes can also form around the Moon, and occasionally around the brighter stars and planets like Venus.

Belt of Venus – The belt of Venus is a phenomenon that occurs during dusty evenings when a band of pinkish or brownish sky will appear between the sky and the horizon


Noctilucent Clouds – Noctilucent clouds are atmospherically high clouds that refract light at dusk when the Sun has already set, illuminating the sky with no seeming light source.

Aurora Borealis – Also known in the southern hemisphere as the Aurora Australis, the Aurora Borealis are charged particles from the Sun that have reached the Earth’s upper atmosphere and become excited. They are more typically seen closer to the poles and during the equinoxes of the year.

Coloured Moon – Due to different atmospheric issues, the moon will occasionally appear tinged with a color, such as blue, orange, or red. Excess smoke, dust, and eclipses can cause the moon to change color.


Mammatus Clouds – These odd-shaped clouds are often associated with a storm front, especially one involving a thunderstorm. It’s not completely understood how they form


Pyrocumulus Clouds – Another heat related phenomenon, pyrocumulus clouds form from the fast and intense heating of an area to create convecture, which in turn creates a cumulous cloud. Volcanoes, forest fires, and nuclear explosion (in the form of a mushroom cloud) are all prime causes of pyrocumulus clouds.

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Fire Rainbow – A fire rainbow is an extremely rare phenomenon that occurs only when the sun is high allowing its light to pass through high-altitude cirrus clouds with a high content of ice crystals.

Green Ray – Also known as the Green Flash. This occurs very briefly before total sunset and after sunrise. It appears as a green flash above the sun that lasts very briefly, generally only a few moments. It is caused by refraction of light in the atmosphere.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

pictures Earth Hour

WWF hopes this public support will convince governments across the world to agree to take effective action to tackle climate change, when they meet at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: “WWF’s Earth Hour promises to be the biggest show of support ever for action on climate change.

“By signing up to switch their lights off, millions of people will be showing world leaders that they care about tackling climate change.

“This is a simple way for people to show their support for strong action on climate change.”

THIS IS OUR ONE AND ONLY PLANET. OUR HOME:
https://i1.wp.com/www.townofbeloit.org/earth.gif
What does WWF stand for?
WWF originally stood for “World Wildlife Fund”. However, in 1986, WWF had come to realize that its name no longer reflected the scope of its activities, and changed its name to “World Wide Fund For Nature”. The United States and Canada, however, retained the old name.
The resulting confusion caused by the name change in 1986, together with its translation into more than 15 languages, led the WWF Network in 2001 to agree on using the original acronym as its one, global name – the acronym that it had always been known by since its inception way back in 1961: “WWF”.
What is WWF’s mission?
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world’s biological diversityensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainablepromotin g the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.https://i0.wp.com/liveearth.org/liveearth/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/earth-hour.jpg
In pictures: Earth Hour https://i0.wp.com/blog.enterpriseitplanet.com/green/blog/blogpost_img/canberra_earth_hour.jpg

Skyline of Sydney, Australia

More than 3,400 cities worldwide are taking part in Earth Hour, turning off their lights for one hour at 2030 local time in protest against climate change.

New Zealand parliament building, Wellington

New Zealand was one of the first countries to take part, with government buildings switching off all but the most essential lighting.

Concert in Auckland Civic Square, New Zealand - photo Earth Hour

In Auckland, the country’s biggest city, revellers turned the event into a celebration with a candlelit concert.

Candles in Fiji - Photo Earth Hour

People in Fiji marked the 60 minutes of Earth Hour with candles.

Sydney's Luna Park

Large parts of Sydney, Australia, home to the first Earth Hour two years ago, went dark.

Melbourne skyline - Photo Earth Hour

Campaigners aim to create a huge wave of public pressure to force a new climate change treaty. Melbourne was one of hundreds of Australian municipalities taking part.

Bird's Nest stadium, Beijing - photo Earth Hour

The normally glittering Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing looked distinctly grey.

Bank of China, HSBC building and others in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s financial district was plunged into near darkness.

Parliament lit as usual (left) and an unlit Parliament during Earth Hour

And in London, the Houses of Parliament, as well as the London Eye, Canary Wharf, the Gherkin and the BT Tower, switched their lights off.

https://i0.wp.com/www.hindustantimes.com/Images/2009/3/4ea31454-3090-4c76-91b8-d625fbf7ee15HiRes.JPG

An Indonesian family sits near candles as lights are turned off during a candlelight vigil marking Earth Hour at the main business district in Jakarta, Indonesia.


March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY – REMARKABLE.


The Statue of Liberty Under Construction – Remarkable Photographs
The New York Public Library has recently unveiled some extraordinary pictures of the Statue of Liberty under construction. Take a trip back in time and see extraordinary behind the scenes images of the creation of this superlative structure.

A giant is formed. The sheer scale of the statue under construction can be seen here, in contrast to the workmen posing woodenly for that fairly new invention, the camera.. The more formal name for the statue is Liberty Enlightening the World and it is constructed with sheets of pure copper, even though the picture makes it look something like marble. It is something of a miracle that we now have the finished product standing proudly on Liberty Island. Had it not been for the contributions of ordinary French and Americans then she would never have arisen in the first instance.

Such is the immensity of the statue one can only wonder whether or not the workmen pictured above had any idea which part of the statue they were working on at any one time. The photographer Albert Fernique, who captured these pictures around 1883, must have been in a certain awe at the immensity of the statue and his images capture its sheer scale and size beautifully. The French had decided to give the United States of America something for their centennial independence celebrations that the Americans and the world would never forget. The process of building was painstaking, slow and fraught with financial difficulties. The copper ?shell’ was only what the public would see. What lies beneath – both in terms of its structure and the story behind its *****ion – is almost as startling

Officials survey the workshop – models of statues can just be seen in the background. While they probably had an idea that their statue would become an icon of freedom the world over, the French politicians of the day had some rather more down to earth reasons for gifting the immense sculpture to the States. French politics. Perhaps for this reason the source of the copper has never been revealed. The rumor had always been that the copper was of Norwegian origin, from a village called Visnes, rather than a French source. In 1985 Bell Labs confirmed that this was fairly likely to be true.

At the time France was in political turmoil and, although at the time under their third republic, many people looked back at the time of Napoleon and the monarchy before that with fondness and wanted its return. The desire for a backwards step to authoritarianism was worrying. French politicians – as wily then as now – saw Lady Liberty as a way, albeit phenomenally huge, to focus the public’s imagination on republicanism as the best way forward. The USA and its centennial of independence from the yolk of England was the perfect focus.

The plaster surface of the left arm and its hand take shape, the skeleton underneath revealed. As there is a deal of work under the carapace, so the French politicians had ulterior motives. Using the USA – which many saw as the ideal of government and populist aspirational politics – the French used the statue as a Trojan Horse in reverse, as it were. Its true purpose, in the eyes of the political gift givers, was to make republicanism the center of political ideology in the minds of the people. How greatly it succeeded can never fully be quantified but the French cannot be faulted for thinking big. It must be said here that the ordinary French, through their substantial buying of lottery tickets (and other fundraising efforts) had a much purer purpose at heart than their politicians.
 
It must surely have been amazing for the workers to turn up each morning to the sight of a colossal head looking down upon them. The inspiration for the face seems to be the Roman god of the sun, Apollo or his Greek equivalent, Helios. More down to earth sources of inspiration center on the women in the life of the sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. It may well have been Isabella Eugenie Boyer, a good looking and well-known figure in Paris at the time. More worrying, some believe the face of the statue actually belongs to Bartholdi’s mother. Bartholdi never revealed the true model of the face, but if this is the case Freud would have had a field day.

Bertholdi made a small scale model first, which is still displayed in the Jardin du Luxembourg in the city of the statue’s original construction, Paris. Before the statue was shipped to America, though, it had to be seen to be tested. If it had not been for money, it may never have landed in the states – particularly in the form we all know. On a visit to Egypt, Bartholdi’s vision of liberty expanded to its present proportions. Had his original idea received financial support, then whatever gift the French gave the Americans for the 1876 centennial could not possibly have been the statue.
 
Little by little, the statue arises. Bertholdi saw the Suez Canal under construction in the eighteen sixties and was inspired to build a giant figure at its entrance. He drew up plans which bore a remarkable similarity to what now stands on Liberty Island but his ideas were rejected by the Egyptian ruling body of the time because of the financial problems the country was facing at the time. Had the statue been built in Egypt as a lighthouse, the idea would never have been taken up for America. The Statue of Liberty as we know it was in fact used as a lighthouse, from its unveiling in 1886 right until 1902 – the very first in the world to use electricity.


Almost there! There were huge structural issues that had to be addressed in the design and construction of a sculpture of such enormity. Enter a certain Gustave Eiffel, who would later go on to build that eponymous tower which still dominates the skyline of Paris. It was his job (which he delegated to Maurice Koechlin, his favored structural engineer) to ensure that Liberty’s copper sheath could move while still remaining vertical. Koechlin created a huge pylon of wrought iron and the famous skeletal frame to ensure that the statue would not fall down in high winds.


Money was always a problem. The plan had been to get the statue to the US by the fourth of July, 1876. Only the right arm and torch were finished by then. However, as the Americans had taken responsibility for the construction of the pedestal, these pieces of the statue were displayed to the American pubic at the Centennial Exposition (in Philadelphia). Money raised by allowing people to climb this part of the statue (see here) started the funding efforts for the base of the statue. The French did their bit too, showing the head in their own exposition in 1878.

1886 must have been one of those years that people remembered for the rest of their lives. A statue of gigantic proportions, symbolizing the ideas and aspirations of America, was unveiled by President Grover Cleveland at Liberty Island (renamed from Bedloe’s Island or Love Island). In an ironic twist, President Cleveland had vetoed the New York legislature from contributing fifty thousand dollars to help with the building of the statue’s pedestal. Letting bygones be bygones, President Cleveland was more than happy to officiate at the ceremony. This had not been the only problem to face the statue in the years before its final unveiling, of course. From the model stage, above, to its triumphant moment of revelation, the process was fraught with difficulty – mostly of a financial nature. However, thanks to the efforts of both the American and French people we now have a permanent reminder of what we should hold dear – liberty still symbolically steps forth from her shackles to protect, shelter and enlighten.


March 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY – REMARKABLE.


The Statue of Liberty Under Construction – Remarkable Photographs
The New York Public Library has recently unveiled some extraordinary pictures of the Statue of Liberty under construction. Take a trip back in time and see extraordinary behind the scenes images of the creation of this superlative structure.

A giant is formed. The sheer scale of the statue under construction can be seen here, in contrast to the workmen posing woodenly for that fairly new invention, the camera.. The more formal name for the statue is Liberty Enlightening the World and it is constructed with sheets of pure copper, even though the picture makes it look something like marble. It is something of a miracle that we now have the finished product standing proudly on Liberty Island. Had it not been for the contributions of ordinary French and Americans then she would never have arisen in the first instance.

Such is the immensity of the statue one can only wonder whether or not the workmen pictured above had any idea which part of the statue they were working on at any one time. The photographer Albert Fernique, who captured these pictures around 1883, must have been in a certain awe at the immensity of the statue and his images capture its sheer scale and size beautifully. The French had decided to give the United States of America something for their centennial independence celebrations that the Americans and the world would never forget. The process of building was painstaking, slow and fraught with financial difficulties. The copper ?shell’ was only what the public would see. What lies beneath – both in terms of its structure and the story behind its *****ion – is almost as startling

Officials survey the workshop – models of statues can just be seen in the background. While they probably had an idea that their statue would become an icon of freedom the world over, the French politicians of the day had some rather more down to earth reasons for gifting the immense sculpture to the States. French politics. Perhaps for this reason the source of the copper has never been revealed. The rumor had always been that the copper was of Norwegian origin, from a village called Visnes, rather than a French source. In 1985 Bell Labs confirmed that this was fairly likely to be true.

At the time France was in political turmoil and, although at the time under their third republic, many people looked back at the time of Napoleon and the monarchy before that with fondness and wanted its return. The desire for a backwards step to authoritarianism was worrying. French politicians – as wily then as now – saw Lady Liberty as a way, albeit phenomenally huge, to focus the public’s imagination on republicanism as the best way forward. The USA and its centennial of independence from the yolk of England was the perfect focus.

The plaster surface of the left arm and its hand take shape, the skeleton underneath revealed. As there is a deal of work under the carapace, so the French politicians had ulterior motives. Using the USA – which many saw as the ideal of government and populist aspirational politics – the French used the statue as a Trojan Horse in reverse, as it were. Its true purpose, in the eyes of the political gift givers, was to make republicanism the center of political ideology in the minds of the people. How greatly it succeeded can never fully be quantified but the French cannot be faulted for thinking big. It must be said here that the ordinary French, through their substantial buying of lottery tickets (and other fundraising efforts) had a much purer purpose at heart than their politicians.
 
It must surely have been amazing for the workers to turn up each morning to the sight of a colossal head looking down upon them. The inspiration for the face seems to be the Roman god of the sun, Apollo or his Greek equivalent, Helios. More down to earth sources of inspiration center on the women in the life of the sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. It may well have been Isabella Eugenie Boyer, a good looking and well-known figure in Paris at the time. More worrying, some believe the face of the statue actually belongs to Bartholdi’s mother. Bartholdi never revealed the true model of the face, but if this is the case Freud would have had a field day.

Bertholdi made a small scale model first, which is still displayed in the Jardin du Luxembourg in the city of the statue’s original construction, Paris. Before the statue was shipped to America, though, it had to be seen to be tested. If it had not been for money, it may never have landed in the states – particularly in the form we all know. On a visit to Egypt, Bartholdi’s vision of liberty expanded to its present proportions. Had his original idea received financial support, then whatever gift the French gave the Americans for the 1876 centennial could not possibly have been the statue.
 
Little by little, the statue arises. Bertholdi saw the Suez Canal under construction in the eighteen sixties and was inspired to build a giant figure at its entrance. He drew up plans which bore a remarkable similarity to what now stands on Liberty Island but his ideas were rejected by the Egyptian ruling body of the time because of the financial problems the country was facing at the time. Had the statue been built in Egypt as a lighthouse, the idea would never have been taken up for America. The Statue of Liberty as we know it was in fact used as a lighthouse, from its unveiling in 1886 right until 1902 – the very first in the world to use electricity.


Almost there! There were huge structural issues that had to be addressed in the design and construction of a sculpture of such enormity. Enter a certain Gustave Eiffel, who would later go on to build that eponymous tower which still dominates the skyline of Paris. It was his job (which he delegated to Maurice Koechlin, his favored structural engineer) to ensure that Liberty’s copper sheath could move while still remaining vertical. Koechlin created a huge pylon of wrought iron and the famous skeletal frame to ensure that the statue would not fall down in high winds.


Money was always a problem. The plan had been to get the statue to the US by the fourth of July, 1876. Only the right arm and torch were finished by then. However, as the Americans had taken responsibility for the construction of the pedestal, these pieces of the statue were displayed to the American pubic at the Centennial Exposition (in Philadelphia). Money raised by allowing people to climb this part of the statue (see here) started the funding efforts for the base of the statue. The French did their bit too, showing the head in their own exposition in 1878.

1886 must have been one of those years that people remembered for the rest of their lives. A statue of gigantic proportions, symbolizing the ideas and aspirations of America, was unveiled by President Grover Cleveland at Liberty Island (renamed from Bedloe’s Island or Love Island). In an ironic twist, President Cleveland had vetoed the New York legislature from contributing fifty thousand dollars to help with the building of the statue’s pedestal. Letting bygones be bygones, President Cleveland was more than happy to officiate at the ceremony. This had not been the only problem to face the statue in the years before its final unveiling, of course. From the model stage, above, to its triumphant moment of revelation, the process was fraught with difficulty – mostly of a financial nature. However, thanks to the efforts of both the American and French people we now have a permanent reminder of what we should hold dear – liberty still symbolically steps forth from her shackles to protect, shelter and enlighten.


Fresh Update! ( www.funonthenet.in ) :

March 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

about HP Compaq 6910p

The HP Compaq 6910p is HP’s premier 14.1” business notebook, as part of their ‘Balanced Mobility’ line-up. The 6910p is the Santa Rosa refresh of the nc6400. The 6910p includes the addition of a firewire port, Intel Wireless 4965 ABGN, and the option of either integrated Intel X3100 or dedicated ATi X2300 graphics cards.
The 6910p has a similar chassis to the 6510/6515b notebooks, but is slightly thinner.

Being HP Compaq’s premier 14.1” notebook, it comes with a range of security options as standard, such as a TPM chip, drive encryption, smart card reader, Intel Centrino Pro and finger print biometrics, as well as HDD data protection ‘3D DriveGuard’ accelerometer.
The notebook has a sturdy magnesium alloy display enclosure, reducing weight whilst increasing durability.
Reasons for buying
I’m currently in my second year at university, studying a commerce degree. I basically got sick of carrying around the nx8220 in my bag, with all my course books, so decided to bite the bullet on a lighter, more compact notebook. I wanted all the features of the nx8220 in a smaller and lighter notebook, and the 6910p fits the bill, being cheaper than the previous nc6400s, as well as the Lenovo Thinkpad T61 and Dell Latitude D630.
Where and how purchased
I purchased the 6910p online in New Zealand. The original laptop was sent the day payment was made, but subsequently lost by the couriers. Two weeks later they allowed a replacement to be sent, but it was out of stock, and would take another week to be in stock, so I opted for the more expensive model that I’m reviewing now.
My 6910p was specced out as follows:
NZ$2970 w/3yr warranty
CPU: Intel C2D T7500 2.2Ghz 4MB L2 Cache
OS: MS Vista Business 32/64bit
RAM: 2x1024MB DDR2-667 (2GB Total; expandable to 4GB)
Display: 14.1” WXGA 1280×800 Anti-glare 200nit
GPU: ATi X2300 w/128MB Dedicated DDR3 RAM
HDD: 100GB 7200rpm
Optical Drive: MultiBay II DVD SM DL
Battery: 6 cell Li-Ion 55WHr
Wireless: Intel Pro/Wireless 4965 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, Infrared
Weight: 2.30kg w/6 cell and Multibay II DVD SM DL drive
2.15kg w/6 cell and weight saver
Dimensions: 330x240x33-40mm WxDxH (front-back)
Ports/slots: 3xUSB 2.0; MultiBay II; 10/100/1000 Lan; Modem; S-Video out; VGA out; Firewire; Audio in; Audio out; internal microphone; SD/MMC card reader; Smart Card Reader; Type I/II PC Card Reader; SIM card slot; Docking connector; Second battery connector.
Other: Finger print reader, Touch stick with 2 buttons, Touch pad with 2 buttons, Volume up – down, Volume mute, Presentation, Wireless, HP Info Centre touch sensitive buttons.
Included software:
MS Vista Business 32/64bit (one time option on startup, Windows Vista 32bit DVD included)
HP Application and Driver Recovery DVD 32/64bit
Intervideo DVD
Roxio DVD Creator
MS Office 07 60 Day Trial
Google Toolbar
Norton Antivirus 60 Day Update
HP ProtectTools security software
Opening it up
One of the first options you get when you start this thing up is whether to install the 32bit or 64bit version of Vista Business. Since the packaging included the 32bit version only, I decided it would be a good idea to stick with the 32bit version as well, since I was going to do a fresh install later anyway. I was very pleased to see that HP included a recovery DVD as well, meaning I didn’t need to create my own.
After Vista had set itself up, and I could actually use the notebook, I was surprised to see Vista (and ATi Catalyst Control Centre) identify the graphics card as the ATi X1450, although this was remedied by a fresh install and downloading the ATi driver from HP.

The laptop and included DVDs and manual
Design and Build
The screen casing is a magnesium alloy, making it lighter and stronger than the cheaper 6510b. Pushing the lid results in no LCD distortion, which is a change from the nx8220. There is no noticeable flex in the chassis, unless you deliberately move either side in opposite directions, lifting one side, whilst pushing down on the other.
The look of the notebook is professional, being black on the underside, and a gun-metal like-grey around the keyboard and on the lid, whilst the LCD bezel is black.
All 6910p notebooks come with 3 WWAN antennae, and 2 WLAN antennae. Having the three WWAN antennae allows someone who didn’t purchase the laptop with the WWAN card to purchase it separately later, and install it themselves. The SIM card slot is located in the battery bay, and is clearly marked. You must take the battery out before inserting the SIM card, which prevents any possibility of it being knocked out.

Insert you SIM card here
Keyboard
Like the 6510b reviewed by Andrew, the 6910p has touch sensitive volume controls, presentation mode, wireless and HP Info Centre buttons. Thankfully these don’t make sounds, and a welcome feature is the onscreen display for the volume controls, which is nice compared to my nx8220 which lacks such a feature. Although the touch sensitive buttons look nice and attractive, I would agree with Andrew and say that I prefer the old type of rubber buttons like my nx8220.
The keyboard itself has HP’s DuraKey finish and is spill-resistant, not that I’m going to try out that feature. The keys have a different feel to my nx8220 but I’m quickly adjusting to them. The actual size of the keys appears bigger than the nx8220, although this is because of the differing angles of tapering. The keys are more rubbery than the nx8220, which I’m quickly beginning to like. The keyboard is overall nice to type on, and I don’t notice any flexing at all.
Since I’m used to HP touch pads I found this nearly identical to the nx8220. It has good speed and responsiveness and I only needed to adjust the scroll area as I felt it was a tad too large, getting in the way of scrolling. The 6910p also includes a track point, but I have not played around with that since the last time I used a track point was about 12 years ago on a real old IBM.

View of the keyboard
Input and Output Ports
The 6910p offers the standard ports that other business class notebooks of this size offer.

On the front we’ve got the MMC/SD card slot and the Infrared port. To the right are the two speakers. On the left front are the LED lights for Wireless, Power, Battery charge and HDD/DVD activity and HP DriveGuard status.

The right side has the Smart Card reader, MultBay II DVD SM DL drive, USB port, Gigabit LAN and modem ports. (Shown with 8 cell travel battery)

The left side has the fan exhaust, two more USB ports, Firewire port, Audio in, Audio out and the PC Card slot.

At the back is the power jack, S-Video out and VGA out, a long with the lock slot on the left of the battery.

View of the bottom
The screen
The screen is much better than my nx8220. It is brighter. Adjusting the screen brightness using the function keys results in an onscreen display. Again this is something lacking on the nx8220. The screen is brighter than the nx8220 and has much better horizontal viewing angles. I would say the vertical viewing angles are only slightly better though. The screen is bright enough for my needs, but I don’t know how it will stack up when used outside when University starts next week.
I would like the option to lower the brightness further to save battery life, but otherwise I have no complaints.

HP 6910p on the left, compared to my nx8220 on the right.
Sound
The 6910p, like the nc6400 has two speakers on the front right of the notebook. I assumed there was only one speaker as the right side was where all the sound was coming from, but was mistaken. They are sufficient for Windows sounds and warning sounds, and are actually half decent, given that they are both on the right side. Any audiophile would need to use external devices such as speakers or headphones. As such, I haven’t tested it out much, except for listening to online radio, and a bit of AOE3. The volume is sufficient to fill a medium size room, but are nothing to write home about.
Performance and Benchmarks

The notebook scores a respectable 3.9 on the Windows Experience Index, predictably limited by the graphics card.
Super Pi 2M: 56 seconds
3DMark 06: 969
3DMark 05: 2421
PCMark 05: 4394
HDTune:

Performance is on par with what you’d expect from a C2D at 2.2Ghz. It never lags, and the ATi X2300 is enough to be able to play with high settings in AOE III, the only graphically intense game I own. It would have been nice to see the equivalent of the 8400M GS with DX10 but its not a major problem.
Battery life
The included battery is a 6 cell 55WHr battery. It has a higher capacity than the cheaper 6510/6515b notebooks. HP claims that it should last up to 4 ¾ hours on Windows XP. Using the wireless, surfing the net I got around 3 hours 15 minutes. HP also has an 8-cell and 12-cell second battery options that connect underneath the laptop. These raise the rear of the notebook, allowing better typing positions with the raised keyboard. I myself have the 8-cell travel battery which came originally with my nx8220. I would expect the 8 cell to double the battery life of the notebook.
Heat and noise
One of the big issues with the 6510b and 6710b notebooks from HP that many users have been complaining about is the fan noise, and having it spin up ‘every time I move the mouse.’ In fact this has been an issue in many HP notebooks, but you can rest assured that no such problem exists for the 6910p.
Typing this review, all I can hear is the hard drive doing its indexing thing. When the fan does spin up, it is barely audible. Even the fastest fan speed under benchmarking is acceptable, and much less than the nx8220 (which uses a cooler Pentium M). I can assure you there is no vacuum cleaner and it won’t start flying.
Temperatures using Notebook Hardware Control under idle is 50C and 60C under load. The hard drive at maximum performance and idle in NHC is 39C. Unfortunately NHC doesn’t support voltage adjustment on the new Santa Rosa chips.
The left palm rest gets luke warm, due to the performance hard drive (7200rpm). When power management is used to lower the performance of the hard drive, it is not noticeable. The keyboard is generally warm, but not anywhere near hot or as bad as my nx8220 can get.
Wireless
The 6910p came with Intel wireless a/b/g/n. I only have a wireless ‘g’ network at home, but clearly out performs my nx8220. Our router is situated downstairs. Generally my nx8220 gets a ‘good’ reception at 48mbps, whilst the 6910p works flawlessly at ‘excellent’ and 54mbps. Downloading updates from HP resulted in download speeds at the maximum our line offers, whilst the nx8220 only manages half that speed.
Conclusion
The HP 6910p is a perfect laptop for anyone demanding top build quality and excellent performance in a 14.1” form factor. It is a worthy competitor to the Thinkpad T61 and Latitude D630. In New Zealand the 6910p represents good value compared to the competition, being significantly cheaper than lesser spec’d T61s and D630s. It’s light, reasonably thin and has great performance.
Pros:
• Great, solid build quality with magnesium alloy screen casing
• Professional, non-flashy design
• Fast Core 2 Duo performance for a reasonable price
• Light
• Option for WWAN
• Quiet
• Option for either 32/64bit Vista Business
• Vista 32bit DVD and HP Driver and Application Recovery DVD 32/64bit included (NZ model)
Cons:
• Touch sensitive buttons difficult to effectively use
• Two speakers both on the right front
• Fingerprint reader in awkward position
• Could do with lower brightness settings
• Dedicated graphics option lacks DX10 support. Slower than 8400M GS

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March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kristen Stewart and Daily Hot Shots

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Kristen Stewart and Daily Hot Shots

Kristen Stewart takes a break from filming New Moon to unveil her latest indie flick in L.A.

Kristen Stewart, Premiere of Adventureland, Los Angeles, Twilight, New Moon

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart took a break from filming New Moon in Canada to head south for the Hollywood premiere of Adventureland, held at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. Stewart got support from Twilight series co-star Nikki Reed at the debut of the indie flick, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Sarah Jessica Parker, On the set of Did You Hear About The Morgans?, New York City

Sarah Jessica Parker

While Sex and The City fans await news about the planned sequel to the big screen flick, Sarah Jessica Parker started work on the set of Did You hear About The Morgans? in New York City. The

Leighton Meester, Chace Crawford, On location for Gossip Girl, New York City

Leighton Meester and Chace Crawford

In New York City, Leighton Meester and Chace Crawford appeared to be having a romantic reunion as they filmed a scene for Gossip Girl at the famed Plaza Hotel. Meester also locked lips with Ed Westwick (not pictured) during the afternoon shoot.

Rachel Bilson, Jergens Glow in the Dark launch, Los Angeles

Rachel Bilson

In Beverly Hills, Rachel Bilson got graphic in a navy and white 3.1 Phillip Lim dress when she helped beauty brand Jergens and The Skin Cancer Foundation to announce the second year of their Glow In The Dark program.

Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sighting in Paris

Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal

Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal continued their Parisian getaway with shopping at Nina Ricci and a drink at the famed Cafe de Flore in the city’s oh-so-chic Saint-Germain- des-Prés neighborhood.

Demi Moore, Screening of Streak, Miami International Film Festival

Demi Moore

Demi Moore was in a sunny mood when she screened her short film, Streak, at the 2009 Miami International Film Festival in Florida. Moore took to her Twitter account to announce that the film—her directorial debut—”played well, great response. Whew really happy!”

Taylor Momsen, Daisy Lowe, Launch of Carrera sunglasses collection, New York City

Taylor Momsen and Daisy Lowe

Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen and model Daisy Lowe—whose father is rocker Gavin Rossdale—had it made in their shades at the launch of the new Carrera vintage-inspired sunglasses collection, held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in N.Y.C.


March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

World Water Day

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World Water Day

The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.

Theme 2009: Transboundary water In 2009, the focus of World Water Day on March 22 will be on transboundary waters: sharing water, sharing opportunities. UNECE and UNESCO are the lead UN agencies this year.
Past Water Day Images:
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https://i1.wp.com/cribb.in/wp-content/uploads/2008/march/world_water_day_22.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/esa.un.org/iys/images/SanitationDay.png
https://i2.wp.com/www.mapsofworld.com/images/world-safe-drinking-water-map.gif
https://i0.wp.com/i114.photobucket.com/albums/n275/travellime/Water_for_Life_SurfShot_final.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/www.nature.com/news/specials/water/images/main_bg.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/www.adrants.com/images/world_water_day_sink.jpg


March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beautiful Microscopic Images from Inside the Human Body

Get up close and personal with your innards with these 15 amazing 3D-body shots. Almost all of the following images were captured using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), a type of electron microscope that uses a beam of high-energy electrons to scan surfaces of images. The electron beam of the SEM interacts with atoms near or at the surface of the sample to be viewed, resulting in a very high-resolution, 3D-image. Magnification levels range from x 25 (about the same as a hand lens) to about x 250,000. Incredible details of 1 to 5 nm in size can be detected.

Max Knoll was the first person to create an SEM image of silicone steel in 1935; over the next 30 years, a number of scientists worked to further develop the instrument, and in 1965 the first SEM was delivered to DuPont by the Cambridge Instrument Company as the “Stereoscan.”

Here you’ll experience the power of SEM in a journey of self-discovery that starts in your head, travels down through the chest and ends in the bowels of the abdomen. Along the way, you’ll see what’s normal, what happens when cells are twisted by cancer and what it looks like when an egg meets sperm for the first time. You’ll never see yourself the same way again.

1. Red blood cells
Tons of blood cells
Image: Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images

They look like little cinnamon candies here, but they’re actually the most common type of blood cell in the human body – red blood cells (RBCs). These biconcave-shaped cells have the tall task of carrying oxygen to our entire body; in women there are about 4 to 5 million RBCs per microliter (cubic millimeter) of blood and about 5 to 6 million in men. People who live at higher altitudes have even more RBCs because of the low oxygen levels in their environment.

2. Split end of human hair
Split end of human hair
Image: Liz Hirst, Wellcome Images

Regular trimmings to your hair and good conditioner should help to prevent this unsightly picture of a split end of a human hair.

3. Purkinje neurons
Purkinje neurons
Image: Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images

Of the 100 billion neurons in your brain, Purkinje neurons are some of the largest. Among other things, these cells are the masters of motor coordination in the cerebellar cortex. Toxic exposure such as alcohol and lithium, autoimmune diseases, genetic mutations including autism and neurodegenerative diseases can negatively affect human Purkinje cells.

4. Hair cell in the ear
Hair cell in ear
Image: Wellcome Photo Library, Wellcome Images

Here’s what it looks like to see a close-up of human hair cell stereocilia inside the ear. These detect mechanical movement in response to sound vibrations.

5. Blood vessels emerging from the optic nerve
Blood vessels emerging from the optic nerve
Image: Freya Mowat, Wellcome Images

In this image, stained retinal blood vessels are shown to emerge from the black-coloured optic disc. The optic disc is a blind spot because no light receptor cells are present in this area of the retina where the optic nerve and retinal blood vessels leave the back of the eye.

6. Tongue with taste bud
Tongue with taste bud
Image: David Gregory Debbie Marshall, Wellcome Images

This colour-enhanced image depicts a taste bud on the tongue. The human tongue has about 10,000 taste buds that are involved with detecting salty, sour, bitter, sweet and savoury taste perceptions.

7. Tooth plaque
Tooth plaque
Image: David Gregory Debbie Marshall, Wellcome Images

Brush your teeth often because this is what the surface of a tooth with a form of “corn-on-the- cob” plaque looks like.

Remember that picture of the nice, uniform shapes of red blood cells you just looked at? Well, here’s what it looks like when those same cells get caught up in the sticky web of a blood clot. The cell in the middle is a white blood cell.

9. Alveoli in the lung
Scanning Electron micrograph of alveoli in the lung
Image: David Gregory Debbie Marshall, Wellcome Images

This is what a colour-enhanced image of the inner surface of your lung looks like. The hollow cavities are alveoli; this is where gas exchange occurs with the blood.

10. Lung cancer cells
Lung cancer cells
Image: Anne Weston, Wellcome Images

This image of warped lung cancer cells is in stark contrast to the healthy lung in the previous picture.

11. Villi of small intestine
Villi of small instestine
Image: Professor Alan Boyde, Wellcome Images

Villi in the small intestine increase the surface area of the gut, which helps in the absorption of food. Look closely and you’ll see some food stuck in one of the crevices.

12. Human egg with coronal cells
Human egg with coronal cells
Image: Yorgos Nikas, Wellcome Images

This image is of a purple, colour-enhanced human egg sitting on a pin. The egg is coated with the zona pellicuda, a glycoprotein that protects the egg but also helps to trap and bind sperm. Two coronal cells are attached to the zona pellicuda.

13. Sperm on the surface of a human egg
Sperm on surface of human egg
Image: Yorgos Nikas, Wellcome Images

Here’s a close-up of a number of sperm trying to fertilise an egg.

15. Human embryo and sperm
Human embryo and sperm
Image: Dr. David Becker, Wellcome Images

It looks like the world at war, but it’s actually five days after the fertilisation of an egg, with some remaining sperm cells still sticking around. This fluorescent image was captured using a confocal microscope. The embryo and sperm cell nuclei are stained purple while sperm tails are green. The blue areas are gap junctions, which form connections between the cells.

15. Coloured image of a 6 day old human embryo implanting
6 day old human embryo implanting
Image: Yorgos Nikas, Wellcome Images

And the cycle of life begins again: this 6 day old human embryo is beginning to implant into the endometrium, the lining of the uterus.


March 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Undersea eruptions near Tonga

Scientists sailed out to have a closer look at the eruptions of an undersea volcano off the coast of Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean today. Tonga’s head geologist, Kelepi Mafi, said there was no apparent danger to residents of Nuku’alofa and others living on the main island of Tongatapu. Officials also said it may be related to a quake with a magnitude of 4.4 which struck last March 13 around 35 kilometers from the capital at a depth of nearly 150 kilometres. (this is an off-day posting, but really, thought the images were worth it)

An undersea volcano erupts off the coast of Tonga, sending plumes of steam, ash and smoke up to 100 meters into the air, on March 18, 2009, off the coast of Nuku’Alofa, Tonga. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

An undersea volcano erupts off the coast of Tonga, tossing clouds of smoke, steam and ash thousands of meters into the sky above the South Pacific ocean, Tuesday, March 17, 2009. The eruption was at sea about 10 kilometers from the southwest coast of the main island of Tongatapu, an area where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered. (AP Photo/Trevor Gregory)

First in a series of undersea volcano eruption photos off the coast of Tonga, taken March 18th by photographer Dana Stephenson. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

Second in a series of undersea volcano eruption photos off the coast of Tonga, taken March 18th by photographer Dana Stephenson. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

Third in a series of undersea volcano eruption photos off the coast of Tonga, taken March 18th by photographer Dana Stephenson. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

Fourth in a series of undersea volcano eruption photos off the coast of Tonga, taken March 18th by photographer Dana Stephenson. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

Fifth in a series of undersea volcano eruption photos off the coast of Tonga, taken March 18th by photographer Dana Stephenson. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

Sixth in a series of undersea volcano eruption photos off the coast of Tonga, taken March 18th by photographer Dana Stephenson. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

An undersea volcano erupts about 10 kilometers off the Tongatapu coast of Tonga sending plumes of steam and smoke hundreds of meters into the air. (LOTHAR SLABON/AFP/Getty Images)

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An undersea volcano erupts off the coast of Tonga on March 18, 2009. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

An undersea volcano erupts off the coast of Tonga on March 18, 2009. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

The plume of an erupting undersea volcano is seen off the coast of Nuku’Alofa, Tonga on March 18, 2009. (Dana Stephenson/Getty Images)

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment