Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Massive container ships collide near Suez Canal -

Massive container ships collide near Suez Canal - 


A collision involving two massive container ships near the Suez Canal on Monday sent containers tumbling into the sea, snarling traffic for hours on one of the world’s busiest trade routes.

Officials from the Suez Canal Authority told The Wall Street Journal that the German-flagged MV Colombo Express and the Singaporean-flagged MV Maersk Tanjong collided after one of the ships experienced rudder problems.

There were no casualties from the accident, but four containers from the Colombo Express tumbled into the sea and the ship sustained a large dent, according to officials.

The ships were towed 9 miles south of Egypt’s Port Said and ships were prevented from entering or exiting the canal for three hours, with residual delays afterward.

Skip to 2:20 for the action -

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MYSTERY: NASA scientists baffled by strange object on Saturn's moon... -

MYSTERY: NASA scientists baffled by strange object on Saturn's moon... - 

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered a "mysterious feature" on Saturn's moon Titan. Scientists are working to determine, what, exactly, this feature might be.

NASA reports that the feature is roughly 100 square miles, and it lies in Ligeia Mare, one of Titan's hydrocarbon seas. Cassini's radar has observed the feature twice, but its appearance changed between the two sightings. Scientists suspect the feature's change in appearance could be the result of Titan's changing seasons, which Cassini's current extended mission will monitor.

The feature's first sighting was in July 2013, and the radar images depicted a bright spot, which stood out from the dark sea. Scientists were "perplexed" when the feature couldn't be located with follow-up radar experiments, but they found it again on August 21, 2014.

Though the scientists aren't sure what the feature is, NASA reports that they are "confident" the feature is not a "flaw in their data." Some of their current explanations for the feature include "surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic."

Titan's hydrocarbon lakes have long been a source of curiosity for scientists who speculate that life may be able to survive on the moon's surface. "But if life exists on Titan, it would be very different than life on Earth, which is intimately tied to liquid water," Space.com notes.

"Science loves a mystery, and with this enigmatic feature, we have a thrilling example of ongoing change on Titan," Stephen Wall, the deputy team lead of Cassini's radar team, said in a statement. "We're hopeful that we'll be able to continue watching the changes unfold and gain insights about what's going on in that alien sea." - - Meghan DeMaria


Kreweser - the electric full-size cooler that can reach 18 mph and carry 96 cans plus ice -

Kreweser - the electric full-size cooler that can reach 18 mph and carry 96 cans plus ice - 

A New Orleans group is using Kickstarter to fund an unusual mode of transportation -- a cooler propelled by electric motors.

The Kreweser team posted on its Kickstarter page the electric scooter, which uses a full-size cooler for a seat, can reach speeds of 18 mph and can carry up to 96 beverage cans plus the ice to keep them frosty.

The scooter, which collapses to an easily portable size, uses motors found in the hubs of its wheels, allowing it to carry up to 400 pounds.

The coolers included with the Krewesers are outfitted with 6.5-inch, 165-watt marine-grade speakers with Bluetooth connectivity, so riders can play music from their smartphones. The speakers are built into the walls of the cooler, so no storage space is lost in the upgrade, the team said.

Kreweser had raised $7,797 of its $90,000 goal Monday with 23 days to go on Kickstarter.

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