Page 10 - Technology Facts

What do you get when you combine the sound of an elephant call with a car driving on wet pavement?

TIE fighters are fictional starfighters in the ‘Star Wars’ universe and the acronym stands for the "Twin Ion Engines" by which these machines are propelled. TIE fighters' solar panels power the twin ion engine system that accelerates gases at a high speed along almost any vector, affording the ships tremendous speed and maneuverability.

They are depicted as fast, fragile starfighters produced by Sienar Fleet Systems for the Galactic Empire. These machines feature in the original Star Wars trilogy. The models created for the movie are grey for better filming against a bluescreen background. Combat scenes between TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon resemble dogfights in World War II air combat.

Ben Burtt created the distinctive sound effect of the TIE fighters by combining an elephant call with a car driving on wet pavement. A TIE fighter model used in filming the climax of A New Hope sold at auction for $350,000. In 1994, LucasArts released the TIE Fighter flight simulator, which casts the player as an Imperial pilot flying a variety of TIE starfighters. Several TIE fighter replicas and toys have also been manufactured and sold.

Fans of ‘Star Wars’ built a 16-foot-by-20-foot, 1,000-pound TIE fighter float to commemorate the epic’s thirtieth anniversary as part of the 2007 Crystal Lake Gala Parade.


NASA wants to lasso an asteroid and take it to the moon. But what's the point?

NASA wants to capture a 23 ft wide asteroid with a robotic space lasso and drag it to the moon. The aim of this ambitious project is to bring the asteroid into lunar orbit where it will give astronauts an opportunity to explore it.

Once the asteroid is in a stable orbit around the moon, astronauts can visit it as soon as 2021 using NASA's Orion space capsule and the giant Space Launch System mega-rocket. Scientists have identified three most suitable asteroids from a list of fourteen prime contenders.

"It's mostly orbital constraints that those 14 satisfy," Paul Chodas, senior scientist in NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office said. "We did not have the opportunity to characterize the size. We have two to three which we'll characterize in the next year and if all goes well, those will be valid candidates that could be certified targets and we'll pass by another in the year 2016. So we have three from the list of 14."

The purpose of moving and exploring asteroids is to gain a better understanding of their characteristics and also to test technology designed to relocate asteroids, should they pose a threat to Earth. The agency has also examined many possible mission concepts to help define what capabilities are needed to push the boundaries of space exploration.


You should NOT brush your teeth after every meal.

It may seem like a good idea to brush your teeth after eating to clean out any stray food particles, and maybe to get a bad taste out of your mouth. However, according to Colgate your teeth are most vulnerable to damage after eating and drinking. The acidic foods and drinks we consume softens the enamel on our teeth. Brushing within 60 minutes after eating can wear down this enamel.

Though brushing after every meal isn’t a good idea, you should still brush 2-3 times every day. Brushing at night is the most important; when your mouth gets dry during sleep bacteria can more easily damage your teeth. Brushing in the morning is important to clean out the plaque that collected on your teeth overnight. Technically, it’s more effective to brush your teeth after breakfast than before (but again, it has to be at least an hour after you’re done eating). Brushing during the day is also a good idea, but brushing more than three times in one day can cause damage to the gums. I bet you didn’t think brushing teeth could be this complicated!

Click here for more about when and how to brush.

Some awesome lists!

Scientists developed a camera that can depict how light moves. It has a shutter speed of one trillion frames per second!

MIT scientists have developed a remarkable camera that can depict the movement of light! The camera captures images 40 billion times faster than a standard HD camera and has a shutter speed of approximately a trillion frames per second!

It is impossible to directly record light at that speed, so the camera takes millions of repeated scans to recreate each image. The process is called femto-photography. "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera," said Andrea Velten, one of the researchers involved in the project.

The technique was created by scanning one, thin horizontal line at a time by using an adapted streak tube. One image is equivalent to a single scan line, and hundreds of images had to be taken to create one frame. The scientists did this by repeating each shot, angling the camera's view with mirrors to record a different scan line of the object every time.

This camera has revealed new ways of seeing the world and it can also be used to analyze faults and material properties, scientific imaging for understanding ultra-fast processes and medical imaging to reconstruct sub-surface elements—ultrasound with light!

The camera can even capture the scattering of light below the surface of solid objects!


Japanese robot-maker Cyberdene develops robotic legs — not Terminators!

Japan is a technologically rich country and has employed industrial robots for the longest time. A robotic suit that will, in future assist the elderly and the disabled to stand and move around has been developed by Japanese robot-maker Cyberdene. It has now received a global safety certificate.

HAL, short for Hybrid Assistive Limb, is a pair of robotic legs that can be attached to the legs of a disabled or aged person. It will help them move around like a normal person. The artificial limb was not the first artificial limb made by Cyberdene. The company has made robotic arms in the past, too.

This opens up a whole new world of opportunities for disabled people to move around freely. For now it will be used to help patients rehabilitate from nerve and muscle illnesses. The robot suit HAL will be used by ten hospitals in the first clinical trials of it's kind.

Cyberdene is based in Tsukuba, northeast of Tokyo and has rented out approximately 330 suits to about 150 hospitals and welfare organisations. To clarify, Cyberdene is not to be confused with the firm of the same name in the movie ‘Terminator’ and HAL is not related to the evil supercomputer from Stanley Kubric’s ‘2001:A Space Odyssey’ either.



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