"...When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there..."
(David L. Weatherford - "Slow Dance")

News in civil engineering and not only (2014)

January 15th, 2014 
Levitate and moving objects in 3D space using sound waves
Japanese scientists have been successful in moving an object in a three-dimensional space through a complex system of acoustic levitation.The researchers created a standing wave, combining two or more waves to generate a node where there is no movement as the wave oscillates. The wave can hold aloft small objects and could be useful in industries where sterile materials need to be moved but not touched, like medicines or spaceship parts.

January 12th, 2014
Building structures by "intelligent" quadrocopters? 
Even though the structures are rudimentary, in the very near future the quadrocopters will surely learn how to construct things!

The micro-windmill will recharge faster all your gadgets 
The “micro-windmills” (which measure only about 1.8 mm at the widest point) will do nothing short of revolutionize the way that we generate energy for small devices and will most certainly take us one step closer to a free (sustainable) energy future.
January 10th, 2014 
Minor seismic activity may be a warning sign
Minor seismic activity along fault lines might be a sign that a major earthquake could happen in the near future, according to a study by U.S. researchers. "If there are precursors, it would be valuable for us to understand, because obviously, it would be fantastic if we could predict earthquakes," Justin Rubinstein said (a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California).

January 9th, 2014
Metamaterials used to perform math functions
Metamaterials, which bend light in unusual ways, are being used to create a variation on the analog computer capable of performing mathematical functions, according to a study in the journal Science. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have simulated a metamaterial that can perform calculus and other fundamental mathematical functions by modifying a light wave's profile. "As the wave goes through this block, its profile changes such that by the time it comes out, it has the profile expected from the given mathematical operation," said Nader Engheta, one of the researchers.

Fire Ants Lock Arms to Keep Bridges From Falling
Fire ants make for formidable arch villains. They use their bodies to build bridges across gaps in their paths. Now, a research team has examined what makes their bridges strong. Even without a leader, the ants are able to sense when their bridges are in trouble and react to strengthen these living structures. Understanding how ants perform this maintenance could lead to better self-repairing materials.

Concrete solutions: 9 innovations for a construction essential
Building Design +Construction editors offer a roundup of new products and case studies that represent the latest breakthroughs in concrete technology.

January 3rd, 2013
Dogs align with Earth's magnetic field when pooping

Dogs prefer to do their business while in a body-alignment along the magnetic north-south axis - but only during periods of calm magnetic field conditions. After taking into account all other factors the researchers concluded they found clear indication of a magnetic sense in our four-legged friends. The findings might not come as a surprise – people often believe their pets have "supernatural" abilities (as seismic predictors), although it is not clear to science what the dogs might use their magnetic sense for.
Concrete solutions: 9 innovations for a construction essential - See more at: http://www.bdcnetwork.com/concrete-solutions-9-innovations-construction-essential#sthash.OnSWKG7z.dpuf

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