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August 6, 2008

Jan Akkerman concert on laddermill power

Filed under: Aviation,Music,Science by Branko Collin @ 9:05 am

Dutch guitar giant Jan Akkerman, former astrounaut Wubbo Ockels and Delft University all worked together to come up with this tiny concert in the Stadspark of Groningen last year. The reason? The electrical power was delivered by a prototype of a so-called Laddermill, an invention by Wubbo Ockels that is currently being developed at the University of Delft, and that consists of a chain of kite-wings that act as kites when going up, and as wings when going down.

Laddermills should be able to deliver from kilowatts to megawatts of power, enough to provide neighbourhoods and cities with electricity. According to the Guardian, laddermills are especially useful in The Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Ireland “thanks to the high-speed jet stream.”

If you’ve never heard of Akkerman before, check YouTube for “focus hocus pocus.”

Via Engadget. See also this TU Delft page.

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July 29, 2008

Party tents lead 2007 summer insurance claims list

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:41 am

Party tents that got blown to shreds lead the list of 2007’s summer claims at insurance company Fortis ASR, according to Z24.

The top 5:

  1. Wind destroying party tents
  2. Laundry stolen from washing lines
  3. Stolen garden furniture
  4. Broken window panes because of sun shades blowing over or away
  5. Singe or burn damage caused by barbecues

If the wind was such a contributing factor in 2007, then why conclude that those clothes and garden furniture got stolen? Perhaps they just blew away. It’s sloppy quoting from press releases like this that gives thieves a bad rep. (That, and the fact that thieves steal).

Read what appears to be the full press release disguised as a serious journalistic article at Blik op Nieuws. Photo: Hedwig Storch, used under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

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