Friday, 2 December 2016

The Stainless Steel Rose Museum of Beijing

The world’s first museum dedicated to roses has opened in beijing. designed by NEXT architects, their architectural design is defined by the smooth stainless steel envelope that is wrapped around the building with a pattern of chinese roses cut out from the surface. ‘the rose museum aims to create a new architecture for china, in which history and modernity, art and architecture blend,’ explains NEXT architects china partner jiang xiaofei. the opening coincides with the world rose convention, in which the event will be hosted inside the museum and over thirty countries will participate. the 100 acre rose park will showcase 2,000 species of the flower which also has a long history in chinese culture dating back to 11th century B.C.

To showcase this history and the culture of roses in general, the museum is covered by a perforated stainless steel façade measuring 300 meters. this detached skin creates four half open courtyards between the façade and the main building; the rose pattern creating a constantly changing play of light and shadow. the organization is reminiscent to the traditional chinese walled-off courtyards and at night the building inverts itself where the façade lights up and projects shadows of the flowers outside.

Throughout history, the walled courtyard program epitomized traditional chinese architecture and culture; it became the ‘ideal model’ to embody social and the harmony between man, house and nature.  the semi-transparent walls engages with the surrounding space, in contrast to the solid heart of the museum building. john van de water, partner at NEXT architects, comments: ‘the main challenge with the rose museum was to find a modern chinese identity for a building which significance is so deeply rooted into chinese culture.’

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All images © xiao kaixiong
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Monday, 28 November 2016

How to get the perfect Chardonnay with Stainless Steel.

“Chardonnay’s home is in Vertus”, said Etienne Godard, the sales and marketing manager of Champagne Paul Goerg, a cooperative which was founded in 1950 and has 120 hectares in the heart of the Cotes de Blancs.

“Chardonnay is the least planted in Champagne overall and so many producers are looking for it for their best cuvées. We’re fortunate that we have it on our doorstep in abundance.”

Paul Goerg’s range includes three Blanc de Blancs, the Brut – which is a blend of the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 – the Absolu with zero dosage and its current vintage of 2005.

Even the rosé uses a substantially higher percentage of Chardonnay at 85% and Goerg’s prestige cuvée, Lady, the jewel in the Goerg crown also has 85% selected from the best vines.

“We vinify plot by plot and always hand harvest,” said Godard. “We do fermentation in Stainless Steel to bring out Chardonany’s purest characters and then after blending, we bottle and the wine sleeps in the cellars for at least three years before disgorgement. For our cuvée, Lady, it’s six to eight.

“Chardonnay needs extensive ageing to express its elegance.The balance between acidity, structure and character needs to be all there which takes time.”

Speaking about the 2016 vintage, Godard admitted it was “tough” with 20-30% less yields than last year.

“In Vertus, the quality is still there though and we can rely on the reserve wines to keep the prices stable for a smaller harvest.”

Paul Goerg’s 2007 vintage will be released next year, with 2006 not declared.

“It was another tricky one,” said Godard. “An extremely early harvest with a cold winter followed by a hot summer then an extended stretch of rain. It was the second earliest since 2003. But as we picked early, the quality is good with relatively big volumes.

“We don’t produce every year and don’t feel that we need to. We have some of the longest lead times before release but it’s better to wait and be happy with the final product.”

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Friday, 18 November 2016

Call Up Stainless Steel UFO's to light your way home!

It's easy to take streetlights for granted until there aren't any, and then the darkness can be unsettling or even dangerous. While streetlights are static and not always in places where they're needed, though, a new project proposes using drones to fly lighting above those who need it.

Fleetlights was dreamt up by UK insurer Direct Line, as a way to make people feel safer and to potentially save lives in unlit areas. The concept can be likened to an Uber for streetlighting, with users of the service able to send a request for lighting via a mobile app and have it flown out to their location.

Direct Line suggests any such service might find interested parties among individuals walking home from work in the dark and among search and rescue teams. As per the company's vision, a user would send a request from their smartphone, which would be relayed to a manned local Fleet Control center. Here, an operator would assign the requisite available drones to the request and dispatch them to the user's location.

The drones would fly fully autonomously, and on arrival would arrange themselves in a formation ahead of the user. A lead drone would communicate with the user's mobile device and with the secondary drones, meaning that as the user moved, they would continually reposition themselves, thereby lighting the user's path.

Once the user no longer needed the lighting, they could use the app to indicate as much and have the drones return to Fleet Control. The Fleet Control operator could also call the drones back if needs be, for instance if they needed charging.

The firm has trialled Fleetlights in the UK town of Petworth, chosen because it is said to have one of the most dangerous – specifically, unlit – roads in the country. Trials were also carried out in the surrounding South Downs. Two types of drones were used, both fitted with high-powered on-board lights. They also feature carbon-fiber airframes with Stainless Steel and titanium fixings, as well as two lithium-polymer batteries for redundancy.

The Fleetlights project was started in August with the trials being carried out more recently.

(Fleetlights is in reality a branding exercise that isn't planned for development as a commercial venture by Direct Line)

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

So it's Stainless Steel that makes Coca Cola Taste Great!

If you've ever been to McDonald's, chances are you've also bought a coke from one of its machines. It may just be standard Coca-Cola, but some fans claim the drink at McDonald's is better than at any other fast food chain.

You may not agree, but the restaurant has now revealed the secret behind its most popular thirst-quencher on its website. The reason for the drinks's success is all to do with the way its chilled, the water purity and how the Coca-Cola syrup is stored. According to author Mark Proffitt, who wrote a blog about why McDonald's cola tastes better than at any other fast food chain, most Coke retailers get their syrup in a bag.

Most Coke retailers get their syrup in a bag box, according to author Mark Proffitt, who wrote a blog about why McDonald's cola tastes better than at any other fast food chain.  The reason for the drinks's success is all to do with the way its chilled, the water purity and how the Coca-Cola syrup is stored

But McDonald’s sells so much Coca-Cola that it receives its syrup inside Stainless Steel cylinders, which keep it fresher.

The final straw is in fact all to do with the McDonald's straw. It's much wider than a typical straw at many other restaurants, which the eatery claims makes the drink taste better.

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Friday, 28 October 2016

Weird alien signals from space…. and stainless steel

A team of astronomers believes that strange signals emanating from a cluster of stars are actually aliens trying to tell the universe they exist.

The study, which appeared in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, analyzed the odd beams of light from 234 stars — a fraction of the 2.5 million that were observed.

The bizarre beacons led the paper’s authors, Ermanno F. Borra and Eric Trottier from Laval University in Quebec, to conclude that it’s “probably” aliens.

We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an [extraterrestrial intelligence] signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis,” wrote Borra and Trottier.

They also note that their findings align with the Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI) hypothesis, since the mysterious activity only occurred in a tiny fraction of stars. The hypothesis also suggests that an intelligent life force would use a more sophisticated optical beacon than, say, radio waves to reveal its existence.

Researchers sifted through data collected by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey — an eight-foot diameter telescope in Sunspot, New Mexico — to separate natural signals from ones that appeared generated.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey uses hard 302 Stainless Steel in it's construction, including the camera.

Breakthrough Listen—a $100 million global effort to hunt for alien life, backed by Stephen Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg—said the signals are worth additional research, but not to get too excited. “It is too early to unequivocally attribute these purported signals to the activities of extraterrestrial civilizations,” the organization said in a statement. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

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The Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope in Sunspot, New Mexico.Photo: SDSS/NASA
Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A 1,000-foot gradient tower of stainless steel

A nearly 1,000-foot, mixed-use tower was recently completed in Guangzhou, the third largest Chinese city behind Beijing and Shanghai, about 75 miles northwest of Hong Kong. Angular canted corner walls break up the massing of the otherwise boxy tower, providing specific views out into the city. While the northwest corner provides good views 250 feet above neighbouring buildings, the northeast corner is best viewed only 100-feet high.

A nearly 14-foot-high reinforced concrete floor-to-floor spacing accommodates a 10-foot clear ceiling. The exterior wall is a unitised curtain wall system. Operable ventilation for occupant comfort is incorporated into the system. The glass is an insulated low-e assembly with an aluminium mullion system. At nighttime, the glass can be “grazed” by LED’s which allows for the building to be illuminated to the exterior without introducing light to the interior space. During the day, the dark frit from the interior is nearly imperceptible when looking outward to the exterior.

A gradient of panellised stainless steel panels tapers into the curtain wall glazing. The architects say this composition is an expression of the gravitational quality of the tower and a response to the stacked program of the building. By utilising opaque panels at the base of the tower, the shell of the building is responsive to a connective infrastructure of bridges and tunnels tapping into the building to support retail use. As stainless panels taper in width, their height and vertical spacing remains constant. Horizontal coursing slightly overlap at spandrel panels, which assume a unique, but repetitive, geometry. The composition allows for a more standardised view glass unit on each floor.

De Santis says the ability of this project to cater to both a pedestrian and urban scale is particularly successful, and a good learning lesson for future tower projects. “The sense of intimacy we were able to achieve for the arrival sequence of the hotel. 300-meter (984-foot) tall towers have a big impact on your surroundings, and to get a level of intimacy means that you are able to incorporate an interesting level of detail and material selections. The feel of the space is anything but cold and austere, which is often the case in large tower buildings.” De Santis explains the Hyatt hotel brand prides itself on this level of intimacy. “It’s less about grand ballrooms and lobby spaces, and more about producing warmth and a human scale.” This triggered a change of material at the hotel drop off point. A dark anodised steel and Chinese screens in the ceiling pair with a simple natural stone that washes the entire space in a natural, light-toned coloration. This provides a backdrop for sculptural artwork and provides the basis for unique multi-story spaces “carved” into the tower in the upper floor lobby and lounge spaces. De Santis concludes, “Your tower can have an expression. You can create an intimate environment without losing the expression of its urban gesture.”

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Friday, 14 October 2016

Here's Why Cage Divers Don't Become Shark Bait

In reality, a shark cage's strength is just a precaution. Sharks tend to bite things that look like they'd taste good. They almost never bite a shiny metal box. But when it happens — say, with a curious young shark — it's something the person inside the cage never forgets.

"You see them bite it on Shark Week because the guys are putting the fish right at the bars," Moskito says (James Moskito and his partners founded Great White Adventures 17 years ago). "What we see is that a shark might bite a cage once, when they first encounter one, but they immediately realise they don't like the taste. You can almost see it in their expression, like, 'Okay, that tastes terrible.' And you'll never see that shark bite it again."

Advancements in metalworking technology have made stainless steel an option for Great White Adventures, especially for extremely specialised and complicated cages. Last year, Great White Adventures introduced it's first stainless steel cage, a self-propelled two-man contraption that looks like the skeleton of a tiny submarine and has four motors that propel the cage at speeds up to 5 knots. It can turn, spin, and dive up to 150 feet on a cable.

"We got tired of waiting for the sharks to come to us," Moskito jokes. "It's the most unique cage ever built." It also cost $100,000, and as of now, is only available for film crews. If permits come through, certain tourists might (might) get a crack at it later this year, starting in Mexico.

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