November 22, 2014

China creates new city planning categories and could shift growth to cities with 5 million or less population

China urban planning has created a new megacity category that could make it harder for residents to move to the mainland's biggest cities if it comes with tougher population controls.

Six cities would fall into the megacity category - Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing , Guangzhou, Tianjin and Shenzhen (10 million plus people).

The "very large" cities with populations of between five million and 10 million people have 16 cities fall in this group.

"Large cities" will refer to those centres with a population of between 1 million and 5 million.

"mid-sized cities" will refer to those with between 500,000 and 1 million people

"small cities" will have less than 500,000.

The State Council did not say what population and urban management policies would be introduced, but urban planners said smaller cities might be given more opportunities to grow.

Li Xun, deputy director of the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, said population controls in the six megacities could become "even tighter", and it could remain very difficult to get an urban hukou, or household registration, in the 10 very large cities.

Underwater ocean floor factory connected to a floating seastead base via a 4000 meter spiral tower

Shimizu corporation is a top 5 construction contracting company in Japan.

They have built terminal 3 of Singapore's airport and the The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line aka Trans-Tokyo Bay Highway. Aqualine is a bridge–tunnel combination across Tokyo Bay in Japan. It connects the city of Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture with the city of Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture, and forms part of National Route 409. With an overall length of 14 km, it includes a 4.4 km bridge and 9.6 km tunnel underneath the bay—the fourth-longest underwater tunnel in the world.

The Ocean Spiral would provide accommodation for 5,000 people and include research centers for excavating the seabed for energy resources.

Where are profits from iPhone and iPad sales going ? Some of it is going into the Apple Mothership HQ.

Here are pictures and video of Construction progress of Apple's Mothership campus HQ in Cupertino.

Apple new donut or spaceship headquarters are partway through constructionin Cupertino, California. Construction is to be completed in 2016.

According to Apple's project schedule, the roadwork will be completed by the end of 2014, while earthwork and the planting of trees will continue until mid-2015. Full demolition is expected to end during the first quarter of 2015, while building construction is expected to last until the end of 2016.

Apple's completed campus will feature the iconic 2.8 million square foot ring-shaped main building, an underground parking facility capable of accommodating 2,400 cars, a 100,000 square foot fitness center, and a 120,000 square foot auditorium. A second phase of construction will see Apple building several additional satellite facilities for research and development.

Here is a rendering of what it will look like when completed and a picture and video from drones showing the construction progress in November 2014.

Construction started on 100 story icicle skyscraper in China

Architectural firm Smith and Gill has begun construction of a 468-metre-high crystalline skyscraper in Chengdu, China. The Greenland Tower Chengdu was designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill and is set to become the tallest building in southwestern China.

According to the architects, the faceted-glass form of the office and hotel tower was “inspired by the unique ice mountain topography around Chengdu.”

At night, inset LED lighting will highlight the edges designed to create the impression of a shimmering glacier. “Like the mountain ridges reflecting the light of the sky and the valleys reflecting light from the earth, the iconic tower will perform as a light sculpture to diffuse light from 360 degrees, creating a connection between sky and earth,” said the architectural firm in a statement.

It is to be completed in 2018. The 100-storey-high skyscraper will surpass the city's current tallest buildings, the Chengdu IFS Towers, by over 200 metres.

November 21, 2014

DNA nanotechnology breaking through limits to scale 1000 times larger over two years and now can make virus size structure from the bottom up

A research team team used their "DNA–brick self–assembly" method, which was first unveiled in a 2012 Science publication when they created more than 100 3D complex nanostructures about the size of viruses. The newly–achieved periodic crystal structures are more than 1000 times larger than those discrete DNA brick structures, sizing up closer to a speck of dust, which is actually quite large in the world of DNA nanotechnology.

For the last 20 years, scientists have tried to design large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depth and complex features — a design quest just fulfilled by a team at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. The team built 32 DNA crystals with precisely–defined depth and an assortment of sophisticated three–dimensional (3D) features

(H/T Foresight institute)

A key advantage of the DNA brick method is its modularity, which allows for a variety of prescribed crystal shapes to be designed and constructed. Credit: Harvard's Wyss Institute

Nature Chemistry - DNA brick crystals with prescribed depths

China, Europe and Japan are stimulating their economies

China's central bank unexpectedly slashed interest rates on Friday to re-energize the world's No. 2 economy, joining a growing list of major economies that are trying to encourage growth in the face of a global slowdown.

China's bank cut the rate on a one-year loan by commercial banks by 0.4 percentage points to 5.6 percent. The rate paid on a one-year savings was lowered by 0.25 point to 2.75 percent. It was the first rate cut since July 2012, and comes after the Cabinet called this week for steps to reduce financing costs for industry to make the economy more efficient.

The president of the European Central Bank said Friday he was ready to step up stimulus for the 18-country eurozone economy, where growth is meager and unemployment is soaring. And Japan's government this week delayed a tax increase after the country slipped back into recession. Japan's central bank late last month increased its purchases of government bonds and other assets to try to revive growth.

Carnival of Space 380 - NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

The Carnival of Space 380 is up at Links Through Space

Universe Today - NASA’s ongoing hunt for exoplanets has entered a new phase as NASA officially confirmed that the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is moving into the development phase. This marks a significant step for the TESS mission, which will search the entire sky for planets outside our solar system (a.k.a. exoplanets). Designed as the first all-sky survey, TESS will spend two years of an overall three-year mission searching both hemispheres of the sky for nearby exoplanets.

“During its first two years in orbit, the TESS spacecraft will concentrate its gaze on several hundred thousand specially chosen stars, looking for small dips in their light caused by orbiting planets passing between their host star and us,” said TESS Principal Investigator George Ricker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.