The AP reports that two gigantic concrete pumps, the largest equipment of this type in the world, will be air-lifted to Japan to help pour water on damaged reactors at Fukushima.
The machines are designed to spray concrete for new skyscrapers, bridges and similarly large-scale construction projects, but they're being modified to spray water for this use.
"But if a decision is made to encase a reactor in concrete -- similar to a method used in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster -- the machines would be capable of doing that as well," explained an executive from the company that made them.
They'll be carried over on an Antonov 225, the world's heaviest aircraft.
The company, and the devices: "Putzmeister." Yes, that's right. Giant, phallic-shaped pumps that spew liquid all over hot cores. They're huge. They're PUTZMEISTERS.
Read the full story here. (via Paul Saffo)
Update: So, one of Putzmeister's biggest competitors is a company called SCHWING (thanks, V). Did Austin Powers write this script or what, people?
Ant Lab's Adrian Smith (previously) writes, "No one had ever filmed how ants inject venom when they sting something. I study ants and I make videos, so I went to work on getting that footage. It involved filming something smaller than a human hair moving faster than the blink of an eye. But, I got […]
Just for your information, there are some very teeny and some quite enormous trees. keshitsubo grass, wheat sunflower, Apple tree Rocky Mountain Juniper, Socotra Dragon tree olive, Salix Babylonica Common Hawthorn, Southern Live oak Mediterranean cypress, Stone Pine Limber Pine, Palm tree Baldcypress, Sycamore Araucaria Araucana, Common Oak Brazil Nut, Kauri Eucalyptus, Patagonian cypress Noble […]
Above is a three-millimeter long maggot launching itself into the air for a distance of up to 36 times its body length. Researchers from Duke University and their colleagues studied how these larvae of gall midges leap between plants with the greatest of ease, even rivaling some jumping insects with legs. Their research could have […]
Want to keep the dentist away? A little tooth care at morning and night isn’t bad, but it won’t keep the stains from smoking or fried foods at bay for long. If you enjoy your food and want to avoid the consequences, an upgrade from that old analog toothbrush can make a huge difference. Among […]
If your office works at all, it uses Microsoft Office. Those icons for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are as familiar around some workplaces as the coffee machine. So familiar, in fact, that they get taken for granted – and rarely used to their full potential. Whether you need a crash course in the essential tools […]
It’s a great time to be a maker. 3D printers are on store shelves for anyone to buy, and coder kits like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are letting kids as young as 9 or 10 dive into the Internet of Things. Here are a few examples of our favorite tech toys, all priced low enough […]