Tesla Just Unveiled Their Semi-Truck and It is Way Cooler Than You Could’ve Possibly Imagined

Have you taken a look at the new Tesla Semi truck yet? If not, I recommend you do; it’s pretty damn impressive. If Tesla CEO Elon Musk is on the money, this product might change the way the trucking industry operates all over the world.

Musk unveiled the aerodynamic, all-electric truck recently in Los Angeles, and the crowd was wowed. The truck has a 500-mile range, but what is really revolutionary about the new semi is what is missing: there is no transmission, no clutch, and no large motor in the truck.

Musk guarantees that the groundbreaking semi will not break down for a million miles and that the brake pads will last forever. He also claims that the truck’s glass is “thermonuclear explosion-proof.” The trucks will charge at “Megachargers” where cargo can simultaneously be unloaded, and a 30-minute charge will add 400 miles worth of driving. The prototypes also feature tires that each have their own motors and can operate independently.

The truck’s battery is built into the chassis, hidden behind a frame that protects it. The cab, where truckers spend roughly 12 hours a day, has been redesigned to look like a small room, with the wheel in the centere of the dash. There is no passenger seat, but a small jump seat is located behind the driver.

A lot of space is saved because of the lack of a motor and transmission, giving the driver 7 feet of standing room. As of now, the semi curiously does not contain a sleeper cabin, but the company says they’re considering a model that includes one in the future. The cab also features touchscreens for the driver on either side of the steering wheel.

The Tesla semi has other advantages for long-haul truckers, including automatic emergency breaking, auto steering, and lane-departure warning. One additional feature useful for drivers is the jackknife prevention technology that applies torque to every wheel and activates all brakes independently when sensors detect a possible impending jackknife. Thats good news for all of us – if you’ve ever been stuck in a traffic jam, you know jackknifes are a major cause of highway backups.

Production on the Tesla semis is supposed to begin in 2019, and companies are already reserving their fleets. It will be interesting to see how quickly Elon Musk and Tesla get these bad boys on the road.

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Can Magic mushrooms ‘reset’ a depressed brain?

Magic mushroomsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can “reset” the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest.

The small study gave 19 patients a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin.

Half of patients ceased to be depressed and experienced changes in their brain activity that lasted about five weeks.

However, the team at Imperial College London says people should not self-medicate.

There has been a series of small studies suggesting psilocybin could have a role in depression by acting as a “lubricant for the mind” that allows people to escape a cycle of depressive symptoms.

But the precise impact it might be having on brain activity was not known.

MushroomImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The team at Imperial performed fMRI brain scans before treatment with psilocybin and then the day after (when the patients were “sober” again).

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed psilocybin affected two key areas of the brain.

  • The amygdala – which is heavily involved in how we process emotions such as fear and anxiety – became less active. The greater the reduction, the greater the improvement in reported symptoms.
  • The default-mode network – a collaboration of different brain regions – became more stable after taking psilocybin.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial, said the depressed brain was being “clammed up” and the psychedelic experience “reset” it.

He told the BBC News website: “Patients were very ready to use this analogy. Without any priming they would say, ‘I’ve been reset, reborn, rebooted’, and one patient said his brain had been defragged and cleaned up.”

However, this remains a small study and had no “control” group of healthy people with whom to compare the brain scans.

Further, larger studies are still needed before psilocybin could be accepted as a treatment for depression.

However, there is no doubt new approaches to treatment are desperately needed.

Prof Mitul Mehta, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said: “What is impressive about these preliminary findings is that brain changes occurred in the networks we know are involved in depression, after just a single dose of psilocybin.

“This provides a clear rationale to now look at the longer-term mechanisms in controlled studies.”

Which has better fuel economy: manual or automatic?

When you’re shopping for a new car, you want to get a well-priced vehicle that won’t be too expensive to own. One of the biggest costs of owning a car is keeping it fueled. So, it makes sense that budget-conscious consumers go for cars with great fuel economy. If you want to save at the dealership as well as at the pump, the conventional wisdom is to choose a car with a manual transmission because they tend to have lower sticker prices and better fuel economy.

That just goes to show you how reliable conventional wisdom is. While manual transmissions used to be more fuel-efficient than automatics, some of today’s automatic transmissions are changing that notion.

One thing that’s helping automatic transmission catch up is the wider use of continuously variable transmissions (CVTs). Now, to be clear, the mechanics of CVTs differ from those of automatic transmissions, but for drivers, the operation is the same: You put the car in drive and go. Unlike manual and automatic transmissions, which have a fixed set of gears (and a fixed set of ratios), CVTs can continuously vary their gear ratios (hence their name) for maximum fuel efficiency. That helps them achieve better fuel economy when compared to a traditional manual transmission.

Traditional automatic transmissions can also beat manual fuel economy. Today’s automatics tend to have more forward gears (those are gears that move the car forward, not in reverse) than manual transmissions do. Those extra gears help the engine deliver the same power to the wheels while working at a lower engine speed, which saves gas. Car makers have also gotten really good at working with the new technology in automatic transmissions to make them more efficient. Part of that is due to simple economics: Most cars sold in the United States are sold with automatic transmissions, and car companies are finding that they can pass the costs of developing new transmission tech on to their consumers, who will happily take it in exchange for vehicles promising better fuel economy. It helps as well that car companies are also having to meet stricter government-mandated fuel economy standards. That also helped drive (heck yeah, that pun is intended) the development of more fuel-efficient automatics.

So, why buy a manual-equipped car if you’re not guaranteed better fuel economy? A manual transmission gives you a little more control over how hard your engine works and how much power gets to the wheels, so if that’s something you want, go for the manual. If you think manuals make you look cool, you’re right — and you should buy a manual. But if you want the best fuel economy, a manual transmission isn’t always the best way to go

What Would Happen If You Replace All Drinks with Water ?

We all know about the harm drinks other than water can cause us, but what if we replace them with it completely? Chris Bailey, a popular blogger and lecturer, carried out some month-long research, which we have decided to summarize for you in illustrated form.

Illustrated by Dinara Galieva for BrightSide.me

A Dedication to wood with the Oak Bicycle.

The cask, re-imagined

A creative collaboration in wood

 

With such elegant curves and smooth lines, it is certain to draw the eye. But there is more to this beautiful wooden bicycle than appearances suggest. Meticulously engineered to create the smoothest of rides, its innovative frame contains a small proportion of sapele wood and is hand-crafted from the finest American oak which, intriguingly, has already given years of exceptional service to Glenmorangie’s award-winning Highland single malt whisky…

The Glenmorangie Original bicycle is the culmination of a creative collaboration between Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky, and Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, inventors of the first engineered wooden bicycles. United by their passion for wood, exceptional craftsmanship and zeal for innovation, these kindred spirits were inspired to celebrate the casks which bring to maturity Glenmorangie Original, the Distillery’s signature single malt, in the world’s first bicycles made from whisky casks.

Dedication to wood

Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been revered for its masterful whisky creation, challenging the bounds of single malt in pursuit of excellence. The Distillery’s dedication to its craft is never more apparent than in The Original. Created from spirit distilled in Scotland’s tallest stills, it is matured for ten years in the finest hand-selected ex-bourbon casks.

And unlike other distilleries, who may use their casks many times, the casks of The Original are only ever used twice, to ensure they enrich Glenmorangie’s delicate spirit with their fullest depths of flavour

In honour of these casks, which so shape The Original’s uniquely smooth and rounded character, Glenmorangie has searched the world to find brands which share its respect for wood and pioneering spirit. The single malt’s Beyond the Casks series began last year, with an innovative collaboration with British eyewear brand Finlay & Co. to create the world’s first Scotch whisky sunglasses from The Original’s casks. Renovo seemed a perfect partner for the second inspiring limited edition.

 

A meeting of minds

“From the moment we began talking to Renovo, we realised there was a natural affinity between our brands,” explains Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation. “Renovo shares our uncompromising approach to craftsmanship and, like Glenmorangie, is known for its pioneering work with wood. So, we shipped a pallet of staves from second-fill casks which once contained The Original from our Highland Distillery to Renovo’s workshop in the U.S. Then, we began to imagine the possibilities…”

 

Renovo was founded in 2007 by Ken Wheeler, a keen touring cyclist. He was inspired by wood’s unrivalled ability to absorb shock and resist fatigue to begin designing unique, hollow-framed wooden bicycles that displayed all the durability and beauty of an heirloom. Ken, who has a background in aeroplane engineering, was delighted by the prospect of working with Glenmorangie’s casks. “The American oak from which Glenmorangie makes its casks is a great wood,” he says. “Its engineering properties are ideal for bikes, as hard woods have a high stiffness. For us, the only aspect that was different was the shape of the staves, which have a curve to them, and the fact that they were a little damp, after spending years with whisky inside them… which, by the way, made them smell pretty good. Although, we have to admit to whisky fans, the scent has now diminished!”

 

Ken soon set his skilled craftsmen to work on these invitingly scented staves, creating innovative designs which would embrace the staves’ trapezoidal shape and their unique curvature. “We finally decided upon a design which would celebrate that curve in the downtube – the largest tube of the bicycle, which carries the most load,” he explains.

 

Creating an heirloom

Once the design was finalised, it took more than 20 hours – and 15 staves – to create each bicycle. At Renovo’s workshop, in Portland, Oregon, the wood was carefully cut into the shape required and any remaining charcoal (bourbon barrels are traditionally charred on the inside) was smoothed away. Ken’s craftsmen married the American oak with darker sapele wood, to bring an intriguing colour contrast to the hollow frame. Finally, they added a durable coating, and decorated the frame with Glenmorangie’s Signet icon and each bicycle’s individual number.

 

The finished bicycle, fitted with superior handlebars, pedals and other accessories, is a celebration of the values that Glenmorangie and Renovo share. Dr Bill adds: “In these beautiful bicycles, we have created a lasting tribute to Glenmorangie Original’s casks to which our award-winning whisky owes so much. I’m delighted that through our pioneering collaboration with Renovo, founded on a shared passion for innovation and expertise in wood – we ensure that these wonderful casks live on and on.”

The Original

The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the showcase whisky in the Glenmorangie range.

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World’s fastest go-kart reaches 0-60mph in 1.5 seconds

The world’s fastest go-kart, the C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate, is claiming a 0-60mph (97km/h) time of just 1.5-seconds, making it nearly twice as fast as the most potent Tesla Model S.

Canadian kart maker Daymak claim to have made an electric kart that can accelerate quicker than an F1 car.

You have to get through Canadian winters somehow, and Toronto-based kart manufacturer Daymak clearly spend theirs pushing the boundaries of how fast they can make a go kart, er, go.

Enter the firm’s new C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate. Daymak are claiming an astonishing 0-60mph time for the kart of just 1.5 seconds – that’s quicker than a MotoGP bike, F1 car or rallycross supercar. Now imagine all that acceleration with your bum hanging mere millimetres off the tarmac…

The kart is packing full 12 EDF – or Electric Ducted Fan – motors, with eight located on either side of the driver, and four behind, making it look like an angry, protective peacock.

The price? Well, the C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate will set you back $60,000 in Canadian Dollars – about £34,000 – which does sound a lot for a kart. But then again, we doubt you could find a machine that will let you go faster for less, right?

worlds_fastest_go-kart

“Speed will not be an issue, and we think we can eventually go under one-second 0-to-60mph, making it faster than any vehicle in existence,” said Aldo Baiocchi, President of Daymak.

Each go-kart is custom built and tested, with delivery taking 60 days after purchase.

Ask yourself, Are you smarter than a pigeon?

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Before you answer “Yes!” — look at these three quick scenarios. And if you find out you’re a bit bird-brained, remember: intelligence is all relative, says psychologist Ben Ambridge.

What makes humans special? What makes us different from animals? After reviewing many studies of both humans and animals, my conclusion is: less than you might think. While we may not choose to call them civilizations, many animals — from chimpanzees to chickens — live in groups with a clearly defined pecking order and display many kinds of abilities. Ants and bees will give you a good run for your money on tests of route-planning and puzzle-solving; starlings “make music” in that their songs are constructed around the same scales as most traditional Western compositions, and abstract thinking is shown by crows, squirrels and box turtles in tests that involve using patterns or rational inferences to figure out the location of a tasty treat. Whether or not other animals can learn human language is a long-running debate, but many — dogs in particular — can learn an impressive number of individual words. And while it might be a stretch to call it science and engineering, chimpanzees are one of a number of animals who can use tools: they’ve figured out how to ant-dip (use a shoot as a spoon to pick up ants) and termite-fish (use a thin twig as a rod to catch termites).

Of course, nobody is denying that humans can do plenty of things that other animals can’t. All I hope to persuade you is that, in the words of Charles Darwin, the difference is “one of degree and not of kind”: the same abilities that allow starlings to sing, parrots to count and fish to find their way home allow humans to write symphonies, do calculus and invent Google Maps. We don’t do anything different from other animals; we do the same things, only better. While the below tests might sound a little frivolous, they have a firm scientific basis and they’re based on peer-reviewed articles from reputable academic journals. By exploring the similarities and differences between humans and other animals, we can begin to understand when and how our abilities, our likes and dislikes, and even our foibles and mental blind spots arose in the course of evolution. Now get set to pit yourself against a pigeon in three short scenarios. After answering all them, you’ll see the answers.

Scenario #1: Two many phones!

You’ve just saved up to buy a fancy new phone, and you had to really put in the hours in a part-time job (which you hate) but it was worth it. You place your order online, and the phone arrives first thing in the morning. That afternoon, an identical phone arrives. You contact the company, and — after keeping you on hold for an hour and failing to phone you back twice — a representative says the system can’t process a return and, in fact, you’d be doing the call center a favor if you just kept the phone. You agree and decide to treat your brother, whose birthday is coming up and whose current phone is all but unusable. But which of the two still-shrink-wrapped phones do you give him?

  1. The first one
  2. The second one

Scenario #2: Band-aid, please

Three months ago you bought a $190 ticket to see one of your favorite bands. Then yesterday, your #1 favorite band announced a new tour, and you snapped up a $125 ticket. In your excitement, you forgot to check the dates and — you guessed it — the shows are on the same night. You can’t sell either ticket: both bands are so obscure that their gigs never sell out, and everyone you know hates them. Which do you attend?

  1. The £150 gig
  2. The £95   gig

Scenario #3: Don’t be a mug

You want to buy some cool vintage coffee mugs and the more mugs the better (you hate washing up and have big cupboards). You go to a flea market. One seller has a box of 20 mugs, though three have nasty chips and two are missing handles. Another seller is offering, for the same price, a box of 12 intact mugs. You can’t buy both because — oh, I don’t know — the two sellers hate each other and each won’t deal with you if you’ve bought off the other. From whom do you buy your mugs?

  1. First seller
  2. Second seller

Answer #1: Two many phones

Well, there are no right or wrong answers here; the whole point is that it makes no difference. But, if this happened for real, I bet you’d give your brother the second free one, wouldn’t you? If so, you are showing a justification of effort effect: you value things that you have to work hard for much more than (identical) things that come cheap or for free. But in cases such as this one, this is a logical fallacy: it makes absolutely no difference which phone you give away and which you keep.

Pigeons show the same fallacy. Take pigeons that are trained to know both a red key and a green key give two seconds of access to grain when pecked. The clever part is that, in order to access the red key, the pigeons need to give one peck on a white key; but in order to access the green key, they need to give twenty pecks on the white key. Finally, pigeons are given a free choice — without needing to peck on the white key at all — between the red and green key. Which key do they prefer? Yes, the one that they usually had to work hard to get, even though, just as with the two phones, the results are exactly the same, two seconds of access to grain.

Answer #2: Band-aid, please

This time, there is a right answer: you should just go and see your favorite band. If you decide to go to see the other band, you are showing a sunk cost effect. Having already sunk a lot of money into the ticket, you can’t bear to waste it. Again, this is a fallacy. The past is gone forever whatever you do, so just go to the gig you’ll prefer.

Again pigeons (and also starlings) show the same fallacy. Suppose a pigeon has already pecked ten times on a green key. Now, in order to earn its food reward, it must give either another twenty pecks on the green key or ten new pecks on a red key. Even though it could save itself ten pecks worth of effort by switching to the red key, the pigeon prefers to stick with the green key, so as not to waste the ten pecks that it has already sunk into this key.

Answer #3: Don’t be a mug

The first seller is, in effect, offering 15 mugs, whereas the second is offering 12 mugs for the same price. You would be crazy to go with the second seller. If you did so, you are showing the less is more effect (thinking you’re getting more value by getting fewer pristine mugs). Again this is a fallacy. Less is not more. More is more. The fallacy arises because people tend to average over the whole set when making their judgement. For example, in one study, participants guessed that a hamburger had 734 calories but that a hamburger plus three sticks of celery (the saddest Happy Meal I’ve ever seen) had only 619 calories (and, no, they didn’t think that eating a stick of celery burns calories).

And pigeons again show the same fallacy. When given the choice between a pea alone and a pea plus a piece of milo (a relatively unappetizing grain), pigeons choose the pea — unless they have been starved beforehand, in which case they go for the meal deal. Similarly, dogs will choose a piece of cheese over a piece of cheese plus a bonus carrot, and macaques will choose a grape over a grape plus a bonus green bean. It’s not that they hate the milo, pea, carrot or green bean — they’ll eat it if that’s all that’s on offer — it’s just that pigeons, dogs and monkeys, like humans, sometimes think that less is more.

How did you do overall? Did you beat the pigeons? Probably not. The point of these studies was to show that pigeons show the same logical fallacies that are known to be widespread in humans. Why do we share these fallacies? Nobody knows for certain, but Thomas Zentall, who published a few papers that summarized these studies (and inspired another), has some suggestions. If an animal places more value on food that it has had to work hard for (justification of effort), then that may motivate it to persist longer when looking for food. Sunk cost effects may arise from the fact that, once you’ve got a food source you’re relatively happy with, moving seems unnecessarily risky, and this conservatism spills over into choices where there is in fact no such risk. Less is more effectslook puzzling to humans, but remember that most animals can’t count (or, at least, not very well). This means that, often, the best they can do is judge the overall average quality of two rival sources of (mixed) food, rather than work it out piece by piece.

If you made the same choices as pigeons, try not to feel so bad. Darwin was right: when it comes to the differences between humans and other animals, everything is relative and everything is a relative: we are all part of one big family.

Excerpted from the new book Are You Smarter Than a Chimpanzee? by Ben Ambridge. Copyright © 2017 by Ben Ambridge. Reprinted by permission of Profile Books, Inc. All rights reserved.