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New Record Set for World’s Fastest Elevator

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As buildings get taller and taller, engineers have to solve a problem that goes beyond wind speeds and structural loads. In order to ferry people to the top of buildings that rise more than 2000 feet in the air, you need a pretty fast elevator. Hitachi’s latest high-speed elevator model—which just set the record for the world’s fastest elevator ride, according to New Atlas—is a good start.

Independent testing by the National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre in Guangzhou, China, found that the elevator model can reach a top speed of just under 47 miles per hour.

To help passengers deal with the discomfort of traveling thousands of feet in the air, the elevator has an air-pressure adjustment feature that’s designed to keep your ears from getting plugged like they do on airplanes. And while it shoots up fast, it takes a slower descent (22 miles per hour), so it doesn’t feel so much like a terrifying amusement park ride.

The elevator will be a feature inside the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, a new 1740-foot-tall skyscraper in Guangzhou, a port city near Shenzhen. It will go slightly slower, though, hitting just 44.7 miles per hour. Compared to most elevators, though, that’s plenty fast. Most top out at around 5.6 miles per hour. The fastest elevator in the western hemisphere, located inside 1 World Trade Center, moves at about 23 miles per hour.

The previous world record holder, a Mitsubishi elevator in the Shanghai Tower, travels around 45.7 miles per hour. Since it's a working elevator and this was just a test unit, Mitsubishi will probably hang on to its Guinness distinction for world's fastest elevator for now. That record was set in April.

[h/t New Atlas]

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Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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Pop Culture
How to Perform the Star Wars Theme—On Calculators
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The iconic Star Wars theme has been recreated with glass harps, theremins, and even cat meows. Now, Laughing Squid reports that the team over at YouTube channel It’s a small world have created a version that can be played on calculators.

The channel’s math-related music videos feature covers of popular songs like Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito," Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You," and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, all of which are performed on two or more calculators. The Star Wars theme, though, is played across five devices, positioned together into a makeshift keyboard of sorts.

The video begins with a math-musician who transcribes number combinations into notes. Then, they break into an elaborate practice chord sequence on two, and then four, calculators. Once they’re all warmed up, they begin playing the epic opening song we all know and love, which you can hear for yourself in all its electronic glory below.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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Somnox, Kickstarter
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technology
This Cuddly Robot Is Designed to Lull You to Sleep
Somnox, Kickstarter
Somnox, Kickstarter

For people seeking all the benefits of a human sleeping companion without the human part, there’s a new Kickstarter-backed product. As Mashable reports, Somnox, the self-proclaimed “world’s first sleep robot,” is designed to give you a more comfortable, energizing night’s rest.

The bean-shaped cushion is the perfect size and shape for cuddling as you drift to sleep. Beneath its soft exterior is hardware designed to get you to deep sleep faster. Somnox rises and falls to mimic the movements of human breathing. Lay with the pillow long enough and the designers claim your breath will naturally sync to its rhythm, thus prepping your body for sleep.

Somnox can also be set to play sounds and music. Some content, like guided mediation, lullabies, and gentle heart beats, come built-in, but you can also upload audio of your own. And you don’t need to worry about shutting it off: Once you've customized its breathing and audio behaviors through the app, the device does what it's programed to do and powers down automatically.

Having a robotic sleep aide will cost you: You need to pledge about $533 to the team’s Kickstarter to reserve one. Even with the steep price tag, the campaign surpassed its funding goal.

[h/t Mashable]

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