Monday, April 30, 2007

Traffic calming

Traffic reassuring is a set of strategies used by urban planners and traffic engineers which aims to slow down traffic and improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, although some of these features can also be dangerous to cyclists. It is now relatively common in Europe, especially Northern Europe; less so in North America.
Traffic calming has traditionally been justified on the grounds of pedestrian security and reduction of noise and local air pollution which are side effects of the traffic. However, it has become increasingly apparent that streets have many social and recreational functions which are severely impaired by fast car traffic. For example, residents of streets with light traffic had, on average, three more friends and twice as many acquaintances as the people on streets with heavy traffic which were otherwise similar in dimensions, income, etc. For much of the twentieth century, streets were designed by engineers who were charged only with ensuring traffic flow and not with fostering the other functions of streets. The rationale for traffic calming is now broadening to include designing for these functions.
Displaced traffic is not fully pushed onto other routes, as some travelers may begin to walk or use other modes such as public transit and bicycles to get where they are going. Still, in most cases the affected motorists have few alternatives aside from either navigating the newly erected obstacles or finding a more palatable route. This happens because high traffic tends to be generated by motorists passing through the area and not by the local residents.

It should be noted the some of these measures have a tendency to irritate and annoy drivers rather than calm them and others can actually increase traffic throughput. Some drivers who slow down at calming points, however, accelerate and speed after passing them in order to "catch up for lost time". For this reason, more advanced methods integrated into the design of the street, which make slower speeds seem more natural to drivers and less of an artificial imposition, are now preferred - the goal is to slow down the driver through psychological, at least partly subconscious means instead of simply forcing him to do so.

One major side effect of traffic reassuring is the impedance to emergency services. A police car can easily navigate most traffic reassuring measures. The same cannot be said for fire trucks and ambulances, however. They often have to slow down to safely cross speed bumps or chicanes. In some locales, the law prohibits traffic calming measures along the routes used by the urgent situation services.
There are 3 "E"'s that traffic engineers refer to when discussing traffic reassuring: engineering, education, and enforcement. Because neighborhood traffic management studies have shown that often it is the residents themselves that are largely contributing to the perceived speeding problem within the neighborhood, it is strained that the most effective traffic calming plans will entail all three components, and that engineering measures alone will not produce satisfactory results.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


A chair is a piece of furniture for sitting, consisting of a seat, a back, and sometimes arm rests, usually for use by one person. Chairs also often have legs to support the seat raised above the floor. Without back and arm rests it is called a stool. A chair for more than one person is a couch, sofa, settee, loveseat (two-seater without arm rest in between) or bench. A separate footrest for a chair is known as an ottoman, hassock or poof. A chair mounted in a vehicle or in a theatre is simply called a seat. Chairs as furniture are characteristically not attached to the floor and so can be moved.
The back often does not make bigger all the way to the seat to allow for ventilation. Likewise, the back and sometimes the seat are made of porous materials or have holes drilled in them for decoration and ventilation.
The back may expand above the height of the head. There may be separate headrests. Headrests for seats in vehicles are important for preventing whiplash injuries to the neck when the vehicle is concerned in a rear-end collision.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Wood is the xylem tissue of woody plants, especially trees but also shrubs. Wood from the latter is only formed in small sizes, reducing the diversity of uses. Wood is a hygroscopic, cellular and anisotropic material. Dry wood is composed of fibers of cellulose (40%–50%) and hemicellulose (20%–30%) held together by lignin (25%–30%).
Artists can use wood to make delicate sculptures.Wood has been used by man for millenia for lots of purposes, being many things to many people. One of its main uses is as fuel. It might also be used as a material, for making artworks, boats, buildings, furniture, ships, tools, weapons, etc. Wood has been an important construction material since humans began building shelters, and remains in plentiful use today. Construction wood is normally known as timber in International English, and lumber in American English. Wood can be broken down and be made into chipboard, engineered wood, hardboard, medium-density fibreboard, oriented strand board, paper or used to make other synthetic substances.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Camera phone

A camera phone is a cellphone which has a camera built in. The world's first camera phone was the J-SH04 made by Sharp Corporation and put on market from J-Phone (Vodafone) in Japan in November 2000. The cameras characteristically use CMOS image sensors. This is due mainly to reduced power consumption compared to CCD type cameras, which are also used. The lower power consumption prevents the camera from quickly depleting the phone's battery. Major manufacturers include Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, and LG Electronics. As of 2004, the resolution in Japan is classically in the megapixel range such as 2 megapixels, while in North America and Europe 0.3 megapixels (VGA) is most common. In 2004, 60% percent of mobile phones in Japan have built-in cameras, and this is predictable to rise in 2005. Previously, the highest resolution available was 7 megapixels on the Samsung SCH-V770. This has since been replaced as Samsung Electronics unveiled the world's first 8.0 megapixel camera phone, the WCDMA SPH-V8200.
As a network-connected device, megapixel camera phones are initial to play significant roles such as crime prevention, journalism and business applications as well as individual uses. On the other hand, they are prone to abuse such as voyeurism and invasion of privacy.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Multitrack recording

Multitrack recording is a method of sound recording that allows for the recording of multiple sound sources, whether at the same time or at different times. This is probably the most common technique of recording popular music: Musicians or singers can be recorded independently, then these performances can be edited together to create a cohesive result. It is also called 'multitracking' or just 'tracking' for short.Multitrack recording devices are available with varying capacities. When recording a segment of audio, which is also known as a track, audio engineers and musicians may select which track or tracks on the device will be used.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Irish pound coin

The Irish pound coin was introduced on June 20, 1990 using the design of a red deer, by the Irish artist Tom Ryan. The 2000 Millennium was used to subject a commemorative coin, the design was based on the "Broighter Boat" in the National Museum of Ireland; the coins design was by Alan Ardiff and Garrett Stokes and were issued on November 29, 1999. The coin featured a milled edge - unique in Irish coinage.
The "Broighter Boat" issue for 2000.The Irish pound coin, which was introduced in 1990, remains the largest Irish coin introduced since decimalisation at 3.11 centimetres diameter and was 10 grams weight. The coin was almost the same in dimensions to the old penny coin that circulated before 1971, and was quite similar in diameter to, but thinner, than the half-crown coin.
During the early circulation of the coin, many payphone and vending machines which had been changed to accept the pound coin also accepted the old penny because of the similar size, the latter coin which was no longer legal tender and had little value to collectors. As a result losses accrued to vending machine operators due to the substitution of the penny coin and further costs were associated with updating the machines so they would no longer accept the penny.