Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Digital Camera

I am fairly cheap. I bought a Canon Powershot SX-60 HS camera today (with 64 Gb card, backup battery and comfortable strap) for $550. I think that is the 2nd most expensive thing I bought this year (an iPad mini I think was more expensive). In the last 5 years the only other thing I can remember buying that was more expensive was a MacBook Pro.

I am very happy to have a new camera. I started looking more than 6 month ago, at that time the updated version of the Powershot was already 6 month overdue (with no explanation from Canon) so I decided to wait. I am glad I did (though I was annoyed not to have a new camera for my trip to Hong Kong, Guilin, Yunnan and Shanghai earlier this year.

The old camera was ok, if you don’t consider how much better things have progressed in the last 5-10 years. But that is a big thing to ignore. I think the Canon SX line is the most awesome camera for people that want something better than a smart phone (by far the biggest issue for me is zoom though it is also better for various things such as low light, taking lots of photos and video without running out of room on your camera…).

photo of the Canon ax-60

The photo shows the LCD screen extended which is actually a nice feature at times (normally I just fold it into the back of the camera).

The Powershot SX 60 has an amazing 65x optical zoom (21mm–1365mm). This is just amazing. Much more expensive cameras can’t come close to competing with this. The Canon SX 60 is DSLR-like but not a DSLR. It looks like one but isn’t. It really straddles the area between DSLR and non-DSLR in my opinion.

You can watch at Curious Cat Travel Photos and see if you notice a big leap in the quality of the photos now that I have a new camera.

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Noah Escape Pod

With the recent tragedy that hit Japan, Japanese companies have dedicated their time to finding solutions on how they could cope with threats from tsunami and natural disasters in the future. A small company named Cosmo Power came up with one answer with the Noah capsule.

Made from fiberglass, this capsule can hold up to 4 adults inside. Th gigantic tennis ball looking shelter has been tested to withstand crashes and impacts, even simulated dangers one could expect during earthquakes and tsunami. There is a small window so one can see outside and breathing holes located at the top. Recalling the videos of the Tsunami it is possible to imagine how this could have helped many of the victims of that recent tragedy.

Since the completion of Cosmo Power’s ark version, over 600 orders have been placed, at about $4,000 each. Hopefully, it can help save lives in any future calamities.

The video is in Japanese.

Japanese Wind Power Breakthrough Could Double or Triple Wind Energy Effectiveness

Ok, these “windmills” are a bit big to think of them as gadgets but there cool technology so I am including this. These “wind lens” turbines produce up to 3 times the energy of conventional wind turbines. They plan on running a test generation facility next year.

The breakthrough and research are being done by the Wind Engineering Section at Kyushu University in Japan. Strong vortices are created by the diffuser and the brim of the Wind Lens producing low pressure region behind the turbine. This increased pressure difference that helps the wind to flow more into the Wind Lens. It is amazing, to me, that it has such a huge impact.

Wind power generation continues to grow very rapidly, with many different breakthroughs, though it still only producing about 2% of global electricity. It was only 2007 that wind power surpassed 1% of global electricity generation.

Related: Engineering Floating Wind FarmsWind Power Potential to Produce 20% of Electricity Supply by 2030