E-Pubcrawl: Two Alcohol Apps To Slake Your Thirst

In New York City and the Hamptons, there always seems to be a party going on somewhere. Why not make it your place? Now, thanks to a new app, you won't even have to hit the liquor store.

Meet Minibar Delivery, a delivery service that promises alcohol delivery in Manhattan (under 96th street) and some of Brooklyn, all inside an hour. Their app is available for iOS and Android, meaning you could bypass the after-work happy hour gauntlet entirely, send an alcohol order from the subway and be ready to meet your whiskey deliveryman by the time you got home. Sure, it might not be as fun as hitting up your nearest pub, but if you need extra party supplies and simply can't eschew your hosting duties, now the traditional "beer run" runs to you!

Minibar Delivery's cofounder Lara Crystal told venturebeat.com, “Basically we saw a huge market that has not been successfully brought online...A lot of people have loyalty to spirits but not necessarily to brands.” Your loyalty plus their legwork equals good times.

The Minibar Delivery service is not to be confused with the app of the near-same name, which offers excellent bartending advice ("mixology" for you fancy-tini drinkers.) This Minibar app ("A world of cocktails in your pocket") provides detailed recipes including mixing techniques, proper glassware instructions, and even facts about the origins and ingredients of the cocktails. Rated a "new and noteworthy" 5 stars from Macintosh and said to "outclass every other cocktail app in every aspect" by Beautiful Pixels, the Minibar can give you ideas for everything from punches for parties to a classic cocktail to try the next time you get bored at your local bar.


Don't want anyone catching you buying cupcake-flavored vodka?  Problem solved.  

#1 Fan? New 3-D Printed Mini Wind Turbine Generates Power, Portably

A major tenet of the sustainable energy revolution is soon to be found in convenient to-go form. Thanks to a new invention, you'll soon be able to spin windpower into electricity anywhere you can catch a breeze thanks to the AirEnergy3D portable wind turbine.

As reported by factcoexist.com, the AirEnergy3D is a lightweight, backpackable wind turbine that is currently under development via a kickstarter. It will eventually be able to generate enough power to fuel a laptop, or feed energy back into a personal grid. It requires no tools for assembly and can be plugged directly into.

Truly a machine for the people, the AirEnergy3D's inventors plan to make their schematics open-source so the design can be improved upon. Engineer Kamil Dziadkiewicz, of the Polish developing/printing company Omni3D, said, "We want to make it as easy to develop upon the original project...Thanks to 3-D printing, everybody as a community can experiment and prototype better solutions for the machine."

Also adding to the humanity of the project are AirEnergy3D's outreach plans. Already, they plan to donate pre-printed parts to send to Africa for easy, mobile power sources. Sustainable independence is a valuable power that we are seeking to make ever more containable.  While options like solar may currently work better on the small scale in some environments, portable windmill power could someday at least be a breath of fresh air to those in emergency need.

An AirEnergy 3D turbine/DNA windchime.

All-Weather Anti-Drone Laser Cannon. Yep.

It's called the HEL MD (High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator), and it's a truck-mounted laser cannon. The US Army has commissioned them from Boeing (spending $36 million over the last decade), and now, targets on land, sea, or air are in the sights of losing to lasers.

According to wired.com, the HEL MD system has "successfully engaged" drones and 60mm mortars, aka blew them the hell out of the sky. Tests were conducted at Florida's Eglin Air Force Base under cloudy and foggy conditions, making the weapon attractive for use in stormy naval situations.

The HEL MD currently uses a 10-kilowatt laser to scorch out its targets, although a more powerful beam will be used in future iterations. A “tactically significant power level” of 50 or 60 kilowatts will then be in force. Either way, the premise is simple: the laser's concentrated beam of light, when sighted on a target, soon turns into ever-expanding heat, disabling its target (possibly via a cool explosion, as "Star Wars" led us to believe.)

Quite awesomely, when mounted on a truck for mobility, the system requires only a driver and an operator with a laptop and Xbox controller to send up the lasery lightning. A telescope along with an infrared-based wide-angle camera helps to identify targets. The weapon is expected to be in development for several more years, so bust out your video games and get practicing...those enemy UAVs are in for a zapping.


New Reddit AMA App: Learn From The Best

The popular news-aggregate website Reddit is known for offering a diverse array of topics to discuss and information to obtain.  Now, one of their most interesting and engaging features, Ask Me Anything (AMA), has been released in app form.

The premise of AMA is simple:  celebrities and important people of all ilk are invited to answer questions from the website's 3 million-odd usual users, who are identified only by their chosen username.  Other visitors, or "lurkers", are free to watch the dialogue unfold, but can only ask or respond to material by creating a username.  As for the subjects of these discussions, Reddit has hosted everyone from astronauts to video game developers, musicians to politicians.

According to the app download site, users can search past AMAs, stay informed on new ones, contribute material when an "ACTIVE" icon alerts as to a fresh installation, and of course use the site's standard upvote and downvote buttons to promote or disparage content.

So if you've ever wanted to know something seriously special about a celebrity, or tell an author how much their work meant to you, or just ask an important person you find interesting what their favorite type of snack food is, now the power is in the palm of your hand.  Use it wisely...the downvote brigades can be merciless.

Caution:  may be ridiculously addictive.

Fake Cellphone Towers Care About You And Just Want To Listen

It's one thing to steal American's private information and listen in on their phone calls, it's another thing to be completely overt about it.  Now, even the theft of our privacy is no longer being conducted privately.  This now seems to be the society we're allowing ourselves to be a part of.  A recent discovery of seventeen fake cellphone towers has brought no answers as to their use, but raise some serious questions.

The cellphone towers, all of which are located near military bases, were discovered using an ESD Cryptophone 500, manned by Les Goldsmith, the CEO of the ESD organization.  ESD, based out of Las Vegas, provides defense and law enforcement technology, but still can't explain what the towers are there for.  Rather than augmenting cell signals, they appear to be doing little more than bypassing encryption to read texts and listen to calls.

Originally reported in Popular Science and cited by yahoo.com, the troubling locations and seemingly-insidious intent of the towers are pervasive. As Goldsmith explained, "Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated. One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found eight different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

Goldsmith went on to speculate on which military (ours or another) could possibly be using the towers for surveillance.  Another idea involved escalation of the "Stringray" surveillance systems that the police departments of some large cities have put in place for observation.  It remains a sad but true fact that the NSA would not need the towers, and could simply hijack information from the cell service provider. The only hint the average citizen may have that the secret towers are operating in their area is that their calls will be forced down to the less-secure 2G connection, as opposed to currently-conventional 4G.

Under surveillance means under control. Are you allowing yourself to be controlled without evening knowing it? Keep your eyes peeled for the sketchy cell trees...

If you like pina coladas...and getting caught in a sting...

Sun Ships: Floating Solar Panels To Improve Renewable Energy Push In Japan

Hydro-power is a majorly attractive option for sustainable clean energy, but what about using the surface space of some of the world's water to create power as well?  That's the idea behind Kyocera's massive new floating solar plant, scheduled to begin construction this month.

As reported by tumotech.com, the clean-tech movement will have an interesting new option thanks to the innovative new solar plant design, called "Hydrelio."  Created by Ciel&Terre, the flat, floating solar collector is made from  solar panels attached to a 100% recyclable polyurethane mounting system.  It is resistant to ultraviolet light and corrosion, and is designed to maintain its operations even under extreme conditions, like typhoons.  Hopefully this will not need to be put to the test too extensively, as Kyocera's plans are to install two of the systems in ponds in Japan.

With one successful Hydrelio already in operation for over three years in France, and another in Japan at work since 2013, the design is a proven winner.  The two new Hydrelios, which are being installed in the Hago Prefecture, will have a combined capacity of 2.9 MW.  The larger of the two will be able to produce 1.7 MW, making it the biggest floating solar plant on Earth.

Japan has made significant strides towards implementing sustainable solar energy in recent years, and currently sits at the 4th place for worldwide solar power production (behind Italy, China, and Germany.)  While solar power accounts for only 0.7% of global energy generation (from a total of 22.1% that is renewable), perhaps setting more solar panels afloat will make for a brighter future.

Kyocera's current largest floating solar array in Japan, the awesomely-named
Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, is apparently so durable they didn't worry about putting it next to the active Sakurajima volcano.

Clot In A Shot: New Injectable Foam May Help Stop Catastropic Blood Loss

It has posed a problem for soldiers, adventurers, and the accident-prone since time immemorial: how can one quickly and effectively staunch a life-threatening bleeding wound? Several students at Johns Hopkins University have tackled this problem, and may soon be saving lives thanks to an innovative injector for biologically-safe polyurethane foam.

Hemorrhaging is the #1 cause of battlefield deaths, exacerbated in situations where a neck or limbs meeting the torso cannot be easily bandaged or tied with a tourniquet. Now, according to baltimoresun.com, the eight students who set out to solve this problem for a biomedical engineering class may have stumbled onto a brilliant solution. Their creation is the size of a whiteboard marker and blends separate chemicals that, when combined, create a foam that could staunch blood flow long enough for a soldier or other afflicted party to survive long enough to get more comprehensive secondary care.

"There is some bleeding we can't see and can't get a tourniquet around it," said Colonel Walter Franz, an Army surgeon who has commanded forward units in battlefields overseas. "We need a product we can pull out of a bag, which is self-contained and simple."

The idea has developed to the point of testing at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., a training facility where medics in the Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and Marine Special Forces could subject the idea to various difficult battlefield conditions and scenarios. To be effective for the military, the foam would need to be nontoxic to all kinds of human organs, able to withstand heat and cold, and maintain its effectiveness in flight or in water. While some of these experiments had undergone rudimentary testing with the students, now chemical engineers are using the idea to craft a more comprehensive foam that can sufficiently harden inside ten seconds (a major amount of time when catastrophic blood loss is concerned.)

A previous type of clotting agent called Factor VII had fallen short of full capability, thus the importance of the new poly foam. Reportedly entering testing on live animals within the year, this foam could hopefully help bring more warriors home.

Home repairs for homo sapiens.