852 Thai children set record for largest human Christmas tree
One of Thailand’s largest shopping malls arranged a publicity stunt with 852 schoolchildren dressed in green and red hoodies to set the Guinness World Record for the largest human Christmas tree. The previous record of 672 participants was set in Germany in 2011.
Photo: AP Photo / Sakchai Lalit
New images that show the arrangement of atoms in glass may shed light on uncertainties about the material, which is not exactly a liquid or a solid.
Artists create ‘world’s biggest mural’ as they cover a whole street of apartment blocks in imaginative designs
With its colourful depiction of trees, flowers, birds and animals, it’s certainly an unusual way to brighten up an otherwise drab block of flats.
And this vivid mural could well be the biggest of its kind in the world, covering an impressive 20,000 square metres of Berlin wall.
Created by French company CitéCréation, the mural features birds, bears and even imaginary residents interacting with the painted wildlife that adorns the Wohngenossenschaft Soldaritaet Coop apartments in the German capital.
The impressive work, which the Lyon-based company describes as a trompe-l’oeil, or urban design, was inspired by a nearby zoo.
CitéCréation, which employs around 80 artists at its offices worldwide, has created almost 600 ‘monumental frescoes’ in cities across the globe.
Art enthusiasts can see creations by the firm in Paris, Lisbon, Jerusalem, Yokohama and Quebic among other places.
The company even has another beautiful creation across Berlin - the Fresques Flower Tower makes another block of apartments look far more attractive than they might have done.Employees hope that the fruits of their labour will find its way into the record books - they have applied to the Guinness Book of World Records in the hope that their work might be recognised as the largest mural on an inhabited building on the planet.
The record for the world’s largest outdoor mural is currently held by the Pueblo Levee Project in Pueblo, Colorado.
That mural has seen thousands of artists contribute their work since the 1970s depicting everything from the History of Women to Andy Warhol replicas.
It costs nothing to add your own bit to that mural and currently only recycled paint is allowed to be used. [x]
PlanetSolar breaks world record after crossing Atlantic in just 22 days
The world’s largest solar boat is making London its final port of call on an epic voyage of scientific discovery along the Gulf stream.
The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar has 512 square metres of photovoltaic cells made of up 809 solar panels or 29,124 solar cells. The eco-friendly boat is capable of crossing the Atlantic ocean in 22 days, smashing the previous Guinness World record of 26 days thanks to its clever design.
Launched in Florida, its DeepWater expedition sought to collect a continuous series of physical and biological measurements along the Gulf Stream, both from the water and the atmosphere, using advanced instruments onboard. It is the first time the impressive catamaran has visited the UK and it will be docked at Canary Wharf from tomorrow until Monday 2nd September to show off its solar panels that can generate 480 kWh on a sunny day.
The vessel is a scientific research platform for the University of Geneva (UNIGE), has a top speed of 14 knots and is home to up to nine crew members at a time, including scientists. Led by Professor Martin Beniston, climatologist and director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at UNIGE, the research team studied the key parameters of climate regulation, focusing on aerosols and phytoplankton.
Their aim is to improve the understanding of complex interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, as well as the role these interactions play in climate change.
He said: ’The PlanetSolar DeepWater expedition has allowed intensive testing in real-world conditions of a number of ocean and atmospheric instruments, some of which are prototypes.
'There is now a wealth of physical, chemical, and biological data housed at the University of Geneva, and which is beginning to undergo exhaustive scientific scrutiny. Although the data has not been analysed yet, we have noticed some very interesting trends, especially with regards to the production of aerosols by sea sprays,’ he said.
The boat is approximately 35m long and 23m wide, depending on whether the solar panels are closed - when it is docked or experiencing very rough conditions at sea - or open, in most instances at sea. The boat travels at an average speed of five knots and uses a staggering 512 square metres of photovoltaic panels to power six blocks of lithium-ion batteries. Despite this it is is light, durable and completely silent.
Crossing the Atlantic in 22 days, the speedy solar boat compares favourably with a 40 foot sailing ship, which usually takes around 35 days to cross the ocean. The university believes it clearly demonstrates the possibilities of solar power for sea travel, with massive implications for sustainable tourism and transport.
With zero fuel requirements and zero carbon emissions, the boat can take to the open seas for months at a time, so long as the sun continues to rise.
Professor Beniston said: ’The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar has positive benefits for scientific study and exploration, allowing for pollution-free research to be carried out in the vicinity of the boat.’
The boat also plays an educational role as the scientists are keen to raise awareness about environmental issues.
One of the aims of the recent expedition, which stopped at Miami, New York, Boston, Halifax and St. John’s before journeying to London, is to promote the use of solar technology. It was designed by Craig Loomes from New Zealand after months of research into creating the optimum dimensions and design of the double-hulled vessel.
Engineers optimised the energy collection and storage as well as the boat’s aerodynamics, propulsion systems and choice of building materials. The light scientific vessel has a carbon structure and is its name is inspired by the literary mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien and literally means ‘power of the sun’.
After visiting London, the boat will cross the English Channel and will then dock in Paris. [x]
The famous feline, known for his love of scotch and disdain for dogs, now holds the Guinness World Record for cat with the longest fur.
(Photo: Alejandro Ernesto / EPA)
Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad made history Monday, becoming the first person to swim the 110 treacherous miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage – at the age of 64.
Wing walker girls soar to new heights
Many people raise money for good causes, but cousins Rose Powell and Flame Brewer have taken that idea to a new level. The 9-year-olds, reached for the skies and flew into the record books, becoming the youngest ever formation wing-walkers. ITV’s Martha Fairlie reports. [<
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Germany Sets Another Record: 5.1 Terawatt-Hours of Solar in July
Germany set a new record in July by providing 5.1 terawatt-hours of electricity from solar. That beat its record production of 5.0 terawatt-hours of electricity from wind in January of this year.
These records are impressive even for a country that owns nearly a third of the world’s installed solar capacity. They are even more impressive considering that Germany’s solar resource is not as good as New England’s, and that it is still pioneering offshore wind in the North Sea.
But there are several other important numbers to notice in Germany’s 2013 electricity production.
First, Germany’s installed solar capacity as of July 22, 2013, according to the Fraunhofer Institute’s Bruno Burger, was 34,558 megawatts. By contrast, the GTM Research Q1 2013 U.S. Solar Market Insight report put the U.S. installed PV capacity at 7,962 megawatts (with another 6 megawatts of concentrating solar power installed capacity).
Swiss horn blowers blast away world record on mountain
More than 500 Alpine horn players blew away the world record for the largest ensemble of people playing the instrument on Saturday in the Swiss region of Zermatt, home to the Matterhorn mountain.
The musicians, clad in traditional Swiss costume, gathered on the Gornergrat ridge, more than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level, to perform a piece specially composed for their wooden horns.
The 508 players broke a record set in 2009, when 366 musicians took part in a concert.
The instrument, known as an alphorn and traditionally used for herding animals, can be up to four meters long. It has to be propped up on the ground and its player usually has to stand up to sound it because of its size. [x]