South African inventions

first_imgMediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporter The dolos, a South African invention in which interlocking blocks of concrete are used to protect seawalls and preserve beaches from erosion, at the Coega deep-water port.(Image copyright Coega)Where would you expect to find the inventor of the CAT scan, the makers of the “speed gun” used in cricket ovals the world over, or the world’s first oil-from-coal refinery?There’s a wide range of innovative and entrepreneurial activity in South Africa, backed up by a number of organisations that provide support for budding inventors and innovators.Q20CAT scanOil from coalHeart transplantSpeed gunKreepy KraulyAPS therapyPratley PuttyDolosseQ20, a multi-purpose lubricant The product was developed back in 1950 in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, by a Mr Robertson, who reportedly had come up with an effective water repellent that kept rust at bay, eased squeaky door hinges, and made it easy to release rusted or seized nuts and bolts.Apparently Robertson did not know what to call it but he told his neighbour that it certainly had 20 answers to 20 questions, and the name Q20 stuck.Today the product, and others in the range, is used widely in South African offices, workshops and homes, and has set the standard for all subsequent similar products from around the world. It is also sold in the US and UK/Europe.According to Q20 manufacturing company Triton-Leo, the secret to the wonder substance’s efficiency is that unlike oil, it is heavier than water. Once Q20 is sprayed on water, it sinks to the bottom, where it acts as a water displacer and lubricant on the problem area.Triton-LeoCAT scanThe computed axial tomography scan, or CAT scan, was developed at Tufts University in the UK by South African physicist Allan Cormack and Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories. Their achievement secured them the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.Cormack’s interest in the problem of X-ray imaging of soft tissues or layers of tissue of differing densities was first aroused when he took up the part-time position of physicist for a hospital radiology department.The two-dimensional representations of conventional X-ray plates were often unable to distinguish between such tissues. More information could be gained if X-rays of the body were taken from several different directions, but conventional X-ray techniques made this procedure problematic.In the early 1960s Cormack showed how details of a flat section of soft tissues could be calculated from measurements of the attenuation of X-rays passing through it from many different angles.He thus provided the mathematical technique for the CAT scan, in which an X-ray source and electronic detectors are rotated about the body and the resulting data is analysed by a computer to produce a sharp map of the tissues within a cross-section of the body.Nobel e-Museum: Allan CormackOil from coalSasol is the world’s first – and largest – oil-from-coal refinery. It is situated in Sasolburg in South Africa and provides 40% of the country’s fuel.The history of Sasol began in 1927 when a White Paper was tabled in Parliament to investigate the establishment of a South African oil-from-coal industry.It was realised then that, because South Africa did not have crude oil reserves, the country’s balance of payments had to be protected against increasing crude oil imports. After many years of research and international negotiations, the South African Coal Oil and Gas Corporation was formed in 1950.Major milestones include the first automotive fuel (1955), the construction of the National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (1967), the establishment in 1990 of its first international marketing company, Sasol Chemicals Europe, and a joint venture agreement signed with Uzbekneftegaz in 2009 to establish a gas-to-liquids venture in Uzbekistan.Sasol has developed world-leading technology for the conversion of low-grade coal into value-added synfuels and chemicals.SasolHeart transplantThe world’s first heart transplant was performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town on 3 December 1967.Barnard was born in the town of Beaufort West in 1922. The seeds of his future career were sown when one of his patients delivered a baby boy with a heart defect which could not be remedied. The baby died, causing him to think deeply about the need for remedial surgery and the replacement of heart valves.A turning point came when Barnard was offered a chance to work in Minneapolis in the US under Professor Wagensteen, a great teacher of experimental surgery. The heart-lung machine was perfected, and this turned out to be the gateway to cardiac surgery.The idea of transplanting occurred to Barnard. If it was possible with kidneys, why not the heart? After more years of study in the US, he returned to South Africa with a parting gift from Prof Wagensteen – a heart-lung machine.Groote Schuur hospital was waiting his return in 1958 to start the first heart unit to perform a cardiac bypass operation.After performing the first successful kidney transplant on Edith Black, in October 1967 Barnard informed Professor Val Schrire, who had built up the cardiac clinic: “Everything is ready for a heart transplant. We have the team and we know how to do it.”In November 1967, Schrire called Barnard and told him that there was a suitable patient for a heart transplant. Louis Washkansky was suffering from heart failure and was prepared to take the chance. The rest is history.Barnard passed away in Cyprus, Greece on 2 September 2001 from an acute asthma attack.Speed gunThe South African-made speed gun, developed by Somerset West inventor Henri Johnson, was formally launched at The Oval in England during the 1999 Cricket World Cup.In 1992 Johnson, an engineer witha background in sonar and radar, invented the Speedball which was manufactured by South African firm Electronic Development House. The device accurately measures the speed and angles of speeding objects such as cricket and tennis balls.Generally referred to as a “speed gun”, Johnson’s gizmo is sold in cricketing countries and in the US and Europe. It has also been adapted for other ball sports such as tennis and golf. Johnson has since moved his company to Orlando, Florida, to better keep up with world trends.Kreepy KraulyThe swimming pool vacuum cleaner was invented by Ferdinand Chauvier, a hydraulics engineer who came to South Africa from the Belgian Congo in 1951.Chauvier quickly realised that there was a huge market for taking the hassle out of cleaning swimming pools, and went about inventing a machine that would do the job automatically, efficiently powered by the ordinary operation of the pool’s filter.But it wasn’t until 1974 that the first Kreepy Krauly was born in Chauvier’s Springs home.He died in 1985, but Kreepy Kraulys continue to keep thousands of pools clean in South Africa and the world over.APS therapyGervan Lubbe was flicking through an American medical journal one day when he stumbled across an article about pain relief. After reading all he could on the topic, he wondered whether it would be possible to electronically stimulate the body’s natural nerve impulses to relieve pain.Lubbe, had always had a keen interest in medicine, but never thought he was clever enough to be a doctor. So in his spare time he studied human anatomy and physiology until he thought he knew enough about the causes of arthritic pain. Then he set out inventing a device that would alleviate the problem.After building the first prototypes and obtaining approval from the health department and the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, Lubbe formed the company Tech Pulse in 1993 to produce, market and distribute the Action Potential Stimulation device.Today, Lubbe’s devices are sold in 41 countries, including the US, Europe and the Middle East. In South Africa alone, over 40 000 people use the little machines to relieve pain.APS TherapyPratley PuttyPratley’s famous glue is the only South African invention that has been to the moon. In 1969 the putty was used to hold bits of the Apollo XI mission’s Eagle landing craft together.Krugersdorp engineer George Montague Pratley invented his famous sticky stuff in the 1960s while looking for a glue that would hold components in an electrical box.Pratley died in 1983 and today the company is run by his son, Kim. Hundreds of tons of Pratley putty have been exported all over the world, and the company has diversified into other products.PratleyDolosseDolosse are large, unusually shaped concrete blocks weighing up to 20 tons. The structures are designed to break up wave action and protect harbour walls and coastal installations.Designed by Eric Merrifield and first installed in East London harbour, they are now used all over the world.The Coega Project, comprising an industrial development complex and deepwater port 20 kilometres east of the city of Port Elizabeth, recently made history with the casting of the biggest dolosse on the African continent.A layer of 25 000 30-ton dolosse has been laid on the two breakwaters for the deep-water harbour of Ngqura.According to Deon Retief, the partner responsible for the Nqura breakwater design at Prestedge Retief Dresner Wijnberg, the dolosse comprise the top layer of the main breakwater which, at 2.5 kilometres long, is the “largest by far” in Africa.Q20 extract by Emily van Rijswijck. Other information taken from Great South African Inventions by Mike Bruton, published by Cambridge University Press in their Indigenous Knowledge Library series. ISBN 978 0 521 74663 2.Useful linksAcademy of Science of South AfricaCouncil for GeoscienceCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchDepartment of Science and TechnologyInnovation FundInnovation HubNational Advisory Council on InnovationNational Research FoundationNational Science and Technology Forum AwardsNational Science and Technology ForumPublic Understanding of BiotechnologySABS Designs InstituteSouth African Aids Vaccine InitiativeSouth African Biodiversity Information FacilitySouth African Bureau of StandardsSouthern African Large TelescopeSquare Kilometre Array South AfricaTechnology Top 100last_img read more

An Inside Look Into Boxee’s Systematic UX Overhaul Process

first_imgAnyone who has been using Facebook for a few years knows that even minor changes to an interface design can cause a wide variety of reactions from a loyal user base. When the popular social network has made design tweaks in the past, there is always some portion of their users that are upset, if not enraged, by the changes made. A couple of weeks ago, we told you how your registration process could be driving potential users away, and a large part of that has to do with the design.These days, the look and feel of a website or product is just as important as the features that it provides. One product with one of the hottest new interfaces available is the new Boxee Beta software which allows for streamlined local and Web media viewing. Whitney Hess is the user experience (UX) designer behind the framework of the Boxee interface, and recently on her blog Pleasure and Pain she described the systematic process she went through to design it.When Boxee hired Hess to overhaul their UX, she began by interviewing eleven people, some of which were current users of the software, and others who weren’t. She asked them a variety of questions about their use of multimedia, including “Have you ever played music at a party you were hosting?” and “Have you ever displayed your photos on your TV?” among several others. Hess then held usability tests with five participants and gauged how they navigated around the software when asked to complete a series of tasks. Tags:#start#startups From this process, Hess was able to uncover what current users needed to make their experience better while at the same time discovering what potential users would find attractive. Her work led to the inclusion of several UX features and her wireframe submissions certainly influenced the final UI’s look and feel. The screenshot below demonstrates how the final design compared to her wireframe shown above. “Overall, we wanted to provide users with greater ability to discover content across sources, easier ways to sort and ?lter lists, and quick access to their favorite programming,” writes Hess on her blog.Boxee’s set-top product, aptly named the Boxee Box, was one of the most popular new products at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month. One of its most distinguishing characteristics is its beautiful interface design, which was raved about by reviewers on blogs and in the press. The design owes its positive reception to the framework it sits on, a product of Hess’s systematic approach to the redesign.“As more and more living rooms borrow content from the Internet, they’re going to have to borrow the web’s focus on user experience as well,” Andrew Kippen, Boxee’s VP of marketing, told ReadWriteWeb. “Websites rise and fall based not only on the content but also on the experience they provide, soon connected TVs, BluRay players, and Set Top Boxes will do the same.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts chris cameron Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

It’s Lord Ram’s wonder, says Akhilesh

first_imgSamajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday made light of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to the Taj Mahal, saying it is Lord Ram’s “kamaal” (wonder).Mr. Adityanath had to visit the Taj Mahal under “pressure from the Centre”, the SP leader charged. “See how time changes… BJP did not consider it as heritage… and now the CM is cleaning West Gate of the Taj Mahal with a ‘jhadu’ (broom),” Mr. Yadav told reporters here.“He (CM) is wielding broom there. We have nothing to do with it. It is Lord Ram’s ‘kamaal’,” he said.Tourists from all over the world visit the monument, he observed.“I am waiting for him to get clicked on that seat (with the Taj Mahal in the background),” he said.“BJP men had termed the Taj Mahal as Shiva Temple. Some termed it as a blot on Indian culture. ,” he said.Damage controlMr. Yadav had visited the Taj as the U.P. Chief Minister over two years ago on Valentine’s Day and sat on one of the benches in front of the monument along with his wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav.Mr. Adityanath’s visit is seen by many as a damage control exercise after a series of controversies erupted, beginning with a UP tourism department booklet not mentioning the white marble monument in its list of development projects in the state.Last year, Mr. Adityanath had said that the Taj does not represent Indian culture and that visiting dignitaries should be given the Gita rather than Taj replicas.last_img read more

Nuggets’ Juancho Hernangomez undergoes core muscle surgery

first_imgLATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess View comments ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Cavs guard Collin Sexton believes NBA hopeful Kai Sotto is going to be a lot better Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hernangomez averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds during the 2018-19 regular season. He played sparingly in the postseason before the Nuggets were eliminated in Game 7 of the second round by Portland.The 23-year-old Hernangomez said after the season that he was hoping to possibly suit up for Spain at the FIBA World Cup in China later this summer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsHernangomez was drafted by Denver with the 15th overall pick in 2016. Denver Nuggets forward Juan Hernangomez, left, hugs Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum after Game 7 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)ENGLEWOOD, Colorado— The Denver Nuggets say forward Juancho Hernangomez underwent surgery to fix a core muscle injury.The procedure was performed Thursday by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. There was no timetable given for Hernangomez’s return.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Scott L Schwartz Helps Raise Over 70000 For Alicias House Food Pantry

first_imgThis September, Actor/Director/Producer Sheriff Scott L. Schwartz returned to Chicago, IL to show his support for Alicia’s House Food Pantry for a week of fundraising events and appearances.Scott L. Schwartz Brings Goodwill To ChicagoScott helped raise over $72, 375,000 to benefit Alicia’s House Food Pantry. While Scott was in town he visited the children at Lutheran Memorial Hospital and Lurie Children’s Hospital. Scott is an essential part of the fundraising for Alicia’s House Food Pantry along with former Chicago Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas, and Juan Hernandez (founder). They started the week of fundraising with “Tip A Star” (celebrities serving for tips) at Beggars Pizza, Manteno Veterans Home, Chamber Dinner, and finished with the popular Alicia’s House Golf Outing Dinner and Silent Auction.Scott L. Schwartz At Lurie Children’s Hospital In ChicagoScott L. Schwartz is widely known as the “Ultimate Bad Guy” from his acting career including: Ocean’s 11, 12 & 13, Starsky & Hutch, Spiderman, Fun With Dick And Jane, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Mentalist, Castle, among other feature films and TV shows. What most fans don’t know is that Scott is really “The Ultimate Nice Guy” and has been visiting children’s hospitals worldwide for the past 15 years after losing his sister to lung cancer in 1998. He realizes the value and impact of making a lasting impression on children with cancer and how important it is to make each child feel special. Scott enjoys visiting pediatric hospitals and bringing what joy he can into the lives of every child he visits. They are always smiling during his visits and usually begging him to return soon.The Scott L. Schwartz Children’s Foundation is making a difference in the lives of each child in need by continuing to visit hospitals worldwide, helping Alicia’s House Food Pantry, Children’s Hospitals Worldwide. For the past ten years Scott has been an essential part of the fundraising for Alicia’s House Food Pantry along with former Chicago Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas and the founder (former pro wrestler) Juan Hernandez. Scott recently accepted the CHOC Glass Slipper Guild Award (a prestigious award that others that David Beckham, Gwen Stefani among others have received). Last year Scott was invited by General Mills to be an Ambassador for Outnumber Hunger. Outnumber Hunger partners with Feeding America and Big Machine Label Group to help Feeding America secure meals on behalf of local food bank. Scott will show his support through raising awareness with his fans about Outnumber Hunger and the staggering issue of hunger in America.Alicia’s House Food Pantry is completely supported by donations from individuals, businesses, and the various fundraisers. All of the money raised will go to feed the hungry and support the pantry. Alicia’s House Food Pantry is 100% Non-profit.To honor the memory of Alicia, who passed away at the age of 4, January 14, 2001, her Grandma Stella & her Poppy Juan started a non-for profit food pantry called Alicia’s House. Alicia’s House will continue to feed hundreds of hungry families and each box of food distributed will contain Alicia’s special loving touch. The goal of Alicia’s House is to try and alleviate hunger and some of the problems associated with hunger. Alicia’s House provides food, at no cost, to low-income residents of Crete, Beecher, Steger, Monee, University Park, and South Chicago Heights. Alicia loved people and loved helping people. She would spend hours working with her grandma, at the church pantry, making boxes of food to hand out to people in need. Although her grandma had a specific way to nutritionally pack the boxes, Alicia would always add her special touch by making sure each box would contain a special treat, usually candy.Find out more here.Copyright ©2014Look to the Starslast_img read more