From the Smithsonian Magazine: With This Self-Healing Concrete, Buildings Repair Themselves

When you break your leg, it eventually knits itself back together. Osteoblast cells produce minerals that create the structure of new bone, turning fragments back into a whole.

Why, thought microbiologist Henk Jonkers, can’t buildings do the same thing?

Inspired by the human body, Jonkers, who works at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, created self-healing concrete. He embeds the concrete with capsules of limestone-producing bacteria, either Bacillus pseudofirmus or Sporosarcina pasteurii, along with calcium lactateWhen the concrete cracks, air and moisture trigger the bacteria to begin munching on the calcium lactate. They convert the calcium lactate to calcite, an ingredient in limestone, thus sealing off the cracks.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/with-this-self-healing-concrete-buildings-repair-themselves-180955474/#CGSz5IxwfgZmmMul.99

Advertisements

Pew Research Center: US Smartphone Use in 2015

The traditional notion of “going online” often evokes images of a desktop or laptop computer with a full complement of features, such as a large screen, mouse, keyboard, wires, and a dedicated high-speed connection. But for many Americans, the reality of the online experience is substantially different. Today nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them — either because they lack broadband at home, or because they have few options for online access other than their cell phone.

Key Themes of This Report

10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband at home, and 15% own a smartphone but say that they have a limited number of options for going online other than their cell phone. Those with relatively low income and educational attainment levels, younger adults, and non-whites are especially likely to be “smartphone-dependent.”

Smartphones are widely used for navigating numerous important life activities, from researching a health condition to accessing educational resources. Lower-income and “smartphone-dependent” users are especially likely to turn to their phones for navigating job and employment resources.

A majority of smartphone owners use their phone to follow along with breaking news, and to share and be informed about happenings in their local community.

Smartphones help users navigate the world around them, from turn-by-turn driving directions to assistance with public transit. This is especially true for younger users.

An “experience sampling” of smartphone owners over the course of a week illustrates how young adults have deeply embedded mobile devices into the daily contours of their lives.

The experience sampling survey illustrates that smartphone usage often produces feelings of productivity and happiness, but that many users also feel distracted or frustrated after mobile screen encounters.

Read the full report at http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/.

Throwback Thursday – PHOTOS: In WWII, Seabees built dozer radiators and a lot more out of fuel drums to keep Navy equipment going from Equipment World

A mobile equipment servicing unit built by the 70th Naval Construction Battalion at Algiers. The unit was built from the slavaged chassis of a bombed truck and could be towed at high speeds by a Jeep. On board was an air compressor for high pressure lubrication and force feed fueling from barrels. Photo credit: U.S. Navy Seabee Museum Flickr
A mobile equipment servicing unit built by the 70th Naval Construction Battalion at Algiers. The unit was built from the slavaged chassis of a bombed truck and could be towed at high speeds by a Jeep. On board was an air compressor for high pressure lubrication and force feed fueling from barrels. Photo credit: U.S. Navy Seabee Museum Flickr

Given the harsh conditions of the Pacific Theater of World War II, ingenuity wasn’t so much a skill developed by the U.S. Navy on those small hellacious islands, as it was a tool carried into battle. And much of that ingenuity came thanks to a group of sailors known as the Seabees.

See more at: http://www.equipmentworld.com/photos-in-wwii-seabees-built-dozer-radiators-and-a-lot-more-out-of-fuel-drums-to-keep-navy-equipment-going/#sthash.1QGXVKzU.dpuf

Nearly half of road contractors have seen a work zone vehicle crash in the last year – Equipment World’s Better Roads Newsletter

A recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) finds that 46 percent of road contractors have had a vehicle crash in one of their work zones, with 30 percent indicating at least five such incidences in a year’s time.

See more at: http://www.equipmentworld.com/nearly-half-of-road-contractors-have-seen-a-work-zone-vehicle-crash-in-the-last-year/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=05-22-2015&utm_campaign=BR&ust_id=640e65bb52#sthash.UZNDRtZ7.rgwWlKqQ.dpuf

Communicating Across Generations – From the APWA Reporter, March 2015

There’s a lot out there on generational differences in the workplace.  Here are two installments written from distinct perspectives about communication with those older and younger than you from March’s APWA reporter.

FHWA – New Data Show U.S. Drivers Topped 3 Trillion Miles Last Year

FHWA 17-15

Increased Demand on Nation’s Roads Underscores Need for Transportation Investment

WASHINGTON –New estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that Americans drove nearly 3.02 trillion miles in 2014, the highest point since 2007 and the second-highest since data collection began 79 years ago, fueling calls for greater investment in transportation infrastructure to accommodate growing volumes of traffic. Continue reading FHWA – New Data Show U.S. Drivers Topped 3 Trillion Miles Last Year

FHWA – Older Drivers At Peak Levels, New Data Show

FHWA 19-15

Drivers Over 50 Among Fastest-Growing Population, Supports Call for Investment

WASHINGTON – The U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced today that according to new data, people over 50 years old accounted for nearly half of all U.S. drivers in 2013 – more than ever before. This new data underscores projections made by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in “Beyond Traffic,” a 30-year framework for the future of transportation, which shows a 77 percent increase among drivers over 65 by 2045. Continue reading FHWA – Older Drivers At Peak Levels, New Data Show