Startup: The Thaw


Built in 1923 for cold storage, the building at 1000 West Fulton Market in Chicago is essentially a 450,000 square foot cork insulated refrigerator. Eclipsed in efficiency by more modern cooling warehouses, the building hasn’t been properly maintained for about a decade and the ice has run amok. While the resulting formations were stunning and beautiful (see gallery below), the property is being converted into modern offices, so propane heaters were brought in to defrost the facility. Time lapse video after the jump.

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Startup: Coaxing The Air Into Submission

No, it’s not My First Stargate™ for Kids, but that would be cool. This is a bladeless tabletop fan, from Dyson – the same guys that gave us the bagless vacuum cleaner and the self-righteous advertising campaign. It’s not truly bladeless, the fan is in the base, sucking air into the unit where it gets blown back out from the inner rim of the hoop. The magical part is when that air moves over the inner surface of the hoop, which is shaped similar to a airplane’s wing (or aerofoil, if you want to get technical). Similar to how the wings create lift on an airplane, a combination of Bernoulli Principle and the Coandă Effect cause a lower pressure region to form in the middle of the ring, sucking air in from behind and blowing it out the front. Apparently, these things move 15 times more air through the hoop than goes through those intake vents on the bottom. Sounds amazing – I would love to hear from anyone who’s got one or at least seen on in action, because it sounds a bit too good to be true. For all I know, standing in front of one of these things is like getting sneezed on by a gerbil. For now, I have to make do with this silly video. I’m sure it was fun to make, but at a starting price of $300 a pop, it was also crazy expensive.

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