The Penguin Post was there when unpublished children’s author and all-around penguin guy Eric Bennett had a fun reading of his yet to be released kids picture book Noodles and Albie to an enthusiastic group of 1st graders at Bridge St. School in Northampton, Mass. Eric’s daughter Rose did an outstanding job acting as his assistant displaying Liz Bannish’s wonderful illustrations to the class in tandem with the reading. The kids laughed out loud at many parts of the story, and were on the edge of their seats at others, as they enjoyed the story of young Noodles the penguin and his adventures (and misadventures) with his friend Albie the fish. After the reading there was a Q & A with Eric, and then the kids were able to look at Ms. Bannish’s illustrations up close. Hopefully, the full story with illustrations will be available in early 2014.
Posts Tagged ‘penguin’
The Penguin Post has learned that scientists have created a highly efficient and extremely maneuverable propulsion system by mimicking the shoulder of an Emperor penguin. The mechanism, which features an innovative spherical joint with three actuated degrees of freedom, could lead to new types of propellers that have directional thrusting capability.
Caltech’s Flavio Noca was inspired to design the device after watching the IMAX movie Antarctica, which showed how Emperor penguins can accelerate underwater from 0 to 7 meters/second in less than a second. Noca will be demonstrating the penguin-inspired propulsion system next week at the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in Pittsburgh.
Based on a penguin’s shoulder-and-wing system, the mechanism features a spherical joint that enables three degrees of freedom and a fixed center of rotation. “Unlike an animal shoulder joint, however, this spherical joint enables unlimited rotational range about the main shaft axis like a propeller,” Noca explained.
To achieve this, the researchers needed to overcome the technical challenges of spherical joints, such as the lack of rigidity and the inability to generate high torques. The researchers cleared these hurdles by using a “parallel robotic architecture,” which Noca says enables rigidity as well as high actuation frequencies and amplitudes.
“Because the motors are fixed, inertial forces are lower than for a serial robotic mechanism, such as a multi-joint arm,” explains Noca. “The resulting spherical parallel mechanism with coaxial shafts was designed and manufactured with these specifications: a fixed center of rotation (spherical joint), a working frequency of ~2.5 Hz under charge, an unlimited rotation about the main axis, and an arbitrary motion within a cone of /- 60 degrees.
Aside from the technological perspective, the manner in which penguins swim is still poorly understood, according to Noca. “By accurately reproducing an actual penguin wing movement, we hope to shed light on the swimming mysteries of these underwater rockets,” he said.
A waddle of rain and wind- lashed penguins arrived safely home in Ilkley on Monday having raised £20,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research. The team of 16 fundraisers had successfully completed the 2013 Penguathlon to achieve the amazing fundraising total. The challenge saw them setting off on bikes from Headingley Rugby Ground on Saturday morning to cycle all the way to Newcastle and take part in the Great North Run on Sunday before cycling home.
Their journey was supported by JD Cycles of Ilkley and Eco-Link Couriers, who provided support vehicles. On Sunday the Penguathlon participants met up with Jonathan Edwards, the Olympic Gold medal winning triple jumper and BBC presenter and a BBC film crew, who captured the penguins cycling over the Tyne Bridge to the start line for the Great North Run. They achieved celebrity status when they featured in BBC1’s live coverage of the race with an interview with Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson. The first ‘Emperor Penguin’ over the line, Dr Jon Greenwell from Burley-in-Wharfedale, was also interviewed by the BBC, this time with Olympic bronze medal-winning sprinter Katherine Merry. The return trip was a much bigger challenge with rain and 20mph winds slowing the Penguins down. However, they made it to their finish line at Bar T’at in Ilkley where they were met by a team of masseurs laid on by Ilkley Osteopaths and enjoyed Penguin Beer by Ilkley Brewery, food laid on by Bar T’at and a welcome party of more than 50 friends and family. Penguathlon 2013 organizer Mark Summerson, 40, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, said: “The support we have had from members of the public, from the BBC, from organizations and people offering their time, money and skills has just been phenomenal, for something that started as a drunken idea at the Swan beer festival in Addingham last year, just beggars belief.”
The Penguin Post has learned that a colony of fundraisers are hoping not to get in a flap as they tackle two 110-mile bike rides and a half- marathon dressed as penguins. The group have already taken on 10k races in York and Leeds, plus bigger challenges such as Daventry Triathlon and the Ironman 70.3 Mallorca, in support of Yorkshire Cancer Research. For their latest event, Penguathlon 2013, the 22-strong team, will cycle from Headingley Rugby Ground to Newcastle, complete the Great North Run, then bike to Bar T’at in Ilkley. The hardy 22 will dress as penguins and wear custom-designed and made cycle kit by Spirit Cycling of Ilkley, complete with beaks and flippers. Mark Summerson, 40, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, said: “The following day, the much more cumbersome seven- foot-tall furry penguin suits will be broken out and worn while completing the Great North Run, before getting the bike gear on again for the return journey, this time finishing at Bar T’at in Ilkley. We’ve secured sponsorship from businesses.” The group have Penguin Jerseys signed by triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the Leeds Rhinos squad and cycling legend Chris Boardman, which will be auctioned. Mr Summerson said: “All funds being raised are going towards the great charity that is Yorkshire Cancer Research and more details including how to sponsor any of the penguins or even buy fundraising Penguin merchandise, can be found on http://www.penguathlon.com.”
The Penguin Post has learned that an oil-soaked penguin named Penguin Vic found on a Victorian beach near Melbourne, Australia has been given a clean-up and vets are optimistic it will make a full recovery. The blue penguin was being tossed about by the dog but was saved on Sunday by a Middle Park resident and taken to the zoo for treatment. The bird has had several warm baths to help remove oil and restore natural waterproofing to its feathers. Melbourne Zoo associate vet Megan Curick is cautiously optimistic the penguin will make a full recovery.
The Penguin Post has learned that PETA and other groups are none too happy that penguins were brought in by Seaworld to waddle on the floor of the NY stock exchange. A spokesman for PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said that the group purchased 80 shares in SeaWorld for more than $2,200 in last week’s IPO.
PETA officials believe this will allow them to attend shareholder meetings and introduce resolutions. It has previously battled the theme park company over breeding programmes at its sites in Florida, California and Texas. It is also calling for SeaWorld to release all the whales and dolphins it holds.
It has also emerged that PETA has written a letter to the New York Stock Exchange urging it to ban the use of exotic animals for promotional purposes. It comes after SeaWorld took penguins to Wall Street, where representatives rang the bell to start trading in their shares on Friday.
“It’s very stressful for exotic animals – who have specialized needs and are greatly affected by environmental changes – to be hauled around by companies like SeaWorld, just to be used as props,” Dan Mathews, senior vice-president at PETA, said in the letter. “Penguins, like all wild animals, shun contact with humans. Being forced into close public contact leaves them agitated and frightened.”
“Animals in captivity are already susceptible to illness, but putting them in a crowded, noisy environment just causes additional stress and increased potential for poor health. The New York Stock Exchange, as a respected institution, should not be condoning any display that involves transporting an animal from one location to another and using them as a photo prop.”
The Penguin Post has learned that a penguin visited the clubhouse office of the Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon. Maddon tweeted : Today’s VIP guests are…penguins! Maddon: “I wanted the players to chill out a little bit. …get it?”