With Hurricane Isaac making landfall (and memories of Katrina), news of super sturdy shelter panels from recycled materials is rather apropos. Researchers at the University of Alabama-Birmingham have developed panels that can withstand a pummeling of 15-pound two-by-fours shot from a cannon. The boards struck the panels at 100 mph, which is about the strength that an EF5 tornado can hurl shrapnel; hurricane threat standards are lower.
These resilient panels are a combo of thermoplastic and fiberglass resins that were fashioned from liner previously used to wrap offshore oil-rig pipes.
Chelsea is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.