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The hidden power network of your home

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Female hands holding home wires
Unprotected wires can cause the risk of both electric shock and fire, causing damages to a property | Photo: Lars Kienle

Cable conduits are the unseen and underappreciated silent lifelines that carry energy to our homes, workplaces, and cities. These unobtrusive and unassuming tubes, which are frequently tucked away in utility corridors, underground, or behind walls, are essential to the smooth transmission of electrical energy. Although these devices may not be a topic that is frequently discussed, their importance cannot be understated.

Conduits are used to protect electrical wires, and in this article, we’ll be looking at both their crucial purpose and the technical developments that have influenced their development. These devices connect power sources to end users, distributing electrical power quietly and effectively in contrast to the flashy gadgets and equipment we use on a daily basis.

What are cable conduits?

A cable conduit, also known as an electrical or wire conduit, is a simple device that’s used to protect and effectively route wiring. While wiring already has a protective coating, it’s relatively thin, and routing wires through a building can cause them to be damaged. If enough care isn’t taken when handling live wires, this can cause a major health and safety risk.

Unprotected wires can cause the risk of both electric shock and fire, potentially leading to death and destruction of property. In addition, having loose wires running through a building is a major trip hazard. Because of how serious these risks are, it’s important to take a lot of care when wiring buildings. This is where cable conduits come in.

Conduits are simply a length of rigid or flexible material which acts as a sheath for your wires. They come in many different types, including both flexible and rigid materials. In addition, you can get conduits for electrical wiring as well as other cables such as ethernet and fibre optics. Of course, the type of power conduit you use will depend on the nature of your installation and the needs of the job.

Innovation in cable protection

The development of cable conduits, from basic protective enclosures to complex systems that improve safety, efficiency, and flexibility in electrical installations, has been fuelled by innovation. The development of many types of conduits, each having a distinct purpose based on the installation requirements and environmental conditions, has been made possible by the ongoing improvements in conduit technology.

The introduction of flexible conduits is a noteworthy advancement in cable conduits. Rigid metal conduits have historically been utilised extensively due to their robustness and mechanical strength. Flexible conduits composed of materials like PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or corrugated plastic, on the other hand, became more well-liked as the demand for more adaptable solutions increased. More flexible installations are possible thanks to the ease with which these conduits may be bent and routed around curves.

The development of liquid-tight conduits is a significant advancement in conduit technology. These conduits are made with seals and fittings that offer defence against pollutants, including moisture, dust, and others. When used in outdoor or damp situations, liquid-tight conduits ensure the integrity of electrical connections and guard against corrosion and short circuits brought on by water infiltration.

A particular type of conduit known as a fibre-optic conduit has also been developed as a result of the increased use of fibre optics in communication networks. These conduits are made to safeguard sensitive fibre-optic cables, which use light pulses to transport data. The integrity of the optical signals is preserved by the greater protection that fibre-optic conduits provide against bending, crushing, and electromagnetic interference.

In conclusion, cable conduit innovation has made them become incredibly versatile and specialised systems. Each form of conduit, from flexible conduits to liquid-tight and fire-resistant choices, plays a particular function in assuring the secure and effective transmission of electrical power and data. Conduit technology is always evolving, which is essential for adjusting to the shifting demands of contemporary electrical systems and enhancing overall system performance and reliability.

Olivia Miller is a journalist and blogger regularly collaborating with media outlets and writing about entrepreneurship, brand authority and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

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Cannes opens with French comedy and honorary award for Meryl Streep

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Actress Juliette Binoche hands an award to Meryl Steep
Meryl Streep receives a honorary Palme D’Or from Juliette Binoche | Photo: Andrea Rentz

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival officially opened last night with Quentin Dupieux’s Le Deuxième Acte (The Second Act), and an honorary Palme d’Or awarded to American actress Meryl Streep.

Presented Out of Competition as a world premiere on the Croisette last night, May 14, this four-part comedy was also released in all French cinemas on the same day. The film stars Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel and Raphaël Quenard playing squabbling actors filming a movie produced and directed by artificial intelligence.

The opening ceremony of the 77th Festival de Cannes, hosted at the  Grand Théâtre Lumière, also had American actress Meryl Streep as a guest of honour.

Streep received the Festival’s Honorary Palme d’or, 35 years after winning the Best Actress award for Evil Angels, her only appearance in Cannes until last night.

“My mother, who is usually right about everything, said to me: ’Meryl, my darling, you’ll see. It all goes so fast. So fast,″ added Streep. “And it has, and it does. Except for my speech, which is too long,” said the three time Oscar award-winning actress.

Last year French Film director Justine Triet won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or for her murder mystery film “Anatomy of a Fall” becoming the third female filmmaker ever to win the prize, which was first awarded in 1955. 

The 77th Cannes Film Festival is set to run until May 25th, when the Palme d’Or winners will be revealed, 2024.

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Exhibition in Madrid reveals science and technology behind Pixar’s films

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Exhibition in Madrid reveals science and technology behind Pixar’s films
The Science Behind Pixar can be seen at CaixaForum Madrid until 8 September.

CaixaForum Madrid is currently hosting The Science Behind Pixar exhibition, created by the Museum of Science, Boston, in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios. The exhibition is divided into eight sections, corresponding to the steps in the process Pixar uses to transform an idea into a film. With specific examples from some of their most famous films, the public will be able to experiment with the techniques behind the modelling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting and rendering of animated films.

This is the third collaboration between the ”la Caixa” Foundation and Pixar Studios. In 2015, Pixar: 25 Years of Animation, represented a thorough review of this pioneering company’s work in computer animation in its 25 years of history. Subsequently, Pixar, Building Characters (which has travelled to five CaixaForums since 2020) focused on the visual design of the Pixar characters to best transmit the story and fit in with the other elements of the film. Now, the eight sections of The Science Behind Pixar will give visitors an insight into every stage of the technical process used by Pixar’s artists and computer scientists

The aim of the new exhibition is to peel away, layer by layer and in a way that is attractive for all audiences, the scientific, computer and mathematical concepts that lie behind our favourite Pixar characters. To do this, the exhibition is organised into eight sections, each of which explains in depth one specific step of Pixar’s technical process: Modelling, which allows characters to be created in 3D; Rigging, in which the virtual bones, muscles and joints are developed; design of Surfaces and Sets; Animation, which brings the story to life; Simulation, which provides automated movements; Lighting, which enhances the emotional impact, and Rendering, which turns 3D scenes into 2D images.

Throughout 815 square metres in CaixaForum Madrid, visitors will learn about all these steps that Pixar pays passionate attention to in order to bring its worlds and characters to life. Dozens of interactive and audiovisual elements will reveal what is hidden behind Pixar films, from the first-ever computer-animated feature film – Toy Story – which opened over two decades ago, to the release of Turning Red.

To better understand the science and maths that go into creating the worlds and characters of Pixar’s films, visitors will see audiovisuals and hear first-hand from members of the studios’ production teams. They will also be invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline, through screen-based activities and physical interactive elements.

In the Sets & Cameras section, for example, visitors will discover how camera placement and angles created a bug’s-eye view for A Bug’s Life; in Modelling, they will try their hand at creating a digital sculpture from an artist’s sketch and in Lighting they will use lights to solve challenges similar to ones Pixar faced in creating underwater scenes with virtual light in Finding Nemo. The exhibition route also includes human-size recreations of many Pixar film characters, such as Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story), Dory (Finding Nemo), Mike and Sulley (Monsters, Inc.), Edna Mode (The Incredibles) and WALL·E (from the film of the same name).

Throughout the months that the exhibition will remain at CaixaForum Madrid, the ”la Caixa” Foundation will be offering various activities to bring the art and science of Pixar closer to all audiences. In addition, the general public can take a guided tour and families can choose between the family tour and the animated stories workshop-tour, where visitors can make a short, animated clip to understand all the phases of the creative process after visiting the exhibition.

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Switzerland wins Eurovision song contest with non-binary singer

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Non-binary singer Nemo, winner of the Eurovision 2024
Singer Nemo performed ‘The Code’ for Switzerland | Photo: Alma Bengtsson

After the very last set of scores had come in, The Code, performed by rapper Neno, was announced as the clear champion of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 with a points tally of 591 and a lead of 44 points. 

Croatia finished in second place with Rim Tim Tagi Dim by Baby Lasagna on 547 points. The other spot on the podium finish went to Ukraine, ending up in third place thanks to alyona alyona & Jerry Heil with their song Teresa & Maria, on 453 points.

Scores on the night were awarded in two stages, as is traditional at the Eurovision Song Contest. The first results to come in were from the juries, followed by the reveal of the public vote.

Once the initial points from 37 juries had come in, Switzerland already had secured the lead on the scoreboard with 365 points.

Nemo is the first nonbinary artist to win Eurovision.

“I’m mostly just really grateful for this experience and all the friends I’ve made along the way. This was one of the most queer representations we’ve seen at Eurovision which was amazing, I want to shout out all the other queer artists this year,” said the artist who was born in Biel, a small bilingual town in Switzerland.

Nemo’s triumph in Malmö is Switzerland’s third win at the Eurovision Song Contest to date, following victory by Lys Assia in 1956 and Céline Dion in 1988.

Switzerland first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, winning the very first edition of the competition, which it also hosted. 

It has been a controversial year for the song contest festival launched in 1956. For weeks, the question of whether Israel should be allowed to compete or not while engaged in a military conflict in Gaza dominated the media surrounding the event and attracted pro-Palestine activists to the Swedish city of Malmö. Eden Golan, a 20-year old singer representing Israel, was booed during a dress rehearsal; It has been reported that she was confined to her hotel room, while in Malmo to perform at Eurovision, after a series of threats against the Israeli delegation. Hours before the grand final, on May 11th, Dutch rapper Joost Klein, who represented the Netherlands, was disqualified from Eurovision 2024 over what the organisers described as an “incident” involving a female member of the production crew.

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