Apr 21, 2014

This is how an engineer feels when he's surrounded by idiots

posted by Laura Domela

My engineer friend George sometimes looks at me as if I'm a rancid chicken wing in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

He doesn't understand why I don't think logically, rationally, understandably -- in short, why I don't think like him.

It causes him to foam at the lips and emit high-pitched noises, not unlike those created by sheepdogs that have been run over by tractors.

I never quite grasped what his problem was until I saw a YouTube video called "The Expert."
via cnet

Continue reading 

Tags : engineering, for fun,    0 comments  
Apr 21, 2014

Italy wants to turn its old bridges into inverted skyscrapers

posted by Larra Morris

bridge.jpg

Southern Italy is dotted with hulking aqueducts that went out of service years ago. In an attempt to find a new use for the structures in lieu of tearing it down, the government held a competition. One of the winning designs will blow your mind.

This proposal to repurpose an abandoned concrete viaduct in Calabria could be described as a series of connected, inverted skyscrapers. Dreamt up by the always impressive team at Oxo Architecture, the plan not only rethinks the bridge structure but also the very idea of neighborhoods. The structure's location high up and near the ocean makes for incredible views—so why not build a new kind of community to enjoy the splendor.
via Gizmodo

Continue reading 

Image: Oxo Architecture

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 21, 2014

This incredible animation was made by code that could fit on a floppy disc

posted by Laura Domela

This is no 20 GB video file, painstakingly pulled from a render farm. All of it was generated in real time by one tiny algorithm. And it's amazing.

Every Easter, the town of Saarbrücken, Germany, plays host to Revision, a demoparty where hundreds of programmers and artists get together for four days of showing off. This year, the demoscene group Mercury unveiled an incredible 64k intro called The Timeless. Since the file size is limited to 64 kilobytes, the graphics and music are all generated algorithmically in real time—this is called procedural generation.
via Gizmodo

Continue reading 

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 21, 2014

75-year-old human cloned for the production of stem cells

posted by Larra Morris

 

The method used is called somatic cell nuclear transplant. It involves taking an unfertilized egg and removing its nucleus, thereby deleting the DNA of the egg donor. At the same time, a nucleus from the cell of a donor is carefully removed and injected into the egg. After some time, during which the environment of the egg resets the developmental status of the donor's DNA, cell division is activated. If the process is successful, the end result is a small cluster of cells that starts along the path of forming an embryo.

This technique was recently used to create embryonic stem cells from an infant donor. But the new team managed to perform the technique successfully with two male donors, one 35 years old and the second 75. The primary change needed was simply to extend the period in which the donor DNA is reset by the proteins present in the egg.
via Ars Technica

Continue reading 

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 21, 2014

LED lights are ruining laundry detergent's white-brightening trick

posted by Larra Morris

light.jpg

LED lighting is great. The right bulb gives the same warm incandescent glow you love from a fraction of the energy. But there's a downside: while LEDs make cities look awesome, the most common type of LED lighting dims the ultraviolet trick laundry detergents use to make white clothes look whiter. The future is bright, but it's also kind of dingy.

There's some fascinating science going on here. Many laundry detergents contain fluorescent whitening agents, or FWAs, which absorb ultraviolet light and re-emit it as a visible blue wavelength. This slightly bluish tinge helps overpower the yellowish hue of, say, a well-worn undershirt, making that nasty old rag look radiant and white.

Unfortunately, most of the commonly-available LED lighting today emits little or no light in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. And as a research team led by Penn State's Dr. Kevin Houser discovered, that makes FWAs pretty much useless.
via Gizmodo

Continue reading 

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 18, 2014

Six nerd culture stereotypes that are way older than you think

posted by Laura Domela

nerdculture.jpg

Because TV and film-based creations like the Enterprise and the Death Star have prompted us to pore over every little detail of fictional universes at the expense of a social life, it's easy to assume that unsettling pop culture obsessions are a relatively new phenomenon. But unless your concept of a "nerd" is a Depression-era newsie shooting pre-YouTube fan trailers, you might be surprised to learn that nerd culture has existed for way, way, way longer than you think. 
via Cracked

Continue reading 

Tags : science fiction, nerdy,    0 comments  
Apr 18, 2014

Scientists are 3D printing whole cancer tumors from scratch

posted by Larra Morris

cancercell.png

We've seen 3D-printed cells, organs, and even body parts over the last few years. But in Philadelphia, a team of scientists is printing cancerous tumors—modeling the very things that are threatening to kill patients in order to understand how to quell them.

It's becoming more and more common to use 3D printers to print "sheets" of cells in the lab, including cancerous ones. These 2D panels can be used to test new therapies, but they aren't perfect: A tumor is a whole other animal, with its own architecture and peculiarities, which can make it tough to predict how the real thing will react to treatment.
via Gizmodo

Continue reading

Image: xrender 

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 18, 2014

Cyborg glasses save users the need to control emotions

posted by Larra Morris

emoglass.jpg

Rather than focus on what the owner sees, Prof Hirotaka Osawa's kit shows computer-generated eye animations in place of the wearer's real ones.

Special lenses let the user see out or take a secret nap if they prefer.

The professor said the glasses could be used to simulate emotional reactions when users are distracted or busy.

He added that the idea of creating an "emotional cyborg" was inspired by the work of an American sociologist who had coined the phrase "emotional labour" to refer to the use of facial expressions and body movements to show feelings.

This, Prof Osawa noted, could be a requirement for nurses, waitresses, teachers, therapists and others working in interaction-intensive professions.
via BBC News

Continue reading

Image: University of Tsukuba 

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 18, 2014

3D printed cryptex

posted by Larra Morris

3dprintedcryptex.jpg

[pjensen] used Autodesk Inventor to sculpt the shapes, staring with the cryptex’s individual rings. After embossing the alphabet across each ring, [pjensen] adds slots into the inner loops for pins to slide through. An outer chamber holds the rings in place and prohibits access to the interior chamber, which is held in place on both sides by an end cap.

Lining up the rings to spell the correct word allows the inner chamber to slide free of the whole assembly, revealing whatever goodies may lie inside. You can follow [pjensen's] step-by-step guide to build your own cryptex, or just download his model and start printing.
via Hack a Day

Continue reading 

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 17, 2014

First Earth-size planet that may hold water confirmed

posted by Laura Domela

Screen_Shot_2014-04-17_at_1.23.37_PM.png

Just as real-estate prices in parts of North America have started to get expensive again, NASA says it has confirmed for the first time the existence of an Earth-like planet that may hold liquid water.

The planet is Kepler-186f and was discovered with NASA's Kepler telescope, originally launched in 2009 and recently crippled, but not before gathering enough data that researchers are still analyzing it and making discoveries like this.

Yes, this is kind of a big deal, as it's the "first validated Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star," as Elisa Quintana of the SETI Institute at NASA's Ames Research Center explained in a press conference Thursday.

"Some people call these habitable planets, which of course we have no idea if they are," San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane, a member of the discovery team, said in a release. "We simply know that they are in the habitable zone, and that is the best place to start looking for habitable planets."
via cnet

Continue reading 

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

Tags : space,    0 comments  
Get this feed  

Login Required

In order to view this resource, you must log in to our site. Please sign in now.

If you don't already have an acount with us, registering is free and quick. Register now.

Sign In    Register