Apr 24, 2015

Proposal would put laser cannon on ISS to blast space junk

posted by Larra Morris

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The easiest (and probably best) way to deal with the space junk problem is to stop producing space junk in the first place. We’re trying to do that, which is great. But even if space agencies and commercial launch companies all commit, tomorrow, to rockets and satellites that will deorbit themselves after no more than 25 years, there’s still all kinds of debris flying around up there, threatening our orbital infrastructure.

Many ways of dealing with orbital debris have been proposed, and some are even being tried out. Researchers working at RIKEN, a research institution in Japan, are leading an international team that wants to put a laser cannon on the International Space Station to try to shoot down small pieces of junk on the fly.
via IEEE Spectrum

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Image: NASA

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Apr 24, 2015

43 fossilized dinosaur eggs unearthed during road construction work in China

posted by Larra Morris

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In Southern China, 43 dinosaur eggs were discovered by construction workers as a road was being upgraded, state media reported.

The fossils were discovered in recent weeks in Heyuan in Guangdong province, the website Chinanews.com reported. From South China Morning Post:

The fossilised eggs were large with one 13cm in diameter, Du Yanli, the director of the city’s Dinosaur Museum, was quoted as saying. Nineteen were completely intact.

Experts at the Chinese Academy of Sciences will examine the eggs to find out what species of dinosaur they belonged to, the report said.
via Boing Boing

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Image: SCMP Pictures

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Apr 23, 2015

Butterfly wings are the key to glare-free phone displays

posted by Larra Morris

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Butterflies have proven to be a surprising source of inspiration for technology, and that trend isn't about to slow down any time soon. German researchers have discovered that irregular, nanoscopic structures on the glasswing butterfly's namesake transparent wings eliminate most reflections at any angle -- perfect for phones, camera lenses and most any other device where display glare is a problem. The scientists have yet to completely recreate this surface in the lab, but they foresee a future where you're not struggling to read your smartphone outdoors. And the kicker? Prototypes are already self-cleaning and water-repellant, so you wouldn't need extra coatings to keep your screens largely smudge-free.
via Engadget

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Image: Radwanul Hasan Siddique, KIT

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Apr 23, 2015

Stackable cross-section brain specimen drink coasters

posted by Larra Morris

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These are the brain specimen drink coasters available from ThinkGeek ($20 for set of 10). Each coaster looks like a different cross section cut from a brain, and stacked resemble a whole brain.
via Geekologie

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Apr 23, 2015

Watch high-speed MRI images of someone singing "If I Only Had a Brain"

posted by Larra Morris

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Anyone who has had an MRI knows that when you get in the machine, you have to remain pretty still or risk messing up the scan, which captures about 10 frames per second. But to study how the approximately 100 muscles in the human head, neck, jaw, tongue, and lips work together to create speech and song, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois has developed new technology that allows MRIs to capture 100 frames per second. They demonstrated the technology with a video of someone singing The Wizard of Oz classic "If I Only Had a Brain"
via Mental Floss

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Apr 22, 2015

Man puts 8 bullets in his Dell, tells police it’s worth the ticket

posted by Laura Domela

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On Monday around 7pm, 37-year-old Colorado Springs resident Lucas Hinch took his Dell XPS 410 out into the alley behind the building where he lives and runs a homeopathic herb store, pulled out his 9mm handgun, and put eight bullets through the PC, in cold blood.

The Dell, it seems, had been causing Hinch trouble in recent months and gave him a blue screen of death for what turned out to be the final time on that fateful evening. It's unclear what version of Windows the computer was running before it met its demise.
via ars technica

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Image: Colorado Springs Police Department 

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Apr 22, 2015

Photographer catches his camera drone moments before it crash-lands in the ocean

posted by Larra Morris

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Perth, Australia-based photographer Ryan Chatfield was recording aerial footage of Perth’s City Beach when his brand-new camera drone ran low on batteries and began an automatic descent toward the waves below. What followed was a mad 100-yard dash that required Chatfield to clamber over a rock jetty and into the ocean. He managed to catch the drone when it was about a foot from the water. Then he endured a good flogging by a wave as he climbed back up the jetty with his (intact) drone. All of this was recorded by the drone’s camera.
via Laughing Squid

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Image: Ryan Chatfield

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