Aug 23, 2016

25,000 LED roses illuminate a rooftop garden in China

posted by Larra Morris

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The fake flowers covering the rooftop of a building in Chengdu may not look like much during the day, but at dusk they come to life. According to inhabitat, the 25,000 LED roses are part of a traveling art installation currently on display in the Chinese city.

The project, titled “Light Rose Garden” is a collaboration between the creative agencies AllRightsReserved, PANCOM, and Amherst Inc. Between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. every night, the field of roses is switched on to illuminate the rooftop venue. The flowers are densely packed together, with 25 of them squeezed into every 32 square feet of space.
via Mental Floss

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Aug 23, 2016

Soft robotic caterpillar uses light to get a wriggle on

posted by Larra Morris

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Robots that are soft in nature have come along in leaps and bounds of late, forming the basis for machines that are safer to work with, can grasp different objects and better handle rugged terrain. But the need to pack things like power sources and actuators inside has generally meant that miniaturization is out of the question. Researchers may have now opened the door to tiny, millimeter-scale soft robots, by developing a robotic caterpillar that is powered and controlled purely by external light.
via New Atlas

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Aug 22, 2016

A curious and creepy owl theremin

posted by Larra Morris

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Delightfully mad sculptor David Cranmer makes functional art pieces that put the fun in funky, and his strange contraptions often make a pretty funky racket too...

Flipping the switch labeled "Activate Owl" causes the owl to arise while the theremin starts up, and as the player waves their hand to make sweet, spooky "music" the owl silently judges them from on high.
via Neatorama

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Aug 22, 2016

This jellyfish-inspired material can conceal secret messages

posted by Larra Morris

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Researchers at the University of Connecticut were inspired by the skins of squids and jellyfish, which can change color or texture in response to certain factors in their surroundings.

In a move that would make Q from the James Bond series blush, the scientists—who presented their findings at the 52nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society on Sunday, said they’ve replicated the properties of skin in a thin film that can be used to encrypt secret messages or create anti-glare surfaces. When exposed to moisture, its properties can change, thereby revealing things that weren’t there before.
via Gizmodo

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Aug 19, 2016

Baby born on international flight gets 1 million airline miles

posted by Larra Morris

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A recent flight from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Manila, Philippines took an unexpected turn when a pregnant woman went into labor about halfway through the nine-hour journey, 36,000 feet in the air, The Guardian reports. According to another passenger, the woman returned to her seat with baby Haven shortly after giving birth in the front of the plane. It was the first time a child has been born on a Cebu Pacific Air flight, and in celebration, the carrier awarded Haven and her family 1 million travel points.
via Mental Floss

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Aug 19, 2016

Mutant fish help uncover link between fins and fingers

posted by Larra Morris

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Scientists believe that many millions of years ago, our aquatic ancestors made the leap from inhabiting the oceans to living on dry land, marking the evolution of the first four-limbed vertebrates known as tetrapods. Although the tetrapods that inhabit the Earth today – including humans – possess fragments of this aquatic past deep in the genetics that make up their bodies, researchers are still struggling to determine how fish developed limbs in the first place. Now, a new study by University of Chicago researchers furthers our understanding of this evolution by shedding light on the relationship between fish fins and fingers.
via New Atlas

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Aug 18, 2016

Watch a Rubik's Cube master race the fastest man on Earth

posted by Larra Morris

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Speed cubing champion Anthony Brooks is used to racing the clock when he’s solving a Rubik’s Cube puzzle, but since we’re in the middle of the 2016 Olympics, he decided to challenge the world’s fastest man, running the 100 meters, to a head-to-head race.
via Gizmodo

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