Feb 18, 2013

Pick the best batteries for a DIY project with Adafruit’s battery guide

posted by Laura Domela

batteries.jpg

When you're looking to power a DIY project, you have a ton of different battery choices, and it's not easy to decide on which solution is best. To help you make the right choice, Adafruit has put together a guide to picking the best battery for your project.

The project goes through each type of battery, from alkaline to lithium, and talks about the cost, size, and power output.
via Lifehacker

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Photo by Heather Kennedy

Tags : DIY, power,    0 comments  
Feb 18, 2013

World's first bionic hand with a sense of touch is set to be transplanted

posted by Laura Domela

prensilia-hand.jpeg

An anonymous man in his 20s who lives in Rome will soon receive a new hand, and for the first time in the world his bionic hand will be able to feel the things that it touches. The hand will be wired to the man’s nervous system, in hopes that he will be able to control its movements by receiving signals from his skin cells, and that he in turn will be able to receive signals from the hand’s touch sensors. The hand promises to restore the sense of touch to people who have lost limbs, and it represents a major breakthrough in the world of prosthetics.
via Inhabitat

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Tags : medical,    0 comments  
Feb 18, 2013

A handy wine pairing chart

posted by Laura Domela

Wine Pairing Chart

Pairing wine with food doesn't have to be a fussy process. Some wines definitely complement the flavor of certain types of foods, but in general picking a great wine to go with a great meal is as simple as picking a varietal you like from a range of good ones. The chart above (click to enlarge, or visit the full version at the link below) can help you when it's time to order.
via Lifehacker

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See the full size chart here

Tags : infographics, food,    0 comments  
Feb 18, 2013

MIT wants tomorrow’s soldiers to talk through their shirts

posted by Laura Domela

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If a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have their way, the soldier of the future mumbling into his jacket won’t be a crazy person. He’ll be using microscopic fibers woven into his uniform to communicate with his battle buddies and clear up some of the fog of war.

Can you spot the gold threads in the Army Combat Uniform shown above? They’re not included for style — but they do provide a kind of demonstration. MIT and the Army wanted to prove that they could fabricate a uniform that included a kind of fiber optic-like thread developed through a joint effort that should allow soldiers’ threads to detect light, heat and sound.

Only the fibers don’t have any transistors, processors, or circuitry. “These are new kinds of fibers that are themselves devices,” says John Joannopoulos, the director of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, a joint Army-MIT venture for far-out basic research.
via Wired

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Feb 18, 2013

Our Friend the Atom: Disney’s 1956 illustrated propaganda for nuclear energy

posted by Laura Domela

ourfriendtheatom.jpg

Walt Disney was no stranger to propaganda, from his wartime anti-Nazi animations to his 1955 eulogy for space exploration, and even his internal company culture. In 1956, just over a decade after the atomic bomb showed the world the devastating power of nuclear weapons, Disney partnered with German physicist Heinz Haber, a professor at USC and personal science consultant to the legendary animator, to produce Our Friend the Atom (public library) — a gloriously illustrated 165-page tome extolling the promise of atomic power as a generative rather than destructive force.
via Brain Pickings

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Tags : books,    0 comments  
Feb 18, 2013

Systemic computer can rebuild corrupted data and never crashes

posted by Laura Domela

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The thought of a computer that never crashes is incredibly appealing to anyone who has ever used a computer. Researchers from the University College London have created a computer system that they call a “systemic” computer that is able to self-repair and instantly recover from crashes. The researchers believe that their systemic computer could have many uses including the ability to help military drones reprogram themselves to cope with damage sustained in combat.
via Slash Gear

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Tags : computers,    1 comment  
Feb 18, 2013

Most traffic jams are caused by just a handful of idiots

posted by Laura Domela

In a study conducted by MIT and Berkeley, 680,000 Boston commuters were tracked along their commutes—anonymously—as their cellphones jumped from tower to tower. The resulting data gave a better picture of commuter habits than any old-fashioned survey had in the past. During rush hour, a massive 98 percent of roads were below peak capacity. But the two percent that were over capacity were enough to cause traffic jams that spiraled out into the less crowded roads. Granted, not all cities are the same, but it goes to show the potential power of just a few crowded streets.
via Gizmodo

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Tags : cars,    0 comments  
Feb 17, 2013

Odds of death by asteroid? Lower than plane crash, higher than lightning

posted by Laura Domela

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Most people in the U.S. woke up to a spectacular sight this morning: videos from Russian dashboard cameras showing a fireball in the sky crashing down to the Earth. The 15-meter meteorite impacted the atmosphere and exploded above the Chelyabinsk region of central Russia, injuring an estimated 1,200 people and causing roughly 1 billion rubles ($33 million U.S.) in damage. It was the largest meteorite to hit the country in more than a century.
via Wired

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Feb 17, 2013

Tesla should emphasize the applications where EVs beat gas vehicles

posted by Laura Domela

Tesla Motors and the New York Times reporter John Broder are exchanging salvos over a negative review of Tesla’s new East Coast fast-charging stations. When Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk says it was Broder’s fault that he got stranded with a depleted battery, Musk is right. But he’s missing the point. Broder’s difficulties illustrate the fact that electric cars aren’t as well-suited to long-distance driving as gas-powered ones. If EVs are going to take off, it will be for applications in which they can outdo gasoline cars. 
via technology review

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Tags : EV, cars,    0 comments  
Feb 15, 2013

Huge meteor barely misses Russia, damage and injuries reported

posted by Laura Domela

asteroid_russia.jpeg

While details are still coming in, sources in Russia believe that an ultra-bright 10-ton meteor, also known as a bolide, disintegrated some 20 or 30 miles above the Earth's surface in the skies of western Siberia. An accompanying sonic boom caused damage over a wide radius.

The New York Times reports that "Russia's Interior Ministry said more than 1,000 people were injured, 200 of them children, mostly from shards of glass that shattered when the meteor entered the atmosphere," and that the "governor of the Chelyabinsk district," the area that right now appears to have received the brunt of the damage and injuries, "reported that a search team had found an impact crater on the outskirts of a city about 50 miles west of Chelyabinsk." While it's unclear if raining fragments attributed to much of the damage, Russia's Interior Ministry claims to have found three large meteorite chunks, with 10,000 police officers looking for more.
via DVICE

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This security cam footage shows you how bright the thing was:

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