Jun 24, 2016

A connected hearing aid is an Internet of Things device I can get behind

posted by Larra Morris

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Now, with that in mind, today I received news of the Oticon Opn hearing aid, which its manufacturer Oticon bills as the "world’s first Internet of Things hearing aid."

The device connects to a user's smartphone and can be controlled through Oticon’s companion app. Because it's compatible with IFTTT, the app can push through notifications when a smart lock is unlocked, a smart doorbell rings, or a smart smoke alarm goes off.
via The Verge

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Jun 24, 2016

The rumble strips on the road to Mt. Fuji play a song

posted by Larra Morris

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This section of the subaru highway leading up to Mount Fuji have rumble strips in the middle of the road that have been spaced at certain intervals to play a song. It's very unique and impressive - take a listen. "Miagete goran yoru no hoshi wo" by Kyu Sakamoto is the name of the tune. ...There are three stretches of road in japan which do this.
via Geekologie

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Jun 23, 2016

Spider silk violin catches customized sound

posted by Larra Morris

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Spider silk may be known for being extremely strong, yet it's also elastic – that's how it's able to both hold struggling prey, and alert spiders to that prey by transmitting vibrations caused by those struggles. With these dual qualities in mind, a Design Engineering postgrad from Imperial College London has created a one-of-a-kind violin … using silk spun by an Australian Golden Orb Spider.

Running down the center of Luca Alessandrini's violin are three strands of the golden silk, embedded in the instrument's composite body. That body is also made from silk fibers, mixed with a binding agent.

When notes are played on the strings, the vibrations resonate through the three main strands and into the hollow body, creating sound.
via Gizmag

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Image: Imperial College London


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Jun 23, 2016

Electric race car sets an acceleration world record

posted by Larra Morris

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Swiss students have shattered the world record for EV acceleration with an experimental race car, Grimsel, that reached 62MPH in 1.513 seconds -- over two tenths of a second sooner than the previous best. For context, the 1,480HP Bugatti Chiron hits that speed somewhere under 2.5 seconds.
via Engadget

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Image: ETH Zurich / Alessandro Della Bella

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Jun 22, 2016

How the size of your wine glass may effect how much you order

posted by Larra Morris

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A new study in BMC Public Health, spotted by Science of Us, examined wine ordering habits at one English restaurant over the course of four months. Every two weeks, the restaurant changed its wine glasses, serving the same amount of wine (6 ounces) in either a smaller-than-average (8.5 ounces), average (10 ounces), or large glass (12.5 ounces). 

While it wasn’t clear how smaller glasses affected people’s ordering behavior, large glasses definitely influenced the restaurant’s sales. When wine was served in larger glasses, the restaurant sold 9 percent more each day. Something about drinking out of a big glass made people want to order more. 
via Mental Floss

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Image: PECHEY ET AL. BMC PUBLIC HEALTH (2016)

 

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Jun 22, 2016

The lost secret sign language of sawmill workers

posted by Larra Morris

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People with impaired hearing may use sign language. But so may people who can normally hear, but are in noisy environments, like an industrial workplace.

In a fascinating article at Altas Obscura, Sarah Laskow describes a sign language that developed among the sawmill workers of British Columbia. It was an elaborate language that could, beyond the practicalities of sawmill work, convey insults, profanities, and relationships.

In the chart above, 125 expresses "weak." 126 means "What time is it?" 128 means "woman."
via Neatorama

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Jun 21, 2016

Astronomers discover youngest fully formed exoplanet ever known

posted by Larra Morris

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Astronomers using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope and its extended K2 mission, as well as the W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, have discovered the youngest fully formed exoplanet ever detected. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars beyond our sun.

The newfound planet, K2-33b, is a little larger than the planet Neptune, and orbits tightly and rapidly around its star every five days. It is only 5 to 10 million years old, making it one of a very few newborn planets found to date.
via Boing Boing

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