04 4 / 2013
28 11 / 2012
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24 11 / 2012
21 6 / 2012
19 6 / 2012
Taking cues from the firefly, a Dutch electronics company has created a product called “Bio-light”—an eco-friendly lighting system that uses glowing, bioluminescent bacteria. They’re not powered by electricity or sunlight, but by methane generated by the company’s Microbial Home bio-digester that processes anything from vegetable scraps to human waste. The living bacteria are fed through silicon tubes, and as long as they’re nutritionally-fulfilled, they can indefinitely generate a soft, heat-free green glow using the enzyme luciferase and its substrate, luciferin. They’re kept in hand-blown glass bulbs clustered together into lamps, but you can’t light up your house with them yet—the glow isn’t nearly bright enough to replace conventional artificial lights. They do, however, get people to think about untapped household energy sources and how to make use of them. The company, Phillips, also envisions the use of these Bio-lights outside the home—for nighttime road markings, signs in theatres and clubs, and even biosensors for monitoring diabetes.
14 6 / 2012
More science/photo experiments from Caleb Charland. Couldn’t resist.
This is a simple battery made from a stack of coins and saltwater-soaked paper. A grade-school science experiment, but a photo that captures the simple “wow” feeling of an experiment, don’t you think?
FastCo.Design has a gallery that you won’t want to miss. He is one of the most creative capturers of curiosities working out there, if you ask me. And no Photoshop on any of them!
10 6 / 2012
In November 1971, we were locked in yet another space race, albeit a quieter one. Americans had already begun to grow bored with the Apollo program, as the final two missions were to be launched in 1972, those primarily being very expensive geology expeditions.
Then Mariner 9 was launched. We were in a race with the USSR to put a spacecraft in orbit around another planet. In November of 1971, we did it. I’m not sure that Americans were by any means excited about it, but they should have been. Just as we must stay excited about our progress yet to come.
Ray Bradbury joined Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan and others at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena to commemorate the mission’s success. Here he reads his poem “If Only We Had Taller Been”, an ode to exploration, and a fitting tribute to his legacy as a writer and dreamer. In full above (with a captivated Sagan included) and excerpted below:
O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall
Across the Void, across the Universe and all?
And, measure out with rocket fire,
At last put Adam’s finger forth
As on the Sistine Ceiling,
And God’s great hand come down the other way
To measure Man and find him Good,
And Gift him with Forever’s Day?
I work for that.
Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth
between my ears,
Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.
Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal Mall:
We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!
We’re tall, O God, we’re tall!
(via Boing Boing)
06 6 / 2012
Venus Enters the Solar Disk
Here’s a video of Venus as it crosses over in front of the Sun’s face. The true scale of our solar system is represented here, in amazing clarity. Venus looks as if it’s going to be swallowed up by the Sun, burned to a planetary crisp … but then you remember that it’s still 108 million kilometers away.
(images captured from NASA’s transit feed)