Harvard engineers created this tiny flower using a technique called “hierarchical microarchitectures”. The tiny but intricate plant shapes, such as vases, flowers, and leaves, begin with a glass plate dipped into a mixture of silicon and minerals (most importantly, barium chloride salts). As the solution solidifies, engineers make minor adjustments to the environment in order to coax the salts into the desired shape. Lowering the temperature of the solution makes the petals thicker and bursts of carbon dioxide injected into the mixture cause the salts to ripple. Colors are added by mixing dyes into the solution.
Scientists believe that they have finally solved the question of what caused the Irish potato famine which destroyed potato crops in Ireland causing the deaths of millions of people. A research team from Norwich, England, used dried leaf cuttings, some of which were nearly 170 years old, to reconstruct the spread of the HERB-1 strain of Phytophthora infestans, a fungal disease that came to Ireland via Mexico in 1845.
Robbie Khan of Robbie Khan Photography created this cool animated gif using four frames he shot at a train station in England. He says it is his first .gif and oh boy, what a strange result he achieved with the final pic. Depending on your mood at the time, the train can appear to be moving in either direction. Start by staring at the tunnel entrance and it will appear to be moving out of the tunnel. Start by looking at the picture from the right-hand side and it will appear to be entering the tunnel. This beckons the question, “which direction is this train travelling?”
While the devastation from yesterday’s tornado in Moore, Oklahoma boggles the mind, the video below may prove even more astonishing. An unknown (but brave) videographer managed to capture not only the birth of the tornado in Newcastle, Oklahoma, but also its evolution from a small twister to the massive EF-5 monster that leveled homes and took many lives during its 45-minute trek through Moore.
Levi Strauss showed off a weathered pair of buckle-back dungaree blue jeans that date all the way back to 1879, and they’re worth more than their weight in gold: insured for $150,000. The first pair of riveted denim jeans (they were riveted at stress points in the pants) was patented by Levi Strauss and his partner Jacob Davis in 1872, so this pair of jeans is only seven years older than the first pair of Levi’s ever made. Surprisingly, they look pretty similar to modern-day jeans.
Check out this awesome footage of surfers hitting the massive waves at Teahupoo in Tahiti on May 13, 2013. A big swell hit the infamous Pacific surf break this week with waves hitting up to 30 feet in height. Teahupoo is dangerous, with waves breaking over an extremely shallow corral reef only 20 inches beneath the water’s surface. It has been rated one of the Top 10 Deadliest Waves and is commonly referred to as the “heaviest wave in the world”. The name “Teahupo’o” loosely translates to English as “to sever the head” or “place of skulls”. There have been 5 recorded deaths at Teahupo’o since 2000.
Canadian and British scientists announced last week that they have discovered the world’s oldest flowing water deep under an Ontario copper and zinc mine in Canada. The scientists recovered the water through boreholes drilled underneath the mine. The cache of water was discovered 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) underground and is believed to date from 1.5 to 2.64 billion years old (dated via analysis of the amount of xenon gas dissolved in it). That would put the water’s origin to around the time the first multicellular life arose on the planet. They noted that the water is rich with dissolved hydrogen and methane, both components that could theoretically support microbial life.
It took two and a half months at a speed of only 6.2 MPH but Russian explorers have proven that it is indeed possible to drive from Russia to Canada across the North Pole. The seven Russian explorers drove a custom-made bus in an effort to road test the automobile over ice and water. It’s huge bloated tires (and enough storage capacity to carry three tons of diesel fuel) allow it to traverse the northern pole’s ice and water.
Crazy Ants were first discovered in Houston in 2002 by pest control worker Tom Rasberry (and hence are often referred to as “Crazy Rasberry Ants”). The Nylanderia fulva bite is less painful than that of the Fire Ant but they multiply in far greater numbers – and poison ant baits do not effect them. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have determined that the invasive “crazy ants” are slowly displacing fire ants in the southeastern United States.
Danger Girl is an American comic book series that features a group of female secret agents led by a mentor named Deuce. This is probably one of the most professional cosplay photo shoots you’ll ever see.
Boulder-size object hit moon creating explosion 10 times brighter than anything NASA has seen before// May 17th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News
On March 17, 2013, an object the size of a large boulder, crashed into the surface of the moon. The resulting flash of light was 10 times greater than any recorded direct-moon hit to date and in fact was so bright, it was visible by the naked eye from Earth. Scientists at NASA explained that the object’s 56,000 MPH speed and lack of atmosphere on the Moon are the reason the explosion, calculated as the equivalent to five tons of TNT, was so grand. They are estimating that the flash of light was the same intensity as a 4th magnitude star and that the crater it created when it struck the moon’s surface measures 65 feet wide.
The US Office of Naval Research’s Ion Tiger, an experimental surveillance plane that utilizes a hydrogen fuel cell as its power source, flew for a record 48 hours. Yes, a full two days without refueling! The previous record of 26 hours, set in 2009, was shattered thanks to a new cryogenic storage tank filled with an even more-highly compressed liquid hydrogen.
It’s official. Windows Blue, the upcoming update to Windows 8 that addresses at least some of the many complaints user have about the new OS, has been christened Windows 8.1. The upgrade will be free to Windows 8 users and made available from the Home screen when it launches later in the year. The update [...]
While a young student just beginning college, Isaac Newton worked on drawing up plans for a “universal” language. Under his carefully-designed language system, the names of similar or related things would all begin with the same letter For instance, all musical instruments would begin with the letter “M”. People would know what “category” a word fell into by its sound with the addition of suffixes and prefixes to fine-tune the meaning of the word. Under this ingenious system, a person could know exactly what a word meant just by hearing the word.
Scientists announced this week that the level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a level not seen on earth for a long time, surpassing 400 parts per million (0.000400 mole), a dire milestone. The best available evidence suggests the amount of carbon dioxide gas in the air has not been this high for at least 3-5 million years, during the Pliocene Epoch, where temperatures were 5 to 7 degrees warmer than today, with seas tens of feet higher.