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Tag Archives: Science

Deal Of The Day: 16% Off On Dino Sphere

We live in a world that’s increasingly detached from nature. Sure, we have some parks with some trees in them, but when do you actually get to see animals, creatures, life? Well, the Dino Sphere won’t magically teleport you in the middle of the rainforest, but it’s a cool device to own, if only to be reminded that our planet is filled with nearly endless biodiversity.

You’ve probably seen nature shows covering animals with bioluminescent properties, emitting radiant light just by, well, living. Dinoflagellates fall into that category, and the Dino Sphere is the auditorium through which you can bring this natural phenomenon into your home. These microscopic organisms grow and thrive simply through exposure to sunlight and nutrient-rich seawater (included). With a simple swirl of the sphere, the dinoflagellates put on a captivating light show that you can enjoy night after night.

“Forget sea monkeys, the Dino Sphere is the novelty bio-kit of the future,” Gizmodo

– Hold one of nature’s most spectacular occurrences in your hand
– Experience the glow of microscopic sea life called Dinoflagellates
– Power your sphere simply by sunlight, water, & simple nutrients – no batteries required

Normally $59.95, today’s deal sees that price slashed down to $49.95.

[ Get The Dino Sphere ]

The Entire Solar System Fits In This Tiny Jar

Granted, the scale is 1:5billion, but you get the idea. It’s a wonderful little product from Etsy shop LittlePlanetFactory whose owner, George, is a little overwhelmed at the moment since his gig went viral and now everyone wants a solar system in a jar. We can understand why. Just look at those cute planets. You’re not supposed to actually do anything with them, other than admire them and get some respect and perspective about our place in the universe. Given that the asking price is $37, we think it’s not only priced just right, but would be a shame not to get for anyone even slightly scientifically inclined. Or anyone with any respect for anything besides beer and wings.

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The Foldscope Is A Legit Paper Microsope That Fits In Your Pocket

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There exists and entire world at the microscopic level that we never get to see outside of pictures in textbooks and online. But there’s something really cool about being able to check out the inside of a cell you just scraped off the walls of your own mouth, or being able to examine the bulb of a hair you just plucked out of your own head. With the Foldscope, not only can you do that, but you can then unfold it and pack right back into your pocket. It provides 140X magnification, which is enough for “imaging live individual cells, cellular organelles, embryos, swimming bacteria and much more.”

The Foldscope has been around for 5 years, but started out as a project to provide third world countries affordable access to scientific instruments. So the company “built, designed and shipped (free of any cost) 50,000 Foldscopes to kids (and teachers, home-school moms, classrooms, naturalists, gem collectors, bee-keepers, tribal kids, camel herders, space scientists, parasitologists, scrap-metal collectors.. you get the point) around the world in 130+ countries.” Now it’s your turn to own one, and you’ll only have to pledge $20 to do so. Know that this money will get you more than just the Foldscope, but an entire scientific kit including slides, Petri dishes, strainers, pipettes, tweezers… If you’ve got even a passing interest in science, this could kick it into high gear.

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Plush Tardigrades Will Teach Your Kids About Nature’s Strangest Creature

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Tardigrades are fascinating microscopic creatures with some properties that baffle most scientists. Also known as ‘water bears’, “they can survive temperatures ranging from near absolute zero (?458 °F) up to 300 °F, withstand pressures 6 times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches or radiation hundreds of times higher than what’s lethal for humans, and even survive in the vacuum of outer space. They can also survive without food and water for over 30 years.” They even survive the vacuum of space. So it sort of makes sense that a creature as cool as these would be made into a plushie, because once you give it to your kid they’ll inevitably ask what the heck it is and you’ll have an opportunity to educate them on a bunch of sciencey topics. They’re as anatomically correct as can be, albeit 1,000 larger than their real life counterparts. They cost 4,104 Yen, or roughly $36USD.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ NoPuedoCreer ]

Gallium, The Melt-in-your-Hands Metal That You Can Buy

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It’s kind of safe too, or at the very least, it’s safer than playing with Mercury. Gallium is a metal whose melting point is at 29.76 °C (85.56 °F), below your skin temperature. That means that simply handling a little block in your hands will melt it and you’ll have liquid metal in the palm of your hand! We wouldn’t recommend ingesting it since it is metal, and it will temporarily stain your skin as it gets into the crevices on your epidermis, but it’s still safe enough to play around with and show your friends and even kids. You can get a 20g chunk of it on Amazon for $10, which is dirt cheap for anyone with a slight scientific inclination, or that just likes anything remotely cool.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

Wear The Planets On Your Fingers

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There seems to be a tiny market for planet-themed items. We’ve written about Planetary Christmas tree ornaments and Planetary Glasses, and they’ve all been well received. Now we come across these Solar System Rings by Etsy seller JewelryThreeSnails. They feature each of our solar system’s planets, though we’re not sure about Pluto’s status anymore. It’s not really a planet, right? In any case, they’re not expensive, made from silver with an enamel, and will set you back $14 a piece or $129 for the set of 9.

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Archaeology Soap Will Get Your Kids Clean, Hopefully Thinking About Science

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Getting kids to take their showers, and getting them to pay attention to sciencey stuff can be two of most common challenges of raising them. At least, we think so… we have no idea about raising kids. But this Archaeology Soap can at least add a bit of a twist to a child’s normal bath time routine. It features three layers, the bottommost containing pumice stone, and the middle one bentonite. More importantly, each soap has two plastic dinosaurs embedded, for your child to discover as he gets clean. It might spark a conversation, which is all you should need to steer his young impressionable mind towards loftier interests than just playing Pokemon, or whatever it is kids play these days. It’s $17 from Thinkgeek.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Now This Is A Flustercuck: CERN Has To Untangle 9,000 Cables Before The Next LHC Upgrade

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If the sight of the spaghetti tangle of cables behind your desktop gives you anxiety, consider yourself lucky you’re not one of the CERN engineers tasked to remove old cabling at the Large Hadron Collider before its next big equipment upgrade. Over the years of upgrades and maintenance, the particle accelerator has grown in complexity, and has left colossal piles of cables crisscrossing in a surprisingly disorganized manner. Now a team of 60 engineers is being tasked with figuring out which cable does what before it can be unplugged, lest the entire system lose data or go into failsafe mode and stop working. All 9,000 of them. And these are only the ones associated with the Proton Synchrotron Booster (PS Booster), the Proton Synchrotron (PS), and the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS). So far the team has identified “2,700 of the 9,000 obsolete cables that are believed to exist in the three instruments. Evrard believes they will be able to find 8,000 of them before the LHC comes back online, which should make it feasible to get all the cables out of the way when the time comes for installing new cables in 2019 and 2020.”

It’s an interesting bit of news that might put our mundane hardware woes into perspective.

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VIA [ Geek.com ]

Tec Torch Will Punch a 5,000 Degree Hole Through Anything

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Thermite is awesome. It’s a powdered mixture of metals and metal oxides that, when ignited, will reach temperatures of 5,000 degrees Farenheit, hot enough to melt any metal. But it’s also potentially dangerous and hard to handle. The EMPI Tec Torch uses this reaction, and harnesses it into a handheld instrument that can be used to breach just about anything. A Thermite cartridge is inserted into a flashlight-like tool that also contains a battery and an ignition switch. When you press the button, the contents are lit and the front of the tool expels a metal vapour for 1 to 2 seconds, a vapour hot enough to melt any metal padlock, cable, rebar, or object that stands between you and where you want to go; it can cut a 0.35 inch diameter hole through a 0.50 inch steel plate, and even works under water! It’s marketed to military, law enforcement, and first-response personnel that would have legal reasons to use this tool, but we imagine if you have legitimate uses for it you could buy it too. Considering the starter kit (which comes with 4 cartridges) costs $995, miscreants with nefarious intentions will think twice before buying this to commit a crime.

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