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Tag Archives: Science

Blown Glass Solar System Christmas Tree Ornament Set

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Last time we spoke of planetary glassware, it was for the Solar System Glass Set and you guys seemed to love it. Well today you’re looking at a set of blown glass tree ornaments featuring 9 planets and the Sun. Yes, 9 planets, which means Pluto once again made it! But as cool as this set is, there’s some bad news. First off, it’ll take 3 to 5 weeks to ship, which means you probably can’t get it in time for Christmas. And on top of that, the thing is $375! So yeah, that’s out of budget for most people.

Still, if you’ve got too much disposable income and like to plan things way, way, way ahead of time, you can always get these for next year.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

The Planetary Glass Set Is A Great Way To Teach The Kids About The Solar System

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The Holidays seem to start earlier every year, don’t they? But yes, it’s apparently time to start thinking about what to buy your loved ones, and what better to do so than by getting your own family a cool set of Planetary Glasses. Sure, if you’ve got young kids, they may not get the same kind of kick out of these as they might from a brand new tablet [inserting token sad commentary about living in a time where small children are gifted tablets], but once they get used to them they’ll actually learn something about our universe. It’s a set of 10 glasses, each made to look like a planet… and yes, apparently Pluto made the cut, although it’s smaller than the others. The Sun is there too, of course, and that one’s a little bigger than the rest. The set will set you back $50, and we think it’s worth every penny.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ ThatsNerdALicious ]

Desktop Tornado Machine Sure Beats Lava Lamps

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There’s a number of things you can put on your desk to brighten up a crappy afternoon at the office. The Desktop Tornado machine is one such option, and we frankly like it more than may of the other alternatives out there.

A built-in atomizer turns water into a cloud of mist while a fan in the base creates the updraft. Six circulation manifolds generate convergence and rotation, creating a rapidly spinning vertical column of air—the hallmark of any tornado. Users can change the direction of the air circulating manifolds, adjust the speed of the updraft fan, or adjust the intake fan on top to change the funnel speed of the tornado.

Using the device is simple and assembly takes around 10 minutes. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to pay a whole lot more than you would for a lava lamp: $300. That’s a lot of dollars just to watch air swirling around on your desk.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ TheAwesomer ]

SCiO Thumb-Sized Scanner Tells You What’s In Everything

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Think of the SCiO thumb-sized scanner as a “Shazam for things”. Point it at any object, and its spectrometer will analyze its chemical composition, sending the object’s spectral signature to SCiO’s servers for analysis through your connected smartphone.

In practical terms for dieters, just pointing SCiO at food reveals its ripeness, number of calories and nutritional value. You’ll be able to scan plastics to ascertain their recyclability, home brewers will be able to more accurately monitor alcohol levels, detect what’s in that pill your doctor prescribed, what’s in those cosmetics, how healthy your plants or potting soil are, and discern the difference between a diamond and zirconium, fake from real leather, and real from counterfeit cash.

It’s the closest thing to a Star Trek-like tricorder, and there’s a working prototype already in existence. The company is doing the Kickstarter dance, where they’ve exceeded their goal by over million dollars. It’ll cost you $200 to own, but hurry up because they’re going to be sold out fairly soon.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

Thirsty? Eat This: Ooho Water Blobs

Ooho Water Blob

Water bottles add to the bulk of trash that’s already overflowing in most landfills. Thing is, people still need their hydration on the go and some just can’t be bothered with water jugs. The alternative? These edible blobs filled with water created up by three London-based industrial design students Rodrigo García González, Pierre Paslier, and Guillaume Couche.

It’s called the Ooho and it’s a membrane made up of a compound formed from brown algae and calcium chloride. The gel-like substance is able to hold water and eliminates the need for non-biodegradable containers because, as mentioned earlier, it’s edible.

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Science: What Does The Fox Really Say?

No, it’s not “Tchoff tchoff tchoff, tchoff tchoff tchoff tchoff, tchoff tchoff”!

Yes, we’re a few months late on the Ylvis craze, but in our defence, the above video from SciShow just came out. If the song left you wondering what a Fox actually says, the answer is 3 minutes away.

VIA [ GeeksAreSexy ]

This Is How You’re Supposed To Hold Your Burger

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Burgers, along with pizza, are quite probably the most versatile (and satisfying!) food items ever invented. But a burger can be challenging to eat if you’re doing it wrong. Tired of ending up with half the bottom bun contents being spilled while eating, producers at the Japanese TV show “Honma Dekka!? hired experts in fluid mechanics, engineering, and dentistry to determine the best way to hold a burger so that you don’t end up wearing most of it after one bite.” The results of their “research”? Well, hold your burger with three fingers on the top bun, and two on the bottom. Your thumb and pinky finger will serve to hold the bottom bun in place, while the top three fingers… prevent the top bun from flying away?

This editor prefers to up the ante and use three fingers on the bottom and two on top. This way the burger is carefully cradled and the toppings don’t even try to escape from the sides. One could even argue for a 4-1 configuration, but that may be living life too dangerously for some.

Alternatively, one can try the daring one-handed 3-2 hold, so as to free one hand for fry retrieval, but that too may require excessive amounts of coordination and dexterity.

[ Kotaku ] VIA [ ThatsNerdaLicious ]

Fun Experiment To Do At Home: Imploding Soda Can

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If you’re bored at home (or heck, even in the office), you could have a bit of fun imploding soda cans. It’s surprisingly easy, and requires absolutely no force. What you do is fill up an empty soda can with about 1 ounce of water, heat it up until it’s steaming, then turn it upside down and dunk it in ice water. As soon as it hits the water, the steam inside probably condenses immediately, creating a vacuum and allowing the outside air to crush the can. It’s not only fun to do, but also makes you aware that atmospheric air pressure is a real thing, even though we don’t “feel” anything. Could also be a cool trick to do in front of the kids.

VIA [ Sploid ]

This Is What Cellular Signals Would Look Like If You Could See Them With The Naked Eye

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The above is a visualization by Nickolay Lamm that shows us what Chicago would look like if cellular signals were visible with the naked eye. It’s trippy and fascinating, and above all it isn’t just a fanciful interpretation, but is based on some solid understanding of how our cellular infrastructure works. “Danilo Erricolo, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago and Fran Harackiewicz, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Southern Illinois University Carbondale—who consulted on the psychedelic project—explain:”

A regular, hexagonal grid of cellular base-station sites is conceptualized for Chicago [above], with stations at the corners of the hexagons. The area within each sector antenna radiation pattern has different users being assigned different frequencies and their signals combine to form a single perceived color in that instant. Different channel combinations from sector to sector are indicated by different colors. The channel combinations shown are not static, but rather change rapidly in time as different users are assigned different channels. But, if you were to take a photo of these rapid changes, you’d likely see a wide array of colors as seen in the illustration. Near the downtown area more users are likely to be found and the hexagonal cells are smaller to serve approximately the same numbers of users found in larger cells elsewhere. Antenna signals extending beyond the original cells provide coverage over part of Lake Michigan.

We are surrounded by an always-on cacophony of electromagnetic radiation; it’s a blessing that our eyes are only able to see a small sliver of it. Visualizing it only serves as a fascinating reminder of this.

Hit the jump for a bunch more of these.

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