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Tag Archives: Unrelated

Eye Candy: Nudi Pics


By Evan Ackerman

Kinda like last Friday, there’s no really gadgetry going on here, but these guys are just SO CUTE and alien-y I had to post about them. They’re nudibranchs, a type of sea slug, and they’re some of the most flagrantly colorful animals on the planet. The colors are partially to help them blend in on coral reefs, and partially to communicate that they’re poisonous. National geographic has a mind bending gallery by David Doubilet that you can check out here, and I’ve posted some of my favorite pics after the jump.Continue Reading

Maker Faire 2008 Gallery

By Evan Ackerman

I’ve put together a little gallery of some of the more visually appealing (i.e. LEDs, huge flames, etc.) stuff from Maker Faire last weekend… It’s in no particular order, and most of it exists just because someone wanted it to, and not because it fulfills any purpose. But it’s unquestionably cool, so have a look at some of the pics, after the jump.

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Eye Candy: Chilean Volcanic Thunderstorm

Chile Volcano

By Evan Ackerman

No gadgets here, just some incredible pictures of the eruption of Chile’s Chaitén volcano. The plume of ash is thought to generate enough static electricity to cause what is called a “dirty thunderstorm” in the same way that colliding ice particles provide the juice for regular thunderstorms. Three more amazing pics, after the jump.Continue Reading

CrashBonsai Disrupts Your Tranquil Tree

By Luke Anderson

Bonsai trees are generally a sign of peace and tranquility. Some people spend countless hours taking care of them and making sure they are perfect. So what would happen if a miniature care spun out of control and wrecked into your precious tree? It wouldn’t be very zen, that’s for sure.

If you think it’s amusing to see something as terrible as a car crash butted up against a tranquil Bonsai tree, then you’ll likely get a kick out of CrashBonsai, which is essentially a tiny car that’s been detailed to look exactly like it’s been drove straight into a tree. You can purchase one of these handmade designs from the creator for between $75 and $125.

[ CrashBonsai ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Fishtank Friday: Glowing USB Fishhub

Fish USB Hub

By Evan Ackerman

Fish are getting more and more connected these days. They’re making phone calls, keeping pets, even driving themselves around. So why not give them a bunch of USB 2.0 ports so they can expand their peripherals? And while you’re at it, why not throw in some mood lighting?


Fine, so it’s not a real fish. But if you’ve got a hankerin’ for actual USB fish, you can plug four USB fishtanks into this hub, how ’bout that?

A mere $12 from Gadget4all.

[ Crystal Ball USB Hub ] VIA [ Pocket-Lint ]

Fishtank Friday: Heeeere Fishy Fishy Fishy Fishy Fishy

Researchers at Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute have recently received a $270,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make this a reality:

That’s right… Forget the lines, hooks, bait, nets, all that crap. Just call them, and when they show up, scoop them up into a big net and eat ’em. Supposedly, it’s nothing more than classic Pavlovian conditioning: the researchers feed a group of fish in a tank right after playing a tone underwater. After repeating the 20 second tone 3 times a day for 2 weeks straight, “you have remote-control fish,” says Simon Miner, a research assistant on the project. “You hit that button [to play the sound], and they go into that [feeding] area, and they wait patiently.” The big question is whether or not the fish will remember. Preliminary results suggest that the fish will retain the the behavior for 5-10 days, but nobody is really sure what’ll happen when they try the same thing with 5,000 fish out in the ocean this spring. Even if they can only train half the fish to return until they’re large enough for market, it’ll still be more profitable than current fish farming methods. And, I’m sure, way tastier.

VIA [ Wired ]

Fishtank Friday: Comfish USB Aquarium

USB Fishbowl

By Evan Ackerman

Raising a fish is hard work. Comfish understands that “most people feel that the precise care of tropical fish is time consuming, requires expertise and is expensive and thus most of us shy away from owning their own aquarium.” The solution? The Comfish aquarium, which is controlled almost entirely from your computer. A USB cable supplies power to the tank’s LED lights, the water heater, and the oxygen pump (bubbles!), and you can control all this stuff with a program that looks just like the fish tank itself. A little camera in the tank displays what’s going on inside the virtual fish tank on your computer, so you never even have to look at the real fish… Besides having to feed them and clean the tank and stuff, of course. It’s also a room humidifier and a night light, and will cost you about $50, in Korea.

[ Comfish USB Aquarium ]

Fishtank Friday: Fish Wheel

Fish Wheel

By Evan Ackerman

This giant wall-mounted fish tank “allows your dearest pet to travel the polluted ocean from the comfort of his own home.” As you can see, the fish wheel contains little miniature models of power plants and factories and stuff, so that your fish can experience a continually changing landscape of toxicity. Indeed, it has no choice, since only the bottom part of the wheel actually contains any water. I think it’s supposed to be more of a Statement than actually fun for the fish, which is fine, but it’s a shame that the concept is being put to such a negative use. Wouldn’t it be cool if it instead contained little miniature models of fish amusement parks? Like, Disneywater. And LandWorld. And Six Buoys. And Lakes of Adventure. And… Uh… Knott’s Underwater Berry Farm. Yeah, got nothin’.

[ Raw Edges ] VIA [ Pan-Dan ]

Fishtank Friday: Augmented Fish Reality

Augmented Fish Reality

By Evan Ackerman

This is an oldie (from late 2002), but a goodie. These fish tanks are robotic, and their movement is controlled entirely by the Siamese Fighting Fish that live inside. The fighting fish were chosen due to their eyesight, which is supposed to be good enough to let them see for some distance outside of the water, as well as the fact that they’re violently social. Infrared sensors on four sides of the tank trigger the robot to move in the direction that the fish approaches, and video cameras under the bowls record a fish-eye view (heh) of the scene for the benefit of human spectators. The robots are programmed to let the fishbots get within 1/4 inch of each other, which is close enough to exchange insults but not actually cause damage. According to the designer, the fish tend to move towards humans (presumably due to an association with food) and he has wisely chosen not to equip the tanks with fish activated weaponry. One more pic, after the jump.Continue Reading