NASA ISS HD Cameras

NASA is broadcasting breathtaking HD footage of Earth shot from the International Space Station

By on May 7, 2014 at 2:41 PM.

NASA is broadcasting breathtaking HD footage of Earth shot from the International Space Station

As of Wednesday morning, NASA has begun testing its most recent addition to the International Space Station: four HD cameras which will broadcast live from the exterior of the station on the agency’s Ustream page. This project was completed in cooperation with the High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program in order to allow students to design camera components and help operate the experiment. More →

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Global Warming Explained Online

Global warming has never been explained quite so beautifully

By on May 7, 2014 at 12:21 PM.

Global warming has never been explained quite so beautifully

Climate change and the effects of global warming have been thoroughly and beautifully detailed on two sites. One is GlobalChange.gov, which features the White House’s National Climate Assessment report, and the other is WorldUnderWater.org, a website that uses Google Street view images to show users what their home cities would look under water. More →

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Why Do We Yawn

Scientists may have just solved one of life’s biggest mysteries: Why yawning is contagious

By on May 6, 2014 at 4:08 PM.

Scientists may have just solved one of life’s biggest mysteries: Why yawning is contagious

Life is filled with little mysteries, one of which is why we’re more likely to yawn when others around us . However, new research from the University of Vienna suggests that group yawning is actually a survival mechanism that has the side effect of cooling off our brains, which in turn makes us more alert and less likely to doze off. More →

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Sony Cassette Tape Data Storage

Sony has figured out how to cram 185TB of data onto a single cassette tape

By on May 5, 2014 at 9:45 PM.

Sony has figured out how to cram 185TB of data onto a single cassette tape

It turns out that audio cassette taps might be the wave of the future after all, at least when it comes to data storage. Forbes reports that Sony has figured out how to cram a whopping 185TB of data onto a single cassette tape using technology called sputter deposition that Forbes says “involves layers of magnetic crystals firing argon ions at a polymer film substrate.” To get an idea of just how amazing this is, consider that a typical Blu-ray disc holds around 50GB of data, which means that Sony’s new storage cassette can hold somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,700 Blu-ray films. Sony says that it’s working on ways to make magnetic tape used in cassettes a practical technology for storage and backup and it hopes to release a commercial product based on its breakthroughs in the future.

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Nanogold Paint

Incredible nanogold paint changes color as it responds to touch

By on May 5, 2014 at 6:30 PM.

Incredible nanogold paint changes color as it responds to touch

Scientists at the University of California have come up with a nifty new way to utilize nanoparticles of gold. A solution of gold particles embedded in a polymer film creates a bright blue color, which turns red after pressure is applied on the film. The color shift correlates with the amount of pressure used — blue turns purple after moderate impact and red with a hard hit. This nuanced response yields information about different pressure levels the gold film encounters. The possibilities seem limitless, from sports to scientific studies to fashion. More →

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Dead Whale Explosion Canada

A Canadian town is living in fear that a nearby dead whale will explode any second

By on April 30, 2014 at 3:45 PM.

A Canadian town is living in fear that a nearby dead whale will explode any second

We’ve just found a new downside to owning beachfront property. The Smithsonian reports that a dead blue whale has washed up on the beaches of Trout River, a small town in Newfoundland whose residents are worried that its corpse is filling up with methane at an alarming rate. In fact, the 18-foot whale corpse is filling up with methane so quickly that it’s now apparently bloated to twice its original size. More →

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Microsoft Research Special Projects Group

Microsoft is creating a secret lab to develop wild Google X-style projects

By on April 30, 2014 at 10:40 AM.

Microsoft is creating a secret lab to develop wild Google X-style projects

Microsoft’s research arm has apparently gotten tired of seeing Google get all the headlines for doing wild projects such as self-driving cars and weather balloons that serve as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. According to ZDNet, Microsoft Research is creating a new Special Projects group that will work on “disruptive technologies that could benefit the company and society.” What’s more, ZDNet says that Microsoft has reeled in Norman Whitaker, the former deputy director at the Information Innovation Office at DARPA, to head up the group. DARPA, of course, is the U.S. Department of Defense’s special research arm that was responsible for bringing us the TCP/IP networking protocols that serve as the Internet’s foundation, among other terrific innovations. More →

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Northern Lights Time Lapse Video

Video: Watch this incredible time lapse of the northern lights

By on April 25, 2014 at 12:15 AM.

Video: Watch this incredible time lapse of the northern lights

Photographer Alexis Coram took a trip to Alaska earlier this year and ended up capturing one of the most impressive videos of the northern lights that we’ve seen. The northern lights occur when charged particles of the sun enter Earth’s atmosphere and can usually only be seen from the higher latitudes, which is why most of us never get to see them up close and in person. However, Coram’s video is so incredible that it might be the next-best thing. More →

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Blood Moon Photo GIF

Did you miss last week’s blood moon? Check out this awesome time-lapse photo

By on April 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM.

Did you miss last week’s blood moon? Check out this awesome time-lapse photo

Last week’s rare blood moon eclipse was amazing, but it also took place in the middle of the night so most people in the U.S. probably missed it. But there is no need to fret, of course — that’s why Al Gore invented the Internet. More →

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Experimental New Wireless Charger

Video: Meet the incredible wireless charger that can power 40 smartphones at once

By on April 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM.

Video: Meet the incredible wireless charger that can power 40 smartphones at once

If there’s anything cooler than wirelessly charging your smartphone, it’s wirelessly charging 40 smartphones at the same time. GigaOM points us to an experimental wireless charger developed by The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) that can charge up to 40 phones at the same time from as far as 15 feet away. Chun T. Rim, a professor of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering at KAIST, says that the new Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS) has “proved the possibility of a new remote power delivery mechanism that has never been tried at such a long distance.” 

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Elon Musk SpaceX Reusable Rocket Video

Watch this incredible video of Elon Musk’s reusable rocket in action

By on April 18, 2014 at 3:11 PM.

Watch this incredible video of Elon Musk’s reusable rocket in action

One of the problems with space travel is how wasteful it is — the rockets that help propel space shuttles into the atmosphere fall off once they reach a certain height and are often completely unsalvageable after they crash back down to Earth. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has just posted a new video showing off its Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rocket in action and it looks like the team at SpaceX have done some mind-blowing engineering work. As you can see, the video shows the F9R taking off and then hovering 250 meters in the air before slowly descending and then gently landing right back on the launch pad it took off from. Musk and SpaceX are working on perfecting reusable rockets as one way to make space travel more economically feasible for more people. The full video of the F9R follows below. More →

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How Asteroids Could Destroy The Earth

Research shows it’s ‘blind luck’ that asteroids haven’t destroyed a major city yet

By on April 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM.

Research shows it’s ‘blind luck’ that asteroids haven’t destroyed a major city yet

Well, here’s something happy to think about as you head into the weekend. Phys.org brings us word that three former NASA astronauts are going to present new research next week showing that there have been 26 asteroid crashes since 2001 that have caused “atomic-bomb-scale explosions” that have fortunately been far away from major population centers. The research, which was conducted by the B612 Foundation, used data from a nuclear weapons warning network to measure the impact of major asteroid strikes on the Earth’s surface. More →

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