DARPA (research agency of the US Department of Defence) has developed adhesive pads that allow humans to climb vertical glass walls like geckos. In this demonstration, a man has climbed a 7 meter-high vertical glass wall using adhesive gecko-inspired pads with no other equipment. The climber wore a safety belt, although this wasn’t required.
Image from darpa.mil
The gecko-like pads are made of adhesive material that the company developed and successfully tested earlier in 2012. In this demonstration below, a small patch of adhesive material attached to glass is holding 300 kg of weight.
Who would have thought this is how paperclips are made!? In principle, it looks rather simple, however I have been watching the wheel running for a few minutes and I still don’t get how the tip on the paperclip gets its triangular shape.
I have always thought that living next to a nuclear plant is the last thing you want to do. However, according to Forbes, living next to a nuclear plant is not a big deal.
So the whole premise is false. The average dose received by the public from nuclear power is less than 0.0002 mSv/yr, which is about 10,000 times smaller than the total yearly dose received by the public from other background radiation (WNO). Any health effects from the more abundant and diverse background radiation would completely swamp anything from reactors. But even these levels produce no observable effects.
Eating a bag of potato chips a day gives you 100 times this level, but no one cares since the fat and salt will kill you a lot faster than any radiation.
Image via Wikipedia
People lose weight during sleep through respiration (breathing) and perspiration (sweating). It’s estimated that during sleep, we lose 1.9 grams of weight per minute, which amounts to nearly 1 kilogram of weight per 8 hours of sleep. Most of the weight we lose during sleep is water weight that escapes our system.
Each time we exhale we lose a little bit of water. It’s easy to check – breath on a cool piece of glass and you will see some moisture.
I wrote about this practise earlier. Today, I saw this photo on my Facebook feed and could not unsee it. Different sources report that these animals are able to survive for only several days (some say, several months).
There is an online petition, apparently, to stop this practise.
Lake Natron in Tanzania is known for turning animals into stone. The water in the lake has an extremely high pH level (10.5), enough to burn the skin upon contact and gradually turn the animals into solid state. Birds and other animals that come in contact with the lake’s waters – often by mistake – die and get mummified into stones.
Photographer Nick Brandt observed this phenomena firsthand. He found these creatures around the lake, placed them in ‘living’ positions and photographed them.
In Nick’s words,
I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. No-one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.
I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life’, as it were. Reanimated, alive again in death.
Matthew Cornell is a contemporary American painter.
I have always loved the ocean… the essence of creation and destruction, a concept that permeates a lot of my painting.
Click on any image to enlarge
The brain consumes 20% of the body’s energy, despite it accounts for only 2% of a person’s weight or about 1.4 kilograms.
Image via solovyevdesign.by
Namib beetle lives in African deserts where water is extremely rare. In fact, it’s hardly found anywhere other than in the ocean breeze (fog) that pays a visit once per day early in the morning. To survive, the bug collects microscopic water droplets from the fog by sticking its back out in the air.
The back of the insect is covered in tiny hydrophilic bumps that attract water droplets from the fog. Water droplets condense on the bumps and roll down the back into the insect’s mouth. The surface of the beetle’s back is extremely hydrophobic (repels water), so as soon as the droplet comes off the bump it has no choice but to roll down in the direction of the incline.
Quickly try to think of 10 different words or names in your head. Chances are, at least one of them had the letter ‘E’ in it. So far, this is only a few sentences long and has already used it 14 times. Now imagine trying to write an entire novel without using ‘E’ a single time.
That’s exactly what French writer Georges Perec did in 1969 with his novel, A Void. The title comes from the translation of the French term La Disparition, which literally translates to English as The Disappearance.