Great Pics

Breathtaking Firebreathing Photography by Alin Ivanov

All image credits go to Alin Ivanov.

Firebreathing is a beautiful and dangerous form of art – it’s dazzled people since the middle ages, and continues to do so to this day. Here, Romanian photographer Alin Ivanov captured it in all its magic, on the sandy shore of the Black Sea. “I watched him [the firebreather] perform for three nights, and it was amazing. It was mesmerizing,

Health & Medicine, Nanotechnology, News

Scientists find a way to transform cells into tiny lasers

An optical fibre is shown activating tiny lasers created within pig skin cells. Image credits: Matjaž Humar/Seok Hyun Yun

Scientists have created a mixture of oil and fluorescent dyes that can be safely added to human cells – the dye then gets activated by short pulses of light and starts behaving like a laser, communicating the tissue’s position to doctors. The technology could add new ways for light to be used in diagnosis and treatment medicine. The system was devised

News, Observations, Space

Pluto is covered in ice and has an atmosphere, new pics reveal

Artistic representation of Pluto's ice. Image via Space Flight Insider.

New Horizons has sent over so much data that NASA will be analyzing and learning more about Pluto for over a year – such is the case now: these new images from New Horizons reveal flowing ice, impressive mountain ranges and a surprisingly thick atmosphere.

News

What is mass? Baby don’t weigh me – revamping the metrology of mass

A watt balance. And a dude.
Image credits Robert Rathe

The metric system is due for a mass makeover, as scientists are preparing to redefine four basic units by the end of 2018 in an effort to provide accurate measurements at all scales. The shift will most notably affect the kilogram, the base measure of mass and the last member of the International System of Units still defined by a

News, Nutrition

Fat is recognized as the sixth basic taste, but it’s awful on its own

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Distilling tastes and flavors to their most basic constituents is essential to making food the tastiest it can be. We currently know of five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and the somewhat hard to pin down umami (think savory or anchovies, tomato juice, the likes). Now, a group claims it has pinned down the sixth: fat. Bacon lovers throughout the world might rejoice at the news. However, if you like bacon you should feel grateful you didn’t take part in this study because isolated fat molecules are reportedly awful tasting. Distinct yes, but quite awful. In fact, to distinguish from what people generally refer to as “fat”, the researchers at Purdue University propose a new term to describe the sixth basic taste: oleogustus.

Inventions, News

3D-Printed Bottle Caps Will Let You Know When the Milk Has Gone Bad

UC Berkeley engineers created a ‘smart cap’ using 3D-printed plastic with embedded electronics to wirelessly monitor the freshness of milk.(Photo and schematic by Sung-Yueh Wu)

A new study published in Nature describes the creation of a new sensor which will allow us to know when our liquid food has gone bad – and it may not be long until we can all 3D print bottle caps with these sensors at home.

Climate, Environment, News, Science

Extra salted: California’s almond industry is being crippled by salty ground water

More and more almond farmers are dealing with problems caused by the lack of water: smaller almonds, less-than-modest yields, and salt-burned leaves, as the plants suffer from high salinity in the soil.

Almonds use a lot of water — about one gallon per nut. As their surface water has been cut off, most growers are relying on groundwater even more than usual. But that brings a different problem all together: too much salt.

Climate, News

Hillary Clinton wants to install half a billion solar panels if she’s elected

Hillary Clinton climate change

Democrat Hillary Clinton is maybe the first presidential candidate to make tackling climate change a central point. Now we actually have specifics after Clinton released on Sunday a fact sheet detailing her plan for action. Her proposals are bold, for sure. For instance, if she’s elected, Hilary promises that clean renewable energy will power every home in America within a decade. To achieve this goal, she plans on bringing the total number of solar panels installed nationwide to more than half a billion before the end of her first term. Should we believe her?

News, Psychology

Strangers are better than you at picking the best photos of yourself

passport photo shoot

Even when people are genuinely trying to select a profile picture for a social network or to serve for an ID, they’re apparently a poor judge of their own looks. Strangers were found to select a picture that matches a person appearance better, according to a new research carried out by a team at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Inventions, News

Revolutionary lamp works 8 hours on 1 glass of salt water

Image via SALt.

Artificial light is something we take for granted and simply don’t think about – but for some communities, light can be a luxury. In the 7,000 scattered islands of the Philippines, light can be very scarce, and saltwater is abundant. With that in mind, SALt engineers have designed a lamp that runs on salt water. Lipa Aisa Mijena combined her