Feature Post

Hu Shaoming’s Mechanical Sculptures of Time and Civilization

hu-shaoming-8-new

Chinese sculptor Hu Shaoming uses steel components from everyday life: buttons, metal collars, handles, utensils and other random pieces to construct incredible pieces, like this mind blowing upside-down city entitled “Umbrella.” The mechanical seahorse we see here appears submerged in water, crowned by technology. There are over 2000 individual pieces of architecture in this work alone, through which Shaoming reflects on…

Feature Post, Great Pics

Felix Salazar’s amazing pictures of aquarium corals

1-FelixSalazarReef

Felix Salazar is a very talented photographer currently working in Los Angeles. Among his favorite themes are corals, like these ones he photographed in salt water aquariums. The shocking variety of color almost makes it look like they’re enhanced in Photoshop, but Salazar ensures that his pictures are 100% real, no modifications. To me, this is yet another reminder that remarkable environments…

News, Physics, Videos

Watch liquid metal morph into shapes. How long until the T-1000?

The T-1000; above: from the movies, below: a worthy try. Image: Carolco Pictures and Michael Dickey

In the cult blockbuster Terminator 2 we’re introduced to a new series of killing bots – the T-1000. More than just “cybernetic organism, living tissue over metal endoskeleton”, the T-1000 could turn into liquid metal then morph into any shape, be it another person or an oversized man-spike. It also made the T-1000 freaking hard to kill! For a long…

Electronics, Health & Medicine, News

Indian teenager invents cheap device that turns breath into speech

In photo: sixteen year old inventor Arsh Shah Dilbagi demonstrating his breath to voice synthesizer.

About 1.4% of the world’s population today is speech impaired, due to conditions such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), locked-in syndrome (LIS), Encephalopathy (SEM),Parkinson’s disease, and paralysis. Imagine all the people living in Germany today were unable to speak and you’ll come to realize just how far reaching this condition is. So, aside for those being paralyzed, there are a lot…

News, Technology

Ant-sized radio that powers itself might change consumer electronics forever

tiny_radio

Researchers at the University of Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley just presented a tiny radio, so small it’s the size of an ant, that could very well change the way we interact with technology in the future. What makes the device truly incredible is its ability to power itself without using an external power supply, like a plug or…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Frequent pot smokers may light up to cope with negative emotions

Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images file photo , National Post

People who frequently smoke marijuana may use the drug to cope with negative emotions. This sort of association makes people more inclined to abuse marijuana and makes it harder to quit, according to a new study published in the  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Lighting up to fight bad vibes, but is it worth it? Dr. Lydia Shrier, of the…

Physics, Videos

Rube goldberg machine demonstrates power of optics

rube-goldberg

Everybody enjoys a good ol’ entertaining Rube Goldberg machine, whether it’s a fantasy Loony Tunes contraption or a real-life state of the art display of engineering. What’s not to love when alarm clocks, sprockets, furniture and even boiling tea pots all work together in a lovely dance, ultimately ending in lighting a candle or something like that. Today, I’d like…

Climate, Environmental Issues, News, Pollution

World deforestation surprisingly results in net cooling effect

Cropland bordering rainforest in Iguacu National Park, Argentina, Brazil. Photo: Watson Institute, Brown University

In the 1950s rainforests  covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. It’s believed that deforestation accounts for about 20% of global emissions of CO2, because of the a reduced carbon storage capacity. Yet there may be a hidden side…

Chemistry, News, Pollution

US drinking water contaminated with gas because of faulty wells, but not fracking

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

Stanford researchers traced back methane leaks from contaminated drinking water in Pennsylvania and Texas to shale gas wells. However, they note that they did not find a link between the contamination and the technique used to drill for shale gas itself, called hydraulic fracturing or more commonly known as fracking. Instead, the researchers concluded that well integrity is the main…

Space, Videos

Astronauts in Space Give Video Geography Tour of Earth

International_Space_Station_after_undocking_of_STS-132

When it comes to geography, things don’t get any cooler than this – astronomers Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio give a brief geography lesson straight from the International Space Station (ISS), hurdling through space at 27,600 km/h (17,100 mph). Enjoy! ……