Offbeat

NASA Puts Files For 3D Printable Model of Hurricane Julio Online

Hurricane Julio. Image via Wiki Commons.

The immense growth of the 3D printing industry is simply mind blowing – I just love how people are starting to apply the technology to more and more innovative areas (just a few examples: cranium replacement, 3D printed skin, tattoos, fossils, entire rooms). Now, it’s time for nature to be 3D printed: after Doug McCune 3D printed the USGS Earthquake Data…

Feature Post, Space

Mars terraforming: building a new Earth

Mars terraformation

Mars: barren, inhospitable and dead. This is how most of us recognize the red planet, yet eons ago our neighboring planet wasn’t just another speck of rock in the infinite of space. We now know for certain that Mars once harbored a thick atmosphere, flowing rivers and quite possibly life. In most respects, many millions of years ago, Mars used…

Biology, News

Colossal squid weighing 350kg pulled from Antarctica

Defrosting a colossal squid.  Photo: Marty Melville

A female colossal squid weighing 350 kilograms (771 pounds) was discovered in the Atlantic. As it turns out, the female also had eggs – becoming only the second specimen found with eggs. The colossal squid is believed to be the largest squid species in terms of mass. It is the only known member of its genus and can reach sizes…

Feature Post

Hu Shaoming’s Mechanical Sculptures of Time and Civilization

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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…

News, Science

Ancient flying reptile was a cross between dragon and pelican

Artist impression of the newly discovered Ikrandraco avatar. Image: Scientific Reports

Paleontologists have discovered a new pterosaur species in 120-million-year-old rocks at two sites in northeastern China.  The flying reptile was dubbed Ikrandraco avatar, where draco is Latin for “dragon,” and Ikran are the pterosaurlike flying beasts depicted in the 2009 blockbuster Avatar. The ancient reptile was described in paper published in the journal Scientific Reports as having a deep lower jaw with a a thin,…

Biology, Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

The origin of fever: study shows it stems from the brain

Researchers have described the mechanism of formation for a key substance that triggers fever. Image: Flickr

Occasionally we’re hit by fever. Nobody likes it, most sane people actually hate it, but it’s important to note that it’s an important part of the healing process. Fever is a result of the immune response by your body to foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, fungi, drugs, or other toxins. Research showed that it is triggered by an onset of the…

Science

NASA starts building the largest rocket in the world for 2018 launch

Artist impression of how the Space Launch System will look like in full throttle when its completed. Image: (NASA/MSFC)

Since 2011 when the shuttle program was retired, NASA has been left without any in-house means of propelling man or cargo alike into space. Instead, it has since depended on a combination of deals with Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft and private ventures like SpaceX. This space outsource strategy might not be that detrimental to NASA after all, although it’s far from…

Archaeology, News

Stonehenge may have once been a complete circle

This aerial photograph shows patchmarks whose position suggest there were once laid stones there. Photo: English Heritage

Stonehenge is one of Britain’s greatest national treasure, but while magic, myth and mystery surrounding the monumental site has been time and time again dispelled by science, there is still much to learn. One major debate regarding Stonehenge is whether or not the site once formed a complete circle. Now, a short hosepipe and a scientist’s keen eye might settle…

Great Pics

Photographer Takehito Miyatake – the brilliant light shows of Japan

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Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake is known for his breathtaking pictures, especially long exposure takes on fireflies, volcanic eruptions, and beaches awash in bioluminescencnt firefly squid. He likens his meditative photography to poetry, explaining that the exposure for his pictures can last anywhere between 15 seconds and half an hour. But the time spent on the exposure isn’t in vain. iyatake recently…

Climate, Environment, News

Study confirms “global warming hiatus” is in the deep oceans

(Top) Global average surface temperatures, where black dots are yearly averages. Two flat periods (hiatus) are separated by rapid warming from 1976-1999. (Middle) Observations of heat content, compared to the average, in the north Atlantic Ocean. (Bottom) Salinity of the seawater in the same part of the Atlantic. Higher salinity is seen to coincide with more ocean heat storage.
Credit: K. Tung / Univ. of Washington

Observations of climate change often report a “missing heat” – a hiatus in the global warming, which went unaccounted for; but now, a new study concludes that the heat absent from the Earth’s surface for more than a decade is plunging deep in the north and south Atlantic Ocean, and this is part of a naturally occurring cycle. Climate change deniers…