Spider-Man probably inspired more than a few comics fans to imagine walking on walls. Well, take note, superhero wannabes. Cornell University researchers say they've come up with a palm-size liquid-adhesion device that could enable just that sort of arachno-riffic move.
Similar research into adhesion technology has taken its cue from the gravity-defying gecko, but the Cornell team looked elsewhere--to a beetle native to Florida that can stick to a leaf's surface, through wet adhesion, with a force 100 times its own weight.
Observing the beetle's bonding method, which involves applying surface tension across many micron-size droplets, Cornell researchers Paul Steen and Michael Vogel posited that a similar principle could be applied to create load-bearing Post-it-like notes and shoes or gloves for people seeking Spidey-like traction.
The scientists detail their findings in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.
To get a sense of how the device works, think of the way two wet glass slides stick together. Steen and Vogel's silicon wafer device works in much the same way (watch a video demonstration of it here). A flat metal plate with micron-size holes sits atop a plate holding a liquid reservoir. In between is another porous layer. An everyday 9-volt battery pumps tiny droplets of water through to the top layer and the surface tension of the exposed drops makes the device grip another surface.
But what happens when you want to come down from your wall perch? … Read more
You guys filled up our voice mail box over the weekend with your thoughts on the new Apple iPad, but we have to spread the hate around with a quick chat about last night's Grammy Awards, PETA's robotic groundhogs, and high school reunions. We've also got plenty of your sticker pictures to show off, including one that might be NSFW....big surprise, 404!
The Grammy Awards are becoming less and less significant to our personal music tastes, but something has to be said about a show that nominates NICKELBACK for Best Hard Rock Performance. To make matters worse, the show paired together some of the worst collaborations in the history of live performance.
To quickly recap the night, all you need to know is that Lady Gaga won two well-deserved awards and performed Speechless with Sir Elton John, Green Day took the award for Best Rock Album, poor Stevie Nicks looked pissed to be singing about locker room romance with 16-year-old darling Taylor Swift, and the live studio audience got treated to a 3D clip from Michael Jackson's "This Is It" while the rest of us settled for 2Ds and a subsequent headache.
Speaking of bad news, we've got some bad news about the Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, the new Broadway musical coming soon to New York. We just found out that the entire musical soundtrack is composed by U2's Bono and The Edge. Don't get us wrong, the three of us all have a special place in our hearts for U2, but their music just doesn't evoke images of a masked web-crawler slinging his way about town snapping photos of criminals and taking down a few in the process.
Finally, much thanks to everyone for sending in their sticker pictures! We've sent out hundreds of envelopes so far, so keep them coming; send a photo of where you put the stickers and tattoos to the404(at)cnet(dot)com!EPISODE 509 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Love Spidey? Hate cancer? Of course you do.
Consider this: Stand Up To Cancer [link includes an auto-play video], an organization dedicated to building interdisciplinary teams of experts to focus on solving specific cancer problems, has teamed up with eBay to auction off a number of "celebrity experiences" to raise funds for cancer research.
At the top of the list: a visit to the set of Spider-Man 4 to meet the cast and enjoy a walk-on role, plus a trip to the movie's New York premiere, and designer duds to wear to the show. (At the time … Read more
I was a big Spider-Man fan when I was a kid. I could never understand why poor Spidey was persecuted by J. Jonah Jameson, editor of the Daily Bugle. I was especially mystified by how easily Jameson could get the police to pursue Spider-Man despite all the obvious good he was doing.
I'd like to think that anyone familiar with the Spider-Man stories--and who isn't, considering that the three recent movies brought in $2.5 billion at the box office plus untold additional revenue from the DVD releases--would appreciate the irony of Peter Parker's position. He does … Read more
Way back on September 12, we reported on rumors that Sony would be releasing a $400 40GB PS3/Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray bundle for the holidays. The not-so-secret new system has now been officially announced by Sony, with a November 2nd launch date in the North America. At the same time--effective immediately--the current 80GB model will be available in North America for $500.
In Sony's press release, CEO Jack Tretton is quoted as saying, "We're pleased to offer the consumer a lower price point without sacrificing the core technology components that make PS3 the most advanced high-definition entertainment … Read more
You young'uns out there can have your Transformers and such. We oldsters, and our creaky animated icons, are making a comeback.
Soon we'll be roaring to life in Speed Racer's "Mach 5," but first we must pay respect once again to another of our childhood favorites, Spider-Man. The latest tribute to the Webbed One comes in the form of a "Spider-Man Speaker Pillow," which Uber-Review says can play tunes from an MP3 player or anything else that can take a 3.5-millimeter headphone plug.
Actually, the real reason for posting this item was … Read more
As Spider-Man fans eagerly await the next movie (please don't make Venom lame), we hear Sony Ericsson will sling out some Spidey-enhanced handsets soon.
The K800i, the K750i, K550i, and the K610i will be getting new suits. And don't worry about scratching your phone when you're web-slinging because these special-edition phones come with a carrying case and a wrist strap. Reportedly, there will also be exclusive Spider-Man wallpapers and screensavers preloaded on the phones.
No word on when these are expected to be available, but it shouldn't be too far as the movie's only a … Read more
This may come as shocking and disconcerting news to a certain other Craver, but Pirates of the Caribbean isn't the only movie merchandising franchise in the known universe. It's gotten some serious competition, for instance, from the Spider-Man marketing machine.
This week, the "Spi-Dog" followed the "Spider Spud," the "Spidersapien" and other arachnid memorabilia dedicated to the man from Marvel. The latest of the "i-Dog" toy bot series, it seems to have officially pushed aside the "i-Cy" penguin--making it a doubly sad day for Caroline McCarthy (also known … Read more
When Snakes on a Plane came out, actor Samuel L. Jackson called people to promote the film.
Peter Parker, better known as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, will be doing something similar this weekend. If you visit this Hasbro site you (and your friends) can get a call from Spider-Man. Don't expect a long chat with Spidey--the call will unfortunately be automated (I guess I won't be able to discuss the whole Venom conspiracy with him).
Enter your birthday and 10-digit phone number, and you'll get a Spider-reminder to go out and get exclusive Spider-Man 3 merchandise and … Read more