It's summertime, and that means air shows: vintage planes, military exhibitions and homemade flying machines. But not everyone lives in areas that feature such displays, so Aviation Videos--a site run by Iowa City's Alexis Park Inn, "the Midwest's only aviation-themed all-suites hotel"--provides the next best thing with an impressive collection of videos taken at various locations around the world.
Howl @ The Moon has passed along a great real estate tip, a government auction for an atoll 700 miles southwest of Hawaii. But before you jump at this deal, offered by the GSA's Office of Property Disposal, check the fine print: It apparently was the site of thermonuclear explosives testing by the U.S. military at the height of the Cold War.
If you do decide to buy the islands anyway, at least you'll know why the pineapple in your mai tai is glowing in the dark.
Ever wonder what the sharpest human-made object looks like under a super-high-powered microscope? Well, no, we'd never thought about it either, until we came across this post titled "Sharpest Manmade Thing." Physics News Graphics, published by the American Institute of Physics, has posted a photograph taken with a field ion microscope that shows a "very sharp" tungsten needle, right down to individual atoms.
If you've ever wondered how whales end up in the Hudson River or San Francisco Bay, this post might be of particular interest. Information Aesthetics today posted an item on a "unique visualization method" that tracks the behavior of large sea-going mammals.
We're not sure, however, if it's the easiest diagram to understand. Among the instructions: "A pattern of chevrons on the top surface of the ribbon reveals travel direction & gives an additional orientation cue. The sawtooth's amplitude on top of the ribbon reveals the amount of angular acceleration at any given … Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif.--The roughly 20 pigeons released Tuesday from the roof of the San Jose Museum of Art weren't ordinary, sidewalk food-pecking birds. Each was strapped with a special backpack containing a GPS device, GSM unit with small antennas, temperature sensor, pollution sensor and more.
Beatriz da Costa, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, hopes to gather pollution data from the pigeons that fly up to 300 feet with her project called "PigeonBlog." The study is not scientific, nor does it claim to be. Two students who specialize in computer and engineering studies have … Read more
The UK's Times Online is reporting that a study by "What Car?" magazine (also from the UK) has found that your car might not eke out quite as much mileage as the manufacturer told you it would. The average car burns 8 percent more fuel than it's supposed to, according to the study, and eight of the ten worst performers were small cars billed as particularly fuel-efficient--many of them hybrids.
The worst offender? None other than the poster child for environmentally conscious automobiles, the Toyota Prius. "What Car?" estimates that the Prius' fuel efficiency … Read more
Stephen Hawking put us all in an existentialist frame of mind recently by pondering the survival of the human race. As noble and imperative as such discussions may be, it can sometimes be just as powerful simply to admire nature for nature's sake. The U.K.-based Atmospheric Optics does just that, with stunning photography and information on everything from rainbows to ice halos.
SouthWest NanoTechnologies, a manufacturer of carbon nanotubes, has licensed NEC patents relating to the tiny cylinders made of lattices of carbon atoms, NEC said Thursday. Sumio Iijima, an NEC researcher, discovered carbon nanotubes in 1991, and NEC is working to profit from the work.
"NEC's carbon nanotube patents are basic patents covering single and multi-walled carbon nanotubes, and licenses under our patents are essential for entities to manufacture or sell carbon nanotubes. We are currently in negotiations with a number of entities worldwide who require a license from us under our patent rights," said Keiji Ushijima of … Read more
The Fake Name Generator says it randomly comes up with false personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, mothers' maiden names, birth dates and credit card data, complete with phony expiration dates. The ersatz identities apparently include real but disguised e-mail addresses, "provided free of charge by third parties."
Why, you might ask, would someone pay a site to come up with fake personal information? The Fake Name Generator's FAQ says there are "tons … Read more
If you find yourself drifting off during staff meetings or school lectures, you're in good company: Loss of concentration, at one time or another, is a simple fact of life. So much so, in fact, that researchers at the University of Kent have posted a primer on concentration--and the lack thereof--along with some mental and physical tips for staying focused.