January 17, 2017
USB-Powered Paper Cup Warmer
What took so long?
From the website:
Perfect for keeping those takeaway cups of coffee or tea warm during the winter.
The semi-transparent cup can be attached to a USB-enabled device to power its heating function.
Use it in the car
or connect to your computer.
Features a handle so you can drink without your beverage having to leave its cozy confines.
Features and Details:
• Detachable handle
• USB charging cable included
• Keeps drink warm for 4 hours
• Fits standard-size disposable cups
• Automatic cut-off prevents overheating
• Instructions: Japanese (but easy to use)
• Reaches optimal temperature in 4 minutes
$25 (paper cup and coffee not included).
January 16, 2017
Ruby Sea Dragon observed swimming in the wild for the first time ever
Back story here.
Even more here.
More is never enough.
Wake-Up Light with Colored Sunrise Simulation
Living in the basement?
Your ship aka light just came in.
From the website:
• Just like the rising sun, the red-to-yellow dawn simulation helps you wake up naturally
• Bedside light dims automatically when room gets dark
• 20 brightness settings when used as lamp
• 5 natural wake-up sounds or FM pre-set
• Tap-to-snooze alarm clock
January 15, 2017
BehindTheMedspeak: Paperfuge is a centrifuge that costs 20 cents and weighs 2 grams
From the Economist:
A cardboard centrifuge separates blood cells from plasma
Take a cardboard disc and punch two holes in it, on either side of its center.
Thread a piece of string through each hole.
Now, pull on each end of the strings and the disc will spin frenetically in one direction as the strings wind around each other, and then in the other, as they unwind.
Versions of this children's whirligig have been found in archaeological digs across the world, from the Indus Valley to the Americas, with the oldest dating back to 3,300 BC.
Now Manu Prakash and his colleagues at Stanford University have, with a few nifty modifications, turned the toy into a cheap, lightweight medical centrifuge.
They report their work this week in Nature Biomedical Engineering.
Centrifuges' many uses include the separation of medical samples (of blood, urine, sputum and stool) for analysis.
Tests to spot HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, in particular, require samples to be spun to clear them of cellular debris.
Commercial centrifuges, however, are heavy and require power to run.
That makes them impractical for general use by health-care workers in poor countries, who may need to carry out diagnostic tests in the field without access to electricity.
They also cost hundreds — often thousands — of dollars.
Dr. Prakash's device, which he calls a "paperfuge," costs 20 cents and weighs just two grams.
The standard version (pictured) consists of two cardboard discs, each 10cm across.
One of the discs has two 4cm-long pieces of drinking straw glued to it, along opposing radii.
These straws, which have had their outer ends sealed with glue, act as receptacles for small tubes that contain the blood to be centrifuged.
Once the straws have been loaded, the two discs are attached face to face with Velcro, sandwiching the tubes between them.
For string, Dr. Prakash uses lengths of fishing line, tied at each end around wooden or plastic handles that the spinner holds.
The result, which spins at over 300 revolutions per second (rps) and generates a centrifugal force 10,000 times that of gravity, is able to separate blood into corpuscles and plasma in less than two minutes.
This is a rate comparable to that of electrical centrifuges.
Spinning samples for longer (about 15 minutes is ideal, though that is a lot of effort for a single spinner) can even separate red corpuscles, which may be infected by malarial parasites, from white ones, which cannot be so infected.
The team is now trying the system out for real, to find out what works best, by conducting blood tests for malaria in Madagascar.
Once samples have been separated, they still need to be analysed.
Fortunately, the paperfuge is not the first cheap laboratory instrument Dr. Prakash has invented.
In 2014 he unveiled the "foldscope," a microscope made from a sheet of paper and a small spherical lens.
The foldscope goes on sale this year, but his laboratory has already distributed more than 50,000 of them to people in 135 countries, courtesy of a charitable donation that paid for them.
He plans to ship a million more by the end of 2017.
Putting this together with a paperfuge means it is now possible to separate biological samples and analyze them under a microscope using equipment that costs less than a couple of dollars.
Olé Hook Kitchen Towel Holder
From the website:
The flamenco dancer gets a new dress every time you change the towel.
Attaches to any smooth surface with included double-sided adhesive.
Can be wall-mounted with nail or screw.
9.44'' x 4.92" x 0.6".
$14.90 (towels not included).
January 14, 2017
Owls Through Time — Edward Steed
Batman Bath Ducky
Res ipsa loquitur.
January 13, 2017
Birds in Flight
Barcelona-based Xavi Bou snaps hundreds of photos of birds in flight and stitches them together in Photoshop, compressing several seconds of movement into one frame.
He call the results — exemplars
above and below —
Somewhere Brancusi is smiling.
*órnis means bird in Ancient Greek
NICE UNDERWEAR DOORMAT
January 12, 2017
The center of the Milky Way — in radio color
Use the GLEAMoscope to view the GLEAM survey and the sky at wavelengths other than our visible range.
From the New York Times:
This is the real Technicolor sky.
Imagine if you could put on radio goggles to see the clouds of energy billowing from quasars or the lighthouse blasts from pulsars.
Or X-ray visors to see the spitfire from black holes.
Most of the wonders of the universe are invisible to us without technological help.
Visible light rays, after all, are only a small slice of nature's repertoire of electromagnetic radiation, which ranges from tiny high-energy bites of energy called gamma rays to the long, slow, booming rise and swell of radio waves.
Astronomers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, in Perth in Western Australia, have produced what they call the GLEAMoscope to dial up visions of the night sky over Australia in whatever kind of light you prefer.
It is based on an interactive graphic called Chromoscope that was produced at Cardiff University, combining data from a raft of astronomical instruments sensitive to different varieties of electromagnetic radiation.
Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, dominates every frame as an edge-on band of energy.
But using the slider, a viewer can choose to see the dull red glow of hydrogen gas throughout space, the twinkling stars and dust clouds of the visible galaxy, the superhot gas vibrating X-rays, the warm infrared glow of dust clouds, and even the spotty, glowing remnants of the Big Bang itself, manifesting as microwave radiation.
The Australian group has added the results of a new survey of the Southern Sky at very long radio wavelengths, called Gleam for the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-Sky M.W.A.
Carried out by a $50 million telescope known as the Murchison Widefield Array near Geraldton, Australia, it cataloged some 300,000 galaxies, the astronomers said, making it one of the largest radio surveys of the sky ever performed.
Ferrari F40 LEGO Set
Chris Ziegler bought one and thought it well worth what he paid for it,
$399,900.01 less than what it cost IRL
in 1987 when it was unveiled.
You can too.
January 11, 2017
Explore 54,242,701 artworks, artefacts, books, videos and sounds from across Europe
There goes the day.
Jackson Pollock Placemat
Based on Number 1A, painted in 1948.
13.25" x 20.25".
January 10, 2017
World's Largest Hourglass Gets Rotated Every New Year's Eve
From Atlas Obscura:
Budapest's Timewheel (Időkerék in Hungarian) could be the world's largest hourglass, taking an entire year to completely empty.
Literally a giant wheel designed to mark time, the public installation was built in 2004 to commemorate Hungary's inclusion into the European Union.
The giant wheel is slightly concave, sloping towards the center choke point that marks the upper and lower reservoirs.
In the case of the Timewheel, the particles that fall to mark the passage of time are tiny pieces of glass which trickle through the clock with the help of a computerized system that keeps the timing perfect.
Both the upper and lower reservoirs can be viewed through large triangular panes of glass in the wheel.
On December 31, a team of four people use thick steel cables
to rotate the Timewheel 180° on its built-in rails, resetting it for another year.
The process takes up to 45 minutes to complete the half-rotation.
The installation is located in a public park and visitors are welcome to try to spin the titanic granite wheel themselves.
Martian Meteorite Pendant
From the website:
As of 2014, only 132 out of over 61,000 documented meteorites analyzed have been positively identified as being Martian in origin.
That's just 0.22%.
Pretty rare indeed.
But just think of what had to happen for that bit of Mars to end up here intact and not lost in the depths of the Mariana Trench or buried in the sands of the Sahara.
We've been working on this capsule for a long time, and we're pretty pleased that we've finally succeeded in creating it.
While we may not be able to travel through all of time and space (yet... or ever?), this necklace can remind you, or a dear friend or loved one, that there's much more to life than what is in front of our eyes.
When I'm wearing my necklace, people sometimes come up to me and ask, "Does that open?" which is usually followed by "What’s in it?" You know, just a little conversation can start a spark — perhaps that's just enough for people to go out and become a little intrigued, maybe even look up at the stars for the first time in a very a long time....
"Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future." — H.G. Wells
Features and Details:
• Sealed glass vial (capsule height: 1.75" [4.4cm]) contains 20-30mg of a shergottite Martian meteorite
• Brass time capsule engraved with our motto "a terra ad astra" ("from the Earth to the stars")
• Signed specimen card stamped with capsule's date of creation and assembly
• Choose link necklace chain (18") or ball chain ( 24"L x 1.5mmØ)
• Your specimen will be unique in size, shape, and color
• Materials: Mars meteorite, brass, glass, cotton, paper
• Hand made