April 13, 2011
Magnetic ferrofluid sculpture
"Gary Lee Johns, a physics PhD student at Johns Hopkins University, combined commercially available magnetic-particle-infused fluid with a variety of different metal shapes.
"The shape of the metal objects determines the shape of their magnetic fields, which in turn sculpts the fluid, roughly revealing the normally invisible magnetic fields.
"In the video you can see fluid bunching up at points, corners, and edges. Johns says this is because magnetic fields tend to be strongest near sharp edges.
"Ferrofluids could be used as deformable mirrors for telescopes and other optical devices, or incorporated into clothing to make nanotech body armor."
[via Richard Kashdan]
World's most highly engineered Kindle/iPad stand
Also does books.
$169 (Kindle/iPad not included).
[via Leah O]
The Ramones live in 1978: 26 songs in 54 minutes
From Open Culture : "Princes of New York punk, kings of CBGB's (take virtual tour here), and the only Americans, then or now, who could pull off skinny jeans with impunity, The Ramones were masters of the short and sweet. Here's a recording of a live 1978 set at the Palladium in New York City: 26 songs, 54 minutes, all set to clips from old sci-fi movies."
Fair warning: there goes the rest of the day.
Lipstick USB Drive
From molotalk: "Behold, the Custom USB L'Oreal Lipstick."
"In early March, Custom USB received a package. Sent directly from the L'Oreal factory, the box contained 500 empty lipstick cases. We were to use the same cases they use for their signature lipsticks and insert our MicroKey USB drives into them. One by one, with strict precision, each Lipstick USB drive was hand-made, hand-tested, and hand-pre-loaded-with a video recapping 100 years of exceptional products and services."
If you're beside yourself with getting one, my advice would be to try eBay France.
Slugs — They're what's for dinner
In yesterday's Washington Post "Urban Jungle" feature, Patterson Clark focused on the common leopard slug, found wherever gardens flourish.
He described the biology and life cycle of the creature and then went off on a most interesting tangent: are slugs potential food for people?
He wrote, "Since thay have little or no shell, slugs secrete much more protective mucus than do snails, but some people see them as unpackaged escargots. However, several factors may give pause to the potential slug chef:
• Slugs should never be handled with bare hands, let alone eaten raw. From contact with rat feces, slugs may carry a parasite that can cause a potentially fatal brain disease in humans. Thoroughly cooking a slug — or a snail — should destroy any dangerous parasites.
• Slugs are more likely to eat toxic fungi than are snails. Slug harvesters are advised to purge the poison from captive slugs by feeding them grain meal and lettuce for many days before cooking.
• Soaking slugs in a vinegar/water solution will kill them and remove much of their mucus, but the cooking water must be changed a couple of times to get rid of all of the slime. The foul-tasting digestive gland in the slug's tail should be removed after cooking.
Clark's piece concluded, Bon appetit!
But we're just getting warmed up.
My Crack Research Team™ decided to pursue this topic and at the end of an in-depth article on slugs as food by Deane Jordan on EatTheWeeds.com found a recipe, which follows.
10 cooked and cleaned large slugs
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cup of flour
1/4 cup of heavy cream
4 tbs. of butter
4 tsp. of sour cream
First chop the slugs into fine mince, then add to the eggs and beat together with the heavy cream. Sift the dry ingredients and then add two tablespoons of butter to that mixture. Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients and whip with a whisk vigorously for one to two minutes. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan and pour the batter into 2-1/2 inch cakes, in two batches. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream. Yields four servings.
Not up to a major culinary effort like that detailed above, but still hankering for slugs?
For you, Jordan has a simpler suggestion: "Slugs that are still unpalatable after boiling can be fried until crisp and tried, or ground into a flour and added to other meals for nutrition."
More: "According to an article in the August 2006 Journal of Experimental Biology, raw slugs are 5.1% carbohydrates, 0.5% fat, 7.1% protein and 85% moisture. After cooking they are probably lower in carbohydrates, most of which are contained in the mucus lost in cooking."
Wrote Jordan, "Slugs were in the diet of many Native Americans in the northwest U.S., where they have some 27 different kinds. German immigrants to that area gutted them and fried them in batter."
Is it lunch time yet?
Ferris Wheel Bike Light
From the website:
Stay safe and look great on your bike at night with the Ferris WheeLED.
Attach this LED sensor to your wheel and your spokes will illuminate in snazzy bright colors.
Easy to add on to your bike and producing 12 stunning light patterns, this stylish device will make you the envy of your fellow cyclists.
Though this great cycle accessory is Japanese, it works with American, French and UK bikes.
It's lightweight (21g/0.75 oz.) too, so your speed won't be slowed down by your new chic style.
22 hours of light from 3 included LR44 lithium batteries.
Pink, White or Blue.
Note added 12:56 p.m. April 14, 2011: Reader Tomasso commented, "I knew I saw it somewhere! Here you go: a Chinese iteration for a fraction of the price — $3.57.
Which amounts to 6.6% of the original $54.
Nicely done, Tomasso.
Chernobyl's new hat
Photo caption: "The structure will have two cranes that can lift 50 tons each and medical and radiation protection facilities for 1,430 workers."
[via Steve Featherstone and BloombergBusinessWeek]
Fuuvi Pick USB Mini Digital Camera
2 megapixel camera shoots both pictures and movies; recharges via computer USB port; images recorded to MicroSD card (not included).
Windows only (see, I told you I could do it).