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March 17, 2011

Saturn Fly-by — "No CGI, no 3D models"

From Geekosystem: "What you're seeing here is footage of Saturn and its moons made entirely from pictures taken by the Cassini space probe during its approach to the ringed gas giant. Filmmaker Stephen Van Vuuren has been working with those images to create an IMAX film called "Outside In," which aims to present the beauty of Saturn and celebrate the achievements of the Cassini probe." 

[via Paul Biba, Outside In and Wired]

March 17, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Pallet Coasters


Wood; 12 x 8 x 1.8 cm


Set of 4: $36.


[via Svpply]

March 17, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

World's first rat-size PET scanner

Excerpts from Sindya N. Bhanoo's March 14, 2011 New York Times Science section story follow.


Researchers from the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have built the first positron emission tomography (PET) scanner that is suitable for rats and other small rodents.

A PET scan shows how the body's tissues and organs are functioning, but requires the subject to stay still in order to generate clear images.

Until now, it's been difficult to run a PET scan on the brain of a rodent that hasn’t been anesthetized.

The new device, which uses a microchip and photosensors called avalanche photodiodes, attaches to a rat's head and weighs very little.

"We needed to make it as small as possible, and new technology has allowed us to miniaturize this," said Paul Vaska, a physicist at Brookhaven and one of the study's authors.

Dr. Vaska and his colleagues report the details of their device in the current issue of the journal Nature Methods.

The scanner also has a grounded spring system that keeps it from weighing the rat down while still allowing the rat to move freely within a confined space.

By using the new scanner, researchers can better understand functions in the rat brain, and eventually the human brain, said Daniela Schulz, a neuroscientist at Brookhaven and the study's first author.


[Caption for the graphic above, from a March 13, 2011 article in Brookhaven Today: PET scans of a rat’s brain made with the RatCAP scanner (horizontal view superimposed on a rat brain atlas figure, left, and a coronal slice, right). The rainbow scale (red = high, violet = low) indicates the level of a radiotracer that binds to receptors for dopamine, which are concentrated in the striatum, a brain region involved in reward and motivation.]

"We can study changes in dopamine connected to drug abuse," Dr. Schulz said, "but also the effect of change in other psychiatric disorders where proteins in the brain are important, like schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression."


Below, the abstract of the Nature Methods paper.


Simultaneous assessment of rodent behavior and neurochemistry using a miniature positron emission tomograph

Positron emission tomography (PET) neuroimaging and behavioral assays in rodents are widely used in neuroscience. PET gives insights into the molecular processes of neuronal communication, and behavioral methods analyze the actions that are associated with such processes. These methods have not been directly integrated, because PET studies in animals have until now required general anesthesia to immobilize the subject, which precludes behavioral studies. We present a method for imaging awake, behaving rats with PET that allows the simultaneous study of behavior. Key components include the 'rat conscious animal PET' or RatCAP, a miniature portable PET scanner [below]


that is mounted on the rat's head, a mobility system that allows considerable freedom of movement, radiotracer administration techniques and methods for quantifying behavior and correlating the two data sets. The simultaneity of the PET and behavioral data provides a multidimensional tool for studying the functions of different brain regions and their molecular constituents.


[Caption for the figure above: The sketch represents RatCAP’s ability to simultaneously acquire information about brain chemistry, through PET scans (which track gamma rays produced as positrons from the radiotracer are annihilated by electrons in the body), and behavior, through classical video monitoring (which captures visible light images of animals in motion).]

March 17, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Flava Flav x iPad 2 = Clik Clok aka "World's worst iPad 2 accessory"


Christina Bonnington's post last evening on the Wired Gadget Lab site carried the headline "Clik Clok, the Worst iPad 2 Accessory I've ever Seen."


I won't argue.


She continued, "Clik Clok is an iPad 2 accessory only Flava Flav — and diehard fans — could love. It is a big gold (or silver or red) chain necklace that attaches to the new iPad using its magnetic points. As soon as it's clicked in, the clock app automatically launches, so you can… look like Flava Flav. Except with a $500 tablet around your neck instead of a large plastic clock. With all of the potential, practical uses for a high quality tablet, this is what you come up with?"


From creator Pensa: "Look for it in a Kickstarter campaign soon!"


Can't hardly wait.

[via Core77]


March 17, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

WordCount — Tracking the way we use language


"WordCount is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonness. Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word size, the more we use it. The smaller the word size, the more uncommon it is."

Fair warning: there goes the day.

[via Joe Peach]

March 17, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Belly Beauty Trainer


From the website:


Like the best kinds of things, the Lower Stomach Beauty Trainer is simple but effective.

Slide you feet and legs into the holes and then twist your body from side to side.

As the Trainer cushion rolls one way and then the next, your waist and stomach work hard to slim down.

This stylish home exercise product won't look out of place in your living room and makes staying fit easy and fun.

It's so convenient that you could even use the Trainer while watching TV.


What about on a treadmill?


March 17, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

WiFi-only iPad 2 gets GPS when tethered to iPhone

From Cult of Mac: "One of the drawbacks of the cheaper, WiFi-only iPad 2 is that it doesn’t have GPS — so it can’t run any of those beautiful full-screen navigation apps."

"GPS is limited to the more expensive 3G iPad models. But if you own a GPS-enabled iPhone, you’re in luck. The WiFi-only iPad 2 inherits GPS functionality when it's tethered to an iPhone."


"So if you’ve been looking at a 3G iPad for the GPS, you might consider the WiFi-only iPad. If you have iPhone tethering, you can use it on the go."

March 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vague Clock — "Time is squishy"


South Korean designer Sejoon Kim has designed a clock where users have to feel the flexible face to reveal the time.


The hands of the analog clock are hidden behind a layer of stretchy fabric and remain invisible as the time ticks away.


To read the time you have to get up and press your hand into the fabric so that it stretches over the hands, making them palpable and visible.


It also equipped with GPS hardware so that the time is always accurate, without buttons or dials allowing it to be manually adjusted.


"Too much information can put pressure on people," said Sejoon Kim. "Vague Clock obscures one's reading of the minute and hour hands to relieve the feeling of having to chase time."

[via LikeCOOL, OhGizmo, Dezeen and Yanko Design]

March 17, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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