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August 31, 2014

Self-Folding Robot

Below, the opening two paragraphs of Kenneth Chang's August 7 New York Times story.

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An intricately cut sheet lies flat and motionless on a table. Then Samuel Felton, a graduate student at Harvard, connects the batteries, sending electricity coursing through, heating it. The sheet lurches to life, the pieces bending and folding into place. The transformation completes in four minutes, and the sheet, now a four-limbed robot, scurries away at more than two inches a second.

The creation, reported Thursday in the journal Science, is the first robot that can fold itself and start working without any intervention from the operator.

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More (from the Harvard lab) here.

August 31, 2014 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Teflon-Coated White Scissors

55032

Hemispherical handles, 8-1/2" long.

$6.50.

August 31, 2014 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Blue Lobster is 1 in 2 million

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From USA Today : 

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A rare sight made landfall in a lobsterman's trap Saturday [August 23, 2014].

Jay LaPlante with the Miss Meghan's Lobster Catch company caught a blue lobster around 10:45 a.m. ET off Pine Point, about 10 miles southwest of Portland, Maine.

LaPlante and his 14-year-old daughter, Meghan, were hauling traps when she discovered the 2-pound cerulean crustacean, the first time they've ever caught a blue lobster.

The find is like winning the lottery: Oceanographers estimate that only 1 in 2 million lobsters is blue, according to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine.

The coloration comes from a genetic defect that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein. Every other lobster is a dark green or brown.

Meghan named the lobster Skyler and said he will avoid the dinner plate. She is donating Skyler to the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, about 30 miles northeast of Portland.

Skyler won't be alone, according to aquarium staff. He will join three other blue lobsters and an orange one in their tank.

August 31, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Transparent Flame-Proof Glass Pot

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Tempered flame-proof borosilicate glass.

Eight quart capacity.

Dishwasher-safe.

$200.

[via The Green Head]

August 31, 2014 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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