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April 10, 2021

Glasswing Butterfly

From My Modern Met:

The glasswing butterfly (scientifically known as Greta oto) might be the most beautiful bug you have never heard of.

Its delicate wings have a frame of orange and white similar to the monarch butterfly.

However, the rest of their wings are made of flawless clear panes that look like windows.

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Their unique wings serve two purposes: the white stripe warns predators of toxicity, and the clear panes allow the butterfly to disappear into its surroundings, making it near invisible.

From their early caterpillar stage, glasswing butterflies lack pigment in their chitin, a key element in insect exoskeletons and butterfly wings.

Without pigment, the wings are colorless and — because of their thinness — transparent.

To further protect against predators, the wings are equipped with many tiny nanopillars (wax towers which form a rough texture upon microscopic inspection of a wing's surface).

A rough texture prevents the surface from being reflective, creating an illusion of almost empty panes.

April 10, 2021 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Listen to Wikipedia

From Kottke:

Wikipedia is a constantly changing entity with hundreds of edits occurring every minute and now you can experience that dynamism as ambient music: Listen to Wikipedia.

Additions, subtractions, and new user signups to the site are tracked as they happen, and represented as different tones — above, a video recording from a few years ago.

Bells indicate additions and string plucks indicate subtractions.

Pitch changes according to the size of the edit; the larger the edit, the deeper the note.

Green circles show edits from unregistered contributors, and purple circles mark edits performed by automated bots.

You may see announcements for new users as they join the site, punctuated by a string swell.

Free, the way we like it.

[via Open Culture]

April 10, 2021 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

In 1930 the Indiana Bell Telephone Building was rotated 90° while remaining completely functional

YouTube caption:

In 1930 the Indiana Bell building was rotated 90°.

Over a month, the 22-million-pound structure was moved 15 inches/hour, all while 600 employees still worked there.

There was no interruption to gas, heat, electricity, water, sewage, or the telephone service they provided.

No one inside felt it move.

People could still enter/exit the building thanks to an entryway that moved, which connected to a special curved sidewalk.

The move was because Bell bought the building but needed bigger headquarters.

They planned to demolish it but that would've interrupted phone service for a big chunk of Indiana, which they didn’t want to do.

They lifted the whole building with steam-powered hydraulic lifts, then set it on enormous pine logs.

It was moved via hand-operated jacks, which pushed it over the logs 3/8" at a time.

Once the building rolled far enough forward, the last log would be moved to the front.

The rotation plan was conceived and executed by famed architect Kurt Vonnegut Sr. (father of the author).

The feat remains one of the largest building moves in history.

The building was demolished in 1963.

April 10, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mbps by Mbps, I'm getting to Gbps

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I'm old enough to remember dial-up and all those horrible sounds while connecting to the internet.

Mbps by Mbps  I'm getting to Gbps

Google Fiber may never make it to Podunkville but there's more than one road to GigaWorld.

April 10, 2021 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?

Guess again

Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: stainless steel and brass.

A third: expensive (very).

April 10, 2021 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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