tech e blog

Synthetic Biological Leaf

What you're looking at above is a synthetic leaf that could one day help humans colonize space. To create this, scienctists first extract the protein-based material directly from the silk fiber, which is then used to stabilize organelles. "The man-made leaf is lighter than the real thing, but better suited to long-term life in space because scientists don't know if organic plants would survive and flourish outside our atmosphere the way humans would need them to. And if mankind is to colonize space, those living on another planet would need to produce their own O2 gas," says RT. Continue reading for more.

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Star Wars Everyday Life

Photo credit: Thomas Dagg

At first, second, or third glance, these images just appear to be black & white scenes from everyday life, but upon closer inspection, you'll notice a few things not quite right. This was done intentionally by Toronto-based photographer Thomas Dagg, who digitally adds numerous characters, vehicles and objects from the movie into the landscape. "While some are quite obvious, like Yoda riding on the back of a young man running through the street, it might take viewers a little longer to identify more subtle details like the rebel insignia on a baseball field or the pairs of glowing eyes that are camouflaged in with piles of trash along the street," says My Modern Met.

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Animals in Autumn

Many living things respond to the light changes that come with autumn, including trees shedding their leaves and animals preparing for hibernation. When autumn hits, the black-capped chickadee goes crazy collecting seeds and hiding them in hundreds of different spots in trees and on the ground. The tiny bird's hippocampus balloons by 30 percent simultaneously as new nerve cells pop up in this part of the brain, which is responsible for spatial organization and memory. Continue reading for more.

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Valley of Flowers

What you're looking at above is not a colorful painting, but rather Valley of Flowers National Park, an Indian national park, located in West Himalaya, in the state of Uttarakhand, that is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. At 3352 to 3658 meters above sea level, the gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park to the east. Getting to the Valley of Flowers requires a trek of about 17 km (10.5 mi). The nearest major town is Joshimath in Garhwal, which has convenient road connections from Haridwar and Dehradun, both about 270 km (168 mi) from Joshimath. From Delhi, one can take the train to Haridwar and then travel by bus to Govindghat via Rishikesh. Govindghat is approximately 16 km before another important destination of Badrinath. It is also possible to drive from Delhi to Govindghat, a distance of about 500 km. Continue reading for more.

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Teddy Roosevelt Plane

Theodore Roosevelt became the first US President to fly in an airplane, on October 11, 1910. It all started when he visited an aviation field in Kinloch, MO, a year and a half after he left office. There was a pilot there named Alex Hoxsey who had just descended from a flight and soon was introduced to the former president. "Colonel," Hoxsey said, " I'd like to have you for a passenger." The president wanted no time replying, "Thanks," before proceeding to climb into the plane.

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Wild Mice

While the image above may appear to be from a storybook or animated film, it's just a real wild mouse. Primarily nocturnal animals, mice compensate for their poor eyesight with a keen sense of hearing, and rely especially on their sense of smell to locate food and avoid predators. Mice build intricate burrows in the wild. These burrows typically have long entrances and are equipped with escape tunnels/routes. In at least one species, the architectural design of a burrow is a genetic trait. Continue reading for more.

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Airline Meal

Not everyone can afford a $20,000 suite when they fly, but these photographers wanted to show that things aren't so bad in economy and / or business classes. On a related note, the first airline meals were served by Handley Page Transport, an airline company founded in 1919, to serve the London-Paris route in October of that year. Passengers could choose from a selection of sandwiches and fruit. Now, as you can obviously tell from the Air France economy class meal above, things have changed quite a bit. Continue reading for more.

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Drone Photography

Dronestagr.am teamed up with National Geographic France to host the first International Drone Photography Competition in the world. Believe it or not, the above shot of San Luis Potosi in Mexico, as well as the others you're about to see, were all captured by drones. If you're interested in getting into this hobby and have (or are planning to get) a GoPro, make sure to pick up the DJI Phantom Aerial Drone Quadcopter. Continue reading for more.

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Stargazing Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, located in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Colorado, features majestic mountain views, mountain lakes, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments - from wooded forests to mountain tundra - and easy access to back-country trails and campsites. Plus, it's a great place for geeks to go stargazing at night, especially during the summer. Simply bring a comfortable chair, along with a telescope if you want an up-close look, and you'll be set to take everything in. Continue reading for more.

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Photographer Dog Goodbye

Photo credit: Mariah Sharp

Photographer Maria Sharp knew that her best friend of 16-years, Chubby, was about to leave this world, she decided to pay tribute to all the good times they've had together with a heartwarming shoot. So, she began by digging up old photos, starting with one when she was just 7-years-old, which is also the start of her passion for photography. Though her companion passed away soon after the photoshoot, she was happy to capture some moments that will last forever. Continue reading to see more.

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