tech e blog

Hair Ice


Hair ice probably isn't what you think, but something much stranger. It's basically a type of ice that forms on dead wood and takes the shape of fine, silky hair. Meteorologist and discoverer of continental drift, Alfred Wegener, described hair ice on wet dead wood in 1918, assuming some specific fungi as the catalyst, a theory mostly confirmed by Gerhart Wagner and Christian Matzler in 2005. They can maintain their shape for hours and sometimes days. This long lifetime indicates that something is preventing the small ice crystals from recrystallizing into larger ones, since recrystallization normally occurs very quickly at temperatures near 0°C. Continue reading for more.

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Glow-in-the-Dark Ice Cream

Glow-in-the-dark ice cream sounds like something you'd see in a cartoon, but it's real, and available now, at $225 a scoop. Created by Charlie Francis, this ice cream is made from the luminescent proteins that cause jellyfish to glow - a synthesized version is applied to the ice cream. Its creator says that the more you lick, the brighter it glows. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on if we'll see it in any specialty food stores for purchase. Continue reading for more interesting, yet completely random, facts.

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Salt Water Lamp

Photo credit: SALt

Small communities in the Philippines will soon be using salt water-powered lamps, instead of candles. The Sustainable Alternative Lighting project, also known as SALt, has gifted the nation of 7,000 islands with this innovative gadget. It uses a solution of one glass of water mixed with two tablespoons of salt, or just salt water from the sea, to provide 8-hours of continuous light. The electrode inside can be used for up to a year, depending on how often it's turned on. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Julia Sound

It's like something straight from a sci-fi movie, but "Julia" actually happened. A bizarre sound was recorded on March 1, 1999 by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It was sufficiently loud to be heard over the entire Equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array for at least 3,000-miles. The unidentified sound lasted for about 15 seconds. Due to the uncertainty of the arrival azimuth, the point of origin could be between Bransfield Straits and Cape Adare. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny school pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a $725-million ranch in Texas you can actually buy.

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Mutant Daisies

Images, posted by Twitter user @San_kaido from Nasushiobara city, located about 110kms from Fukushima, of mutant daisies are going viral online, 4-years after the deadly Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The white flowers are claimed to be the latest in the long-list of victims, which have experienced deformation over nuclear disasters. San_kaido said: "The right one grew up, split into 2 stems to have 2 flowers connected each other, having 4 stems of flower tied belt-like. The left one has 4 stems grew up to be tied to each other and it had the ring-shaped flower. The atmospheric dose is 0.5 uSv/h at 1m above the ground." Continue reading for more images and information.

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Water-Powered Motorcycle

Sao Paulo-based public officer Ricardo Azevedo has built a water-powered motorcycle that can travel 310-miles on single liter of H20. Called the "T Power H20", it features a combination of water as well as a single external car battery used to produce electricity and separate hydrogen from the water molecule. The process, which utilizes a special a pipe system, results in combustion, creating the energy necessary to power the bike. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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SCiO Pocket Spectrometer

We have seen the future of spectrometers, and it includes the SCiO. This pocket-sized gadget can tell you the molecular fingerprint of just about anything, including alcoholic content in a or the amount of sugar in a mango. How does it work? Well, it basically measures the light reflected off any given object, breaks down its spectrum, and then sends that information to the cloud. Next, the Consumer Physics' unique algorithms immediately interpret the resulting data and the results show up on the free companion app in 5-seconds or less (data connection required). Expect to pay $249 for the device when it hits stores. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Sea Slug Photosynthesize

At first glance, this appears to be an other-worldly alien creature, but it's just a Costasiella kuroshimae, also known as a "Leaf Sheep". Unlike other sea slugs, the cartoon-like kuroshimae feeds on algae, and is one of the only animals in the world that can photosynthesize. In other words, they suck out the chloroplasts from algate and incorporate them into their own bodies in a process called kleptoplasty, essentially making them solar-powered slugs. They can be found in waters near Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. Continue reading for a video and more pictures.

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Hybrid Fruit Tree 40 Fruits

Thanks to chip grafting, artist Sam Van Aken was able to grow the incredible "Tree of 40 Fruit," a hybrid tree that can harvest over 40 varieties of stone fruits in various colors. Van Aken used this process in order to preserve a number of valuable stone fruit varieties that have been marketed out of existence. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Fried Bacon Seaweed

Bacon lovers rejoice! Researchers at Oregon State University have created a new type of seaweed that tastes just like fried bacon. Not even kidding. The strain is based on a type of dulse - a common sea vegetable popular in Asian cooking for its high protein content. This red marine algae is not only fast-growing, but super nutritious as well, packed with up to 16% protein by dry weight as well as being an excellent source of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Continue reading for another picture of the seaweed and more information.

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