tech e blog

Aerogel World's Lightest Solid

Aerogel is basically a synthetic porous ultralight material made from a gel, in which the liquid component has been replaced with a gas. Despite its name, aerogels are solid, rigid, and dry materials that do not resemble a gel in their physical properties. The material is 98.2% air, thanks to the lack of solid material, allowing it to be almost weightless. Continue reading for a video demonstrating what it sounds like when dropped.

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Bizarre Natural Phenomena

Here are a few bizarre natural phenomena that you rarely (or ever) see, and they include "Snow Donuts", also known as "Snow Rollers". This rare meteorological phenomenon happens when large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. Or, a brinicle, which forms beneath sea ice when a flow of extremely cold, saline water is introduced to an area of ocean water, being the undersea equivalent of a hollow stalactite or icicle. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading to watch the five most popular viral videos of today - including an unskippable video from Geico.

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Biodegradable Coffee Cup

A California-based company called "Reduce. Reuse. Grow" has designed a coffee cup unlike any other, in that it's not only biodegradable, but there are seeds embedded in its walls. Why? Well, participating stores will encourage people to plant the cups themselves, or to return them to be planted by the company, in hopes that new forests can be created should they sell well enough. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Gun Silencer

A silencer is basically a device attached to or part of the barrel of a firearm or air gun which reduces the amount of noise and visible muzzle flash generated by firing. They're typically constructed of a metal cylinder with internal mechanisms to reduce the sound of firing by slowing the escaping propellant gas and sometimes by reducing the velocity of the bullet. This is what it looks like when sliced in half. Continue reading for a video comparison (with and without silencer) and additional information.

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Slurpee Wave

In New England, temperatures have dropped so low that even the waves are starting to freeze. These incredible photos of semi-frozen 'slurpee waves' were taken by surfer Jonathan Nimerfroh in Nantucket, Massachusetts. He noticed the horizon looked strange, so he whipped out his camera, and then spotted the surf had turn slushy. He said: "The high temp that day was around 19 degrees. The wind was howling from south west which would typically make rough or choppy conditions not so good for surfing but since the surface of the sea was frozen slush the wind did not chance the shape. They were perfect dreamy slush waves. Most waves were around two feet with some larger sets slushing through around three foot or waist high. What an experience to be absolutely freezing on the beach watching these roll in while I mind surfed them. The next day I drive up to see if things melted but that same 300 yards out of water froze solid on the surface. No waves at all. I've been asking all the fishermen and surfers if they have ever seen such a thing. This is a first they all said." Continue reading for more pictures.

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Capsula Mundi Burial Pods

Why bury (or cremate) loved ones in coffins, when you can use their remains to fertilize a tree? The Capsula Mundi project by designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel from Italy lets you do just that. They've developed an organic, biodegradable burial pod that turns the deceased's body into nutrients for a tree that will grow out of their remains. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Bee Teapot

This is no ordinary teapot, as designer Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny of Studio Libertiny used an army of 60,000 bees to complete Thousand Years, his latest experimental beeswax sculpture. It was commissioned by the French fine silver manufacturer Christofle and created with the help of Dutch beekeeper Johan Beckers. To create the shape, he first constructed a metal scaffold that served as the framework for beehive before letting nature take over. Continue reading for a video, more pictures and additional information.

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Frozen Car Sculpture

What happens after a piece of ice breaks off from a frozen Jeep Wrangler after a storm? A beautiful sculpture is created of course, or so you'll think after seeing these pictures. According to WITN, they "did a double take after receiving photos of an ice imprint from the front of a Jeep," spotted in North Carolina in the visitor's parking lot at Vidant Medical Center Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading to see it from the other side.

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Honeyflow Flow Frame

Called the Honeyflow, this invention by two Australian beekeepers is claimed to be able to siphon honey straight from a beehive without disturbing the bees inside. A custom tap attached to a specially developed honeycomb "Flow" frame within the hive - the bee-formed cells are split slightly open inside the comb, thereby allowing channels to form through which the honey flows down to a sealed trough and out of the hive straight into collecting jars. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Solar Death Ray

Kevin Moore and Grant Reynolds of the Science Channel made a crazy solar death ray in their very own garage. Its main component is a Fresnel lens, which focuses light into a beam that can melt aluminum, meaning it reaches temperatures in excess of 660°C (1,220°F). Simply put, the duo were inspired to harness light to burn metal after thinking about children using small magnifying glasses to melt plastic toys. So, they built a basic frame from wood and positioned the lens - which can capture a greater degree of light thanks to its ridged surface - to focus the sun's ray to a small point. Continue reading for the video and more information.

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