tech e blog

Microalgae Lamp

Why use normal lamps, when you could use these alien pods powered by photobioreactors? Ethan Frier created this installation, called "Living Things," which uses furniture to cultivate a symbiotic environment between people and these microorganisms. It features three stations - a living room, dining room, and kitchen - that each used the microalgae in a different way. The glass vessels contain photobioreactors inside, which are used to provide heat, light, agitation, air supply, nutrient, and waste control to keep the algae alive inside. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Biggest Great White

Shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla has just released new footage of Deep Blue, a 20-foot-long great white shark believed to be the largest of its kind in the world, swimming near researchers in steel cages. It was captured off Mexico's Guadalupe Island in 2013, but the researcher just recently found the recording on his computer. Near the end of the clip, you'll see the shark bumping into one of the cages with its nose, showing off it's rows of razor-sharp teeth to the camera below. Continue reading for another video of Deep Blue.

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Los Angeles Reservoir Black Balls

This isn't a prank, Los Angeles has turned to more unusual methods to protect the city's water from the drought. This week, they released 96-million floating shade balls, designed to help protect the water against dust, rain, chemicals and wildlife, as well as prevent 300 million gallons of water from evaporating each year, into the 75-acre Los Angeles Reservoir in Sylmar, California. Continue reading for another video of a truck unloading more of these shade balls into reservoir number two.

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Galena

Galena, the natural mineral form of lead(II) sulfide, may look beautiful, but it also has a dangerous side. It crystallizes in the cubic crystal system often showing octahedral forms, and often associated with the minerals sphalerite, calcite as well as fluorite. Though beautiful, it poses a high risk of lead poisoning to those exposed to it for prolonged periods either through simple contact or by inhalation of its dust. Continue reading for more.

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Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa

No, this isn't a screenshot of an upcoming fantasy film, just the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. It's one of the most visited attractions in Iceland, located in a lava field in Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwestern Iceland. The warm waters are rich money in minerals like silica and sulfur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis. Continue reading for more cool facts and a video.

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Living in the Matrix

Oxford University philosopher and physicist Nick Bostrom believes that the scenario played out in the film, The Matrix, could be a reality. "Instead of having brains in vats that are fed by sensory inputs from a simulator, the brains themselves would also be part of the simulation. It would be one big computer program simulating everything, including human brains down to neurons and synapses," said Bostrom. The only way we would know is if "some laws of physics aren't quite right." Click here to view the first image in this week's funny internet trolls gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of the late Chris Farley voicing Shrek.

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Humans New Brain Cells Age

For a long while, scientists believed that neurogenesis - production of new nerve cells - was impossible because an adult's nervous system is fixed and incapable of regeneration. Now we know that humans continue to grow new brain cells into adulthood, but the race is currently on to find out exactly what these brain cells are for, and how to grow more of them. Continue reading for more things you probably didn't know were true.

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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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