At first glance, this just looks like a giant metallic whale sculpture of some sort, but upon closer inspection, you'll see that it's just the SunGlacier, a solar-powered structure that uses condensation principles to create ice in the Sahara desert. Though it seems impractical, this 200 m2 leaf-shaped structure has a photovoltaic cell coated underbelly, which powers cooling condensers that convert humidity from the desert air into ice. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
Scientists from the Department of Energy at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have managed to convert algae into crude oil in less than an hour. It all starts with a chemical process that produces crude oil minutes after it is poured into harvested algae, a continuous reaction since it produces a recyclable byproduct containing phosphorus that can then be used to grow more algae. Continue reading for one of the first vehicles powered by this green crude oil.
PhD student Paddy Neumann has invented an ion drive system that works by bombarding the fuel source with electric arcs, causing the ions to be discarded, thus providing higher spacecraft top speeds (200,000mph) than any other rocket currently available. To put things into perspective, the space shuttle is capable of a top speed of around 18,000mph. Neumann said that it could power a spacecraft to "Mars and back on one tank of fuel." Continue reading for another video of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining ion propulsion systems and more information.
Foster + Partners, the British architecture firm behind Apple's new 'spaceship' campus, have unveiled 3D-printed habitats for astronauts who will be settling the red planet in the next few decades. These structures will be built by an array of pre-programmed, semi-autonomous robots prior to the eventual arrival of the astronauts on the Martian surface. They will select the site, dig a 1.5-meter deep crater, followed by a second delivery of the inflatable modules which sit within the crater to form the core of the settlement. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
A red super moon in combination with a lunar eclipse can be witnessed this weekend, the first time since 1982. Beginning during the late night hours of September 27th, a total lunar eclipse will mask the moon's larger-than-life face across the world. The most recent blood moon occurred during Easter, and this super blood moon lunar eclipse will be the fourth event in a 'Tetrad,' which some believe marks the the beginning of significant events. The moon will enter the dark part of Earth's shadow at approximately 9:07pm EST, becoming a total eclipse by 10:11pm, and then reemerge from the shadow 12-minutes later. Continue reading for another video and more information.
Architecture firm SOM has created an off-the-grid, 3D-printed building called AMIE. This structure sports built-in solar panels that can be powered by the sun, or a car. The bi-directional energy flow makes it possible for the 3D-printed structure and a hybrid car to charge each other continuously. Once printed, the structure is reinforced with steel rods for strength, and the result is a stalwart structure that resists both lateral and live loads. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
A team of London-based design students have invented an edible water bottle called Ooho that you can make in your own kitchen. It consists of a gelatinous membrane (brown algae and calcium chloride), or in other words, a biodegradable bottle you can eat or safely throw away. Since it's made of dual layers, manufacturers can place labels in between without affecting the water quality inside. The droplets can vary in size, controlled during the packaging process when the water is frozen. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny school pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video showing how pros beat games quickly without cheating.
Physicists have set a new world record in the field of quantum teleportation, as the team at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) managed to teleport packets of light over 60 miles (100km) of optical fiber. Quantum teleportation is a process by which the exact state of an atom or photon can be transmitted from one location to another, with the help of previously shared quantum entanglement between the sending and receiving location. This basically means that action of one particle directly affects the others, due to the way they are connected, even when separated over large distances. Continue reading for two more videos on quantum teleportation and additional information.
Ever wonder why tanks have absolutely no windows? This video, produced by Aleksandr Kotlovoy, a Russian TV presenter, shows why. The team conducted an experiment to see whether 45-layers of bulletproof glass could stop a hit from an RPG-7, a Russian shoulder-fired anti-armor rocket grenade launcher. Just as you probably guessed, the rocket was more than capable of penetrating the multi-layered glass, even smashed through a second thick panel of glass a couple of meters in front of it. Click here to view the first image in this week's geek life gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of the Forth Worth dog train.
The Catatumbo Lightning atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela, occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. The frequent, powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered to be the world's largest single generator of tropospheric ozone. It originates from a mass of storm clouds at a height of more than 5 km, and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. It occurs over and around Lake Maracaibo, typically over the bog area formed where the Catatumbo River flows into the lake. Continue reading for two more videos and additional information.