tech e blog

Portugese Man O'War

The Bluebottle, also known as the Portuguese man o' war (Physalia physalis), is a marine cnidarian of the family Physaliidae. Its venomous tentacles can deliver a painful sting, but despite its outward appearance, the Portuguese man o' war is not a common jellyfish but a siphonophore. This basically means that it's not actually a single multicellular organism, but a colony of specialized minute individuals called zooids. These zooids are attached to one another and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival. Click here to view the first image in this week's WINS gallery. Continue reading for a viral video showing how to deliver sand with style.

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Shark Feeding Frenzy

If you're afraid of even the thought of sharks, then this video probably isn't for you. From afar, it appears to be just a swarm of birds, but upon closer inspection, you'll see that it's a shark feeding frenzy. Donnie Griggs, who captured the footage at a North Carolina beach, was out fishing with friends at Cape Lookout last Thursday when they witnessed the unusual scene. There was estimated to be more than 100 sharks in the frenzy, feeding off a school of bluefish. These fish apparently ran out of ocean to avoid the feeding frenzy, as both the sharks and dozens of seagulls as well as pelicans were also after them. Continue reading for the video and more information.

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Chocolate Pudding Fruit

Black Sapote fruit are tomato-like and measure 5-10 cm (2.0-3.9 in) in diameter, with an inedible skin that turns from olive to a deep yellow-green when ripe and a pulp which is white and inedible when unripe but assumes a flavor, color and texture often likened to chocolate pudding when ripe. Fruits usually contain seeds, up to a maximum of 12. The texture has been likened to that of a papaya. A researcher describes the ripe fruit as having "the taste and consistency of chocolate pudding." Unripe fruits are astringent, caustic, bitter, and an irritant. Continue reading for a video, more pictures and additional information.

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Black Hole Facts

Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as light. Matter falling onto a black hole can form an accretion disk heated by friction, forming some of the brightest objects in the universe. If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbit can be used to determine its mass and location. Such observations can be used to exclude possible alternatives (such as neutron stars). In this way, astronomers have identified numerous stellar black hole candidates in binary systems, and established that the core of the Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses. 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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Goliath Spider

Photo credit: VN

Despite its name, the Goliath birdeater does not normally eat birds. As with other tarantulas, their diet consists primarily of insects. However, because of its size and opportunistic predatory behavior, it is not uncommon for this species to kill and consume a variety of small terrestrial vertebrates. In the wild, T. blondi has been observed feeding on rodents, frogs and toads, lizards, and snakes. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny homework questions gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of an 11-year-old hiding a surprising talent.

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Diamonds Are Forever

In 1947, a real-life copywriter named Frances Gerety coined the phrase "A Diamond Is Forever." Fast forward to 2014, Switzerland-based company Algordanza aims to make that phrase a reality (prices start at $4,474) by compressing, super-heating your cremated ashes and turning them into a man-made diamond that can be worn. Continue reading for more images and information.

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Underwater River

At first glance, the image above appears to show a diver in a lake of some sort, but in reality, it's an underground river called Cenote Angelita in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. They are common geological forms in low latitude regions, particularly on islands, coastlines, and platforms with young post-Paleozoic limestones that have little soil development. The Yucatan Peninsula contains a vast coastal aquifer system, which is typically density-stratified. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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MIT FingerReader

Photo credit: VN

We have seen the future of devices for the visually impaired, and it includes the FingerReader. This innovative new tool, developed by researchers at MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces group, reads aloud any braille text a user points to, and aims to replace audio-visual software which can often prove to be inaccurate and limited. Currently, the prototype device enables users to scan a text line with their finger and receive an audio feedback of the words. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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232 Extra Teeth

Ashik Gavai, a 17-year-old teenager from Mumbai, India, had an astonishing 232 teeth-like growths extracted from his mouth. The entire ordeal began when he complained about a swelling in his lower jaw and was admitted to JJ Hospital where doctors discovered that the teen had complex odontoma. This condition, commonly occurring during the teenage years, results in haphazardly arranged tooth-like growths composed of enamel, dentin, and pulp tissue. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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