tech e blog

Michigan Meteor


Anyone in the southeast Michigan area were left a bit shaken Tuesday night after a big bright flash lit up the sky and shook the ground beneath them. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it wasn't a flying saucer. The National Weather Service tweeted the next day that "USGS confirms meteor occurred around 810 pm, causing a magnitude 2.0 earthquake." It was centered about five miles west-southwest of New Haven, Michigan, located about 40 miles northeast of Detroit. Continue reading for two more videos of the meteor, along with a bonus clip that has an alternate theory.

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Mercedes G-Class Amber

This may look similar to the 1979 classic, but the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is actually a brand new SUV with a more luxurious interior and an independent front suspension to boot. However, to show visitors at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show why it's still shaped like a brick, Mercedes-Benz will showcase the new model next to a 1979 280 GE, which has been encased in 44-tons of synthetic resin. Continue reading for a behind-the-scenes video, pictures and more information.

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Light Pillars Canada

Photo credit: Sophie Melanson

This is not an optical illusion, just real light pillars that were captured over Canada by photographer Sophie Melanson. This phenomenon occurs when either natural or artificial light bounces off ice crystals floating close to the ground. In this case, the air was so frigid that ice crystals were forming in the air, all the while reflecting the city's street and business lights. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Disney Magic Bench

Disney Research has merged Mixed Reality (MR) and Augmented Reality (AR) into one to create exciting opportunities to engage users in immersive experiences, resulting in natural human-computer interaction. Their latest platform offers multi-user interactions in AR/MR, where a group can share the same augmented environment with any computer generated (CG) asset and interact in a shared story sequence through a third-person POV. Unlike similar projects, this one does not require the user to wear any special equipment, thus creating a seamless walk-up-and-play experience. Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of a 352-square-foot smart home.

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Solar Train

The world's first entirely solar train has begun full service in Byron Bay, Australia. The Byron Bay Railroad Company equipped a heritage train with a 6.5 kilowatt (kW) solar array and flexible solar panels. It can transport up to 100 seated passengers, as well accommodating a few standing passengers, and there's even room for luggage, bikes, etc. The fare is currently $3 for adults, $2 for ages six to 13, and free for children up to age five for one-way trips. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.

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2D 3D Pulfrich Effect

Tom Scott has created a video that works in both 2D and in 3D simultaneously. To view the 3D effect, wear or hold a sunglasses lens over your right eye, and it works best on a larger display with the video playing at a high frame rate. Unlike other 3D videos, this one doesn't look strange when you're not wearing glasses, thanks to the Pulfrich Effect. How does it work? Basically, when you wear sunglasses over one eye, the image on the screen is perceived by that eye slightly more slowly, and since the camera is constantly moving, it's as if you're getting a slightly delayed image to the eye with the lens over it. Your brain then combines the two slightly different images to create a 3D-like effect. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of a floating Death Star.

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AI AlphaZero Chess

Google's DeepMind artificial intelligence algorithm has learned hundreds of years of chess knowledge and then surpassed it in just four hours. That's right, AlphaZero quickly mastered the classic game, before devising completely new strategies, which are now being analyzed by grandmasters. In comparison, IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer, the one that beat Gary Kasparov in 1997, was already programmed with the best moves. Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of nine fascinating space travel facts.

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Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis, or Norther Lights, is a natural light display in the Earth's sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude regions. This phenomenon occurs when the magnetosphere is disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma expel them into the upper atmosphere due to Earth's magnetic field, where their energy is lost. Even Mathisen, who resides in Kvalsund, Norway, stepped outside his home and captured this short, yet stunning video, of the light show a Sony A7S. Continue reading for another video and more information.

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Glowing Plants

MIT researchers have developed real plants that glow in the dark using a process called Plant Nanobionics. Engineers first embedded nanoparticles into the leaves of a watercress plant, thus causing the plants to give off a dim glow for 3.5-hours. The next step would be to create plants bright enough to illuminate a workspace, and also to transform trees into self-powered streetlights. "The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp - a lamp that you don't have to plug in. The light is ultimately powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself," said Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of the smartphone awards for 2017.

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Earth Pyramids

Photo credit: Kilian Schonberger

You're not looking at pictures of an alien world from a science fiction movie, but rather real "Earth Pyramids" captured by photographer Kilian Schonberger in South Tyrol, a province in Northern Italy. These otherworldly structures are created by erosion, in which they rise from clay soil left behind from glaciers during the most recent Ice Age. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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