tech e blog

Snake Caterpillar

It looks like a snake, probably moves similar to one, but is actually the Dynastor darius darius, a harmless caterpillar with mind-twisting camouflage. When the larvae transform into butterflies or moths, this creature - native to Trinidad - mimics the head of a Gaboon pit viper to successfully fool even the toughest of its predators. The transformation takes approximately 13 days, a time in which this mimicry is its only line of defense. To make it even more believable, the chrysalis hangs on the underside of forest leaves at a carefully selected angle. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Flipped Iceberg

No, these images are not Photoshopped, they just show real icebergs that have flipped. The ice ultimately looks so majestic when flipped because the newer ice has been melted away, and air is compressed out of the ice as it formed into a glacier. Prior to flipping into a body of water, all of the unexposed ice looks like this when the newer layers are stripped away. That density is why glacial ice looks so blue. Continue reading for more interesting pictures.

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8-year-old Microbes

Photo credit: Tasha Sturm via Ziya Tong

Lab technician Tasha Sturm at Cabrillo College in California has just released a mind-boggling photo series that illustrate the wonderful, yet slightly creepy, world of microbes that lives on human skin. This colorful petri dish filled with microbes, including yeast and fungi, are that of her 8-year-old son's hand after he finished playing outside. Continue reading for up-close shots and more information.

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Wi-Fi Powered Electronics

What if you could charge your laptop without even plugging it into an outlet? That dream may soon become a reality as University of Washington researchers have developed PoWiFi, a technology that harvests ambient "backscatter" radio signals to power battery-free temperature and camera sensors as well as some electronics. The team also provided a detailed description of how they successfully powered devices over Wi-Fi using existing Wi-Fi chipsets, without hampering the router's performance. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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CREP Protect Neverwet

Crep Protect, similar to Neverwet technology, is a superhydrophobic spray that will shield your shoes from liquids, making them slide right off like magic. Just spray your shoes, and the invisible coat lasts approximately two weeks per treatment, repelling liquids and preventing any stains from ruining your footwear. It works on a wide array of construction materials including leather, suede, nubuck and even canvas. Product page. Continue reading for two video demonstrations and more information.

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Boyan Slat Ocean Cleanup Array

Finally, the Ocean Cleanup Array, invented by 20-year-old Boyan Slat, is set to launch in Japan. This array essentially uses natural ocean currents and winds to passively transport plastic towards an anchored collection platform. Floating barriers prevent sea life from getting entangled while large booms extend outwards at angles to direct debris towards the collection platform. Many tests were conducted to see if the array was feasible, including one performed at the Azores Islands to measure the design's capture and concentration potential using a floating barrier with a skirt depth of 3m. It successfully captured floating bits of ocean plastic, which can be recycled through processes that turn it into oil, without catching large amounts of zooplankton. Continue reading for a video, more pictures and additional information.

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Scientists Stop Light

German scientists at Darmstadt Technical University have managed to stop light for an entire minute, smashing earlier records. They stopped the light using a technique called electromagnetically induced transparency, in which complex information was imprinted on a light beam. Basically, they directed a second light source at the now-transparent crystal, turned the control laser off making it opaque, thus causing the light from the secondary source to remain trapped inside the crystal. The opacity meant that the light inside could no longer bounce around. Continue reading for a video news report and more information.

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Black Rain Frog

If Grumpy Cat was a frog, it'd probably be a black rain frog whose natural habitats are temperate forests and Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation. Unfortunately, this species threatened by habitat loss. That is just one of the many bizarre frogs you won't believe actually exist in the wild, and some of the others include: camouflaged toads, a Cuban tree frog eating a light bulb, a species that look like moss and lots more. Continue reading to see them all.

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Solar Roadways

Here's another look at Solar Roadways, which are one step closer to becoming a reality. For those who missed the story, Scott and Julie Brusaw basically want to build roads with solar panels, not asphalt. They envision a modular paving system of solar panels on roads, driveways and parking lots that can withstand vehicles weighing up to 250,000-pounds, while simultaneously creating solar energy to power homes and businesses. Plus, the panels would also be able to heat themselves to stay snow-free. Continue reading for the original video as well as an update.

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Water Tourmaline Stone

While bismuth crystals can easily be found online, the watermelon tourmaline" - a crystalline boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium - is definitely something you don't see everyday. Supposedly, this is a rare variety that displays 3 different colors in the same gemstone: green (watermelon skin), pink (the fruit) and white (the rind). Similar to the ametrine gemstone, the colors of the watermelon tourmaline occur 100% naturally in nature. Continue reading for more.

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