Sci/Tech

Top 10 Most Stupid Inventions

Posted By Ben Goulding, 4 March, 2010 | permalink

Inventors don’t get it right all the time, so we’ve compiled a list of the 10 stupid inventions.


The Chopstick Fan, because hot noodles is just asking for trouble. The chopstick fan cools down those noodles on your chopsticks like nothing else. I mean, who wants to wait for natural airflow?

(more…)

15 Comments | Posted in: Entertainment | Sci/Tech
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Gorilla Spotted On Mars

Posted By Ben Goulding, 4 March, 2010 | permalink

Does this picture show that there’s a giant silverback gorilla on Mars? *Gasp* Well, it’s certainly got alien hunters excited about the prospect of life in Space.

The image was taken by the Mars Spirit Rover in the Gusev crater, a crater over 100 miles in diameter that is thought to have once been a lake filled with liquid water.

It’s one of several images taken by Spirit that appear to show a gorilla knuckle-walking across the surface of the Red Planet.

Life or rock? I’ll let you make you’re own minds up on that one.

Link

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Warner Bros. May Create Space Invaders Movie

Posted By Ben Goulding, 4 March, 2010 | permalink

For a lot of people, Space Invaders used to be a game countless hours would be wasted on trying to beat that impossible high score, but in today’s vastly technologically superior world, many would say that Space Invaders is an out-dated thing of the past. Those people may have a point, but Warner Bros. thinks otherwise – they want to put the classic arcade game onto the silver screen.

Warner Bros. is negotiating to acquire feature rights to the landmark shooter from Taito, the Japanese company that originally manufactured the game.

It’s not surprising that Warner Bros. would look to jump-start a Space Invaders movie; last summer the studio bought Midway, the video game’s U.S. publisher (which does not control theatrical rights), and also is developing a feature of another video game, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”

If Warner Bros. can make a Space Invaders film, then why not make a ‘Tetris’ one? Alternatively, I can see huge appeal for ‘Pong’ on the silver screen.

Link

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Anatomy of Apple Design

Posted By Ben Goulding, 3 March, 2010 | permalink

Here is a wonderful tribute to the beauty of Apple design. Right from 1976 and the Apple I personal computer kit, to the present day of iPods, iPhones, iPads and so much more. This is for all you Apple fans out there, so sit back and admire.


(Youtube Link)

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How Many Times Can You Fold A Piece Of Paper In Half? (WFOTD)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 2 March, 2010 | permalink

For a long time it was believed that it was impossible to fold a piece of paper in half more than seven times. People would use different sizes and thickness of paper, but to no avail. However, Britney Gallivan solved the paper folding problem and she currently holds the world record for paper folding with an astonishing 12 folds in half.

She was first to discover the reason folding in half has limits and then derived the limits mathematically. The formula Britney came up with is way too complicated to explain here, but if you’re interested, Wikipedia has a shot at it.

1 Comment | Posted in: Sci/Tech
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Chile Earthquake Has Created Shorter Earth Days

Posted By Ben Goulding, 2 March, 2010 | permalink

The massive earthquake that hit Chile on Saturday which measured 8.8 on the Richter Scale, may have shifted the Earth’s axis, consequently creating shorter days, scientists at NASA say.

Don’t worry though, it’s not a noticeable change – in fact, each day should be 1.26 microseconds shorter, according to preliminary calculations. To put that in to context, a microsecond is one-millionth of a second.

Richard Gross, a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, used a computer model to determine how the magnitude 8.8 quake that struck Chile on February 27 may have affected the Earth.

He determined that the quake should have moved the Earth’s figure axis about 3 inches (8 centimeters). The figure axis is one around which the Earth’s mass is balanced. That shift in axis is what may have shortened days.

This isn’t an unusual occurrence after a major earthquake though. We lost 6.8 microseconds in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. They all add up though… well sort of.

Link

3 Comments | Posted in: News | Sci/Tech
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Skinput Turns Your Skin Into A Touchscreen

Posted By Ben Goulding, 2 March, 2010 | permalink

Touchscreen devices are everywhere nowadays, and they’re getting smaller and smaller as technology progresses, but why do we need touchscreen devices when we’ve got our skin? At this point you may be wondering, what has our skin got to do with touch screens. Well actually, our skin can be a touchscreen.

A new skin-based interface called Skinput allows users to use their own hands and arms as touchscreens by detecting the various ultralow-frequency sounds produced when tapping different parts of the skin.

Skinput is a collaboration between Chris Harrison at Carnegie Mellon University and Dan Morris and Desney Tan at Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, Washington. The researchers have shown that Skinput can allow users to simply tap their skin in order to control audio devices, play games, make phone calls, and navigate hierarchical browsing systems.

This video explains how it works.


(Youtube Link)

Link

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Rare Nintendo Game Sells For $41,000

Posted By Ben Goulding, 1 March, 2010 | permalink

Dave was impressed when he heard that an utra-rare Nintendo game sold for $13,000 on eBay, so he headed for his basement to see if he too had video game gold lurking around.

“We had quite a collection (185+ games) that has sat in our basement for over 20 years,” Dave told Y! Games. “The games were on a list to be brought to Goodwill – in fact, within a month, Goodwill was going to have them.”

To his astonishment, not only did he find a copy of the same game that just fetched over $13,000 on eBay — highly sought-after collector’s item Stadium Events — it was in perfect condition, right down to the original shrinkwrapping and Richard Gordman pricetag. (A mere $29.99, if you’re wondering.)

“Now I’m not much of a collector, but I know that having a factory seal is good,” he said.

But he’s only just now finding out quite how good.

As it turns out, the game’s unopened condition makes Dave’s copy of Stadium Events three times more valuable: he sold it on auction site eBay for a breathtaking $41,300. It’s thought to be one of only two shrinkwrapped copies of the game still in existence.

Link

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No One Can Hear You Cry In Space (WFOTD)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 1 March, 2010 | permalink

In space, no one can hear you cry. That’s not because of poor hearing in space however, it’s because you can’t. That’s right, astronauts in space can’t cry properly because there is no gravity, so tears don’t flow down their faces as they would on Earth. Instead, they would just leave their eyes and float around. They can of course still cry, but not in the same way as we’re used to.

I’d like to go to space just to experience that. I’m not too sure how other bodily functions work up there though…

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Cleankeys Touch Keyboard Leaves Bacteria With No Place To Hide

Posted By Ben Goulding, 1 March, 2010 | permalink

Everyday we go about our business on our computers without giving a thought to the thousands of bacteria lurking on the keyboard. In fact, a standard keyboard is one of the most bacteria-dense places in the modern household. If this has grossed you out, don’t worry, Cleankeys can save us.

Cleankeys is a touch sensitive keyboard which eliminates germs without a fuss. Wiping a standard keyboard with a disinfecting cloth kills about 5% of bacteria. Cleankeys claims the same test kills 99% of bacteria on their keyboard, simply because they have nowhere to hide.

At $400 for the standard plastic model and $450 for a glass Cleankeys, it’s not cheap, but at least you’ll have a germ-free keyboard. Alternatively you could just use your immune system. It’s up to you.

Link Via Gizmodo

1 Comment | Posted in: Health | Sci/Tech
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Drawing in Microsoft Excel

Posted By Ben Goulding, 26 February, 2010 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

Excel’s for spreadsheets and numbers right? Wrong. Well, actually it is, but Youtube user shukei01 can use it to create some incredible drawings. This one took 12 hours 56 minutes to complete, but the time-lapse video has squeezed it all into just under 5 minutes.

1 Comment | Posted in: Internet | Sci/Tech
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Self-Righting Dominoes Take All The Fun Out Of It

Posted By Ben Goulding, 25 February, 2010 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

Don’t you find it annoying that when you knock a set of dominoes over, they stay knocked over? Well these clever dominoes stand back up again.

When you press the button the dominoes fall over one by one, however once roughly half have fallen, the dominoes begin to stand up again. This results in two waves of dominoes falling and rising. The cycle continues for five times, finishing with all the dominoes standing up.

The gadget relies on each domino being attached to a solenoid, held by some polyester threads. A microcontroller fires off the solenoids in sequence to haul the dominoes back up at the same rate as they topple.

Via BoingBoing

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Top 10 Most Valuable Comic Books In The World

Posted By Ben Goulding, 25 February, 2010 | permalink

#10 Amazing Fantasy No.15

Best known as the title that introduced the popular superhero character Spider-Man in 1962. It was published by Marvel Comics.

Approximate value in mint condition: $210,000


#9 Flash Comics #1

Published in 1940, and featuring the Flash, this comic is so rare, as it was only produced in very small quantities and issue number 2 was re-named “Whiz Comics”.

Approximate value in mint condition: $290,000


#8 More Fun Comics No.52

The Spectre first appeared in the issue dated February 1940. More Fun Comics was the first publication of the company that would become DC Comics. It was also the first comic book series to feature solely original material rather than reprints of newspaper strips.

Approximate value in mint condition: $300,000


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Pac-Man is LG Logo!

Posted By Ben Goulding, 24 February, 2010 | permalink

Ever noticed this before? It’s clear that Pac-Man evolved from the LG logo. I think I’m going to have to get an LG phone just because of that.

Via

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Weird Fact Of The Day (2/22/10)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 February, 2010 | permalink

Light doesn’t always travel at ‘the speed of light’ – It only goes at that speed (299,792,458 metres per second) when travelling through a vacuum.

Light slows down when it passes through matter. Did you know that we can drive faster than light has travelled? We would actually overtake it on the freeway. In fact, the light would probably get pulled over for going too slowly. That’s because the slowest light has ever been recorded moving at is 38mph, while passing through an ultracold gas of sodium atoms.

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New Armored Wall System Could Replace Sandbags in Afghanistan

Posted By Ben Goulding, 18 February, 2010 | permalink

Troops landing in Afghanistan in the coming months may no longer have to spend countless hours stacking sandbags and digging trenches. An $800,000 investment in an armored wall system known as McCurdy’s Armor could have Marines rapidly erecting 6.5-foot-tall mortar-, RPG- and bullet proof fortresses in less than an hour. And best of all, it stacks like Lego!

The armor can be set up in a variety of arrangements (U-shaped, J-shaped, etc.), and in instances where troops are worried about armor piercing rounds a second layer of armor can supplement the structures. But the walls aren’t just a protective cocoon for far-flung outposts; ballistic windows offer protection while giving Marines a line of sight and the ability to fire downrange, meaning McCurdy’s Armor can be deployed as both a defensive stronghold as well as a tactical firing position.

When it’s time to pull up camp, Marines can quickly break down their ersatz stockade, stack it back in their vehicles and move on to fortify the next position without leaving a single thing behind. Just try pulling that off with sandbags.

Link

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Einstein Is Following Me! [3D Illusion]

Posted By Ben Goulding, 18 February, 2010 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

This is a neat illusion I stumbled upon, in which Einstein’s face follows you wherever you move. Don’t they have one of those with the Wicked Witch’s face in Disney Land? I have no idea how it works, but it’s pretty freaky.

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Weird Fact of the Day (02/18/10)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 18 February, 2010 | permalink

Blood Falls is an odd feature on the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys. Red liquid will occasionally pour out of the glacier, giving it the appearance that it is gushing with blood.

The ‘blood’ is actually caused by a very salty lake called Lake Bonney, which is situated under 1,300 feet of ice. When the water seeps to the surface, it oxidises and turns red.

Want to know more about Blood Falls? Info in the link.

Link

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Traces of ‘Dark Matter’ Discovered 2,000ft Below the Ground

Posted By Ben Goulding, 17 February, 2010 | permalink

Scientists may have caught their first glimpse of dark matter, 2,000ft below the Earth’s surface.

The invisible substance, which has been mysterious to scientists throughout time, was picked up using highly sensitive detectors buried 2,000 ft below the ground at the bottom of an old iron mine.

Dark matter makes up three quarters of the matter of the universe, and the scientists believe that there is a 75 percent chance that these particles are the genuine substance, rather than just background noise.

Link

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Weird Fact of the Day (02/17/10)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 17 February, 2010 | permalink

NASA scientists working on several missions to send robotic probes to Mars have had to live and work for months on Mars time. A day on Mars is 39.5 minutes longer than Earth’s, which consequently meant that all their Earth-made watches were completely useless, so NASA commissioned custom-made watches which had seconds 2.7% slower than normal so they could keep track of the Martian time. Genius!

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