Oct 24, 2014

Hydroceramic walls could cool buildings by sweating like human skin

posted by Larra Morris

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Our reliance on air conditioning, however magical an innovation, has become a serious environmental burden. Which is why researchers in Barcelona designed a material they say can naturally cool rooms by about 5 degrees Celsius, using a moisture-absorbing polymer that "sweats" much like our own body...

At the core of the idea are hydrogels, magic little boba-like polymers that can expand up to 400 percent when absorbing any moisture around them. Then as the water evaporates, the hydrogels shrink, releasing the water and cooling the area around them.
via Gizmodo

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Oct 24, 2014

Dangerous Popsicles: Frozen treats shaped like cacti and deadly pathogens

posted by Larra Morris

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Dangerous Popsicles is a collection of fearsome popsicles shaped like cacti and deadly pathogens. Designer Wei Li created the treats, first 3D printing the forms, and then making silicon popsicle molds. The popsicles are presented as an experiment in “user-unfriendliness.” Li has posted instructions on how to make your own Dangerous Popsicles on Instructables.

Dangerous Popsicles create a unique sensory experience. Before tasting with your tongue, you first taste with your eyes and mind. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti are enough to stimulate your senses, even before your first taste.
via Laughing Squid

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Image: Wei Li 

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Oct 24, 2014

Uber delivers flu shots: How on-demand tech can do good

posted by Larra Morris

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Flu is most dangerous to the most vulnerable—small children, the elderly, the immuno-compromised—and every responsible adult should get a flu shot to help keep the germ from spreading. Typically, this involves a trip to the doctor or a local drug store. But on Thursday, in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C., there was another option that didn’t even involve leaving the house: Uber.

At midday in these cities, Uber added on-demand flu shots to its standard menu of on-demand ride options. With the Uber app, users could call for a registered nurse, who would arrive to administer a flu shot at an indoor location of their choosing. The shots were free, and one request was good for shots for up to 10 people. The company also says it will donate $5 per shot given to Red Cross vaccination efforts for children.
via Wired

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Image: David Cheskin/PA Wire

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Oct 23, 2014

This dress Is made of chocolate

posted by Larra Morris

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For Chocolate Week, Caroline McCall, a wardrobe designer for Downton Abbey, made this Art Deco-inspired dress. It took 3 months and 132 pounds of chocolate, a few of which presumably did not make it into the actual dress but were judiciously expended in the creative process.
via Neatorama

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Oct 23, 2014

New tablet case recognizes sign language and translates it into text

posted by Larra Morris

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But Campbell wants to change this. He’s the co-founder and CEO of MotionSavvy, an Alameda, California-based startup that’s developing a case for tablet computers that can serve as a virtual interpreter for the deaf. Known as UNI, the case uses gesture recognition technology developed by Leap Motion to translate sign language into audible speech. It then merges this with voice recognition technology to convert spoken word to text. Because there are a variety of signs for any given word, users can upload new signs using a feature called Sign Builder. The system learns how individual users sign, while also distributing each new sign to every UNI device.
via Wired

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Image: MotionSavvy

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Oct 22, 2014

Subatomic particles are really small

posted by Laura Domela

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via xkcd

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Oct 22, 2014

TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL CAPSLOCK DAY

posted by Laura Domela

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via Metafilter

 Official Home Page could use a bit of a redesign. Or maybe just design. :)

IMAGE CREDIT:  INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY/FACEBOOK
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