Jul 27, 2016

The Smithsonian is hiring a beer historian

posted by Larra Morris

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The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC wants a beer scholar on staff to explore and explain beer in American life. The Washington City Paper quotes curator Paula Johnson:

"We have collected food history for many years, so when we were doing the research for the exhibition, which is all about big changes in the post WW II era in how and what we eat, one thing we were curious about is the craft beer movement," Johnson says. "We were looking at wine, coffee, cheese, artisanal bread, and farmers markets. Well, this movement with small-scale, local regional beer is part of the ethos."
via Neatorama

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Photo: @joefoodie


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Jul 27, 2016

Inkjet printed solar cell turns your portrait into a power source

posted by Larra Morris

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Researchers at Aalto University have come up with an inexpensive inkjet-printed solar cell that can be made into text or images. Designed to be used with low-power devices, it has already shown performance and durability comparable to that of existing organic dye solar cells.

The cell is formed by inkjet printing a concentrated dye solution on a titanium oxide film, which acts as an electrolyte. This combination was originally developed by the Swiss École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Aalto team has applied it to form solar cells using an image file with darkness and transparency suitably adjusted for clarity and efficiency. The result is a colorful, patterned cell that can not only generate electricity, but is pleasing to look at and can convey information by text or digital code.
via Gizmag

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Jul 26, 2016

Solar Impulse becomes first plane to go around the world using solar power

posted by Larra Morris

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Over 17,000 solar cells line its wings, supplying a series of electric motors and charging four on-board lithium batteries. It’s designed to be entirely solar-powered, and, thanks to those batteries, able to fly through day and night.

Solar Impulse’s journey started in March of last year, and this baby has hit all the hottest airports like Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley International Airport and Dayton, Ohio, managing to make two stops in Arizona. No wonder the journey took a mere 505 days. (FWIW, the plane also traveled at the speed of a car.)
via Gizmodo

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Image: Solar Impulse

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Jul 26, 2016

See this odd "ouroboros" robot roll right along

posted by Larra Morris

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Researchers from Germany's University of Bielefeld presented their OUROBOT, a "Self-Propelled Continuous-Track-Robot for Rugged Terrain," at the recent IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. From their technical paper:

Adapting the concept of continuous tracks that are propelled and guided by wheels, a self-propelled continuous-track-robot has been designed and built. The robot consists of actuated chain segments, thus enabling it to change its form, independent of guiding mechanisms. Using integrated sensors, the robot is able to adapt to the terrain and to overcome obstacles. This allows the robot to “roll” and climb in two dimensions. 
via Boing Boing

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Jul 25, 2016

Regenerating connections between eye and brain restores vision in mice

posted by Larra Morris

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Medical researchers have been able to restore partial vision in mice by regenerating previously severed optic-nerve cables. It's the first time researchers have succeeded in restoring important aspects of vision in mammals, and the breakthrough could lead to future work that restores sight in the blind.
via Gizmag

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Jul 25, 2016

NASA will put Rocket Raccoon and Groot on its new mission patch

posted by Larra Morris

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If there was any doubt in your heart that the people at NASA were a bunch of nerds, here’s the evidence that proves otherwise...

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) announced Friday that Groot and Rocket the Raccoon will be featured on a mission patch that will represent all payloads that will head to the national laboratory on the International Space Station.
via Gizmodo

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Jul 25, 2016

Study: Music is becoming more narcissistic

posted by Larra Morris

 

Explicit bragging and self-congratulation used to be a phenomenon of rap music. Now, according to a study conducted by University of Michigan-Dearborn psychology professors Pamela McAuslan and Marie, Waung it's pervasive in all popular genres. The Pacific Standard describes their research method:

McAuslan and Waung analyzed the lyrics of the top 100 songs from the years 1990, 2000, and 2010, as compiled by Billboard magazine. (Its ratings are based on sales, streaming, radio airplay, and “audience impressions.”) Coders looked for examples of eight categories of self-promotion, including referring to oneself by name and demanding respect.

More recent songs demonstrated increased narcissism:

“Compared with earlier years, songs in 2010 were more likely to include the singer referring to the self by name, general self-promotion, and bragging about wealth, partner’s appearance, or sexual prowess,” the researchers report. “A similar, albeit nonsignificant increase, was also seen for bragging about musical prowess and demands for respect. Overall, the most popular music from 2010 contained more self-promotion than music from 1990 or 2000.”
via Neatorama

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