futureofscience
futureofscience:

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First Cousin
Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home.
NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered.
It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute.

futureofscience:

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First Cousin

Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home.

NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered.

It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute.

futureofscience
futureofscience:

Why Drink From a Water Bottle When You Can Eat This Blob Instead?
The new water blob, Ooho, could be a viable alternative to the plastic water bottle.
Trapped inside two layers of membrane made of brown algae and calcium chloride, water is released from the glob of liquid when its casing is punctured. The membrane can then either be eaten or thrown away, similar to the skin of an apple.
Though it’s not as sturdy as a water bottle, García González said a collection of smaller Oohos could be kept in a bigger one with a thicker membrane to prevent unwanted spills (and so that not all of the water has to be consumed in one fell swoop) and its double-membrane design would keep the product hygienic (you could peel back the first one and sip from the second). It may not be the neatest way to hydrate, as seen in this Fast Company video, but according to García González smaller Oohos will be easier to sip without getting wet.

futureofscience:

Why Drink From a Water Bottle When You Can Eat This Blob Instead?

The new water blob, Ooho, could be a viable alternative to the plastic water bottle.

Trapped inside two layers of membrane made of brown algae and calcium chloride, water is released from the glob of liquid when its casing is punctured. The membrane can then either be eaten or thrown away, similar to the skin of an apple.

Though it’s not as sturdy as a water bottle, García González said a collection of smaller Oohos could be kept in a bigger one with a thicker membrane to prevent unwanted spills (and so that not all of the water has to be consumed in one fell swoop) and its double-membrane design would keep the product hygienic (you could peel back the first one and sip from the second). It may not be the neatest way to hydrate, as seen in this Fast Company video, but according to García González smaller Oohos will be easier to sip without getting wet.

futureofscience
futureofscience:

Cloaking Material Makes Objects Imperceptible to Touch
"Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have created a material that sounds like something from a fictional tale: an elasto-mechanical unfeelability cloak. The polymer-based, scaffold-like structure can mask the presence of an object so it’s imperceptible to the human touch.
If you, for example, stepped on a large enough rock, the rubber and foam in your shoe would deform and result in a noticeable bulge. If your shoes were made of the cloaking material, it would disperse the pressure in such a way that you wouldn’t notice the rock beneath your foot.
How Does It Work? Researchers produced their metamaterial using 3-D laser lithography to cut and shape needle-shaped cones whose tips meet. These elements were assembled into something that looks like a tiny brick with a honeycomb structure. The size and contact points where the tips meet vary depending on their location, so that objects within the material are imperceptible. “

futureofscience:

Cloaking Material Makes Objects Imperceptible to Touch

"Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have created a material that sounds like something from a fictional tale: an elasto-mechanical unfeelability cloak. The polymer-based, scaffold-like structure can mask the presence of an object so it’s imperceptible to the human touch.

If you, for example, stepped on a large enough rock, the rubber and foam in your shoe would deform and result in a noticeable bulge. If your shoes were made of the cloaking material, it would disperse the pressure in such a way that you wouldn’t notice the rock beneath your foot.

How Does It Work?
Researchers produced their metamaterial using 3-D laser lithography to cut and shape needle-shaped cones whose tips meet. These elements were assembled into something that looks like a tiny brick with a honeycomb structure. The size and contact points where the tips meet vary depending on their location, so that objects within the material are imperceptible. “

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World’s Fair 50:
The Automatic Language Translator

Another World’s Fair crowd pleaser was the IBM Automatic Language Translator. In a live demonstration, the computer translated Russian text into English in a matter of seconds.

The most amazing part was that the translation wasn’t created from a computerized ‘dictionary search’ but from the analysis of both languages’ complex nuances and shades of meaning, syntax and grammar. To think that 50 years later, we have smart phones with translation apps for just about every language spoken.  Очень здорово. Translation: Very cool.  

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Penguin watching made with data. Before data became a household name, zoos depended on good weather and maybe the birth of a cute, baby elephant to draw crowds. Now they’re able to keep visitors coming with social media and analytics. Like The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington. It feeds the public’s interest in the zoo with data by taking what they learn from comments on social media and offering special deals and membership events on the fly. Watch the Dispatch | Explore more stories →

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Penguin watching made with data. 
Before data became a household name, zoos depended on good weather and maybe the birth of a cute, baby elephant to draw crowds. Now they’re able to keep visitors coming with social media and analytics. Like The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington. It feeds the public’s interest in the zoo with data by taking what they learn from comments on social media and offering special deals and membership events on the fly.
Watch the Dispatch Explore more stories →

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While Northern Hemispherians fill up on extra Vitamin D today, IBM researchers and Swiss engineers are looking to top off the energy needs of the planet. Using mirrored, solar tracking parabolic dishes, they’re prototyping a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal System (HCPVT) that concentrates radiation as if shined on by 1,600 suns. Dotted across just a small fraction of the Earth’s surface, the project has the potential to replace all of our fossil and nuclear energy. Pretty cool stuff.
Now go outside and enjoy the summer solstice.
 

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While Northern Hemispherians fill up on extra Vitamin D today, IBM researchers and Swiss engineers are looking to top off the energy needs of the planet. Using mirrored, solar tracking parabolic dishes, they’re prototyping a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal System (HCPVT) that concentrates radiation as if shined on by 1,600 suns. Dotted across just a small fraction of the Earth’s surface, the project has the potential to replace all of our fossil and nuclear energy. Pretty cool stuff.

Now go outside and enjoy the summer solstice.