Intruiguing ideas and concepts
Hold onto your hat/life partner/gonads: Scientists in Germany have created small, zeolite pellets that can store up to four times more heat than water, loss-free for “lengthy periods of time.” In theory, you can store heat in these pellets, and then extract exactly the same amount of heat after an indeterminate amount of time. Zeolites (literally “boil stones”) aren’t exactly new: The term was coined in 1756 by Axel Cronstedt, a Swedish mineralogist who noted that some minerals, upon being heated, release large amounts of steam from water that had been previously adsorbed. For the last 250 years, scientists have tried to shoehorn this process in a heat storage system — and now, the Fraunhofer Institute, working with industrial partners, has worked out how to do it. I will try to explain how this works, but the science is fairly complicated: When Fraunhofer’s zeolite comes into contact with water, a chemical reaction adsorbs the water and emits heat. Zeolite thermal storage retains heat indefinitely, absorbs four times more heat than water
New 'soft' motor made from artificial muscles Public release date: 15-Feb-2012 [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Jennifer Lauren Leejlee@aip.org 301-209-3099American Institute of Physics "Perhaps the earliest public demonstration of an electric motor," writes a team of researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, "involved the automatic rotation of a turkey on a spit over a fire" at a party put on by Benjamin Franklin in 1749. Franklin's electrostatic motor was self-commutating, meaning that it was able to provide a continuous torque while it turned without requiring external electronics to control its progress.
The proficiency that a bilingual person has of both languages, the context in which he speaks them or unconscious changes in their use are the factors that make people who speak Spanish and Catalan switch from one language to another. The group of Cognition and Brain Plasticity at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), led by Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells, has designed a questionnaire that allows understanding individual differences among bilinguals when they change the language (switching). The study was conducted on a sample of 566 college students Spanish-Catalan bilingual and has been published in the latest issue of the journal Frontiers in Psychology. What causes language switching in bilinguals?
"Metabolic syndrome" (MetSyn) has been termed the "Epidemic of the 21 st century." MetSyn is an accretion of symptoms, including high body mass index (weight-for-height), high blood sugar, high blood pressure (BP), high blood triglycerides, high waist circumference (central/visceral fat deposition), and/or reduced HDL-cholesterol, the so-called "good" cholesterol. Epidemics of Obesity and diabetes are intertwined with, and accompany, the meteoric rise in MetSyn.
Sharing stuff and services conserves resources and builds our ties with our neighbors—but it also saves money, sometimes a lot of money. The first step is to do an inventory and look at the ways you're already sharing; I bet you'll be surprised. Then ask yourself, what else can I share? Here are ten of our top suggestions, culled from a year's worth of content on Shareable.net—and we’d love to hear yours in a comment! 10. Top 10 ways to save money through sharing
Was this chicken safe even before it was fried? Thinfilm could help us find out. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired Whenever I pick up a package of frozen raw meat from the grocery store, I wonder, “Has this been frozen the whole time? How many times did it thaw and re-freeze?” Printed Sensors Could Help Save You From Spoiled Food | Gadget Lab
AUSTIN, Texas—Astrophysicists have a funny attitude toward magnetic fields. You might say they feel both repelled and attracted. Gravitation is assumed to rule the cosmos, so models typically neglect magnetism, which for most researchers is just as well, because the theory of magnetism has a forbidding reputation. The basic equations are simple enough, solving them less so. Magnetoastrocoolness: How Cosmic Magnetic Fields Shape Planetary Systems
Book Review: Our Magnetic Earth, by Ronald Merrill | Degrees of Freedom A magnetic sense is now well documented in dozens of animal species. It turns out that tracking the geomagnetic field—that same invisible thing that points compasses—is handy for life, in lots of situations. Using their internal compasses, naked mole rats in Africa navigate their pitch-black underground mazes. Lobsters off Bermuda find their way to regions of the seafloor where they congregate to spawn. Thrushes migrate south in the autumn and north in the spring.
Alexander's Horned Sphere fractal changes how we define inside and outside I think what they mean is that for a common sphere, everything is uniform enough to slip the band off again with no damage to the sphere or the band. With a hrned sphere, because it branches off infintismally, any attempt to put a band around it will either damage the sphere, or damage the band becuae it gets snagged on a branch. It is clear as mud.
Simple technique results in surprising repellency results (PhysOrg.com) -- Anyone who has ever worn eyeglasses for any length of time can surely attest to the annoyance of constantly having to clean off the oil left behind by finger touching. Not only does it dirty the lens, but removal requires a solvent, rather than a simple tissue. Doris Vollmer can relate, and that’s just what got her thinking about the soot given off by her Christmas candles.
Author: Moacir L. Ferreira Jr. 1. Presentation Phase-shift Plasma Turbine
E-Cat household fusion still sketch, may be in Home Depot in 2012 We're still not totally sold on the technology behind the E-Cat dirt cheap eco-friendly fully operational household cold fusion thing, mostly because things that seem too good to be true usually turn out to be exactly that way. But whether we believe it or not, household systems reportedly may be available in Home Depot later this year. According to the rather secretive people behind the Energy Catalyzer (or E-Cat), the breadbox-sized device uses a jump start of electricity to begin combining hydrogen with nickel via a special catalyst to generate heat. It doesn't emit any carbon and isn't radioactive, but it has about the same power density as a uranium fission reactor core.
Synthetic Skin From Spider Silk Heals Wounds Photo by I'll Never Grow Up via Flickr CC Researchers have been looking for better alternatives for providing skin grafts to wounds, and it turns out they need look no further than the animal kingdom. Spider silk is legendary for its strength, as well as its possible healing properties. Tissue engineer Hanna Wendt at Medical School Hannover in Germany honed in on this and found that by creating an artificial skin spun from spider silk, we could have an ideal answer for helping heal wounds. Growing Skin On Spider SilkThe findings were published in the July 26th issue of PLoS ONE.
Transparent crab shell holds the secret to bendable screens Biologists from Kyoto University in Japan have turned a crab's shell transparent. More than just a neat party trick, the research into see-through structures could help the construction of flat panel displays, solar cells and bendy screens. Muhammad Iftekhar Shams and his team at Kyoto University took an entire (dead) crab, and treated its body to a brew of acids and chemicals. Hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide and ethanol stripped the body of minerals, proteins, lipids, fats and pigments. This left a crab shell made entirely of translucent chitin. Chitin is a long-chain polymer that is the main component of crustacean exoskeletons.
The physicist Niels Bohr once defined an expert as “a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” Bohr’s quip summarizes one of the essential lessons of learning, which is that people learn how to get it right by getting it wrong again and again. Education isn’t magic.
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