Paint a room in light colors to make it look bigger. Wear black to look slimmer. These are well known facts about how color influences our perception—but it’s not all black and white.
New research from Boston College is showing that color saturation — how pure a color is — affects how we perceive an objects’ size. The more saturated a color is, the bigger something looks, the researchers say, with attendant implications for marketing an ...read more
An artist’s conception of the AeroMobil flying car. (Credit: AeroMobil)
Flying cars are up against a wall — literally. Turning aircraft into street-safe machines requires manufacturers to prove their safety standards in crash tests. So at least one expensive prototype needs to get smashed to smithereens, while its dummy passengers survive. This is no small financial hurdle, and for a decade the industry has been just a few years away from getting models street-certified.
Flying Car ...read more
While you’re writing down yet another password on the notepad hidden in your desk drawer, a squirrel is retrieving nuts it buried months earlier. It’s no secret these animals have good memories. But they don’t only remember where they stuck stuff: squirrels can remember how to solve a puzzle almost two years after they last saw it. And they can use that knowledge to tackle a problem they haven’t seen before.
In a lab at the University of Exeter, Pizza Ka Y ...read more
The rice grain-sized microchip from Biohax. (Credit: Biohax)
A Wisconsin company will be the first in the United States to implant microchips beneath the skin of its employees.
Three Squared Market (32M), a break-room kiosk company, has offered to give its workers subdermal RFID tags, tiny rice-grain-sized pellets that can hold information like credit card numbers and passwords. With their “handy” chips, they’ll be able to unlock doors, log in to computers, and, of course, bu ...read more
An artist’s illustration of the orphaned planet WISEA J114724.10−204021.3. Our galaxy is likely teeming with rogue planets, but they’re very difficult to find. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Not all stars are good parents to their budding planets — some get downright nasty and kick their children into interstellar space.
We’ve found a handful of these free orphaned planets before, and their called “rogue planets.” But a study today in Nature Astronomy sugge ...read more
Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center is working with the University of Michigan on developing heart monitoring methods that could someday help predict heart attacks in drivers. Credit: University of Michigan
A heart attack or diabetic blackout can have especially deadly consequences for drivers when they cause car crashes. Toyota researchers hope to change that grim equation by studying how wearable devices could help smart cars possibly save lives by predicting medica ...read more
Actually, it’s a sunspot group, and the active region it is tied too let loose an aurora-causing eruption of hot plasma
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft captured this view of a sunspot rotating into view between July 5 and 11, 2017. (Source: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Joy Ng, producer)
I guess I just can’t get enough of time-lapse animations.
A couple of days ago, I was mesmerized by an animation of satellite images showing not ...read more
A number of so-called scientific journals have accepted a Star Wars-themed spoof paper. The manuscript is an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes. I know because I wrote it.
Inspired by previous publishing “stings”, I wanted to test whether ‘predatory‘ journals would publish an obviously absurd paper. So I created a spoof manuscript about “midi-chlorians” – the fictional entities which live inside cells and give Jedi their powers in ...read more
A new soft robot grows like a creeping vine to weave its way around obstacles and nose into tiny spaces.
From researchers at Stanford University, the robot consists mostly of an inflatable tube that’s been folded in on itself and coiled up. To move, a pneumatic pump fills the tube with air, pushing it forward by drawing material from the inside. In initial tests, the robot stretched as far as 72 meters from an initial length of 28 centimeters and reached speeds of over 20 mph.
Grow Robot, ...read more
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