Humans have often looked into the sky and seen Saturn, but never have we known what our Earth would look from the vantage point of that planet. Well, now we do. As usual, it’s the pale blue dot in the sky. Saturn is 900 million miles from Earth, and the Cassini spacecraft has been hanging out with the beautiful ringed planet for a while now.
Disney Research has found a way to make thin air tactile. Called Aireal, the device is a low cost, scalable haptic technology that can work in a number of ways. It can be used to create a sensation of touching virtual objects, textures and gain feedback on full body gestures. It is perhaps significant that these do not require the user to wear a full body suit, but rather work independently.
Phone batteries have a bad habit of dying when you need them the most. Presumably, researchers at two British Universities were so pissed by the bad habit of phone batteries, they decided to charge them up with pee. Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a collaboration between University of Bristol and University of the West of England to have micro-organisms feed on urine and release energy in the process.
Contact lenses have steadfastly stuck to their same job for a long time. Mostly as corrective influence on vision, sometimes cosmetic. This time however, they want a superhero-ish job with the promise of super vision. A team of researchers led by Joseph Ford of UCSD and Eric Tremblay of EPFL have developed a contact lens that allows the wearer a 3x optical zoom when desired. A hardly noticable telescopic lens eye implant totally does sound like the stuff of sci-fi and enhanced vision.
It is quite interesting that while we look at stars unfathomable distances away, we have little detail on the bodies in our solar system. But then again, we don’t know much about what goes on under the Earth’s crust, well not at least as much as we would like to know. Finally, we do know a little bit more about Mercury, the planet in our solar system closest to the sun.
Mystery of the universe and the beauty of space has always been captivating to us, looking into the huge expanse is what humans have been doing since forever. Modern technology means we can afford better looks at the universe the likes of which were entirely unavailable to our ancestors, and there still is a lot more to know. The video here gives us an excellent look at the known universe, mapped in 3D and covering the area of 120 million light years that we can observe.
For years, scientists have been looking at rocks in the Death Valley and scratching their heads. Rocks in the Racetrack Playa area of the death valley have trails behind them that show they moved, but nobody has seen one move and there was no explainable force at work that could be seen pushing around rocks as heavy as 700 pounds across the dry bed of a lake. Often called Sailing Stones, the rocks seemed to have moved by their own will in some magical sort of way.