A cool way to turn a window into a door

Last weekend, I visited St. Louis and got to catch up with some friends who live in an old brick house in that city's South Grand/Tower Grove neighborhood. (Which is awesome, by the way. After hearing nothing but bad news about St. Louis for years, I was pleasantly surprised by great, thriving neighborhoods like this one.)

There's a little porch off one of the upstairs windows, facing the street. But, at first, it's not entirely clear how you get out onto it. But, whoever built this old house had a clever trick up their sleeve — and it's one I'd never seen in action before. That's a picture of the closed window above. Read the rest

Film soaked in hydrochloric acid

MattAttackPro is a chemistry and physics teacher in South Carolina. This is what happened when he dropped a roll of unused camera film into a container of hydrochloric acid.

What you're seeing is the plastic backing separating from the "film" from which film takes its name—a coating of multiple layers of light-sensitive salts suspended in gelatin. Yes, film is like a jello salad. And it makes for a beautiful photograph.

See the photo on Instagram Read the rest

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Odds are good you won't be hit by a satellite this weekend

A retired climate research satellite will plummet to Earth on Friday. There is a 1-in-3,200 chance of it hitting a person. BUT! Don't worry too much about that, says Scientific American reporter John Matson. A 1-in-3200 chance of a piece of the satellite hitting somebody, is not the same as a 1-in-3200 chance of it hitting you, specifically. He calculates the risk of that as 1-in-22 trillion. Read the rest

Listen to Perseid meteor shower

Photographer Travis Morisse took this great shot of a meteor streaking across the sky near Hutchinson, Kansas.

Which reminds me, the Moon may obscure your view of the Perseid meteor shower, but you can still listen to the meteors. It's all thanks to NASA's SpaceWeatherRadio, which translates radio waves into sound. Radio waves are beamed into the upper atmosphere and bounce off of meteors. The "echo" of that is what you'll be listening to. It's eerie and fabulous. You can listen live, or check out recordings from meteor showers past.

Via Bad Astronomy Read the rest