Boing Boing 

A master of otherworldly space art

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Above, the extrasolar planet 16 Cygni Bb as rendered by artist Ron Miller, illustrator of science, astronomy, and science fiction, and author of "The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, from the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era."

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How to fold the world-record-setting paper airplane "Suzanne"

Here's John M Collins narrating the technique he used to create "Suzanne," his world-championship-winning paper airplane, which set a distance record in 2012 -- the whole thing, along with many more super-advanced paper aviation techniques are laid out in his book, The New World Champion Paper Airplane Book: Featuring the World Record-Breaking Design, with Tear-Out Planes to Fold and Fly.

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Driving a legobot with a simulated worm nervous-system

More news from the Openworm project, whose Kickstarter I posted in April: they've sequenced the connectome of all 302 neurons in a C. Elegans worm, simulated them in software, and put them to work driving a Lego robot.

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Beautiful brain images take over Times Square

Brain City, this beautiful film by Noah Hutton made from neuroimagery collected at leading brain science labs, will screen in New York City just before midnight on Times Square's massive electronic billboards every night this month.

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Slowwwwww Ooooooobleck

The always-entertaining and informative Slow Mo Guys dumped some oobleck (aka non-Newtonian fluid) inside a speaker cone and filmed the fantastic results at 1600 frames-per-second.

Relative Scale of the Solar System Planets, in Fruits

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Image by Avi Solomon, shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.

Photos of forgotten brains in a mental hospital

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In the basement of the University of Texas Mental Hospital, photographer Adam Voorhes stumbled upon hundreds of strange brains in formaldehyde that had been abandoned for decades.

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Italian scientists acquitted of culpability in L'Aquila quake


Seven natural disaster specialists had previously been convicted of manslaughter for not being emphatic enough about the 2009 quake, which killed 309 people, but that conviction's been overturned by an appeals court.

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Planet formation around HL Tau, 450 light years from Earth

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"In a vast disc of dust and gas, dark rings are clearly visible," reports the BBC's Jonathan Webb. "Gaps in the cloud, swept clear by brand new planets in orbit.

We listen to sad music to feel nostalgic

If sadness is an unpleasant emotion, then why are we at times so drawn to sad music? By Dan RudermanRead the rest

$100K life-size T-Rex skeleton replica


It's 40' long from nose to tail, is composed of 190 bones, is billed as "museum grade" and comes with an assembly crew that will stage it in any "anatomically possible" pose. His name is Stan.

The aqua-hamster and the artificial gill (1964)

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Fifty years ago, General Electric Research Lab scientist Walter Robb was on the cover of Science News for creating an ultra-thin membrane that acted like an "artificial gill," pulling enough oxygen from the water to keep a hamster alive in a submerged box wrapped in the stuff.

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More Britons believe in aliens than God

The Independent, citing a YouGov poll, found that a majority of Britons are hot for alien life, but only a minority now believe in the existence of "God."

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Tech projects vein maps during blood donations

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is testing a technology to project a vein map on the arms of blood donors during the phlebotomy.

"Vein visualisation technology uses near infrared technology to project an image of the vein onto the skin," says Dr. Dan Waller, a senior researcher with the organization. "Veins have a lot of deoxygenated haemoglobin that absorbs near infrared light and the device is able to use this information to project the image. The machines have settings to manage individual differences.

"World-first vein viewing tech trial is... not in vain!" (Australian Red Cross)

The Candy Hierarchy, 2014

David Ng and Ben Cohen performed acts of science (realistic ones) in order to determine, once and for all, a true and empirical understanding of which Halloween candies induce the most joy and despair. With more than 40,000 of your votes duly recorded, the results below are indisputably unassailable.Read the rest

Eight year old's incredible prize-winning scorpion photo

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Spanish photographer Carlos Perez Naval, age 8, won the London Natural History Museum's Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 prize for this breathtaking photo of a yellow scorpion. From the photo description:

Carlos had found it basking on a flat stone in a rocky area near his home in Torralba de los Sisones, northeast Spain – a place he often visits to look for reptiles. The late afternoon Sun was casting such a lovely glow over the scene that Carlos decided to experiment with a double exposure for the first time so he could include it. He started with the background, using a fast speed so as not to overexpose the Sun, and then shot the scorpion using a low flash. But he had to change lenses, using his zoom for the Sun, which is when the scorpion noticed the movement and raised its tail. Carlos then had to wait for it to settle before taking his close-up, with the last of the light illuminating its body.

Carlos Perez Naval's Retazos de Naturaleza

And see all the 2014 winning photos here.

Pope: God "is not a magician" and Big Bang and evolution are A-ok

"When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so," Pope Francis said at a Pontifical Academy of Sciences meeting on the topic of "Evolving Concepts of Nature."

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WATCH: Sugar in liquid nitrogen glows when exposed to UV light

Mikhail Svarichevsky demonstrates an interesting phenomenon: supercooled sugarcubes briefly glow green when exposed to UV light. Don't tell Insane Clown Posse about this baffling miracle.

Fabian Oefner's ferrofluidic cover for Guster's new album

Watch artist Fabian Oefner manipulating ferrofluid (magnetized liquid) and watercolors into a stunning psychedelic pattern that appears on the cover of alt.pop trio Guster's forthcoming album Evermotion.

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Video: Wondrous pygmy seahorses

KQED takes a Deep Look at pygmy seahorses, recently bred in captivity for the first time thanks to biologists at the California Academy of Sciences.

Visualization: The Elements According to Relative Abundance (1970)

An excellent graphic from 1970 by Santa Clara University chemistry professor William F. Sheehan (RIP). (via Clifford Pickover)

Mind-controlling parasites (and the parasites that infect them)

A great, full-body-squick-inducing article in National Geographic provides an overview of the current research on parasites that use a combination of techniques to control their hosts' behavior, making them sacrifice themselves for the sake of the parasites and their offspring.

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Woman sees 100 times more colors than you

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Artist Concetta Antico is a tetrachromat, meaning a genetic mutation in her eyes enables her to see approximately 100 times more colors than an average person.

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Lamar "SOPA" Smith dispatches GOP commissars to National Science Foundation

The Republican Texas Congressjerk maintains a flying squad of political officers who descend upon the NSF to pore through its grant records looking for evidence of ideologically impure science.

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Anatomical diagram cushion-covers



These vintage anatomical diagram cushion covers are $25/each from Manchester's My Wife Your Wife: there's the finger cross-section, the hair follicle, and the throat and mouth cavity.

(via Geeky Merch)

Inviting all Eco-Futurists to Bioneers, Oct 17-19/Marin, with Kim Stanley Robinson


Josh writes, "Boing Boing readers and Eco-Futurists are invited to the 25th Annual Bioneers Summit Conference in Marin, CA, October 17-19. Enter BOING4BIONEERS at check out for an exclusive 25% discount!"

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Brain-computer interface gives lock-in sufferers a way to communicate

"Noninvasive brain-computer interface enables communication after brainstem stroke" (Science Translational Medicine) reports on the successful use of a brain-computer interface to allow an individual with "lock in syndrome" (conscious and aware, but unable to move any part of his body) to spell words and carry on dialogue with his family.

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This one U.S. hotspot produces the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane. Why?

The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan


The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan

A new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and University of Michigan One shows that one small “hot spot” in the American Southwest produces the greatest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the United States.

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Scientific evidence of very brief "life after death"?

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The largest scientific study of "life after death" and near death experiences in cardiac arrest patients (who were resuscitated) suggests that some people may sustain several minutes of awareness after the heart stops.

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Lab-grown penises ready for testing

In the next few years, researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine hope to transplant lab-grown penises into people who need them due to congenital abnormalities, disease, or traumatic injury.

The penises are grown from the patient's own cells on a 3D collagen scaffold made from a donor penis. Studies on rabbits "were very encouraging," says tissue engineering pioneer Anthony Atala, director of the Institute. From The Guardian:

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Because the method uses a patient's own penis-specific cells, the technology will not be suitable for female-to-male sex reassignment surgery.

"Our target is to get the organs into patients with injuries or congenital abnormalities," said Atala, whose work is funded by the US Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which hopes to use the technology to help soldiers who sustain battlefield injuries.

As a paediatric urological surgeon, Atala began his work in 1992 to help children born with genital abnormalities. Because of a lack of available tissue for reconstructive surgery, baby boys with ambiguous genitalia are often given a sex-change at birth, leading to much psychological anguish in later life. "Imagine being genetically male but living as a woman," he said. "It's a firmly devastating problem that we hope to help with."