How do you replace a 100-year-old collection of preserved snakes and spiders that's been used by scientists all around the world to study the workings of evolution? Researchers at Sao Paulo's Instituto Butantan are trying to figure that out in the wake of a devastating fire that destroyed the largest collection of dead snakes, spiders and scorpions in the world. Some 80,000 snakes and several thousand spiders and scorpions were lost, including several specimens that had never been cataloged. Beyond simple scientific curiosity, the collection played an important role in helping scientists understand and prevent extinctions. You could always collect another 100K creepy crawlies, but they wouldn't cover the same significant historic ground.
Ultra-white is the new Vantablack. Purdue University researchers developed the whitest white paint ever. It reflects 98.1% of sunlight. (The blackest black paint, Vantablack, absorbs 99.9% of visible light.) According to lead researcher Xiulin Ruan, "f you were to use this paint to cover a roof area of about 1,000 square feet, we estimate that… READ THE REST
On Sunday, Ingenuity—the small helicopter delivered to the surface of Mars by the Perseverance rover—will, hopefully, take its first flight. The distance between Earth and Mars means that lagtime precludes real-time remote control. The helicopter flies autonomously, but the helicopter's digital twin had a lot of practice in simulations back on Earth. At IEEE Spectrum,… READ THE REST
Turns out, you can — if you can get the slapping machine to stay alive long enough for the 135,000 slaps required to get it to a minimum safe temperature to eat. Science! Image: Screengrab READ THE REST
Back in 1992, Luminox was a fledgling sports watch manufacturer when it began working with the U.S. Navy to create a new watch for use by elite Navy SEALs. After that popular Navy SEAL watch was born, other elite units reached out to follow suit as Luminox crafted timepieces for the U.S. Coast Guard, the… READ THE REST
The humidifier has been around for almost 100 years, going through all kinds of design variations and advancements along the way. Considering all that potential research and development time, it begs an important question. Why do you have to fill most humidifiers from the bottom? It seems like a pretty significant design flaw that most… READ THE REST
With the spring in full force, we have a question. Why is spring the only season that results in cleaning? Sure, we all batten down for winter, so we likely are a bit laxer about straightening up the house during the coldest months of the year. But seriously… is spring cleaning an excuse to live like… READ THE REST