Stress ball oozes beads

This large yellow stress ball seems to contain an infinite supply of oozing gelatinous beads.

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Slug mucus-like adhesive could be the next surgical glue

Slug mucus sticks well to wet tissues, which appeals to surgeons. David J. Mooney of Harvard University made a glue similar to slug snot, and "tested the adhesive on pig skin, liver, heart, and cartilage and found that it was stronger than both cyanoacrylate (superglue) and a surgical sealant called CoSeal," reports Chemical and Engineering News.

Mooney and his colleagues came across a paper analyzing the material properties of mucus from a type of slug (Arion subfuscus). The sticky mucus has two components: polycations that help the mucus adhere to surfaces through electrostatic interactions and covalent bonding, and a tough matrix that absorbs and dissipates stress. This combination allows the slug to stick strongly to a surface by resisting forces—such as those from wind, rain, or the beak of a hungry bird—that could dislodge it.

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Scientists create weird substance that accelerates backwards when you push it

Researchers at Washington State University have created a fluid "that has the properties of negative mass," reports New Atlas. When you push it, it accelerates towards you.

Snip:

The team made the Bose-Einstein condensate by slowing down rubidium atoms with lasers, which cools them to just slightly above absolute zero and keeps them confined to a bowl-shaped area of about 100 microns across. Next, the scientists hit those atoms with another set of lasers that changed how they spin, a phenomenon known as "spin orbit coupling." That gives the rubidium the properties of a substance with negative mass when it's allowed to flow out of the bowl shape, which, according to the researchers, makes it look like it's hitting an invisible wall.

"What's a first here is the exquisite control we have over the nature of this negative mass, without any other complications," says Forbes. "It provides another environment to study a fundamental phenomenon that is very peculiar."

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Formica Forever celebrates the sleek century-old material and its indestructible beauty

See more sample pages from this book at Wink.

Formica Forever

by Formica Corporation

Metropolis Books/Formica Corporation

2013, 408 pages, 6.5 x 9.4 x 1.2 inches (softcover)

$37 Buy a copy on Amazon

This handsome book on Formica is really a love letter written to itself. Formica Forever celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Formica Group with interesting histories, rich visuals, a little chemistry lesson, and cleverly excerpted quotes from literature all in a witty format designed by Pentagram. You’ll learn of Formica's origins as an industrial material developed as a synthetic electrical insulator (substituting “for mica”), its evolution to a durable and decorative finish material in ships, trains, and, most famously, its use in post-war American homes. That’s when and where the “wipe-clean world” reached its pinnacle, with Formica saving mankind from eons of grime, crud, germs and smells – and looking great, too, due to its indestructible beauty. The spectrum of colors, foils, wood grains, patterns and finishes are well represented in these gorgeous graphics. As a bit of an inside joke, the images of ads, ladies magazine photo spreads, pattern sample chips and endless uses of Formica are printed on pages that have been perforated, just like a tear-out catalog or sample book.

I’ll leave it to you to pick your favorite of all the images of Formica in action. I loved Lee Payne’s giant Neapolitan ice cream and Frank Gehry’s illuminated fish sculpture. Sprinkled throughout are short quotes (printed on the back of Formica “sample chip” cartouches) from famous authors who have used Formica in their writing: John Updike, Sue Grafton, Ian Flemming, Harlin Ellison, and Margaret Atwood. Read the rest

A shampoo bottle that empties completely – every last drop

Coatings that allow ketchup and other gel-like liquids to easily slide down plastic bottle interiors have been around for many years. Finding something that prevents liquid soap from clinging to the inside of a bottle has proven more elusive, because the qualities that make soap "soapy" also make it clingy to plastic. But researchers at The Ohio State University have created a microscopic texture that repels soap products, as reported in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society on June 27.

From Ohio State University newsroom:

The technique involves lining a plastic bottle with microscopic y-shaped structures that cradle the droplets of soap aloft above tiny air pockets, so that the soap never actually touches the inside of the bottle. The “y” structures are built up using much smaller nanoparticles made of silica, or quartz—an ingredient in glass—which, when treated further, won’t stick to soap.

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Great deal on Mr. Clean Extra Power Magic Erasers

I've written about my enthusiasm for melamine sponges before. I used one on Sunday to remove some stubborn rust stains from a plastic table. They are amazing tools. Right now, Amazon is selling a 4-pack of Mr. Clean Extra Power Magic Erasers for $(removed) when you use click "Clip This Coupon" on the product page. Read the rest