Beyond Tupac, Can Hologram Concerts Take Off?

By Carl Engelking | August 13, 2015 3:47 pm
Tupac's hologram performs at Coachella 2012 (Credit: evsmitty/Flickr)

Tupac’s hologram performs at Coachella 2012 (Credit: evsmitty/Flickr)

There’s little doubt that if Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin or Jim Morrison headlined a concert today, it would be the hottest ticket in town.

It could happen tomorrow.

Entertainment companies are spending big bucks to fit venues with holographic technology capable of resurrecting beloved musicians, comedians and even Jesus Christ. For all the futuristic glitz holograms exude, today’s notable holographic performances are still based on a 19th century parlor trick. However, there are researchers around the world working to bring holographic technology into the 21st century. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Waste Spill from Colorado Mine Is Much Bigger Than First Believed

By Carl Engelking | August 10, 2015 3:04 pm

 

The EPA, tasked with protecting human health and the environment, on Wednesday unleashed a torrent of toxic waste into Colorado’s Animas River while attempting to perform maintenance on an abandoned mine.

Initially, the agency estimated that 1 million gallons of water laced with heavy metals flowed into the river, but on Sunday that estimate rose to 3 million gallons – along with the fears of local residents who rely on the Animas for their livelihoods and clean drinking water. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts
MORE ABOUT: pollination, water

Astronauts Eat Food Grown in Space for First Time

By Lisa Raffensperger | August 10, 2015 1:54 pm
"Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce grown on the ISS. Credit: NASA

“Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce grown on the ISS. Credit: NASA

A plain bite of lettuce was “awesome,” astronauts aboard the International Space Station concurred. It helped that it was a rare bite of fresh vegetable. And it was also a tasty milestone in spaceflight history: the first time astronauts ate food grown and harvested in space.

The garden, called Veggie, is part of NASA’s research into food provision for a future manned mission to Mars.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: mars, space exploration

How to View the Stunning Perseid Meteor Shower This Week

By Rich Talcott | August 10, 2015 11:01 am
Look northeast on the night of August 12/13 to see the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. This year’s best meteor shower coincides with New Moon, creating the potential for seeing up to 100 “shooting stars” per hour. Credit: Roen Kelly / Astronomy Magazine

Look northeast on the night of August 12/13 to see the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. Credit: Roen Kelly / Astronomy Magazine

If you ask most skygazers to name their favorite meteor shower, the odds are good that “Perseid” will be the first word out of their mouths. This annual shower seemingly has it all: It offers a consistently high rate of meteors year after year; it produces a higher percentage of bright ones than most other showers; it occurs in August when many people take summer vacation; and it happens at a time when nice weather and reasonable nighttime temperatures are common. No other major shower can boast all four of these attributes.

And 2015 promises one more significant advantage: The shower peaks on the night of August 12/13, just one day before New Moon. With the Moon absent from the sky, observers under clear, dark skies can expect to see up to 100 “shooting stars” per hour, the maximum rate possible. Conditions haven’t been this good since 2010.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Nepal May Be Poised For Another Big Earthquake

By Robin George Andrews | August 6, 2015 1:34 pm
Women walk past destroyed buildings in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Credit: USAID Photo / Natalie Hawwa

Women walk past destroyed buildings in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Credit: USAID Photo / Natalie Hawwa

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Nepal in April made headlines across the world. More than 23,000 people were injured and 9,000 killed. The earthquake loosed an avalanche on Mount Everest and destroyed several UNESCO World Heritage sites.

But the region may be poised for more destruction in the future. A new study indicates that the earthquake transferred stresses from one part of the fault to another, and that could mean another large earthquake lies ahead for this region.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts

Spiky-Skulled Frogs Head-Butt Enemies to Deliver Deadly Toxins

By Carl Engelking | August 6, 2015 12:27 pm
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Aparasphenodon brunoi (Bruno’s Casque-headed Frog). (Credit: Carlos Jared/Butantan Institute)

Two species of highly toxic frogs have a bone to prick with their predators.

Corythomantis greeningi and Aparasphenodon brunois frogs, native to Brazil, have skin secretions that are more deadly than the venom of pit vipers. A single gram of A. brunois secretions could kill 80 humans. But unlike poisonous amphibians, these frogs have an additional trick up their sleeve: They have spikes growing on their skulls, and when danger is near, they head-butt predators to ensure the toxic payload hits its mark. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

How a Daredevil Managed to Ride a Motorcycle On the Ocean

By Carl Engelking | August 5, 2015 2:25 pm
maddison

(Credit: DC Shoes/YouTube)

Motorcycle stunts have come a long way from the circus stunts of yesteryear, jumping over snakes or through hoops of fire. But until recently, there was one place they hadn’t gone: the ocean. That was, until Aussie daredevil and surfer Robbie Maddison recently released his 4-minute clip of riding a modified motorcycle on the waves of Tahiti.

It’s a jaw-dropping stunt that redefines what we thought was possible, but it isn’t a miracle. It required a lot of patience, practice, and physics. Here’s how he did it. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: transportation

Scientists Create a Magnetic Version of Copper

By Andy Berger | August 5, 2015 1:18 pm

copper pennies

Magnets make much of our gadget-obsessed world go round. But there’s only a limited number of metals that are naturally magnetic, and some of them are quite rare.

But now researchers have successfully made magnets out of two non-magnetic metals, copper and manganese, at room temperature.

The discovery opens the door to a new class of materials that could be useful for microscopic electronics and sensors.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: materials science

Your Political Beliefs Are Partly Shaped By Genetics

By Kiona Smith-Strickland | August 5, 2015 10:20 am

political signs

If you’ve ever gotten into a political argument, you’ve probably realized that many people’s political beliefs are deeply entrenched. And that may be partly thanks to their genes.

A new study finds that variations in one particular gene, coding for a chemical receptor in the brain, are strongly tied to a person’s political views.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts
MORE ABOUT: psychology

Challenger, Columbia Wreckage on Display for First Time

By Carl Engelking | August 4, 2015 2:18 pm
Wreckage from the Columbia and Challenger shuttle disasters is on public display for the first time. (Credit: NASA)

Wreckage from the Columbia and Challenger shuttle disasters is on public display for the first time. (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

For the first time, the public can view wreckage from the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle tragedies, which have been kept hidden from view for decades.

NASA in June opened the “Forever Remembered” exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The exhibit contains never-before-seen pieces of wreckage from both shuttles, as well as personal artifacts that tell the story of the combined 14 astronauts who lost their lives.

The exhibit serves as a poignant reminder that space travel is still a dangerous proposition, and that we owe much to the explorers who have taken it on. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: space exploration
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