Have you hurled today?

Catapult Nothing but fun family time here. Everyone loves to build tiny replicas of Medieval siege machines! Let’s not forget that it’s also a great way to expand your mind…

A catapult project gives students a chance to see that science and engineering really can be fun, and it’s a lot more than just numbers on paper. The real payoff for an engineer is in the field, where she can see and enjoy the results of her ingenuity. And it may seem counterintuitive, but engineering projects not only help kids learn math and science, they are also great at getting kids back outdoors, away from the massive over-exposure to video games, TV and the Internet.

CatapultKits.com

Hearing Radio Waves

Nanoradio receiver
Quite an astounding bit of engineering.


We have constructed a fully functional, fully integrated radio receiver, orders-of-magnitude smaller than any previous radio, from a single carbon nanotube. The single nanotube serves, at once, as all major components of a radio: antenna, tuner, amplifier, and demodulator. Moreover, the antenna and tuner are implemented in a radically different manner than traditional radios, receiving signals via high frequency mechanical vibrations of the nanotube rather than through traditional electrical means.

[via neat-o-rama]

Nanotube Radio

Hubble Spots New Planet

Well done Hubble!

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken the first visible-light snapshot of a planet circling another star. The team of astronomers who made the discovery includes researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter’s mass, the planet, called Fomalhaut b, orbits the bright southern star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Australis, or the “Southern Fish.”

Hubble Directly Observes a Planet Orbiting Another Star

Tape + Vacuum = X-rays?

Simply cool, who would have thought you could get x-rays out of tape? Chalk one up for triboluminescence!

It turns out that if you peel the popular adhesive tape off its roll in a vacuum chamber, it emits X-rays. The researchers even made an X-ray image of one of their fingers.

X-rays emitted from ordinary Scotch tape

Silicon Camera That Mimics Mammalian Vision

Curved cameraThis is quite an impressive achievement if you ask me.

Conventional cameras use a curved lens to focus an image onto a flat surface where the light is captured either by film or by digital sensors. However, focusing light from a curved lens onto a flat surface distorts the image, necessitating a series of other lenses that reduce the distortion but tend to increase the bulk and cost of a device.

[via boingboing]
Curved electronic eye created

The Repeater

Fish
Ah, the amazing power of biological evolution. How this simplicity escapes some people I don’t know.

Here’s an evolutionist’s dream: 10,000 planet Earths, starting from the same point at the same time, and left to their own devices for four and a half billion years. What would happen? Could you go on safari from one planet to the next seeing an endless procession of wildly different organisms? Or would many of the planets be home to life forms that are broadly similar?

The Repeater – The Wild Side – Olivia Judson – Evolution – Opinion – New York Times Blog