Category: Science

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Is It Friday Yet?

Thanks, WNYC.

(Sea) Lion King

California’s sea lions have been having a tough go of it lately, so we thought we’d spend this Friday celebrating some of the better news the species has had lately: one of their own has learned how to keep a beat with the help of some crack trainers at the University of California in Santa Cruz. The video was posted suspiciously close to April 1, 2013, but we’re going to go ahead and believe everything we’re seeing — for the Good of the species and the Good of the Friday.

Thanks, Jules!

Water, Sound, And Camera Tricks

Slip Sliding Away (In A Penthouse)

Alarm rings, feet hit the floor, butt rises only to fall smoothly onto a stainless steel slide that transports you down four stories to the first floor of your Manhattan penthouse… It sounds like a dream, but it’s an approximate reality for one couple who really nerded out and designed an 80 foot slide to fit comfortably inside their four-story home.

So the next time you—childless, filthy rich, living in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the country—are sitting on one end of your giant dining room table wondering how to make your 7000-square-foot penthouse even better: build a slide!

Mic Check Meets Holy Water

Thanks, Steve.

Evolution In Stop Motion

Sometimes the first thing I do when someone sends me a video is open it and figure out its length. We’re all caught up in our egocentric ecosystems and it can be difficult to consume, reflect, and comment on everything that’s being shared. The best we can do is file something away and do our best to get to it.

My man Maneesh shared this incredible stop motion wall-painted animation of evolution with me many weeks ago while I was at work. In accordance with that “do the best you can” policy, I emailed it to myself. I only recently got around to watching it and it was well worth the — yes, I know — ten minute investment. Promise.

BIG BANG BIG BOOM – the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

From Box To Bike

After my two wheels and I slipped on wet pavement last week, I was glad my slightly bruised bike was not made of cardboard. Then again, it didn’t cost $20.

Izhar Gafni, an Israeli designer and cycling enthusiast, is gaining press for an invention that he hopes will, you know, change the world. His prototype for a cardboard bicycle (!) seeks to bring an inexpensive, durable and efficient form of transportation from the most impoverished villages of Africa to the world’s most impacted cities.

With government grants funding most of the production, the estimated cost per unit ends being up a mere $9. Gafni imagines the bikes will sell for about $20, as retailers have to make a profit. His company sees ad space on the bikes as their main form of revenue.

Worried about the boxy bike’s lifespan? Well, they’re so inexpensive longevity almost doesn’t matter! There is a standing option to recycle your bike back at the factory if it is damaged, and Gafni claims the cardboard creations will seldom need maintenance or adjustment.

Smaller bikes for children, wheelchairs and even motorized versions are in the works as the bikes begin rolling of the production line.

What Gafni likes about his bike the most? “It’s cardboard!” Duh.

Double Down A La DMX

It isn’t too often you see DMX trending on the World Wide Web, but we were lucky enough to witness just that last week. The good people over at Grantland helped publicize a video in which the bygone hip-hop hero Googled something (himself) for the first time. Ever. It was magical, and pairs nicely with a mash-up (DMX vs. Reading Rainbow) shared with us by a friend recently. Stop! Drop! Click on play! Open up shop!

Thanks, Esperanza.

Carl Sagan Of Mars

In our more reflective, melancholic moments, I’m sure we all wonder what we’re going to miss after we die. Whether it’s personal — our children, grandchildren — or on a grander scale. In my own moments of reflection, as exciting as it is to be alive during our first baby steps into space… I can’t help but wonder, in awe, about the incredible things we will do and lengths we will travel in a future that I sadly won’t be alive to see.

Carl Sagan was arguably more reflective than any of us, and I find comfort in knowing that he felt the same way. He knew the inevitable would come after his death, regardless of budget cuts or a continuously pervasive lack of wonder, and he left a message.

A message for the travelers to Mars.


Space Shuttle Discovery shot out beyond our stratosphere some 40 times before being retired last year. You may remember our fair maiden from such adventures as Flying Hubble into Orbit or Servicing The International Space Station.

So, what now for Discovery? We’ve reached the end of the shuttle era and she takes up a fair amount of space. Why not send her to the District of Columbia to be admired by the masses? Why yes, that seems quite appropriate. Lucky for us, NASA feels the same way. TOY STORY 3 SPOILER ALERT: Much like Buzz and Woody, Discovery has fulfilled its mission and will move on to a new home to be fetted with endless events, exhibits, and playtime. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire some young whippersnapper to design its successor.

How does one transport a space shuttle from Florida to the District, anyway?

Thanks, NASA.