Everything Else

News: Early Humans Use Each Others' Skulls As Drinking Cups

How far would you go to be resourceful? Early Britons used each others' skulls as drinking cups and bowls. Recently, researcher Silvia Bello found human skulls with the top cut off laying in Gough's Cave, England. Skillful cut marks make it look like fellow humans scraped off the dead skin to clean the bone, and chips around the rim of the skull cup make it look like the edges were evened out for a better drinking experience. Researchers have found other skull cups in France and Germany, but ...

DIY of The Decade: Pixar's UP House Comes to Life

Truly spectacular and one the most breathtaking DIY endeavors to grace the front page of WonderHowTo, a recreation of Pixar's UP house was launched to an altitude of 10,000 feet in a private airfield near Los Angeles this past week. The project was executed by a team of engineers, scientists and veteran balloon pilots—(meaning, please, Do Not Try This at Home).

News: Fluorescent Puppies You Can Turn On and Off

Always wanted a fluorescent dog but didn’t want to commit? Well, here’s your solution. Researchers at Seoul National University developed fluorescent puppies that only glow when you want them to. Just inject the special pups with doxycycline and they’ll glow like a black light poster for a few weeks. Then, they return to dull, furry normal.

News: Are You Typical? The Planet's Most Archetypal Face Composited

Does this man look vaguely familiar? A neighbor or former co-worker, perhaps? You might think you recognize him, but this individual is actually the face of 7 billion. Composited with endless photos taken from the world's massive population, he represents an analytically deduced median: a 28-year-old Han Chinese man. The Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing has drawn data for the past ten years to come up with this archetypal image, as well as the following stats:

News: Building a Bonafide Solar Death Ray Sounds Too Easy

Eric Jacqmain is one smart cookie. Borrowing from the same principles of Archimedes’ mythological death ray, the Indiana teenager used an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish and about 5,800 3/8" mirror tiles to create a solar weapon with the intensity of 5000x normal daylight. The powerful weapon can "melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant."

News: Bored? Get High Now (Using Your Computer)

For some of you out there, today may be a looooong Friday. But have no fear, if you've yet to furtively accomplish shaving off a few extra minutes from the office clock, there is an alternative for getting through the day: computer pharmaceuticals. Relax, moms, we're not talking illicit drugs. Computer pharmaceuticals (AKA: optical and audio illusions) are completely natural, harmless highs that promise to alter your perception and consciousness- without the risk of drugs or alcohol.

News: Zooming Into Sand

Incredible. There's a type of sand (found only on the small Okinawan island of Iriomote) in which each grain resembles a tiny star. And I never would have known, if it hadn't been for blogger Jason Kottke's pal Mouser. Mouser collects sand from all around the world, and then documents each sample with a macro lens:

News: What Happens When Water Hits a Scalding Hot Pan at 3000 Frames-Per-Second?

The Leidenfrost Effect: “a phenomenon in which a liquid, in near contact with a mass significantly hotter than the liquid’s boiling point, produces an insulating vapor layer which keeps that liquid from boiling rapidly”. It looks pretty spectacular captured at 3000 frames-per-second (almost as spectacular as when the same principle is applied to the human hand). Previously, Hand Fully Submerged in Liquid Nitrogen (OUCH... right?)

News: Robotic Ghost Knifefish Is Born

Researchers at Northwestern University have hatched a robotic replica of the ghost knifefish, an amazing sea creature with a ribbon-like fin, capable of acrobatic agility in the water. The fish is distinctive in its ability to move forward, backward and vertically, but scientists didn't understand its vertical movement until the creation of its robot replica, GhostBot (shown below). They now know its vertical propulsion is caused by two waves moving in opposite directions, crashing into each ...

News: Stem Cell Research to Grow Bigger Boobs

A recent Japanese study proposes a simpler, softer, more natural-feeling alternative to silicone breast implants: fat-derived stem cells. The cells are extracted from liposuctioned fat, and then injected into the patient to increase breast circumference. San Diego-based biotech company Cytori Therapeutics is currently waiting on FDA approval to start clinical trials.

Do Not Try This At Home: The Human Torch

PopSci's Gray Matter demonstrates again and again what the layman should absolutely Not Try at Home. Which is precisely what makes Gray's experiments so fun. Remember when the mad scientist fully submerged his hand in liquid nitrogen? Today's demonstration also plays with what is (quite reasonably) assumed to be extremely dangerous and painful: torching the human hand.

News: It's Hot, It's Creamy. It's Three Course Gum as a Meal

Remember Willy Wonka's magical gum? Wonka promised the flavors of tomato soup, roast beef, baked potato, blueberry pie and ice cream. As the avid gum lover Violet Beauregarde tested it out, she exclaimed: “It’s hot and creamy, I can actually feel? it running down my throat!” Um, yum... I think. Good news. Wonka's three course chewing gum is finally a reality-in-the-works. Scientists at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have been developing recent advances in nanotechnology, which could pot...

News: What Happens When You Smash the Essence of Dynamite With a Hammer?

Nitroglycerin, otherwise known as the explosive essence of dynamite, is so sensitive AND powerfully explosive that when hit with a hammer, it creates "a supersonic shockwave and a flash of light almost too fast to film, even with the latest specialist cameras". In the blink of an eye (literally) extreme detonation occurs. Shooting super slo-mo is absolutely necessary (600x slower, to be exact).

News: Metal Isn't Flammable... Right?

Theo Gray of Gray Matter explains the principle behind sending steel up in flames- as long as it's steel wool, of course. The process is beyond simple. Spend 2 bucks and 2 minutes: purchase a steel wool pad, hold in pliers, light with a match. But the question is, why is steel wool flammable, while other forms of metal are not? Explanation below the video. Theo says:

News: Look! A Diamond the Size of the Moon!

Lucy, whose real name is BPM 37093, is a diamond roughly the size of our moon. At around 4000 kilometers in diameter (2,485 miles), Lucy is estimated to be around 10 billion trillion trillion carats. A billion trillion trillion? x 10? It's easier to imagine dividing by zero than to put this ridiculous number into perspective.