Anyone who has ever dreamed up a sci-fi future in which neon interfaces float in front of us and information exists not on screens, but projected onto our eyes, is likely watching the blossoming wearable technology market with great anticipation. With its iOptik system, wearables startup Innovega has sighted in on that futuristic vision, designing special contact lenses that will read the light from projectors fitted to glasses. In doing so, it's inching closer to a product that may rival even Google in its wearable ambition.
Aquaphobes still traumatized by "Jaws" can now breathe a little easier.
Government researchers from Western Australia have tagged 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters on their bellies. These tagged sharks set off a computer alert when they're about half a mile from the beach, which generates an automatic tweet on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter stream. Tweets include size, breed, and approximate location. … Read more
Even without delving into the science behind it, a recently released video of small objects levitating and moving about in the air is mesmerizing. Scientists from the University of Tokyo and the Nagoya Institute of Technology are behind a series of experiments using sound to control the movement of tiny foam balls and even small screws. This is Harry Potter-worthy science.
The power of sound waves to lift lightweight objects into the air is well-known, but new work with aiming ultrasonic phased arrays at a focal point gives researchers the seemingly magical power to move things around in the air in three dimensions in space. Look, ma, no hands.… Read more
Get ready fireball fans, one of the best meteor showers of the year is about to peak. Each new year begins with a visit from the Quadrantids, which are known for producing lots of bright fireballs in the night sky.
The Quadrantids don't have the following of more famous asteroid showers like the Perseids because the Quadrantid peak only lasts for a few hours, compared to peaks that can last for a few days for the better known meteor groups. But if you know when to look, the Quadrantids typically deliver. NASA says it's possible to see them at a rate of more than one per minute, with many of them being of the exceptionally bright and longer-lasting fireball variety.… Read more
I confess that I've tried to set many things in my life on fire.
The curtains at my house, for example. Oh, and then there were my ambitions.
But I've never thought of turning a lighter on next to a running tap to see what happens. Possibly because I imagine that nothing would.
However, a North Dakota resident called Jacob Haughney decided to see whether he could make a little magic occur.
He posted a video of the proceedings to YouTube, where it has stirred scientific imaginations.
For here appears to be running water that is flaming water. Just the mere contact with a flame and it breathes fire.
The video was posted a couple of weeks ago and it has since inflamed quite a debate.… Read more
Was Norman Bates really a psycho, or was Hitchcock's classic character just a misdiagnosed pseudopsychopath? Just because you torture your favorite author like Annie Wilkes did in "Misery," does that make you more realistic than Baby Firefly in "The Devil's Rejects"?
For a recent study titled "Psychopathy and the Cinema: Fact or Fiction?" physicians Samuel J. Leistedt and Paul Linkowski studied more than 400 films released in the last century to determine which fictional psychopathic characters were indeed portrayed accurately.
Out of the films, 126 fictional psychopathic characters -- 21 female and 105 male -- were selected to be examined based on the "realism and clinical accuracy of their profiles," according to the paper, which was published in December in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Senior forensic psychiatrists and cinema critics then analyzed the films and their psychopathic characters.… Read more
Dog owners are familiar with the sight of Spike sniffing, hovering, rotating, and then finally settling in to handle his business. It may seem like quite a production, but the pup may actually be getting into proper alignment with the Earth's magnetic field.
A team of scientists is behind a new study published in Frontiers in Zoology and titled "Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth's magnetic field." The researchers started off by observing dog behaviors such as resting and feeding, but soon zeroed in on excreting as the main focus.… Read more
Have the winter blues got you down? Is a promotion at work making you swell with pride? Does watching kids take "selfies" (and then use the word) elicit contempt?
Chances are, these emotions are making you feel physical sensations in the same parts of your body that others feel them in their bodies, according to new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.… Read more
We've seen robots destroy and conquer in movies, but we never thought that would come close to happening in the real world. After all, we've mostly seen them being built for such humanly tasks as painting and, well, vomiting.
But researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have developed a micro-size robotic muscle that is 1,000 times stronger than a human muscle.
They used a material called vanadium dioxide to produce the robot muscle. When heated to 152.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the compound changes from an insulator to a conductive metal, giving it a huge amount of strength during the transition.
This lets the robot muscle throw objects 50 times heavier than itself over a distance five times its length, all within 60 milliseconds -- faster than the blink of an eye. … Read more
We come here not to praise it, but to bury it.
This seemed to be the attitude of teen respondents in a study that probed their deeper feelings about society's most important subject: Facebook.
This study was part of a larger piece of research funded by the European Union. It revealed that there was an increasing disunion between teens and the now slightly wrinkly social network.