Month: April 2014

More beautiful bugs and icky spiders

Wow - you can't get enough of insects!!!. They’re creepy, icky, and tickle when they crawl through your hair but with an estimated 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 bugs and spiders crawling around on the planet, you might as well get used to them. Besides, some bugs and spiders are actually quite pretty. No? Check out the pictures below.

Meet Solar Impulse 2- the solar powered airplane that hopes to fly around the world

See the big, shiny covering on top of the wings of this airplane? Those are solar panels and yes, this is a solar powered plane. If the inventors got it right, this plane will be able to fly around the world using nothing more than solar energy it collects during its travels. The Solar Impulse 2, has a wingspan close to that of a huge 747 airplane yet, it weighs just about as much as a car (5,000 lbs.). It has a comfortable pilot seat which doubles as a toilet and folds down flat into a bed (so you can poop lying down?). And in case you’re wondering, yes, the plane also carries a parachute and life raft.  The inventors say they did not want to

How to create a terrarium (or vivarium or self-contained bottle garden)

Making a terrarium, a self-sustainable ecosystem with a living, growing plant inside a sealed bottle, is a pretty easy project and the plant growing inside can survive for decades without any watering or other care.  Here’s how you can build a terrarium on your own. How to make a terrarium, vivarium, or garden in a bottle First, find a suitable sealed glass bottle or jar. A bottle with a wide mouth will be much easier to work with. Make sure the bottle has a lid or cork which can be sealed tightly. Fill the bottom of the bottle with pebbles. You need at least enough pebbles to cover the bottom of the bottle but can add more if the bottle is taller. Try to fill about 1/5 of

Wonderful garden in sealed bottle has not been watered in over 40 years!

David Latimer has created a most unusual garden, one that seems to mimic the ecosystem of Earth – in a sealed bottle! On Easter Sunday in 1960, David placed compost in a large round bottle and used a wire to carefully lower a Spiderworts seedling into the mix. He then added a pint of water and sealed the bottle up tight with a plastic cork. He placed the bottle in a sunny corner and viola – the magic of photosynthesis did its thing. Through photosynthesis, the plant acquires energy by absorbing sunlight. The plant stores part of this energy which it needs to grow. Some of the energy is used to remove electrons from water in the soil that it absorbs through the plant’s roots. This

Scientists replace man’s lost arm with robotic drumming arm – meet the world’s first human-cyborg drummer!

No replacement for a lost body part is going to be as good as the original (at least not yet), but in special cases, such as with professional drummer Jason Barnes, scientists can come pretty close. Jason lost his arm after an accident at his job and afterward found that, although he could still play his drums, it just wasn't quite the same as before. Jason had long dreamt of being accepted to the Atlanta Institute of Music and despite his unfortunate accident, refused to give up his dream of being a professional drummer. After talking to a few friends about his problem, he was put in touch with the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media who set to work on not only getting Jason back

Hate to bum you out but guess what? Global warming may be worse than we thought.

Here’s a call to all little scientists out there – we need to find a reasonable way to stop or slow the global warming trend occurring around the planet and today, that call just got a little louder. Scientists at Florida State University have found that global warming, believed to be caused by large quantities of “greenhouse gases” that have been released into the air, is getting increasingly worse because of, eh, global warming. Researchers found that the warming of the planet is thawing out the permafrost, the soil in the polar areas that used to remain frozen all year long (before Mother Nature got mad and decided to fight back). Specifically, what they found was that as the permafrost thaws, the organic material (dead plants)

How big is space? New facts from NASA about the El Gordo galaxy cluster blow our mind.

A visitor to the lab once asked Reeko how big space was and the lab tour had to be cancelled. In short, Reeko answered with “really, really, really big” but what he really did was add a bunch of “reallys” to make the point that space was “really big”. There were so many “reallys” that after about 20 minutes, the visitors got anxious (one thought Reeko was having a “spell”) and the entire tour had to be called off for the day. For kids that have visited the lab, this explains why the sign at the entrance says “Be curious – ask any question you want (except for how big space is)”. Fact is, space is really, really big with about oh, one thousand “reallys” in

Alligator vs. electric eel. World premiere of the shocking video that stunned the, err, alligator.

The electric eel generates electricity that it uses to catch prey and protect itself if attacked. In the video below, a hungry South American alligator corners an electric eel on the bank of a small river. The alligator, whom we all know surely is not too bright, decides to make a meal of the electric eel. As the alligator bites down on the eel, the eel’s natural reflexes kick in, it begins its electric discharge (which it can do for about an hour), and well, see for yourself. And in this corner, weighing in at 30 pounds, we have the mighty electric eel. In this corner, weighing in at a paltry 400 lbs., we have the beast from the east, the terrifying, hide your eyes, ALLIGATOR!

Beautiful bugs and icky spiders

Reeko understands.  They’re creepy, icky, and tickle when they crawl through your hair but with an estimated 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 bugs and spiders crawling around on the planet, you might as well get used to them.  Besides, some bugs and spiders are actually quite pretty.  No?  Check out the pictures below.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft provides evidence of an ocean of water underneath Saturn’s moon

Scientists had long thought that Saturn’s moon Enceladus had an ocean of liquid water underneath its thick, icy surface (in 2004, NASA scientists saw water vapor and ice spewing from vents near the moon’s south pole). Today. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft revealed actual evidence that their theory was correct – an ocean lies hidden inside the moon. NASA scientists discovered the evidence by deducing gravity variations using the Doppler Effect (the same principle used in our earthly radar systems). NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory explained: “As the spacecraft flies by Enceladus, its velocity is perturbed by an amount that depends on variations in the gravity field that we’re trying to measure. We see the change in velocity as a change in radio frequency, received at our ground stations here