This robot from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology sports Oscar Pistorius style foot blades and a spinning "tail" that provides the stability of a speeding velociraptor. It can run at a record-breaking 46 kpm, and foam blocks thrown in its path don't even slow it down (Geek.com via Graeme Noseworthy).
It's a shame that robots still need to be connected to a static power supply (or a noisy gas motor), but once battery technology evolves to the point that robots like this can operate independently, we might want to start watching out!
IFLscience shared this neat video of a neodymium magnet nearly defying gravity as it falls through a copper tube thanks to Lenz's law. The induced current in the copper pipe generates a magnetic force that acts upwards on the magnet, slowing its fall.
That's all for this week. We'll be back again on Monday, have a great weekend!
The experimental design and the data analysis was conducted with R:
Sting locations were randomly ordered by the statistical program R (R Core Team, 2012). When applicable, the left and right side of the body were alternated. Some locations required the use of a mirror and an erect posture during stinging (e.g., buttocks). Stinging occurred before the author did any other honey bee work, to prevent unintentional stings during routine bee work from interfering with the experimental stings. The author had received approximately 5 stings per day for three months before the experiment, so no changes in his immune system were to be expected over the course of the experiment (Light et al., 1975).
The pain of each sting was ranked according to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. The most painful location to be stung, according to this research? The nostril, followed by the upper lip. Surprisingly, a sting on the shaft of the penis is merely the third most painful.
That's all for this week. Enjoy your weekend, and watch out for bees!
What happens when you jury-rig a washing machine to keep running even if the door is open, set it to high spin, and throw in a few kilos of scrap metal? Watch and see (some mildly NSFW language):
You may be glad to know that the machine in question was a "power surge victim with a leaky drum unit", so no useful appliances were harmed in the making of this video. I was also glad to see at the end of the video that self-described Aussie Mad Hobbyist, Ed Jones, was standing by the power cutoff the whole time. You wouldn't want to be too close to that thing while it's running!
That's all for this week. See you back here on Monday, and have a great weekend!
What would it be like if you could actally see the sounds around you, with your eyes? Surprisingly, it's possible to do so, thanks to a couple of fairly simple techniques. One way is via Schlieren Photography, which makes the variations in air density caused by temperature and sound waves to become visible. How that's done is explained in the NPR video below (watch for the Millennium Falcon!).
Another way is to use a Ruben's tube. Gas flowing through a small hole flows faster or slower along a standing wave, which creates a visible pattern when the gas is lit on fire. The always-excellent Derek Muller of Veritasium meets a Danish physics teacher who's created a 2-D fire plate that dances to the music played through the speakers in the gas chamber, to create a device that's sure to feature in a nightclub with lenient safety codes somewhere soon:
That's all for this week. Enjoy your weekend, and we'll see you back here on Monday!
You've probably seen dozens of those brand videos from big corporations, carefully designed to make you feel good about how wonderful the company is. This one is just like all the others, except that it's based on a satirical poem by Kendra Eash and made entirely of stock video footage (which you can buy from the company that made the video, which is rather meta).
That's all from us this week. Enjoy the fine weekend, and we'll see you back here on Monday.
If you've got some time to kill this weekend, try this web-based number-matching game, 2048. The goal is to move tiles left, right up and down while merging tiles with the same numbers to create the ultimate 2048 tile. (Based on personal experience, you might want more than a little time — it's quite addictive.)
This image looks like it comes from a video game...
... but in fact it's a real photo of a housing complex on the eastern outskirts of Mexico City, taken from a helicopter by photographer Oscar Ruiz. It's one of the most remarkable photographs I've seen in a while.
That's all for this week. Enjoy our other Friday posts, and we'll see you back here on Monday.