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2013 Science Extremes posted by Ralph Ewig

from 3D printed human parts (bio fabrication) to the largest meteorite in recorded history, 2013 was a year of extremes for science. Watch Hank Green round up the science superlatives of the last year, explaining what they are and why they are important.

Hank Green counts down some of the science superlatives from 2013: the first, biggest, strongest and longest things that were discovered, built or otherwise described. Find out his year’s superlatives.

Random Discovery posted by Ralph Ewig

the clever minds at Mental Floss bring us this surprisingly large collection of technological innovation as a result of unintended discovery. It’s amazing how often researches look for one thing, just to discover something completely unrelated yet much more marketable.  Among the lineup: the pacemaker, post it notes, and viagra.

Conquer Your Life posted by Ralph Ewig

video of a speech by Arnold Schwarzenegger given at the 2009 Commencement Address at the University of Southern California. We all know the secret to success, it’s just that it’s hard; six simple rules to live by, which combined with relentless self discipline can (and will) change your life.

  1. Trust Yourself : who (not what) do you want to be?
  2. Break the Rules : think outside the box
  3. Don’t be Afraid to Fail : never don’t try for fear of failure
  4. Don’t listen to Naysayers : pay no attention to “can’t be done”
  5. Work your Butt Off : can’t climb with hands in your pocket
  6. Give Something Back : share your success with everybody
Steampunk Icons posted by Ralph Ewig
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check out this amazing collection of zeppelin photographs posted by The Atlantic. Even by today’s standard, these are truly titans in the sky, and they remain frequent visitors in steampunk and alternate timeline scifi media. The collection includes both historic and present day dirigibles, as the concepts of lighter than air flight are making a comeback in applications where endurance & economy trump the speed advantage of present day airplanes.

Since the 1850s, engineers have been experimenting with powered lighter-than-air flight, essentially balloons with steering and propulsion. Like other early aeronautical experiments, the trial-and-error period was lengthy and hazardous. Dirigibles (with internal support structures) and blimps (powered balloons) were filled with lifting gases like hydrogen or helium, intended for many uses, from military and research to long-distance passenger service. The growth of the airship suffered numerous setbacks, including the famous Hindenburg disaster in 1937, and never developed into a major mode of travel. Despite the challenges, more than 150 years later, a number of airships are still in use and development around the world as cargo carriers, military platforms, promotional vehicles, and more.

Water Crypto posted by Ralph Ewig
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digital computers are fast, but analog computers can be just as powerful. This mind boggling contraption is a computer based on communicating water tubes, capable of solving partial differential equations. The most astonishing fact about is that it was built in 1936!

Vladimir Lukyanov's marvelous water computer.Built in 1936, this machine was "the world's first computer for solving [partial] differential equations," which "for half a century has been the only means of calculations of a wide range of problems in mathematical physics." Absolutely its most amazing aspect is that solving such complex equations meant playing around with a series of interconnected, water-filled glass tubes. You "calculated" with plumbing.

One reason that historic mechanical computing devices are moving back into the spotlight is the advent of micro mechanical systems (MEMS). By recreating something like an abacus on nanometer scales, powerful automation can be achieved outside the realm of digital (binary) logic.

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