Mar 7, 2014
If you take a good look at the world today, you will be amazed to note that nearly everything you see is the result of the work of some of the greatest minds ever to live on earth. Events that used to take hours to do now take no more than minutes to complete and this is because processes have now become infinitely more efficient due to the presence of machines. With the inventions that you have today, there is less waste in every sense. Less time is wasted, less resources are wasted, and greater efficiency is achieved. With that in mind, take a look at some of the best inventions of the 21st century that are poised to once again change the very way people live and go about their days.
Most of the cars and vehicles you see on the road have one thing in common – they all burn some type of fossil fuel-derived power. Fossil fuel plays a huge role in people’s lives and it is easy to see why people get so distraught over supply and demand and fuel prices. Wars have been fought over fuel yet the arrival of hydrogen-powered vehicles may change all that and wean people from their dependence on gasoline-powered cars and free them from fossil fuel slavery.
There was a time when functional robots were just figments of the imagination but that is not so. Today, technology has progressed to a point that people can enjoy the benefits of robotics in their everyday lives. From robot pets to robot vacuum cleaners and even robotic limbs these inventions are going to change the way people live for sure. This is very promising especially in the military field because pretty soon, soldiers will no longer need to be sacrificed in the front lines.
This is another recent invention that used to belong only to the imaginations of movie writers. These days, scientists and developers are coming up with some truly stunning artificial intelligence that can learn and think. This is bound to be a very exciting development and will surely fill the dreams of every sci-fi fanatic.
The jury is still out on whether this is something that will become universally accepted as some groups have problems with it. However, ever since the sheep Dolly was cloned the development of cloning technology has been growing and advancing by leaps and bounds.
Mar 4, 2014
The cosmetics industry is worth a billion dollars and for very good reason – women (and men!) love makeup and are usually more than ready to shell out hundreds of dollars for the very latest makeup collections. Getting their hands on the latest Almost lipsticks and clay blushes is a must and they do not let anything stop in their way.
If you too like makeup then it is safe to say that you know all about how they make the skin smooth, hide imperfections, make your lips redder, etc. but do you know exactly what is in your makeup? It is easy to forget such details when you are staring at the latest rich plum lipsticks but it pays to be informed. Have a look below at some of the weirdest ingredients found in cosmetics.
Lanolin – It sounds really fancy and luxurious, like something you would lovingly smooth onto a grazed knee but what you do not know is that lanolin is the greasy stuff secreted by wool bearing mammals! That’s right; think of the greasy build-up that you get on your hair going several days without a shower – that is the same grease that builds up on fur. It sounds gross and you might think you would never allow that near your body but if you have ever used shaving cream, lipstick, and shampoo then you’ve most likely used lanolin as well! You might argue and say you use only the good stuff but to date, over a hundred lipstick brands make use of Lanolin and this includes the more renowned brands.
Ambergris – The very name conjures up images of something exotic and expensive; this is especially true for those fancy, exotic and expensive perfumes. However, the real kicker here is that ambergris is actually whale vomit! It seems gross and totally untrue but that is the truth about ambergris.
It looks awful and doesn’t come from the most ideal places but it does lend a certain smell to perfume and it is awfully expensive costing as much as $20 per gram. Some connoisseurs have likened it to fine wine in that it smells better the longer it is left to age.
Guanine – This ingredient is also known as CI 75170 and is found in thousands of nail polish variants including ones from very well-known brands. So what makes it so odd? Well, Guanine is a fancy name for fish scales and it is used to give products that iridescent look. You may also find this ingredient in some lipsticks.
Feb 27, 2014
Probably one of the most exciting branches of science, robotics has gone a long way from being a mere concept presented in Hollywood to a steadily developing reality. From the name itself, robotics deals with the development of robots, as well as other factors that contribute to their operation such as control systems and information processing. It combines different concepts from different branches such as electronic engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering.
A Brief History
Robotics actually started as early as 1023 to 957 BC when an engineer named Yan Shi started visualizing automata (a self-operating machine) and presented to King Mu of the Zhou dynasty a life-sized figure of what he was imagining. From there, a number of other descriptions of machines were written by Heron of Alexandria during 1st century AD. All these progressed to further experimentation with machines which would later on be the foundation for modern robotics.
In 1495, actual sketches were created by Leonardo da Vinci for a humanoid robot. In the period between 1700 and 1900, Jacques de Vaucanson came up with a mechanical duck that could actually move. It had the ability to flap its wings and crane its neck. It even had the ability to swallow food! More machines were built in the following years, including Henry Ford’s assembly line that assembled a car in 93 minutes.
It was Japan that produced the first robot toy that moved. Standing 15cm tall, it was a wind-up toy that had the ability to walk on its own. In 1954, the first industrial robot was created by Joe Engleberger and George Devol. It was a programmable robotic arm that was capable of completing repetitive tasks. It was eventually used for General Motors’ assembly line in 1962.
Throughout this period, movies, plays and books were already starting to discuss the possibility of having robots within the midst of the human race.
Today, robotics has evolved into something both entertaining and useful. In 2009, a project done by the University of Cambridge and the Aberystwyth University resulted in a “robot scientist” called Adam which was able to hypothesize and design experiments on its own. In 2012, two stroke victims were implanted with computer chips, allowing them to control a robotic arm to do simple tasks for them. Other designs are still being developed to help those who have disabilities such as a wearable device playing the role of muscles, ligaments and tendons that could help in foot rehabilitation. This is currently being developed in the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Robotics.
Feb 24, 2014
Is there anything as simple as food? To most people, dinner means simply popping some food or soup in the microwave and having some grub. To others it might mean a few hours of slowly cooking beef but either way, it basically involves putting food on a source of heat and waiting for it to cook. However, as technology advances so do the way people prepare their food. Check out the latest food technology and trends for the year!
3-D Print Your Food
Are you hankering for a home-cooked meal made from the finest fresh ingredients? Now there is a way to enjoy it with just the press of a button. A company called Foodini has come up with a plug-and-play food printer that may just be a gift from the heavens to all the home chefs out there. All that needs to be done is to prep the fresh food ahead of time using a blender or food processor and load the processed food into the food capsules. The printer will use the food in the capsules to follow your recipe. Such machines are expected to retail at around $1300.
Don’t Waste Your Food – Give it to Strangers
Do you remember your parents telling you to finish the food on your plate since there are starving children in other parts of the world? Now you do not have to finish your food since a stranger can do it for you! Many companies are trying to find ways to reduce food wastage and one highly-useful but also highly-controversial technology is something called LeftoverSwap. They offer an online database where people can list their leftovers in the database and strangers can trade or just take the food. There are a lot of hazards that might arise from this but the site says it hinges on trust like other successful sites such as Feastly, AirBnB, etc.
Plant-based Protein For Mass Consumption
The race is on to look for protein substitutes that will feed the masses and Hampton Creek Foods is in the lead. It is backed by the likes of Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, and Khosla Ventures. It produced a mayo substitute that hit whole food shelves just this year and retails for the same price as the real thing. They say their product is better for the environment since it produces fewer emissions and needs much less resources which makes it more affordable to produce as compared to chicken and other types of meat.
Feb 20, 2014
Despite the efforts of scientists, there are still some unexplained natural phenomenon that can captivate or sometimes scare the people who see or experience them. While science is powerful and has been the source of many different enlightening answers, here are some of the unexplained natural phenomenon which can boggle your mind:
• Taos hum – Some residents as well as visitors in the city of Taos in New Mexico hear a faint humming or whirring sound from the surrounding desert air. Only 2% of the population can hear it, and to this day, the origin of the sound is still unknown.
• Toads in coal – There have been over 90 recorded cases of some amphibians being found alive inside stone geodes or coal pockets. The frogs have something in common—they are surrounded by mucus, and have turned pale or white in color. They also usually die within 24-2 hours if not quickly returned to a pond or body of water.
• Will O’ the Wisps – Something recently featured in one animation, will O’ the wisps are also known as marsh lights and appear as bright orbs of lights which are also sometimes called as faeri fires or pixy lights.
• Déjà vu – A French phrase which translates to “already seen,” déjà vu is something that happens to a lot of people wherethey feel as if they have already been in the same set of circumstance before. Some even attribute this as something which is related to the person’s past life, and that these occurrences may be glimpses of who he was before.
• Animal migrations – While the weather and feeding as well as breeding patterns may come into play when it comes to animal migrations, there is still a sense of wonder at how these animals can travel the same distances for different generations—following the same route! Take for example how turtles birth at the same shores they were born in, or how monarch butterflies gather as a very large group to reproduce their next generation! What’s amazing is how despite the more simple mental functions they have, they still find their way.
Scientists have tried to explain the scientific principles behind these seemingly unexplainable natural phenomena, but so far, none of the explanations seem to completely explain how these things happen. While there are theories and possible as well as attractive explanations just to settle them, there is still that lack of conclusive evidence to completely believe these explanations.