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Salt-Powered Lamp: 8 Hours of Light from 1 Glass of Saltwater

Aiming to bring low-cost illumination to residents of the Philippines, a nation of 7,000 oceanic islands, the Salt Lamp uses a free and abundant resource to reduce fire risk from candles and replace the cost of traditional lighting.

Developed by engineer Lipa Aisa Mijena of De La Salle University, the Salt Lamp requires a single glass of water with two tablespoons of salt to provide a night’s worth of a light (complimenting approaches like Liters of Light that work in dark spaces during the day), but, best of all, it can run off the naturally salty water of the surrounding ocean.

A pair of electrodes, the other key ingredient, can run for up to a year without requiring replacement. The next-generation version of the Salt Lamp will also have the capacity to charge batteries in portable electronic devices including cellular phones. Essentially, “this lamp uses the science behind the Galvanic cell, the basis for battery-making, changing the electrolytes to a non-toxic, saline solution — making the entire process safe and harmless.”

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The 'impossible' EmDrive could reach Pluto in 18 months

Last summer WIRED revealed that Nasa's Eagleworks Lab was testing a copy of the EmDrive, a propulsion device frequently labelled as "impossible" because it appears to violate the law of conservation of momentum. Against all expectation they found it produced thrust. The response from the scientific community was dramatic, and generally sceptical -- but the "anomalous thrust" stubbornly refuses to disappear as more research zeroes in on it.

The situation is not helped by garbled media reports like "British scientist who says he's found the secret of Star Trek's 'warp speed'". But the subject is attracting serious examination from scientists who want to know if a sealed cavity filled with resonating microwaves can really produce net thrust. Previously the effect has been measured by British scientist Roger Shawyer, who invented the EmDrive, and a Chinese team, as well as Nasa.

Martin Tajmar, professor and chair for Space Systems at the Dresden University of Technology, is perhaps uniquely well qualified to evaluate the EmDrive. His research interests include "Breakthrough Propulsion Physics," space drives which do not rely on the variations on rocket thrust but which draw on more exotic science.

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Masterpieces of the Earth Collection

Masterpieces of the Earth is a spectacular collection of one hundred ancient planetary treasures gathered over a period of 35 years with the intention of creating an experiential museum designed to awaken a new love and appreciation for the magnificence of planet earth. These giant natural crystals and fossils have never before been seen in or out of museums.

In this technological age we need more, not less, connection with the natural world. As each of us loses more and more connection with Nature itself, we are actually beginning to lose our world. We need places of inspiration where each of us can replenish our imagination and revitalize our spirit. The Masterpieces of the Earth Collection is intended to be the vital core of such a place ... where visitors can journey into the heart of the earth, fall in love with the planet, and see it in its immense beauty, power, and fragility. And as Jacques Yves Cousteau wisely observed many years ago, "People protect what they love!" Please join us on a journey to help us protect and find a permanent home for this world treasure where it can be viewed and experienced by all.

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Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by (1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians, and (2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.

Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.

Some activists lament how few anti-authoritarians there appear to be in the United States. One reason could be that many natural anti-authoritarians are now psychopathologized and medicated before they achieve political consciousness of society’s most oppressive authorities.

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Scientists have discovered that living near trees is good for your health

In a new paper published Thursday, a team of researchers present a compelling case for why urban neighborhoods filled with trees are better for your physical health. The research appeared in the open access journal Scientific Reports.

The large study builds on a body of prior research showing the cognitive and psychological benefits of nature scenery — but also goes farther in actually beginning to quantify just how much an addition of trees in a neighborhood enhances health outcomes. The researchers, led by psychologist Omid Kardan of the University of Chicago, were able to do so because they were working with a vast dataset of public, urban trees kept by the city of Toronto — some 530,000 of them, categorized by species, location, and tree diameter — supplemented by satellite measurements of non-public green space (for instance, trees in a person’s back yard).

They also had the health records for over 30,000 Toronto residents, reporting not only individual self-perceptions of health but also heart conditions, prevalence of cancer, diabetes, mental health problems and much more.

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Mystery plasma blobs lurk in deep space and no one knows why

We're homing in on the blobs from outer space.

In the past three decades astronomers have seen dips in the radio signals from quasars and pulsars, seemingly caused by a dark object passing by. These events don't all look the same, so it isn't clear if they share a cause. Sometimes different radio frequencies are delayed by different amounts, while other times the radio signal twinkles.

Now new observations are giving us a clearer picture. Bill Coles of the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues used the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array, which carefully measures pulsar signals in an attempt to detect gravitational waves. The team used it to look for radio waves held up by a passing blob.

Violently turbulent clouds

They saw both time delays and twinkles from pulsars at the same time. That suggests the different phenomena may be coming from the same thing – violently turbulent clouds.

"This is an interstellar cloud way out in the middle of nowhere," Coles says. "It makes a person wonder – what the hell is that out there?"

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Touchable 3D holograms in daylight now possible using superfast femtosecond lasers

A lot of work is currently going into creating Star Wars-esque 3D holograms that can be seen by the naked eye without wearing 3D glasses, and now researchers have found a way to make safe, touchable mid-air displays using femtosecond lasers.

It is possible to create holograms in mid-air using a laser-induced plasma display, which works by ionising air molecules so that they release extra energy in the form of bluish-white photons that can be seen easily.

The plasma photons are known as 3D pixels, or rather voxels, and at the moment, the lasers used to make 3D holograms are nanosecond lasers, meaning they fire tens or hundreds of thousands of times per second to heat up specific points of air.

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Innovative ‘Design Of The Year’ Will Replace Animals In Lab Tests

Bio-inspired micro-devices could potentially replace animal testing and bring new therapies to patients faster and at lower cost in the future

Credit: Wyss Institute
Credit: Wyss Institute

The Design Museum in London has chosen its Best Design of the Year: a chip that replaces animal test subjects with a complex package of human cells. This radical invention has the potential to eliminate animal experimentation, and in effect save millions of species’ lives worldwide.

The lung-on-a-chip, called so because that’s what it actually is, was designed at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. It may look simple, but the chip contains complex human cells arranged similarly to the way a lung works. In fact, it even breathes like a human does!

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Venus & Jupiter to pair in spectacular 'Star of Bethlehem' conjunction

The two brightest planets Venus and Jupiter are to appear so close in the sky in the upcoming nights that they will be seen like a single super bright star, which some astronomy-lovers say resembles the biblical 'Star of Bethlehem'.

“Throughout the month of June 2015, the two brightest planets in the night sky, Venus and Jupiter, are going to converge for a close jaw-dropping encounter,” said NASA in a news release.

During the whole month the planets were drawing closer to each other and on June 30 they will reach their tightest grouping. In fact every night in June, the separation between the celestial bodies was visibly shrinking.

“On that night [June 30] Venus and Jupiter will be a … 1/3rd of a degree apart. That's less than the diameter of a full moon. You'll be able to hide the pair not just behind the palm of your outstretched hand, but behind your little pinky finger,” added NASA.

Such a celestial event, when two celestial bodies have either the same right ascension or the same ecliptic longitude, while observed from Earth, is called a conjunction.

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Neurotheology Team Proves “God Helmet” Is Real, Eliciting Mystic States, Visions & God-Like Presence

A team of neurotheology researchers have replicated and confirmed the results of the iconic “God Helmet” experiment. The apparatus, originally developed by renowned neuroscientists, Stanley Koren and Michael Persinger, generates weak magnetic fields around the test subject’s temporal lobes, and elicits a distinct set of experiential phenomena in the participant’s brain, including: altered mystic states, visions of God, and the feeling of a sensed God-like presence. This new independent study confirms that the effects from the God Helmet experiment are not due to suggestion or suggestibility in subjects, and provide the first scientific verification of the technique’s direct influence on the brain. 80% had feelings of a “sensed presence”, and the other 20% had either minor effects or none.


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