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Sound tech and facts: how does a music box work, sound dampening, the science of music

The Engineer Guy has posted a new stunning video about the music boxes and how do they work. You HAVE to subscribe to his channel if you want to understand why engineers are a great creative bunch and why we owe them a great deal a respect.

Engineers are the link between scientists and regular people. They transform science into technology. In the video from above you see why a metal comb is a great choice when building a mechanical music box. How these metallic combs generate the sounds is explained by the way each comb teeth is vibrating. Did you know that if you add some weight to a teeth it will vibrate differently?

Music boxes. Awesome stuff.

Now Linus goes into the other direction and teaches us about sound dampening, ways to reduce the noise from around us. In the video from below you will learn about the four ways the sound is dampened: distance, noise cancellation (active anti-noise generators), reflecting/absorbing sound by using shapes and materials (passive noise dampening, also using sound proofing via insulated layers), and via quantum mechanics (creating materials which don’t allow sound to travel through them).

And now to the facts about the science of music from Mental Floss. You will find out about: music being on the same level as sex, enjoyable music will make us spend more, music helps in immune system function, loud music can lead to a better behavior, the brain acts similarly to music even though we have different taste in music.

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3 genius ideas: parking floating signs, water and air drone, tree shaker

I have seen the parking floating point first on Facebook (direct link) and it features a simple balloon arrow pointing down with “Here!” on it. When someone gets to the parking place the car goes above the wire the balloon is connected to and the balloon is lowered. Neat.

Meet Naviator, a drone which can fly and which can also go through water. Created by the researchers at Rutgers:

The last one for today is amazing: a tree shaker that can catch the fruits. Looks like alien tech for a bit. It is called a mechanical harvester:

Here is a video of the mechanical harvester in action to go with the photos of the olive harvest posted earlier.

Posted by Owahanga Station on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

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Space edition: Earth without the Moon and the Mars Space Exploration Vehicle

Without the Moon we would have a short day, since the planet would spin faster. A day would be only 6 hours long. Also, without the Moon the tilt of Earth would vary so much that seasons would be wildly inconsistent from year to year. So, the Moon is very important.

Also, in this space edition we ask: how would you walk around on Mars in 30-40 years? Well, using the Space Exploration Vechile:

Read more about the Space Exploration Vehicle from PopSci.

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The particle zoo of 400 or so subatomic particles

Via Wikipedia:

In particle physics, the term particle zoo[1][2] is used colloquially to describe a relatively extensive list of the then known “elementary particles” that almost look like hundreds of species in the zoo.

In the history of particle physics, the situation was particularly confusing in the late 1960s. Before the discovery of quarks, hundreds of strongly interacting particles (hadrons) were known. It was later discovered that they were not elementary particles, but rather composites of the quarks. The set of particles believed today to be elementary is known as the Standard Model.

Michel van Biezen from explains how many particles there are and what they do. Of the more than 400 subatomic particles most of the matter is created by a number of 20 or so elementary subatomic particles. The rest are composite particles.

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Investing in science pays off thousands of times

I had a short talk a couple of months ago, on June 21st 2015, in Brașov, Romania, about science and secular humanism. I argued that science gave us mobile phones and television and some kids from the last line started laughing: “how could science give us TVs”?

Well, how could it? Did you know that older CRT TVs, or tube TVs as they are called, are using an electronic cannon? It is not sci-fi, as I’m talking about the hot cathode which generates electrons because passing currents through it make it get so hot that it releases electrons inside the tube.

The science that goes in a simple CRT display is incredible and it is almost 100 years old, since the first CRT TV set was released in the 1920s.

In the video from above you can see that the MIT has created technologies in the 80s that we use now on a current basis, like touch screens, e-ink, GPS. And the science work paid off as there are billion dollar industries which use that tech today.

And why is science so powerful? I’ll let Vsauce answer that. I’m just adding here that science’s power relies on out endless curiosity and on our power to work on abstract problems which do not seem to have a practical meaning. But there is a goal to all this:

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The future of information storage: DNA

Dr Robert Grass, Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, and DR Reinhard Heckel, Postdoctoral Researcher, are working on a way to store information in DNA. DNA is very resilient and it can also withstand space travel as an experiment with plasmids in 2011 has shown us: a series of plasmids have been put on the outside of rocket TEXUS-49 and then sent to space and then back again. More than 70% of the plasmids were intact.

This is why Dr Robert Grass and Dr Reinhard Heckel are wanting to put the information of the whole world in DNA and then protest that DNA with a glass capsule. Glass is very resilient also and with fossilized DNA you can store information for millions of years. Paper, CDs, USB sticks will all be gone by year 1 million, but not our legacy, the information we now have.

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Yay. NASA is restarting supply to ISS. About time, guys! Video live NOW!

You can check now the status of the cargo which flies now to the ISS on NASA Ustream channel. The private company United Launch Alliance uses an Atlas V rocket to carry an Orbital ATK Cygnus commercial resupply spacecraft in order to get much needed cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) “following a pair of launch failures over the past year”.

It was about time that US started the reppluy mission. Until now only the Russians could send cargo up there and if they would have gone rogue, then ISS astronauts would’ve been in peril. It is always to have at least two choices when doing everything, because having two companies or states competing for the same thing will lead to better results.

Unfortunately NASA has had its funds slashed over the last decades and it struggles to make great progress with a tinier and tinier budget. Granted, they do have several hundred millions a year, but they would really need a 10 billion a year at least. Heck, I’d like to see a world in which countries like Romania can pay and fund NASA for at least 100 million a year in order to allow it to continue doing great things.

Go NASA and United Launch Alliance 😀 Once again, the private space companies are a proof of why US is the greatest country of them all.

entertainment geek

Batman versus Superman is not what you think it is

Via Business Insider. I was a bit angry of the fact that they mixed the world and got Batman to fight Superman. Realistically speaking, Batman would have no chance, but let’s leave this tot he details.

In fact, the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie is about them two fighting together with Wonder Woman to fend of a demon called General Zod. Way to cool to not see it when it hits the movie theaters.

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Awesome: see GTA V’s Pinnacle mod in action

Via Extreme Tech. The Pinnacle mod for the GTA V video game brings big changes int he way the NPCs behave, cool new 4K textures and also changes the behavior of the rain. But the cars, look at those beautiful cars. Realism has rarely got so close in a video game.

You can see some pixelated places here or there in the video from above, but the level of detail is astonishing. It may take you 10 – 20 minutes to get the mod installed, but it is totally worth. Have fun!

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Factory overcloked video cards: not really worth it

The guys as LinusTechTips have tested a row of video cards and compared the factory overcloked ones with the base referenced. Although there were some improvements, it didn’t really matter incredibly much.

If you can spare the money, then try to buy the next tier video card, but don’t just jump on to the flag ship 4K capable video cards if all you will do is 1080p video gaming. Seriously, try to make sure that you obtain the most bang for the buck while looking at the resolution your monitor currently uses. Try to obtain the best quality video gaming for THAT resolution.

Most of the flagship video cards are overkill if you will not use them for 2K or 4K gaming.

Learn from Jay how to match the video card you need to the display/monitor you use at home.