Here’s an excellent discussion starter… what is happening to the liquid in this video?
This is Supermajor, a project by teacher and artist Matt Kenyon that was inspired by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. From the project:
In the gallery a wire rack of (vintage) oil cans sits. One oilcan has a visible fissure out of which oil slowly flows cascading onto the pedestal and gallery floor… The only thing is, the oil isn’t exactly flowing out of the can. Instead, oil appears to slow slowly drop by drop back into the can. At times the drops of oil hover unsupported in midair. Other times the drops are in the process of a slow motion splash onto the pedestal.
I don’t know exactly how this demonstration is being executed, but I might suggest watching some of these videos next… and definitely watch this one…
There’s also an interview with Kenyon over at Cool Hunting and FastCo Design, and more projects at Swamp.nu.
This week, the 5 year old discovered the science videos of Bite Sci-zed’s Alex Dainis, starting with this one: Echinoderm Show & Tell. When he immediately asked for more, we watched The Gas Laws, Dishes and Membranes and Why Red Blood Cells Look Like Donuts, above.
We’ve talked about red blood cells (and white blood cells) before, so some of this sounded familiar. And while some information is targeted towards older kids, the use of everyday objects and drawings provided enough familiarity to start our conversation…
Related watching: The Circulatory System, The Bloodmobile and BBC Knowledge Explainer DNA. Plus more videos about the body.
And the next time you have a donut, you’ll know how to make a red blood cell. Go forth, do science.
Science fiction stories in which pilots control spacecrafts with their minds have become less about fiction and more science. A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed the next step in thought-controlled vehicles. Watch this model helicopter fly through an obstacle course using brainwaves.
The aircraft’s pilot operates it remotely using a cap of electrodes to detect brainwaves that are translated into commands.
Ultimately, the developers of the mind-controlled copter hope to adapt their technology for directing artificial robotic limbs and other medical devices. Today’s best neural prosthetics require electrodes to be implanted in the body and are thus reserved for quadriplegics and others with disabilities severe enough justify invasive surgery.
“We want to develop something non-invasive that can benefit lots of people, not just a limited number of patients,” says Bin He, a biomedical engineer at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, whose new results build on his previous work with a virtual thought-controlled helicopter.
A fascinating note: some would-be pilots could not provide clear thought commands during trial studies. Those candidates who meditated or practiced yoga had better focus and stronger mind-body awareness, allowing them to adapt to the brain-computer interface with less training.
Read the rest of the article at Nature.com.