Topic: ideas

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Harvesting water from thin air

Can we harvest water from landscapes that are famous for their arid climate? Evelyn Wang and Omar Yaghi, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, Berkeley respectively, create...

Mycelium packaging, a biodegradable alternative to styrofoam

Styrofoam makes up 25% of our landfills in the U.S. That is insane. We may only use it for a day or a week to ship a package, but it stays in our environment for thousands of years. I think I've come up with an altern...

Bayuble: Water-soluble fruit stickers

What do you do with the little fruit sticker from your apple? Do you put it in the trash or collect them? They can't be used again and "they're a major problem in composting facilities," so what can we do about this b...

Reconfigurable Ghostkube sculptures

Since we last saw Stockholm-based artist Erik Åberg's Ghostkube project, he's investigated the geometry, creativity, and organic qualities behind these interconnected cubes, building prototypes and exploring ways that...

How does a cruciverbalist create crossword puzzles?

How are crossword puzzles made? In this episode of WIRED Masterminds, cruciverbalist David Kwong demonstrates how he makes crossword puzzles for The New York Times. And since he's also a magician, his theme for the cr...

Crow herding with urban falconry in Portland

“Downtown Portland seems to be a very inviting place for crows and I think the reason for that is due to the presence of garbage and food and lights and warmth, and it’s a relatively predator-free environment,” [bird ...

An accidental toy inventor’s shapeshifting designs

What if we could make objects transform in the same way a flower unfolds from its bud? This is what designer, Harvard professor, and accidental toy inventor Chuck Hoberman is trying to figure out. His work, ranging fr...

Gitanjali Rao: Finding solutions to real problems

Colorado seventh-grader Gitanjali Rao wants to find solutions to real problems, so when she learned about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan on the news, she wanted to help. From Rookie Mag: After coming across a...

A dreamlike swim in an underwater wheelchair: Sue Austin’s ‘Creating the Spectacle’

Filmed among the sea life in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, British multimedia, performance, and installation artist Sue Austin gently swims through the water in a specially-adapted underwater wheelchair. The dreamlik...

Hydrophytes, 4D-printed aquatic ‘plants’ for the future

Tentacles wiggle. Filaments expand. Tails spiral. Looking like coral polyps, sea pens, crustaceans, and other colorful aquatic lifeforms, these multi-material 3D printed 'plants' come alive. Triggered by air that's pu...

The Ocean Cleanup technology and challenges explained

The Great Pacific garbage patch in the northern Pacific ocean holds an estimated 1.8 trillion hard-to-see pieces of plastic that float around on or just below the water's surface. They're kept swirling in an area that...

Izzy Wheels: Sisters create an artist-designed wheelchair wheel cover business

When Izzy Keane was a little girl in Ireland, she would decorate the wheels of her wheelchair for special occasions. When her sister Ailbhe (pronounced Alva) Keane was in her final year at the National College of Art ...

The Shoe-Tying Robot

What might five mechanical engineering students create with two motors, Arduino, and a $600 budget? How about a shoe tying machine? Winning an annual design competition with Japan's Meijo University, University of...

A pinned insect manipulator (IMp), the Natural History Museum’s LEGO invention

When you're an entomologist who's trying to help digitize insect specimens—studying them, comparing their details with other insects, and capturing multiple images of them from all angles—it can be a challenge to use ...

A tumbling, glowing, furry puppet creature by Barnaby Dixon

With spiky fur on its back and a long, expressive nose on its little face, this aardvark-like creature is a charming addition to Barnaby Dixon's collection of characters. A puppet designer and puppeteer, Dixon slips a...

A lemon-powered supercar and making the world’s largest lemon battery

Can you power an electric supercar with lemon-power? It depends on the lemon-power. In the video above, science YouTuber and former NASA JPL engineer Mark Rober attempts to fill a 48-kilowatt-hour battery with electri...

Liquid Printed Pneumatics: 3D printing stretchy silicone structures

Imagine 3D printing a balloon of sorts, a stretchy material that can expand or contract with the air that's pumped into it. MIT’s Self-Assembly Laboratory, in collaboration with BMW, has developed a new way to print s...

What Can You Actually Do About Climate Change?

The average carbon footprint of a person in the US is 16.5 tons –TONS. So, what can you actually do decrease this number and make a meaningful difference? Miriam Nielsen itemizes how our individual choices can hav...

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