Musings, interests, and all things pancakes.
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Reblogged from the-actual-universe
Scientists from MIT have designed a next-generation spacesuit that acts practically as a second skin, and could revolutionize the way future astronauts travel into space. (Photo : Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)
Astronauts are used to climbing into conventional bulky, gas-pressurized spacesuits, but this new design could allow them to travel in style. Soon they may don a lightweight, skintight and stretchy garment lined with tiny, muscle-like coils. Essentially the new suit acts like a giant piece of shrink-wrap, in which the coils contract and tighten when plugged into a power supply, thereby creating a “second skin.”
"With conventional spacesuits, you’re essentially in a balloon of gas that’s providing you with the necessary one-third of an atmosphere [of pressure,] to keep you alive in the vacuum of space," lead researcher Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, said in astatement.
"We want to achieve that same pressurization, but through mechanical counterpressure - applying the pressure directly to the skin, thus avoiding the gas pressure altogether. We combine passive elastics with active materials. … Ultimately, the big advantage is mobility, and a very lightweight suit for planetary exploration."
Newman, who has worked for the past decade on a design for the next-generation spacesuit, describes the new garment in detail in the journal IEEE/ASME: Transactions on Mechatronics.
The MIT BioSuit’s coils, which are a main feature of the outfit, are made from a shape-memory alloy (SMA). At a certain temperature, the material can “remember” and spring back to its engineered shape after being bent or misshapen.
Skintight suits are not a novel idea, but in the past scientists have always struggled with the question: how do you get in and out of a suit that is so tight? That’s where the SMAs come in, allowing the suit to contract only when heated, and subsequently stretched back to a looser shape when cooled.
Though the lightweight suit may not seem at first like it can withstand the harsh environment that is outer space, Newman and his colleagues are sure that the BioSuit would not only give astronauts much more freedom during planetary exploration, but it would also fully support these space explorers.
Newman and his team are not only working on how to keep the suit tight for long periods of time, but also believe their design could be applied to other attires, such as athletic wear or military uniforms.
"An integrated suit is exciting to think about to enhance human performance," Newman added. "We’re trying to keep our astronauts alive, safe, and mobile, but these designs are not just for use in space."
Scuse you, Dava Newman is a FEMALE professor at MIT.
(fyi, I passed out in a vacuum chamber wearing an earlier version of this suit. =D)
Reblogged from fuckyeahperfectdolls
"Image Credit: Carol Rossetti
When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would become.
Thousands of shares throughout the world later, the appeal of Rosetti’s work is clear. Much like the street art phenomenon Stop Telling Women To Smile, Rossetti’s empowering images are the kind you want to post on every street corner, as both a reminder and affirmation of women’s bodily autonomy.
"It has always bothered me, the world’s attempts to control women’s bodies, behavior and identities," Rossetti told Mic via email. "It’s a kind of oppression so deeply entangled in our culture that most people don’t even see it’s there, and how cruel it can be."
Rossetti’s illustrations touch upon an impressive range of intersectional topics, including LGBTQ identity, body image, ageism, racism, sexism and ableism. Some characters are based on the experiences of friends or her own life, while others draw inspiration from the stories many women have shared across the Internet.
"I see those situations I portray every day," she wrote. "I lived some of them myself."
Despite quickly garnering thousands of enthusiastic comments and shares on Facebook, the project started as something personal — so personal, in fact, that Rossetti is still figuring out what to call it. For now, the images reside in albums simply titled “WOMEN in english!" or "Mujeres en español!" which is fitting: Rossetti’s illustrations encompass a vast set of experiences that together create a powerful picture of both women’s identity and oppression.
One of the most interesting aspects of the project is the way it has struck such a global chord. Rossetti originally wrote the text of the illustrations in Portuguese, and then worked with an Australian woman to translate them to English. A group of Israeli feminists also took it upon themselves to create versions of the illustrations in Hebrew. Now, more people have reached out to Rossetti through Facebook and offered to translate her work into even more languages. Next on the docket? Spanish, Russian, German and Lithuanian.
It’s an inspiring show of global solidarity, but the message of Rossetti’s art is clear in any language. Above all, her images celebrate being true to oneself, respecting others and questioning what society tells us is acceptable or beautiful.
"I can’t change the world by myself," Rossetti said. "But I’d love to know that my work made people review their privileges and be more open to understanding and respecting one another."”
From the site: All images courtesy Carol Rossetti and used with permission. You can find more illustrations, as well as more languages, on her Facebook page.
Oooh. I reblogged a partial version of this recently but I didn’t know how many more there were! I LOVE these!
OK SO THERE ARE TONS MORE OF THESE OF THE ARTISTS FB PAGE. GUYS THESE ARE AWESOME.
LETS APPLAUD CAROL ROSSETTI EVERYONE
Ive reblogged this several times, and will continue to do so each and every time it appears on my dash. This is accurate, poignant, and beautiful.
Reblogged from mendaciasuicide
Dead Inside: Do Not Enter — Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse
Dead Inside: Do Not Enter
by Lost Zombies
2011, 160 pages, 8 x 10 x 0.5 inches
$15 Buy a copy on Amazon
Some of my favorite things about zombie movies are the details of the changed world. The dead grass, broken windows, toppled telephone poles, abandoned cars with missing wheels and trunks left open, boarded-up buildings, spent ammo shells, and other signs of struggle and desperation serve to create a fascinatingly creepy environment.
And that’s why I like Dead Inside: Do Not Enter so much. The book consists entirely of letters, hand-written warnings, and pages torn from journal entries that were written during the zombie pandemic. The notes are on matchbooks, napkins, photographs, advertisements, shopping lists, road maps, scraps of cardboard, and gum wrappers. Some of the notes are written with pen and pencil, others are written with lipstick, burnt wood, crayons, and blood.
The messages of the notes themselves tell the tale of the rise of the zombie pandemic, from tentative, joking questions about a “really bad flu,” escalating to confused panic, and later to grim acceptance of the new reality that the survivors now must live in.
In the introduction to Dead Inside, we learn that these notes had been found in a Dora the Explorer backpack. The first note presented in the book was written by the man who killed the owner of the backpack, a girl who was about 10 years old and had been bitten by a zombie (but had not yet turned into one). The man wrote “I opened her backpack and found all these notes and letters. This stuff is poisonous. No one in their right mind should read it. Reading this is like looking into the sun.” – Mark Frauenfelder
September 16, 2014
Reblogged from arthistorycq
Castillo de Gormaz
Location: Gormaz, Soria, Spain
c. 10th century
Spain never ceases to surprise me with it’s hidden treasures. I have visited Soria and surrounding villages and somehow missed this awesome 10th century Muslim fortress. Needless to say, I will be figuring this into my travel plans this fall for sure.
Reblogged from the-actual-universe
Asa Smith. Celestial Illustrations from Smith’s Illustrated Astronomy. 1851.
Wood engravings with hand highlighting, written by the principal of Public School No. 12 in New York City with the goal “to present all the distinguishing principles in physical Astronomy with as few words as possible”.
Reblogged from the-actual-universe
Engineers looking for a material strong enough to support the tremendous forces exerted by a space elevator will want to pay attention to this remarkable new breakthrough. Researchers have weaved microscopically small diamonds into ultra-thin nanothreads.
Remarkably, the never-before-seen structure appears to be stronger and stiffer than today’s nanotubes. The breakthrough was made by John Badding and his team at Penn State University, the results of which now appear at Nature Materials.
At the heart of the nanothreads are a long, thin strand of carbon atoms that are arranged like the fundamental unit of a diamond’s structure — zig-zag “cychlohexane” rings of six carbon atoms bound together, in which each carbon is surrounded by others in the strong triangular-pyramid shape of a tetrahedron. This is the first team to coax molecules containing carbon atoms to form the strong tetrahedron shape and then link them together end-to-end to form a long, thin nanothread. The structure may also be the first member of a new class of diamond-like nanomaterials based on a strong tetrahedral core.
"It is as if an incredible jeweler has strung together the smallest possible diamonds into a long miniature necklace," Badding said in a press release. “Because this thread is diamond at heart, we expect that it will prove to be extraordinarily stiff, extraordinarily strong, and extraordinarily useful.”
It also helps that the structure has a certain thickness to it. More from the Penn State release:
The team’s discovery comes after nearly a century of failed attempts by other labs to compress separate carbon-containing molecules like liquid benzene into an ordered, diamondlike nanomaterial. “We used the large high-pressure Paris-Edinburgh device at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to compress a 6-millimeter-wide amount of benzene — a gigantic amount compared with previous experiments,” said Malcolm Guthrie of the Carnegie Institution for Science, a coauthor of the research paper. “We discovered that slowly releasing the pressure after sufficient compression at normal room temperature gave the carbon atoms the time they needed to react with each other and to link up in a highly ordered chain of single-file carbon tetrahedrons, forming these diamond-core nanothreads.”
Looking ahead, the researchers want to improve the threads, which appear to be “somewhat less than perfect.” But the main challenge will be to figure out a way to mass produce the material. Should they solve that problem — and that’s a big if — the nanothreads could be used to
protect the atmosphere, including lighter, more fuel-efficient, and therefore less-polluting vehicles. “One of our wildest dreams for the nanomaterials we are developing is that they could be used to make the super-strong, lightweight cables that would make possible the construction of a “space elevator” which so far has existed only as a science-fiction idea,” Badding said.
Read the entire study at Nature Materials: “Benzene-derived carbon nanothreads”.
Reblogged from xboxdaily
Insanely excited for this. Already paid for the full game and the season pass a month out. Love that mister torgues middle name is now high-five haha.