Posts by Bill Weir
- Bill Weir at This Could Be Big10 mths ago
Sure, 3-D printers can print pretty much any three-dimensional object you can think of - but can they print in zero gravity?
That’s what NASA wants to find out next year when it tests a 3-D printer on the International Space Station. So far, the printer, which NASA created with Made In Space, a California-based company, has successfully printed small computer parts in parabolic flights that simulate zero gravity. But the next step is to actually test a 3-D printer in space.
“We want to show that not only can we print, but when we print these tools they have same comparable quality as printing on Earth,” said Niki Werkheiser, project lead for 3-D printing in zero-G ISS technology demonstration at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
The printer works like existing 3-D printers: It heats and melts plastic and then pours it, layer by layer, until the object is formed. Currently, if an astronaut loses or breaks an item on the International Space Station, he or she must wait until a scheduled launch for a replacement. Having the ability to print objects on the space station will limit costs and save time, according to Werkheiser.
- Bill Weir at This Could Be Big1 yr ago
Some art, just like bubble wrap, just begs for you to reach out and touch. But what if the art was bubble wrap – could you control yourself?
That is the impulse Bradley Hart, a Canadian visual artist, seems to be triggering with his current bubble wrap art exhibition at gallery nine5 in New York City. Hart has created a series of landscape and portrait mosaics by injecting large swaths of bubble wrap with a mixture of latex and acrylic paint colors. Up close, the paintings look like multi-colored bubble wrap, albeit with each bubble hardened. But from afar, the works resemble pixilated prints of digital images.
“I’m doing a post-modern, pointillist painting – although I don’t like to classify my work as paintings themselves,” Hart said. Rather, he views his work like a sculptor, prioritizing materials and process over the image itself.
The centerpiece of Hart’s show is a 5x4ft rendering of a smiling Steve Jobs’ digital image. Hart said he chose to “inject” Jobs out of a personal affinity for the late Apple pioneer.
This week we're talking about fungus two ways. One that can survive exclusively on polyurethane and another that can replace Styrofoam.
Both polyurethane and styrofoam are not biodegradable, so without a solution, all the plastic bottles and old toys we throw out every year will be sitting in landfills for centuries.
Yes, you can recycle plastic, but that just means turning it into another product and recycling hasn't sufficiently slowed the production of new plastic.
According to a Yale study, globally we produced 245 million tons of plastic in 2006, compared to only 1.5 million tons in 1950.
One of the fungi we're looking at is called pestalotiopsis microspora . It was discovered by a group of Yale researchers on an expedition in Ecuador and can subsist on polyurethane alone in airless environments, like the bottom of a landfill.
- Bill Weir at Newsmakers2 yrs ago
For the moment, Bill Gates is no longer the world's wealthiest man.
But he didn't lose the title to Mexico's telecom titan Carlos Slim; he gave it away. And as a result, the businessman-turned-philanthropist can point to a different kind of scoreboard.
"Well, it's easiest to measure in the health work," Gates told me, "where over 5 million lives have been saved."
In a wide-ranging interview with Yahoo! and ABC News, the former head of Microsoft talked about how Steve Jobs' death affected him, his fix for American schools and his annual letter, which sets the priorities for one of the most generous charitable efforts in history.
With a pledge to give away 95 percent of Gates' personal wealth, the Gates Foundation claims to have granted more than $26 billion since 1994. While some of that money is devoted to improving U.S. education, roughly 75 percent goes to the poorest countries in the world, and Gates scoffs at the idea that the money would be better spent at home.
You think you've seen every possible camera angle during a sporting event? Just wait until they put cameras IN the ball. It seems inevitable after agroup of students in Berlin built this throwable panoramic ball camera which employs 36 small cameras trained to fire at the top of flight. There is a patent pending and they will unveil the design at a big tech expo in Japan later this year, so smart money says some version of this will be available late next year -- just in time for a new kind of Christmas tree photo.
Here's a quick and easy way to decide if you're cut out to be a forensic scientist; flip over your keyboard and shake. If not immediately disgusted by the detritus and DNA that comes sprinkling down, congrats! CSI Milwaukee can use you!
And the rest of you? Take heart. Because revolting, bulky and breakable keyboards could soon be a quaint memory when the last vestige of the typewriter is replaced by lasers and sensors. The Celluon Magic Cube is among the first wave of virtual keyboards to hit the market, a device that projects keys of light on to any flat surface, interprets your finger-tapping and sends each p and q to any Bluetooth device.
Aatma studios in San Francisco took this new reality to an obvious fantasy with a video mock-up of a mythical iPhone 5, using laser projection to make keyboards AND thumb typing obsolete, so get right on that, Apple.
We also take a look at Panasonic's new shampoo robot and a revolutionary way for the weak and waterlogged to actually paddle out and catch a wave.
Our maiden blog! I haven't been this tingly since bathing in champagne to celebrate the announcement of this new blog!
We have grandiose plans to make this THE place to discover the latest, seismic breakthroughs in the way we live, work and play and our first entry has staggering implications.
Until now, if you wanted to understand the inner-workings of your brain, you had to slide into a huge, expensive and claustrophobic CT machine. But now a device with the simplicity of a head massager can read the electrical activity deep inside your melon and relay those commands to any number of devices.
It is the $300 Emotive Epic headset, and it could change how paraplegics move, soldiers shoot and the lazy change channels. But Emotive's founder and inventor thinks it can help understand and cure diseases from autism to epilepsy.
Until there is mind-control romance, we take a look at the bubbliest trend in on-line dating; location-based social apps. After Joel Simkhai created a gay hook-up app called Grindr, he says countless women begged him for a straight version.