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Watch GE Torture-Test Supermaterials in the Most Vicious Ways

The heat of an active volcano. A 5,000 lb weight dropped from above. A sandstorm that lasts ten years. These are just some of the ways GE torture-tests the super-strong materials that go into jet engines, wind turbines, and more. And thanks to the company's fascinating YouTube channel, we get an up-close view of the process. No safety goggles required. Read More >>

design
How a Simple Design Error Could Have Toppled a NYC Skyscraper

When it was built in 1977, Citicorp Center (later renamed Citigroup Center, now called 601 Lexington) was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world. You can pick it out of the New York City skyline by its 45-degree angled top. Read More >>

science
Advanced Concrete Could Last More Than a Century Without Maintenance

A new water-repellent concrete impregnated with tiny superstrong fibres promises to leave roads and bridges free of major cracks for up to 120 years. Read More >>

science
Researchers Develop a Way to X-Ray Rocks to Find Hidden Diamonds

It's no surprise that the diamond industry is willing to spend whatever it takes to make the process of mining precious gems even more profitable. And while it already relies on X-ray technology for spotting diamonds on the surface of mined ore, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute's Development Center for X-ray Technology EZRT have developed a way to now spot them buried inside rocks. Read More >>

design
I Wish I Could Read Wikipedia Like This

I love Wikipedia, but too often the articles are just not that easy to read. It's not that my English isn't good enough. My English good. There is Simple English Wikipedia, but it doesn't cover as many topics and it's not as thorough. Read More >>

science
How to Lie With Data Visualisation

Data visualisation is one of the most important tools we have to analyse data. But it's just as easy to mislead as it is to educate using charts and graphs. In this article we'll take a look at three of the most common ways in which visualisations can be misleading. Read More >>

science
Americans are Surprisingly Optimistic About the Future of Technology

Even in an age of security leaks and government surveillance, amazingly, Americans still feel pretty good about the role that technology will play in their lives, according to a new study. However, when you ask them about the specific advances—like bioengineering, wearable tech, drones, and robots—Americans are a bit more wary of welcoming the future. Read More >>

science
Can Lasers Protect Buildings From Lightning?

The standard advice authorities offer when lightning starts crackling across the sky is for people to take shelter inside buildings. Through lightning rods affixed to the roof, electrical wiring, and plumbing that can direct the electricity away from occupants and into the ground, substantial structures offer protection. Read More >>

3d
This Wild New Display Uses Fog as an Interactive 3D Screen

Engineers have built an interactive display using a tabletop system and mounted personal screens made of fog. Projectors light the fog for each user and a camera system monitors movements, allowing each person at the table to manipulate and share three-dimensional data. Read More >>

power
Ikea Just Bought a Wind Farm Big Enough to Power all of its US Stores

It takes a lot of energy to keep the lights on as you greedily pile cheap kitchen dongles and weird cookies into that blue bag, which is why Ikea is making a push to offset its total energy consumption by 2020. This week, it took a big step towards doing so by buying a wind farm in Illinois. Read More >>

science
Made for a Marathon: The Science of Long Distance Running

What drives people to run a marathon? Join Hayley Birch as she tackles 26.2 miles, aided by science. Read More >>

medicine
Train for Surgery Using Immersive 3D Holograms of Corpses

Computer-generated models are starting to let researchers and students peer into the body without needing a real human stretched out before them. Virtual dissection tables have been built at places like Stanford and the University of Calgary. Now, University of Michigan computer scientists and biologists have taken the technology another step forward, using projectors, joysticks and 3D equipment to build a floating holographic human that users can dissect, manipulate, and put back together as they wish. Read More >>

movies
How Steve Jobs's Passion Shaped Pixar Into an Oscar-Winning Studio

While Apple was Steve Jobs's first professional love, the Pixar animation studio that he helped foster was far more than a mere pet project. As Pixar President Ed Catmull explains in his upcoming book, Creativity Inc, Jobs's involvement with the studio proved a revolutionary experience for both parties. Here's a brief look at the Steve Jobs most people never got to see. Read More >>

art
How Optical Illusions Help Restore Art

New York City's streets were drained of colour on a recent cold and overcast March day. Their pallor—and that of the cars, trucks, and people occupying them—mimicked that depicted by Childe Hassam in his Winter in Union Square, an oil painting on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Read More >>

design
The Untold History of Where Barcodes Come From

When George Laurer goes to the shops, he doesn't tell the check-out people that he invented the barcode, but his wife used to point it out. "My husband here's the one who invented that barcode," she'd occasionally say. And the check-out people would look at him like, "you mean there was a time when we didn't have barcodes?" Read More >>

science
Mosquito Matchmaker: An Inside (Itchy) Look at Force-Mating Mosquitoes

The worst thing about feeding hundreds of mosquitoes on your own blood is not the itching – if you do it enough times, your body gets used to the bites. It's not even the pain, although it is always painful since the mosquitoes will use their snouts to root about your flesh in search of a blood vessel. Read More >>

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