art
These Sand Castles are Actually Castles Carved on Grains of Sand

Anyone can build a castle with sand, but can you build a castle on sand? Artist and photographer Vik Muniz collaborated with MIT researcher Marcelo Coelho to engrave a castle onto a single grain of sand. Read More >>

art
If a Graffiti Printer Writes With Sand is it Still Really Vandalism?

Gijs van Bon's Skryf machine is far from the world's first automatic graffiti machine. But it could be the first that won't have law enforcement ready to throw the cuffs on him. That's because the self-propelled device uses a modified CNC milling machine to 'print' messages on the ground using nothing but harmless sand. Read More >>

science
Scientists Flattened a Desert With Bulldozers to Study Sand Dunes

Six years ago, a patch of land in the Inner Mongolian desert became unnaturally flat. Researchers, for the sake of science, had razed 40 acres of desert. Then, for three and half years, they set up cameras and watched as small piles of sand grew and grew into full-fledged sand dunes. Read More >>

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How Sand Ate a Pirate City During an Earthquake

Fables tell us that it's really stupid to build a house on sand. In reality, you can build your house on sand—as long as you live in a tectonically stable part of the world. If you don't, an earthquake will turn the sand into quicksand, and as a consequence, it will turn your house into history. Read More >>

art
Four Stepper Motors Can Make Beautiful Sand Art

There are challenges to making art in any medium, and with sand the issue is clearly accuracy. How do you keep everything in place while you're working? David Bynoe, a kinetic sculptor in Calgary, Alberta, created this drawing machine for the Telus Spark Science Centre to solve that problem.
Bynoe attached four strings to a weight and then connected each string to a pulley and stepper motor at the four corners of a box so the weight could be controlled by tightening and slackening the ropes. When the box is filled with sand, the weight can draw precisely on the sand in a 590 x 590 x 220mm area. Read More >>

design
Sand Can Light Up a Room

LED lightbulbs are already energy efficient, but they would be even better if they could emit light without connecting to the grid at all. Brooklyn-based designer Danielle Trofe is trying to make that happen. Read More >>

space
Two Meteorites Discovered In Antarctica May Be From The Same Supernova

There's nothing more fascinating or TV special-worthy than twins separated at birth. Whether they're reunited at 15 or 50 it's safe to say that there'll be some eerily similar food preferences and a whole lot of crying. But what about two chemically identical grains of silica that haven't seen each other for more than 4.6 billion years? Read More >>

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How to Make a Better Sand Castle That Can Hold the Weight of a Human

Here's a relatively useless yet undoubtedly impressive trick you can pull the next time you go to the beach: make a sand castle that's so unbelievably sturdy that it can hold up an entire person. Seriously. What's it take? Read More >>

art
A Plate Made of Sand Sounds Like an Awful Dining Experience

Given that sand finds its way into every nook and cranny of your person when you go for a swim, the prospect of dining on the beach is even less appealing. So what possessed artist Victor Castanera to create a series of plaster-based dinnerware cast from the natural contours of a sandy beach? Read More >>

olympics
The Olympics Uses Special Sand That Doesn't Stick to Beach Volleyball Players

Any beach-goer knows that spending time in the sand means spending infinitely more time trying to scrub sand off your body. Sand just sticks everywhere. But why doesn't it stick to Olympic volleyball players? It's because the Olympics always use special, highly-regulated sand. Read More >>

robots
Robot Arm Builds Complex Sandcastles You Could Never Create With a Bucket and Shovel

If your only pursuit when visiting the beach is to construct the most epic sandcastle imaginable, you might want to leave your pail and tiny shovel at home and instead get your hands on this fantastic castle-crafting robot arm. Read More >>

science
The Science of Building the Perfect Sandcastle

Everyone knows the secret to building sandcastles is a little water. But while too little leaves the sand useless, too much makes it heavy enough to cause disastrous landslides. Fortunately, scientists have unravelled the secrets behind sandcastle building for you. Read More >>

cameras
I Still Can't Believe a Normal Camera Can Resist These Tortures

Apparently, some people love the Pentax DSLRs because they can withstand sand storms and heavy rain. I never imagined they could be subjected to this kind of hardcore testing. That's probably why US Army soldier Alex Jansen, now deployed in Afghanistan, loves them. Read More >>

toys
Manual 3D Sandcastle Printer: The Most Tedious Way to Have Fun at the Beach

Somewhere, mankind lost its way. The latest proof being that instead of relying on good old buckets and other moulds for building sandcastles, kids are now given tools like this plastic sand and water funnel which makes them painstakingly build up a sand structure layer by layer. Read More >>

toys
This Augmented Reality Sand Box Is More Fun Than Anything You Had as a Kid

Technology is transforming the way kids play and learn. But this new sand box is a complete revelation: using Kinect to gather depth information it teaches kids about topography and can even simulate water without making a mess. Read More >>

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