NASA Makes Pens to Work in Space; Soviets Take Pencils.I’ve seen this thing going around for years about NASA astronauts inventing a pen to work in space while the Russians simply took pencils. THIS IS FALSE. Both the Americans and Soviets initially used pencils. However there is an element of truth to this story in that there is a pen specifically manufactured for use in space called the Fisher Space Pen (pictured) that works using pressurized ink cartridges. These pens are used to this day (By both the Russians and Americans)  due to the hazards posed by pencils such as broken lead injuring people in zero gravity or as a fire hazard (seriously), but no development cost was paid by NASA or requested by Fisher.Image

NASA Makes Pens to Work in Space; Soviets Take Pencils.

I’ve seen this thing going around for years about NASA astronauts inventing a pen to work in space while the Russians simply took pencils. THIS IS FALSE. Both the Americans and Soviets initially used pencils. However there is an element of truth to this story in that there is a pen specifically manufactured for use in space called the Fisher Space Pen (pictured) that works using pressurized ink cartridges. These pens are used to this day (By both the Russians and Americans)  due to the hazards posed by pencils such as broken lead injuring people in zero gravity or as a fire hazard (seriously), but no development cost was paid by NASA or requested by Fisher.

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(Source: snopes.com)

divineirony:

God might not heal amputees, but iWalk is working to rebuild the human body from the ground up. 

 

The Biom, bio mechanical ankle uses 3 motors to simulate a natural stride, making a world of difference in the body stress faced by wearers of prosthetic legs.

divineirony:

God might not heal amputees, but iWalk is working to rebuild the human body from the ground up.

The Biom, bio mechanical ankle uses 3 motors to simulate a natural stride, making a world of difference in the body stress faced by wearers of prosthetic legs.

Carbon Nanotubes

While not being particularly new to science, carbon nanotubes remain one of the more interesting and versatile new materials. At their basic level all they are is an allotrope of carbon in the shape of a cylinder, typically made by rolling a single atom thick sheet known as graphene or by deposition of carbon atoms. They also occur naturally in flames. The importance of carbon nanotubes lies in their incredible strength but also incredibly low density which gives them a specific strength (force per unit area divided by density or N·m·kg−1 for short) ~310 times greater than high carbon steel. Carbon nanotubes also have the predicted ability to carry an electrical current density that is 1000 times that of traditional conductors such as copper along with also being superb thermal conductors. The longest carbon nanotube to date clocks in at 18.5 cm (7.3 inches or 84% the width of a soccer ball) with the greatest length to width ratio being 132,000,000:1.

Images: 1, 2

When Science and Art CollideI don’t always post about art, but when I do it’s pretty damn awesome. This kite is called “Three Cubes Colliding” and was conceived and designed by Ivan Morison and Sash Reading. The kite itself is made predominantly from aerospace fabric and more than 1700 connectors made using a 3D printer. Its design was inspired by the structure of pyrite along with Alexander Graham Bell’s (the inventor of the telephone) experiments and has a certain “bucky quality” to it.

When Science and Art Collide

I don’t always post about art, but when I do it’s pretty damn awesome. This kite is called “Three Cubes Colliding” and was conceived and designed by Ivan Morison and Sash Reading. The kite itself is made predominantly from aerospace fabric and more than 1700 connectors made using a 3D printer. Its design was inspired by the structure of pyrite along with Alexander Graham Bell’s (the inventor of the telephone) experiments and has a certain “bucky quality” to it.

And now for what I think is the most remarkable thing about spiders: their webs. Although being absolutely terrifying to walk into face first, I always feel sorry that I’ve destroyed this beautiful bit of engineering. The coolest thing about spider webs is the sheer strength of the silk itself. It’s about the same strength as high tensile steal, but only weighs about a fifth of the weight. A single strand long enough to circumnavigate the world once would weigh only about half a kg (About a pound and a half). However it does not stop there, the strongest silk ever recorded comes from Caerostris darwini (Darwin’s bark spider) and has a tensile strength 10 times greater than Kevlar.

And now for what I think is the most remarkable thing about spiders: their webs. Although being absolutely terrifying to walk into face first, I always feel sorry that I’ve destroyed this beautiful bit of engineering. The coolest thing about spider webs is the sheer strength of the silk itself. It’s about the same strength as high tensile steal, but only weighs about a fifth of the weight. A single strand long enough to circumnavigate the world once would weigh only about half a kg (About a pound and a half). However it does not stop there, the strongest silk ever recorded comes from Caerostris darwini (Darwin’s bark spider) and has a tensile strength 10 times greater than Kevlar.