It’s easy to walk around everyday, thinking you have an excellent understanding of scale and distance.
But unless you are some sort of insane genius (and even with Doc, I doubt it), it’s incredibly difficult for our human brains to comprehend scale in any precise terms.
Check out this website, designed to demonstrate just how FAR Mars is from Earth. It uses pixels to help us understand distance.
Then, while your brain is feeling wrinkled, explore this website called The Scale of the Universe. Scroll left to zoom in on the supersmall, and scroll right to zoom out to…well, the estimated size of the universe. Click on the images to learn more about them. (The Minecraft world is included: see if you can find it!)
Feeling small? Well, you literally are…but you can feel bigger by volunteering, learning more, or just going for a walk. So get out of the house! It’s a big universe out there.
Apparently, in the quest for sustainable, environmentally friendly alternatives to petroleum-based threads like Lycra, nylon, and spandex, scientists are turning to decidedly disgusting creatures.
Meet the hagfish, a 300 million-year-old species (it predates dinosaurs) with a very icky adaptation: thick slime. And their nickname? Snot eels. No kidding. Also, they have four rows of teeth. Sounds like the perfect pet.
These eel-like fellows troll the bottom of the ocean looking for dead whales to eat (gross), and if a predator decides on hagfish sushi for lunch, the hagfish secretes a slime thick enough to potentially suffocate the predator.
Scientists at the University of Guelph in Canada are studying the potential applications for hagfish slime, including developing flexible, strong, environmentally friendly threads. You won’t be seeing any hagfish farms (thank goodness), since scientists have yet to successfully breed hagfish in captivity. Instead, scientists are analyzing the proteins found in the slime, hoping to genetically engineer bacteria that produce the protein.
Nature. Super cool. Super gross.
Looking for a book about weird textiles? Check out Crafting with Cat Hair or Knit Your Own Dog. Looking for more information about weird sea creatures? Check out Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime : The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter or Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Monsters of the Deep.
I’ll admit, I know almost nothing about manga/anime. But I am TOTALLY behind the new trend out of Japan: using a digital camera to create cool faux Kamehameha photos (a la Dragon Ball). So simple, so awesome! I would love to see some examples from Iowa City fans!
Check out more sweet pics at Comics Alliance and Kotaku.
And seriously, if you take your own faux Kamehameha picture, send it to teens (at) icpl (dot) org. You might just see your picture featured here!
United Action for Youth (UAY) is hosting a clothing drive for teens on Wednesday, March 13 from 3:30-6:30 PM at the UAY Youth Center (355 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City). Stop by to freshen up your spring wardrobe for free!
Yes, you read that title correctly: Someone made a kayak out of PVC and duct tape. That someone is a 9th grader at West High, and his duct tape kayak made the front page of Instructables! Check it out! He’s much braver than me…
Want a FREE prom dress/tuxedo??
Stop by the East Side Recycling Center (education center), 2401 Scott Blvd. SE, Iowa City between 1-4 PM on Saturday, March 9. According to their Facebook page, ”prom dresses, tuxedos and accessories including handbags, jewelry, dress shoes, etc. will be given away at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis. We’ll also have prom-related door prizes from local businesses!”
Questions? Contact Mary at palmberg (at) avalon (dot) net or 319-400-0388.
Feeling stressed about school? Worried about the impending snowstorm? Just want to drool over cute kitten/puppy pictures? Check out The Fluffington Post.
If you can handle seeing the heart of bison dissected from a teddy bear, check out this really sweet(?) video all about the anatomy of the heart.
Looks like Hank Green of Vlogbrothers fame (his brother, John Green, wrote The Fault in Our Stars) was a producer, and the YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop, is really just getting started. Friendly warnings at the beginning of each episode alert you to possible gross-out moments, so no worries…if you heed the advice. I like gross science stuff, so I found it fascinating.
Emily Graslie, the host of The Brain Scoop and the volunteer Curatorial Assistant for the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum at The University of Montana, is funny and engaging, exploring and explaining zoological anatomy and the workings of a zoological lab.
Have you seen or read The Hobbit yet? If not, then these pancake may not make much sense. But if you have…bask in their golden glory. I wonder how Nathan Shields accomplishes that sort of detail…probably a whole bunch of patience. (Be sure to click on the image for more detail.)
Check out more Hobbit nerd-ery with hobbit socks, Knits for Nerds, and this incredible, $1,600, “superior quality” hobbit-hole chicken coop.
How do you express your love for all things Hobbit?