Residents of Birmingham, Alabama woke last Friday to skies that looked more like an ocean, with a series of huge "wave" shaped crests rolling slowly across the sky. Experts have now explained the phenomenon as perfect examples of "Kelvin-Helmholtz" waves, when a fast layer moves over a slower layer and drags the top along creating a curled shape.
Future X-Factor and American Idol stars can rest easy in the knowledge scientists have been working tirelessly to take out the guesswork in what makes a hit song. They've developed a software program that can predict chart positions with about 60% accuracy.
Personally, I'm still amazed by how small mini M&Ms are, but scientists and engineers have higher aspirations, so they went ahead and built a steam engine the size of a water droplet in fog, which is a few micrometers wide.
If you've ever been hospitalized and sent home to recover, you know it can be overwhelming. Now imagine it from a child's point of view. Children's Hospital Boston is now piloting a program to send telepresence robots home with post-op patients. The robots will allow for ongoing communication, observation and care to ease recovery from the familiar comfort of home.
All it takes to simulate the electromagnetic field of our planet is about 15 tons of liquid sodium in a giant spinning globe. Cool!
It may not seem as exciting as a title fight in Las Vegas, but for the cell biologists participating in the World's First Cell Race there was the same thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as they placed their cells on a special petri dish racetrack.
Next time you go through a breakup, you might want to try sleeping instead of sleeping around. For those unclear on euphemisms, I actually mean sleeping, i.e. laying in bed (or wherever) in a state lacking a certain amount of consciousness (even with a robotic snuggle bear).
Two pairs of self-propelled robots called Wave Gliders recently launched from San Francisco on a course that'll see them collectively covering almost 38,000 miles of the Pacific. If they reach their destinations in Japan and Australia, they could set the world record for the longest distance traveled by an unmanned vehicle.
The always entertaining and informative Vsauce explains that the entire Internet's data only weighs about 50 grams. Go figure.
While we continue to search for extraterrestrial life, alien-like creatures are being found here on Earth. Most recently: enormous amoebas that can withstand heavy metals (i.e. uranium, lead, mercury), low temperatures and high pressure were found 6.6 miles under the ocean's surface.