Polymer Grabs Energy from Water
MIT engineers have created a new polymer film that can generate electricity by drawing on a ubiquitous source: water vapor. The new material changes its shape after absorbing tiny amounts of evaporated water, allowing it to repeatedly curl up and down. Harnessing this continuous motion could drive robotic limbs or generate enough electricity to power micro- and nanoelectronic devices, such as environmental sensors.
“With a sensor powered by a battery, you have to replace it periodically. If you have this device, you can harvest energy from the environment so you don’t have to replace it very often,” says Mingming Ma, a postdoc at MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and lead author of a paper describing the new material in Science.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/videos/2013/01/polymer-grabs-energy-water
Their answer, in short: Yes, a hot drink can cool you down, but only in specific circumstances. “If you drink a hot drink, it does result in a lower amount of heat stored inside your body, provided the additional sweat that’s produced when you drink the hot drink can evaporate,” Jay says.
How does this work? “What we found is that when you ingest a hot drink, you actually have a disproportionate increase in the amount that you sweat,” Jay says. “Yes, the hot drink is hotter than your body temperature, so you are adding heat to the body, but the amount that you increase your sweating by—if that can all evaporate—more than compensates for the the added heat to the body from the fluid.”
The increased rate of perspiration is the key. Although sweat may seem like a nuisance, the body perspires for a very good reason. When sweat evaporates from the skin, energy is absorbed into the air as part of the reaction, thereby cooling the body. A larger amount of sweat means more cooling, which more than counteracts the small amount of heat contained in a hot beverage relative to the entire body.”
Analyzer Ensures Great Pizza Crust
Brookfield Engineering Laboratories offers the TA-PTF Pizza Test Fixture for their CT3 Texture Analyzer. The Pizza Test Fixture is designed to test the extensibility and tensile breaking strength of pizza crust and other similar food items. The measurements are used as an indicator that corresponds with the firmness and stringiness you experience as the pizza is pulled away from your teeth and palate. Brookfield works with customers to develop the testing methodology required to provide consistent test results.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Analyzer-Ensures-Great-Pizza-Crust-052112.aspx
Tensile testing pizza! It’s not every day you see materials science interact with food like this. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find this interesting.
Man Arrested for Stealing Milk - While Dressed in Cow Suit
Okay, okay - I know this isn’t science related, but it’s pretty funny.
An18-year old Virginia man was arrested earlier this week after successfully managing to slip past the Walmart staff and steal 26 gallons of milk - all while dressed in a cow suit.
“This is probably one of the most unique efforts of shoplifting I’ve seen,” a spokesman for the Stafford County Sheriff told InsideNova.com.
While no one in the store did anything to stop the cow-suited culprit when he was strolling around the Walmart on all fours, he was spotted near the store handing out the stolen moo juice to passersby.
The belligerent bovine was later spotted “skipping down the sidewalk” in the cow suit by Walmart staffers.
He was later apprehended, out of his costume, at a nearby McDonald’s (perhaps he is in cahoots with the Hamburglar?). Police found the cow garb in the suspect’s car but just to make sure it wasn’t the world’s biggest coincidence, they took the teen back to Walmart where he was identified as the suspect.
The greatest crime here is that there is no surveillance footage of the theft.
So here’s the deal. Three astronomers, Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess won the Nobel Prize for physics this week. Why is this interesting? Becuase of what they discovered. With the help of a type 1a supernova (a type of exploding star) theydiscovered that the expansion of the universe is actually speeding up, due to an antigravitatonal force called “dark energy.” Although they don’t know exactly what dark energy is, they do know that it’s pushing galaxies apart. An article in the New York Times states that “If the universe continues accelerating, astronomers say, rather than coasting gently into the night, distant galaxies will eventually be moving apart so quickly that they cannot communicate with one another and all the energy will be sucked out of the universe.” Poor Einstein, they believe that there are a bunch of different universes with different properties (obviously we live in one that is habitable). Pretty cool, eh?
The Lives Within a Drop of Water
The slogan for the Nikon Small World competition is “Recognizing Excellence in Photography through the Microscope.” Feast your eyes on these images that record a different world so small that it fits into a drop of water
Follow the source link for a description on each of these microscopic beauties.