Why You Can’t Sell Me a Car

Air Dancer Air Dancer: Photograph by chris hake; background: Jack Flash/Getty Images

When I was a kid, my father’s Kettering, Ohio, auto shop was often my daycare center. Grease-stained mechanics wielding hefty tools the size of my arm knelt down and explained their work. Some showed me how to perform an oil change and diagnose a leaky head gasket, others how to align a timing belt and replace a busted windshield. Years later, as a Boy Scout, I earned my Automotive Maintenance merit badge with ease.

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Watch This Drone On A Leash

At the Drones and Aerial Robotics conference in New York City this morning, aerial robotics postdoc Sergie Lupashin demonstrated a drone on a leash. The drone, which he calls the Fotokite, acts like a steadicam and does two things very well: fly places where  you probably couldn’t stick a camera and then hover in place, filming. The leash adds stability, anchoring the drone.

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Snapple's Bottle Cap Facts Are Often Wrong

Snapple Fact Flickr user Jeremy Foo

Snapple has been printing facts on the underside of its bottlecaps for over a decade now, but maybe we should stop referring to them as “facts.” Some are misleading, outdated, or easily misproven. 

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Important Facebook Research: Where To Go To College If You Want To Find A Spouse

Michigan Technological University This school has the second-highest proportion of female graduates who share a college with their spouse. Michigan Technological University Photo Services

The upside to Facebook carefully tracking your entire life: so much room for statistical analysis! Facebook’s Data Science Team recently took a look at where people met their spouses and reported back on the best colleges to meet your future ol’ ball-and-chain, taking data from all couples in the U.S. who listed themselves as being married to each other and cross-referencing it with the schools they listed in their profiles. 

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Star Wars Made In Meat And Other Amazing Images From This Week

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The Drive to Win

Board Games Young children may not be able to cheat others to win, but the competitive drive develops around the age of four. Bill Branson (Photographer) via Wikimedia Commons

In my family, board games were serious fun. In one particularly hair-raising fight over Memory, my brother nearly came to blows with a family friend after accusing her of whispering answers to her little sister. During an epic argument over a game gin rummy on a ferry, I grabbed my brother’s ballcap and chucked it over the side of the boat. Clearly, comeptition drives us all. But when do wee ones develop the urge to smash their rivals and win at all costs? 

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How Low Is The Sky? And More Questions A Drone Legal Case Might Resolve

Ritewing Zephyr

The FAA alleges that Pirker recklessly flew a drone or model airplane like this one over the University of Virginia campus.

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Friday Baturday: Help Fund A Project to Study Bats With UV Light

In North America, bat populations have been decimated by an illness known as white nose syndrome. It’s caused by a fungus introduced from Europe (where bats are immune) and it’s called Pseudogymnoascus destructans — the latter part means, literally, “destroying.” The fungus covers bats’ faces, wings and ears, and it essentially causes hibernating bats to wake up, burning off their stored calorie reserves more quickly. They fly out of their caves in the middle of winter, and either freeze or starve to death.

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Utah Reopens National Parks, Government Shutdown Be Damned

Zion National Park Zion National Park will re-open as part of the deal. Wolfgang Staudt via WIkimedia Commons

The governor of Utah has announced that the state has brokered a deal with the Department of the Interior to reopen its shuttered national parks while the federal government remains on hiatus.

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Nobel Peace Prize Goes To The Organization That Destroyed Syria's Chemical Weapons

The OPCW in 2007

The Nobel Committee announced today that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will go to a group few outside the world of international security have heard of: the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). 

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Meet The Sourpuss Gene

Sadness Jiri Hodan via Wikimedia Commons

The inability to look on the bright side might have a genetic basis. A new study from the University of British Columbia has found a genetic variant might make the negative more salient than the positive for its carriers.

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The First Robot Patent: A Teslapunk Nav System for Airships

USPTO

 

On Oct. 20, 1936, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to one Frederick A. Fowler for a “robot navigator.”

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Lasers 3-D Print A Home For Bacteria

Staphylococcus aureus Janice Haney Carr/CDC

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are building a zoo. You can’t visit its inhabitants, or look inside, but it’s filled with cages where entire communities can thrive. Microscopic cages. Made out of what’s basically Jell-O. Oh, and they’re 3-D printed.

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Lagos, Microsoft seal e-government deal

Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State has signed an agreement with technology giant Microsoft, on ICTs to drive service delivery to the people of the state.

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Innovation Africa Summit in Botswana this week

Botswana’s Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MOESD) will host the international Innovation Africa Summit 2013 in Gaborone this week.

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More than 80% of smartphones unprotected

New findings from Juniper Research indicated that more than 80% of the total enterprise and consumer owned smartphone device base will remain unprotected through 2013.

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Nokia, T2T partner on African adventure

Nokia is partnering with the Tsitsikamma to Tataouine Expedition (T2T) to build HERE map content for the African continent.

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