Is zero really a number? How did it come about? Hannah Fry tells the story of how zero went from nothing to something. Even though we can’t divide by it, zero is probably the single most important number in the history of math.
Marconi’s invention posed a threat to the wired-telegraph industry. In response, the Eastern Telegraph Co. hired John Nevil Maskelyne, a British magician and inventor who had experimented with wireless technologies, to monitor Marconi’s work. According to an article in New Scientist, Maskelyne was able to build broadband receivers capable of intercepting Marconi’s so-called secure transmissions without knowing their frequencies.
In June 1903 Marconi held a public demonstration in London to show how his device could receive a message from a station nearly 500 kilometers away. But before he could receive the message, an intruder delivered this to Marconi’s receiver:
Rats rats rats rats.
There was a young fellow of Italy,
who diddled the public quite prettily.
The message went on to further mock and insult Marconi.
Most probably, you haven’t seen anything like this before
Dutch artist and inventor Theo Jansen has created something truly incredible. His kinetic sculptures, called “Strandbeests,” or beach beasts, are huge skeletal constructs that are designed to move powered solely by the energy of the sea breeze.
The Strandbeests are made from ordinary plastic tubes and move without the use of electronics. The artist has also equipped his beasts with recycled plastic bottles, valves and pumps.
Designed by Arturo Vittori and his Italian studio Architecture and Vision, Warka Water is a water-catchment system that produces potable water by harvesting rain, fog, and dew. The team took design cues from naturally found forms, like termite hives and cactus spines, and combined them with low-cost, locally found materials to create the sculptural and biomimetic tower. A Warka Water structure comprises a bamboo frame, recyclable mesh, rope, canopy, and a water tank, and can be assembled easily and inexpensively by six people in about four days.
Back in 2013, YouTube channel SciShow lesson brought viewers to Lake Hillier, an unusually salty lake with a bubblegum-pink hue located in Western Australia.
Three years later, the episode spawned a research project on its own. Researchers with the eXtreme Microbiome Project (XMP), launched a real scientific investigation and profiled the microbial life in Lake Hillier.
They found the algae in question that produces the red hues, but that the color of the lake primarily came from halobacteria and other extremophilic (extreme habitat-loving) microbes that are pinkish in color. The researchers also found a bacteria called Dechloromonas aromatica, which breaks down compounds in chemical solvents. The researchers believe this may be evidence of the lake’s history as a leather tanning station in the early 1900s.