Living chandelier with algae-filled leaves purifies the air

London-based designer and engineer, Julian Melchiorri, created the world’s first bionic chandelier that not only lights up the room, but also actively purifies the air. The ‘Exhale’ Chandelier features glass leaves filled with green algae that absorb CO2 and release oxygen.
Currently on display at the V&A Museum for London Design Week.
More info: Website | Instagram
(h/t: Inhabitat)

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Crown Shyness – A Phenomenon Where Trees Avoid Touching

Photo: Imgur

Crown shyness (also canopy disengagement) is a phenomenon observed in some tree species, in which the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other, forming a canopy with channel-like gaps. The phenomenon is most prevalent among trees of the same species, but also occurs between trees of different species. There exist many hypotheses as to why crown shyness is an adaptive behavior, and the most prominent theory, is that the gaps prevent the proliferation of invasive insects.

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Oregon’s ‘Lost Lake’ disappearing through lava tubes

lost-lake-1Image source

Oregon is home to the towering Cascades, a range of mountains and active volcanoes. The Lost Lake likely formed about 3,000 years ago, when lava flowing from a volcanic vent blocked a river channel and created the lake. The lakebed begins to fill in the late fall, when the amount of rain coming in starts exceeding the ability of the lava tubes to drain off the water.  But during the dry months, the  lake vanishes and turns into meadow. The reason? Two hollow lava tubes at the bottom of the lake are constantly draining the lake dry, much like a bathtub left unplugged. It’s not entirely clear where the water goes, but it possibly seeps into the porous subsurface underground.  There have been numerous attempts to plug the leak, those endeavors, however, would only result in the lake flooding.

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Lives Within a Drop of Water

A world so small that it fits into a drop of water.

lives-within-a-drop-of-water-1Michael Shribak/ Dr. Irina Arkhipova – Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole, Massachusetts – Philodina roseola (bdelloid rotifer), live specimen Video-enhanced polychromatic polarized light

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Flower Nanostructures created in a beaker

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These false-color SEM images reveal microscopic flower structures created by manipulating a chemical gradient to control crystalline self-assembly.

To create the flower structures, Noorduin and his colleagues dissolve barium chloride (a salt) and sodium silicate (also known as water glass) into a beaker of water. Carbon dioxide from air naturally dissolves in the water, setting off a reaction which precipitates barium carbonate crystals. As a byproduct, it also lowers the pH of the solution immediately surrounding the crystals, which then triggers a reaction with the dissolved waterglass. This second reaction adds a layer of silica to the growing structures, uses up the acid from the solution, and allows the formation of barium carbonate crystals to continue.

Images courtesy of Wim L. Noorduin
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Scientific Illustrations by Noel Badges Pugh

illustrations-Noel-Badges-Pugh-1

Noel Badges Pugh creates scientific illustrations as well as artwork with a more psychedelic perspective. Inspired by nature and dreams, all’s created with an utmost appreciation for the details and structure of each subject. One of his more recent series is a field guide on different kinds of bees and wild flowers.

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Light pillars over Ontario

Light pillars form when a bright light (from the sun, the moon or man-made light sources) reflects off the surfaces of millions of falling ice crystals associated with thin, high-level clouds. The pillars, which are often mistaken for UFO sightings, are typically seen in polar regions and they might lengthen or brighten as you gaze at them.
Photographer Jay Callaghan shot the beautiful photo below, on his back deck in 25 February at 1:45 am , as he was looking northeast toward Chemong Road in Peterborough, Ontario.

light-pillar

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