The latest addition to our ever-growing list of must-see things in Japan is the Eshima Ohashi Bridge, a 144-foot-tall (44M) rigid-frame bridge that looks more like a roller coaster than a bridge when viewed from the right angles. Connecting the cities of Matsue and Sakaiminato in Western Japan, Sakaiminato is also the home base for the Japanese fishing industry. The marine traffic is tremendous, so the bridge was designed with a steep angle to allow ships to pass underneath. It’s the largest rigid-frame bridge in Japan and the third largest in the world.

The bridge gradient is actually only 6.1% on its steepest side and 5.1% on the other, but it offers drivers a spectacular panoramic view of both cities. But when viewed from the right angle, especially using a telephoto lens, it looks steep enough to allow Godzilla to trundle by underneath.

Want to know what it’s like to travel over the Eshima Ohashi Bridge? Click here for a first-person video. And here for another.

[via Bored Panda and Laughing Squid]


Materials scientists have designed an organic molecule that changes color and starts glowing under ultraviolet light at the slightest touch. They developed the molecule from a compound called diketopyrrolopyrrole, which is commonly used in pigments and polymers for electronic devices. Their derivative, called DPP8, remains in a liquid state far below the limit of 273 degrees Fahrenheit at which it normally solidifies, a condition called supercooling.  

The supercooled liquid has a couple of interesting properties. It stays liquid at room temperature down to 41 degrees F, but the lightest pressure, even that exerted by a cell being placed on it, triggers a crystallization process to occur. And when it does crystallize, it changes color from orange-red to greenish yellow and increases light emission by 25 times. The gifs above are shown in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. 

At higher temperatures like those seen above, the pressure-induced crystallization quickly propagates through the liquid. At lower temperatures, the University of Michigan scientists who developed it were able to limit crystal formation to regions directly exposed to the force. That ability allowed them to write a message on the material using a stylus. They think their work could lead to diagnostic sensors for cells or even, in the distant future, computer memory that encodes information with light. Read their full paper published in the journal ACS Central Science here.

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3D printing is taking aircraft manufacturing to a new dimension. GE engineers at GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center are focused on developing additive manufacturing, a technique that can make complex 3D structures by melting powder layer upon layer. Over the course of several years, the engineers have tested the technology’s abilities, creating a 3D-printed mini jet engine that roared at 33,000 rotations per minute. Read more about how the future of aviation is being shaped by 3D printing at GE Reports.

If the crew of Voyager had a tumblr:

Janeway posts coffee, dogs, space phenomenon and every once in a while a drunk post that Tuvok deletes immediately but Tom always reblogs first.

Chakotay posts Quotes of the Day, mindfulness tips, pictures of nature and photos of himself with old Maquis friends.

Tuvok claims to not have one but secretly follows everyone from a tumblr called “ask Voyager’s Senior Staff” that answers asks for the Bridge crew and memes. He can also hack into everyone else’s, as necessary.

B’Elanna changes her username every 90 days or so, routinely deletes posts or her entire blog on a whim, has been accused of being a Social Justice Warrior despite at least 80% of her posts being about robotics and engineering.

Tom posts gifs from 20th century TV shows, cars, and shuttlecraft races. And he’s the meme king.

Harry posts performances of Jazz musicians, pictures of Earth, and things he knows the others like tagged with their usernames.

The Doctor posts daily health tips and weekly articles on disgusting medical issues that could happen to the crew if they DON’T COME IN FOR THEIR DAMN VISIT. Also political statements about being alive.

Neelix posts candid photos of the crew, fairy tales from various cultures, recipes, and images of Kes that walk the line between cute and creepy. He also reblogs all of Chakotay’s quotes and The Doctor’s tips.

Kes posts photos of all the interesting species they’ve encountered as well as flowers and plants. Also kittens and kitten equivalents.

Seven doesn’t understand so she just posts her official logs. Janeway tries to explain so she starts posting coffee, dogs, space phenomenon. Janeway sighs and tells her “Seven, NO, things YOU like” so then Seven posts pictures of Janeway. She also posts about Janeway’s service record, which Tuvok promptly deletes starting a war of tumblr attrition because Seven doesn’t like her things being tampered with, even by Tuvok. Eventually he explains to her why her posts are inappropriate and while she disagrees, she stops out of respect for authority. 

(co-conspirator: vasnormandy)


Behold the advance of human-swarm interaction. Researchers at Georgia Tech are developing a method that uses a smart tablet and red light beams to control a fleet of robots. 

When a user taps an area of the tablet screen, a red light is projected on the ground. The little robots being used for the proof of concept start moving toward the light, communicating with each other all the while to evenly space themselves out as they maneuver. Two fingers on the screen mean two beams of light, and the robots break into teams to reach the two locations on the floor.

“If you scale up, from fives to tens to thousands, then there’s just no way of dictating who should be doing what exactly,” said applied mathematician and roboticist Magnus Egerstedt, who is leading the research. “This area of human-swarm interaction, which is, how should a single person interact with a large collection of robots, is really something that we’re now beginning to have to address. All of a sudden autonomy and robotics has reached a level where it’s not science fiction anymore to have lots of robots out there and a single operator having to interact with large teams of robots.”

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Above is a look at the cutting-edge of air travel. A steel ball flying at 150 mph hits a ceramic composite prototype created by the GE Global Research team in New York. The test was conducted to prove that the new material would not shatter like a cup, although chipping was okay, since that would not release large pieces of debris into the turbine. Read more about this material and its impact on the future of flight at GE Reports. 


“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. (…) The smart way - for some - to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum..“.

~ Noam Chomsky ("The Common Good”)