mechanic insects

5 things you didn’t know about...fog-fighting nanotextures

Credit: Nature Materials

1. Water-repellent nanotextures have now been proven to have anti-fogging capabilities in research conducted by US Department of Energy’s researchers and scientists in France, at the Thales Group, ESPCI Paris Tech and École Polytechnique.

2. The DOE researchers were inspired by the physical mechanisms observed on some insect bodies, which can repel water and oil, reduce reflections and adhere to surfaces.

3. They used self-assembling block copolymers, made up of two distinct molecules forming repeating units, to create nanoscale textures in a range of inorganic materials. Conical nanotextures were found to be most efficient at repelling water and dirt.

4. An optical microscope connected to a high-resolution camera was used to view dew formation on various textures. Water droplets on conical textures were seen to jump off the surface when two drops combined, as they could not adhere strongly to the surface.

5. An understanding of the structure of these anti-fogging materials may be useful in the design and manufacture of aircraft and car windshields and steam turbine condensing equipment. 

To find out more see page 4 of the April issue of Materials World.

my dad's clever joke
  • dad: what do you call a green insect that lives 4 meters underground and eats rocks.
  • me: idk what
  • dad: it's called the green rock eating insect that lives 4 meters underground
  • me:
  • me:
  • dad: *laughs hysterically*
  • so the conversation moves elsewhere
  • 5 minutes later
  • dad: here's a physics and mechanics question for you to think carefully about
  • me: ok
  • dad: if I were to drill a whole in the ground all the way to China, and then drop a rock through that hole, will the rock get to China?
  • me: um idk no? because of gravity?
  • dad: *shakes silently with laughter*
  • me: ?
  • dad: no. It won't. Because at 4 meters the green rock eating insect that lives 4 meters underground eats the rock
  • me:
  • me: *walks away*
  • me: why do I keep falling for his dad jokes. why.
  • I'm disgusted with myself. That clever little shit.
The Impossibility of Grub Scars in Homestuck’s Trolls and the Biological Reasons Surrounding It.

Wordy title aside, I for once again feel inspired to take my love of obscure biological information and pour it into analyzing the biology of Homestuck’s trolls, so here we go!

Trolls as we know start their life in a larval stage, hatched from eggs laid by a common mother, before eventually pupating into the humanoid appearance we are more familiar with.  However, since figures like His Honorable Tyranny, Mothergrubs themselves, and possibly even drones are all part of the Troll species, it should be understood that not all eggs will hatch into grubs that will become endoskeletal humanoids.  The metamorphosis from grub to troll is a direct one, and not gradual.  So changes akin to a tadpole becoming a frog or toad are not applicable here.  Instead, grubs form cocoons around themselves after crawling up to the ceiling of a cave, and then undergo metamorphosis from there.

Inside a cocoon, which is a mechanism used by insects such as butterflies and moths, the larval stage will begin to secrete enzymes that will completely dissolve the body of the organism, only for it to be restructured into a completely new form.  How this functions genetically is kind of a two-for-one package, where one part of the DNA will be active to begin with to create a larval form, whereas another part will be activated to form the adult form during pupation.  This means that the entire body of the grub will dissolve, from the legs to even the brain, meaning that memories from before pupating are beyond impossible, and the newly formed body will have no traces of ever having had a different form.  This same mechanism that alters the activations of the DNA could possibly be why some trolls could develop wings, a trait that only the mothergrubs usually possess.  Because they are the same species, such a mutation could easily occur.

So this is why trolls cannot have grubscars.  The body they possess after pupation occurs is physically unrelated to their grub form.  While formed from the same nutrients and DNA, the physiology is completely new, and is separated from the larval stage by a process of dissolving and reforming.

Trolls are fascinating creatures.  Physiologically humanoid, but developmentally and reproductively insectoid.  It’s a combination that does not occur on earth, which just adds to how alien trolls and their culture are to us as readers.

Natural cogs not standard issus.

Almost three years since their discovery, the juvenile Issus insect, commonly found across Europe, remains the only known natural example of a functioning gear mechanism. The hind-leg joints feature curved cog-like strips of intermeshing ‘teeth’ that synchronise the issus’ legs when launched into a jump.

Prior to this discovery, gear mechanisms were previously thought to be solely man-made. However, no other example has been discovered.

Check out the University of Cambridge video above for more information.

Broken Toy

Prompt:  ‘Moded Jaime’’ by opalescentflame
Rating: T 
Pairing: Bluepulse 
A/N: Gaah sorry this one took longer to finish.  

  Preview:  The only time Blue Beetle ever felt even a inkling of regret was when he battled his former teammates. Not because they were whispers of the life he’d had, but because killing them was such a waste of good meat. Now, as he stood over the Impulse’s unconscious body, he felt a twinge of… something. Something that bordered genuine emotion was beginning to stir within him.        

Keep reading

Fossilized firefly eggs, still glowing after 30 million years.

The chemicals that make fireflies glow only break down naturally with a half-life of 200 million years. Once a pre-larval firefly dies and its body decomposes, the chemicals mix without regulation from the gland that once governed them and can glow for eons.

Discovered and described by Karl K. Whedon of the University of Munich in 1879, the gland (Now named the Whedon gland in his honor) contains two vesicles which each hold one of the enzymes that combine to create light. This reaction is regulated by the enzyme Foxine which only develops in the larval firefly, thus it is not present in the eggs to cancel their glow.

Many researchers, finding the firefly to be a stunning creature of beauty and serenity have attempted to breed a species of the common browncoat firefly that lacks the Foxine gene and will glow indefinitely. Unfortunately this has proven impossible as the Whedon gland has evolved to serve a dual purpose in the defense metabolism of the insect. The gland develops after the larval phase to direct the mature metabolism that turns the fly toxic in the mouths of predators, an avenging-type defense mechanism that’s quite a marvel of natural selection. Thus the genetic engineering attempts have proven thus far to be much ado about nothing.

Still, the firefly eggs above, though there are only 14 total, are amazing and rare gems that can still be appreciated today. Though many scientists remain upset at the Foxine’s cancellation of any further glow in mature firefly specimens, I for one am happy that the Whedon gland is now available to direct the avenger mechanisms of modern insects and I eagerly await the next age of evolution for the species, coming to the U.S. on May 1st.

Photo Via

Thank you!!! Let’s see now:

Unoriginal: In the first five pages of the book, Valhalla contains the following (as far as I know) original concepts:

  • A massive arcology in northwestern Scotland
  • The removal of childrens vocal cords until they know when to shut up
  • Robot zoos
  • Cetaceans (people who have engineered themselves for water life)
  • A gang that crucifies people and wears orange hats
  • A psychological test called the “Verhoeven Violent Predilection Scale“
  • Lectures 12D and 14B
  • Online kindergarten punching matches
  • A fairly obvious Shakespeare joke I’ve not seen before
  • Adulthood licenses including childbearing rights
  • Microwave guns that melt doors off their hinges
  • A world without exonyms
  • A manner of thinking during a disaster than I’ve never seen written about
  • A.I. envy
Boring: Valhalla contains in-text 77 killings including over 50 methods of murder, 9 chases including 10 types of combat vehicles, 8 fistfights, 33 explosions, 3 full blown battles, 2 creatures of incarnate fear, 1 mechanical knife insect that lives in your chest, and out of 323 pages, under 50 have no form of action at all, and every page has at least one instance of humor.

Poorly Written: Judge for yourself.

       Another little misery for the troops involved the showers. There weren’t any. Where sonic showers were standard to gently hum the grime off skin without the least bit of discomfort, the army needed something tougher and, for immodesty’s sake, more painful. As soon as they gathered the recruits in a basement room, each was given a can of viscous orange dimethyl ammonium chlorides—army slang “napalm.” They were told to dilute the goop in water and to apply it liberally to their bodies. A few recruits looked concerned; others began cautiously diluting and applying the substance to their bare skin.
       Violet, assuming the army would do no permanent harm to their recruits, started with a 5 percent solution and gave herself a generous helping of the thinned goo. Just as she had covered most of her arms, she heard the screams. Then she felt the tingling, and then the itching, and then a sensation she later heard a recruit describe inadequately as being bitten by a billion burning bullet ants. She kept going, reasoning that the sooner it was all over her, the sooner it could all burn off. By the time she finished her feet, her arms felt cool and clean. She also couldn’t help but notice that she smelled fresh and crisp.
       “Smells like victory,” laughed a colonel, who proceeded to slap the itchiest recruit on his itchiest cheek.

Never Funny: Humor is of course in the eye of the beholder. But I’m guessing most people here would disagree with you on that one. This fact blog started as a dumping ground for jokes that didn’t make the novel. And pretty much everyone who’s going to read this follows the blog. So they clearly still see something in me worth reading. And if they like the blog at all, they’re going to love the books.

They don’t even need to buy them to test them out. There’s a chapter and a half of free sample under “Look Inside” here.Thanks for the hate :)

Oh, come on – that’s a still from an Indiana Jones movie. Even the soldier looks shoddily greenscreened into that clearly fake, overdramatic movie set. Some half-mechanical Nazi insect monster is going to pop out of that giant Iron Cross jack-in-the-box, and then Hellboy’s going to charge on screen and punch him right in his fascist wang. … But nope: It’s totally real.” #CrackedClassic

12 Old War Photographs You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photoshopped

anonymous asked:

"tikari" is literally the Finnish word for dagger. Was the name choice intentional?

Yes, the mechanical insects can also turn into daggers, for the most part. The fly tikari in the old artwork is a bowie knife and the butterfly tikari on the current cover turns into a throwing star. They’re very versatile things. Others take the form of other bugs and other weapons, there’s a caterpillar sword and a double ended dagger beetle or two.

Valhalla does contain one double dagger beetle battle.

anonymous asked:

to be fair, it wouldn't be unheard of for many to need prosthetics...i mean, Ponyville comes under attack nearly every week.

“Mayor, a prototype Ursa Minor is rampaging through the town! And a swarm of mechanical insects are eating all of the metal, and this is on top of the Diesel Dogs kidnapping people and forcing them to mine gems for nefarious purposes! …Mayor? Mayor, where are you going?!”