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  1. Magnifier Reminds You Google Music Beta is a Thing, Highlights its Flaws

    Remember Google Music? Well, then it seems like Magnifier has done one of its jobs. Magnifier, a new blog recently launched to work in tandem with the Google Music Beta, aims to bring tunes to your attention, tunes that you can then add to your Google Music collection, along with all the songs in there that you already own, uploaded and have presumably heard. The blog explains itself like this:

    Well, when I was in junior high school, I had a friend whose older cousin lived in England, and that cousin would always send my friend great new records we usually knew nothing about, except that if the cousin liked them there was a very good chance we would, too...So, Magnifier is basically Music Beta's cousin who lives in England

    So, basically Magnifier will recommend you music based on the opinion of its team (made up of people who you probably don't know) and allow you a free download. That's all well and good, but not quite anything worth doing the Sid Vicious pogo about.

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  2. Magnified Sand Grains More Beautiful Than You Thought

    Who knew that sand could be so beautiful? While we tend to think of sand as a collection of neutral-colored grains, when magnified 250 times, sand reveals its true assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes. Professor Gary Greenberg at the University College London, magnified individual grains of sand, showing that they really look like an assortment of gemstones and miniature shells. Greenberg developed a new form of magnification photography to capture his images of the sand, to avoid the problems he was encountering before with the shallow depth of field. Copies of Greenberg's coffee table book, featuring his sand photographs, are available on his website for $20. More of these amazing sand pictures after the jump.

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  3. High-Efficiency Windows Accused of Melting Houses

    Low-E, or low-emissivity windows, are catching on among homeowners for their ability to insulate houses with great efficiency; they let light pass through while keeping heat on the side from which it's coming in, thus making it cheaper and more eco-friendly to keep cool during the summer and warmer during the winter. Recently, there was a flap in Boston over low-E windows allegedly melting the vinyl siding on some neighboring houses. The diagram above shows just how hot the refracted light from one window was: The infrared scan to the right shows temperatures as high as 247 degrees Fahrenheit; yikes.

    Unsurprisingly, neighbors whose homes were partially melted by these windows were not too pleased. One woman poignantly told WCBVTV "It's so upsetting I could cry. I'm not kidding you. I cry all the time. It's buckling, it's lifting off the house, it's curling up, it's just totally ruined."

    However, upon closer inspection, the problem may not be the windows' emissivity, but their shape:

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