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Posts by Glen Tickle

We Actually Went Out in the Sun To Test the EnerPlex Packr Solar Backpack

...and lived to write about it!

Keeping my phone charged when I'm not home is a constant source of anxiety for me, and I don't think I'm alone. (Please tell me I'm not alone.) So any product that can help allay the fear of running out of juice immediately has my attention. The Enerplex Packr is a backpack with a built-in solar panel for charging your stuff on the go, and I had the chance to test it out.

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Do You Exist? Are You Sure? TED-Ed Explains How You Know You’re Real

Yeah, but like, do you really exist tho?

How do you know you're really you and not the figment of some evil genius demon's imagination? This TED-Ed video breaks down the often oversimplified Descartes statement "I think, therefor I am," to convince you that you do, in fact, exist. Now they just need to make a follow video about solipsism to convince me that everyone else exists too.

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Massive Swarm of Tiny Robots Built To Study Collective Behavior, Haunt My Dreams

Nope. Nope nope nope nope nopenopenopenopenope

There are plenty of examples in the animal kingdom of a group working together to accomplish a single task, so naturally this is a behavior scientists are trying to replicate in robots. Harvard University's Kilobots (one letter away from K-I-L-L-B-O-T-S, I'm on to you, Harvard) can collectively and spontaneously replicate shapes. Watch them in action. Terrifying, nightmarish action.

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Mother and Son Find Mammoth Tusks 22 Years Apart in Same Place

No pressure, next generation of this family.

Some traits are passed on through genetics. The ability to find wooly mammoth tusks in White Mountain, Alaska is apparently one of them. Andrew Harrelson found a tusk there earlier this week, 22 years after his mother Luann Harrelson found one there too.

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Cornell Researchers Say Salt Could Improve Battery Life by a Factor of 10

The researchers were then charged with a salt and battery.

Rechargeable lithium batteries basically make the world we live in possible. They power our phones, computers, and basically everything else—but they're not perfect. As they go through recharge cycles, they never come back quite as strong and wear out over time. Researchers at Cornell University think they've found a solution: Salt.

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“Braingate” Allows Paralyzed Woman to Control Robotic Arm With Her Mind

No jokes. This is just really cool.

This video from Business Insider series Game Changers is incredible. It shows "Braingate," a piece of technology that allows paralyzed patients to control a robotic arm using their brain, in action. It also gives an update on where the technology is at currently and where it could be going in the future.

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Make Your Own Dancing Groot: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making a real-life Rocket is a much harder, messier process.

The other day we were basically hypnotised by this Vine of a DIY Dancing Baby Groot by Patrick Delehanty. It turns out there's more video, and Delehanty even put together a step-by-step guide to making your very own.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson and Felicia Day Narrate a Video About the Mars Curiosity Rover

More space videos narrated by these two please.

Need some inspiration for why it's worth doing things like landing SUV-sized robots on other planets? Watch this video about the Mars Curiosity rover from Caltech. It's narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Felicia Day, and it tells what we really sent to Mars—our curiosity.

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New Dinosaur Pterosaur Caiuajara dobruskii Discovered in Mass Grave

That crest tho...

A new species of dinosaur has been discovered in Brazil in what is essentially a mass dinosaur graveyard. 47 skeletons of the pterosaur dubbed Caiuajara dobruskii were found at the site. Hey scientists, are you guys sure you put the bones back together right? That head crest is bonkers. Caiuajara dobruskii apparently turned in flight the same way as The Rocketeer.

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Comcast Continues to Be the Worst, Keeps a Guy on Hold For Hours Then Closes for the Day

That's it. I'm switching to Kabletown!

Everyone makes mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from them. Comcast, however, doesn't appear to have learned anything from that time a service rep repeatedly refused to cancel a customer's service. Youtube user Aaron Spain posted a video explaining his three-hour hold session with Comcast that simply ended in them closing up shop for the day and not helping him.

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This Video Uses Sound Waves to Bend Water and Our Brains

No CGI here, folks. Just science.

This video from Youtuber Brusspup is fascinating. It uses sound waves and a camera to make it appear that water is impossibly bending and reshaping itself. See for yourself. What's particularly interesting is that the effect only works through the camera.

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Man at Arms: Reforged Built a Lightsaber Katana

An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

We all want to be able to wield a real lightsaber (right?), but the technology just isn't available yet. The next best thing would have to be a badass katana with a lightsaber handle. That's exactly what the guys behind Man at Arms: Reforged have built, and it's incredible. You can see the whole process in the video.

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Fish Cannon Does Exactly What You Think It Does, But Probably For a Better Reason

Why isn't this a weapon in Bioshock?

Salmon face a nearly sisyphean task in swimming upstream to spawn. It's hard enough going against the current, but obstacles like dams can make it impossible for the fish to complete their journey. What is a fish to do? Thankfully, some intrepid engineers have designed a fish cannon. Which, as the name implies, is a cannon that fires fish.

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Google’s “Hey, Let’s Just Cure Death” Company Calico Launches New Website

Googles never say die!

Last year Google launched a side project that's fairly ambitious—curing death. Yup. That death. The company is called Calico, shortened from California Life Company. They just launched a new site. There's not much information on it yet. It's just some broad language about extending life and a look at the current team, but we can probably expect to see more soon.

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New Horizons Takes New Video of Pluto and Its Moon Charon

Less than a year to go before New Horizons reaches Pluto

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will reach its closest approach to Pluto in July of next year, but we're already getting back important data and beautiful images. The above video is comprised of stills taken of the Pluto-Charon system over five days last month.

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Someone Finally Made a Dancing Groot Toy, We Can’t Stop Watching It Dance

I am Groot.

Vine user and apparent GENIUS PERSON, Patrick Delehanty posted this Vine of a baby Groot toy he made dancing at Stockton-Con in the San Joaquin Valley. I've been looping this thing for the last ten minutes and there's no end in sight.

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Are Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Twilight Fans Death Obsessed?

At the very least they're obsessed with sequels.

One common theme between the Hunger GamesHarry Potter, and Twilight series is death, but does that mean that fans of those series are "death obsessed"? According to Live Science some psychologists think so.

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Discovery Is Misleading Scientists To Be Interviewed for Shark Week Pseudoscience

Reminder: Real sharks are incredibly interesting.

Last year Discovery got on the Internet's bad side by presenting a fictional story about a fictional search for a fictional megalodon, but it turns out they like it there. They're continuing their shady pseudoscience practices and io9 is reporting that they're misleading scientists to get interviews for their fake Shark Week documentaries.

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Round 10 and a “Mega Game” Are Underway at the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway

Sadly, the "Mega Game" is played with giant fighting robot chess pieces. It's still pretty incredible though.

We've already reached Round 10 of the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway. There are some big matchups today including what Chessdom calls a "Mega game" between French GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime and Chinese GM Wang Yue. This game could help decide overall team performance as well as individual medals for the two players.

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NBD, Just Lab-Grown 3D Material That Functions Like a Rat’s Brain

But how long before they can grow Krang?

Rat brains are notoriously hard to grow without them being part of an entire rat. Some new research from Tufts University in Boston might change that, as they've discovered a way to grow artificial brain tissue that functions similarly to the brain of a rat.

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