Scientists from the Universities of York and Warwick feel that they have found a way to make a virtual reality device that can simulate all five senses. The NAU VR Cocoon is composed of a headset with electronics and computer capability more realistic than any made so far. While most of them that have been made concentrate only on sight and sound, this one adds the other three senses as well.
Professor David Howard said, “Smell will be generated electronically via a new technique being pioneered by a team at Warwick which will deliver a pre-determined smell recipe on-demand. Taste and smell are closely linked but we intend to provide a texture sensation relating to something being in the mouth. Tactile devices will provide touch.”
Having been exposed to Smellavision and simulators that make you feel like you are in space, we are not sure we are ready to take that next step as we find that too much virtual reality can make us nauseous.
It seems that an asteroid flew by our planet Monday and very few knew about it at the time. It was about 115 feet wide (about the size of a 10 story building) and came within about 45,000 miles, twice the distance of the highest satellites. Astronomers knew that DD45 was coming but figured there was no collision risk and didn’t make a big deal about it. We suppose that is so that those of us who watch sci-fi movies wouldn’t panic, but experts say that should one that size strike, it would have the impact of 1,000 bombs like the one that hit Hiroshima.
Read More | MSNBC
Checking out the sky is fun, but you could be frozen by the time you find what you were looking for. Meade’s EXT-LS telescope, with Advanced Coma-Free (ACF) optics for a better picture, has a computerized scope that will automatically locate the star, moon, planet or star you are seeking. Once it is locked in with LightSwitch technology, you can take photos with its built-in camera or check out audio and video clips. The EXT-LS can find over 500 objects and is available for $1,299.00.
Read More | Meade
After last week’s collision of two satellites in space, experts estimate tens of thousands of pieces of space junk that they will now have to monitor. They already track over 17,000 pieces larger than 2 to 4 inches in diameter. The incident occurred between a U.S. Iridium commercial satellite and a derelict Russian military one about 500 miles above the planet. The FAA has received reports of falling debris over Texas, which could be related to the crash but was not confirmed. Either way, it may be 10,000 years before the floating stuff, seen in this artist’s rendering, will not be a threat to other satellites.
Read More | MSNBC
Scientists have discovered that cotton candy may help grow replacement tissue. It can be used for making networks of blood vessels in laboratory grown skin, muscle, bone or fat. Dr. Jason Spector of Cornell Medical Center in New York and Leon Bellan of Cornell University presented their research in a paper for Soft Matter. A thick liquid chemical is poured over a chunk of the sugary stuff. After it solidifies, it is placed in warm water to dissolve the candy. What is left is a piece of material with tiny channels which are lined with cells to create the blood vessels. Interestingly enough, while Dr. Spector is a cotton candy fan, partner Bellan claims, “It’s disgusting. I won’t eat it.”
Read More | Physorg
Who needs to go outside on a cold night when we can bring part of the universe inside? Moon in My Room has twelve different phase settings and is authentically detailed. A CD comes with it that provides moon facts and its relationship with the planet. The display is simple to put up in one of three different angles, comes with an infrared remote and shuts off automatically to preserve batteries (not included.) Moon in My Room carries a MSRP of $29.95.
Read More | Discovery Shopping
If and when a real ET arrives, Dr. John Elliot from Leeds Metropolitan University will be ready. He claims that an alien language will have recognizable patterns and has has created a program to help identify and translate them. He says that all human languages have “functional terms” such as ‘if’ and ‘but’ and that they are separated by up to nine characters or words. The software can also be utilized to break the language down into nouns and verbs. If they still can’t figure it out, perhaps a bag of Reese’s Pieces might help.
Read More | Telegraph
We know an email addict when we hear of one. Seton Hall University published a study about a woman who was given Ambien (zolpidem) for her insomnia. Her doctor increased the dosage when she claimed it wasn’t lasting all night. The next day a friend of hers called and accepted an invitation to dinner by email that the woman could not remember. She also sent two more the same night. Lead author Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui claims that this is the first case of its Sleep Emailing and added that he was amazed at all the complex actions the woman would have to go through to write and send the emails. We’re not.
Read More | ABC News
We were looking around to find you a fitting gift for today, and we found something that our readers can share and it doesn’t cost a cent. Beginning tonight, Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon will join together. By Monday, they will be about 2º apart (about a finger’s width at arms length.) Check out the southwestern sky at twilight. You won’t even need a telescope or binoculars. Miss it and you will have to wait until Nov. 18, 2052 for the next occurrence, although Venus and the moon will pair up again New Year’s Eve.
(P.S. Happy Turkey Day!)
Read More | USA Today
If you believe in the plant that has its own blog, then you might also like to know that you can get your plant to Twitter. A CERN scientist supposedly created this Plant Twitter Kit. Assemble it (some soldering required,) then connect it to your leafy friend and subscribe to its feed, and it will tell you when it needs water or complain if you give too much. We’re still not sure that the gadget will work, and it seems an overpriced $99.99, but hey, if it works on your philodendron, it may work on your puppy.
Read More | ThinkGeek