Dan Nosowitz is PopSci.com's Associate Editor. He has previously written for Fast Company, SmartPlanet, the Billfold, and Splitsider, and got his start at the gadget blog Gizmodo. He is also the founder and editorial director of Oh Em Gee., a pop culture criticism collective based in Montreal. Dan holds an undergraduate degree in English literature from McGill University. You can follow him on Twitter.
Running around a city trying to find a public bathroom/Starbucks/secluded alley is one of those moments that's an urban dweller's nightmare, and one that's guaranteed to happen several dozen times in real life. (Here we should add that New York, PopSci's hometown, is among the worst of the offenders.) Cloo (technically, "CLOO'", but, you know, we're not calling it that) is a new app for iOS that tries to solve that problem by connecting those in need with friends or friends of friends that are willing to supply their bathrooms--for a price.
We've seen single-molecule "motors" before, but they're pretty primitive, motors only in the most basic sense of the word. But this new one, made of a single butyl methyl sulfide molecule, is much closer to what images the word "motor" might conjure: when electricity is applied, the molecule is triggered to spin, without affecting any other molecules around it.
BAE Systems's Adaptiv technology enables objects as big as tanks to completely vanish from view--when seen at night with an infrared sensor, admittedly, but that's still a major advantage. An Adaptiv-outfitted tank can change its thermal signature to look like anything from a big rock to a truck to nothing at all, fading into the background and becoming invisible.
We always love hearing from passionate, scientific-minded kids, and 13-year-old Riley Lewis, a burgeoning 3-D printer expert (and PopSci reader!) is certainly that. Riley showed interest in fabrication and Maker culture, so Deelip and 3D Systems hooked him up with a RapMan 3.1 3-D printer kit that he's set up at his Silicon Valley school--and Riley in turn has hooked his classmates into discovering the potential of 3-D printing with him.
Seriously, you guys, this is a real story. The Japanese branch of popular American circle-of-grease manufacturer Domino's has unveiled plans to build a dome-shaped Domino's pizza on the moon. The moon. The artist's rendering, above, features a drive-through which the Domino's concept artist thinks you'll be able to drive a space-motorcycle through.
Researchers at Stanford University just published a study in Nature that may give new hope to those looking to stop the effects of aging on the brain. The study found that when blood from a young mouse was injected into an older mouse, that older mouse enjoyed what could almost be termed a "rejuvenation effect": it began producing more neurons, firing more activity across synapses, and even suffered less inflammation.
Discovered during a dig through the FCC's experimental radio applications by Steven J. Crowley, it has come to light that North American Eagle is trying to install what will presumably be the fastest-moving Wi-Fi network on the ground--because it's being built inside a vehicle designed to break the world land speed record (and the sound barrier) at 800 miles per hour.
We caught a preview of Sony's odd, space-agey head-mounted viewer (appealingly named the HMZ-T1) back at CES in January, but we were pretty surprised to learn that not only is it not a mere demo, Sony's actually planning on, like, putting the thing in stores, where you can exchange currency for it and then take it home. Sony claims it offers an incredibly immersive 3-D experience, better than any TV. We've now played with it twice, and in some ways, that's true.
A Florida funeral home has debuted a new alternative to cremation, known as the Resomator, that uses heated alkaline water to dissolve bodies in about three hours. Why do we need an alternative to cremation in the first place? Turns out cremation devices use lots of energy, release a fair amount of carbon emissions, and, in the U.K., are responsible for 16% of mercury emissions.
Dr. Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist at Fermilab, came up with a method he claimed could cut airplane boarding times drastically about two years ago. More recently, he tested several different methods of boarding, complete with video: Boarding as we do it now (blocks of fliers, boarding from the back of the plane to the front), compared with a random boarding system and a careful one of his own design. Those three methods, by the way, are in ascending order of effectiveness.
It's been a long road, one paved with delays (and sometimes sparks), but this week, Boeing's enormous, lightweight, next-generation 787 Dreamliner airplane was officially approved by the FAA and will begin shipping late next month.
Engineers at UCLA have created a proof-of-concept stretchable OLED display, the first of its kind. We keep a close eye on stretchable displays, since they're a major part of our vision of the future (fueled as it is by three separate viewings of Blade Runner during Hurricane Weekend), and this is a major step towards OLEDs that can bend, swell, shrink, and fold.
Rob Spence, a self-proclaimed "Eyeborg," had his eye, which was damaged in a shotgun accident, replaced with a camera about two years ago. It's not too much of a stretch for Spence, who otherwise works as a filmmaker--and now he's been sponsored by video game maker Square Enix, which commissioned Spence to create a video about prostheses to promote their new game, Deux Ex: Human Revolution.
On his blog, which is endearingly named Eyeborg, Spence has posted a new twelve-minute video.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists may have found a new way to track secret nuclear tests from those rogue nations (cough cough North Korea cough cough) who are trying to keep those tests under wraps. Surprisingly enough, that new solution may be possible with analysis of regular old GPS data, along with some clever mathematics.
Researchers at IBM's Almaden, California research lab are building what will be the world's largest data array--a monstrous repository of 200,000 individual hard drives all interlaced. All together, it has a storage capacity of 120 petabytes, or 120 million gigabytes.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.