Thanks to a new approach to one of microfluidics' biggest challenges -- how do you propel fluid in a number of directions at once without the clutter of myriad electromechanical valves and pumps? -- we could be closer to seeing our smartphones double as home flu kits. Credit goes to a team of chemical engineers at the University of Michigan for coming up with the innovative system, which uses music to control the fluid.
Yamaha and Fabian Cappello teamed up to deliver this modified typewriter, which has each key wired to play a different musical note as you type. The end result is a sentence that also plays out as a melody.
Ever wondered what your brain sounds like on the inside? Trinity College philosophy professor Dan Lloyd has created a program that orchestrates our brainwaves. Scanning brains on an MRI, Lloyd can watch as certain areas of the brain light up and then assign different frequencies to the areas of the brain used, correlating the intensity of usage with volume. The results are bizarrely beautiful.
Jonathan Coulton, PopSci's contributing troubadour and longtime friend, has a new DVD/CD set out titled "Best. Concert. Ever." Leave a question or comment below for a chance to win the goods. We'll announce our ten lucky winners on July 17th. Good luck!
Previously, it was believed that dancing was unique to humans. Now, two separate studies have shown that parrots have the ability to bob their heads and tap their feet to a number of different beats, proving that humans aren't the only ones with rhythm. One of the birds studied even has a favorite song: "Everybody" by the Backstreet Boys.
As a respite from the nonstop flu blogging, I decided it was time to have a little fun and show the lighter side of science.
First up is a story from the Wall Street Journal about the residents of Tuscarora, Nevada, driving off a swarm of insects by blasting Led Zeppelin.
A woman's desire to advertise her vegan lifestyle on her car license plate was shot down by the Colorado DMV, who read a much less appropriate meaning into the letters.
Also in today's links: communication between dolphins, understanding music between cultures, and more.
When Keith Baxter asked a salesman at a Milwaukee sporting-goods store for something stronger than 60-pound line, he wasn’t dreaming of big fish. He was hoping to catch a face-melting solo—he needed the line for his PC-controlled, motorized guitar.
When your favorite band rocks out on stage, they're coordinating more than their jams and their dance moves. A new study suggests that pairs of guitarists playing the same melody simultaneously have significantly similar brain waves. The research, published today in the online journal BMC Neuroscience, is the first to measure the brain activity of more than one musician playing at the same time, and may have broader implications regarding how our brains interact when we coordinate actions with other people, like matching our walking speed with another person, playing in a band, playing sports, and dancing. The findings may also apply to social bonding behaviors, like coordinated gazes between a mother and child or between partners.