How long will our craven blogger make it without meat?
In last weeks episode of the Green Smackdown, I learned that despite my good intentions at home, air travel is a hurdle to my eco-victory over Little Miss Never-Leaves-Brooklyn. My darling fiancé and I are working out a long-term solution for that (for the short term, Im paying out the wazoo for carbon offsets), but right now Im setting my sights on behaviors that are more immediately modifiable—like eating. Now, that might sound incongruous in the context of your usual CO2-reducing tips, like change your lightbulbs and unplug your computer, but hear me out for a second, because Im about to say something crazy.
Im going to stop eating meat.*
This mini telescope captures budding disease in 3-D
By Nicole DyerPosted 03.30.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Think sports look amazing in high definition? Forget about Derek Jeter's hair follicles-wait until you see the inside of your esophagus, courtesy of the world's first high-def miniature 3-D endoscope. It captures images of tumors and other diseases in unprecedented detail and perspective, an innovation that may help physicians spot trouble they would otherwise have missed.
Global warming is taking a toll on fishâ€”and helping jellyfish rule the sea
By Bjorn CareyPosted 03.30.2007 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
Paltry Plankton Using a decade's worth of satellite data, scientists have determined that rising ocean temperatures are killing phytoplankton. Not only do these tiny plants form the base of oceanic food webs, they also process as much carbon dioxide and produce as much oxygen as land plants do. Although the findings may be influenced by El Nio, the researchers say the the study provides a sneak peek at how ocean biology will evolve as the climate continues to change.
Just wanted to remind everyone that there's only one more weekend left to work on your re-purposed tech projects for our contest over at Instructables, so get cracking! April 1 is the deadline, meaning there's still time to grab some e-junk and turn it into something new and exciting. Head on over to the PopSci group to see what's been submitted to date—we're not going to single out any of our favorites just yet (must preserve impartiality!) but let's just say there have been some pretty amazing entries so far; some you might have even seen being picked up on blogs already. Check 'em out here. —John Mahoney
A few tweaks can turn Microsoft's MP3 player into the device it was supposed to be
By John MahoneyPosted 03.27.2007 at 2:00 am 4 Comments
Until it went on sale last November, Microsoft's Zune was heralded as the first true iPod-killer. But with its overly aggressive copyright protection and the odd, self-imposed limits to its most innovative features (like built-in Wi-Fi), it has so far failed to make even a dent in the iPod's shiny white-and-chrome armor. It's likely the Zune will improve with version 2.0 and beyond, but until then, here are three easy Zune tune-ups to ease the pain of waiting for a better model.
In our December 2006 issue, we featured an innovatively designed, biodiesel-powered speedboat called Earthrace that was going to attempt to set an around-the-world nautical speed record of 65 days. Skipper Pete Bethunes intent was to raise awareness of the environmental benefits—and raw power—of biodiesel fuel. That effort came to a tragic end last week when, only nine days into the attempt, Earthrace crashed into a fishing vessel off Guatemala, killing one fisherman and seriously injuring a second (the third member of the boat's crew suffered only minor injuries). Bethune and his crew did everything they could to rescue the fishermen and treat their injuries while the boat limped back to shore, likely saving the lives of the two injured sailors they were able to recover. The mission, of course, was terminated, and the crew remains in Guatemala pending an investigation. For a riveting account of the accident, see Bethune's Captain's blog . —Eric Adams
If you've ever dabbled in the realm of pro-level photography gear, you know that the photo-accessories market can get pretty ridiculous. As with companies like Monster Cable that scam innocent home-theater builders into paying up to $120 for a $6-dollar HDMI cable, camera companies have gotten away with charging exorbitant sums for even the simplest add-on components for years.
Lens hoods are often the worst price offenders. Designed to keep glare from entering the lens and interfering with image quality, lens hoods are basically just molded pieces of plastic or lightweight metal with screw threads or plastic snaps for attaching to the end of your lens. Not too complicated, right? Then how can Nikon and Canon charge upward of $580 (!!) for a single lens hood for their pro-level telephotos? There has to be a better way.
Enter lenshoods.co.uk, an ingenious repository of free printable patterns that allow you to make your own lens hoods out of paper. Just print out the PDF pattern, trace it onto some nice dark paper stock or some thin cardboard from the post office, affix it to your lens with a bit of tape, and presto: $500 saved. A paper hood obviously won't be as durable or glamorous, but it will provide the same level of light protection, which is what it's there for in the first place. And if it tears, just print out a new one. (And no, just sticking any old piece of paper on there isnt the best idea—lens hoods are custom shaped for a lenss focal length to provide maximum light protection without interfering with the field of view). So now you can put that $500 toward something a bit more exciting—say, an actual lens. For that kind of money, you can get a very nice fisheye for your DSLR. —John Mahoney
New York City's got plenty of rivers nearby, but aside from giving Trump more coastal real estate to take over, they don't really do anything. No massive waves that we could use to surf to work, anyhow. If only we lived near Bristol Channel in England, where a high-tide phenomenon called a tidal bore could be letting us river surf at nearly this very moment.
A tidal bore occurs when a large incoming tide flows in such a way as to form a wave that pushes itself along a river. Theyre pretty rare, happening only when uncharacteristically high tidal waters are quickly funneled into an especially narrow estuary. One of the world's most famous, England's Severn Bore, sent its first major wave of the year up the River Severn yesterday, carting along with it surfers from around the world. The wave was dinkier than usual thanks to lousy winds, but with favorable conditions it can be quite powerful. Last year, for instance, it carried a railroad engineer from Gloucestershire for 7.6 miles, earning him the world record for longest surf—and, we assume, awesome street cred throughout Gloucestershire.—Abby Seiff