A6 V1.0 Paper Airplane Gun
You could throw a paper airplane. You could shoot a BB gun. But YouTube user Papierfliegerei thinks bigger. He has created a gun that folds and shoots paper airplanes at top speed: almost one plane per second. Papierfliegerei, screenshot from YouTube

9: paper airplanes folded and launched by this inventor’s wonderful gun in its YouTube debut.

0.2 micrometers: the microscope resolution limit Eric Betzig, William Moerner, and Stefan Hell beat on their way to a Nobel Prize in chemistry. Their nanoscopy technology opened up a new, infinitesimal world for researchers to observe.

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7.78 million square miles: extent of Antarctic sea ice recorded in late September. The unexpected new ice around the southernmost continent is helping scientists improve climate models.

$1 billion: IBM’s investment in its artificial intelligence, Watson, which has gone from playing Jeapordy! to studying brain cancer.

1: number of babies born from transplanted uteruses so far. Researchers believe more are likely to follow.

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A look through the open hatch of SpaceX’s Dragon V2 capsule, one of two designs chosen for NASA’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability program. Both Boeing and SpaceX have been told to halt production of their space taxi designs until a protest filed by the Sierra Nevada Corporation has been resolved.

$6.8 billion: total impact, in disrupted contracts, of the Sierra Nevada Corporation’s protest against NASA’s space taxi deal with SpaceX and Boeing.

More than 50 percent: amount of electricity in an LED that converts into light, another Nobel Prize-winning technology.

4 percent: conversion rate for alternative incandescent bulbs. Better to go with the LEDs

253 mph: cruising speed of this new military helicopter.

12: number of male rabbits hopping around with transplanted penises, as part of a study that could one day impact humans.

Unmanned Patrol Boat

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Look ma, no crew!

13: armed patrol boat drones that swarmed together in this Navy demonstration.

100s: Bluetooth beacons one company distributed to phone booths all over New York City in order to track passersby. (The city is now forcing the company to remove the trackers.)