Microsoft Opens A HoloLens Showroom
This week Microsoft opened the HoloLens Experience Showcase at its flagship store in New York. Developers can schedule an appointment to get hands-on time with Microsoft’s new holographic augmented reality headset. Sadly, no word yet on when non-developers can get the HoloLens experience.
O White Christmas, Where Art Thou?
A new map released by NOAA shows the historical probability of a white Christmas Day this year. Based on weather records from 1981 to 2010, the data shows areas where it was most likely to find at least one inch of snow on the ground on December 25th in years past.
A New Kind Of Lowlife In New York City
New York already has the High Line, and soon it may also have a Lowline. Designer James Ramsey and his team are cultivating a plant underworld in their Lowline Lab, a warehouse in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, as a proof-of-concept. The lab sits near the abandoned, one-acre Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal where Ramsey hopes to execute the project. If he gets the go-ahead from the city and the MTA, the Lowline would be the world’s first underground park. For now, visitors can see the lab, which is free and open to the public, on Saturdays and Sundays until March.
The New Ghostbusters Shot Seen Round The World
The first official pic from the new Ghostbusters film was released on Twitter this week. The reboot, which is scheduled for a summer 2016 release, is directed by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones.
This week NASA launched three new crew members into space on a mission to join the International Space Station for six months. Yuri Malenchenko, Tim Kopra, and Tim Peake were carried in a Soyuz TMA-19M, a Russian rocket.
A Real-Life R2-D2 … That’s Also A Fridge
Earlier this year, Chinese home appliances company Haier unveiled a life-size, remote-control R2-D2. The robot also doubles as a fridge. With this week’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the company announced that its roving fridge will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month. “The fridge is a faithful replica in terms of sound and movement,” according to Haier. The droid/fridge is large enough to hold six beer cans, and has a high-definition laser projector built into it. Sounds (literally) super cool, but here’s the catch: Haier says its R2-D2 will cost a steep $9,000.
Where Does The Water Go?
Watch the water cycle in action in this hypnotizing new animation from Norwegian climate researcher Mats Bentsen. The video shows how water vapor swirled around the world during the fall of 2014. To make the visualization, Bentsen used climate data from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast and images from NASA’s Earth Observatory.
Rock Climb From Home
This week German video game company Crytek released a trailer for The Climb,, a new rock-climbing game that uses Oculus Rift. “The game boasts hyper-realistic climbing locations from around the world, and players will discover the freedom of gaming with the Rift using either an Xbox One controller or Oculus Touch controllers,” said the company in a news release. The game is slated to come out next year.
Hubble Finds A Lightsaber
On the eve of the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, NASA released an image from the Hubble Telescope that they’re calling a “cosmic lightsaber.” The “lightsaber” is actually two jets of hot plasma blasting out of a newborn star. Unfortunately this lightsaber isn’t coming from the land of Star Wars — the infant star and its jets are 1,350 light years away, putting them squarely in our galaxy.
Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark printed an image of the Mona Lisa that is 50 microns long — about the width of some human hairs. To print their Mona Lisa, which is 10,000 times smaller than the original, the scientists used a new nanotech laser printing method. Their technology can print at a staggering resolution of 127,000 DPI. That’s more than 400 times the resolution of a typical print magazine like Popular Science.