The Plastic Brain

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With an empty can of Guinness, the right type of paper and a pin, you too can take a two month photo of the Sun.

RiAus (the Royal Institute in Australia) were even kind enough to provide me (and many others) with the photographic paper for free. Thanks!

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I NEED one of these. I. need. one.

Via prostheticknowledge

Makey Makey 

Kickstarter project can turn everyday objects into USB connected touch interfaces. In the video above, you can see examples using Play-Doh and pencil drawings as game controllers, bananas as a piano, even tubs of water as a Dance Dance Revolution mat:

MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween.

Let’s say you load up a piano. Then, instead of using the computer keyboard buttons to play the piano, you can hook up the MaKey MaKey to something fun, like bananas, and the bananasbecomeyour piano keys.

More about the project can be found here

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About 6 minutes. Gah.

Via themathkid

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OK. Wow. I was pretty proud of my sunspot efforts until I saw this. Always good to have something to aim for, I guess.

Via jtotheizzoe:

City of (Sunspot) Lights

Sunspot AR1476 (photographed above over the Eiffel Tower) has been monitored all week, as the Jupiter-sized coronal “active region” has been pointed squarely at Earth, ready to release a wave of magnetic energy in the form of a solar flare or coronal mass ejection. Last night, a CME was detected, racing toward Earth at over 1,000 km/s.

This awesome animation from the Goddard Space Weather Lab demonstrates the forecasted wave and glancing blow we await on Earth (we aren’t in any danger, but satellites may be disrupted):

Above, the sunspot is photographed Thursday evening over the Eiffel Tower by VegaStar Carpentier.


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Trial run for the Transit of Venus in June. Thought I’d better perfect the art of solar visualisation before the big day in front of my students. Turns out it wasn’t that hard – even got some sun spots in focus (the focus on the paper is better than my camera could manage). The SOHO image (orange) is added for reference.

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