May 30, 2014

The First Cheap 3D Printed Food Is Delicious Nursing Home Mush

Go to the cafeteria of a nursing home and you'll see elderly residents noshing on pureed food. It's necessary for patients for whom chewing is difficult, but it's not very palatable. AGerman company is seeking to change that by making 3D-printed, easy-to-chew food that actually tastes good.

The company behind the project is called Biozoon Smoothfood. It's using liquified ingredients—vegetables, carbs, meat, etc.—in the place of the ink or PLA that a 3D printer would normally use. Ingredients are inserted into the cartridges of the printer, and with the help of a binding agent, they come out as food that pretty much melts in your mouth. For now they're making six foods: cauliflower, peas, chicken, pork, potatoes, and pasta. But more food is on the menu for the future.

The food can come out in whatever shape the software of the program has dictated. Remember, this is 3D printing we're talking about, so the user is afforded a lot of freedom. However, Biozoon is making food items in their shapes, so it's not much of a break from what these elderly people would probably prefer to be eating in the first place. (Read: regular food or a normal consistency).

Right now the food is made off-site, and sent to homes. But the goal is that eventually, Biozoon will be able to place printers directly in the homes. Many elderly people really need this, as they suffer from dysphagia, a condition that often plagues stroke victims, causes trouble swallowing, and could result in choking. And if 3D printing makes it so your dear grandmother never has to eat pureed beets again, we all win. More here.

May 27, 2014

MIT Breakthrough Makes Tiny Apartments Feel Three Times Bigger

If you live in a big city, there's a decent chance your apartment feels cramped. Enter CityHome, a closet-sized device recently revealed by MIT that promises to make a 200-square-foot apartment feel three times as big. And did I mention that it's gesture-controlled?

The thing looks pretty awesome. With the flick of a wrist, you can summon the bed, a desk, or a dining table for six, all of which roll out slowly, like something out of The Jetsons.

The CityHome also includes a kitchen counter, a stovetop, a closet, and additional storage space, all of which look great under a Hue-like lighting system—all gesture-controlled. Voice and touch commands also work.

If that doesn't feel futuristic enough, the entire unit can move a few feet in either direction, revealing or concealing a bathroom.

May 26, 2014

Meet the Man Who Makes WWE's Official Championship Belts in His Garage

Though they're often used as impromptu grappling weapons and concussion delivery devices, these championship belts involve a whole lot of intricate craftsmanship. Millican, who began making belts as a childhood hobby and never really gave it up, has been supplying WWE with these torso prizes for the past six years—all of them built by hand in his garage, and polished to perfection on his kitchen counter.

Once you get an up-close look at the craftsmanship that goes into these belts, you'll cringe the next time you see one used as a bludgeon. But Dave doesn't mind—when the belts get beat beyond recognition, they get sent back to him for rehabilitation.

From the looks of it, Dave assembles the belts in his garage, and does the final polishing in the kitchen. Hopefully, the neighbors can't smell what Dave's cooking.

May 13, 2014

Of Course an Apple Engineer Has an iPhone Business Card

You'd assume that if any company on Earth had a well-designed business card, it would be Apple. But apparently one of their engineers still felt they could create something that left an even better first impression, so they designed this incredibly unique business card made from an actual iPhone glass sourced straight from Foxconn.

The folks at Cult of Mac got to check it out in person, but unfortunately weren't able to take one of the cards home because the engineer only had ten produced due to their expensive price tag. Because not only are they actual Gorilla Glass screens, but the durability and strength of the material makes the laser-etching process particularly difficult.

However, even if he can't actually give them out to everyone he meets, the cards are obviously still making quite an impression to more than just his colleagues. More here.

May 11, 2014

These new skyscraper tilting windows are designed to freak you out

Holy crap. The John Hancock Tower in Chicago rolled out a snazzy scary new attraction for people who visit the top of the skyscraper: windows that tilt down to give you a better view of the ground beneath you. It's like a roller coaster ride for those afraid of heights (that would be me). Just stand next to the window and it'll tilt itself down like you're falling.

May 4, 2014

This is what fireworks do when you fire them inside your living room

Dumt & Farligt (Stupid & Dangerous) is a Danish TV program that really lives up to its name: They do lots of dumb and hazardous things while filming using a Phantom camera in slow motion. Like firing big fireworks in a living room, burning all the furniture in the process.

You can go to the two minute mark, when the firework action starts, but I recommend against it because the entire compilation is worth watching.

May 3, 2014

This one-cent stamp is 'The Mona Lisa of stamps' and worth $20 million

There is art in everything. Value in trash. Millions in the tiniest of things. Take this stamp. Known as the One-Cent Magenta from British Guiana, it's 158 years old, hasn't been seen in public since the mid 1980's and is considered to be the Mona Lisa of stamps. Oh and Sotheby's expects it to sell for $10 million to $20 million which would make it the most expensive stamp ever sold.

The One-Cent Magenta stamp was first printed in 1856 by a newspaper in British Guiana during "a stamp shortage" (those existed!) along with less valuable four-cent stamps (worth $50,000). The stamp has an image of a schooner (that's pretty much faded on the one cent version) and says in Latin, "We give and we take in return." Why's it so expensive? There's only one left.

The NY Times says:
Like the "Mona Lisa," it has its mysteries. Was it colorized later in life, like an MGM movie? And how did it get the unusual-looking star on the back? The shape and the pattern — and the purpose of the star — had puzzled Mr. Redden, who said he had spent hours studying it, hoping to discern something that others had missed. "Eventually," he said, "you have the feeling you could see the face of the Madonna in there, you've been looking at it so hard."
The testing of the stamp for its authenticity and the story of the journey it took is pretty fascinating. If you're into learning about things that should definitely not cost that much money, you can learn more about Mona Lisa's stamp version