11 Oct

Dubbed Hobbit Hollow, the energy-efficient dwelling in New York State was designed by Jim Costigan, who has for many years fashioned quite the opposite in his career as an architect of Manhattan skyscrapers.

The structure is located on a little under 2 acres of land in Pawling, New York. A stream and waterfall are nearby.

Costigan recently told New Atlas that after seeing the Fellowship of the Ring, he believed that Bilbo Baggin's house, known as Bag End, stood out as truly one-of-a-kind.  Feeling as though the cinematic depiction was a dwelling he'd like to inhabit, Costigan researched whether a similar model had already been built, but came up empty. As a result, he built what he calls the Hobbit Shed in his backyard to house his lawn tractor.

He put an image of the shed on the Web and says that he received a "tremendous response" to the posting. At that point, Costigan started to come up with ideas for a version of the shed that could serve as an actual house.

09 Oct

The folks at BAE Systems have come up with a new system for controlling fighter jets that relies on eye movements.

In a company press release, Lead Technologist Jean Page explains, “In terms of future concepts, we are looking at what we are calling a ‘wearable cockpit’. Here, you remove many of the physical elements of the cockpit, and replace it with a virtual display, projected through the helmet. Essentially, it’s a software-only cockpit that’s upgradeable, adaptable and reconfigurable.”

Because fighter pilots increasingly require faster, near-instant access to data and information, Page argues, it only makes sense to make management of those processes as easy as possible. Eye tracking provides pilots with the choice of locking onto a control device by sight and then deciding to activate it -- as opposed to having to navigate a collection of physical buttons and/or switches.

07 Oct

The benefits of meditation have been well documented. However, setting a half an hour a day or more aside for sitting still can seem daunting to those who are busy. Fortunately, a new study reveals that 10 minutes per day may be all you need to improve your cognitive function.

Published in Scientific Reports, the study revealed that those 10 minutes improved the brain’s efficiency, making it easier for a person to accomplish tasks like concentration and information retention. In order to prove its thesis, the study also debunked information from previous meditation studies

05 Oct

If sci-fi adventure films teach us anything, it’s that technology can easily go awry. Jurassic Park is a prime example of that, since the manmade dinosaurs that populated the fictional park in the movie and book ended up going on attack. But that doesn’t stop scientists from giving it a try in real life.

The Northern-Eastern Federal University of Yakutsk has requested $5.9 million to create a facility that would clone recently-unearthed corpses preserved in permafrost. These creatures have been preserved from the Ice Age, making them fascinating to study. However, the facility would create living, breathing clones.

03 Oct

Researchers led by a team from Georgia State University recently announced that they had discovered a molecule that is created by people while they are fasting or on a reduced-calorie diet produces anti-aging effects on the human vascular system -- potentially reducing the severity of ailments that are connected to blood vessels, such as cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Ming-Hui Zou, senior author of the study and director of the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine at Georgia State, said in a press release, “We found this compound, β-Hydroxybutyrate, can delay vascular aging. That’s actually providing a chemical link between calorie restriction and fasting and the anti-aging effect. It can prevent one type of cell aging called senescence, or cellular aging.”

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