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08 Feb

NASA continues to try to find ways that man could set up a permanent home on Mars, but there are many challenges related to taking up residence on the Red Planet. But new research into a possible power source could solve one of the main problems with long-term residency there.

In order to live on Mars, explorers will need an electricity source, but setting up a power station on the planet would be complicated, especially without the supplies and equipment necessary. New research from NASA has discovered a potential answer to that in the form of small nuclear reactors. Called the kilopower reactor, these devices would provide enough power for settlers to set up a home on the planet.

06 Feb

Options available for dental patients with needed restorative or serious cosmetic work abound. But one difficulty inherent in the process is trying to envision what those new choppers will actually look like once they're manufactured and installed into your (likely) re-excavated mouth. Worse, some patients catch a glimpse of the prep work being done, which sometimes can make a challenged smile look worse before it looks better.

And molds and casts can only do so much. After all, what people want to see is how the new dental work will look in their mouth, not on a disembodied model.

Now, though, a Swiss startup called Kapanu has chosen to use augmented reality (AR) to show patients the "after" look before the prep work begins.

Here's how it works: The system matches a 3D scan of the patient's mouth with sets of teeth from other people where the procedures are known to have had success. As soon as the software homes in on the patent’s mouth and teeth, it then places a layer of the improved teeth onto the image.

04 Feb

Soon, more delivery companies will try to open customers' doors in order to leave packages behind them, safe and secure, instead of abandoning parcels on outdoor stoops, where they're likelier to be pilfered.

One central figure driving this trend is Jason Johnson, CEO of August Home, a company that was recently acquired by Assa Abloy, a Swedish firm billed as the world's largest lock maker and also the owner of Yale Locks.

See a pattern...unlocking? Wait, there's more.

August's signature home-delivery, known as August Access, was formerly Amazon Key before Amazon Key came into being. That service, which started up in October 2017, permitted delivery personnel to enter customers' homes by using a temporary digital key. The key was compatible with Amazon's own smart lock.

But for a couple of years prior, Johnson had been fiddling around with the concept not just for package delivery, but for dry-cleaning delivery companies and pet walkers.

02 Feb

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine recently published findings of a study designed to determine the effects of a high-salt diet on the brains of laboratory mice -- or, more technically, the connections between "high dietary salt intake [and] neurovascular and cognitive impairment."

The study's senior author, Dr. Costantino Iadecola, director of the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) and the Anne Parrish Titzell Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine, said in a press release, “We discovered that mice fed a high-salt diet developed dementia even when blood pressure did not rise. This was surprising since, in humans, the deleterious effects of salt on cognition were attributed to hypertension.”

The release goes on to note that roughly 90 percent of American adults have a daily sodium intake greater than the 2,300 mg that is recommended.

31 Jan

Before delving into the five exercises suggested by artist Whitney Sherman at Creative Live, bear in mind an age-old principle: Regular practice is always needed to improve and maintain skills of most any kind.

That said, here are there exercises that are billed as being able to "turn anyone into an artist":

  • Doodling: Since anyone can doodle, this might be a good place to start. After all, the choice of design is entirely yours, as are the colors and scope of the pattern(s). What's more, doodling can boost "visual literacy" and help to organize ideas, however unconsciously.
  • Entopic Graphomania: This fancy term involves connecting a series of dots on a page in order to create a series of lines and shapes. One easy way to get started: Place the dots on a page of printed words, and then connect them with straight or zig-zag lines. The exercise helps to illustrate the importance of choices in shaping a work of art.

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