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When designer Mike Thomspon asked himself, “What if power came at a cost to the individual?” he ended up creating the blood lamp as a statement on energy conservation. This single-use lamp requires a drop of blood to be activated — a personal sacrifice that will really make you think twice before turning on the lights. The lamp’s secret ingredient is luminol, the chemical forensic scientists use to check for blood, which glows blue when it reacts with the iron in red blood cells.

15 bizarre green inventions


Biggest Black Hole Blast Ever Could Solve Cosmological Mystery

Astronomers have seen a distant galaxy that blasts away material with two trillion times the energy the sun emits — the biggest such eruption ever seen. That ejection of matter could answer an important question about the universe: why are the black holes in the centers of galaxies so light?

Image: Artist’s impression of the huge outflow ejected from the quasar SDSS J1106+1939 Credit: ESO/L. Calçada

Computer models of the early universe usually produce a virtual cosmos that looks like ours except for one thing. The ratio of the mass of black holes in galaxy centers to the rest of the matter in galaxies is larger in the simulations than in the real universe.

Scientists think somehow galaxies are ridding themselves of much of the mass that would have ended up falling into their central black holes. However, until now researchers have been at a lack for an explanation of how this might happen.

To expel matter from galaxies takes energy. “We needed some input of energy from supermassive black holes,” Nahum Arav, an astrophysicist at Virginia Tech.

Supermassive black holes are obvious candidates, because they are the most energetic objects known. Some galaxies containing active black holes, called quasars, shine more brightly than anything else in the universe. “Our simulations showed that if we allowed the quasar to release a lot of mechanical energy, then the masses of galaxies would match observations,” Arav said.

Arav led a team that observed a quasar, called SDSS J1106+1939, which dates back to when the universe was only 3 billion years old (it is now about 13.7 billion years of age). Most quasars are millions or even billions of light-years distant, which means we see them as they were long ago. As such, they offer a unique window back in time, to when galaxies were young.

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Cloudy with a chance of… birds?

The National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Office was likely a bit confused when their radar picked up some unusual patterns near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this past Friday in the afternoon. What might look like snow on the radar was in fact probably a flock of migrating birds, massive enough to show up on the weather radar. It’s actually a relatively common phenomenon to catch flying animals on radar; in this video, the blue and green blobs shown here spreading across the continental US represent bird, bat, and insect migrations overnight.

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Newly Discovered Hexapods!

Three bizarre-looking springtails, tiny insectlike creatures, have been discovered in a Spanish cave.

by Our Amazing Planet staff

Springtails are amongst the most ancient and widespread animals on the planet. Like insects, they have six legs, but are small, more primitive and lack wings. They usually have a furca, or a tail used to spring away from danger, hence the name “springtails.” Many cannot be seen with the naked eye; the largest species is about 0.24 inches long (6 millimeters).

The three species — dubbed Pygmarrhopalites maestrazgoensis, P. cantavetulae and Oncopodura fadriquei — are very different from one another. But each of the new species has the requisite springy tails and hairy, tiny bodies, resembling Lilliputian monsters. One of them, O. fadriquei, lacks eyes.

They were found by researchers from Spain’s University of Navarra in the isolated Maestrazgo caves in the Teruel region of Spain, at elevations up to 6,560 feet (2,000 meters)…

(read more: OurAmazingPlanet)         (photo: R. Jordana, E. Barquero)

Look at those, they is some sexy bitches.

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