Science + Art = Color Magic

Millefori: a project by Swiss photographer Fabien Oefner.

The shapes, you see in these image are about the size of a thumbnail. They are created by mixing ferrofluid with water color and putting it into a magnetic field. Ferrofluid is a magnetic solution with a viscosity similar to motor oil. When put under a magnetic field, the iron particles in the solution start to rearrange, forming the black channels and separating the water colors from the ferrofluid. The result are these peculiar looking structures.

 -Fabien Oefner
Read more about the artist and the project here.

via Good Design Makes Me Happy

FaceTime for Apes?

Orangutans living in captivity will soon used iPads to connect with their brethren in other zoos. Dolphins have been using iPads since they were first introduced. Click for the full story. 

This story leaves me a little unsettled. So zoo animals get to “play” with iPads while billions of people in the world live in poverty…that’s messed up.

Source: POPSCI

Is this how aliens see Earth?

If you only watch one video today, make it this one – an incredible timelapse sequence of photographs taken onboard the International Space Station earlier this year above places such as the US, the Sahara desert and Australia.

The beautiful minimal soundtrack by German electronic musician Jan Jelinek only adds to the atmosphere.

As for the pictures, they were taken by crew members of the expeditions 28 & 29 with a special low-light 4K-camera, and the result is simply stunning:

via Shareables

Science in Action: Stretching out shoes with ice

Common Issue: My shoes are too tight and hurt my feet!

Never fear, there’s a super simple, effective, scientifically-backed solution…

You need:
2 Ziploc bags

1. Fill ziploc bags with water (double bag if you are scared of leakage)
2. Slip bags into shoes
3. Stick shoes in freezer and wait until the water changes completely to ice
4. Take shoes out of freezer, wiggle frozen ziploc bags out, and voilà!

I tried this with a pair of flats I got recently that were a little bit too tight on my feet, and it actually worked! I couldn’t believe how much more comfortably the shoes fit after this little ice trick.

Science plug:
I guess I shouldn’t be shocked out of my socks, because scientifically it makes complete sense. Common fact: water expands as it freezes. This is because as water cools, the molecules slow down allowing more stable hydrogen bonds to form. In ice, the hydrogen bonds hold the water molecules far apart from each other which means more empty space, more room occupied, and in this case, shoe stretching success! (My old-school science knowledge actually came in handy. Doin’ all my teachers proud.)

My shoes, right before I put them in the freezer.

I got the idea from this youtube video. Check it out for the full demo!