For the Love of Knowledge.

proofmathisbeautiful:

Physics-exploiting axe splits wood in record time
By Ryan Whitwam
Chopping wood is hard, but it’s something modern society has largely freed us from as a daily activity. That’s nice, but consequently, if you ever do have to chop wood, you’re more than likely going to suck at it. Splitting a log requires a surprising amount of force, but Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä has invented a new kind of axe that makes it much easier and safer.
Yes, axes have existed since time immemorial, but apparently there’s still room for improvement.
The Vipukirves does what the name implies, assuming you speak Finnish. It’s essentially acting as a lever instead of a wedge (Vipukirves translates as Leveraxe). A regular axe needs to be driven downward with enough force to separate wood along the grain. That’s a lot of force, and if a log is hit off center, the axe blade can deflect at unexpected angles. That’s not good — your squishy flesh is much easier to split than a log.

So what makes a lever different than a wedge in this scenario? The Vipukirves still has a sharpened blade at the end, but it has a projection coming off the side that shifts the center of gravity away from the middle. At the point of impact, the edge is driven into the wood and slows down, but the kinetic energy contained in the 1.9 kilogram axe head continues down and to the side (because of the odd center of gravity). The rotational energy actually pushes the wood apart like a lever. A single strike can open an 8 cm gap in a log, which is more than enough to separate it.
The inventor also claims this tool is much safer because the downward energy that might cause harm is dissipated gradually as rotational energy. So, no abrupt shock, and no deflection. The Vipukirves also naturally comes to rest on its side, which stabilizes the log and keeps the sharp edge pointed away from the operator. It’s really a clever design.

If you want this crazy physics-exploiting axe, it’s going to cost you. The base price is €193.12 in EU countries, including VAT. For US orders, the base price is €155.74 or about $215, plus €47.26 ($65) in shipping.

proofmathisbeautiful:

Physics-exploiting axe splits wood in record time

By

Chopping wood is hard, but it’s something modern society has largely freed us from as a daily activity. That’s nice, but consequently, if you ever do have to chop wood, you’re more than likely going to suck at it. Splitting a log requires a surprising amount of force, but Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä has invented a new kind of axe that makes it much easier and safer.

Yes, axes have existed since time immemorial, but apparently there’s still room for improvement.

The Vipukirves does what the name implies, assuming you speak Finnish. It’s essentially acting as a lever instead of a wedge (Vipukirves translates as Leveraxe). A regular axe needs to be driven downward with enough force to separate wood along the grain. That’s a lot of force, and if a log is hit off center, the axe blade can deflect at unexpected angles. That’s not good — your squishy flesh is much easier to split than a log.

So what makes a lever different than a wedge in this scenario? The Vipukirves still has a sharpened blade at the end, but it has a projection coming off the side that shifts the center of gravity away from the middle. At the point of impact, the edge is driven into the wood and slows down, but the kinetic energy contained in the 1.9 kilogram axe head continues down and to the side (because of the odd center of gravity). The rotational energy actually pushes the wood apart like a lever. A single strike can open an 8 cm gap in a log, which is more than enough to separate it.

The inventor also claims this tool is much safer because the downward energy that might cause harm is dissipated gradually as rotational energy. So, no abrupt shock, and no deflection. The Vipukirves also naturally comes to rest on its side, which stabilizes the log and keeps the sharp edge pointed away from the operator. It’s really a clever design.

Vipukirves 2jpg

If you want this crazy physics-exploiting axe, it’s going to cost you. The base price is €193.12 in EU countries, including VAT. For US orders, the base price is €155.74 or about $215, plus €47.26 ($65) in shipping.


"If we’re destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff—there’s got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.”— Ellen DeGeneres

"If we’re destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff—there’s got to be a very powerful energy to fight that.
I think we need more love in the world.
We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter.
I definitely want to contribute to that.”

Ellen DeGeneres

(Source: brittany-carel, via infinitum-ultra)

fencehopping:

Melting aluminum with an electromagnet.

fencehopping:

Melting aluminum with an electromagnet.

(via proofmathisbeautiful)

txchnologist:

The Chance To Dance Again

by Michael Keller

We highlighted the TED talk of Hugh Herr a couple of weeks ago. But his work is too important and beautiful to leave to just one post.

The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis

"Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster," he said during the talk. "Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics."

To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba. 

Read More

(via meaningfulpatterns)

for-all-mankind:

huffingtonpost:

Everything you need to know about checking the four upcoming lunar eclipses here. 

Just in case some of you guys were curious what the different types of Lunar eclipses were, here’s a neat little gif-tastic diagram of the three types. Also handy is a calendar for the next ones, although the majority of America won’t be able to see a full total eclipse again until 2017.

The first of four eclipses in a series, the Lunar Saros 122. A saros is a fancy way of determining patters in relation to time relating to Earth-Moon solar geometry, so I present to you a Wikipedia article on the topic. For this eclipse cycle, though, their are no intervening partial eclipses of the Moon.

(via livinginchaosbeauty)

huffpostscience:

These MRI images of fruit, vegetables and plants will change how you look at food forever. Find out what each of these MRI scans are here.

(Constructed by MRI technologist Andy Ellison at Boston University Medical School)

(via meaningfulpatterns)

staceythinx:

Science-inspired necklaces from the Delftia Etsy store

(via meaningfulpatterns)

jtotheizzoe:

Wanna get dirty with me?

From star stuff to microscopic fluff to skin cells that slough while you’re in the buff, the universe of dust is curious enough to turn your mind into a cream puff.

May this week’s episode spread like dust on the wind.

Enjoy this video? Subscribe to It’s Okay To be Smart on YouTube!

(via scorpshirl)

sheisfromindia:

This is how our brain works when we go on a date to meet our crush. It’s interesting how our left-brain and right-brain function when it comes to making decisions and taking actions. Most of you may already know that the left-brain controls our rational thinking, it tells us to be logical and well-planned; the right-brain is more about our emotions and creativity. 

Is this so, so, so funny just to me or? :D This video is so good, and so true.

(via the-psychology-blog)

So I decided to switch majors even though I’m so far into my education already. I’m switching to a B.S. in Psychology with certificates in human rights and critical cultural competency. I don’t know how to feel about this yet so I’m waiting to tell my family.

sisbee:

scinerds:

sixpenceee:

As someone who wants to study the human consciousness I found this very interesting.

Scott Routley was a “vegetable”. A car accident seriously injured both sides of his brain, and for 12 years, he was completely unresponsive.

Unable to speak or track people with his eyes, it seemed that Routley was unaware of his surroundings, and doctors assumed he was lost in limbo. They were wrong.

In 2012, Professor Adrian Owen decided to run tests on comatose patients like Scott Routley. Curious if some “vegetables” were actually conscious, Owen put Routley in an fMRI and told him to imagine walking through his home. Suddenly, the brain scan showed activity. Routley not only heard Owen, he was responding.

Next, the two worked out a code. Owen asked a series of “yes or no” questions, and if the answer was “yes,” Routley thought about walking around his house. If the answer was “no,” Routley thought about playing tennis.

These different actions showed activity different parts of the brain. Owen started off with easy questions like, “Is the sky blue?” However, they changed medical science when Owen asked, “Are you in pain?” and Routley answered, “No.” It was the first time a comatose patient with serious brain damage had let doctors know about his condition.

While Scott Routley is still trapped in his body, he finally has a way to reach out to the people around him. This finding has huge implications.

SOURCE

How awesome is this! :-D!!

This is really amazing but it scares me a little. How many people that have been in this state for years or even up until their passing, are conscious but trapped? 

I guess that reinforces the importance of talking to people in vegetative states, even if you think they don’t understand or aren’t there anymore to hear you. 

(via scorpshirl)

neurosciencestuff:

(Image caption: A cross-section of mouse brain in the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain known to be involved in reward and motivation, taken by a fluorescence microscope. Blue corresponds to cell nuclei, and green to fluorescence emitted by a green-fluorescent protein (NdT: the original incorrectly states “green fluorescente protein”) that identifies neurons having received the virus that can genetically abolish the expression of lipoprotein lipase protein. Credit: ©Serge Luquet, CNRS/Université Paris Diderot)
Obesity: are lipids hard drugs for the brain?
Why can we get up for a piece of chocolate, but never because we fancy a carrot? Serge Luquet’s team at the “Biologie Fonctionnelle et Adaptative” laboratory (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot) has demonstrated part of the answer: triglycerides, fatty substances from food, may act in our brains directly on the reward circuit, the same circuit that is involved in drug addiction. These results, published on April 15, 2014 in Molecular Psychiatry, show a strong link in mice between fluctuations in triglyceride concentration and brain reward development. Identifying the action of nutritional lipids on motivation and the search for pleasure in dietary intake will help us better understand the causes of some compulsive behaviors and obesity.
Though the act of eating responds to a biological need, it is also an essential cultural and social function in our modern societies. Meals are generally associated with a strong notion of pleasure, a feeling that pushes us towards food. Sometimes this is dangerous: 2.8 million people worldwide die from the consequences of obesity each year. Fundamentally, obesity is caused by imbalance between calories consumed and expended. A sedentary life combined with an abundance of sugary, fatty foods provides fertile ground for this disease.
The body uses sugars and fats as energy sources. The brain only consumes glucose. So why do we find an enzyme that can decompose triglycerides, lipids that come in particular from food, at its core, at the heart of the reward mechanism? A team at the “Biologie Fonctionnelle et Adaptative” laboratory (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot) led by Serge Luquet, a CNRS researcher, has tackled this fundamental question.
If they have the choice, normal behavior in mice is to prefer a high-fat diet to simpler foods. To simulate the action of a good meal, researchers have developed an approach that allows small quantities of lipids to be injected directly into the brains of mice. They observed that an infusion of triglycerides in the brain reduces the animal’s motivation to press a lever to obtain a food reward. It also reduces physical activity by half. What is more, an “infused” mouse balances its diet between the two food sources offered (high-fat foods and simpler foods).
To ensure that it is indeed the lipids injected that change the mice’s behavior, these Parisian scientists made sure that the lipids could not be detected by the animal’s brain any longer. They managed to remove the specific enzyme for triglycerides by silencing its coding gene, but only at the heart of the reward mechanism. The animal then shows increased motivation to obtain a reward, and if given the choice, consumes much richer food than average. This work echoes the previous work by their colleagues: reducing this enzyme in the hippocampus causes obesity.
Paradoxically, with obesity, blood (and therefore brain) triglyceride levels are higher than average. So obesity is often associated with overconsumption of sugary, fatty foods. The researchers explain this: with long-lasting high exposure to triglycerides, mice always display lower locomotor activity. By contrast, food rewards are still attractive! The ideal conditions for weight gain are therefore in place. At high triglyceride contents, the brain adapts to obtain its reward, similar to the mechanisms observed when people consume drugs.
This work, financed in particular by CNRS and ANR, indicate for the first time that triglycerides from food may act as hard drugs in the brain, on the reward system, controlling the motivational and pleasureseeking component of food intake.

neurosciencestuff:

(Image caption: A cross-section of mouse brain in the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain known to be involved in reward and motivation, taken by a fluorescence microscope. Blue corresponds to cell nuclei, and green to fluorescence emitted by a green-fluorescent protein (NdT: the original incorrectly states “green fluorescente protein”) that identifies neurons having received the virus that can genetically abolish the expression of lipoprotein lipase protein. Credit: ©Serge Luquet, CNRS/Université Paris Diderot)

Obesity: are lipids hard drugs for the brain?

Why can we get up for a piece of chocolate, but never because we fancy a carrot? Serge Luquet’s team at the “Biologie Fonctionnelle et Adaptative” laboratory (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot) has demonstrated part of the answer: triglycerides, fatty substances from food, may act in our brains directly on the reward circuit, the same circuit that is involved in drug addiction. These results, published on April 15, 2014 in Molecular Psychiatry, show a strong link in mice between fluctuations in triglyceride concentration and brain reward development. Identifying the action of nutritional lipids on motivation and the search for pleasure in dietary intake will help us better understand the causes of some compulsive behaviors and obesity.

Though the act of eating responds to a biological need, it is also an essential cultural and social function in our modern societies. Meals are generally associated with a strong notion of pleasure, a feeling that pushes us towards food. Sometimes this is dangerous: 2.8 million people worldwide die from the consequences of obesity each year. Fundamentally, obesity is caused by imbalance between calories consumed and expended. A sedentary life combined with an abundance of sugary, fatty foods provides fertile ground for this disease.

The body uses sugars and fats as energy sources. The brain only consumes glucose. So why do we find an enzyme that can decompose triglycerides, lipids that come in particular from food, at its core, at the heart of the reward mechanism? A team at the “Biologie Fonctionnelle et Adaptative” laboratory (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot) led by Serge Luquet, a CNRS researcher, has tackled this fundamental question.

If they have the choice, normal behavior in mice is to prefer a high-fat diet to simpler foods. To simulate the action of a good meal, researchers have developed an approach that allows small quantities of lipids to be injected directly into the brains of mice. They observed that an infusion of triglycerides in the brain reduces the animal’s motivation to press a lever to obtain a food reward. It also reduces physical activity by half. What is more, an “infused” mouse balances its diet between the two food sources offered (high-fat foods and simpler foods).

To ensure that it is indeed the lipids injected that change the mice’s behavior, these Parisian scientists made sure that the lipids could not be detected by the animal’s brain any longer. They managed to remove the specific enzyme for triglycerides by silencing its coding gene, but only at the heart of the reward mechanism. The animal then shows increased motivation to obtain a reward, and if given the choice, consumes much richer food than average. This work echoes the previous work by their colleagues: reducing this enzyme in the hippocampus causes obesity.

Paradoxically, with obesity, blood (and therefore brain) triglyceride levels are higher than average. So obesity is often associated with overconsumption of sugary, fatty foods. The researchers explain this: with long-lasting high exposure to triglycerides, mice always display lower locomotor activity. By contrast, food rewards are still attractive! The ideal conditions for weight gain are therefore in place. At high triglyceride contents, the brain adapts to obtain its reward, similar to the mechanisms observed when people consume drugs.

This work, financed in particular by CNRS and ANR, indicate for the first time that triglycerides from food may act as hard drugs in the brain, on the reward system, controlling the motivational and pleasureseeking component of food intake.