Categories
Nature

Watch this octopus change colors as it dreams

Octopuses can light up in different colors when they dream.

That’s according to a marine biologist who captured this octopus snoozing away in a fish tank.

The neuroprocessing abilities of cephalopods (i.e. brain with tentacles attached) like the octopus activate their color-changing cells in response to their environments.

The shift to a darker color represents the octopuses movement off the seafloor while the camouflage sequence mimics the change that happens when octopuses hide from prey.

Watch the snippet below and the entire clip on PBS.

Categories
Architecture & Design

New York’s Park Avenue once included a walkable park lane

Park Avenue in New York City used to have a dedicated park lane that ran down the middle of 5th Avenue. Hence the name “Park” Avenue.

Even more, the term parking was first referenced in association with trees, not driving lines.

From The Etymology of Parking:

According to the 41st Congress, the proper way to park in cities was on the side of the streets with the roadway running down the center. Of course, in 1870 the members of the Senate were discussing the parking of trees and smaller plants, not automobiles. The first parking system was an early street tree system where parking defined the planting of trees, grasses, and flowers along the side of roadways and the creation of sidewalks for pedestrians.

But given the ubiquity and priority of cars, the park gradually narrowed to make more room for vehicles.

An aerial shot of Manhattan in 1924 with the walkable parks included

As a consequence of the automobile explosion, lawmakers also passed laws to forbid jaywalking. Cars officially ruled the road, not pedestrians. And crosswalks bloomed.

As someone who used to work in New York, remnants of these ambulatory streets are still there, especially around mid-town. Some of the small islands create a little space for statues and decorations, especially around Christmas time.

Hat tip to Adam Fisher-Cox on Twitter

Categories
Nature Science

How 16-year-old Greta Thunberg inspired a climate strike movement

“No one is too small to make a difference,” says 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Ever since the Swede took to the Swedish Parliament last year to call for stronger climate action against global warming, she’s inspired similar strikes across the globe.

On Friday, thousands of students skipped school and adults skipped work in cities around the world from New York to Paris, Nairobi, Seoul, Bangkok, Islamabad, and Johannesburg to protest inaction on climate change.

“We deserve a safe future,” said Greta Thunberg in her speech at the New York Climate Strike to an estimate 250,000 people.

A reluctant activist who proclaims Asperger Syndrome as her superpower, Thunberg serves as a reminder that all it takes the effort of one dedicated and persistent individual to change the world.

Categories
Animals Nature

A backpack that allows you to take your kitty anywhere

Ever wanted to take your kitty for a long walk through nature?

This pet carrier breathable backpack made by Lollimeow allows owners to take their fellow felines wherever the human wants to go.

The bag contains a bubble window for hiking with 9 large ventilation holes on both sides and the front.

It’s time to let the cat out of the bag

There are obvious space and safety issues with the bag. Imagine using this on a hot day, not to mention potential bathroom mishaps.

Some folks might prefer to take their cats for a walk on a leash or in a stroller.

Of course, the ideal scenario for any curious cat is freedom from the tyranny of indoors.

All in all, the backpack may come most handy as a convenient go-to traveler for short trips to the vet. But it’s also airline approved!

Use wisely.

Categories
Science Technology

Connecting human brains to computers

Art by MattiasA 

“You could just think your query and download the relevant knowledge directly in your mind.”

Forget Ritalin. Forget Google and Evernote acting as our second brains holding all the information we can’t. And instead, prepare for brain implants where the mind melds with machines. We don’t even have to type, click, or touch anything. We just think and imagine commands.

As part of a clinical trial called “Brain Gate,” 13 applicants at Brown University have had a sensor placed into their motor cortex and so far have been able to control cursor movement on a screen. Says doctor John Simerall at Brown University building the neurotechnology device:

“Simply by imagining intuitive movements participants can immediately control a robotic device.”

Here come the cyborgs.