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Category: Interesting or Cool

1.7 days – on average

1.7 days – on average

Glad to know our doctors and academics are still producing lots of great papers. While some things like magnets are seriously dangerous if swallowed, the goal of this one was to get over-protective parents to calm down about the risk of many other commonly swallowed household items.

Six pediatric health‐care professionals were recruited to swallow the head of a Lego figurine. The professionals then examined their stool samples for the next few days to determine:

  1. If Lego pieces passed through their system or got stuck
  2. The time it took to pass the Lego piece.

Full paper here:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpc.14309

Snowboarding from Camp Muir

Snowboarding from Camp Muir

I’ve climbed up the shoulder of Mt Rainier to Camp Muir (10,188 ft) and glissaded down; but I should have brought my old snowboard instead like these guys!

This clip brings back some memories for sure. I need to do that hike again.

Eric Chien’s magic

Eric Chien’s magic

Without a doubt, Eric Chien is taking the magic world by storm. His movements are so smooth as to defy belief. I remember seeing an act of his just a few years ago and being quite astounded. It appears very clear he’s gotten even better.

Here’s his recent act at The Ace Assembly in Hong Kong in which he rightfully won the competition. To be fair, there is decent evidence that there was some post-processing done on the web footage so that if someone slowed down the video the tricks secrets weren’t revealed, but it would likely have been no less amazing to witness first-hand.

Garbage bag art

Garbage bag art

Two hundred and seventy white garbage bags hang like ghosts in the columned hall of Vienna, Austria’s Museum für agewandte Kunst (MAK) for the exhibition Sagmeister & Walsh: Beauty. The piece is by Nils Völker, and is titled after the number of bags present in the installation. Over 1000 precisely installed fans and 45 circuit boards keep their movement on track, helping to rhythmically inflate and deflate the hanging plastic objects.

Northwest Haunters

Northwest Haunters

Do you like haunted house displays? Ever wish there was a map of the all the different Halloween displays? Now there is, and much more.

NW Haunter’s website has maps of many Pacific Northwest haunted houses and other Halloween displays. Not only that, but they have links to various resources for those that want to make such displays. They have links to various tours and local classes you can take to make scary tombstones, paper machete statues, animatronic displays, and even things called monster mud.

Check it out at the link below:

http://www.nwhaunters.com/

Tiny spy chips were added to almost 30 companies products by Chinese supplier. Including Amazon and Apple.

Tiny spy chips were added to almost 30 companies products by Chinese supplier. Including Amazon and Apple.

Update: These facts are in dispute by many of the companies involved, but the accusations appear very specific and Bloomberg usually does a good job with verification. There’s also the possibility this is high-stakes cloak-and-dagger between the US/China, or nothing at all. File this one as plausible but needs more data category Jamie.

Excellent article and something with extraordinary repercussions.

The world’s largest supplier of mothersboards, Supermicro, was caught adding spy chips to silicon they fabed for such companies as Amazon and Apple. All these parts had one thing in common: a Chinese contractor. One of the first cases was caught at Portland’s own Elemental technologies. A 3 year investigation showed almost 30 companies had their hardware infiltrated.

What does the chip do? Basically – it opens everything.

This system could let the attackers alter how the device functioned, line by line, however they wanted, leaving no one the wiser. To understand the power that would give them, take this hypothetical example: Somewhere in the Linux operating system, which runs in many servers, is code that authorizes a user by verifying a typed password against a stored encrypted one. An implanted chip can alter part of that code so the server won’t check for a password—and presto! A secure machine is open to any and all users. A chip can also steal encryption keys for secure communications, block security updates that would neutralize the attack, and open up new pathways to the internet. Should some anomaly be noticed, it would likely be cast as an unexplained oddity.

World’s most powerful magnet

World’s most powerful magnet

The strength of the Earth’s magnetic field is about 30 microtesla. The magnets in an MRI machine clock in at about 3 tesla, and the approximate magnetic field of a white dwarf star is about 100 tesla.

So just think about how powerful this 1,200-tesla magnet created by Shojiro Takeyama and his colleagues at the Institute for Solid State Physics at the University of Tokyo.

To achieve that intensity, Takeyama and his team pump megajoules of energy into a small, precisely engineered electromagnetic coil, the inner lining of which then collapses on itself at Mach 15 — that’s more than 3 miles per second (5 kilometers per second). As it collapses, the magnetic field inside gets squeezed into a tighter and tighter space, until its force peaks at a tesla reading unimaginable in conventional magnets. Fragments of a second later, the coil collapses entirely, destroying itself.

The last time Takeyama switched on his super-strong magnet, it blew out the heavy door of the lab that contained the machinery. Check it out here: