UCLA scientists have made little thermoelectric coolers that are only 100 nanometers wide, so small the eye can't see them on its own. They're not quite refrigerators yet, but if you have little sodas or bags of grapes, maybe reach out anyway. Plus: on the International Day of Sign Languages, we celebrate the amazing world of sign language interpreters at heavy metal concerts.
UCLA scientists create world’s smallest ‘refrigerator’ (UCLA)
10 Epic Sign Language Interpreters at Metal Shows (YouTube)
International Day of Sign Languages (United Nations)
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Nobody likes being stuck at a stoplight, but before there were systems in place to make drivers take turns, the roads were not good. Here are a few of the inventions that helped us (mostly) stop crashing into each other. Plus: why did Syracuse, New York set up an upside-down stoplight, with green on top?
A Brief History of the Stoplight (Smithsonian)
There’s No Other Traffic Light In America Like This One In New York (Only In Your State)
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The Disgusting Food Museum in southern Sweden has a new exhibit on the strangest alcoholic drinks of all time, proving that people will drink some truly revolting concoctions in pursuit of a buzz. Plus: remember how Asbestos, Quebec was going to choose one of four replacement names for the town? Those plans are on hold, cause apparently the people of Asbestos aren't big fans of the new names.
Squirrel beer, ant gin and poop wine are served up in Disgusting Food Museum's new exhibit (LiveScience)
Town of Asbestos back to the drawing board after lacklustre response to renaming options (CBC)
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The community of Asbestos, Quebec has decided to rename itself. Now it's up to the residents to decide whether the town should be named Trois-Lacs, Apalone, Phénix or - wait for it - Jeffrey. Plus: on this National Cheeseburger Day, did you know there's an 1,800 pound burger on the menu at a place in Detroit?
Asbestos in Quebec Shortlists Four New Names to Get Fresh Start (Bloomberg)
World's Largest Burger Costs $8,000 (Food and Wine)
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A sensor developed at MIT uses a set of microneedles to push through packaging and determine whether the food inside is safe to eat, which could prevent food waste and help head off outbreaks of salmonella. Plus: did you know China is apparently home to several thousand glass footbridges, where you can walk across and see what's underneath?
Velcro-like food sensor detects spoilage and contamination (MIT)
Would You Walk on the World’s Longest Glass Bridge? (Hyperallergic)
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44 years ago today, Shavarsh Karapetyan, a finswimming champion in Armenia did something extraordinary, saving at least 20 passengers who were trapped in a trolleybus that had gone into a lake. Has anybody done a biopic about this guy yet? Plus: meet Mieko Nagaoka, who in April 2015 became the first 100-year old swimmer to finish the 1,500 meter freestyle.
The Plunge (Grantland)
100-year-old Japanese woman sets her own 1,500-metre freestyle swim record (The Guardian)
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The Cold Tube cools people off, similar to air conditioning, but using half the energy. Which sounds pretty cool. Plus: an experimental musician makes a delicious and funky new keyboard out of watermelon and kiwi.
Innovative personal cooling system uses half the energy of traditional AC (Anthropocene)
This is the Funkiest Sounding Watermelon You Will Ever Hear (The Sifter)
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A lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair just sold for $81,000 at auction, a reminder that a) people will pay lots of money for lots of things, and b) hair was a pretty important keepsake in the 19th century - people back then even made it into art. Plus: a couple in England decides to upgrade their garden, which the husband decides means installing a 12-foot statue of a T. rex.
The Curious Victorian Tradition of Making Art from Human Hair (Artsy)
Lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair sells for more than $81,000 (ABC News)
What a disat-saur! Husband shocks wife who suggested he liven up their garden by installing a 12-ft replica T-REX on the patio (Daily Mail)
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A study out of Ohio State University found that people who take acetaminophen, one of the most common over-the-counter painkillers, are apparently more willing to take risks. Plus: the story of a guy who ended up taking quite a risk by setting up a tent - he just didn’t know it at the time.
A pain reliever that alters perceptions of risk (Ohio State University)
How this Nova Scotia man ended up accidentally camping in the Atlantic Ocean (CBC)
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John Cage once wrote a score with the instructions that it be played "As Slow As Possible." So that's what an organ is doing in Germany, for more than 600 years. Plus: a YouTuber trains his cat to put out fires, sort of.
John Cage musical work changes chord for first time in seven years (BBC)
I Trained My Cat To Put Out Fires (William Osman on YouTube)
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On this day in 1947, a team working on a computer at Harvard University discovered the first computer bug: a moth that had gotten trapped in the electronics. Plus: today in 2005, a guy writes to Major League Baseball to get that expressed written consent they always talk about to rebroadcast or retransmit a game.
Sep 9, 1947 CE: World’s First Computer Bug (National Geographic)
Making Sure You Have Your Expressed Written Consent (Deadspin)
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A research project has built a handheld device modeled on Nintendo's Game Boy that gets its power from solar panels and the energy created by pushing buttons - no batteries necessary. Plus: a programmer has recreated the classic video game Doom inside an electronic pregnancy test. Technology is pretty versatile, isn't it?
Battery-free Game Boy runs forever (Northwestern University)
Programmer makes original Doom playable on pregnancy test (CNet)
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Computers and the Internet have changed so much of the world, but older technology that still has a home in the world and there are still people who still make it all work, like the family that runs the Gramercy Typewriter Company in Manhattan. Plus: sitting in a box of ice up to your shoulders may or may not be a job, but the guy who set the world record last week definitely worked.
Inside One of NYC’s Last Typewriter Stores (Untapped New York)
Chilling out: Austrian breaks record for standing in box of ice (Reuters)
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Research at the University of Oslo shows that humans have an almost unstoppable urge to start moving when the music starts - though, of course, some kinds of music and other factors can lead to more moving than others. Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, you can (virtually) move through some of the ci