Tapping the Vein

But I thought computers were already powered by tears.

When it comes to energy-rich bodily fluids, blood is hard to beat. Plasma, the liquid component of blood, is constantly suffused with dissolved glucose, our cells' primary source of energy. Most enzymatic biofuel cells that have been developed to date target this molecule. [...] When this was implanted into a rat's abdomen, it generated around 40 microwatts of power, which the team actually used to operate both an LED and a digital thermometer. [...]

Human sweat is rich in a compound called lactate, which can also be used to generate electricity using EFCs, replacing their glucose fuel. Since sweat is so much easier to access, researchers have already been able to test perspiration-powered EFCs on humans with encouraging results. [...] Emphatic proof came the year after, when another group from UC San Diego came up with a wearable, textile-based EFC that could be integrated into sweat bands. A volunteer wore one of these while riding an exercise bike and, as with the tattoo-based devices, the cyclist's sweat allowed the fuel cells to generate electricity. This time, however, the sweat produced enough power to run an electronic device -- either an LED or a digital watch -- for a few tens of seconds at a time. [...]

At first glance, tears might seem like an even more unreliable source of fuel than sweat. But whatever our emotional state, we're always a little dewy-eyed. The cornea is continually kept moist by a film of what are called "basal" tears (as opposed to the "psychic" tears that well up when we cry). These mostly serve to lubricate and nourish the eye, but they're also full of energy. Among other chemicals, basal tears contain glucose, lactate, and ascorbate (a compound similar to vitamin C), any of which are an excellent fuel source for EFCs. [...] The Utah researchers have just developed the first-ever contact lens with an integrated EFC, allowing it to generate electricity from human tears alone.

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This is the most horrifying goddamned thing I have ever seen on the Internet.

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Codename Colossus

Boudicca T1 Training Colossus:

This monstrous robot tank houses over 400 specially designed parts, all 3D printed and linked together with servos and custom-built circuits controlled by an Arduino, resulting in a dazzling kinetic sculpture over 20″ tall. The exterior features crew, LED lighting, realistic battle scars, and an incredible level of detail down to the last hand-painted rivet. Searchlights scan, and guns rotate, aim, and recoil, all while crawling along on its hexapodal armored legs. $5,000.

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Fuzz testing

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Is it in yet?

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DNA Lounge: Wherein construction has begun!


And today, this very large box was delivered. Witness our new oven! Shiny and Chrome! Oh what a day, oh what a lovely day. It's a Peerless 2348p four stone deck gas oven and it awaits you in Valhalla.

This is our new pizza cutter. Do you like it?



And more on this later (it was amazing), but here's the first video from our Second Annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge on Sunday. Drone Shot delivers its payload to an eager bloodbag:


Is it in yet?

SOMA Nature Walk: Crap Backbone Edition.

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The Really Big One

This is some really nicely written disaster porn.

"Everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast. The inundation zone will be scoured of structures from California to Canada."

If, on that occasion, only the southern part of the Cascadia subduction zone gives way, the magnitude of the resulting quake will be somewhere between 8.0 and 8.6. That's the big one. If the entire zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2. That's the very big one.

When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west -- losing, within minutes, all the elevation and compression it has gained over centuries. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater. The water will surge upward into a huge hill, then promptly collapse. One side will rush west, toward Japan. The other side will rush east, in a seven-hundred-mile liquid wall that will reach the Northwest coast, on average, fifteen minutes after the earthquake begins. By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA's Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, "Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast." [...]

In fact, the science is robust, and one of the chief scientists behind it is Chris Goldfinger. Thanks to work done by him and his colleagues, we now know that the odds of the big Cascadia earthquake happening in the next fifty years are roughly one in three. The odds of the very big one are roughly one in ten. Even those numbers do not fully reflect the danger -- or, more to the point, how unprepared the Pacific Northwest is to face it. The truly worrisome figures in this story are these: Thirty years ago, no one knew that the Cascadia subduction zone had ever produced a major earthquake. Forty-five years ago, no one even knew it existed. [...]

Four to six minutes after the dogs start barking, the shaking will subside. For another few minutes, the region, upended, will continue to fall apart on its own. Then the wave will arrive, and the real destruction will begin.

Those who cannot get out of the inundation zone under their own power will quickly be overtaken by a greater one. A grown man is knocked over by ankle-deep water moving at 6.7 miles an hour. The tsunami will be moving more than twice that fast when it arrives. Its height will vary with the contours of the coast, from twenty feet to more than a hundred feet. It will not look like a Hokusai-style wave, rising up from the surface of the sea and breaking from above. It will look like the whole ocean, elevated, overtaking land. Nor will it be made only of water -- not once it reaches the shore. It will be a five-story deluge of pickup trucks and doorframes and cinder blocks and fishing boats and utility poles and everything else that once constituted the coastal towns of the Pacific Northwest.

To see the full scale of the devastation when that tsunami recedes, you would need to be in the international space station. The inundation zone will be scoured of structures from California to Canada. The earthquake will have wrought its worst havoc west of the Cascades but caused damage as far away as Sacramento.

Hey, remember that time the National Weather Service put out a bulletin about "HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS"? Yeah, good times.

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Bionic Bar

So we don't have one of those, but do come down tonight to see what we do have at the Second Annual DNA Lounge Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge!

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Deep Cheese Dreams

I'm getting the impression that this software's default net is the DOGE recognizer and nobody has tried a different one.

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