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Category: Documentary (page 1 of 2)

Scientists Just A’Wanna Have Fun [Random Tech Videos]

Scientists Just A'Wanna Have Fun [Random Tech Videos] | 40Tech

Ok, look — I don’t know if these are real scientists or what, but a bunch of song and musical-style parody videos where the subject is crazy science concepts and gear that even I (in my extreme geekiness) know almost nothing about, well… let’s just say I was too busy giggling to find out. And that was one hell of a run-on sentence – but hey! It’s another long weekend up here in Canada, and when I get a long weekend post, I like to loosen up the reigns a bit.

Seriously, though, if you want something that will boggle your brain, and maybe make you laugh to the point where your loved ones and co-workers look at you funny (not talking about myself here… really!), then you need to take a look at these!

Here are three of the videos for your viewing pleasure! And here’s a link to the entire 11 video playlist put together by BioWorld Today.

A Little GTCA and DNA to the Tune of YMCA


Monitor Cell Impedance with Motley Crue (I know…)


Boy Band Pipetting Madness


And last, but not least:

Building Blocks of Cell Biology Done to the Black Eyed Peas – in LEGO Animation!


Thoughts? Giggles? Sardonic Messages?

SmartBird: A Robot That Actually Flies Like a Bird [Random Tech Video]

A Robot That Actually Flies Like a Bird [Random Tech Video] | 40Tech

TED is a home for amazing things. If you’ve never been to, you should make it a point to go and spend a mini web-vacation there. Hell, spend a couple a week — it’s worth it! Their slogan is “Ideas worth spreading,” and I have yet to run into something on the site that defies that message. The awesome that I happened across this week (thanks to Pamela D Lloyd sharing a Rick Vlaha post on Google+) has made the hallowed halls of my “that was so freakin’ cool!” list.

A robot bird. Scratch that. A robot bird that looks and moves and flies like a real live bird! Holy, unmitigated awesome, Batman! The Wright Brothers’ and Da Vinci’s head would explode if they could see this.

The bird is inspired by the Herring Gull, and is the product of the genius of Markus Fischer and his Bionic Learning Network team at German technology company, Festo. There are no propulsion systems other than the flapping of the robot bird’s own wings, and its movements are so realistic, that it is likely that some audience members it flew over (twice) were thinking they should be covering their heads and getting under cover. This amazing creation is called SmartBird, and is also remarkable for the simple fact that the robot weighs only 450 grams.

Watch the video. Your brain will fall out your ear. 

If you don’t want to click the link (WordPress won’t let me embed the TED video), check out the YouTube video below that was taken by an audience member during the bird-bot’s first fly-over. It gets right to the point.


Here’s another — even real birds can’t tell the difference: 



Are 3D Printers the Precursor to Star Trek Style Replicators? [VIDEO]

Are 3D Printers the Precursor to Star Trek Style Replicators? [VIDEO] | 40Tech

While I was toying about with the Sparks feature of Google+ last night (yeah, yeah, another post that has a reference to Google Plus — sue me, it’s new and it’s shiny!), I came across a video that caused my brain to explode (Plus post). It’s about a visit by theoretical physicist David Kaplan to the Z Corporation, a 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping company that has developed 3D printing tech to the degree that they can replicate tools. Yep, you heard me… Star Trek fans: replicate!

David challenges the Z Corporation to create a Crescent Wrench (adjustable spanner), complete with moving parts — and all in one pass.

I’ve been curious about 3D printing for a while, and the video — which comes from the National Geographic Channel’s Known Universe series (Construction Zone) — shines a little light on the process. Z Corporation has taken things a bit further, however, by creating a proprietary mixture of specialized powder and binder material that is strong enough to make the tools they replicate more than just a neat paper weight. They actually work! I don’t know to what degree of torque or pressure these tools can stand, but, according to the Z Corporation’s spokesperson in the video clip, all it takes for added toughness is a little more resin.

I’m not sure about environmental implications, and I’m certain the cost would be astronomical, but I would love to have one of these printers in my house — wouldn’t you?

NOTE: This video is hosted on YouTube, and not by the National Geographic Channel. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets pulled by the NGC due to copyright issues, so watch it while you can.  :)

What do you think of 3D printing?

Random Tech Video: Canada Day/4th of July Edition

Random Tech Video: Canada Day/4th of July Edition | 40Tech

Welcome to another long-weekend edition of 40Tech (Canada Day today and the 4th of July on, well… the 4th). To commemorate this joyous occasion, we present you with yet another 40Tech Random Tech Video(s)! We hope you enjoy it (them), enjoy your day, and enjoy the hell out of you long weekend. Cheers! :D

This set of random tech videos are all about the 4th of July. Why? Because the 40Tech audience is still mostly US-based, and because we Canadians apparently have better things to do than spend time making silly safety PSAs with lego stop-motion and/or video game machinima. Or maybe we just don’t party as hard as you Americans do… Either way, these two videos show us all why playing with fireworks while drinking is, at best, a bad idea.

4th of July Lego Safety


Halo Machinima Red vs Blue’s 4th of July PSA by Rooster Teeth


Have a fun and safe holiday!

Have any tech-related Canada Day, 4th of July, or other funny holiday videos to share? Drop a link in the comments!

Open Source Spaceships Anyone?

Open Source Spaceships Anyone? Copenhagen Suborbitals | 40Tech

Forget the internet. Forget a fancy new smartphone or crazy new tablet. I want a rocket. You read me right. A rocket. Apparently civilian spaceflight is all the rage these days and I want in!

The latest development in firing regular folks into space happened Friday afternoon at about 3PM Danish time, as the non-profit, OPEN SOURCE group, Copenhagen Suborbitals launched a rocket into space. There was nobody in it — this time — but there could have been, and they are now one giant leap closer to that day.

The launch wasn’t all roses. They had some engine problems in the beginning, and some parachute problems at the end — overall, though, it was a huge success. Read on for a few images and a video of the launch.

Tycho Brahe Single Occupant Test Rocket | Suborbital Civilian Space Flight

Copenhagen Suborbitals | Civilian Spaceship Rocket Launch 1 Copenhagen Suborbitals | Civilian Spaceship Rocket Launch 2 Copenhagen Suborbitals | Civilian Spaceship Rocket Launch 3

Copenhagen Suborbitals | Civilian Spaceship Rocket Launch 4

Launch Video

The video drags a bit, as most of the conversation is in what I presume to be Danish, and you lose visual on the rocket early on. I have to say though, when that thing accelerates to supersonic — it’s pretty frickin’ cool!

All said and done, it’s not as fancy as the Virgin feathering-spaceship, but the fact that Copenhagen Suborbitals did all this on what was comparatively a shoestring budget hints at good things in the near future.

Personal rockets, man! Personal rockets!!!

What do you think?