My wish for next Christmas :-)

For years I have been talking about building something like this and now a company is actually making it. This one is pretty nice, but even as their basic model, it comes at a price tag of $6300. Their slicker and custom one is over 40 grand!

It has most of what I want, but is missing a few needed features. In particular “zero gravity” relax your back reclining mode and a “stand up” mode. Also, for home office use, I wonder if building it out of wood may be a lot cheaper.

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The neighborhood is getting crowded!

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Looks like little ole Earth may not be quite as unique as we thought. Based on this study there are plenty of planets to form the “Federation”. Now if we can just get past that pesky issue of building an FTLL drive.

Dinosaur-Like Tails Make Terrestrial Mobile Robots More Agile

Always wondered why cats have such mid-air dexterity, then check this out. Fairly obvious when you read it (i.e. using the tail to counter angular momentum), but it leads to lots of interesting applications for robots.

The future of eBooks

This company TouchPress has produced an interesting book on minerals.

It gives one a view on where the future of books might be going. One question is why we haven’t seen these on the web. I.e. your web browser could easily show a book like this as well and there are some flash sites like it. The issue comes down to money. It costs a lot of money to make a not only beautiful and informative but also interactive book. eBooks are that way to make money that just seems to have been missed in a world of the web where ads rule.

Posted via email from Pillows Ponderings

David Blaine: How he held my breath for 17 min

A fascinating video on how far we can push the limits of our bodies. I would not have even guessed that 17 minutes for holding ones breath was possible. Most of his doctors agreed, yet he did it and even had the doctors help document it. Spoiler…part of the way this is accomplished is to infuse the blood with extra O2 before the attempt. That makes it no less interesting, but less available to the mere mortal. There have been several other articles on the feasibility of respiratory nanobots, respirocytes that could travel through your bloodstream and infuse it with oxygen allowing you to go very long without actually “breathing”.

David Blaine: How I held my breath for 17 min | Video on TED.com.

George Whitesides: A lab the size of a postage stamp | Video on TED.com

This some wonderful  out-of-the-box thinking.  George Whitesides: A lab the size of a postage stamp | Video on TED.com has developed postage stamp sized pieces of paper with miniature “diagnostic labs” on them. They think they can get them down to 10 cents per stamp (or test)!

Printing body parts: Making a bit of me | The Economist

Another nice article on the Wake Forst work on printing organs:

Printing body parts: Making a bit of me | The Economist.