From Antimatter to the Exbury Egg

As usual this weekend’s Hexup brings you a wide variety of interesting items from around the internet tubes. Yes, the internet is secretly a collection of those old fashioned (and super awesome) pneumatic tubes. You heard it here first. I assure you that the tech below is both much more current as well as far more interesting than some dusty old pneumatic pipes. We have human powered flashlights, compact antimatter generation, affordable space telescope time, and much more.

Desktop Antimatter

We’re used to seeing the little bits of antimatter known as positrons come out of very big cosmic phenomenal like black holes or, here on earth, from very large and expensive machines like particle accelerators. Well physicists from the University of Michigan say they have developed a machine that can create positrons that could fit on top of an average desk. They hope to use the new mini accelerators to do research into the matter (and anti matter) that streams out of black holes. The story can be seen over at

Wooden Skyscraper

wood1Scandinavian architecture firm C.F. Møller has announced plans to build a 34 story skyscraper in Stockholm Sweden. This probably isn’t surprising , but what might be is that the building would be almost entirely made of wood. They hope to increase awareness of wood as an eco alternative to resource and energy hungry steel and concrete. While still more expensive, wood is renewable. Architects foresee the price dropping as rising energy costs continue to make the traditional urban alternatives more expensive.

Bead Chain Experiment

One of the reasons that this video is cool is that when you first see it, it doesn’t seem like much, but the more you watch the more you get drawn in. Simple materials, simple science, simply amazing.

Crowd Funded Space Telescope

arkyd-telescope-illustrationThis story has been kicking around for a while and I know I meant to put it up earlier but I’m not sure why I haven’t. The folks over at Planetary Resources have announced that they will be making a number of small space telescopes as preliminary data gathering tools for future asteroid mining. They have additionally said that one of these Arkyd telescopes will be crowd sourced through Kickstarter and will be made available for public use. The goal for the campaign will be $1 million which will go toward helping support the telescope’s cost. This is another great step toward growing public involvement in space science. See the story over at

Hand Powered Flashlight

While solar powered flashlights may still be the butts of many a joke, Canadian teenager Ann Makosinski has developed a flashlight that is powered by nothing more than the heat of the human hand. The flashlight works using devices called Peltier tiles which will generate an electric current if heated on one side but cooled on the other. The flashlight was recently selected as one of the 15 finalists for Google’s global science fair. The story at also shows a video of Makosinski explaining how she created the flashlight.

We All Live In An…Egg Shaped Boat?

The Exbury Egg is a collaborate project between artist Stephan Turner, PAD Studio, SPUD, and a local boat builder Paul Baker. Turner hopes to live in the egg shaped vessel for a year while he explores England’s Beaulieu River. The project combines sustainable living and ecological exploration to answer questions surrounding low impact interactions between humans and their local ecosystems. As well as being beautiful, the egg is ultimately about using every inch of space to create a self sustainable residence, made from local renewable materials. More information can be found over at the project’s website.

Hopefully these stories will peak your interest. Have a great weekend!


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