A battery you never have to replace [via Nina Reznick]

Top: Schematic diagram of all-nanowire-based capacitor (similar to a battery), using gold-manganese dioxide conductors and PMMA gel layer. Bottom: photograph of the capacitor containing 750 parallel nanowire loops patterned onto a glass microscope slide. (credit: Mya Le Thai/ACS Energy Lett.)

New nanowire-based battery material can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times
University of California, Irvine researchers have invented a new nanowire-based battery material that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times, moving us closer to a battery that would never require replacement.
It could lead to commercial batteries with greatly lengthened lifespans for computers, smartphones, appliances, cars, and spacecraft.

The design is based on nanowires, which are highly conductive and feature a large surface area for the storage and transfer of electrons.
Currently, nanowires are extremely fragile and don’t hold up well to repeated discharging and recharging (cycling). In a typical lithium-ion battery, they expand and grow brittle, which leads to cracking.

UCI researchers have solved this problem by coating a gold nanowire in a manganese dioxide shell and encasing the assembly in an electrolyte made of a Plexiglas-like gel. The liquid electrolyte is replaced with a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) gel electrolyte. The combination is reliable and resistant to failure.

The study leader, UCI doctoral candidate Mya Le Thai, cycled the testing electrode up to 200,000 times over three months without detecting any loss of capacity or power and without fracturing any nanowires. The findings were published Wednesday Apr. 20 in an open-access paper in the American Chemical Society’s Energy Letters.

“Mya was playing around, and she coated this whole thing with a very thin gel layer and started to cycle it,” said senior author Reginald Penner, chair of UCI’s chemistry department. “She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity. That was crazy, because these things typically die in dramatic fashion after 5,000 or 6,000 or 7,000 cycles at most.”

The researchers think the gel plasticizes the metal oxide in the battery and gives it flexibility, preventing cracking.

“The coated electrode holds its shape much better, making it a more reliable option,” Thai said. “This research proves that a nanowire-based battery electrode can have a long lifetime and that we can make these kinds of batteries a reality.”

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Random Acts Of Genius Vandalism

Even though vandalism is a criminal activity, it's not always wrong. Let's face it, creatives really do see beauty and humor in places where us mortals don't, so why not turn a blind eye to some of their shenanigans if they're making cities prettier?

#1 Ufo Kidnapping A Cow In Dresden

More Amazing Photos via Cacciatore

Milan, zodiac sundial, 1768 created by the
Accademia di Brera.  Summer solstice the
rays strike the bronze on the floor and for
Winter solstice it stretches to the meridian.

Assos, Kefalonia Island, Greece.


Millau Viaduct, France.

Switchback Mountain, Tianman Hwy, China

Lighthouse in Sunderland, England.

Gate opening to Lake Como, Northern Italy.


Amazing Photos via Cacciatore

Ceiling over St. Mary's Altar, Krakow , Poland.

Corsica, France.

Queen Victoria Clock in Chester, England

Secluded beach Amalfi Coast, Italy.

River Seine, Paris.


A Bucket 'O Water ...

A video showing desert critters secretly filmed approaching a water bucket to quench their thirst is going viral. We see different creatures, from bees, to chickens, to a donkey and a rabbit. The video was uploaded by John Wells from The Field Lab, a Southwest Texas alternative energy and sustainable living field laboratory.

“I was pleasantly surprised during the edit to see that George [the rabbit] made an appearance. I know him from all the other rabbits because of the tiny notch in his ear.” The guy was quick to add: “Note: The swimming bees were rescued.”

John Wells, who moved from New York to almost ‘the middle of nowhere’ to purchase an off-grid lifestyle, is already known in certain ecology-conscious circles for managing to build a modern house with solar energy and composting for just $1600. He might be far away from the city crowds, but, with such cute critters coming to visit, he surely doesn’t get a chance to feel alone.

News Theme by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: http://incompetech.com/ Lau Tzu Ehru by Doug Maxwell used by permission from YouTube Audio Library.

Masters of Flight

When it comes to aerodynamics, hummingbirds are fine‑tuned machines.

Using a high-speed, high-resolution camera, photographer Anand Varma captures what the naked eye can’t see—the breathtaking maneuvers of a hummingbird in flight. Varma teamed up with scientists studying the biology of hummingbirds to reveal the secrets behind these captivating creatures.

An Anna’s hummingbird drinks artificial nectar from a glass vessel. The bird’s forked tongue makes a sipping motion up to 15 times a second.

A hummingbird shakes off rain the same way a wet dog does, with an oscillation of its head and body.

The Third Man Factor

In the 1922 poem The Waste Land, T. S. Eliot writes, cryptically: Who is the third who always walks beside you?/When I count, there are only you and I together /But when I look ahead up the white road/There is always another one walking beside you.

In his footnotes to this verse, Eliot explained that the lines “were stimulated by the account of one of the Antarctic expeditions [Ernest Shackleton’s] ... that the party of explorers, at the extremity of their strength, had the constant delusion that there was one more member than could actually be counted.” This has become known as The Third Man factor and refers to the reported situations where an unseen presence such as a "spirit" provides comfort or support during traumatic experiences.

Funny Pictures

A map of the internet in 1995.

FRIENDS vs. my friends.

Take this route if you are stealing someone’s baby.

Fun Fact.

Satan called…

These sequels are getting out of hand.

Headstones with unusual stories to tell: Peter the Wild Boy

Peter had been found living alone and naked in a German forest in 1725. He could not talk, and would scamper about on all fours rather than walk.

When he was about 12 he was brought to London by King George I where he became a "human pet" at Kensington Palace. However, his inability to learn table manners or speech, hatred of wearing clothes - even his specially-made green velvet suit - and lack of decorum led to him falling out of favor.

The court paid for him to retire to a Hertfordshire farm with a generous pension and when he died, aged about 72, the locals paid for a headstone. Even today, flowers are laid on his grave.

Peter's funeral was held at St Mary's Church, Northchurch, Hertfordshire, and was paid for by the government. His gravestone was provided by local people.

At the time, courtiers assumed Peter's behavior was the result of being brought up by wolves or bears. However, modern analysis of a portrait suggests Peter had a rare genetic condition known as Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome.

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