A Hobbit Home for Under $5000

With nothing more than hand tools, friends, family and a desire to avoid an expensive, unsustainable home, Simon Dale built his own. As a staunch advocate for low impact living, and with only a meager income, 32 year-old Dale decided to build a home in a hillside in Wales, one that he and his family could own outright and was sustainably hand-built directly in the middle of the forest. The design has an uncanny resemblance to Hobbit homes in the Lord of the Rings films, which has contributed to its rise in popularity.

15,000 Square Foot Urban Farm Goes Portable

Amidst the towering skyscrapers and busting New York City traffic is a mobile, 15,000 square foot urban farm, called Riverpark Farm. Born through ideas of sustainability and more portable approaches to urban farming, Riverpark Farms partnered with Alexandria Center for Life Science and Riverpark restaurant to create one of the largest urban farms in New York City. The unique farm is located on the future site of Alexandria Center’s west tower. With the downed economy, building on the site has been suspended, leaving the lot a perfect place to create an urban farm.

Like us, wasps don’t forget a face

Paper wasps have brains that are less than a millionth the size of the human brain, yet new research shows they have a similar ability to recognize and remember a familiar face.

Massive black holes shatter record

An international team of astronomers has discovered two gigantic black holes with masses about 10 billion times the mass of our sun. These black holes have a mass more than 50 percent greater than any other previously measured.

Stretch sensor like taffy. Watch it bounce back

A transparent sensor that is so stretchy it can be pulled to twice its original length and then bounce back perfectly has potential for use with prosthetic limbs, robotics, and touch-sensitive computer displays.

Equation explains forces that repel water, oil

A new equation is the first to predict the hydrophobic interactions of molecules. Such interactions explain why oil and water don’t mix, how proteins are structured, and what holds biological membranes together. The new formula is expected to affect applications in water filtration, membrane separations, biomedical research, gene therapy methods, biofuel production, and food chemistry.

Gas ‘bullets’ shoot from giant black hole

Astronomers have uncovered some striking features in the gases emitted from the regions close to one of the brightest supermassive black holes known to exist. The black hole has a mass 300 million times that of the sun.

How to make cameras auto-focus like eyes

A new algorithm suggests there is information lurking in images that cameras have yet to tap. Like a camera, the human eye has an auto-focusing system, but human auto-focusing rarely makes mistakes. And unlike a camera, humans do not require trial and error to focus an object.

New class of painkillers: Ibuprofen 2.0?

Scientists thought there was little left to learn about a class of medications that includes ibuprofen, but a recent discovery raises the possibility of a new class of pain relievers.

Birds May Identify Their Relatives By Smell

Penguins appear to use smell to determine if they are related to a potential mate, which suggests birds may have a more highly developed sense of smell than researchers previously thought.