Friday, July 23, 2010

Edible Crayons Made From Health Foods Make Eating Bee Pollen Fun

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto

What kid didn't try to eat their crayons? Designboom introduces us to Luxirare, an extraordinary website where the proprietor develops and presents a collection of rare and beautiful things, like these crazy crayons made of healthy ingredients.

Eating bee pollen and prunes was never so much fun. And they draw, too. Some commenters on Gizmodo have suggested that this is not a good idea, that it encourages children to eat things that they shouldn't; One could also take the position that everything we bring into our homes should be made from healthy, non-toxic and even edible materials.

Not all of the ingredients are health foods, "fruity pebbles" are sometimes used for colour and marshmallows hold them all together.

But a wonderful experiment, beautifully presented at Luxirare... more story at

Monday, July 12, 2010

10 Cool Things You Didn't Know About Stephen Hawking
by Jane McGrath

Even if you don't follow the developing theories in physics, you have probably heard of the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. Most known as a brilliant mind in a paralyzed body, he's prided himself on making his complex physical concepts accessible to the public and writing the bestseller, "A Brief History of Time."

And if you are a fan of Conan O'Brien, "The Simpsons" or "Star Trek," you might have seen him brandishing his cool wit during guest appearances on those shows.

Even if you are familiar with his academic work, however, there are many interesting facts you might not know about Hawking, stretching from his time at school and gradual development of disability to his opinions on the future of the human race.

Many find it surprising, for instance, that, despite his influential body of work, Hawking hasn't yet been awarded the Nobel Prize. We'll talk about some of the remarkable distinctions he has received, however.

Another interesting fact: Hawking was born Jan. 8, 1942, which just happened to be the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death.

But this has just been the warm-up. Next, we'll delve into some fascinating and unexpected facts about Hawking, including some things about his profoundly inspirational story... read more story at

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Monkeys Catapult Themselves Out of Primate Research Institute

by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil

At a primate research institute in Japan's Kyoto University, recently a group of inventive monkeys managed to escape their enclosure despite the 17 foot tall electric fence in place to keep them in. With no obvious means of escape visible, the researchers were undoubtedly puzzled at how their high-tech security was breached -- that is until they discovered the primates had figured out a way to catapult themselves.

Researchers at the institute, who apparently study primates for a living, learned that they may have been underestimating the athletic and intellectual capacity of their monkeys. Although the enclosure has trees in it, they're cut short to around 6 feet tall and kept far enough away from the fence to foil any escape plans the monkeys may hatch out -- or so they thought.

Authorities from the institute discovered that the monkeys were able to catapult themselves over the giant fence by using the small tree's branches as a slingshot, reports the Japan Times.

"Their jumping power was greater than we thought," said the head of the institute, Hirohisa Hirai.

A life on the lam, it seems, wasn't in the cards for a few of the monkeys, who returned to the enclosure on their own. Later, 10 other escaped monkeys were discovered "hanging around" just beyond the fence, reports the Times. Eventually they too returned to captivity after researchers bribed them with peanuts... read more at