The Real Story Behind the Fisher Space Pen, A Pen Designed to Work in Microgravity

The first episode of the new series What’s the Story? by the online store Dat Twenty focuses on the real story behind the Fisher space pen. The pen is sometimes cited as an example of government waste, with a story claiming NASA spent millions of dollars developing the pen while the Russian space program simply used pencils in space.

That story isn’t true, and because of the electrical conductivity of pencil graphite and the flammability of wood, pencils are a terrible writing implement for spaceflight. The pens were actually developed by inventor Paul C. Fisher, who later sold them to NASA.

via Digg

Vince Vaughn and ‘Unfinished Business’ Costars Pose for Generic-Looking Stock Photos to Promote the Film

Business fulfills each and every one of them

Vince Vaughn and his Unfinished Business costars Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco posed for some generic-looking stock photos to promote the film. The photos show the actors in stereotypical business settings in poses which echo the business themes of Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business is scheduled to release in theaters on March 6, 2015.

Business team enjoying victory

Successful applauding executives sitting at the table

Nothing left to chance - Business Strategy

images via iStock

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Scientists Capture the First Microscopy Images of Ultra-Small Bacteria Believed to Be the Smallest Life Possible

ultra-small bacteria

Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria believed to be some of the smallest life possible. The bacteria are so small that about 150,000 of them could fit on the tip of a human hair.

Samples of groundwater were collected and filtered before being flash frozen for study. The team then used 2-D and 3-D cryogenic transmission electron microscopy to analyze the samples, capturing the first images of the incredible small cells. Little is understood about the ultra-small bacteria, but the ability to capture images of them will likely lead to further study.

ultra-small bacteria 2

images via Berkeley Lab

via, Engadget

Kidpost, A New Service That Lets Parents Share Photos of Their Children Online With Loved Ones Not on Social Media


Kidpost is a new service that lets parents share photos and other online content of their children with loved ones not on social media. The service works by allowing parents to label content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Flickr (with more services in the future) with the hashtag #kidpost, and the service will then pull that content and compile it in a daily email sent to loved ones.

The recipients of the daily email do not have to sign up for any other accounts or services, making it a useful option for sharing content with less tech-savvy loved ones.



images via Kidpost

A Devastating Computer Simulation of a Massive Asteroid Hitting Earth Set to Pink Floyd’s ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’

Anselmo la Manna has combined a devastating computer simulation of a massive 310-mile-wide asteroid impacting the Earth with the beautiful Pink Floyd song “The Great Gig in the Sky.” The simulation is from the 2005 Discovery Channel miniseries Miracle Planet.

For comparison, here is the original clip of the simulation from Miracle Planet with narration about the specific ways in which the asteroid impact would destroy life on Earth, and a video of Pink Floyd performing “Great Gig in the Sky.”

via The Presurfer