June 21, 2012
Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish     Photo: Kei-ai/Flickr

Mark Cavendish Stamps Unveiled

Manx cyclist will defend sprint title this month

Cyclist Mark Cavendish will be featured on a new set of stamps, the Isle of Man Post Office has announced. The seven-stamp collection pictures scenes from the sprinter's career, including his win at the World Road Race championship in 2011 and him riding in the sprinter's green jersey at the Tour de France. "It's a great honor for me personally, but it's also a reflection of the widespread interest in cycling now," said Cavendish, who was born and lives on the Isle of Man. The stamps are made with "augmented reality" technology, which allows smartphone users to view clips of Cavendish's greatest performances by scanning the stamps with their device's camera.

Read more at the BBC


    Photo: ronsaunders47/Flickr

'Extinct' Toad Rediscovered in Sri Lanka

Thought to have disappeared over 100 years ago

Researchers in Sri Lanka's forests have discovered a rare species of toad thought to have disappeared over a century ago. Last seen in 1876, scientists presumed that the Sri Lankan Kandyan dwarf toad was extinct until an expedition from the Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka discovered four of the amphibians in a stream, according to a paper published this month in Zootaxa. A second trip to the area yielded some 100 specimens. Although the toad is no longer thought to be extinct, it will still be classified as endagered due to increasing human encroachment into its habitat.

Read more at Wired


    Photo: Olatz eta Leire/Flickr

Scientists Unveil Gigapixel Supercamera

Images reveal unseen details

Scientists on Thursday unveiled a supercamera capable of taking gigapixel images that reveal details in a scene with 1,000 times greater resolution than ordinary cameras. David Brady and colleagues from Duke University engineered the two-by-two-foot-square camera, dubbed AWARE2, to combine images from 98 14-megapixel microcameras, each with separate autofocus and exposure, that peer through a single spherical lens with a 120-degree field of view. A single image of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge allows researchers to track individual tundra swans, invisible to standard cameras, and analyze their behavior. "You can capture as much information as possible and look at it for five years”, Illah Nourbakhsh, a roboticist at Carnegie Mellon University, said. Brady’s team expects to eventually reach 50-gigapixel capacity in the camera.

Read more at Nature