July 3, 2014

If you knew the calorie count of every morsel you ate, how many morsels would you leave on your plate?     Photo: GE Global Research/Google CC

This Gadget Will (Maybe) Help You Lose Weight

New device calculates calories in your meal

Most calorie-counting devices require you to manually input the amount and type of food you consume. General Electric's "universal calorie counter" will change all that. 

Matt Webster, a senior scientist at GE in New York teamed up with researchers at Baylor University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to begin testing a contraption that will calculate the precise number of calories of any food(s) placed in it. He envisions that the counter will eventually sync to wearable tech and apps so you can track your intake throughout the day.

Calories are computed through a formula using weight, fat content, and water content to estimate caloric density. With those three components, the device will gather data through electronics and sensors that spread microwaves over your plate to find the specific water and fat signatures for each factor of your feast.

Other nutritional components such as sugar, carbohydrates, and protein would not be factored in, but would still allow for accurate figures, says Webster. "You don't actually need to know the details," he said in a Gizmag report. "We just have to account for it. That's the secret sauce."

Well, if this calorie counter hits the market, count "secret sauce" out of our diet.

 

0 Comments

Students at a Florida school can rent out drones from the library, but do the $1,500 gadgets actually have enough academic use?     Photo: Prentice Wongvibulsin/Flickr

Libraries Admit Defeat, Begin Lending Drones

Florida school buys two drones for students to rent (with training)

Ice fishermen are still deprived of drone-delivered beer, and some naysayers still want to shoot down amateur droners' fun, but flying drones isn't hard if you've got a library card. The University of South Florida (USF) had some spare funds after receiving a digital learning grant, so naturally it decided to purchase two $1,500 drones that students can use for "coursework and research" starting this fall.

Students will need to complete a training course before getting their hands on the DJI Phantom 2 Vision drones. The remote-controlled drones are equipped with video cameras and, according to USF, should be useful for academic reasons like getting an aerial view of wetlands. The school plans to use the drones to create an environmental map of the campus. Bill Garrison, USF libraries dean, told the Atlantic that the drones may help libraries become "a real part of the campus" because, you know, providing books is not interesting enough.

USF isn't worried about angering the Federal Aviation Administration, which currently allows drones for recreational use. But there are other doubters—one USF physics major was hard-pressed for an answer when USA Today asked how she might use a drone. A public health major said, "I feel it may have been to just 'show off my shiny new toy,' not solely for the advancement of the students." Ouch.

The big question is how long until the first college stereotype plays itself out drone-style? Maybe a crash landing at an ultimate Frisbee tournament or a drinking-while-droning disaster? We can only hope the camera's turned on when it happens.

0 Comments

There's Fabien, perhaps contemplating his grandfather's metaphorically on-point words, "The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."     Photo: Earth Island Journal/Flickr

How to Survive a Month Underwater

Jacques Cousteau's grandson sets record for days submerged in the sea

Back on June 4, we reported that Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the famed red knit-cap-wearing oceanophile Jacques Cousteau, was going to spend 31 days underwater with his crew off the Florida Keys. Yesterday, Fabien resurfaced after spending all of June in Aquarius, the world's only underwater laboratory, which is operated by Florida International University.
“It was amazing how much it felt like home,” Cousteau told the media, five hours after seeing daylight for the first time in over a month. “I can imagine for someone who doesn’t like tight spaces it could be much more difficult.”
The project, dubbed Mission 31, was undertaken to collect research of the ocean environment, while raising awareness for marine conservation. With the successful completion of his endeavor, Cousteau the younger (and two tenacious scientists who also stuck it out) now holds the record for the time continuously spent submerged in the big blue. Fabien bested his grandfather's record by one day, although it is unlikely that he will ever match Jacques verbal acuity.
"A lot of men attack the sea," he once said. "I make love to it."

Back on June 4, we reported that Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed red knit cap-wearing oceanophile Jacques Cousteau, was going to spend 31 days underwater with his crew off the Florida Keys. Yesterday, Fabien resurfaced after spending all of June in Aquarius, the world's only underwater laboratory, operated by Florida International University.

"It was amazing how much it felt like home," Cousteau told the Guardian, five hours after seeing daylight for the first time in more than a month. "I can imagine for someone who doesn't like tight spaces it could be much more difficult."

The project, dubbed Mission 31, collected research on the ocean environment while raising awareness for marine conservation. With the successful completion of his endeavor, Cousteau the younger (plus two tenacious scientists who also stuck it out 63 feet below the ocean's surface) now holds the record for time continuously spent submerged in the big blue. Fabien beat his grandfather's record by one day, although it is unlikely he will ever match Jacques's verbal acuity.

"A lot of men attack the sea," Cousteau Sr. once said. "I make love to it."

0 Comments

Thanks to Bounce Below, climbing down a mountain is now a way to feel high up.     Photo: Courtesy of B White/Zip World

First Underground Trampoline Park Takes Off

World's largest subterranean jump park opens Friday

While Americans are watching fireworks on Friday, people in Northern Wales will celebrate a different kind of freedom. As of Independence Day, the best place in Earth to gain height will be hundreds of feet underground at Zip World's Bounce Below attraction, the world's largest (and only) underground trampoline park.

Park patrons strap themselves into cotton overalls and helmets, descend into a mountain by train, and step into an expansive two-chambered cavern to start the experience. Bounce Below is the result of repurposing the Blaenau Ffestiniog slate mine; instead of mine trolleys, Bounce Below boasts three 60-foot trampoline-like nets connected by walkways and slides. If getting mad air—allegedly up to 80 feet—isn't trippy enough, the amusement glows in Technicolor with a flashy light display.

Sean Taylor, Zip World's commercial director, devised Bounce Below as a means of attracting more people to the already superlative-heavy park: Zip World is home to the world's longest, fastest zip wire and biggest zip zone.

"The surreal experience of Bounce Below cannot be matched as there's nothing like it anywhere else on earth," Taylor said in an interview with Gizmag. "It's essentially a ginormous underground playground and an amazing way to experience a subterranean world in a way never before possible. The best thing is you can do it all year round."

Admission is open to people age five and older and under 265 pounds. The experience lasts one hour and costs £15 (about $26) per person.

If getting to Wales is a bit of a stretch, you can get a similar subterranean experience stateside. Kentucky's Louisville Mega Cavern features extensive underground zip lines and the world's only fully underground aerial ropes challenge course.

0 Comments

Comments