Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cool Tech Stuff

Whoever first tamed fire, he or she (possibly more likely she) lived over 300,000 years ago. Archaeologists in Israel found a campfire hearth, clearly used repeatedly and probably a focal point, that they dated to 300,000 years old. And that's mature use of fire. Just how old is human consciousness? We seem to keep pushing it back into time.

Rubber covered with bacteria (a harmless bacterium generally found in soil) can be used to generate electricity. They think they can scale this up to useful levels. It makes use of the fact that this bacterium responds to changes in humidity by shriveling or plumping up.

And in an amusing footnote, a scientist named Rhawn Joseph is so convinced a weird rock seen on Mars is actually a fungus that he's sueing NASA for refusing to investigate it properly. Seriously...