Juan du Plessis

16 Flips | 2 Magazines | @dupieja | Keep up with Juan du Plessis on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Juan du Plessis”

FYI: Can Snakes Really Be Charmed By Music?

No. The charm has nothing to do with the music and everything to do with the charmer waving a <i>pungi</i>, a reed instrument carved out of a gourd, in the snake's face. Snakes don't have external ears and can perceive little more than low-frequency rumbles. But when they see something threatening, they …

How to blow up a pterosaur

Pick up comparably sized bones of a bird and a mammal, and the latter will weigh a lot more than the former. Both actually have hollow bones, but although the major bones of the tetrapods (the amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) have a hollow core, in birds the walls of the bone are very thin …

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.<p>But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.<p>Smokers who …

The Week In Numbers: A 3-D Printed Invisibility Cloak, Skyscrapers That Attack, And More

<b>£946</b>: the money the developers of a curved glass building in London paid to Martin Lindsay after reflected light from the skyscraper melted his Jaguar XJ<p><b>18 to 27 degrees Fahrenheit</b>: the average increase in surface temperature when moving from a rural area to a city<p><b>244 meters</b>: the height of the …

This Weird Tiny Frog Hears With Its Mouth

"Talk directly into my mouth, please."<p>The Gardiner's Seychelles frog is one of the smallest amphibians in the world, measuring less than half an inch long. But their extreme tininess isn't the only curious thing about them. As a new study shows, this species of frog has no eardrum and no middle …

The Goods: September 2013's Hottest Gadgets

Hook Me Up To This Impractical Virtual Reality Suit Right Now

Explore a castle from the safety of your very own castle, probably.<p>The Oculus Rift is one of the most immersive gadgets we've ever seen--just strap the glasses onto your face and you're transported to a virtual world. But if that's somehow not enough, you can help fund PrioVR, a set of sensors that …

Drones Are Now Delivering Packages In One Chinese City

Like robot courier pigeons, with about the same carrying capacity<p>After a user on the Chinese social media site Weibo posted about seeing flying robots with the SF Express logo, the delivery company admitted that it has begun trials of package-delivery drones in the city of Dongguan in southeast …

Mold looks beautiful under the right light

Mold, bacteria, and yeast: these are three things you most definitely do not want growing in your home. But when you turn the growths into a purely visual form, it's hard to ignore the majesty of nature even in these gross subjects. Photographer Antoine Bridier-Nahmias has elevated some of the …

The weird world of the incredibly small – in pictures

This month's collection of postcards from the nanoworld includes bleached hair, a component from a quantum computer, a fleck of Victorian paint and one of the creatures that helped build the White Cliffs of Dover

Element of the week: nobelium | video

This week's element is nobelium, a synthetic actinoid with the atomic symbol <b>No</b> and atomic number <b>102</b>. This radioactive metal was named in honour of Alfred Nobel who discovered dynamite and who established the Nobel Prizes.<p>It is not known what this rare earth metal looks like, but it is predicted to …

Tamu Massif is Largest Single Volcano on Earth

Tamu Massif is the largest single volcano on Earth. It is the size of the state of New Mexico. It is located about 1,000 miles east of Japan and is …

The World's Tallest Skyscrapers Have A Dirty Little Secret

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Bank of America tower in New York count among the worst offenders<p>Supertall skyscrapers aren't necessarily built to fit as many people inside as possible--sometimes they're just aiming to be, well, really tall. Large portions of these buildings are designed to …

3 Big Discoveries Made by the International Space Station