Solar sails set course for a new journey into renewable energy

“Solar is moving from being a hard, inflexible and one-colour product to being soft lightweight, flexible, and maybe even multicoloured,” he said. “In solar everybody only knows those glass panels going on roofs and on farmland, fields, solar farms. Why can’t solar be everywhere in all different types of aspects? Read the full story here

A splash of tonic to cure your ills

The lesson is that tonic water isn’t just something to swill with your gin; it’s powerful stuff. Quinine, taken in the form of bark from the cinchona tree, was taken to alleviate the effects of malaria. It originally came only from the Spanish colonies in South America. The British struggled without a regular supply. In […]

Are ready-to-eat boiled eggs the most pointless convenience food ever?

The Yowk egg takes “just five minutes” to cook, once you pour boiling water over it. Which for anyone with a hob as well as a kettle, means this convenience snack actually takes longer than simply dropping an egg into a saucepan of boiling water for the requisite amount of time (four minutes and 45 […]

Toy Story, 20 years later: how Pixar made its first blockbuster

According to Susman, the Pixar team initially thought they could render the film over 20 months using 53 processors. Each of the machines in the render farm was named after an animal, and when it completed a frame it would play the corresponding animal’s sound. The number of machines eventually grew to 300, but even […]

Terry Pratchett’s name lives on in ‘the clacks’ with hidden web code

What better way to remember the beloved inventor of this fictional system, then, than “GNU Terry Pratchett”? Reddit users have designed a code that anyone with basic webcoding knowledge can embed into their own websites(anyone without basic webcoding knowledge can use the plugins for WordPress and other platforms). The code is called the XClacksOverhead, and […]

Kindle Cover Disasters: the world’s worst ebook artwork

Judging a book by its cover is generally frowned upon, but the same cannot be said for ebooks. Especially when they are ebooks called Young Tales of the Old Cosmos, and the cover is a picture of three moons with human expressions best described as “Buh?”, “Hmm” and “Ooh”. When they’re that, you can frankly […]

Inflation basket of goods highlights seven decades of changing UK lifestyles

In 1947, the Ministry of Labour and National Service began recording the prices of a “typical” shopping basket to help calculate inflation. As the prices of the various items in the basket change over time, so does the total cost of the basket. Each year, the basket is updated and new products and services are […]