We pulled together some of the most interesting articles we’ve read recently – and included the quotes that got us talking the most. Today, we focused on some of the coolest scientific innovations and discoveries of the week.
This Tower Gobbles Up Air Pollution, Turns It Into Jewelry
From Fast Company
Dubbed the Smog Free Project, Roosegaarde’s Rotterdam-based studio proposes the structure operate almost like your at-home air purifier, but on an enormous scale. The two-story tower draws dirty air in, traps smog particles using ion-technology, then expels clean air to create a bubble around it that’s up to 75 percent cleaner than the rest of the city.
To quantify exactly how much pollution the tower extracts, Studio Roosegaarde will turn the dust into jewelry—rings, to be exact—that represent 1,000 cubic meters of air cleaned. (The idea riffs on how carbon composes both diamonds and smog.) In a heavily polluted area, the firm believes that one tower will clean 3.5 million cubic meters of air per day while producing 3,500 rings.
Today’s Ice Cream is a Scientific Miracle
It’s one of the most complex food products you’ll ever consume: a thermodynamic miracle that contains all three states of matter—solid, liquid, and gas—at the same time. The democratization of ice cream came thanks to Frederick Tudor, a Bostonian who had the brilliant idea of turning New England’s wealth of natural ice into a business.
To the ranks of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami, researchers have added a sixth: “oleogustus.” Announced in the journal Chemical Senses last month, oleogustus is Latin for “a taste for fat.” Found in high concentrations in rancid foods, oleogustus actually operates as a protective mechanism of sorts — offering a warning sign to stop eating whatever it is one is tasting.
TV show Telemetro Reporta has launched the project The Tweeting Pothole (El Hueco Twittero), installing motion-sensitive devices (link in Spanish) in the craters that mar Panama City’s streets. When a car runs over one of them, a tweet is sent automatically to the account of the Ministry of Public Works, according to the site.
The Tweeting Pothole is also mapping the most damaged streets of the city on a website. Users have reported on Twitter that workers from public works are finding their way to some of the tweeting potholes for quick repairs.