Today, June 20, happens to be the first day of summer or summer “solstice.” Derived from the Latin words “sol” for “sun” and “sisto” for “stop,” it is the day when the North Pole is most inclined towards the sun. As a result, residents of the Northern Hemisphere enjoy the longest day of the year. The opposite, of course, is true for the residents of the Southern Hemisphere who will experience the shortest day of the year. What makes today’s summer solstice even more unique is that for the first time in many years, it coincides with a full moon.
Being blind is tough under any circumstances. But things were even harder for Srikanth Bolla who born in a small village near Hyderabad, India, where the common belief was that kids with disabilities were “useless” and even a “sin” and therefore, better off dead. Fortunately, Srikanth’s parents loved their son and refused to give in to societal pressure. Instead, they encouraged the blind boy to dream big and reach for the stars.
On Monday, May 9, James Givens, a police officer in Cincinnati, Ohio, was sitting in his cruiser when he heard what sounded like a knock. He turned around only to find a goose pecking at the car door. This was highly unusual given that the birds typically preferred to observe humans from a distance.
Controlling and interacting with content on a smartphone or tablet is a relatively easy task given their large screens. However, the same is not true for smartwatches which are proving to be more of a fashion statement than a piece of useful technology. Now a group of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute’s Future Interfaces Group (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University is trying to change that with an invention that transforms the arm into a touchpad.
About a year ago, on June 21, 2015, 80 of Italy’s finest chefs delighted visitors at the Expo Milan with a slice of the world’s longest pizza — A 1.59545 meter-long (about a mile) pie that they spent 18-hours crafting. On May 19, 2016, 250 masters of traditional Neapolitan pizza from across the world gathered at the beautiful bay along the Caracciolo seafront in Naples and outdid their achievement with a delicious pie that measured an impressive 1,853.88 meters or about 1.15 miles, long.
On May 26, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams spent seven hours inflating the first expandable room at the International Space Station. Called Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, the balloon-like structure that measures 10-feet by 13-feet, (about the size of an average bedroom) when fully inflated, is the first prototype of what NASA experts hope will be the space habitat of the future. The compressed module arrived at the ISS aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on April 8 and was put in place outside the Tranquility module by ISS’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.
Hundreds of thousands of hearing-impaired people in the United States and many parts of Canada rely solely on American Sign Language (ASL) for communication. But popular as the language is, there are millions of people with normal hearing that are unable to decipher the hand and finger gestures. That may change soon thanks to the ingenious “SignAloud” glove that converts sign language into speech.
When a 91,000-acre piece of vacant land came up for sale in Southwest Florida about ten years ago, it attracted builders from across the country. After all, the chance to develop an area almost five times the size of Manhattan does not come frequently. But to everyone’s surprise, the owners did not auction the property that lies just 20 minutes from Fort Myers to the highest bidder. Instead, they sold it to Palm Beach-based Kitson & Partners who not only promised to preserve a bulk of the land, but also use the remaining acreage to build an environmentally friendly town.