Babybel Cheese Wax Is The Ultimate Artistic Medium

Babybel cheese
If you didn’t make stuff out of that alluring red wax during elementary school lunch, you must have been a monster.
It's so much more than a container for that non-aggressively tasty soft cheese.

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SO. MUCH. MORE.

With it, you can make…


Poodles.

Poodles.
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Flowers.

Flowers.
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Teddy bears.

Teddy bears.
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The cast of Bambi.

The cast of Bambi.
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A manicure.

A manicure.
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Don’t pretend you never did this.


A super impressive horse.

A super impressive horse.
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Can’t you just hear its hooves clopping gently against the earth?


Ladybugs.

Ladybugs.
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Koalas.

Koalas.
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Angry Birds.

Angry Birds.
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A DIY candle.

A DIY candle.
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Maybe don’t try this unless you don’t care about burning whatever structure you’re in to the ground?


Towers.

Towers.
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A ninja.

A ninja.
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I c u.


Dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs.
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DID YOU KNOW THERE IS NOW YELLOW WAX BABYBEL, I DID NOT AND NOW I AM V. PLEASED.


Satan.

Satan.
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Jesus.

Jesus.
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*Cheesus.


Friends!

Friends!
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Smart syringe turns bright red to warn of prior use

ABC Syringe

From CNET.com:

The ABC Syringe is embedded with ink that turns color when exposed to air as a way to warn caregivers that the syringe has been used.
The tech adds just 1 percent to the retail price, according to UK inventor David Swann. (Credit: Index Awards)

First, the bad news: As much as 40 percent of the world’s 40 billion injections administered every year are with unsterile, reused syringes, according to the World Health Organization.

Fortunately, people are working on better, tamper-proof syringes, and one of those — the ABC Syringe — holds such promise that it is a finalist at this year’s Index Awards in Denmark.

The syringe, designed by Dr. David Swann of Huddersfield University in England, comes in a nitrogen-filled pack, which ensures that the syringe is clear. But when exposed to air, the special ink in the syringe’s barrel absorbs the carbon dioxide and, after 60 seconds of exposure, turns the barrel of the syringe a bright red to warn that it is now “used.”

Unsafe injections causes 5 percent of all new HIV cases, 32 percent of all Hepatitis B cases, and 40 percent of Hepatitis C cases, according to WHO. And this isn’t purely the result of IV drug users sharing needles; so-called syringe scavengers in places like India scrape out a living selling used syringes to hospitals that are desperate to cut costs when giving vaccinations, blood transfusions, and other medical services that require syringes.

“When you compare a sterile syringe just out of its packaging with a syringe that’s been washed, how do you determine the difference?” Swann recently said in a CNN interview. “We conceived an intelligent ink that, if exposed to air by taking it out of the package or if the package is breached, would activate it and turn it red.”

While Swann acknowledges that the concept would require a public information campaign — “don’t use the red syringe” ought to do it — the ABC has a serious advantage over previous “safety syringe” iterations in that it adds only 1 percent to the retail cost instead of 200 percent.

Swann’s work is already paying off in India, where he recently tested the syringe. (Of the four to five billion injections administered every year in India, at least 2.5 billion are considered unsafe.) Not only did 100 percent of those involved accurately identify red syringes as dangerous, but that cohort included both literate and illiterate men, women, and children.

Swann estimates that within five years of widespread use his syringe should help prevent 700,000 unsafe injections and save $130 million in medical costs, not to mention reduce the 1.3 million deaths that result every year from unsafe injection practices.

This 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows that the Romans Were Nanotechnology Pioneers

Lycurgus Cup

Lycurgus cup

Researchers have finally found out why the jade-green cup appears red when lit from behind

By Zeeya Merali from smithsonianmag.com:

The colorful secret of a 1,600-year-old Roman chalice at the British Museum is the key to a super­sensitive new technology that might help diagnose human disease or pinpoint biohazards at security checkpoints.

The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behind—a property that puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s. The mystery wasn’t solved until 1990, when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: They’d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing—“an amazing feat,” says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London.

The ancient nanotech works something like this: When hit with light, electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer’s position. Gang Logan Liu, an engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has long focused on using nanotechnology to diagnose disease, and his colleagues realized that this effect offered untapped potential. “The Romans knew how to make and use nanoparticles for beautiful art,” Liu says. “We wanted to see if this could have scientific applications.”

When various fluids filled the cup, Liu suspected, they would change how the vibrating electrons in the glass interacted, and thus the color. (Today’s home pregnancy tests exploit a separate nano-based phenomenon to turn a white line pink.)

Since the researchers couldn’t put liquid into the precious artifact itself, they instead imprinted billions of tiny wells onto a plastic plate about the size of a postage stamp and sprayed the wells with gold or silver nanoparticles, essentially creating an array with billions of ultra-miniature Lycurgus Cups. When water, oil, sugar solutions and salt solutions were poured into the wells, they displayed a range of easy-to-distinguish colors—light green for water and red for oil, for example. The proto­type was 100 times more sensitive to altered levels of salt in solution than current commercial sensors using similar techniques. It may one day make its way into handheld devices for detecting pathogens in samples of saliva or urine, or for thwarting terrorists trying to carry dangerous liquids onto airplanes.

The original fourth-century A.D. Lycurgus Cup, probably taken out only for special occasions, depicts King Lycurgus ensnared in a tangle of grapevines, presumably for evil acts committed against Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. If inventors manage to develop a new detection tool from this ancient technology, it’ll be Lycurgus’ turn to do the ensnaring.