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Vollebak
Vollebak

This Is the Most Visible Color in the World

Vollebak
Vollebak

An orange vest isn’t the best way to stay visible in traffic anymore. This extremely bright green coat is. The Nano Meter 555 Midlayer jacket, made by the outdoor sports retailer Vollebak, is designed to be the most visible color ever, as Co.Design reports.

The green color was created by analyzing the way the rods and cones in our eyes are stimulated by different wavelengths of light. The company found that the human eye is most sensitive to light at a wavelength of 555 nanometers—a bright green. It stands out against any road you’re biking down or any mountain you’re climbing, allowing you to remain visible even from high in the air.

Vollebak’s garment also comes equipped with special reflective markers that make it easier for others to see you moving in the dark. The bright green might not show up in the middle of the night, but the reflective discs will, and their placement on the jacket is designed to allow other people to recognize you as a person in a quarter of a second—even if they can’t see the actual outline of your body.

Ideally, you shouldn’t need to wear special reflective clothing while you bike down the street, but if you do want to stand out on the road, this is the way to do it (though studies vary when it comes to what kind of high-visibility clothing is actually useful to cyclists). It could also be useful for hiking or backpacking, since you could easily be seen by a helicopter if you needed a rescue.

Just think of how much more fashionable your local crossing guard would look in one of these.

[h/t Co.Design]

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WWF
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Animals
Watch an Antarctic Minke Whale Feed in a First-of-Its-Kind Video
WWF
WWF

New research from the World Wildlife Fund is giving us a rare glimpse into the world of the mysterious minke whale. The WWF worked with Australian Antarctic researchers to tag minke whales with cameras for the first time, watching where and how the animals feed.

The camera attaches to the whale's body with suction cups. In the case of the video below, the camera accidentally slid down the side of the minke whale's body, providing an unexpected look at the way its throat moves as it feeds.

Minke whales are one of the smallest baleen whales, but they're still pretty substantial animals, growing 30 to 35 feet long and weighing up to 20,000 pounds. Unlike other baleen whales, though, they're small enough to maneuver in tight spaces like within sea ice, a helpful adaptation for living in Antarctic waters. They feed by lunging through the sea, gulping huge amounts of water along with krill and small fish, and then filtering the mix through their baleen.

The WWF video shows just how quickly the minke can process this treat-laden water. The whale could lunge, process, and lunge again every 10 seconds. "He was like a Pac-Man continuously feeding," Ari Friedlaender, the lead scientist on the project, described in a press statement.

The video research, conducted under the International Whaling Commission's Southern Ocean Research Partnership, is part of WWF's efforts to protect critical feeding areas for whales in the region.

If that's not enough whale for you, you can also watch the full 13-minute research video below:

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iStock
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technology
AI Could Help Scientists Detect Earthquakes More Effectively
iStock
iStock

Thanks in part to the rise of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, earthquakes are becoming more frequent in the U.S. Even though it doesn't fall on a fault line, Oklahoma, where gas and oil drilling activity doubled between 2010 and 2013, is now a major earthquake hot spot. As our landscape shifts (literally), our earthquake-detecting technology must evolve to keep up with it. Now, a team of researchers is changing the game with a new system that uses AI to identify seismic activity, Futurism reports.

The team, led by deep learning researcher Thibaut Perol, published the study detailing their new neural network in the journal Science Advances. Dubbed ConvNetQuake, it uses an algorithm to analyze the measurements of ground movements, a.k.a. seismograms, and determines which are small earthquakes and which are just noise. Seismic noise describes the vibrations that are almost constantly running through the ground, either due to wind, traffic, or other activity at surface level. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between noise and legitimate quakes, which is why most detection methods focus on medium and large earthquakes instead of smaller ones.

But better understanding natural and manmade earthquakes means studying them at every level. With ConvNetQuake, that could soon become a reality. After testing the system in Oklahoma, the team reports it detected 17 times more earthquakes than what was recorded by the Oklahoma Geological Survey earthquake catalog.

That level of performance is more than just good news for seismologists studying quakes caused by humans. The technology could be built into current earthquake detection methods set up to alert the public to dangerous disasters. California alone is home to 400 seismic stations waiting for "The Big One." On a smaller scale, there's an app that uses a smartphone's accelerometers to detect tremors and alert the user directly. If earthquake detection methods could sense big earthquakes right as they were beginning using AI, that could afford people more potentially life-saving moments to prepare.

[h/t Futurism]

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