Screenshot: WhiteVinyl
Screenshot: WhiteVinyl

The Solar System As A Virtual Music Box

Screenshot: WhiteVinyl
Screenshot: WhiteVinyl

Illustrations of the solar system often depict the routes of planets as concentric circles around the sun. Now, imagine each of the planets is a note, and every time it passes a stationary pick, that note is "plucked." The constant rotations would create a unique melody.

Luke Twyman, an illustrator and graphic designer from England, created a virtual music box that does exactly that. He originally designed SolarBeat five year ago but just re-released his musical representation of the planetary orbits with an updated interface, graphics, and sound controls.

Each planet is assigned an arbitrary note. As their orbit takes them past designated points, their note sounds. The varying orbital distances of the nine planets (here Pluto makes the cut), "ends up generating this unending, interesting pattern," Twyman told Wired. You can slow down or speed up the whole thing but the relative relationship between the orbits, and the notes, stays the same.

The perfectly circular orbits that never overlap aren't scientifically accurate, but the soothing repetition beautifully simplifies the constant motion of the solar system. And it sounds great, too.

"It really lends itself to generating ambient music," Twyman says. Check it out at the SolarBeat link above.

[h/t Wired]

A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

When Chuck Yeager Tweeted Details About His Historic, Sound Barrier-Breaking Flight

Seventy years ago today—on October 14, 1947—Charles Elwood Yeager became the first person to travel faster than the speed of sound. The Air Force pilot broke the sound barrier in an experimental X-1 rocket plane (nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis”) over a California dry lake at an altitude of 25,000 feet.

In 2015, the nonagenarian posted a few details on Twitter surrounding the anniversary of the achievement, giving amazing insight into the history-making flight.

For even more on the historic ride, check out the video below.


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