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This 3D-Printed Bionic Hand Could Change the Future of Prosthetics

Myoelectric prosthetics—bionic limbs that are controlled by an amputee’s muscle movements—have been around for decades. The issue until now has been that they’re often too bulky and expensive to be considered a practical option for many amputees, with hospital-grade models sometimes costing up to $100,000. Open Bionics, a startup based in the U.K., seeks to change that with their open-sourced, 3D-printed hands. 

Internal strings cause the lightweight prosthetics to open, close, and grip based on electrical cues from the forearm muscles. The 3D-printing technology creates comfortable models that are an exact match to the amputee’s opposite hand. The hands, which can come customized in a variety of colors and designs, function at the same level as more expensive prosthetics, but cost around $3000 and can be produced in just a few days. 

In the spirit of making bionic prosthetics more accessible to everyone, all the designs are open-sourced, meaning people are free to download the software and print hands themselves. While Open Bionics will still be making and selling prosthetics, they hope the accessibility will encourage innovation in the field. 

The next step for the startup is observing how wearers function with the hands day-to-day in order to continue to improve upon their product. It’s estimated that there are 11.4 million hand amputees across the globe; these new prosthetics could revolutionize daily life for many of them.

[h/t: TechCrunch]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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