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Ancient Islamic Art Inspired This Expandable Material

Islamic art is easily recognizable for its complex geometric designs. Now a team of Canadian researchers have found a way to use these patterns to create a material that expands when stretched without thinning out, New Scientist reports.

The research behind the new auxetic materials was presented at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Baltimore this week. Unlike most materials, the perforated rubber sheets have been engineered to get wider when stretched and maintain their new shape. To collapse them back into their original state, they can simply be pushed back together. The process is illustrated in the video above.

When developing the material, the team looked at the variety of geometric artwork that can be found throughout the Middle East. Two patterns taken from a pair of 1000-year-old tomb towers in Iran were especially well-suited for the concept, and they used these as the basis for their first prototypes. They resemble colorful copies of the stonework designs when left alone, but when pulled apart, the geometric pieces rotate away from one other, allowing the sheet to expand without losing any thickness. 

The material is fairly easy to design using a laser cutter and a latex rubber base. Smaller versions could be used to make surgical implants or wearable skin sensors while larger models could be incorporated into satellites that unfurl in space. In addition to their scientific potential, the sheets are also very pretty to look at.

Header/banner images courtesy of New Scientist via YouTube.

[h/t New Scientist]

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Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images
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entertainment
Grand Central Terminal is Hosting a Film Festival of its Own Cameos
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Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images

Even if you’ve never set foot in New York City, chances are you’re intimately familiar with Grand Central Terminal. A sprawling, architecturally awesome railway station located on East 42nd Street in Manhattan, it’s been a favorite of Hollywood location scouts since its first onscreen appearance in the 1930 musical Puttin’ on the Ritz.

According to Times Square Chronicles, the terminal is now set to host an event worthy of its rich cinematic history: a film festival. On Thursday, October 19, screenings in the terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will include clips from some of its most notable movie appearances. The show will culminate in a feature-length presentation of Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic North by Northwest, notable for a scene in which star Cary Grant eludes his pursuers by making his way through Grand Central.

The Museum of the Moving Image and Rooftop Films are collaborating on the special event, titled Grand Central Cinema. North by Northwest begins at 7:30 p.m., but that ticketed admission is already sold out and the waiting list is at capacity. Fortunately, the montage of clips will play all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Historians will also be giving presentations of the site's history on screen throughout the program. Admission is free.

[h/t Times Square Chronicles]

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MODS International, Amazon
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You Can Now Shop for Tiny Houses on Amazon
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MODS International, Amazon

Whether you’re in the market for board games, boxed wine, or pickup trucks, you can likely find what you’re looking for on Amazon. Now, the web retailer’s catalogue of 400,000,000 items includes actual homes. As Curbed reports, Amazon will deliver a tiny house made from a shipping container to your current place of residence.

The pint-sized dwelling is made by the modular home builder MODS International, and is selling for $36,000 (plus $3754 for shipping, even for Prime members). The container is prefabricated and move-in ready, with a bedroom, shower, toilet, sink, kitchenette, and living area built into the 320-square-foot space. The tiny house also includes heating and air conditioning, making it a good fit for any climate. And though the abode does have places to hook up sewage, water, and electrical work, you'll have to do a little work before switching on a light or flushing the toilet.

Becoming a homeowner without the six-digit price tag may sound like a deal, but the MODS International home costs slightly more than the average tiny house. It’s not hard for minimalists to find a place for about $25,000, and people willing to build a home themselves can do so without spending more than $10,000. But it's hard to put a price on the convenience of browsing and buying homes online in your pajamas.

[h/t Curbed]

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