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Foldscope via Kickstarter
Foldscope via Kickstarter

You Can Now Buy Your Own Origami Microscope

Foldscope via Kickstarter
Foldscope via Kickstarter

Inexpensive paper microscopes may be headed for a classroom near you—and you can buy one too. Several years ago, Stanford University researchers unveiled a microscope that can be built from a single piece of paper with an LED and a lens, allowing aspiring scientists to explore the micro world for less than a dollar. Now, a Kickstarter campaign is making Foldoscope’s technology available to consumers ahead of the product’s wider commercial release, as Popular Science reports.

The origami microscope comes with a glass lens that boasts a high enough magnification to see red blood cells and watch live bacteria, at 140 times magnification and a two-micron resolution. The Kickstarter kit comes with associated lab tools like microscope slides and tweezers. The Foldoscope is also compatible with a smartphone, so you can take videos and photos of the amazing stuff you see on those microscope slides, and the kit comes with a cellphone clip to make that process even easier.

Your kit won’t cost as little as $1, though. At the classroom scale, the company can sell the packs cheaply, but for individual consumers, the Kickstarter kits start around $18, reflecting the cost of the extra tools. However, teachers can currently buy 20 packs of microscopes for just $25, or you can donate the classroom kit to a school (scheduled for August 2017 delivery). The makers of Foldoscope hope to sell 1 million microscopes next year.

If you’re stingy, you can always use your own paper at home create a Foldoscope for free, but for most people, it’s easier to just shell out for the pre-folded kit. Regardless, see how the devices are made in the video below:
 

 
[h/t Popular Science]

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The Force Field Cloak
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Design
This Glowing Blanket Is Designed to Ease Kids' Fear of the Dark
The Force Field Cloak
The Force Field Cloak

Many kids have a security blanket they bring to bed with them every night, but sometimes, a regular blankie is no match for the monsters that invade their imaginations once the lights are off. Now there’s a glow-in-the-dark blanket designed to make children feel safer in bed, no night light required.

Dubbed the Force Field Cloak, the fleece blanket comes in several colorful, glowing patterns that remain invisible during the day. At night, you leave the blanket under a bright light for about 10 minutes, then the shining design will reveal itself in the dark. The glow lasts 8 to 10 hours, just long enough to get a child through the night.

Inventor Terry Sachetti was inspired to create the blanket by his own experiences struggling with scary nighttime thoughts as a kid. "I remember when I was young and afraid of the dark. I would lie in my bed at night, and my imagination would start getting the best of me," he writes on the product's Kickstarter page. "I would start thinking that someone or something was going to grab my foot that was hanging over the side of the bed. When that happened, I would put my foot back under my blanket where I knew I was safe. Nothing could get me under my blanket. No boogiemen, no aliens, no monsters under my bed, nothing. Sound familiar?"

The Force Field Cloak, which has already surpassed its funding goals on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, takes the comfort of a blanket to the next level. The glowing, non-toxic ink decorating the material acts as a gentle night light that kids can wrap around their whole body. The result, the team claims, is a secure feeling that quiets those thoughts about bad guys hiding in the shadows.

To pre-order a Force Field Cloak, you can pledge $36 or more to the product’s Indiegogo campaign. It is expected to start shipping in January 2018.

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Pantone
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Design
Pantone Names 'Ultra Violet' 2018's Color of the Year
Pantone
Pantone

Time to retire your green apparel inspired by 2017’s color of the year: The color experts at Pantone have chosen a new shade to represent 2018. As The New York Times reports, trend followers can expect to see Ultra Violet popping up on runways in coming months.

The decision was made after Pantone scattered a team around the world to search current street styles, high fashion, art, and popular travel destinations for the up-and-coming “it” color. The brand describes the winner, PANTONE 18-3838, as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade.”

Fashion plays a large part in the selection of the color of the year, but Pantone also considers the broader socio-political atmosphere. Some may see Ultra Violet as a nod to our stormy political climate, but the company’s announcement cast it in a more optimistic light.

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now,” it reads. “The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

The color is associated with some of music’s greatest icons, like David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Prince. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright also had a special attachment to the color and wore it when he was in need of creative inspiration. When it’s not sparking artistic thinking, purple is sometimes used to promote mindfulness in mediation spaces. So if you’re feeling stressed about whatever the new year holds, stare at the hue above for a few seconds and see if it doesn’t calm you down.

[h/t The New York Times]

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