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3D Printer for Knitting Lets You Make a Sweater Without Picking Up Needles

The repetitive, meditative nature of knitting can have therapeutic benefits for some crafters. For others, it eats up spare time they don’t have. If you’re looking for a quicker way to produce knitted masterpieces, a special type of 3D printer currently seeking funds through Kickstarter may be exactly what you need.

Kniterate works like an industrial knitting machine, but on a much smaller scale. The contraption can produce hats, scarves, shoes, sweaters, and other garments in a matter of hours where it would take an individual knitter days to do the same. And while the knitting isn’t done by hand, Kniterate still gives owners the chance to be creative.

After deciding what they want to make, users can visualize their designs on the computer. Kniterate then takes the digital file and translates it into a real-life knitting formula. The text, images, and patterns that adorn the creations are limited only by the user's imagination. If that sounds like an overwhelming amount of freedom, Kniterate also offers a library of templates from which to choose.

The product is currently in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign, and it’s already more than doubled its initial $100,000 goal. Backers have more than a month to pledge $4700 and reserve a Kniterate of their own. If you don’t have the money to invest in a fancy knitting machine, 3D-knitted scarves are also available for $50.

[h/t Colossal]

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History
The Queen of Code: Remembering Grace Hopper
By Lynn Gilbert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer. She coined the term "computer bug" after finding a moth stuck inside Harvard's Mark II computer in 1947 (which in turn led to the term "debug," meaning solving problems in computer code). She did the foundational work that led to the COBOL programming language, used in mission-critical computing systems for decades (including today). She worked in World War II using very early computers to help end the war. When she retired from the U.S. Navy at age 79, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the service. Hopper, who was born on this day in 1906, is a hero of computing and a brilliant role model, but not many people know her story.

In this short documentary from FiveThirtyEight, directed by Gillian Jacobs, we learned about Grace Hopper from several biographers, archival photographs, and footage of her speaking in her later years. If you've never heard of Grace Hopper, or you're even vaguely interested in the history of computing or women in computing, this is a must-watch:

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Google
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Animals
Watch Christmas Island’s Annual Crab Migration on Google Street View
Google
Google

Every year, the 45 million or so red crabs on the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island migrate en masse from their forest burrows down to the ocean to mate, and so the female crabs can release their eggs into the sea to hatch. The migration starts during the fall, and the number of crabs on the beach often peaks in December. This year, you don’t have to be on Christmas Island to witness the spectacular crustacean event, as New Atlas reports. You can see it on Google Street View.

Watching the sheer density of crabs scuttling across roads, boardwalks, and beaches is a rare visual treat. According to the Google blog, this year’s crabtacular finale is forecasted for December 16, and Parks Australia crab expert Alasdair Grigg will be there with the Street View Trekker to capture it. That is likely to be the day when crab populations on the beaches will be at their peak, giving you the best view of the action.

Crabs scuttle across the forest floor while a man with a Google Street View Trekker walks behind them.
Google

Google Street View is already a repository for a number of armchair travel experiences. You can digitally explore remote locations in Antarctica, recreations of ancient cities, and even the International Space Station. You can essentially see the whole world without ever logging off your computer.

Sadly, because Street View isn’t live, you won’t be able to see the migration as it happens. The image collection won’t be available until sometime in early 2018. But it’ll be worth the wait, we promise. For a sneak preview, watch Parks Australia’s video of the 2012 event here.

[h/t New Atlas]

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