Posts Tagged ‘ Real Life ’

Spectacular Genetic Mutations.

When you think of the two words “genetic abnormality” there aren’t many positive things that come to peoples minds.  Maybe The X-Men, vitiligo, or bring born with an extra finger or something is the stereotype… but while these things may happen, there are some quite eye catching, scene stealing, jaw dropping, and attention grabbing rarities that make you wish you were a little less than normal.  Check out the top bunch below… also we threw in folks with 6 fingers, and vitiligo as bonuses for good measure.  (That’d be cool to be able to count to twelve on two hands). This post might inspire you to pursue a career in genetics or to become a scientist. The world of genetics is fascinating, to say the least. It can make you feel like you’re living in a sci-fi book, instead of on Planet Earth, and there are plenty of examples that make us go, “Wow, I can’t believe this is real.”

Mother And Her 1 Year-Old Son Have Very Uncommon Heterochromia Leaving Them With Beautiful And Mesmerizing Swirled Blue And Black Eyes

A Newborn Son Covered Head To Toe In White “Fur”

Proof That Vitiligo Changes From The Winter To The Summer

A Boy With Heterochromia – (differently colored eyes or eyes that have more than one color.)

He Was Born With One Of The Rarest Forms Of Belly Buttons In The World

Brazilian Family All Have 12 Fingers And Toes Due To Genetic Condition “Polydactyly”.

One Of The Coolest Birthmarks We Have Ever Seen.

Baby Chanco Was Born With A Lot Of Hair Which Kept Growing. This Is Her At 7 Months Age.

This Man Was Born Without Finger Or Toe Prints

Amina Ependieva Has Two Rare Genetic Conditions: Albinism And Heterochromia.

He’s 5 Foot 9, And His Wingspan Is 6 Foot 6.

How About A High 4?

8-Year-Old Carter Blanchard And Rowdy The Dog Both Have A Disorder Called Vitiligo.

And You Thought The Cruella Cut Was A Fake?

A Rare Genetic Disorder Known As Cat Eye Syndrome.


In 2002, after applying for government assistance in the state of Washington, Lydia Fairchild was told that her two children were not a genetic match with her and that therefore, biologically, she could not be their mother. Researchers later determined that the genetic mismatch was due to chimerism, a condition in which two genetically distinct cell lines are present in one body. The state accused Fairchild of fraud and filed a lawsuit against her. Following evidence from another case of chimerism documented in The New England Journal of Medicine in a woman named Karen Keegan, Fairchild was able to secure legal counsel and establish evidence of her biological maternity. A cervical swab eventually revealed Fairchild’s second distinct cell line, showing that she had not genetically matched her children because she was a chimera. Fairchild’s case was one of the first public accounts of chimerism and has been used as an example in subsequent discussions about the validity and reliability of DNA evidence in legal proceedings within the United States. Chimeras are organisms that have two different sets of DNA, or the genetic material that contains instructions for the development and functioning of an organism, present in their bodies. Most organisms only have one set of DNA, which is present and identical in every cell throughout that organism’s body.

An organism gets approximately half of its DNA from each of its parents’ gametes, or their sperm and egg cells, which carry DNA from parent to offspring. In human reproduction, one sperm typically fuses with one egg to create a fertilized egg that can develop into a fetus. However, sometimes the ovaries, which are organs in the female body that produce and store eggs, release more than one egg at a time, a phenomenon known as hyperovulation. In such cases, two different sperm can fertilize two separate eggs released during hyperovulation, creating two genetically distinct fertilized eggs that can develop into non-identical twins. However, in some cases, those two fertilized eggs may fuse together during an early stage of development, resulting in a chimera made of two genetically distinct cell lines. As a consequence, instead of having cells with identical DNA throughout their body, a chimera has different DNA present in different parts of their body so that the DNA in their blood, for example, may not be the same as the DNA in their saliva. “I have two sets of DNA, two sets of blood and immune cells. The two colors of skin pigmentation on my torso is from my and my twin’s two different genetic makeups. My particular case of Chimerism is linked to autoimmune disease. I went undiagnosed for more than half my life due to the rarity of my condition. I’m now an advocate for Chimerism, it’s link to autoimmune disease and body positivity. My hope is to prevent others from going undiagnosed how I did.”

A Real Life ‘Jurassic Park’?

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is looking for a way “to clone a dinosaur from DNA” as part of the park-style area at his new resort in Coolum.  Reports suggest that Palmer has been in “deep discussion” with the team that successfully cloned Dolly the Sheep.  If rumors are correct, Palmer hopes to include the cloned animal in his recently announced $2.5 billion plan to build a resort in Coolum, a beachside town on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.  The project is set to include a new airport, a beachfront hotel and retail development, a casino, a monorail, a theme a park, water park, an aviary and an aquarium.  Palmer, one of the richest men in Australia, is building a modern version of the Titanic, planned to be ready to sail in 2016 from London to New York.  The boat will be as similar as possible to the original Titanic in decoration and design but will be built using modern technology.

Fallen Princesses.

Ever wonder what may have happened if your favorite Disney Princesses didn’t get their ‘happily ever after’?  Well life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to, and the photo series titled “Fallen Princesses” by Dina Goldstein is a perfect example.  With the recent flurry of real-life Disney Princess pictures, this is a refreshing (although depressing) departure from the norm.

And a little Red Riding Hood just for good measure…

Augmented Reality Glasses. (For Real).

At CES got to see some new Android smartphones, tablets, and TVs, but there were quite a large amount of awesome accessories. One company I definitely saw a stunner from was Vuzix, who unveiled their SMART Glasses Technology. High prices and bulky designs have slowed the adoption of wearable displays among the average consumer, but Vuzix hopes to change that with their latest products.

Thanks to internal developments and a recent licensing relationship with Nokia Corporation, Vuzix was able to produce a 1.4 mm thick polymer waveguide lens that fits into the temples & lenses of a conventional pair of eyewear. The new glasses are designed to work with connected devices like smartphones and allow the user to watch big screen movies or interact with augmented reality apps.

The current STAR 1200 glasses from Vuzix retail for $4,999, so hopefully they can bring the price down quite a bit and bring their wearable displays from today’s battlefield to the average consumer. Check out the video below for an idea of what see-through augmented reality can do.

Real Life Touchable Holograms.

Researchers at Tokyo University have come up with a technology that is a first and significant step away from the mouse and keyboard – touchable holograms.

[Hiroyuki Shinoda, Professor, Tokyo University]:

“Up until now, holography has been for the eyes only, and if you’d try to touch it, your hand would go right through. But now we have a technology that also adds the sensation of touch to holograms.”

The technology consists of software that uses ultrasonic waves to create pressure on the hand of a user “touching” the projected hologram.  Researchers are using two Wiimotes from Nintendo’s Wii gaming system to track a user’s hand. The technology was introduced at SIGGRAPH, an annual computer graphics conference, and has so far only been tested with relatively simple objects.  But its inventors have big plans for touchable holograms in the future.

[Hiroyuki Shinoda, Professor, Tokyo University]:

“For example, it’s been shown that in hospitals, there can be contamination between people due to objects that are touched communally. But if you can change the switches and such into a virtual switch, then you no longer have worry about touch contamination. This is one application that’s quite easy to see.”

Touchable holograms could be used for a wide variety of things… everything from light switches to books with each appearing when needed, and then disappearing when not.  And holograms could replace the need for making new interfaces for technology, since they could be changed without having to make a new physical product.

The Digital Amusement Park.

What could have been a intriguing catch phrase for a Young Adult conspiracy crypto-Biblical bestseller is just the beginning of the description for XYZT, Les paysages abstraits, an exhibition taking place this fall in Grenoble, France. Created and curated by the digital art duo Adrien M and Claire B, the exhibition displays an impressive series of interactive light installations set in complete darkness, creating a setting so immersive you’ll feel like you’re touring a digital amusement park.

Since his artistic breakthrough in the mid-2000s, Adrien Mondot has pledged to reconcile the digital art and performing arts worlds by methodically undermining the borders and conventional oppositions between technology and the human body. To help him with such a difficult endeavor, he built eMotion, a custom computer program that has since become his trusty sidekick. This visual programming software can create interactive animations in real time and is now widely used within the creative coding community.

This year, Mondot was joined by fellow artist Claire Bardainne, with whom he decided to set up XYZT, Les paysages abstraits. Together they try to find ways to combine physical movements with graphic visuals, to create a digital maze inhabited by human guinea pigs.

The combination of contemporary dance and digital landscape was already at the core of Cinématique, one of the duo’s former projects that looked like a Tron-inspired aerial ballet. For XYZT, they decided to stage various installations or, as they call them, “mathematic paradoxes, typographic illusions, metaphors in motion,” along a digital path that allow the passers by to “feel the algorithms, feel the materiality of light”. Anamorphose spatiale, which makes you walk on a digitally liquefied surface, and Nuées mouvantes, a swarm of flying virtual insects that mimic your movements, are just two of the installations depicted in the video below.

Quantom Levitation Is A Realtiy.

Few motifs of science fiction cinema have been more appealing to us than the subtle defiance of gravity offered by futuristic hovercraft. So every once in a while we check in to see how humanity is progressing on that front, and whether the promise of hoverboards will be delivered by 2015 as evidenced in Back to the Future Part 2. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re definitely getting off the ground, so to speak.  Get ready to hover your brain around the art of quantum levitation.


Its quite true when people always say art imitates life.  I just never thought I’d find a parallel as intense as this one.  Above is a clip from the hit HBO show Entourage, in which the main character, movie star Vinnie Chase is forced to do an overseas commercial for an energy drink.  In the episode, he says he’s totally opposed to the idea of it, and is reminded that the commercial will never show up on U.S. airwaves.  Below, is a set of commercials from John Travolta, at about the same age Vinnie Chase is in the TV show, and based on his moves in the commercials, I can bet he too was assured that these commercials would never see American shores.  Too bad YouTube came along.

Hello From Earth.

Any consistent readers know that I’m a self-proclaimed nerd,  but some news running through the scientific community over the last week really got me excited.  (Be warned, it’s about to get REAL scientific in this b*tch).  Apparently for the first time in human history, we have identified a planet 20 light years away that could be capable of supporting life, complex/intelligent life, and possibly even human life.  The name of the planet (for now) is Gliese 581 D.  Check the article below.

An Earth-like planet spotted outside our solar system is the first found that could support liquid water and harbor life, scientists announced recently.  Liquid water is a key ingredient for life as we know it. The newfound planet is located at the “Goldilocks” distance-not too close and not too far from its star to keep water on its surface from freezing or vaporizing away.  And while astronomers are not yet able to look for signs of biology on the planet, the discovery is a milestone in planet detection and the search for extraterrestrial life, one with the potential to profoundly change our outlook on the universe.

Imagine life from the surface of this planet – its sun, being one third the size of our Sun and 50 times fainter – would be a dull, red glow in the sky. Under a deep, possibly planet-encompassing ocean, thick layers of ice surround the planet’s rocky centre.   It’s the “first serious waterworld candidate”, according to astronomer and exoplanet hunter Stephane Udry, from the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, who was part of the team that discovered the planet in April 2007.

The habitability of this distant, possible waterworld depends on the composition and presence of an atmosphere. A Venus-like atmosphere, with a runaway greenhouse effect, could boil water away, whereas a thin, Mars-style atmosphere would see ice sublimate into vapor.

Gliese 581d orbits its sun every 66.8 days at about one fifth of the distance from the Earth to the Sun (0.22 astronomical units, or AU), closer than initial estimates and firmly within the star’s habitable zone according to a study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics in April 2009.

A Real Life Photoshop Tool.

This is to all my graphic design, or photo students at art schools all around the world…. Don’t you wish sometimes you could use Photoshop tools in real life?  Magic erase your room mate, use the liquify effect to make girls tits bigger, or turn the Gaussian Blur down to 0.0 pixels when you have a hang over in the morning.  Well we’re a bit far off from things being that easy, but this new sensor pen is one of the closest things to the Color Sampler tool anyone’s come ever before.  Check the method below.

The Real Life ”UP”.

The National Geographic Channel has taken Pixar’s animated film “UP” to the test, and created a real-life version of the floating home… balloons and all.  I saw the movie with one of my best friends, and have loved it ever since, so when the NGC released exclusive footage of their experiment, after a testing it out over the weekend it excited me.  On Saturday, a team of scientists, engineers, and two world-class balloon pilots successfully lifted a house, using only 300 weather balloons. The house was 16x16x18.  The house reached an altitude of more than 10,000 feet, and “flew” for about an hour.  The experiment set a new world record for the largest balloon cluster flight that has ever been attempted.  The experiment and footage is part of a new NGC series called “How Hard Can It Be?” which will air in the fall.  (But don’t actually try it Kristy).

5 Amazing Real-Life Superhero Technologies, Gadgets & Powers


Click the pic to watch more.



THE SUPERPOWER: A ridiculously expensive suit that is not only bullet-proof, but extremely light, agile, comes with an insane amount of Terminator-like visual displays and still allows people to run and flip around like an acrobat.

Inciting a pattern of military spending on superhero technology, here is the Air Force’s gift to the Batman mythology: BATMAN, or Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided knowledge (I know, kind of a stretch, right?)   Besides the effort put into the name, the project is an attempt to modernize the gear commandos take with on combat missions, the overall aim being that the gear must be “lighter, smarter, deadlier” and more covert just like Batman’s.   While a soldier usually has to carry 160 pounds of equipment, the BATMAN enhanced tech can decrease the payload and ensure more agility.  So like all that cool Batman electronic technology we see in the movies, the soldiers here have a small computer near their chests that tells them their logistical position and what tactics they can implement for any given situation.  That’s right, it’ll even include awesome communications gear, badass helmet displays, a headset (of course) and a computer (along with the ridiculous amount of batteries they’ll need to keep these things rockin’ on the battlefield.)  In case these new Dark Knights run out of juice, though, the suit also creates the option of refueling with the Bat Hook. A hook is thrown onto a power line and the hook slurps down power to keep BATMAN alert at all times.  If they could combine their technology with this awesome real-life utility belt that an MIT student created, they would be well on their way… now just to keep tabs on the richest men in the world who don’t look turtles who’ve lost their shells… The news report was unclear as to whether or not the suit would, in fact, be equipped with nipples.



Click here to watch more.

THE SUPERHERO: The Invisible Woman (or the Predator, from the movies)

THE SUPERPOWER: Invisibility

Scientists in Tokyo University, Japan, have invented a coat which makes those wearing it appear “invisible”. The coat is made with a special type of “retro-reflective material” that acts as a photographic screen. A camera exists behind the person who is wearing the coat and that camera reflects onto the coat so that the wearer appears transparent. Before it’s “turned on”, it looks like a normal gray windbreaker. The practical application of this? Well, other than being mind-blowingly awesome, it is actually to help surgeons see patient’s bodies all the way through, so that they can analyze every single part, never missing a tumor or what they can’t see behind organs normally.  This can also be used by pilots, to make the floors of their planes appear transparent to help them land… which if they did to the entire plane would then be Wonder Woman technology.  More recently, US and UK scientists have developed a technology that bring us one step close to something that is less like the moderate invisibility invented by the Japanese and are closer to TRUE invisibility, but don’t get your Hollow-Manesque fantasies rockin’ just yet, this wouldn’t hit the market for YEARS.  “Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and Imperial College London used their cloak, made using photonic crystals with a structure resembling piles of wood, to conceal a small bump on a gold surface, they wrote in Science.  “It’s kind of like hiding a small object underneath a carpet — except this time the carpet also disappears,” they said.  “We put an object under a microscopic structure, a little like a reflective carpet,” said Nicholas Stenger, one of the researchers who worked on the project.  “When we looked at it through a lens and did spectroscopy, no matter what angle we looked at the object from, we saw nothing. The bump became invisible,” said Stenger.  The “cloak” they used to make the microscopic bump disappear was composed of special lenses that work by bending light waves to suppress light as it scattered from the bump, the study says.  The invisibility cloak was minute, measuring 100 microns by 30 microns — one micron being one-thousandth of a millimeter — and the bump it hid was 10 times smaller, said Stenger.  The researchers are working now to recreate the disappearing bump but on a larger scale, but Stenger said Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak would not be hanging in would-be wizards’ wardrobes in the near future.  “Theoretically, it would be possible to do this on a large scale but technically, it’s totally impossible with the knowledge we have now,” he said.”



Click the pic to watch more.


THE SUPERPOWER: Sees using only sound, and can therefore “see” better than anyone. Peak physical strength and enhanced hearing, and an insane ability in acrobatics.

Ben Underwood is a blind boy whose eyes were removed (he lost them to cancer) when he was three leaving him with absolutely no vision at all.  He can play video games, he can shoot a great game of basketball, he rides his bike around town (Sacramento, California) and even rollerblades every now and then. He can also find objects around the house for his mom. Ben uses many aides for the blind, like a braille keyboard and sound software for the blind to use computers. But according to this report, it’s what he doesn’t use that makes him remarkable. He doesn’t use a seeing eye dog, or even a cane. He emits a moderately loud click with his mouth wherever he goes, which allows him to use the bouncing off of the sound to “hear” his surroundings. He can “see” walls, couches, desks, stairs and anything else around him. This allows him to move around like someone who could see. This isn’t “easy” or even possible for normal people.   He is the only person in the world who “sees” using only echo-location, kind of like a bat.  Check out the video for a 10-minute feature on Ben and his incredible abilities. Now all he needs to do is become a lawyer (like the Daredevil in the comics) and make sure the Ben Affleck doesn’t get the rights to his life story.



Click the pic to watch more.

THE SUPERHERO: The Human Torch

THE SUPERPOWER: Controlling heat/fire and emitting it at will, aka Pyrokinesis.

A Qigong Master uses his Chi energy to create heat using minimal friction and is actually able to steam water using his hand without even touching it. He uses heat healing to help people with back problems.  Using an infrared camera, Ripley’s Believe It or Not shows the man’s hands directly applying heat to objects using nothing but his bare hands. He can increase and decrease the heat of water, or any moist object, at will. He was able to, using only his hand, generate heat of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  He can heat a water on a damp towel to 10 degrees below boiling point and actually walk on suspended sheets of paper without breaking them because, according to him, he makes himself lighter by focusing his energy.



Click the pic to watch more.


THE SUPERPOWER: Super strength, impenetrability via genetic mutation.

A rare genetic condition is giving 3-year old Liam Hoekstra, Michigan, the ability eat like a horse and not gain any weight whatsoever, lift large furniture that most adults would have trouble lifting and increase in muscle strength by just living out his normal life. At 3 years old. He’s a toddler.  His condition was first suspected when he (no foolin’ here) was able to walk at an early age… just how early? 2 days. The child was able to walk after only 2 days of life.  He can also do the Olympic move called the Iron Cross where they hold themselves up with only their hands.  The genetic disease/condition that the kid has is called Myostatin-Related Muscle Hypertrophy. There have only been 100 cases of this in the world.  There’s a defect in his genetic code that allows for excessive muscle growth. So the defect blocks the antibody that usually inhibits muscle growth in the human body, so it’s almost a double-negative situation where the disease blocks the blocker, therefore giving the child incredible muscle strength. There are no medical downsides and his heart will be unaffected. The only downside is that he eats 6 enormous meals a day. He also has a six pack, without even really working out, and looks otherwise no different from other children: his muscles are just that much stronger. So medically, if they were able to replicate this condition it would be open to abuse from athletes, but also open for extremely important use by people with diseases like muscular dystrophy.

Liu Boulin: The Invisible Man.

The Chinese painter Liu Boulin has adopted a unique and interesting style of displaying his artwork.  A mix between body painting, and total bad-assery, Liu has mastered the technique of scoping out an environment, and painting himself, and his clothes to fit perfectly into his surroundings making him the real life “Where’s Waldo”.  Check the method below and keep in mind there is no Photoshop wizardry afoot, this is all Boulin’s skill at work.

Get Your Own Light Cycle.

Just in time for Tron: Legacy, a Florida bike shop put together 10 custom-built, street-legal Tron Light Cycle lookalikes. For a cool $55,000, you could be riding one to the Dec. 17 premier.  According to Jeff Halverson of Parker Brothers Choppers, each bike features a steel frame, fiberglass bodywork and a V-twin engine from a Suzuki TLR1000. Stopping power comes from a custom made friction drum that keeps the bike true to the look of Daniel Simon’s latest Light Cycle design. Customers have a choice between actual gauges and an iPad dock that displays vital statistics on the iPad’s touchscreen.  Though the bike looks like it drove straight off the movie screen, it’s not a replica or recreation since the Light Cycles in both Tron films were virtual. “We basically used the images we could get off the web in order to make the bike,” said Halverson. “Keep in mind, no one ever made this bike before.”  The bike weighs 474 pounds and is just over 100 inches long and 23 inches wide. The rider sits (lies?) 28.5 inches off the ground. Halverson said that it rides like any sportbike, though we’ve gotta wonder with that huge front tire.