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Why 3D Printing is More Than a Cool Fad

3D printingYou may already know how awesome 3D printing is, so forgive me if this post is a kind of “No duh” for you. My inner old lady comes out when I hear the word “3D” — the Nintendo 3DS gives me a headache as do 3D movies. Not a fan. Of course, as you may already know, 3D printing is not really like those things at all. 3D printing makes your dreams come to LIFE!

Okay, maybe that’s a slight overstatement, but not really. You want to make a spider guitar? You can. How about a pizza? Yes. Did you have a dream last night of Abraham Lincoln riding off into the sunset on a unicorn? You can probably make that, but I couldn’t find an image of it on the internet. Need a liver or kidney? Pretty soon, doctors will be able to print one up for you.

Continue reading “Why 3D Printing is More Than a Cool Fad”

The 8 Best Motivational TED Talks for College Students

The following was written by JT Ripton, a writer who has contributed to,,, and other sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @JTRipton.

The college years are full of tough assignments, hectic schedules, and challenging social situations. It’s easy to shrink back and become overwhelmed in that environment, but that can lead to regret later. Inspiring TED talks are always a good go-to for anyone who needs a bit of thought-provoking insight. The following eight talks are particularly helpful to college students.

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We’re One Step Closer to Getting Real Lightsabers, People

Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker on Bespin
Image via Wookiepedia

According to an article published in the science journal Nature, scientists from MIT and Harvard have managed to observe light photons as particles. That means that while light doesn’t really have matter or mass in the way we normally understand it, it can still be made to “stick together” to form light molecules.

Now, if we can just get three or four feet worth of these light molecules to stick together and add whatever properties let it deflect lasers and slice through flesh, we’ll have ourselves our very own lightsabers.


STEM Students Can (and Should) Dream Big Too


It’s a tough time to be a student. Landing a halfway decent job is always a struggle, but recent graduates have to deal with a weak economy and devalued degrees, all while more and more of them need to take out loans and find other methods of paying for their education.

Continue reading “STEM Students Can (and Should) Dream Big Too”

Sexist-Proving Scientists Prove Scientists Sexist

A comic on Rosalind Franklin from Kate Beaton's webcomic "Hark! A Vagrant"

Source: Hark! A Vagrant

The fact that women aren’t paid as fairly as men isn’t news to anyone. But this is the first time I’ve seen that stat approached as a highly controlled purely scientific study, and directed at the very people conducting the study.

Continue reading “Sexist-Proving Scientists Prove Scientists Sexist”

The Bad (But Fun) Science of John Carter


Source: Walt Disney Studios

In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ book A Princess of Mars, and in the film adaptation John Carter, out this week, I don’t think it would be a spoiler to say that the story takes a few liberties with science. Turns out Mars isn’t populated by nomadic tribes of green people and the atmosphere is not safe for shirtless men.

Continue reading “The Bad (But Fun) Science of John Carter”

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