Man Uses Game Boy To Photograph Jupiter

People never fail to impress me. I’ve seen million-dollar equipment built in the safety of one’s own home. Astronomy student Alex Pietrow is no exception. Using a Game Boy and antique telescope, Pietrow was able to photograph Jupiter, and clearly!

Pietrow used a Gosky Universal Cell Phone Adapter to attach the Game Boy Camera to the 6-inch’ Fraunhofer telescope in the Old Observatory of Leiden.

Pietrow set the sight of his late 90s Game Boy Camera a bit further… all the way to Jupiter. Surprisingly, the Game Boy Camera, which can capture black and white images at a 128×112 resolution… was able to capture not only Jupiter but also its four Galilean moons.

Way to put professional astronomers in their place! But the fun doesn’t stop there. Pietrow plans to use his invention to photograph Saturn as well.

If you’re interested in trying your hand at shooting celestial objects with your trusty Game Boy… you’re going to be in for a lot of work. Not only do you need a Game Boy and its Camera peripheral, but also a few devices meant to hack the Game Boy as well as either an installation of Windows XP on a computer with parallel port or some fiddling with drivers on Windows 7.

While I may not be smart enough to come up with anything like this, I do know that Pietrow is going places. He may even put billion-dollar telescope industries out of business!

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Man-Powered Elevator Helps You Exercise

Don’t deny it–you’ve waited in line for an elevator to avoid taking the stairs. Whether it’s a single flight or three, most of us are just too lazy to walk. If only we could install elevators in our homes. With Vycle, masterminded by student Elena Larriba, you totally can! But the catch is, you have to cycle your way up.

Vycle is a patent pending system that allows people to cycle up in an effortless and enjoyable way. The system is balanced with counterweights leaving the user body as the only weight to overcome. Using a gearing system similar to how bikes works the user can decide how much effort they want to put to ascend or descent.

Of course, Vycle won’t cover more than a handful of stories, but it’s a great way to get somewhere and keep in shape.

Vycle is a system powered by continuous cyclical movement. Its benefits are twofold: firstly, it will give stakeholders a more efficient and sustainable option to ascend, and secondly variable energy selection will be able to cater to people of varied ages and abilities, whilst creating a personalised experience.

Sure, it may require some effort, but at least you’re getting the exercise you probably desperately need. So, when can I install one of these?

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Famous Brand Is Turning Trash Into Packaging

After a long day at work, I could always use a good bath bomb. LUSH is not only a cult favorite, but a leader in eco-conscious branding. Famous for its organic materials and edible (you heard that right!) packing peanuts, how much more sustainable can LUSH get? A lot more, apparently. In its latest stint, LUSH is now transforming plastic waste into packaging.

The company just partnered with Ocean Legacy Foundation to collect 27 tons of plastic from the ocean… That plastic waste is being converted by Urban Resource Group into plastic pellets. Those plastic pellets are then combined [with] other post-consumer waste to become the 100 percent recycled bottles and black pots that become home to your favorite products.

LUSH is notable for its love for the sea, donating proceeds from its shark fin-shaped soap to ocean conservation.

According to the brand, more than eight million tons of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year, five trillion individual pieces of plastic are estimated to be floating in our ocean, and more than a million seabirds and over 100,000 marine mammals die every year from plastic.

Alongside LUSH, the fashion industry is also putting trash to good use. Looks like some other brands have a lot of stepping up to do!

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Dog Rescued After 3 Years In Drain

Every now and then, I catch features of impossible rescues on Animal Planet. I’ve witnessed kittens trapped in pipes, and birds caught in fishing nets. But for mixed-breed dog Alexandra, who was stuck in a drain, rescuing had to wait–for nearly 3 years.

A girl named Lena called [a] shelter and practically implored them to rescue a dog that had fallen down an uncovered drain, into a complex central heating system. Lena and other kindhearted people had been throwing the dog food, but, so far, they had been unable to rescue it.

Lena… told volunteers at the dog shelter that over the last three years, she had contacted the Ministry for Emergency Situations, various activists and even professional dog handlers, but no one expressed a desire to help.

Only recently did a shelter in Nikopol answer Lena’s pleas to rescue the stray. To be honest, it was about time. Elena, a volunteer at the shelter, expressed her disdain for the lack of effort to rescue Alexandra.

“For nearly a week, the dog, which we named Alexandra… has been living at our shelter,” Elena says. “Obviously, she is still terrified… She needs to get used to the sounds and smells around her, to people and other dogs.”

Throughout history, we have seen dogs become heroes. Perhaps it’s our turn to be theirs.

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Pixel Artist Makes Masterpieces Out Of Anything

They say the best artists can create using the most unusual mediums. I’ve seen portraits crafted with thumbtacks, and landscapes painted with coffee. But Filipino “pixel art wizard” Kel Cruz takes it a step further with some unexpected materials.

Cruz, who works as a male nurse, used to create pixelated art the old fashioned way, with a ballpoint pen. Since then, he has used lipstick, colored tape, rubber stamps, beer and even woven pieces of paper to create some truly awe-inspiring masterpieces.

Cruz’s most controversial medium so far has been his own blood, which he used to create a portrait of… Harley Quinn.

I’ve got to hand it to this guy because I can barely sit to get my blood drawn. Then again, he is a nurse. Cruz can produce a 4-by-5 foot piece in just 2 or 3 days.

Cruz’s fascinating pixelated portraits have won the artist a legion of fans on online social networks like Facebook and Instagram, and have even attracted the attention of television stations in the Philippines.

With that kind of skill, an exhibit wouldn’t be too unlikely!

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Sustainable Fashion Is The New Chic

I was thirteen when I stopped eating meat. My parents, on a road trip, had driven past a slaughterhouse. I’d caught a whiff of a terrible smell, and even worse, a peek at a butchering session. Since then I’ve maintained a sustainable diet. And while sustainability in food is trendy, people are looking to expand it to other aspects of daily life. Primarily, this includes fashion.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent ample time revamping my closet into something more eco-friendly. Though the fashion industry is quickly welcoming change, the issue of wasteful consumers remains.

Since going on a wardrobe cleanse, I’ve picked up on a couple of tips that have helped me achieve a perfectly green closet.

The key to a hard fashion reset is segregating your closet. Know what no longer suits you and what still rocks your style. Take a few days to contemplate whether you are willing to keep certain pieces or not. If you aren’t, donate or sell them. Whatever you do, don’t toss them. Someone might be into what you no longer are. If you are unsure, borrow grandma’s sewing machine and repair whatever pieces you think you can save. You never know when a garment just needs a little tweak.

Inevitably, getting rid of clothes occasionally means you’ll run short of them. If it’s a case that calls for some retail therapy, shop wisely. Think about what you value in a piece of clothing. Surely, going “green” means you aren’t looking to wear a dead animal, but are you also banning animal byproducts? Where you shop is also something to consider, as buying garments made locally is often more beneficial for a community.

Of course, going on the hunt for a brand new wardrobe is more exciting than anyone gives it credit for. So be sure to do your research for a clearer picture of what you might be truly interested in. Many affordable brands such as H&M are becoming more sustainable (check out their Conscious Collection!). See if your principles align with what certain brands are selling.

More importantly, make a list. Lists are tedious, but they are your friend. Be specific. Purchase only what is on your list. Don’t over shop! Pick out what you can mix and match. You can never expect when you’ll get carried away on a shopping spree.

Hitting the mall isn’t the last of your worries because, trust me, you will always have the urge to shop. So refine your style not according to what is currently in, but what you will feel most comfortable in. Magazines may be outdated in this day and age, but go through them if you must. After all, the new generation seems pretty keen on reviving trends we thought were a thing of the past (hello bell-bottoms).

Give your closet personality. If you grow tired of something, at least you’ll have other things to fall back on. If you’re not quite that adventurous, go for a timeless wardrobe. It may require a bit more effort, but it’ll be worth the time spent and money saved.

While eco-conscious brands are now getting the traction they deserve, you, as a consumer, could be their ultimate key to success.

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Eco-Friendly Notebook Reuses Paper

The paper-producing industry is always looking for ways to become more sustainable. Several groups produce books with 100% recycled paper. Other companies, like HP, educate consumers on the true impact of printing. Paper Saver, however, is taking it one step further with a notebook that uses no new paper whatsoever. 

The Paper Saver Notebook is a basic faux leather cover with a stainless steel binding, nylon bookmark, and elastic. It comes with no paper inside – because that’s where you put your extra sheets.

While the Paper Saver Notebook is essentially a sleeve, the idea itself proves to be efficient and practical.

It’s a clever concept with potential to make one feel slightly less guilty about the fact that 50 percent of paper used in North American offices ends up as garbage, and that a whopping 27 percent of waste in landfills is paper products. Rather than using yet more resources on recycling and shipping, it makes sense to extend the lifespan of paper that’s already been made.

If you’re a stickler for unused paper, you can download lined and graphed sheets on the Paper Saver website. The Paper Saver ships worldwide–does this mean old college handouts will finally be put to good use?

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5-Year-Old Prodigy Paints For Charity

I was barely three-years-old when I first picked up a paintbrush. While I have become somewhat competent in creating simple pictures, my talent doesn’t compare to that of Cassie Gee’s. The five-year-old paints galaxies and has donated over $750 to various charities.

A true natural talent, Gee sold more than 20 paintings and made $1,000 just one month after picking up a brush.

The proud mom, who also paints as a hobby, handed her daughter some of her art supplies one day. “I gave her the canvas and the paints, and said, ‘Go do something’. She came back with it and I said, ‘Oh my god, that’s better than mine.’”

To date, Cassie has sold over 100 artworks, which is way more than I can say for myself.

Her website, CassieSwirls, describes her style as “free and uninhibited.” With an imaginative mind like hers, she is able to create such powerful visuals through brush strokes.

“She chooses a combination of acrylic paint, resin and glitter to create faraway landscapes and galaxies using only a fork or skewer and her hands,” the site explains.

Our kids may be living in a virtual world, but perhaps it’s time we give them more credit.

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Beer Can Now Make You Healthier

If you’re planning to lose your beer belly, you may want to think twice. This probiotic beer might change the game.

Researchers at the National University of Singapore recently announced that they’ve created a new beer infused with probiotics, or the sort of “good” bacteria that’s been shown to promote digestion and various other bodily functions.

The recipe, which took nine months to perfect, contains 3.5% alcohol. It undergoes an alternative fermentation process and contains a probiotic strain that regulates the immune system.

There’s been a huge increase in interest in probiotics lately with more and more people consuming things like fermented vegetables, yogurts, and kombucha.

Clearly, probiotics are becoming quite the fad. While we’re all dying to know when this new brew is hitting shelves, we can rest easy knowing the recipe has been patented.

Perhaps a cheers to this Singaporean group of geniuses?

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Cattle Farmer Saves Cows From Slaughterhouse

I have met quite a number of vegetarian chefs who serve meat on a regular basis. In fact, it isn’t really uncommon. U.K. native Jay Wilde is also vegetarian. The difference is, he owns a cattle farm. After sending his cows to the slaughterhouse for 6 years, he recently decided he could no longer do so. Instead, he sent his remaining 59 to an animal sanctuary.

“I began to see that cows recognize each other, and they’ve got very good memories. They experience a range of emotions – they can be sad, happy, bored or excited. They do also have facial expressions. You can tell what a cow is thinking by looking at them. I’ve even seen cows cry.”

Giving up his cattle meant Wilde would also have to say goodbye to a potential £40,000 paycheck for his herd. However, Wilde seems to be at peace with his decision, knowing his beloved “pets” are now with Hillside Animal Sanctuary.

“I know farmers are supposed to have a very matter-of-fact attitude about their animals and think they’re only here as a crop but, when you know them, you do realize that they do have individual personalities. They’re alive, not in a human way, but they do have their own experience of the world and it must be terrifying to be sent for slaughter. It just didn’t feel a good thing to do.”

Wilde is now a vegetable farmer who works alongside 11 free-roaming cows. He plans to open up a vegan restaurant accompanied by a teaching kitchen and accommodation.

Looks like I’m getting on a flight to England!

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