The Pragyan Blog
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The Pragyan Blog

SciTech Bulletin 1.4

Your fortnightly dose of everything science and technology: Volume 1 Issue 4

Source: Kesar

New findings happen everyday. Here’s a small glimpse of few such- A flying taxi, a second moon, brainless thinking and the Polaroid popping back. Read on to delve into the depths of these intriguing developments.

The Flying Taxi — A Dream turned Reality

flying-taxi
Up and post destination- The Ehang 184 FLying taxi

Tired of honking horns, steering wheels and never ending loop of suggested shortcuts? Ever wished to own a Ford Anglia 105E or the least a personalized flying vehicle? Someone’s heard your prayers! Ehang — A Chinese Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) company has recently unveiled the world’s first flying taxi Ehang 184 Drone.

The vehicle is called so because it can carry one person at a time and is powered by eight propellers and has four arms. If you start worrying about your piloting skills, then don’t because all it takes to travel hassle free is a mobile app in which you choose your desired destination. The vehicle has zero operating controls. It stands 4.4 feet tall, weighs 200 kilograms and runs at a speed of 100 Km/Hr. Though these aren’t existing realities, it expected to hit the markets soon. Gone are the days quadcopters delivered your goods and groceries, with 184 drones you will safely be delivered at places safe and soon!

Read more at:

Picture Credits: Dailymail

The Earth’s second Moon?

second moon
When we were flying to Mars, new things were closer than expected; we can call it a second moon

Until recently, the moon was Earth’s only companion, the satellite that never left its side. Now, NASA scientists have discovered an asteroid in a stable orbit around the Earth, effectively making it Earth’s second satellite. This asteroid was christened 2016 HO3.

With dimensions of around 40–100 meters (130–350 ft) across, this satellite is quite small compared to the moon. Also, the orbit takes 2016 HO3 much closer to the sun than to Earth itself. Yet, it continues to follow Earth on its trip around the sun, making it another constant companion for our beloved planet. However, this company might not last long, as the new satellite may go out of orbit in a few centuries.

Discovered by the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope located in Haleakala, Hawaii, this second ‘moon’ is tilted at an angle of 8 degrees. It travels within 38 to 100 times the distance of our moon and makes its way around the sun in 365.93 days, slightly longer than Earth’s time.

Read more at

Is learning possible without a Brain?

brainless
Thinking without thinking- A thinkeception by Physarum Slime mold

Has it ever occurred to you that a creature without a brain might still be able to think? Well, findings from a recent research conducted by biologists at the Toulouse University conclude that this is indeed the case with Physarum polycephalum. Lacking a nervous system, they can either exist as independent cells, or fuse into a single cell with multiple nuclei, covering hundreds of square centimeters. In the experiment, these yellow gooey organisms were given food that was accessible only through an agar bridge, which was mixed quinine water. This water is bitter but harmless. The biologists noticed that the organisms were initially reluctant to cross the bridge, taking twice as long to cross it than they would take to cross one without the quinine water. Over the course of a few days, the biologists noted that the organisms slowly increased the speed with which they crossed. The organisms had “learned” that the quinine water was harmless. Smart, aren’t they?

Further reading: LiveScience
Picture Credits: FloraFinder

The Polaroid Pops back into the Market!

POLAROID POP
When you thought the trend ended… But it’s back with a POP

On its 80th anniversary, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Polaroid launched its latest product — the Polaroid Pop. The Polaroid Pop instant digital camera, has an integrated printer using ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology.

This updated instant camera still delivers the classic 3- by — 4 inch prints, but now with the facility to easily upload the pictures to Instagram and other social media sites. By truly keeping up with the times, the Polaroid Pop can be connected wirelessly to mobile devices, where you can edit and polish images with various filters, digital stickers and effects using the Polaroid print app (for iOS and Android). The camera, which has a one- button shutter control like the iconic Polaroid One Step of the 1980s, is expected to be on store shelves by the end of the year. The Polaroid Pop surely looks promising, staying true to its core values of sharing, instant, fun and ease-of-use while using the latest technology!

Read more at: Polaroid

Picture credits: Agilitycms

This article was originally written for the original Pragyan blog.

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