Zappos tries robots on for size
I buy all my sneakers (i.e. all my footwear) at Zappos, and now I have another reason to love them. According to CNET they use a "team of autonomous, stout, orange robots" to gather items to fill orders. I'd love to see a video of the little guys at work, but the company's site oddly restricts access to the demo.
Ice. On Mars.
NASA is reporting that the Phoenix Lander has found ice on Mars. Actual water ice. When the substance was first uncovered, it was speculated that it might be salt, but it sublimated, proving that it was ice. The Phoenix lander site has an excellent document explaining why this is such a big deal. (PDF warning.)
No matter how many times I see a marine mammal being born, I am always in awe of the process. They immediately get up to surface and take that first breath, using their floppy little limbs. Amazing. via Pharyngula
Update: You can watch a live cam of baby and mama here.
Before I get flamed, just let me say that I am opposed to state lotteries, as they are basically a tax on being poor and hopeless, but you've got to love this commercial. I don't know how much of this is special effects, but the penguin really seemed to be having fun. The chicken, on the other hand, just looks confused. That may just be because it's a chicken, though.
Ray Park as Snake Eyes
The Official Star Wars Blog has a great photo of Ray Park, AKA Darth Maul, as Snake Eyes from the upcoming GI Joe movie. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm kind of looking forward to this.
A Blacker Black: Darkest Known Material Created
"In the 1984 film, lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel looks at the album cover for the first time and opines, 'It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none, none, none more black.'"
The creation of the darkest material know to exist in the universe is pretty cool, but National Geographic quoting Spinal Tap in its description is even cooler.
Startup Says It Can Make Ethanol for $1 a Gallon, and Without Corn
According to Wired.com, an Illinois startup claims to be able to produce ethanol from any organic material, at a cost of only one dollar a gallon. The process combines two of the most common methods of ethanol production, and would allow ethanol to be produced locally, out of whatever material happens to be on hand. Unlike corn ethanol, it has no impact on the food supply. This almost sounds to good to be true, but I hope it is, and I hope these guys make millions of dollars.