In today's Remainders, the future! The soldiers of tomorrow get a new battery for their exoskeletons; a 2012 Olympic Stadium built from recycled weapons; a discovery showing that a big brain can indicate a great gamer, and more.
Hulk For Hours
The HULC exoskeleton is supposed to make you strong like the Hulk. Or strong like a creature with an exoskeleton. Whichever. We were fortunate enough to try the HULC out a few months ago, so we were pretty excited to hear that a new fuel-cell battery from Protonex gives HULC-wearers super strength for up to three hours. The battery, currently under development, will only be available to soldiers, so we consumers will have to remain content with our puny muscles, at least for the time being. [Engadget]
Let Icons Be Icons
On his blog "Ignore the Code," Lukas Mathis wrote a post that took a closer look at something we interact with every day: icons. Some of it is "no duh"-level stuff—if an icon is too detailed, it is confusing; if an icon isn't detailed enough, it is confusing—but he illustrates his points nicely throughout. "The trick," he says, "is to figure out which details help users identify the UI element, and which details distract from its intended meaning." The exception is application icons. For those, the more detail there is the better. There's nothing too profound about Mathis's icon-gazing, but it's nice to stop and consider what makes us click the way we do. [Ignore the Code]
It's not quite as exciting as discovering that playing video games makes your brain bigger—though I wouldn't doubt that some such study exists—but scientists have at least shown the opposite to be true: video game performance can be predicted by measuring a certain part of the brain. The part of the brain in question is the striatum, a section also linked to developing strategies and refining motor skills. Kirk Erickson, a University of Pittsburgh professor who led the study, explained, "This is the first time that we've been able to take a real-world task like a video game and show that the size of specific brain regions is predictive of performance and learning rates." What this means for you is that when your friend is asking how you keep pummeling him in Smash Bros you can reply, with science backing you up, "sorry bro, bigger brain." [Gun Play
A lot of new buildings going up these days include recycled materials, but the stadium being built in London for the 2012 Olympics is special among them. Why? Because it's going to be made partially from recycled guns and knives. In 2009 alone, London Metropolitan Police ended up with 58 tons of guns, knives, and keys, all of which are now being melted down for use in the stadium. In a similar but decidedly less cool project, the used bullets from the police force's firing range will be recycled into jewelry and photo frames. I told you it was less cool. [Fast Company]