Every day the internet gifts us a weird, wonderful mix of videos, GIFs, and memes, the best of which offer funny, informative, horizon-expanding stuff to share with your kids. Problem is, it takes a while to wade through all the other nonsense to find them. And who has time for that? Not you. Here, then, is a daily dose of new science-related content to share with your kids. Hopefully, they’ll spur some interesting family conversations or just keep them from playing with a fidget spinner for a while. Today’s finds include a drone that can catch a baseball, a man that lives on an island of trash, and the world’s longest cat.
Richart Sowa used more than 170,000 reclaimed bottles to create Joyxee Island, a very real island near Cancun where he lives. The island measures 82 feet wide by 91 feet long andSowa lives in a 3-bedroom home on the Joyxee that has electricity and Wi-Fi. How does the island remain stationary? The key is Sowa’s mangrove trees, which he grows on the island. Their tree’s roots weave around the bottles and then pop up back above ground.
Say meow to the world’s biggest house cat. How big is it? He’s almost four feet long (3’11”) — more than twice as long as the average 18-inch domestic cat. Stephy Hirst, Omar’s owner, began an Instagram for him a couple weeks back, and Omar quickly became a viral sensation. Stephy claims that when she brought Omar home almost four years ago, he was the size of an average kitten. He’s like the Clifford of cats. Maybe if Omar is lucky, he’ll keep growing and turn into a tiger.
In this video, Dario Brescianini shows off his “computationally efficient trajectory generator for six degrees-of-freedom multirotor vehicles.” Don’t know what that means? Brescianini found the easiest way to demonstrate the capabilities was to show the drone playing catch, and it’s pretty amazing. His creation has the capability to anticipate the ball’s trajectory and perfectly position itself to catch it.
Valkyrie is like a character out of Star Wars. She is a robot built by NASA with the purpose of one day helping humans colonize Mars. While it will probably be a long time before she actually completes her mission, the robot will be embarking on her first test next month. So while she may just be a prototype for now, she may just be the hero that gets us off this planet.