Inflating a set of cat lungs
Lungs are by most accounts mundane. Everybody has them, few give it much thought. But sequestered within darkness of the chest cavity, enveloping the fluttering heart, there’s an incredible wonder to this oddly inflatable organ.
Dissection is a destructive process. Rudely excised from membranous mooring and nourishing vessels, the deflated lungs appear little more than bloodied meat; amorphous and exposed…….until a breath of air unfurls its secret glory.
Here, a set of cat lungs is inflated with a straw. Comprised of hundreds of millions of microscopic air sacks called alveoli, mammalian lungs harbor air capacity that is difficult to believe unless seen. The color of the entire organ lightens into a soft pink, as each microscopic sac fills with air.
A debt of gratitude is owed to cyborgraptor for her assistance in creating these gifs, as well as the students that helped me film this demo.
Kids, don’t try this at home, OK?
So gross, but so cool….we can’t stop looking at this.
What sand really looks like—grains of sand, magnified
Photographer Gary Greenberg uses a 3D microscope to open our eyes to the microworld — a place where tiny sand grains look like colorful pieces of candy.
In Gary’s talk at TEDxMaui, he explains what we don’t see when we stick our toes in the sea:
"Each sand grain is about a tenth of a millimeter in size. When you look closer, it’s really quite amazing. You have microshells there; coral; fragments of other shells; olivine; bits of volcano; tube worms — an amazing array of incredible things exist in sand.
When we’re walking along a beach, we’re actually walking along millions of years of biological and geological history. We don’t realize it, but it’s actually a record of that entire ecology. If you look at different sands from different places — every single beach, every single place where you look at sand — they’re different.”
Photos courtesy of Gary Greenberg. See more of Gary’s photography documenting the “microworld” at his website.
The Float Table is a matrix of “magnetized” wooden cubes that levitate with respect to one another. The repelling cubes are held in equilibrium by a system of tensile steel cables.
It’s classical physics applied to modern design. Each handcrafted table is precisely tuned to seem rigid and stable, yet a touch reveals the secret to Float’s dynamic character.