New world’s shortest man

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Chandra Bahadur Dangi with his certificates.

Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal is now officially the world’s shortest living man. He’s 21.5″ (54.6 cm) tall. If you have a hard time estimating that, notice the, er, iPad included in the photo above for comparison. Dangi beat out the Philippine’s Junrey Balawing by two full inches. From Guinness World Records…

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Amazing photos taken by kids

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Makayla Hayes, 14, won the international grand prize in the 2011 National Geographic Kids photo contest for this photo.

When you hand a kid a camera you can get a glimpse into their world.  They have an interesting perspective on just about everything.  This year’s winners in the Fifth Annual National Geographic Kids International Photo Contest captured humorous quips, quirky sights, and poignant moments that may be impossible to see without a view finder. (Pics)

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Wild parking garage design from Interface Studio Architects

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Standing tall in with award winning architectural innovation.

Interface Studio Architects won TreeHugger’s Best of Green prize in 2010 for their gritty urban work. They demonstrated a paradigm-busting playfulness with their frenetic Granary project. They write: “We believe that creativity and innovation are triggered by limitations.”

But clearly, when there are no limitations, they go a bit wild and crazy, as they appear to have while competing to design a parking garage in Hong Kong. They describe the project…

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World’s smallest vertebrate discovered in New Guinea

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Small but landmark frog.

SU’s Chris Austin recently discovered two new species of frogs in New Guinea, one of which is now the world’s tiniest known vertebrate, averaging only 7.7 millimeters in size — less than one-third of an inch. It ousts Paedocypris progenetica, an Indonesian fish averaging more than 8 millimeters, from the record. Austin, leading a team of scientists from the United States including LSU graduate student Eric Rittmeyer, made the discovery during a three-month long expedition to the island of New Guinea, the world’s largest and tallest tropical island…

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Veggie-Fueled Pickup Truck sets new land speed record at 155 MPH

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A happy award winning Greenspeed crew.

In mid-November, the members of Greenspeed club headed to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to put their Chevy pickup truck to the test. Stripped of all aesthetics, running on a ’93 Dodge engine and burning an unorthodox fuel, it was there to challenge the land speed record for vegetable oil-powered vehicles: 109 mph. On its first run, it flew past that benchmark at 139 mph. On its second, it set the new bar even higher: 155 mph.

The journey to success was not a quick one. Dave Schenker founded the club at Boise State University with a group of undergraduates, with the intention of building the first super high-performance vehicle to successfully run on vegetable oil. He spent months raising the $125,000 from local sponsors to rebuild the old truck with the parts it would need to set a new record. He and the students spent much of the summer putting it together. They hoped to race in September, but couldn’t get everything together in time…

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DaVinci Institute Online Silent Auction

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As part of the holiday party at DaVinci Institute we will be having a Live and Online – Silent Auction Fundraiser, both for DaVinci Institute and the Museum of Future Inventions.

With over 40 items listed and new items being added daily, this is a great way to get unique holiday gifts for that difficult-to-buy-for geek or mad scientist on your list as well as support your favorite futurist organization. Here are just a few items on the list:

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Japan hopes world’s tallest tower will boost tourism

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A new record tower.

If you’re afraid of heights, this may be a story you want to skip. The Guinness Book of World Records recently certified that the tallest tower in the world is indeed the Sky Tree which stands in Tokyo, Japan. A work in progress since 2006, the Sky Tree was constructed to be a radio and television tower while at the same time helping to revitalize tourism after the earthquakes and tsunami the country experienced. Sporting two observation decks, at 1,148 feet and 1,476 feet, tourists are guaranteed to get a spectacular view of the city.

Measuring in at 2,080 feet, the tower cost $440 million to construct. It has thirteen elevators, a restaurant, and shopping. What is interesting is that because it has less than 50% usable floor space, it fell into a different category with Guinness than the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai. It’s because the Sky Tree is technically not a building but a tower, it captured it’s own world record…

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Syneseizure, Isodrag Typeface, and other amazing results from Science Hack Day SF 2011

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Syneseizure, the hack that won the “People’s Choice” award

Earlier this month, Science Hack Day SF brought together 150+ scientists, designers, developers, and makers to collaborate on science-related projects. Along with US hackers, the event included participants from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, and South Africa thanks to a grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation toInstitute for the Future. My IFTF colleague Ariel Waldman, the lead on Science Hack Day SF and the grant, posted about the insanely creative and wonderful projects that emerged from the 48 hours of science hacking: a DNA-based cocktail, a globe where the location of the International Space Station is tracked using a laser pointer, the Isodrag Typeface that rescales letters based on their aerodynamic drag, and many others…

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Print optimization software earns PrintEco Green Start-Up of the Year

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A new way to print…or not.

At the 5th Opportunity Green conference held in Los Angeles November 10-11, new companies presented products and services in one-minute pitches for a chance to win Green Start-Up of the Year.

In a tight race with Kiverdi carbon recyclers, PrintEco Office pulled out in front at the last minute to take the prize with its print optimization software.

Eleven entrepreneurs showcased concepts in super succinct presentations and the approximately 1000 attendees from sustainably-minded businesses voted in real-time texts for the best idea…

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Honda’s natural gas civic is named green car of the year

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Award winning green car.

Honda’s natural gas-powered Civic has been named Green Car of the Year. Selected from five nominees, the car took the honors at a kick-off ceremony for the Los Angeles Auto Show (November 18-27).

The Green Car Journal presented the award to Honda for the car’s near-zero emissions, a 200-mile range, and combined average of 31 mpg (highways and streets) with a clean combustion engine…

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The world’s largest 3D street art opens up an amazing gateway to hell

If I stumbled across the world’s largest 3D street art in London, my knees would buckle, pee would tinkle down my leg and I’d probably even cry. That’s because the 3D art transforms a regular street into a frighteningly deep gaping pit straight into the middle of the Earth. Just look at it…

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