7 things you didn’t know the world was running out of

Helium is a highly necessary commodity in the modern world.

Almost everyday we are told about the unsustainable pressure we’re putting on our natural resources. And while it prompts visions of oil, fresh water, and coal, you’d be surprised at how many of our creature comfort commodities are dwindling just as quickly.

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The world is running out of helium

Helium is a very low-density gas.

Jimi Hendrix once said, “I have this one little saying, when things get too heavy just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man.” He was almost right. We know of helium, conventionally, as the lighter-than-air gas that we fill balloons, blimps and zeppelins with in order to quickly and easily “defy gravity” here on Earth. (Video)

 

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The World is Running Out of Helium

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A helium balloon in the future could cost $100.

The world is running short on several metals, but perhaps more disconcerting is the impending loss of the noble helium. The stuff of birthday balloons, superconducting magnets and Mickey Mouse voices could get a lot more expensive in the near future, according to a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

 

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Stunning Photos of the Sun’s Corona During a Solar Eclipse

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This image shows the solar corona that makes up the sun’s ‘atmosphere’ in amazing detail as the sun passes behind the Moon

Shooting a million miles or more out into the hard, cold vacuum of space, this fiery halo is one of the wonders of the universe.  Whipped into gigantic swirls by the Sun’s ferocious magnetic fields, the shell of super-hot gas is as beautiful as it is dangerous.

 

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10 Amazing Miniature Works Of Art

10 Amazing Miniature Works Of Art 

Miniature Art

There’s something sort of magical about miniatures, especially when they’re strikingly lifelike. The artists who create these tiny wonders look at life from a different scale than the rest of us, and their work often requires intense patience, concentration and a steady hand. From sculptures too small to be seen by the naked eye to sweaters knitted with needles the diameter of a human hair, here are 10 incredible works of amazingly tiny art. (Pics) (Video)

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Aeolus Airship: Human-Powered Blimp

Aeolus Airship: Human-Powered Blimp 

Setting the bar pretty high for airship design is this one from Christopher Ottersbach: Called the Aeolus Airship (named after Aeolus, the Greek wind god) it is designed to be aerodynamic than conventional airship designs, and stay aloft for up to two weeks on a supply of helium and, furthermore, is pedal-powered by the crew of 2-4 people.

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Solar Concentrator Is A Flying Power Plant

Solar Concentrator Is A Flying Power Plant 

Cool Earth’s Solar Balloon 

Cool Earth’s inflated solar concentrators may be the lightest power plants around. Looking like a biggie version of those shiny helium balloons you might see at someone’s birthday party, the concentrators weigh just 20 pounds and, tethered to lightweight aluminum towers, seem to float 20 feet off the ground gathering solar energy. Able to withstand winds up to 125 mph, the 8-foot-wide Mylar balloons are reflective on one side, and each one has its own lightweight tether.

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