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An Artist Built a Working Microscope Using Only Legos



Artist Carl Merriam has built a fully functional microscope using only Lego parts.

Merriam, who is known for his intricate Lego renderings of mythical creature Cthulhu and other custom creations, submitted the microscope concept to Lego Ideas, an effort by the Lego Group to crowdsource, build out and distribute new designs

Submissions must have the support of 10,000 users who can log onto the Lego site and vote for their favorite…

Ex Yale Professor: For a Good Education, Avoid the Ivy League



In the spring of 2008, I did a daylong stint on the Yale admissions committee. We — that is, three admissions staff, a member of the college dean’s office, and me, the faculty representative — were going through submissions from eastern Pennsylvania. The applicants had been assigned a score from one to four, calculated from a string of figures and codes — SATs, GPA, class rank, numerical scores to which the letters of recommendation had been converted, special notations for legacies and…

Vine Challenge: Simplify Classic Films Into 6-Second Videos



Film fanatics, this is your challenge: We want to see simple takes on classic films on Vine. Using everyday objects and your creativity, recreate movie posters and iconic scenes in minimalist animations.

Stop-motion artists Hunter Harrison and Frank Danna will guest host this week’s Mashable Vine Challenge. Upload your Vine videos by Monday, July 28, at 5 p.m. ET using the hashtag #MiniRemake. Harrison and Danna will choose their favorite submissions to feature on Mashable.

See also: 5…

Not Just Echolocation: Bats Use Polarized Light to Navigate



Polarized light is something people wear sunglasses to avoid, but for bats, it’s actually useful, and can help them find their way.

The greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) is the first mammal known to navigate using polarized light — light waves that are parallel to each other and vibrate in a single plane. The bats use the scattered polarized rays at sunset to calibrate their internal compass and fly in the right direction, according to a new study, detailed July 22 in the journal…

Stealth Marketing: How Brands Infiltrate Vine With Product Placement



With sights set on its 40 million users — many of whom are teenagers — advertisers are getting crafty in their efforts to break into ad-free Vine.

The six-second video platform, which is owned by Twitter, is one of the largest social networks that doesn’t yet run paid advertisements. Marketers can’t sponsor or promote videos the way they do on Twitter and Facebook (a sponsored post is clearly marked and shows up in front of people it wouldn’t otherwise surface for). But that doesn’t mean…

HTC to Unveil Nexus 7 Successor and 2 More Tablets, Report Says



Out of all the new products and announcements Google made during its I/O developers conference last month, many were surprised that the company failed to mention its highly anticipated Nexus 8 tablet.

Now, a new report claims HTC is preparing to unveil the Nexus 7 successor, along with two other Android tablets

The report, which came from the usually dependable @evleaks Twitter account, suggests that the next Nexus tablet —…

Cheapest Car Insurance App

Vine Loops Don’t Mean What You Think They Mean



When Vine prankster Lele Pons recently broke the 1 billion loop milestone, I realized we finally had proof that the view measuring system Vine introduced on July 1 is a crock.

Lele, who famously “does it for the Vine,” has over 3.4 million Vine followers and many of her humorous and sometimes outrageous six-seconds bits have millions of loops. I’m sure she earned the loops — but how hard is it to earn them?

For instance, as I type this, one of Lele Pons’ less shocking Vine videos is looping…

Apple Reports Revenue of $37.4 Billion in Q3, Missing Estimates



Apple‘s third quarter profits beat Wall Street estimates, but sales came in a bit short.

Apple reported earnings of $1.28 per share on revenue of $37.4 billion for the June quarter, beating Wall Street estimates for earnings of $1.23 per share but missing on revenue of $37.99 billion.

The company sold 35.2 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 31.2 million the same quarter a year earlier and roughly matching analyst estimates. That’s…

Microsoft Beats Q4 Revenue Expectations But Earnings Fall Short



Microsoft announced quarterly earnings on Tuesday that met revenue expectations, but missed on earnings. The company’s shares initially fell in after-hours trading but rebounded to trade slightly higher.

The company reported $23.38 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $0.55. Analysts had been expecting around $23 billion in revenue and earnings of about $0.60 per share

The report is Satya Nadella’s second as CEO of…

Xiaomi’s Mi 4 Smartphone Unlocks With the Tap of a Fitness Tracker



Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi launched its fourth-generation smartphone on Tuesday, swapping its signature neon plastic casing for a metal finish and overall classier look

Retailing at $322, the Mi 4 comes in only two flavors this time around (black and white, with wooden covers available) and a full HD 5-inch display. The Android-based Mi 4 runs on a 2.5GHz Qualmcomm Snapdragon 801, an Adreno 330 graphics processor and a 13-megapixel camera.