Disappearing Currency?

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Business

nickel penny

Since 1982, when penny composition was shifted to a mix of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper, the mixture of metals that goes into pennies and nickels has remained steady. Believe it or not, the U.S. Treasury today spends ¢2.4 for every penny, and ¢11.2 for every nickel that it produces.

In 2011, the U.S. Treasury produced 4.3 billion pennies and 914 million nickels. For you non-math majors, that means we lost over $116 million just to produce pennies and nickels last year alone. The Treasury stopped using copper in pennies because of it’s increased value and utility, but nickels are still made of 75% copper and only 25% nickel.

3D Printing Coming To Your Life

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Business, Technology

3D Printer

We are incredibly lucky to be living in the golden age of technology, where things that we once knew were impossible are becoming reality. Thirty years ago, would anyone have ever imagined that you could create a 3D file in a computer, and immediately create a corresponding object? Even though most people have never seen them in action, 3D Printers have actually been around for over a decade. While most uses to date have been industrial, this technology is becoming more affordable and making it’s way into many of our offices and living rooms.

3D Printing is a form of additive manufacturing, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing. Subtractive manufacturing is what we’ve been doing for thousands of years; cutting, drilling and shaping objects from metal and other materials. This is not only more time consuming, it also wastes up to 90% of the material byproducts. Additive manufacturing requires less raw materials, less assembly, and allows the flexibility of creating the same object in many materials.

Night Boarding

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Social Media, Sports

Just a cool video for you to check out. If you’ve never been night skiing, bundle up and check it out, it pretty serene. This video takes things a step further, almost to an art form.


The Top 100 Jeremy Lin Puns

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Social Media, Sports

If you haven’t heard of Jeremy Lin yet then you clearly aren’t a sports fan. This 23 year old Asian-American rookie out of Harvard has become the first mega-sensation of 2012. From being cut by two teams, to living on his brother’s couch, to scoring 38 points in a primetime game against Kobe Bryant’s Lakers, this guy has been on a wild rollercoaster ride. Similar to Tebowing with a little Chuck Norris flair, people are getting creative with Mr. Lin by altering his name and dreaming up fables about his life.

Even though Lakers forward Metta World Peace thinks Lin needs to get more ‘swag’, Linsanity is undeniably a worldwide phenomenon. People have already bought every Jeremy Lin domain name you can imagine with the hopes of cashing in on the excitement. The spirit is very contagious, some might even say Lintagious (terrible). We at Astounde decided to put our brains together, have some pun, and create the ultimate Jeremy Lin word collection. Hope you enjoy it!

A Solution to Space Junk?

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Technology

space junk

The first man-made object to reach space occurred on October 3rd, 1942 by German scientists during WWII. In the seventy years since, thousands of objects have reached orbit including designated phone and television satellites, weather monitors, and of course astronauts. Many objects served their purpose, but many others malfunctioned or became unresponsive and were left to forever circle the Earth.

Objects currently orbiting the Earth include abandoned satellites, used rockets, fragments of spacecraft, and random debris from past collisions. There are now over 500,000 pieces of space junk zipping around the Earth at over 17,500 miles per hour.

Could 2012 be the Year of the ‘God Particle’?

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Science

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland is the world’s largest and highest energy particle accelerator. It’s construction was an arduous process, beginning in 1998 and taking 10 years to complete. The collider lies 600 feet beneath the French and Swiss border, and has a circumference of 17 miles. The LHC was a collaborative effort, using the minds of over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries!

large hadron collider

The Large Hadron Collider

The purpose of the multi-billion dollar project was to allow physicists to potentially answer some of the most fundamental, unanswered questions known to man. Scientists hope this tool will answer questions about the structure of space and time, and help us to grasp the underlying concepts behind some of the deepest laws of nature.

The Self-Driving Car

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Technology

You’ve probably seen commercials for luxury vehicles that use motion sensors to correct operator error, either by moving sideways or by stopping short. Similarly, cars with adaptive cruise control will automatically adjust your speed, to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. Combine these 21st century developments with GPS technology, and you have the ingredients for a vehicle that can get you from point A to point B with nothing more than a little direction.

Are you ready for the self-driving car? Are we ready for the autonomous vehicle?

Self Driving Car

Self-Tying Shoes a Reality

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Gadgets, Sports

The flux capacitor, hoverboard, and self-tying shoes were all fantastic ideas stemming from the 1980′s silver screen trilogy ‘Back To The Future’. While it looks like we’re still a little ways away from time-travel, and are still working out the kinks on the hoverboard, the latter of the three aforementioned inventions has been kick-started into reality.

back to the future

A Cure For Global Warming?

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Science

If you hadn’t heard, there was a new molecule unearthed in a new way with the huge potential of curbing the global heating of the planet.

German chemist Rudolf Criegee is being credited with fathering the identification of these molecules, and big advancements have been made today, 40 years after his death.

criegee biradicals

Untapping the Secrets of Memory

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Science

“Memory is the ability of an organism to store, retain, and recall information and experiences.”

For as long as I can remember, human-beings have struggled with various memory issues. Former President Ronald Reagan suffered from Alzheimer’s, and it was believed that it may have even affected him during the last years he was in office. Ralph Waldo Emerson suffered from dementia and forgot his name late in life. Similarly, civil rights hero Rosa Parks had memory issues in her later years. Parks’ family said she was abused by attorneys who took advantage of her mental state, convincing her to sue popular hip-hop group Outkast for using her name in a popular song.