Old Art and New Science Meld in Collegiate Glassblowing Program...

Students at the Salem Community College in Alloway, New Jersey are learning to master the centuries-old art of glassblowing. But to these college kids, glassblowing is more than just an art: it can provide researchers with the valuable scientific tools they need in order to make cutting-edge advancements in their fields. The invention of glassblowing can be traced back to the establishment of the Roman Empire. Prior to this, making glass was a slow and limited process. The Romans discovered that molten glass could be gathered on the end of a pipe in order to be inflated and then shaped — thus creating the concept of glassblowing. The college’s glassblowing program is the only one of its kind in the entire nation. Although glassblowing is undoubtedly a real art, the idea of using the process for something other than what we see at festivals and craft fairs is difficult for some to grasp. But the students in Salem’s program are instructed in a unique curriculum that melds the worlds of art and science. These glassblowing majors are required to learn the basics of organic chemistry and computer drafting in order to have a fuller understanding of how the tools they make will be used. Within the program, students use their glassblowing skills to make tools for research universities and glass manufacturers. Because these scientific tools require exact specifications, it’s a craft with no room for error. Program instructional chair, Dennis Briening, says that for a glassmaker, a millimeter is more like a mile. Briening was tasked with creating glassware while holding a tolerance of one-thousandth of an inch — a width thinner than that of a human hair. Like any discipline, the craft of glassblowing requires an immense amount of practice and dedication. Although...

Texting Too Much Could Indicate a Problem in Your Relationship...

According to a recent study conducted by OpenMarket, 72% of Millennials text 10 or more times a day. Even crazier, about 83% of them open their text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. In other words, young people are texting a lot. But are Millennials’ texting habits actually hurting their relationships? According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, men who send or receive a relatively high number of texts tend to be less satisfied in their romantic relationships. The study involved 276 participants between the ages of 18 and 25 who were in committed relationships. Couples completed a survey with questions about how often they talked via text and social media as well as what kinds of messages they sent. They also filled out questionnaires about how satisfied they were with their relationship. Results revealed that women who texted their partner often believed that their relationship was more stable. The same was not necessarily true for men. Lori Schade, the lead study author and a marriage and family therapist, said that, “Maybe it was a way for them to check out or not have to show up, by using their cellphone instead.” Also less satisfied in their relationships were women who often tried to discuss tough topics via text message. Texting may not be the best method of communication for serious subjects since the very nature of text messaging lacks the personal and emotional elements present in face-to-face conversation. While researchers cannot claim a direct cause-and-effect link between relationship problems and frequent texting, the data does suggest that the two are closely related. Based on this information, therapists are not discouraging young couples from texting each other. They are, however, suggesting that serious conversations and heartfelt...

The Newest Millennial Wedding Trend? 3D Printing...

3D printing has come a long way in the last few years. Although the 3D printing process has been around since the 1980s, it’s recently become a sophisticated and viable way to create almost anything. This technology is becoming more accessible and versatile, too. Not only can you create household knick-knacks and important gadgets with a 3D printer, you can even celebrate your special day with help from one. Believe it or not, weddings are becoming a popular outlet for 3D printing. Recent bride Nina Tandon decided that she wanted to walk down the aisle in a customized silk sari gown produced by a 3D printer. The vases for her floral centerpieces were made from 3D-printed molds, and the flowers in her bouquet and hair were, too. Most spectacularly, her customized engagement ring was formed by a 3D printer. Not surprisingly, the popularity of 3D printing — especially for big life events, like weddings — is much higher in the millennial sect. This is partially due to younger generations embracing new technologies and non-traditional options. In addition to being open to the idea of using 3D printing for weddings, millennials are also more positive about lab-created diamonds than those from older generations are. About 80% of millennials feel happy, or at least neutral, toward the idea of lab-created diamonds. It stands to reason that this positive attitude towards other new technologies would be observed in younger generations. But the newness is not the only draw. In addition to the cutting-edge aspect, millennials are seeking out uniqueness. Because digital fabrication allows for total customization, they can create one-of-a-kind pieces that are not only aesthetically interesting, but meaningful, too. In the case of Nina Tandon’s wedding to her husband, Noah Keating, their 3D-printed items held a...

New Sleep Apnea Device On Its Way to U.S....

There have been many documented medical issues resulting from sleep apnea, but as CBS news reports, erratic driving is now linked to sleep deprivation. “Worse lane position deviation is a marker of poor driving performance and this is significantly worse in sleep apnea patients who fail the simulator as compared to controls [people without a sleep disorder],” said study leader Dr. Akshay Dwarakanth. The study found that people with sleeping issues were much more likely to fail driving tests than people without the disorder. The most prevalent issue within these test subjects was lane deviation, which could result in serious roadway dangers. Dwarakanth and fellow researchers looked at 129 adults with untreated sleep apnea and 79 adults who sleep fine at night. “Comparing with controls may be useful in advising patients whether they are at increased risk of an accident,” added the researchers. Despite the fact that roughly 60 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea or some form of sleep disorder, there have been some major improvements in treatments over the last few years. According to The Australian, Chris Hart, a dentist who suffered from sleep apnea himself, developed a new device as he tried to stay awake in a café shop. The O2Vent concept was developed when Hart was just chewing on a straw out of boredom and sleep deprivation. Now, through Oventus Medical, Hart oversees the production of roughly 10,000 O2Vents a year. He plans on launching the device in the U.S. within the next six months. “There’s an awakening of the patient when they’re in treatment that life can be so much better,” said Hart. There are plenty of benefits of getting a healthy amount of sleep, including feeling more alert and productive throughout the day, improved immune systems, less fatigue,...

Netflix Asking FCC to Remove Internet Data Limits...

Netflix is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to do something about the data cap users have on their plans. Netflix is the largest user of bandwidth on the Internet, accounting for over 38% of all traffic during primetime viewing hours. WKBW reports that cable companies, which also offer Internet services, cap users’ bandwidth in order to compete against companies like Netflix and Hulu. “Watching television shows and movies on the internet is no longer a novelty,” read Netflix’s letter to the FCC. “Consumers increasingly expect more from their broadband connection, and they expect that broadband Internet will deliver a television experience that is the same or better than what they receive from their cable service, satellite provider, or local broadcaster.” According to Fortune, Netflix’s letter comes at a strategic time, as the FCC is preparing its annual report for Congress outlining the state of broadband access in the United States — the “Broadband Progress Report.” Netflix believes the data caps aren’t consistent with the Telecommunications Act’s ruling, which calls for advanced telecommunications to be delivered to all Americans “in a reasonable and timely fashion.” “A data cap or allotment of 300 GB (gigabytes) of data per month or higher is required just to meet the Internet television needs of an average American,” Netflix added. Another main reason for Netflix’s complaint is the use of “zero ratings” for large phone companies. These companies are now using promotions that allow consumers to watch certain types of content without reducing their monthly data allotment. Netflix is claiming that those promotions violate the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules, which prohibit Internet providers from giving special treatment to certain types of content. “The Commission would keep an eye on new developments in this area and we are continuing to do so,” said Kim...