Fridaygram: Maker Camp, perfect mirror, space hygiene

JUL 12, 2013
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By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Maker Camp is an online summer camp created for teens who want to make gadgets, software and other cool stuff. Anyone can join Maker Camp, and it’s free. The folks at Maker Camp post a new project each weekday morning, and each afternoon there’s a Hangout with experts who show how they make things. Plus, there are Hangout “field trips” to places like NASA Ames Research Center.

The makers of Maker Camp say they want to embrace not only the spirit of DIY (do it yourself), but also DIT (do it together), and their online community and Hangouts are designed to do just that. Maker Camp started earlier this week and runs for 6 weeks. You can participate any day by visiting the Maker Camp page on Google+ and joining the Maker Camp Google+ Community.

Speaking of great projects, researchers have long been trying to create a mirror that reflects all the light that reaches it without absorbing any – a so-called perfect mirror. Recently, scientists at MIT were studying photonic crystals when they discovered a way to get the crystal to reflect all the light from a specific frequency of red light shined on it. This discovery could lead to more efficient lasers and yet-unknown advances.

Finally, we turn (as we often do on Fridaygram) to space, where amazing things happen, but so do mundane things, like astronauts having to wash their hair. This can be especially problematic if you have long hair and you’re aboard the International Space Station, like Astronaut Karen Nyberg. In this video, Astronaut Nyberg shows how she washes her long hair in zero gravity, where you have to keep track of the water lest it float away from you.

Here’s an idea: future astronauts could look at themselves in perfect mirrors when they wash their hair. That’s just the kind of out-of-the-box thinking you’ll get here on Fridaygram, where we try to provide a respite from your week of coding by offering some fun nerdy stuff.