5 products that come from outer space
Can't get to space? Why not bring space to you?
- Meteorites have been used for a variety of practical purposes since the Bronze Age.
- Since we can get iron from Earth, some of these items are focused towards collectors.
- These items are practical, beautiful, and remind us of the heavens we interact with more than we think.
Humans have been using metals mined from meteorites for most of our history. King Tut had a dagger, bracelet, and headrest made from meteoric iron; the Paleo-Eskimo and Inuit of Greenland mined fallen meteorites for the stuff; and many other Bronze Age cultures made tools from it since they hadn't figured out how to smelt the iron in Earth's ground yet.
Today, products from space are used less often, as we have terrestrial sources of the same metals which are more reliable. However, this doesn't mean you can't find beautiful things made from celestial materials. Here, we have five examples of products that have extra-terrestrial materials in them.
Manly Bands makes wedding rings out of the rare Gibeon meteorite.
Photo: Manly Bands Rings
Manly Bands makes men's wedding bands that are a bit more exciting that your usual gold and silver. It uses materials that span the periodic table—like carbon fiber, titanium and tungsten—and even wood, antler, and dinosaur bone. What caught our eye, though, are the rings that use shards of Gibeon meteorite, which crashed into Namibia in prehistoric times, and have a cool medium grey coloring and characteristic Widmanstätten pattern. The website includes instructions on how to properly care for the rings so that you can keep this out-of-this-world piece for years to come and get a glimpse of space every time you look at your hands.
Photo: The Space Store
Are you looking for a little more variety than just rings? More of a necklace person? That's fine; The Space Store has you covered. They have a variety of items made with meteorites, including watches, pendants, earrings, and jewelry. If you have a more minimalist sense of fashion, they also offer vials of moon dust.
Photo: Grayson Tighe
A long time ago in a galaxy not so far from here, people didn't type everything they had to say. They wrote it on paper with indelible ink, taking the time and effort to produce the thoughts they wanted to record by hand. These Grayson Tighe pens are made from Gibeon meteorite, gold, and stainless steel by hand in Switzerland.
The price isn't listed on the website, so you might have to ask for it. That was something else we used to do way back when.
What every hardcore DnD player needs, but didn't know they wanted. Crystal Case's stones are made from meteorite samples found in the desert of Oman, they are unweathered and quite durable. Until mithril dice become available, this is probably the coolest die you're going to come across. Dice made of this stuff are relatively hard to produce. As a result, similar ones on Etsy go for a lot more.
Image provided by Perceval
For those with high-end taste in pocket knives and a flair for the exotic or who just really want to master their King Tut cosplay, these blades by Perceval feature handles made of Muonionalusta meteorite to complement their fine craftsmanship.
Made in Thiers, France, a historical center of knife manufacturing, the knives combine a tradition of excellence with a unique material that reminds us of humanity's long relationship with the heavens and the occasional stony visitors we get.
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Think you can solve it? One mathematician has already offered about $1,000 and a bottle of champagne to whoever cracks it first.
- The puzzle involves a particularly complicated type of magic square.
- Magic squares are square arrays containing distinct numbers, and the sums of the numbers in the columns, rows and diagonals must be equal.
- In 1996, the recreational mathematics writer Martin Gardner offered $100 to whoever could solve a 3x3 magic square — but using squared numbers.
docdroid.net<p>Given that you need each column, row and diagonal to add up to 15, you'd need to fill in the empty squares with a 9, 7 and 8. </p>
docdroid.net<p>That may be easy enough. But magic squares become far more difficult when they use squared numbers, a concept <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-you-solve-a-puzzle-unsolved-since-1996/" target="_blank">first exemplified</a> by the 18th-century mathematician Leonhard Euler. </p><p>Since, mathematicians have generated various configurations of 4x4 magic squares of squares, including 5x5, 6x6 and 7x7 versions. But nobody has yet proven that a 3x3 magic square of squares is possible — or impossible, for that matter.</p><p>To date, there have been at least two prizes offered to whoever can solve this longstanding puzzle. Martin Gardner, a science and mathematics writer who was perhaps best known for devising recreational mathematics games that appeared for 25 years in a column published by <em>Scientific American,</em> offered a prize of $100 in 1996 to whoever could crack the code first. </p><ul> <p>"So far no one has come forward with a "square of squares"—but no one has proved its impossibility either," Gardner wrote in 1998 in <em><a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/a-quarter-century-of-recreational-m-2010-05-26/" target="_blank">Scientific American</a></em>. "If it exists, its numbers would be huge, perhaps beyond the reach of today's fastest supercomputers."</p></ul>
Melancholia I. (A 4x4 magic square is depicted in the top right of the painting.)
Dürer's<p>In 2005, the mathematician Christian Boyer raised the stakes by offering €1,000 plus a bottle of champagne to anyone who could complete a 3x3 magic square of squares — using seven, eight or nine distinct squared integers. (Boyer also offered a prize for anyone who can show the puzzle is impossible, and he lists smaller prizes for other unsolved puzzles on his <a href="http://multimagie.com/indexengl.htm" target="_blank">website</a>.)</p><p>While both prizes remain unclaimed, some people have come close to solving the 3x3 magic square of squares, like this configuration listed on Christian Boyer's website.</p>
But most city dwellers weren't seeing the science — they were seeing something out of Blade Runner.
On Sept. 9, many West Coast residents looked out their windows and witnessed a post-apocalyptic landscape: silhouetted cars, buildings and people bathed in an overpowering orange light that looked like a jacked-up sunset.
India finishes last of 60 countries in environment and sustainability, as ranked by the expats who work there
- How 'green' is life in your work country?
- That's the question InterNations asked its network of expats.
- The U.S. ended 30th out of 60.
Nordics on top<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2NjgyNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NTczNzkyOX0.VgfqyjAa9avw6gFOE0qlgSgKuBN7DJmzOc5lzFGLm8g/img.jpg?width=980" id="1f0dc" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="684d625ad61deb49eed6f4e4b3260aaf" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Evo Hiking Area, H\u00e4meenlinna is just a short drive away from the big cities of Southern Finland." />
Evo Hiking Area in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Great nature, clean air, clean water? Check, check and check.
Image: public domain.<p><br><strong>1. Finland</strong></p><p>The Nordic country scores at or near the top in all categories surveyed, including the quality of the natural environment (say 96% of expats in Finland), water and sanitation (96%) and air (95%). <br></p><p><strong>2. Sweden</strong></p><p>Swedes lead the world in environmental awareness (84%, vs. just 48% globally). Perhaps not surprising, for the homeland of Greta Thunberg. This is reflected by government policy. Sweden currently gets more than 50% of its power from renewable sources and wants to go 100% renewable before 2040. "I've been here for over 20 years and I clearly see the benefits of my taxes paid coming back to me and the rest of society," says one American expat.<br></p><p><strong>3. Norway</strong></p><p>"The beautiful nature, the clean air and tap water, and the focus on the environment," are what one Ukrainian expat enjoys most about Norway. With 76% of expats happy with the availability of green goods and services, Norway's 'weakest' category is still 13 percentage points above the global average. <br></p><p><strong>4. Austria</strong></p><p>The first non-Nordic in the global ranking, Austria places in the Top 10 for each category and comes in first for the availability of green goods and services (90%). <br></p><p><strong>5. Switzerland</strong></p><p>Swiss nature is the most appreciated in the world (98% vs. 83% on average). Switzerland also gets stellar results for air and water quality and the availability of green energy and green goods and services. </p><p><strong>6. Denmark</strong></p><p>Danes are very much into green causes, as is their government, say 83% resp. 84% of expats. "Organic food is readily available, and they are good with recycling," observes a South African expat. And they love cycling: 9 out of 10 Danes own a bike.</p><p><strong>7. New Zealand</strong></p><p>85% of expats agree that the New Zealand government takes green issues seriously. In fact, New Zealand plans to use 90% electricity from renewables by 2025. The country also scores high on the quality of its natural environment and all other categories – albeit slightly less on the quality of its water and sanitation.</p><p><strong>8. Germany</strong></p><p>"I enjoy the rising awareness about environmental issues and the alternatives the government and society are developing," says one Colombian expat. Indeed, 80% of expats agree the German government is pro-environment (vs. 55% globally). <br></p><p><strong>9. Canada</strong></p><p>The only North American destination in the Top 10, thanks especially to expat appreciation of Canada's natural environment (96%), but also the quality of its water and sanitation (90%) and the availability of green goods and services (80%). <br></p><p><strong>10. Luxembourg</strong></p><p>"Access to nature for hiking and bicycling" is a definite boon for one American expat. In fact, the country's natural environment, although ranking 13th out of 60, is its lowest-rated subcategory. Luxembourg does even better when it comes to green energy, waste management, and the quality of its air and water.</p>
Taiwan, most sustainable destination in Asia<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2Njg1Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NzkxMDAxNH0.Roy7h_Od1cmaqBmamk-DP4rKMpLjTM-qIajG96alZAg/img.jpg?width=980" id="00799" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dab52370e1edb5da5ebb0f5631027b1c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="\u200bEternal Spring Shrine in the Taroko Gorge, Hualien County, Taiwan." />
Eternal Spring Shrine in the Taroko Gorge, Hualien County. Outside of Taipei, Taiwan can be surprisingly green and beautiful.
Image: Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0<p><strong>11. Taiwan</strong></p><p>The highest-scoring expat destination in Asia, Taiwan boasts 92% approval of its waste management and recycling, and 80% of the availability of green goods and services. But "the air pollution (in Taipei) is getting worse because it is too crowded," one expat complains.</p><p><strong>12. Netherlands</strong></p><p>Green goods and services are widely available, agree 82% of expats, as is green energy. However, 13% rate the Dutch environment negatively, 4% above the global average. <br></p><p><strong>13. Portugal</strong></p><p>Well ahead of its neighbor Spain (#20), the country scores high for air quality (91%) and natural environment (95%). "I like the opportunity for gardening and growing our own food," says one expat. <br></p><p><strong>14. Estonia</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Estonia scores in the Top 20 for every category and gets its highest marks for its natural environment. "A beautiful country with excellent air quality and open spaces," praises an Indian expat.<br></p><p><strong>15. Costa Rica</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Both the government and the people are very supportive of green policies, find 82%, resp. 67% of expats. "It's easy to live a healthy lifestyle with regard to the food, climate, clean air and water," says one. Costa Rica won the 2019 UN Champion of the Earth award and has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050.<br></p><p><strong>16. Czechia</strong></p><p><strong></strong>"The beauty of the environment" is one of the best things about living in Czechia, says a Russian expat. No less than 97% of expats agree.<br></p><p><strong>17. France</strong></p><p><strong></strong>77% of expats are happy about the availability of green goods and services in France, which is 14 percentage points above average. The country also scores well for waste management and recycling. In short, France has a "good, green and clean environment," one Iranian expat finds. <strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>18. Australia</strong></p><p><strong></strong>While ranking high on the quality of its nature, water and air, Australia scores low when it comes to government support for green issues (51%). Fortunately, expats see more interest among the general population (68%). </p><p><strong>19. Singapore</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Expats rate the government's interest in green issues higher than globally average (77% vs. 55%), but the Singaporean public's engagement for the same less than average (40% vs. 48%). Of course, in a small, crowded place like Singapore, "(nature) spots are limited."<br></p><p><strong>20. Spain</strong></p><p>Spain's "scenery, diversity of places to visit and healthier environment" are what rate highly with one British expat. Its weak point is governmental and public support for green issues – but still slightly above the global average. <br></p>
London is "polluted and noisy"<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2Njg4Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDg3NjkyOH0.3ySSD7jFBfAWA07u-EN-oL9x9cq9FZn06iz5aV0hEOw/img.jpg?width=980" id="f5630" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="80c9fa119e7ff3acc91e027b7529bfed" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="\u200bEven at 2:30pm, London gets clogged." />
Afternoon traffic jam in London.
World map for the 'sustainable expat'<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2Njg5MC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzAyNjQ2MH0.hjRiMDmOSnn9EvKJtx_tlzql3Gf7ph8lt8bL6dPCft4/img.png?width=980" id="def5d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="149be2f5a19cc625cb555d8078f62ce2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The best & worst destiations for the sustainable expat" />
Sixty expat destinations ranked for sustainability, from best (orange) to worst (light blue). In between: fairly okay (brown), middling (grey) and not that great (dark blue).
South Korea's "rather horrible" air<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2NjkxNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MTY1MjIwNn0.2e6eBIc38sAZLFQGKw4UL3-SY3hA9NthX0Uj9L4ibZA/img.jpg?width=980" id="c10db" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cba918e6e5455c2e5ff4f9d5caf54775" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="\u200bSmoggy Seoul" />
Seoul's air quality is so bad you can picture it. Only India's air is perceived as worse than South Korea's, according to the expat survey.
Bad, worse, India<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2Njk0MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NTcyMTczMH0.Pt2bGDrpSKSwVjimMK_iK0Jejpu8ILn77VEzHTdzQQ4/img.jpg?width=980" id="28411" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7e0664fa6c25f63c9a9ce2344b83753c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="\u200bIndia scores worst in all three categories, but to be fair \u2013 some of its problems were imported from more developed countries." />
India scores worst in all three categories, but to be fair – some of its problems were imported from more developed countries.
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