Cool Toys Pic(s) of the Day (ahem, Week) – Grid Republic, BioArtography, uChek, The Wait We Carry, Own a Colour

I seem to be going through a rough patch schedule-wise, which is interfering with the usual daily Cool Toys posts. So, for this week, here’s a round-up of things I wanted to post this week, and would have posted if I hadn’t needed to sleep.

Grid Republic:

Remember the SETI@Home project? Where people gave permission for their computer power to be shared with the SETI project whenever the screensaver kicked in? Same idea, but closer to home. Share your computer cycles with projects for the biological and health sciences, and related topics. My eye was caught by this example they’d posted.

Areas with low malaria rates ‘need mass vaccination’:


I’d love this even if it wasn’t from the University of Michigan! I’ve been a huge fan of beautiful science photography from labs for DECADES. You don’t want to know how excited I get over the Nikon Small World Contest. But getting my hands on the pictures is a different matter. I beg for the free calendars my colleagues get from life science suppliers. I wander through the lab buildings when I have an excuse snapping surreptitious iPhone pics of pretty postings on the walls. Here, UM is selling prints and posters and cards (oh my) of gorgeous photographs from campus labs, with the proceeds going to fund conference travel expenses for grad students and students, BRILLIANT!!!


I could not resist. uChek is an app + device to turn your iPhone into a portable urinalysis lab. How cool is that? More info about other tech uses for urine in my blogpost over at ETechLib:

Random Round-up: 16 Cool Things Tech is Doing with Pee:

The Wait We Carry:

Heart wrenching, beautiful, fascinating data visualization of the stats and stories of United States Veterans waiting for health care coverage to treat their injuries and related health and mental health complications. The dataviz starts and ends with stories, offering a window from the war into the lives of real soldiers who’ve returned from the wars. There is an enormous amount of data, which can be sliced and diced in many ways. Want to know how your state compares? You can do that. Veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom? Yes, you can break the info out by conflict. Both? Sure, why not. Go, explore.

Own A Colour:

Because it’s gorgeous, and clever. Own a Colour, developed by Glidden Paints, is one of the most innovative fundraising apps I’ve seen. Choose one of the millions of colors that can be displayed on modern high resolution monitors, claim it, say why you love it, and donate the funds to UNICEF.


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