Every week, we round up the best tips that you post in io9's tips forum. This week: Shatner's social network, super-tongues, what'd happen if unicorns and humans formed an unholy union, devil fish, underwater buildings of the future, and more.

If you want to post a tip, just click on the #tips link on our navigation bar, or include the word #tips in any comment, on any post, that you think is a good tip for the people who read and write io9.


Tip: Get ready for your opinion on social networking sites to change.

BullfightsOnAcid has the best news ever:

William Shatner has launched a social networking site with a science fiction theme.

MyOuterSpace.com is a Sci Fi Social Network for those with a passion for the arts. Whether you are a fan of Sci Fi, Horror or Fantasy or seeking a career in the Science fiction industry, MyOuterSpace.com has much to offer. Register on the planet that host your talent, fill out a profile and connect with others in your field. Submit your resume for a Starship project that needs your talents. Whether you are an actor, writer, animator or gamer MyOuterSpace.com has a home for you.

[myouterspace.com]I believe my reaction to this can best be described as moronic flailing.

Tip: Think your tongue is only good for tasting? Think again.

firstofnormalin has brought this amazing bit of technology to our attention, via The London Times:

A soldier blinded by a grenade in Iraq revealed yesterday how his life has been transformed by ground-breaking technology that enables him to "see" with his tongue. The BrainPort is a tiny video camera attached to a pair of sunglasses which are linked to a plastic "lolly pop" which the user places on their tongue to read the electrical pulses.

It works by converting visual images, captured by the camera, into a series of electrical pulses which are sent to the tongue. The different strength of the tingles can be read or interpreted so the user can mentally visualise their surroundings and navigate around objects.


Tip: In traipsing the line between awesome and horrifying news...

LittleDragon brings us this image which I know won't leave me for a long, long time:


Writes Pravda:

Chinese woman Zhang Ruifang, aged 101, has become a star in her Linlou village, Henan province. The elderly woman grew a horn on her forehead, above her left eye a year ago. Now the woman grows another horn – above the right eye, Express Gazeta wrote.

It all started with the appearance of a small pimple, which the old lady ignored. However, the pimple grew into a 2.4-inch horn like that of a goat. Another pimple appeared on the woman's forehead symmetrically to the horn.

The woman attracts a lot of attention: residents of neighboring villages visit Linlou to take a look at the devil's horn.

Zhang says that she does not feel any discomfort about the horn. Her six children fear that their mother would eventually turn into a goat.


[via english.pravda.ru, plus more at www.the-two-malcontents.com]

Tip: Remember the shrieking eels from The Princess Bride? These kind of make me think of that.


worrytron alerted us to an interesting phenomenon that's happening in Japan - Oarfish have been washing ashore in record numbers following the earthquakes in Chile and Taiwan.

Here is a picture of said Oarfish:


Apparently these fish are a traditional harbinger of doom (I can't imagine why) and you can read more here.

Tip: Ever want to show off those gnarly broken bones, only to have your stupid healing cast get in the way? Do I gotta product for you!


BullfightsOnAcid brought us another great tip:

Cast-art depicting broken-bone X-rays

[Casttoo via BoingBoing]

Tip: Weird and amazing buildings of the future!

EdificeComplex showed us these pretty sweet digs:

Retail and convention center or next generation Cylon Basestar?

Jesolo Magica is a retail center for the resort of Jesolo near Venice, Italy. The project includes a health center, shopping center, hotel and offices.

The design creates a continuum of fluid space that instigates a renewed sense of possibility. The disparate elements of the Jesolo Magica complex fit together to form a coherent field of buildings, each one separate – but logically connected to the next in a continually changing ensemble.



More underwater skyscrapers. The Water-Scraper is a self-sufficient tower that grows its own food and produces its own renewable energy.

Touted as a self-sufficent floating city, Sarly Adre Bin Sarkum's Water-Scraper utilizes a variety of green technologies. It generates its own electricity using wave, wind, and solar power and it produces its own food through farming, aquaculture, and hydroponic techniques. The surface of the submerged skyscraper sustains a small forest, while the lower levels contain spaces for its inhabitants to live and work. The building is kept upright using a system of ballasts aided by a set of squid-like tentacles that generate kinetic energy.

As long as my neighbor isn't Squidward...


Bobbobins brings us wind turbines... FROM THE WORLD OF TOMORROW!

London landmark building will generate 8% of its energy needs:

This new skyscraper, nicknamed "the Razor", will take a crucial step towards becoming the world's first building with wind turbines built into its fabric."



BullfightsOnAcid has found what is on my Future Places to Dwell list:

Hobbit Houses of the Real World: Welcome to the Shire


And now for Roklimber's science picks:

Binary Black Hole in 3C 75 via [antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov]

Sequencing Genome of Entire Family Reveals Parents Give Kids Fewer Gene Mutations Than Was Thought [via [www.sciencedaily.com].

See, you can't blame your parents for all your faults. Only for some of them.

Plotting and Treachery in Ant Royal Families

New research suggests that ant queens are also prepared to compromise the welfare of the entire colony in order to retain the throne.

I'm reminded of when the Borg queen decided to destroy several cubes just to kill off a few drones who were capable of going to Unimatrix Zero.

How to see through opaque materials.

A new experiment conducted by researchers at the City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution (ESPCI) has shown that it's possible to focus light through opaque materials and detect objects hidden behind them, provided you know enough about the material. The experiment is reported in the current issue of Physical Review Letters, and is the subject of Viewpoint in APS Physics by Elbert van Putten and Allard Moskof the University of Twente.

[via [www.physorg.com]

The ultimate in peeping-tommery...

Snake Venom Charms Science World: Novel Protein from King Cobra as Drug Discovery

Writes Science Daily:
"While not every new toxin will convert directly into a clinically useful drug, he said there was potential for haditoxin to be a lead compound or template from which to design other drugs. "Because of the high specificity of these toxins, haditoxin may also be useful as a 'molecular probe' which will help us study neurotransmitter receptors and their role in disease."

These receptors are important in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases as well as in schizophrenia, anxiety and depressive disorders and nicotine addiction."

Now we know that those experiments that turned Dirk Benedict into a snake were good for something