ICYMI: High on tomato juice, opera’s first selfie, cooling ‘the cloud’

    Tomato juice

    Tomato juice

    Here’s a look at some of the best stories you may have missed in the most recent edition of The Pulse.

    tomato juice1. Why do we drink tomato juice on planes?

    Few high-altitude behaviors are as strange as our sudden thirst for tomato juice. The thick, savory drink isn’t so popular at sea level, but for many airplane passengers, it’s their first choice.

    A few years ago, the German airline Lufthansa realized they served about 53,000 gallons of tomato juice annually. That’s just shy of the 59,000 gallons of beer they serve each year. Which is really significant — and they wanted to know why. So they hired a German research institute, to study it.

    Read the full story to find out what they learned.

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    opera experiment2. Fusing art with technology — an experiment in developing opera for the 21st Century

    Can an art form like opera, almost synonymous with the past, take advantage of modern technology, like the internet and smartphones?

    Youngmoo E. Kim, an engineer on sabbatical from his position directing Drexel University’s ExCITe Center brought his technological expertise to Opera Philadelphia. Their first foray pairing tech and opera was witnessed and engaged in by nearly 6,000 onlookers during a screening of the “Barber of Seville” at Independence Mall, resulting in what they’re now calling, the opera’s first selfie.

    Find out what the audience members thought.

    cooling the cloud3. At Villanova, working to slim the power-hungry ‘cloud’

    Data centers — both the big server farms that house “the cloud” and the small systems storing company data — use over 2 percent of the nation’s power. According to a recent report in 2013, that’s enough electricity to run all of New York City’s households twice over.

    A team of researchers from Villanova University is working to chip away at that figure, by capturing the heat that servers spit out and turning it into electricity.

    Read the full story.

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