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Tested: The Show — Cooking with Cricket Flour

For our live show in San Francisco, Megan Miller of Bitty Foods gave a presentation about the possibilities of cricket flour--cooking and baking with flour made with insects. Here's why that's not such a strange idea, and how the idea can have an impact on the way we think about food production for a growing global population. (We apologize for some of the rough audio in this taping of our live show. The audio mixer at the venue unfortunately distorted audio from some of the microphones.)

The Best Digital Kitchen Scale Today

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a list of the best gear for your home. Read the full article at TheSweethome.com

If you need an all-purpose digital kitchen scale for baking, cooking by ratio, or even measuring beans to brew coffee, the Jennings CJ4000 ($26) combines some of the best features we’ve seen in a scale. It’s easy to use and store, comes with an AC adapter to save on batteries, and you can disable the auto-off function—so you can take your sweet time mixing or brewing. The Jennings costs only a few dollars more than a bare-bones model, but does something none of them can: it measures in half grams for even better precision.

How We Decided

We spent nearly 30 hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing digital kitchen scales over the last two years. Of the 45 models we’ve considered, the Jennings CJ4000 has proved the most versatile for a range of kitchen tasks and the best for most people.

Who should buy this?

Anyone who wants more consistent results from their baking, cooking, or coffee brewing should consider getting a kitchen scale. It’s far more accurate to weigh flour, diced vegetables, shredded cheese, or any number of ingredients than to cram them into a measuring cup or spoon. And since you can pour everything into one mixing bowl—subtracting cups and spoons from the equation—this type of cooking and baking cuts down significantly on dishes.

For precision coffee brewing, as with pour overs, a scale can help you get an accurate combination of beans and water every time. (If you’re into home espresso, see our other recommendations below for even more accurate pocket scales.)

Making of Benedict Cumberbatch's Wax Statue

In the past two months, we've showcased several examples of excellent sculpting work: Frank Ippolito's sculpture for the Farnsworth Project, Immortal Masks' sculpts for silicone masks, and Mike Hill's lifelike portraits of horror actors. But we haven't explored the sculptural work done for wax statues, like the ones made famous by Madame Tussauds galleries. It turns out that the artists at Madame Tussauds document the making of new figures in their collection, and this new making-on video for Benedict Cumberbatch's wax figure is fascinating to watch.

Thomas Richner's Cardbard Millennium Falcon Model

Several of you sent this link our way, and it definitely deserves the love. Thomas Richner, an Associate Professor at Columbus College of Art and Design, spent two months building a large scale replica of the Millennium Falcon out of excess cardboard found in his basement. According to his build log, the goal of the two-month project was to replicate the five-foot shooting model of the Falcon used in Episode IV, with as much detail as possible. Greeblie placement took the most work, and details were inspired by both a Kenner Toy and photo references of the Pinewood production. I love the color work on the cardboard panels and the tiny relief details that give it distinct light profiles from different angles. After completion, Richner took his model to a green screen set at Columbus College for a lovely photo shoot. I can't emphasize how important it is to show off your projects with a thoughtful photo shoot afterwards--it goes a long way to helping people appreciate it, and is half the fun!

Photo credit: Thomas Richner

You can see all of Thomas' photos from his amazing build in this Imgur gallery. (h/t Reddit and several Tested readers).

Jason Freeny: No One Teaches You How to Be an Artist

One of my favorite things about our trip to New York last year was being able to meet and interview pop artist Jason Freeny at his home workshop. Freeny, who is well known in the designer toy community for his unique "plastic surgery" sculptures showing the anatomy of toy characters, is featured here in this short video produced by Nuvango (formerly Gelaskins). It's a great little piece showcasing the art and giving us more insight into Jason's process.

In Brief: The Man Who Can hear Wi-Fi

I'm deeply fascinated in the neurological phenomenon of synesthesia: the effect of experiencing one sense when another is being activated (eg. seeing colors in words or hearing music in colors). Equally interesting are the people who artificially augment their senses to simulate that effect. Artist Neil Harbisson is a notable artificial synesthete who implanted an antenna into his skull so he could perceive wavelengths outside the visible spectrum. He's also the world's first recognized cyborg. New Scientist has a story written by another artificial synesthete, Frank Swain, who built a system for converting the characteristics of wireless networks into sound.

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Hands-On with DJI's Inspire 1 Quadcopter

DJI's new quadcopter is one of the coolest we've seen--a huge upgrade from the current Phantom 2 Vision+ we've been using. The Inspire 1 can record 4K video, lifts its propeller struts, and transmit clear HD video to the pilot. We chat in-depth with Eric Cheng, DJI's Director of Aerial Imaging, about all the new features in the Inspire 1 and then take it out for a test flight!

Image Gallery: Nicholas Acosta's Cinerama Visualizations

Artist Nick Acosta shares with us his Cinerama stitches imagining the original Star Trek in epic scale, but has also created visualizations from other sci-fi favorites, including Battlestar Galactica, Airwolf, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Those images debuted at our live show, but here they are again in full resolution. They make great tablet wallpapers! (Bonus: you should also check out Nick's explorations in video editing, in which he recuts, rescores, and mashes up classic shows like Dr. Who.)

Google Play App Roundup: C Notify, Flyhunter Origins, and Turbo Dismount

It's time for another installment of the Google Play App Roundup. This is the weekly event where we tell you what's new and cool in on Android. Fire up your phone and click the app names to head right to the Google Play Store so you can try things for yourself.

This week notifications go for a trip outside the status bar, flies must be swatted, and crashes are encouraged.

C Notice

The enhanced notification access that Google rolled out in 4.3 has allowed a whole new generation of apps to put your notifications in more places. Sometimes that ends up not being a very good idea, and others it fills a niche that needed attention. I'm not positive which of these describes C Notice, but it's at least really neat to try. This app puts all your notifications in floating chat head-like bubbles that can be managed with swipe gestures.

So here's the gist of it--you grant C Notice notification access and choose the apps that it can display. The next time one of those apps produces an Android notification, it appears in a floating bubble at the edge of the screen. Multiple apps will stack up under a little three-dot header that you can use to drag the stack around. Tapping on an individual icon opens a popup window with the notification text, from which you can open the app that spawned the notification.

When you've got one or more floating notification bubbles, you also have the option of managing them with a quick swipe. If you swipe up on an icon, you dismiss that one notification, Swipe down and all notifications are dismissed. Clearing notifications from this app also clears them from the system notification shade. Swiping to the left on an icon will immediately open the app it came from, but this is just the basic functionality.

There's also a prime version of the app that can be unlocked with a $1.49 in-app purchase. This unlocks individual app notification icons. You don't have to turn this on, but it could be quite useful in some instances. The individual icons can be moved around the screen however you like, rather than being tethered to that three-dot header. I probably wouldn't recommend this on smaller phones, but on a phablet or tablet, the individual icons could be really useful.

C Notice can also be set to wake the screen when a new notification comes in, which some people consider an indispensable feature. You'll only want to do that if you limit the apps that can appear in C Notice. Maybe just messaging and social apps. The app is smart enough to use the proximity sensor to keep the screen off should the phone be in your pocket or face down.

There's plenty of functionality in C Notify, and you can access most of it for free. It's worth a look.