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Christmas Gift Guide

The iPhone Photography Awards

Dwarf galaxy smashing into a large spiral one

Fake a girlfriend with Instagram

'Patlabor' giant robot prop

On the menu for Mars

Algaculture: A symbiotic suit

In the few short years since its birth, smartphone photography has already reached critical mass. It used to be the case that a camera module on a phone was a curious anomaly rather than the rule, but now you would be hard pressed to find a mobile device without a lens on it somewhere.

The iPhone Photography Awards celebrate that coming of age, critically viewing mobile phone photos as art. This image is by Kim Hanskamp, who took first place in the 2013 People category. Scroll through the gallery for more images from the 2013 winners.
Caption by / Photo by Kim Hanskamp
The Chandra X-ray Observatory delivered astrophysicists another breathtaking first by capturing a dwarf galaxy smashing into a large spiral one.
Caption by / Photo by X-ray: NASA/CXC/Huntingdon Institute for X-ray Astronomy/G. Garmire; Optical: ESO/VLT
A young Japanese photographer demonstrated how to make it look like you have an adoring girlfriend using little more than a smartphone and Instagram.
Caption by / Photo by Keisuke Jinushi
The classic mecha series 'Patlabor' is getting the live-action movie treatment with director Mamoru Oshii at the helm, and it features a real-life giant robot.
Caption by / Photo by Tohokushinsha
A lengthy mission to Mars would require the creation of a varied and nutritious menu for the otherworldly explorers. Researchers from Cornell University and the University of Hawaii recently solicited recipes in hopes of expanding the menu of suitable snacks for a long spaceflight.

Recipes for the Meals for Mars contest had to meet certain requirements. The crew posted a list of available ingredients, which included a healthy list of spices, freeze-dried fruits, canned meats, and cheese powders. They also requested that water be conserved, a challenge considering so many of the ingredients have to be reconstituted to make them usable.
Caption by / Photo by Sian Proctor
Two U.K.-based artists have created what they're calling "Algaculture": a symbiotic "suit" made up of plastic tubes in which algae can grow, fed by light, allowing humans to feed via photosynthesis in a roundabout way.
Caption by / Photo by Burton Nitta
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