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Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Spider Disco Ball —

So I’ve known about the trick for finding spiders with a flashlight for a while now. You take a fairly powerful flashlight, hold it close to your eyes, and shine it on the ground. Spider eyes will wink back at you like little green gemstones. Since I’ve learned about it, I search for spiders on […]

One Key to Rule Them All —

I frequently forget to unlock my door on the way out to walk the dog in the morning, and have to ring the doorbell, possibly waking people up, just to get back in. I wish the door would just know it’s me and open. Modern car keys enable the opening of doors just by their […]

.66 < a/m < .87 —

The fastest a black hole can spin is a/m = 1 (a/m is a dimensionless spin speed, obtained by setting the gravitational constant G, and the speed of light c, to 1). This may not mean anything to you, but I studied this in my thesis. Current observations of a 6.1 billion year quasar. That’s […]

Raising the Dead… —

One day while touring an Egyptology exhibit at a museum, I chanced upon an ancient inscription to raise the dead. I started to read it, and my wife got upset with me. “Haven’t you seen enough movies to know better?” This resurrection strickes me as a little less safe.

To the Stars! —

0.08% lightspeed is pretty fast. It will get you to the nearest star in 53 years. Of course, I’m not factoring in the time for acceleration and deceleration. The .08 lightspeed drive. Ghost Ship Another Interstellar Drive.

Supercomputing Headlights —

It’s the unexpected applications of technology that are the most amazing. Who would have thought, for example, that the simple car headlight could make use of a supercomputer? At Carnegie Melon they figured out a way to make a headlight equipped with a camera that tracks individual rain drops. Then the use a headlight with […]

What Adam and Eve Wrote —

I’m not generally in favor or Bible literalism, as frequently (I think) that is not how the text is meant to be read, and especially so in the case of the book of Genesis. People (Isaac Newton among them) have estimated the age of the earth by adding up the ages of people mentioned in […]

A World Where it Rains Liquid Methane —

Possibly the most exciting space missions ever to have flow was the Huygens probe that landed on Saturn’s moon Titan. On Titan it is so cold that liquid methane takes the place of water, flowing in rivers and raining from the sky. The surface is startlingly earth-like, despite the fact that the “rocks” are water […]

Do you believe in Cold Fusion? NASA does. —

Check this out: http://technologygateway.nasa.gov/media/CC/lenr/lenr.html. LENR stands for “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions.” It is, I believe, the same reaction that Fleishman-Pons called “Cold Fusion.” Has nasa.gov been hacked? Have they gone crazy? Or is it true? I spotted this on http://nextbigfuture.com/.

What’s Creepier than Bugs? —

How about cyborg bugs? Building a from-scratch robot that can do everything a bug can do is difficult. So instead, scientists are looking at a fuel cell powered by a bug’s own biochemistry. The energy can be used for sensing, recording, or control by stimulation of neurons. What would I like to do with this […]