Get ready to
flip the dial on your compass by 180° soon. Well not real soon, but indications
point to another reversal of the Earth's magnetic field reversal in as little as
1,500 years. To more accurately investigate the phenomenon, researchers
at the U. of MD have constructed a 30-ton sphere that spins at more than 90 mph
to generate magnetic fields. The 10-ft sphere is filled with 13.5 tons of liquid
sodium to mimic the Earth's liquid-iron center core. A 3.3-ft sphere counterrotates
inside the larger one.
robotic pack "animal" is so life-like that it is shocking. You would swear it is
some kind of hoax - but it definitely is not! If you have not already watched the
video of Boston Dynamics' Big Dog in action, you need to do so now.
If not for being so pathetic, it would be funny. Watch/listen as
a politician reads into the Congressional Record the EPA's procedure for properly
handling the cleanup and disposal of CFL light bulbs. Hopefully, by the time the
light bulb police require us all to stop using incandescent bulbs, the LED models
will be available.
You've heard of playing an air guitar. Well, this is sort of an air
amp + speaker + light show all in one. All the action is provided by a Tesla Coil
that is rigged to respond to an electric guitar. There is not a lot of background
info on the contraption, or even the inventor. It definitely passes the geek test.
An IEEE reporter gives a brief
tour of the $8B, Large Hadron Collider (LHC),
operated by CERN. This is the machine that
kooks have sued to try to keep from operating, fearing the creation of an Earth-swallowing
black hole. The LHC made its debut 1-way test last week, 20 years after breaking
ground. The 12 kiloton, 5-story main detectors contain enough wire to wrap 7x around
Converting pond scum into biofuels is the crowning achievement of
Valcent Products, which has developed a conversion system that uses engineered algae.
Unlike current processes that waste consumable food crops to produce less than break-even
energy yields just to make certain types feel good about themselves, no child
(human, anyway) will go hungry because of Vertigro
production. A hectare of processing area can yield more than 48,000 L of oil per
year, while the same area of a corn field gets you only 40 L/yr. Founder Kertz predicts
refinement of the process can eventually yield 150,000 L/hectare/year. Here is a
of the process.
If you have an HP
54600B o-scope sitting around the lab, here is a way to reduce a little stress.
#1 Power on the scope. #2 Press the button "Print/Utility" once. #3 Hold function
buttons 2 and 3 down at the same time, for half a second. Play Tetris! Maybe it
works on other models as well.
Watch a Boeing 777 be fully assembled, painted and flown in 4 minutes
and 10 seconds. Engineering projects of this magnitude always amaze me when I consider
the logistics involved: materials sciences, human factors, electronics, aerodynamics,
communications, computer simulations, and much more. Thanks to Cornell.
wish I understood Japanese and knew what these guys are saying. Evidently, building
and operating giant air vortex guns is great sport in Japan. Adding smoke to the
mix for enhanced visualization gives it a cool, menacing, sci-fi look.
Here is why your
mother told you to never stand under a tree during a lightning storm. What's the
safest place to be while outside? In your car. Supposedly, nobody has ever been
killed (at least in Canada) when lightning struck the car he/she was in. It is due
to that Faraday Shield thing at work.
Lehigh University mechanical engineering students
and profs introduced Broughal
MS students to the process of computer-based design and manufacturing by helping
them modify their Matchbox cars for a good old-fashioned downhill race (w/modern
electronic timer). They aerodynamically shaped the car, then created wax and
aluminum molds for producing plastic prototypes of their designs.
This video shows how
an electron rides on a light wave after just having been pulled away from an atom.
This is the first time an electron has ever been filmed in this way. "We demonstrate
a quantum stroboscope based on a sequence of identical attosecond pulses that are
used to release electrons into a strong infrared laser field exactly once per laser