The fragments of 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, a comet, will be visible with the naked eye in the nighttime skies over the next few weeks. No, it will not hit the Earth and destroy life as we know it. If you can wade through the geekdom, this web page may help you determine when and where to look (scroll down past the news … Read More
Net Neutrality Loses In House
It happened: Internet carriers would have a free hand to charge the likes of Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc. extra for faster delivery of services to consumers under a bill approved by a House committee Wednesday. The vote, 42-12, brings a two-tier Internet one step closer to reality despite the wishes of a broad coalition of Web site … Read More
The Internet Freedom Fight
The cool thing about the Internet is that nobody owns it. Sure, you may have to pay for access to the Internet, and once on it, you may pay for various servies — but the Internet itself exists within its own realm, with little regulation and virtually no ownership by government or private corporations. It’s a totally egalitarian world. This … Read More
On Science And Tongues
How did the blind man catch the ball? With his tongue. Okay, he caught the ball with his hands, but he "saw" the ball with his tongue. And that’s how he was able to catch it. The tongue, as it turns out, is an excellent input device. By equipping a blind man with helmet-mounted cameras and sonar, and sending the … Read More
You WILL Watch This Commercial!
There’s a new technology out there, just patented, that allows broadcasters to prevent TV viewers from changing the channel during commercials. Ugh. Apparently the technology (it’s a chip, I’m guessing) would be part of the television itself, or the set-top unit. Although I don’t understand why any TV or cable box manufacturer would want to put such a thing into … Read More
Bush Hearts Science
Bush went to a magnet school in Maryland and told the students there that science was totally rad. Well, he didn’t say that, but he said: "We saw two scientists who are here from NASA. These are good, hard-working folks who said, ‘I kind of want to lend my expertise to try to convince a child that science is cool.’ … Read More
Shots From Today’s Total Solar Eclipse
You had to be in Africa and parts of Europe to see it. The next total solar eclipse, on Aug. 1, 2008, will occur northern Canada, Greenland, Siberia, Mongolia and northern China. The next total solar eclipse visible from the United States will be Aug. 21, 2017.
Playing With The Primal Forces Of Nature, Mr. Beale
Stop it. Seriously, I’m all for scientific progress, but this is — quite literally — playing with fire: Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have produced a superheated gas, which is hotter than the interior of the Sun. The gas achieved the hottest temperature ever recorded when it reached 3.6 billion degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 billion degrees Kelvin. For those keeping … Read More
More Animals In The News
Good lord, I see a pattern. Furry crustaceans, unknown beasts, and now this. But this news isn’t weird, it’s actually good: an animal thought to be extinct for 11 million years has been discovered, still living, in Laos. On the downside, it’s a rat-squirrel thing. And we have plenty of those.
Here Comes Jetson….
In an unrelated post dated November 15, 2005, I wrote: As a lad growing up in the 1970’s, I simply assumed that by the year 2000, we would all own flying cars. We don’t, and I’m kinda pissed about that. Well, guess what? They’re coming!!!! Moller International has developed the first and only feasible, personally affordable, personal vertical takeoff and … Read More
New Weird Animal Discovered
This seems to be happening a lot lately. This newest animal, pictured here, was recently discovered in the waters 900 miles south of the Easter Islands. It’s a crustacean, but it’s so unique that scientists created a whole new family and genus for it. They named it Kiwa hirsuta. It is blind, it is the size of a salad plate, … Read More
Can You Buy Them In Bulk?
The FDA approves the world’s first transdermal patch to treat depression: The first skin patch to treat depression won federal approval Tuesday, providing a novel way to administer a drug already used by Parkinson’s disease patients but that belongs to a class of medicines that is rarely a first or second choice anti-depressant. The Food and Drug Administration approved the … Read More
Emails And Emotions
We’ve all said it, or heard it before: "I’m wary of emailing because someone might misread my tone". It’s true. Think about it. A work colleague sends an email that closes with "Don’t work too hard". Is he being friendly, or sarcastic? A recent study shows that your interpretation of that email will be correct about half the time. "That’s … Read More
I’m Too Stupid For The 21st Century
Scientists may have already found the first solid evidence of other dimensions coexisting with our own reality. Working with a neutrino detector machine at the South Pole, early results "show that ghostlike particles from space could serve as probes to a world beyond our familiar three dimensions," the research team announced. I think this is cool, but I wish I … Read More
Atomic Bomb Photo
This is what an atomic bomb blast looks like within the first few microseconds of detonation. It was taken from 7 miles away with a special camera capable of shutter speeds at 1/100,000th of a second. Note the size of the shed at the base (for perspective). More photos here: Via Cynical-C Blog.