Aero1 – Last pics of Saturn’s rings before the plunge.
Aero2 – The new Hall thruster is setting all kinds of records! To be fair, this is still pretty new tech, so beating records isn’t as hard as, say, squeaking out a fraction of a percentage more performance out of a turbofan, or something else we’ve been messing with for a hundred years or more, but still.
Aero3 – I just have a strange, call it romantic, fascination with airships. Riding on one is most definitely on my bucket list.
Aero4 – NASA is looking at how Lobster’s look at you, right before you drop them in the boiling pot and start looking for the butter…
Arch1 – In some ways, it has to be an exciting time to be an architect, what with advances in materials and construction techniques.
Arch2 – Because why should we limit architecture to just Earth.
Bio1 – Another super vaccine (last time it was for the Flu).
Bio2 – Taking a closer look at how lungs work in micro/zero gravity. Well, yes, we know they ‘work’, but will they keep working long term, or will they need help along the way. This would all be so much easier if we would just hurry up and develop artificial gravity (the techno-whizz-bang kind, not the spin the ship kind).
Bio3 – I don’t know if we will ever beat dying of old age, but anything that can make getting old suck less is a good step in my book.
Bio4 – Hey, look, the Lenksi experiment is in the news.
Bio6 – Brain scans can identify suicidal people. Yeah, can’t imagine how that could go wrong…
Bio7 – Sometimes I really wonder what the hell is wrong with headline writers.
Bio8 – Wasn’t this the plot of a Spider-Man movie?
Enrg1 – Sandia is using fractal patterns to improve solar efficiency. I’m surprised we haven’t seen a lot more with regard to fractals and solar power.
Enrg2 – Another day, another story about making better batteries.
Enrg3 – Looking at giant clams to figure out how to scale algae bio-fuel production.
Env1 – As I’ve said before, models are tricky things. If you have bad assumptions, or bad data, your model will produce bad results. PS If this turns out to be true (it’s only one study), it does not bode well for climate change.
Mat1 – Wait a minute, are you telling me that if you irradiate plastic with gamma radiation, it can make concrete stronger? Does it turn green too? Or make the concrete green? No, you can’t claim that grey concrete is proof just because there was a grey hulk, we gotta start at green.
Mat2 – Graphene and silver make for bendy touch screens.
Mat3 – To make glass not shiny, make it not smooth. Yes, there is an element of “Duh!” in this, but the approach taken is novel, and leaves the glass transparent enough to see through.
Phys1 – Cambridge is putting Dr. Hawking’s PhD thesis online under Creative Commons. I heard a rumor the demand was so great when it posted it crashed the server.
Phys2 – Attoboy! That is a quick laser pulse, I must admit.
Phys3 – Using superfluid helium to detect dark matter. Superfluid helium is strange stuff, so I wouldn’t bet against this.
Tech2 – Nissan rolls out it’s first fully autonomous auto. I can see a few obvious sensors, but otherwise it’s unremarkable.
Tech3 – Now that’s a good idea. It’s about time the design moved away from “something cobbled together in college shop” and onto, “this is how to do it right”.
Tech4 – For entry, buzz my finger! No, it’s not a fart joke! How old do you think I am, 12? Wait, no, don’t answer that…
Tech5 – A handheld infrared spectroscopy device that will allow people living in marginal areas to test for all kinds of food and water contami… wait, no, it’s for cops to use to test for drugs… sigh. I suppose it has to be sold to someone who has money to spend, and on the bright side, it will hopefully cut down on the number of confectioners and herbalists getting arrested for having powdered sugar or oregano in their cars.
Tech6 – On the brighter side, Bill and Melinda are at least trying to help third world populations with sanitation projects.
Tech7 – This strikes me as a place where some machine learning will go a very long way.
Wacky, Weird, and Wonderful
WWW1 – Saudi Arabia is planning it’s own version of Dubai.
WWW2 – Sinking a ship to help for a coral reef is old hat. Attaching a giant octopus sculpture to the ship so that it looks like something out of Captain Nemo’s nightmares not only creates a nifty place for coral to grow and divers to explore, it will most surely confuse the hell out of alien archaeologists as the explore the ruins of our civilization.
WWW3 – A kombi I can dig.
Image by Trev Grant