Saturday, October 6, 2007

Solar mirrors to save the planet

On April 3, 2007, I wrote Asteroid Strike – The ultimate disaster!, describing the coming near Earth encounter of 2004 MN4 on April 13, 2029. I looked at what might happen, and what we could do about it. Since the discovery of 2004 MN4 on June 19, 2004, some good people have given the problem real... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How big is big?

We throw around the term “ light year,” without really understanding how large a light year is. So, let's ask the question. What is a light year? A light year is the distance light travels in a year (remember, light speed is constant). The numbers get so big that they lose meaning, so let’s set up a... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, September 28, 2007

How far did you say that was?

It was a tedious job, but somebody had to do it. Cambridge astronomer Dr Floor van Leeuwen has just released significantly more accurate distances to more than 100,000 stars. He spent the past 10 years checking and recalculating data gathered by the Hipparcos satellite. Apparently, due to a... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Scientists can find beauty by looking up someone's nose, or inspecting a slimy mass of seaweed, or following the flight of a bat. The proof is found in this year's fifth annual competition for the coolest images in science and engineering, The Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge 2007... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We can fix global warming: Chris Rapley & James Lovelock

Not everybody knows this yet, but we now know the real source for the small global temperature increase we have witnessed this century – ½° C. Back in the 1980s and 1990s we all believed that CO2 drove the Global Greenhouse. We still believe that it drives global temperatures in the macro sense –... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The politics of science

One of the significant predictions from Al Gore and the Global Warming Chicken Littles was that the Amazon rainforest would dry up and shift to a savanna. Gore has traveled the world displaying heart-wrenching photos of how it will be when the rainforest is gone. Over and over again during my dozens... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Manned space exploration vs. science vs. Steven Weinberg

Just because it's true, doesn't mean it's right... On November 18, Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg issued a scathing critique of NASA’s manned spaceflight program while speaking at a dark-energy workshop at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “The International Space Station is an... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Will the real Velociraptor please stand up!

Nearly everyone has seen Steve Spielberg's Jurassic Park. From this film the world has taken an image of the Velociraptor as a very scary, very smart pack hunter that was larger than a human. We all remember the disemboweling claw on the forearms. The medium is effective, and Spielberg did a... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

iSLide, uSlide, do we Slide?

So...what's wrong with a brisk walk? The iSlide – brainchild of Ofir Tal of Hadasa College in Israel – is a hydrogen fuel cell powered cross between a skateboard and a snowboard. At least it will be when it completes development later this year (or next...). iSlide has one wide wheel located in its... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Let there be light lift...

From time to time in science and engineering somebody develops an idea that seems to have legs, but with time the legs go away, and all that remains is the interesting idea. Such was, for example, Nikola Tesla. I don't mean to imply that Tesla accomplished nothing, but rather that much of what he... Sign in to see full entry.

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