Spence injured his eye as a child and has since replaced it with a prosthetic camera eye. This technological feat was named one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year.”
At one point, Ferdaus allegedly planned to fly three F-4 Phantoms filled with 16 grenades into the Capitol dome and opposite sides of the Pentagon at the altitude of the 4th floor. He allegedly said he’d detonate the planes three seconds prior to impact, and thought he could “blow the dome to smithereens.” But as Minnesota Public Radio points out, “the manufacturer says the flying weight of the model is 13 pounds, thanks primarily to its very large motor.”
Ferdaus allegedly referenced the F-4 Phantom II pictured on the website scalercmodels.com, which he said was capable of speeds of up to 160 miles per hour.
As his plot developed, Ferdaus appears to have scaled back the weight of the payloads he believed the planes were capable of carrying, writing that they “have a payload capacity of 10-12 lbs., and thus it is deemed to contain 16 handhelds [grenades] in each,” according to the affidavit. He allegedly planned to launch the planes from Eastern Potomac Park.
He should have worn spandex.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2011) — Rice University researchers have created a solid-state, nanotube-based supercapacitor that promises to combine the best qualities of high-energy batteries and fast-charging capacitors in a device suitable for extreme environments.
New research published in Science describes technology that allows electrical measurements (and other measurements, such as temperature and strain) using ultra-thin polymers with embedded circuit elements. These devices connect to skin without adhesives, are practically unnoticeable, and can even be attached via temporary tattoo.
Same reactor designs, same vulnerabilities. Namely, when the power goes out, and then your backup power, what then? All these designs rosily assume the power will be restored in a matter of hours. Thanks, General Electric!
Plus it’s always been unclear to me why I have to create deadly poison for a hundred thousand years so I can use my laptop. Sign me up for rolling brownouts already.
More research needed but they say they’ve found a way to make solar power cheap by taking advantage of light’s weak magnetic effect. Aside from the interesting technical aspects, this appears to be a genuine paradigm-shift moment:
In the process, they overturned a century-old tenet of physics.
“You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We’ve all been taught that this doesn’t happen,” said Rand, an author of a paper on the work published in the Journal of Applied Physics. “It’s a very odd interaction. That’s why it’s been overlooked for more than 100 years.”
Light has electric and magnetic components. Until now, scientists thought the effects of the magnetic field were so weak that they could be ignored. What Rand and his colleagues found is that at the right intensity, when light is traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity, the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected.
There are facts right beneath what we think we know that could be very important. All the more reason to have a Manhattan Project for Renewable Energy.
Happy Earth Day from the CIA.
Dear piston engine, we need to talk: After nearly a century together, I think it’s time we see other people….
The Wave Disk Generator uses 60 percent of its fuel for propulsion; standard car engines use just 15 percent. As a result, the generator is 3.5 times more fuel efficient than typical combustion engines.
Researchers estimate the new model could shave almost 1,000 pounds off a car’s weight currently taken up by conventional engine systems.
A strange and technological future approaches ever faster….
In the experiment a scientist controlled a specially equipped car with the power of his mind at the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin. The university says the scientist managed to accelerate, brake and steer the vehicle. A headphone-like device was used to detect the driver’s brainwaves while a computer converted those thoughts into electronic commands that guided the car.
“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” -Richard Feynman
Then there’s this:
Japan is a country with 40% of the US’s population and 4% of its land area. Of that land area, 75% is extremely mountainous; Japan has little arable land to expand into. Scaling the displaced peoples to US-scale from a purely population perspective, is equivalent to if the US had to evacuate both Los Angeles and Chicago, or perhaps 3/4ths of New York City. From a perspective of where to settle them, the problem becomes extremely difficult. Factor in that these people need to be supported instead of contributing approximately $70B annually to the Japanese economy and you have a devastating picture.
Basically, Japan essentially can’t afford to evacuate people within the 50-mile exclusion recommended by US nuclear scientists. It doesn’t matter that the furthest of those major cities (Fukushima-shi) was, as of yesterday, at nearly 100 times their normal background radiation. And that unlike most background radiation, the source of this radiation is inhaleable/ingestable particulate matter (internal exposure is orders of magnitude worse than external exposure in terms of health consequnces).
They’re just not going to do it.
How many 50-mile exclusion zones do we have to accumulate every 25 years or so? I’d rather burn coal. There. I said it. I’d rather burn fucking coal.
A mind-bending tale of how a Cosmonaut knowingly went to his doom because no one would tell Dear Leader that the vessel was unworthy. Amazing.
Just as cruel as flypaper or sticky traps and at least ten times as nightmarish.
Let’s begin with their digital wall clock, which doesn’t need a battery or a plug because it gets its energy from eating flies.
This carnivorous clock (”8 dead flies makes it work for about 12 days,” says co-designer Professor Chris Melhuish, of Bristol Robotics) is just a prototype. It doesn’t catch enough flies to power the motor on top and the digital clock. But this is just a first step.
As Professor Melhuish explains on another video:
What we have here is a belt. The white thing is a belt that’s covered in honey. So it operates just like standard flypaper. Flies would be attracted to that honey. They’d land on the belt, get stuck, as you can see it is moving down very, very slowly, and right underneath here there’s a blade and the blade scrapes off any insects that have become stuck to the honey. They fall into the microbial fuel cell underneath. And this is the device that turns that organic matter into electrical energy.
There is also a table that eats mice, although I’m not sure why a table would need to generate energy in the first place.
Speaking of songs about Brian Eno’s composing methods … the topic is of interest to the gonzo scientist because it touches on technology in a couple of oblique ways. A.) the fact that musicians are inventors/masters of high-tech and B.) Eno pioneered the use of cybernetic systems in composition, interacting with feedback loops and such.
In that vein, the story behind this song is that Eno had composed the music for an album of songs but had no lyrics. So he emails the tracks to Byrne across the Atlantic Ocean to complete. Byrne’s lyrics seem to be commenting on the songwriting process he is undergoing with Eno. The Atlantic Ocean becomes a wall between adjoining apartments, but nevertheless it describes a man hearing incomplete music, coming to him remotely as it were, and finishing the songs on his side of the wall in a kind of removed collaboration.
By my interpretation of the lyrics, certain passages can possibly be read as Byrne’s critique of Eno:
“these grooves are out of fashion
these beats are 20 years old
…a change of key will let you out”
and so forth. Anyway, I love the guitar sound Byrne gets in this video (performing without Eno who abhors touring).
“Lay My Love” by Brian Eno and John Cale. Brian Eno singing about permutation - it’s a meditation on his own cybernetic songwriting process, in my view as an Enomaniac.
The worm itself now appears to have included two major components. One was designed to send Iran’s nuclear centrifuges spinning wildly out of control. Another seems right out of the movies: The computer program also secretly recorded what normal operations at the nuclear plant looked like, then played those readings back to plant operators, like a pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist, so that it would appear that everything was operating normally while the centrifuges were actually tearing themselves apart.
Cooool. Gosh, any downsides to this?
“It’s like a playbook,” said Ralph Langner, an independent computer security expert in Hamburg, Germany, who was among the first to decode Stuxnet. “Anyone who looks at it carefully can build something like it.” Mr. Langner is among the experts who expressed fear that the attack had legitimized a new form of industrial warfare, one to which the United States is also highly vulnerable.
So in attacking Iran with this cyberweapon, we have simultaneously … given them the same weapon. Cycle of violence, anyone?
Obama admin to Arch Coal: Don’t want to clean up your act? We’ll just take this Bush-era permit back then.
The EPA noted in its ruling that it has worked with companies to design mining operations that adequately protect our nation’s water, but that Arch Coal has refused to make any changes to its operations.
“Refused to make any changes”? Why does Arch Coal hate clean drinking water?
New sheriff in town.
The incredible story of the MRI Sex Tape, which won an Ig-Nobel prize.
…in this footage the woman seems to claim they did it backwards, but the imagery I’ve seen is face-to-face, so they must have come around.
…MRI video footage of sexual intercourse. This is science. The couple is actually doing it missionary style, so tilt your head to the right.
Graphic in a NSFW kind of way, but on the other hand, it’s just science people.
According to the report, scientists used large ionisers, which resemble lampshades, to generate fields of negatively charged particles. That in turn creates cloud formation, leading to rain.
….The fake storms went so far as to produce hail, wind gales and even lightning, baffling residents.
….Helmut Fluhrer, founder of Metro Systems International, the Swiss company in charge of the project, appeared in a private company video promoting the project.
“We are currently operating our innovative rainfall enhancement technology, Weathertec, in the region of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi…”
…Professor Hartmut Grassl, a former institute director, told the paper that “there are many applications. One is getting water into a dry area. Maybe this is a most important point for mankind.”
Next up: privatized, weaponized weather.
Very impressed with the third season of Whale Wars, which I buy on DVD every Xmas for my kid, now 12 and good and indoctrinated in such things. (This video clip reports on events on the DVD).
Just to make one thing clear, the media reports of the ramming of the Ady Gil made it sound like there was some sort of controversy about who rammed who. But the DVD footage makes clear - clearer even than this news report - about who changed course and struck who. In our opinion, the whalers tried to kill these guys for interrupting their “re$earch” hunt.
Let it also be said that activist skipper Peter Bethune is a genuine real life superhero. After losing the Ady Gil in the collision, he boarded the whaling vessel under cover of night from a jetski, and presented the whalers with a bill for it. Fucking hardcore, mate. He spent 5 months in a Japanese jail for it and fell out with the Sea Shepherds during the ordeal in an apparent disagreement over legal tactics during the court battle. Which is too bad, because they’re on the same side. But any viewer of season 3 will quickly percieve that Pete Bethune is the real hero. Here’s his Wikipedia page, and the page for the Ady Gil; go Pete!
“Why EL PAIS chose to publish the leaks” by EL PAIS Editor Javier Moreno.
The thundering conclusion:
….I knew immediately after I received the first call from Assange that Friday in late November that EL PAÍS had a great story on its hands, and that it was our duty to publish it.
Then came the talks with other newspapers, weighing up the pros and cons, a careful evaluation of the likely consequences, and the subsequent doubts that kept many of us at the paper awake at nights. But despite our concerns, there was something that all of us involved in the process never doubted for an instant: we had a responsibility to the democracies that we live in to publish the story. Revealing the truth is the touchstone of true journalism, and the reason we get out of bed in the morning.
I am aware that publishing this information contrary to the wishes of my government has involved certain risks. But I am also aware that by publishing this detailed account of what our governments get up to in our name has made a contribution to the empowering of voters, and will hopefully strengthen their will to improve our democracy.
It is the prerogative of governments, not the press, to bury secrets for as long as they can, and I will not argue with this as long as it does not cover up deceitful acts against citizens. But a newspaper’s main task is to publish news, and to seek out news where it can find it. As I said in a recent online chat with EL PAÍS readers, newspapers have many obligations in a democratic society: responsibility, truthfulness, balance and a commitment to citizens. Our obligations definitely do not, however, include protecting governments and the powerful in general from embarrassing revelations.
Freedom of the press: use it or lose it.