Posts tagged news

Mirrors give Winter light to Rjukan.
A small town in Norway has had three large mirrors installed on a hilltop to reflect sunlight to the town, which gets no direct sunlight over the winter months.
The mirrors are computer controlled to move throughout the day to keep a small patch of light on the town square. The idea was initially thought of a hundred years ago by an engineer working in the town, which was established to provide workers to the nearby power plant.
The Italian town of Viganella has had a similar system in place since 2006.

Mirrors give Winter light to Rjukan.

A small town in Norway has had three large mirrors installed on a hilltop to reflect sunlight to the town, which gets no direct sunlight over the winter months.

The mirrors are computer controlled to move throughout the day to keep a small patch of light on the town square. The idea was initially thought of a hundred years ago by an engineer working in the town, which was established to provide workers to the nearby power plant.

The Italian town of Viganella has had a similar system in place since 2006.

BBC

New molecule ‘accidentally’ created by 10 year old

image

Kansas City fifth grader Clara Lazen is listed as the co-author on a new scientific paper, after creating a new molecule using stick and ball models in class.

HyperLoop details to be revealed today.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has promised to finally unveil plans for his “Hyperloop” system today, having dropped hints about it for around a year already. 
According to Musk, the system will be twice as fast as an airplane, cheaper than a bullet train and completely self-powered, while able to make the trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. While for most people that would be a far fetched claim to make, this is the guy behind SpaceX, PayPal, and Tesla, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Musk says the design will be open source, and he will only be publishing the design for others to use. There’s a great infographic about the system here.

HyperLoop details to be revealed today.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has promised to finally unveil plans for his “Hyperloop” system today, having dropped hints about it for around a year already.

According to Musk, the system will be twice as fast as an airplane, cheaper than a bullet train and completely self-powered, while able to make the trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. While for most people that would be a far fetched claim to make, this is the guy behind SpaceX, PayPal, and Tesla, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Musk says the design will be open source, and he will only be publishing the design for others to use. There’s a great infographic about the system here.

Indian Army mistakes planets for spy drones.
The Calcutta based Telegraph is reporting that India’s Army documented 329 sightings of “Chinese Spy Drones" near a disputed border zone over a six month period, violating Indian airspace 155 times.
It was later discovered that the lights were actually Jupiter and Venus, which appeared “brighter as a result of the different atmosphere at altitude”.

Indian Army mistakes planets for spy drones.

The Calcutta based Telegraph is reporting that India’s Army documented 329 sightings of “Chinese Spy Drones" near a disputed border zone over a six month period, violating Indian airspace 155 times.

It was later discovered that the lights were actually Jupiter and Venus, which appeared “brighter as a result of the different atmosphere at altitude”.

BBC

Russian meteor shock wave travelled twice around the globe.
A new paper shows how the shock wave from the 10,000 ton meteor sent a shockwave which travelled around 85,000km as it sped twice around the world.
The shock wave was picked up by sensors normally used to monitor ultra-low frequency acoustic waves, or infrasound, in a system run by the ‘Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’ which is normally used to detect nuclear tests around the globe. The organization say it was the most powerful blast ever recorded by the network.

"A preliminary estimate of the explosive energy using empirical period-yield scaling relations gives a value of 460 kilotons of TNT equivalent. In the context of the future verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), this event provides a prominent milestone for studying in detail infrasound propagation around the globe for almost three days as well as for calibrating the performance of the IMS network."

Russian meteor shock wave travelled twice around the globe.

A new paper shows how the shock wave from the 10,000 ton meteor sent a shockwave which travelled around 85,000km as it sped twice around the world.

The shock wave was picked up by sensors normally used to monitor ultra-low frequency acoustic waves, or infrasound, in a system run by the ‘Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’ which is normally used to detect nuclear tests around the globe. The organization say it was the most powerful blast ever recorded by the network.

"A preliminary estimate of the explosive energy using empirical period-yield scaling relations gives a value of 460 kilotons of TNT equivalent. In the context of the future verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), this event provides a prominent milestone for studying in detail infrasound propagation around the globe for almost three days as well as for calibrating the performance of the IMS network."

My local news is reporting on gang warfare in the streets of Baghdad.
Here’s the backstory if this doesn’t make sense…
(Reposted from here.)

My local news is reporting on gang warfare in the streets of Baghdad.

Here’s the backstory if this doesn’t make sense…

(Reposted from here.)

DNA testing proves one twin committed a crime - but which one?
After DNA evidence showed one of the twin brothers committed a series of sexual assaults in France, police arrested both brothers. While officials are sure one twin carried out the attacks, standard DNA tests are unable to confirm which one it was, and the 24 year old brothers aren’t talking.

Police have been told it would cost upwards of 1m euros to conduct an ultra-sophisticated genetic test that would be able to tell one set of the twins’ DNA from the other.
One expert told the French newspaper La Provence: “For a normal analysis, we would compare 400 base pairs [of nucleotides] which make up DNA.”
In the case of identical twins, he added, “We would be looking at billions.”

DNA testing proves one twin committed a crime - but which one?

After DNA evidence showed one of the twin brothers committed a series of sexual assaults in France, police arrested both brothers. While officials are sure one twin carried out the attacks, standard DNA tests are unable to confirm which one it was, and the 24 year old brothers aren’t talking.

Police have been told it would cost upwards of 1m euros to conduct an ultra-sophisticated genetic test that would be able to tell one set of the twins’ DNA from the other.

One expert told the French newspaper La Provence: “For a normal analysis, we would compare 400 base pairs [of nucleotides] which make up DNA.”

In the case of identical twins, he added, “We would be looking at billions.”

BBC

Atoms cooled to “colder than absolute zero”.
German physicists have demonstrated a way to cool atoms to a point below minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius), and into a realm described as ‘negative temperatures’.
To achieve the feat, the team cooled atoms to near absolute zero in a vacuum chamber, to avoid heating from any external influence. They then used lasers and magnetic fields to push the atoms into “negative nanokelvin”.


To comprehend the negative temperatures scientists have now devised, one might think of temperature as existing on a scale that is actually a loop, not linear. Positive temperatures make up one part of the loop, while negative temperatures make up the other part. When temperatures go either below zero or above infinity on the positive region of this scale, they end up in negative territory.


A potential use for the discovery could be to create ‘heat engines’ that are more than 100% efficient:


Such engines would essentially not only absorb energy from hotter substances, but also colder ones. As such, the work the engine performed could be larger than the energy taken from the hotter substance alone.

Atoms cooled to “colder than absolute zero”.

German physicists have demonstrated a way to cool atoms to a point below minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius), and into a realm described as ‘negative temperatures’.

To achieve the feat, the team cooled atoms to near absolute zero in a vacuum chamber, to avoid heating from any external influence. They then used lasers and magnetic fields to push the atoms into “negative nanokelvin”.

To comprehend the negative temperatures scientists have now devised, one might think of temperature as existing on a scale that is actually a loop, not linear. Positive temperatures make up one part of the loop, while negative temperatures make up the other part. When temperatures go either below zero or above infinity on the positive region of this scale, they end up in negative territory.

A potential use for the discovery could be to create ‘heat engines’ that are more than 100% efficient:

Such engines would essentially not only absorb energy from hotter substances, but also colder ones. As such, the work the engine performed could be larger than the energy taken from the hotter substance alone.

I came across a slightly interesting website today, PhutureNews. Anyone can contribute a future ‘news story’, based on their own predictions. The stories are then voted on by readers and ranked by popularity.
Check it out here!

I came across a slightly interesting website today, PhutureNews. Anyone can contribute a future ‘news story’, based on their own predictions. The stories are then voted on by readers and ranked by popularity.

Check it out here!

Milestone reached in Chinese ‘mega-project’.
A US$97 million tunnel has just been completed in China, measuring 585 meters long by 9 meters in diameter. The four year project is part of a larger “eastern route” tunnel, which will eventually divert 442 million cubic meters of water annually, over a huge distance of 1,467km (911 miles) - as shown on the map above, it covers a huge part of China.
That eastern route is part of an even larger effort - set to be completed in 2050, at a cost of US$79 billion. The ‘South-North Water Transfer Project' was first proposed by Mao Zedong in 1952, and it took half a century of debate before construction even began.
The project has come under criticism for its huge cost, and the fear that the water it provides could be too expensive for most consumers. It is also likely to waste massive amounts of water through evaporation and pollution.

Milestone reached in Chinese ‘mega-project’.

A US$97 million tunnel has just been completed in China, measuring 585 meters long by 9 meters in diameter. The four year project is part of a larger “eastern route” tunnel, which will eventually divert 442 million cubic meters of water annually, over a huge distance of 1,467km (911 miles) - as shown on the map above, it covers a huge part of China.

That eastern route is part of an even larger effort - set to be completed in 2050, at a cost of US$79 billion. The ‘South-North Water Transfer Project' was first proposed by Mao Zedong in 1952, and it took half a century of debate before construction even began.

The project has come under criticism for its huge cost, and the fear that the water it provides could be too expensive for most consumers. It is also likely to waste massive amounts of water through evaporation and pollution.