Category Archives: Science & Technology

Phoenix parachute photo

By | May 26, 2008

I wasn’t going to post anything more about the Phoenix Lander, as the media’s picked it up now, and I don’t have a lot to add. But then, I saw this photo.. It’s Phoenix decelerating with its parachute in the Martian atmosphere, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Not a high quality image, but there’s… Read More »

Steam Engine

By | May 26, 2008

Over the weekend, I encountered OECake, a demo application of a 2D physics simulation called the Octave Engine. It models gravity, particle interactions, and momentum, as well as evaporation and condensation of water particles. So, I made a steam engine.

Phoenix Lander

By | May 25, 2008

via Open the Future 3D Animation of the Phoenix Lander, due to land on Mars in about 17 hours. This expedition promising interesting results. It’ll be our first chance to sample soil beneath the Martian surface as it carries on board a digging arm capable of digging a trench half a metre deep. In addition,… Read More »

Evolution as medicine

By | May 23, 2008

Recently, I’ve encountered two ways in which evolutionary principles can be applied to medicine. Rather than using brute force to kill pathogens, these are more subtle, systemic approaches. Viruses and bacteria evolve, just like all other living creatures. The difference is that they do it really fast. This means we can use evolution as a… Read More »

Culture tissue products

By | May 18, 2008

At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a rather macabre exhibit has been on display. Entitled ‘Victimless Leather’, it’s a miniature ‘leather’ jacket made from living mouse stem cells growing on a polymer matrix. As art, one interpretation could be that it shows how artifacts currently made from dead animal bits can instead… Read More »

Solar beauty

By | May 2, 2008

For those who like pretty astronomical pictures.. ESO has a press release out with several photos of interesting solar phenomena, including the rare green flash and even rarer blue flash, both caused by the earth’s atmosphere acting as a prism when the sun’s light hits it with a very low grazing angle at sunrise or… Read More »

PS9 video – coordination complexity

By | April 21, 2008

via George, An amusing take on what entertainment might be like 50 years from now. How plausible is full sensory experience and interface like this by the date offered in the video (2062)? Right now, it might look like far future fiction, but I’m fairly sure that’s not the case. Enabling technologies necessary for virtual… Read More »

Supernova cannon

By | March 17, 2008

When a supernova occurs, it releases a burst of neutrinos and gamma rays that would obliterate life anywhere in the vicinity – within a couple of hundred light years, apparently. There’s no obvious supernova candidates nearby, so this isn’t something to worry about – it’s more of an amusing science fiction plot. When a binary… Read More »