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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

music from space

here on earth, we have the bass. but out on saturn, they have the theramin.

this explains all the sci-fi movie background mood music. coulda been ripped right off the rings…

posted by roj at 12:39 pm  

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

the sound of an earthquake

this has made the rounds while i was otherwise occupied, but i thought i’d add my own comments anyway…

The Sound of a Distant Rumble: Researchers Track Underwater Noise Generated by December 26 Earthquake

i think it needs more cowbell.

posted by roj at 12:33 pm  

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

chemically-induced pathological gambling

how long will it take to aerosolize and pump into casinos?

All 11 patients with PD [Parkinson’s Disease] and pathological gambling were taking therapeutic doses of a dopamine agonist; 3 of these patients were not treated with levodopa. In 7 patients, pathological gambling developed within 3 months of starting to take or escalating the dose of the agonist; in the other 4 with a longer latency, gambling resolved after the agonist use was discontinued. Pramipexole dihydrochloride was the agonist in 9 of 11 cases in our series and 10 of 17 in the literature (68% in total).

then again, pramipexole dihydrochloride is a white powder, so maybe it’s not worth the effort to aerosolize… nah. we’re talking about gambling. it’s worth the chance…

posted by roj at 6:12 am  

Monday, July 11, 2005

the search for water

i knew it was dry in australia… but i had no idea how dry it was…

Volcanoes spew up ice, not lava [the austrailia, via, 2005.07.11]

A SMALL, bitterly cold moon orbiting Saturn may this week be identified as the most likely place in the solar system for liquid water to exist.

someone send those poor people some rain.

posted by roj at 3:33 am  

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

replicators arrive

hod lipson and company at cornell have announced the arrival of the replicators.

“Although the machines we have created are still simple compared with biological self-reproduction, they demonstrate that mechanical self-reproduction is possible and not unique to biology, ” Hod Lipson said in a report in the science journal Nature on Wednesday.

update: with video [wmv].

posted by roj at 2:13 pm  

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

mr. fusion arriving tomorrow

from the april 28 2005 issue of nature, fusion on the lab bench.

really amazing.

in 10 years, expect the “make a fusion reactor from your cell phone” merit badge for the scouts…

posted by roj at 4:42 pm  

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

light comes from a broken universe?

(by broken i mean asymmetric, which is my prerogative as a non-academic journal)

just when we thought we knew something, maybe not so much. from the press-release version…

The new results show that this description of light is a general feature of relativity violations and holds both in empty space and in the presence of gravity. “In this picture, light has a strange beauty, and its origin is tied into minuscule violations of Einstein’s relativity in a profound and general way,” Kostelecky said.

a preprint is available at

expect lots of fun experiments to follow.

posted by roj at 2:36 pm  

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

generalizing the crank

the new scientist reports that karl mahlburg has generalized the crank.

ramanujan would be proud, unless, of course, he knew that already.

posted by roj at 7:37 pm  

Monday, December 6, 2004

diesel fuel cells

some people over at the idaho national engineering and environmental laboratory have cooked up a way to double the energy they can squeeze from diesel.

Scientists Develop Clean Diesel System [ap via abc news, october 29, 2004]

The system converts diesel fuel into a 30 percent hydrogen mixture. By using the diesel to run a fuel cell instead of burning it, the system produces twice the energy output, without sulfur or nitrous oxide pollution.

you can see a fairly detailed presentation [pdf] from the lab.

it’s still running diesel, but if you can get twice the bang per gallon, it’s a step in the right direction.

the lab is also doing feature on other hydrogen production work, including a video clip for your entertainment (and that one looks like it takes a nuclear reactor).

posted by roj at 3:43 am  

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

to the moon, adenine!

a backup plan for dna…

Noah’s Ark plan from top Moon man [bbc news, september 8, 2004]

The European Space Agency’s chief scientist has said that there should be a Noah’s Ark on the Moon, in case the Earth was destroyed by an asteroid or nuclear holocaust.

Speaking exclusively to BBC News at the British Association Science Festival, Dr Bernard Foing said that the ark should be a repository for the DNA of every single species of plant and animal.

there are two hurdles i see with this: first, we don’t even know all the plants and animals on the planet (but we’re working on it, sorta), and second, they’re going to have to fight over a location. other than that, sure. why not backup the dna?

posted by roj at 4:12 am  
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