Science And Technology Links: 4/20 – People Are Way Too Obsessed With This Date Edition
Lockheed wants to go to Mars. Presumably so they can spend untold amounts of Martian money developing pie-in-the-sky military hardware.
Morat and I had a fun conversation a while back about how to deal with orbital junk. NASA has some ideas as well.
Jupiter has another spot! Is it acne, or a pox?
That moon of Saturn with a name that sounds like a nasty brain disease might be a life incubator! Which means when we go poking around, we’ll probably get some nasty brain disease that we’ll name after the moon, and the circle will be complete.
Anything that can help treat PTSD is good news, especially if it’s something old that is getting re-purposed. Although I hope people remember that this is used in conjunction with therapy, and is not a magic pill.
Finally, a band-aid for a broken heart!
From my Badger home, figuring out how easy it is for life to happen. If it isn’t hard for the process to kick off, then life might be very common in the Universe. Now intelligent life, that is a whole different question…
Drought resistant GMO rice. Don’t worry, I am certain that activists will destroy these as well, rather than allow malnourished people to be fed.
An electronic synapse using a memristor. That should give neural network researchers hope for fresh grant money.
Building a GMO sugarcane to produce biofuels. The big sell is that it would grow on marginal lands not suited for food crops.
Sucking up ocean plastic to make diesel on the go. The methodology is old (we know how to turn polymers into hydrocarbons), so the novelty is not in the method, but in the fact that the reactor can fit into a standard shipping container and requires less energy and heat to operate than older designs. No word on how the energy balance works out, although if the required heat is low enough, it is possible the system could be largely solar powered, which would make it very cost effective.
The amount of renewable power generation continues to grow, mostly because it’s getting cheaper to install.
Finally, we can have a real moisture farm in a real desert, with real whiney orphan boys wanting to go to Tachi Station for power converters.
Non-Destructive Testing of materials with a green laser. So at first blush, you have to wonder how a surface scan of a metal part can detect internal damage? Well, if the damage is a manufacturing defect, such as a void/air pocket, it can’t. But if the part has experienced load/stress that has caused a permanent change in the structure, that change will exist throughout the part, even if it isn’t visible to our eyes. So it’s not looking for the cracks, per se, it’s looking for the telltale structural changes that indicate internal cracks are probably present.
Using computers to predict was elements can combine to form Voltron!… Err, I mean, magnets. Like Voltron, magnetic materials are actually pretty rare. Unlike Voltron, magnetic materials actually exist, and finding new ones would be a boon to electronics and electric machines.
Negative Mass Fluids. WTF? Oh, yeah, another Bose-Einstein Condensate. Seriously, that stuff is just plain weird. If pure Carbon materials are the Legos of modern Physics, BECs are the Ooblecks and Silly Puttys.
No, it’s not a free-energy train. It still takes energy to make the hydrogen and store it. However, given advances in electrolysis and new catalysts, it takes a lot less energy to make hydrogen, and a train is an excellent real world platform to prove hydrogen fuel cell technology, since it can more easily accommodate the mass of the necessary equipment.
The Airlander 10 gets a new, high-tech landing safety feature! Bumpers.
Urban Aero is still trying to build a flying car. I love all these flying personal transport ideas I’ve been seeing lately, but why I haven’t seen much of it what happens when the lift machinery losses power.
Now this one is a fixed wing, so it should be able to glide after a fashion, and it’s pretty slick looking.
I am honestly surprised this hasn’t been done before, because it’s so obvious.
Kaspersky 2050. A bit of futurism fun.
These look kinda fun, right up there with the tents that can be supported by three trees. Although I wonder if the Qube tents could be built with hard shell, or semi-rigid panels and used for cheap homeless/refugee shelters.
Looks like it would be a ball to ride one of these. (Was that pun too easy? I’m not getting any points for that, am I?)