Angels from Another Pin
(Neoplasm pleonasm)

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In fact, I think "Hello Kitty, Destroyer of Worlds" would be a very appropriate name for a cruise missile.

--Collin Forbes

27 September 2004

A Miracle of Science has been updating all month. Go here if you haven't read the comic since I last mentioned it.

MoS is both the fifth and sixth search result for I'm evil on Google for reasons which I don't quite comprehend.   permanent link


Zombie eskimo.   permanent link


An antenna for visible light sounds pretty useful.

An antenna for visible light, analogous to antennas for radio waves, can be made with carbon nanotubes. In a radio antenna, whose size is equal to the wavelength of the incoming wave or a fair fraction of it, the wave excites electrons into meaningful currents . Such a response, amplified and tuned, is the backbone of radio and TV broadcasting.

At optical wavelengths, where the wavelength is hundreds of nm, this is harder to do. Nevertheless, a rudimentary antenna effect for visible light has now been observed by scientists at Boston College using an array of carbon nanotubes, in which infalling light excites miniature electrical currents.

According to Yang would like to measure these electrical excitations directly, but this requires nano-diodes capable of processing electrical pulses oscillating at optical frequencies (1015 Hz), and these are not yet available. The next best thing is to observe the secondary radiation emitted by the faint excitations. The nanotubes used in the experiment are in effect little metallic antennas about 50 nm wide and hundreds of nm long.

Neat.   permanent link

"GO DIRECTLY TO THE METAPHYSICAL VOID. Do not pass Being or Essence. Do not collect $200." To get out of the Metaphysical Void, you either have to grasp the meaning of the universe or roll doubles twice.

--Cecil Adams

7 September 2004

Crypto: 0
As received by: OOB shipboard ad-hoc
Language path: Schirachine-->Rondralip-->Triskweline, SjK units
Date: 7.325x10e5 days before the Fall of Sjandra Kei
Text of Message:

Gentlemen, behold! A new story by Vernor Vinge, "The Cookie Monster." While looking up a link for Vinge, I also discovered "Synthetic Serendipity," another new Vinge story.

(Hexapodia is the key!)   permanent link


A Miracle of Science: Apparently, green cloth is in short supply on Venus.   permanent link


It is possible that proofs of the Poincaré conjecture and the Riemann hypothesis have been found.

Both problems have stood for a century or more. Each is almost dizzyingly arcane: the problems themselves are beyond simple explanation, and the candidate answers published on the internet are so intractable that they could baffle the biggest brains in the business for many months.

They are two of the seven "millennium problems" and four years ago the Clay Mathematics Institute in the US offered $1m (£563,000) to anyone who could solve even one of these seven. The hypothesis formulated by Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann in 1859, according to Marcus du Sautoy of Oxford University, is the holy grail of mathematics. "Most mathematicians would trade their soul with Mephistopheles for a proof," he said.

The Riemann hypothesis; the Poincaré conjecture.   permanent link

Disembodied head in jar, 24, seeks pixie goddess to fiddle with while Rome burns. You bring marshmallows.

--Kari Stiller

3 September 2004

So I discovered that John Edwards was here in my home town, about a mile from my house at the George Washington Carver Community Center. Of course, I found out about it after it happened. And it was probably invitation only. And I am profoundly lazy.

Update: This article from the Norristown Times-Herald explains why there's so much national politicking going on here:

"Years ago, we would see a national Democratic figure maybe once, twice a year in the county; now, they are coming almost every week," said [Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Marcel] Groen, noting that the county is considered a "swing county" in a "swing state" in the November presidential election.
Norristown is the county seat of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, for those not familiar with the region.   permanent link


A Miracle of Science was updated yesterday. Read. Zod commands it.   permanent link

Electrons are very, very small, but they can gang up and hurt you.
2 September 2004

SETI supposedly found an unusual signal which seems to be coming from 1000 light years away. Or might be coming from a radio down the street.   permanent link


A NASA rocket dumping fuel created a noctiluminescent cloud on Tuesday night.

After studying it for a while through an 8-inch telescope, Bogardus noticed two points of light, " ... like a satellite would appear, in line and above a jet of gas that seemed to come from them."

Observing from Ithaca, New York, Joseph Storch used 7x50 binoculars on the cloud and reported a star-like point or nucleus and four butterfly shaped petals radiating outward...

It was, in reality, a fuel dump of the Centaur stage involved in the NRO-1 satellite launch from Cape Canaveral late Tuesday afternoon. Dumping excess fuel is the usual practice for all Centaur-booster assisted launches. It happens after spacecraft separation; the fuel bleeding off from a Centaur upper rocket stage on its second orbit after launch. Being just after nightfall, the cloud of fuel was still sunlit at that altitude.

The NRO is the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, an intelligence agency.   permanent link


The periodic table of dessert. (There's a closeup here.) The "structure" of meringue (benzine rings of egg around atoms of air) is particularly amusing.   permanent link


I want royalties.   permanent link

You shouldn't trust people more on a low-gravity planet, just because you can throw them further.
1 September 2004

From the Kids Don't Try This at Home Department: Create a lightning detector out of a razor blade and either the bone-seeking radioactive americium from a smoke detector or the somewhat less dangerous radioactive thorium from a gas lantern mantle.   permanent link


I can once again play one of my very favorite games, Lemmings, written in DHTML.   permanent link

(The Side of the Angels)

A Miracle of Science

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Project Apollo

Glenn's LiveJournal

Alyce Wilson's Portfolio



G. Webber

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Biomechanoid

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