Stephen Hawking put us all in an existentialist frame of mind recently by pondering the survival of the human race. As noble and imperative as such discussions may be, it can sometimes be just as powerful simply to admire nature for nature's sake. The U.K.-based Atmospheric Optics does just that, with stunning photography and information on everything from rainbows to ice halos.
SouthWest NanoTechnologies, a manufacturer of carbon nanotubes, has licensed NEC patents relating to the tiny cylinders made of lattices of carbon atoms, NEC said Thursday. Sumio Iijima, an NEC researcher, discovered carbon nanotubes in 1991, and NEC is working to profit from the work.
"NEC's carbon nanotube patents are basic patents covering single and multi-walled carbon nanotubes, and licenses under our patents are essential for entities to manufacture or sell carbon nanotubes. We are currently in negotiations with a number of entities worldwide who require a license from us under our patent rights," said Keiji Ushijima of … Read more
The Fake Name Generator says it randomly comes up with false personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, mothers' maiden names, birth dates and credit card data, complete with phony expiration dates. The ersatz identities apparently include real but disguised e-mail addresses, "provided free of charge by third parties."
Why, you might ask, would someone pay a site to come up with fake personal information? The Fake Name Generator's FAQ says there are "tons … Read more
If you find yourself drifting off during staff meetings or school lectures, you're in good company: Loss of concentration, at one time or another, is a simple fact of life. So much so, in fact, that researchers at the University of Kent have posted a primer on concentration--and the lack thereof--along with some mental and physical tips for staying focused.
As tens of thousands of soldiers return from Iraq, many seek medical help for physical wounds, while others have a less evident but equally life-threatening problem: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Psychotherapy's effectiveness can vary, but now soldiers have another alternative: virtual reality simulation.
The Institute for Creative Technologies has joined forces with the Naval Medical Center San Diego, which recently received a $4 million PTSD research grant, to develop the final technology: a virtual reality simulator designed to help soldiers overcome PTSD--or at least lessen its severity.
The way it works is this: Soldiers strap on a headset so … Read more
NASA said Wednesday it agreed to colloborate with Kirkland, Wash.-based AirLaunch to build small rocket launchers and satellites for the commercial space industry. As part of the deal, NASA Ames Research Center, based in Silicon Valley, Calif., and AirLaunch will explore areas for teamwork in space missions, vehicle development and systems engineering. AirLaunch, which is developing small launch vehicles under contract with the U.S. government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), will have use of Ames' facilities including its wind tunnels, arc-jet facility, flight simulators, hangars and runways. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The … Read more
It may be a miracle to walk on water, but scientists have figured out a way to write and draw on it. This post on Pink Tentacle describes a device created by Japanese researchers that "uses waves to draw text and pictures on the surface of water."
We're not sure if there's an obviously practical application for this contraption, but it caught our attention anyway because of our fascination with unusual time pieces. Information Aesthetics passes along the largest water clock in North America, at 26.5 feet.
This post isn't new, but it still may be of interest if you are a college student or live in a Manhattan apartment. The smart folks at Mathcad Library have figured out a geometric formula for moving a sofa around a tight corner.
Competition is already heating up in the nascent space-tourism industry.
Space Adventures is one of the commercial agencies that sends private citizens to the International Space Station for $20 million. Since 2001, it has sent three tourists on separate 10-day orbital missions on a Russian Soyuz rocket.
The Virginia-based company said Friday that space tourists can now walk in space, too--for an extra $15 million. Travelers on upcoming trips can walk in space for up to one-and-a-half hours at the ISS, it said.
The announcement comes on the heels of news that rival Virgin Galactic has booked several high-profile passengers … Read more