2017-01-27

Metallic hydrogen

Metallic hydrogen, once theory, becomes reality.

"This is the holy grail of high-pressure physics," Silvera said. "It's the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you're looking at it, you're looking at something that's never existed before."

To create it, Silvera and Dias squeezed a tiny hydrogen sample at 495 gigapascal, or more than 71.7 million pounds-per-square inch - greater than the pressure at the center of the Earth. At those extreme pressures, Silvera explained, solid molecular hydrogen -which consists of molecules on the lattice sites of the solid - breaks down, and the tightly

​​
bound molecules dissociate to transforms into , which is a metal.

 predictions suggest metallic hydrogen could act as a superconductor at room temperatures.

Among the holy grails of physics, a room temperature superconductor, Dias said, could radically change our transportation system, making magnetic levitation of high-speed trains possible, as well as making electric cars more efficient and improving the performance of many electronic devices.

The material could also provide major improvements in energy production and storage - because superconductors have zero resistance energy could be stored by maintaining currents in superconducting coils, and then be used when needed.

"It takes a tremendous amount of energy to make metallic hydrogen," Silvera explained. "And if you convert it back to molecular hydrogen, all that energy is released, so it would make it the most powerful rocket propellant known to man, and could revolutionize rocketry."

The most powerful fuels in use today are characterized by a "specific impulse" - a measure, in seconds, of how fast a propellant is fired from the back of a rocket - of 450 seconds. The specific impulse for metallic hydrogen, by comparison, is theorized to be 1,700 seconds.

"That would easily allow you to explore the outer planets," Silvera said. "We would be able to put rockets into orbit with only one stage, versus two, and could send up larger payloads, so it could be very important."

https://www.google.com/amp/s/phys.org/news/2017-01-metallic-hydrogen-theory-reality.amp


2016-07-30

The Cut: Visiting New York Showed Me Why I Left


Visiting New York Showed Me Why I Left
The Cut

Nineteen months after moving away, I went back — for "fun," I said. Read the full story


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2016-02-24

Fwd: easy C02 to fuel


'Proven one-step process to convert CO2 and water directly into liquid hydrocarbon fuel

A team of University of Texas at Arlington chemists and engineers have proven that concentrated light, heat and high pressures can drive the one-step conversion of carbon dioxide and water directly into useable liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

This simple and inexpensive new sustainable fuels technology could potentially help limit global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make fuel. The process also reverts oxygen back into the system as a byproduct of the reaction, with a clear positive environmental impact, researchers said.

"Our process also has an important advantage over battery or gaseous-hydrogen powered vehicle technologies as many of the hydrocarbon products from our reaction are exactly what we use in cars, trucks and planes, so there would be no need to change the current fuel distribution system," said Frederick MacDonnell, UTA interim chair of chemistry and biochemistry and co-principal investigator of the project.

In an article published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled "Solar photothermochemical alkane reverse combustion," the researchers demonstrate that the one-step conversion of carbon dioxide and water into liquid hydrocarbons and oxygen can be achieved in a photothermochemical flow reactor operating at 180 to 200 C and pressures up to 6 atmospheres.'

http://phys.org/news/2016-02-proven-one-step-co2-liquid-hydrocarbon.html

 




2016-02-22

Fwd: China

''China's South China Sea military deployments are no different from U.S. deployments on Hawaii, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, striking a combative tone ahead of a visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the United States this week.

The United States last week accused China of raising tensions in the South China Sea by its apparent deployment of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, a move China has neither confirmed nor denied.

Asked whether the South China Sea, and the missiles, would come up when Wang is in the United States to meet Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Washington should not use the issue of military facilities on the islands as a "pretext to make a fuss".

"The U.S. is not involved in the South China Sea dispute, and this is not and should not become a problem between China and the United States," Hua told a daily news briefing.

China hopes the U.S. abides by its promises not to take sides in the dispute and stop "hyping up" the issue and tensions, especially over China's "limited" military positions there, she said.

"China's deploying necessary, limited defensive facilities on its own territory is not substantively different from the United States defending Hawaii," Hua added.

U.S. ships and aircraft carrying out frequent, close-in patrols and surveillance in recent years is what has increased regional tensions, she said.

"It's this that is the biggest cause of the militarization of the South China Sea. We hope that the United States does not confuse right and wrong on this issue or practice double standards."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-china-usa-idUSKCN0VV0RD

 



2016-01-12

Fwd: efficient incandescent

'The incandescent bulb is an example of a high temperature thermal emitter. It's very useful, but only a small fraction of the emitted light-and therefore energy-is actually used. In fact, most of the light is emitted in the infrared, which is invisible to the human eye. That's why researchers decided to find a way to recycle this infrared light and potentially help light at visible wavelengths….

surrounding the hot object with special nanophotonic structures that spectrally filter the emitted light, meaning that they let the light reflect or pass through based on its color. Because the filters are not in direct physical contact with the emitter, temperatures can be very high.

The researchers also redesigned the incandescent filament from scratch. In this case, they turned it into a piece that was laser-machined out of a flat sheet of tungsten, which makes it completely planar. Since a planar filament has a large area, it's efficient at re-absorbing the light that was reflected by the filter.

In the new-concept light bulb prototype, the efficiency approaches some fluorescent and LED bulbs. This could be huge for the future of light bulbs.'

http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/35748/20160112/new-creation-lead-lightbulbs-recycle-light-more-energy-efficient.htm

 

 

Fwd: Gravity Waves

'There is a strong rumour that gravitational waves – one of astronomy's holy grails – have been found. Rumours have been circulating since November that 'something' was detected in September 2015. Analysis is currently ongoing and if everything checks out an announcement is expected in February.

The rumour of this possible detection was first mentioned in The Guardian on 7 December by Paul Davies. Now the story has now taken on a life of its own, thanks to a tweet by the physicist and author Lawrence Krauss.'

  My earlier rumor about LIGO has been confirmed by independent sources. Stay tuned! Gravitational waves may have been discovered!! Exciting.

— Lawrence M. Krauss (@LKrauss1) January 11, 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/science/across-the-universe/2016/jan/12/gravitational-wave-detection-could-be-a-false-alarm


2016-01-04

Fwd: Iran

'Three Sunni-led countries joined Saudi Arabia on Monday in severing or downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran, worsening a geopolitical conflict with sectarian dimensions in one of the world's most volatile regions.

The diplomatic protests from the three countries — Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates — came as Iran accused Saudi Arabia of using an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran two days earlier as a pretext for diverting attention from its problems.

Iranian protesters ransacked and set fire to the embassy on Saturday, along with the Saudi Consulate in Iran's second-largest city, Mashhad, after the Saudis executed a Shiite cleric who had criticized the Sunni kingdom's treatment of its Shiite minority. The Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, was among a group of 47 people who were executed'

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/05/world/middleeast/bahrain-sudan-united-arab-emirates-join-diplomatic-feud-against-iran.html?_r=0

A war could break out between Iran and Saudi Arabia, shutting down the Gulf.

 

2015-12-14

Fwd: ISIL

'The Times breathlessly reveals to us that ISIS "bases its ideology on prophetic texts stating that Islam will be victorious after an apocalyptic battle to be set off once Western armies come to the region. Should that invasion happen, the Islamic State not only would be able to declare its prophecy fulfilled, but could also turn the occurrence into a new recruiting drive at the very moment the terrorist group appears to be losing volunteers."

The newspaper often used by the White House to distribute public relations narratives, then directly tells us, "It is partly that theory that President Obama referred to in his speech on Sunday …"

Now all the bizarre nonsense spewing from Mr. Obama's henchmen and sycophants makes perfect sense, if you're being driven by Koranic prophecy, that is. We've been told for over a year now that we can't confront ISIS directly because … that's what they want!

The singular talking point has been so absurdly pushed, the folks over at the online investigative magazine, Free Beacon, have produced a video titled, "The Islamic State Wants Us To Destroy It," within which they lampoon a litany of talking heads, politicians and academics moving the White House's narrative:

"Dozens of thought leaders familiar with the terrorist group say that its members yearn for the day that close air support from an A-10 Warthog cuts them in half while coalition soldiers storm Raqqa," notes the Beacon. "They are begging for U.S. troops on the ground," former Obama administration official Van Jones said. "That's what they want."

"The one thing ISIS wants the most: American boots on the ground," CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria said. "As long as we're relying on military force, this is the kind of terms [sic] that ISIS wants. This is what strengthens them," Institute for Policy Studies scholar Phyllis Bennis said. "More war is exactly what ISIS wants," Sen. Angus King, Maine independent, said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/14/tammy-bruce-obamas-foreign-policy-plays-into-isis-/


2015-09-22

Fwd: fast food app

'Starbucks says its mobile app that lets people order and pay in advance will be available nationally starting Tuesday. That means lattes, breakfast sandwiches and other items you want could theoretically be waiting for you by the time you arrive.

Mobile order-and-pay is still rare, but could become more common as fast-food chains look to keep up with changing expectations. Taco Bell also introduced a mobile app last year that lets people order and pay in advance, and Wendy's says it's testing the option. If it works well, companies see such services and mobile apps in general as a way to build customer loyalty.'

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/starbucks-mobile-order-and-pay-now-available-nationally/2015/09/22/b944b852-611d-11e5-8475-781cc9851652_story.html

 


2015-09-12

Fwd: Rising Star

'This Face Changes the Human Story. But How?

Scientists have discovered a new species of human ancestor deep in a South African cave, adding a baffling new branch to the family tree.'

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/150910-human-evolution-change/


Robin Williams and Lewy body dementia

It was revealed following his death that Williams had been suffering from severe depression, and had been sleeping in a different room from his wife due to restlessness and anxiety caused by his Parkinson's.[136]

The final autopsy report, released in November 2014, affirmed that Williams had committed suicide as initially described;[136] neither alcohol nor illegal drugs were involved, while any prescription drugs present in Williams' body were at "therapeutic" levels. The report also noted that Williams had been suffering "a recent increase in paranoia".[137] An examination of his brain tissue revealed the presence of "diffuse Lewy body dementia".[138] Williams' doctors reportedly believe that Lewy body dementia "was the critical factor" that led to his suicide​.


2015-09-05

Fwd: un-"herd" of

'within four days, the entire herd — 60,000 saiga — had died...

Now, the researchers have found clues as to how more than half of the country's herd, counted at 257,000 as of 2014, died so rapidly. Bacteria clearly played a role in the saigas' demise. But exactly how these normally harmless microbes could take such a toll is still a mystery, Zuther said.

"The extent of this die-off, and the speed it had, by spreading throughout the whole calving herd and killing all the animals, this has not been observed for any other species," Zuther said. "It's really unheard of."'

http://news.discovery.com/animals/what-killed-60000-antelope-in-4-days-150904.htm


2015-09-04

Fwd: China

'In China, drivers who have injured pedestrians will sometimes then try to kill them. And yet not only is it true, it's fairly common; security cameras have regularly captured drivers driving back and forth on top of victims to make sure that they are dead. The Chinese language even has an adage for the phenomenon: "It is better to hit to kill than to hit and injure."'

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/09/why_drivers_in_china_intentionally_kill_the_pedestrians_they_hit_china_s.single.html

 

"Double-hit cases" have been around for decades. I first heard of the "hit-to-kill" phenomenon in Taiwan in the mid-1990s when I was working there as an English teacher. A fellow teacher would drive us to classes. After one near-miss of a motorcyclist, he said, "If I hit someone, I'll hit him again and make sure he's dead." Enjoying my shock, he explained that in Taiwan, if you cripple a man, you pay for the injured person's care for a lifetime. But if you kill the person, you "only have to pay once, like a burial fee." He insisted he was serious—and that this was common.

Most people agree that the hit-to-kill phenomenon stems at least in part from perverse laws on victim compensation. In China the compensation for killing a victim in a traffic accident is relatively small—amounts typically range from $30,000 to $50,000—and once payment is made, the matter is over. By contrast, paying for lifetime care for a disabled survivor can run into the millions. The Chinese press recently described how one disabled man received about $400,000 for the first 23 years of his care. Drivers who decide to hit-and-kill do so because killing is far more economical. Indeed, Zhao Xiao Cheng—the man caught on a security camera video driving over a grandmother five times—ended up paying only about $70,000 in compensation.

Security cameras have regularly captured drivers driving back and forth on top of victims to make sure that they are dead.

In 2010 in Xinyi, video captured a wealthy young man reversing his BMW X6 out of a parking spot. He hits a 3-year-old boy, knocking the child to the ground and rolling over his skull. The driver then shifts his BMW into drive and crushes the child again. Remarkably, the driver then gets out of the BMW, puts the vehicle in reverse, and guides it with his hand as he walks the vehicle backward over the boy's crumpled body. The man's foot is so close to the toddler's head that, if alive, the boy could have reached out and touched him. The driver then puts the BMW in drive again, running over the boy one last time as he drives away.

Here too, the driver was charged only with accidentally causing a person's death. (He claimed to have confused the boy with a cardboard box or trash bag.) Police rejected charges of murder and even of fleeing the scene of the crime, ignoring the fact that the driver ran over the boy's head as he sped away.'


2015-09-02

Fwd: Skylake

'first-ever Xeon processor family for laptops, the E3-1500M v5…

 

the mobile workstation market is one of the few areas where Windows PC sales are growing -- it only makes sense for Intel to court the increasing numbers of creatives and engineers that want to do their jobs away from the office.'

 

http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/08/intel-xeon-for-laptops/


Fwd: Skylake

I looked at just released 5th generation Broadwell chips, but in the next month or two we should have 6th generation skylake…

 

'Skylake ships with an integrated graphics core inside of it, which Intel had previously said would be optimized for low-power video decoding. What was surprising, however, was apparently how good it is – Skaugen showed off the chip decoding 15 4K videos using the chip's H.265 decoding engine, and compared it against to a machine with a pair of Nvidia Titan chips performing the same task. They struggled.'

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2979198/components-processors/intels-pint-sized-compute-stick-pc-powered-up-with-core-m-processor.html


Fwd: Japan

'More Japanese school pupils commit suicide on September 1 each year than on any other date, according to figures collated by Japan's suicide prevention office over a period of more than 40 years.

The grim spike in the statistics is linked to the typical start date of the new school term after the summer holiday has ended.

"The long break from school enables you to stay at home, so it's heaven for those who are bullied," Nanae said. "When summer ends, you have to go back. And once you start worrying about getting bullied, committing suicide might be possible."..

Nanae thinks the Japanese education system's focus on collective thinking is at the root cause of the problem.

"In Japan, you have to fall in line with other people. And if you cannot do that, you're either ignored or bullied," she said. "You are required to have a unified opinion, and it crushes the uniqueness every person has. But that uniqueness is not something to destroy."

Some experts agree. Child psychiatrist Dr. Ken Takaoka said the suicide rate increases when school restarts because schools "prioritize collective (action). Children who do not get along in a group will suffer."'

 

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/01/asia/japan-teen-suicides/


2015-08-29

Fwd: Healing Material

Fwd: Mars

In 2021, Orion's crew will set off on its first mission to collect an asteroid and bring it into the Moon's orbit. This will not only provide further insight into these masses, but will also serve as an evaluation for the capabilities of the spacecraft. This will allow NASA's team to test the durability, electrical systems and safety to ensure that a longer journey will go smoothly.

NASA hopes to send astronauts to Mars in the next 20 years. At the moment, there are rovers and robots exploring the red planet, gathering information and searching for signs of life. This will help NASA plan for maintaining human life for an extended time on Mars.'

http://www.strategicsourceror.com/2015/08/nasa-plans-interplanetary-mission-to.html

 

 


Fwd: economics

'Since the dawn of capitalism, closed societies with repressive governments have — much like China — been capable of remarkable growth and innovation. Sixteenth-century Spain was a great imperial power, with a massive navy and extensive industry such as shipbuilding and mining. One could say the same thing about Louis XIV's France during the 17th century, which also had vast wealth, burgeoning industry and a sprawling empire.

But both countries were also secretive, absolute monarchies, and they found themselves thrust into competition with the freer countries Holland and Great Britain. Holland, in particular, with a government that didn't try to control information, became the information center of Europe — the place traders went to find out vital information which they then used as the basis of their projects and investments. The large empires, on the other hand, had economies so centrally planned that the monarch himself would often make detailed economic decisions. As these secretive monarchies tried to prop up their economies, they ended up in unsustainable positions that invariably led to bankruptcy, collapse and conflict.

In Spain, the result was a slow collapse, which has left it and its former empire suffering from perpetual economic crisis and political instability. In France, an open society would eventually be born through monarchial bankruptcy that pulled down banks around Europe, and ended in violent revolution and the vastly destructive Napoleonic wars.'

http://www.politico.eu/article/china-new-spanish-empire-financial-crash/


2015-08-26

AI

'The letter, presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was signed by Tesla's Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Google DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis and professor Stephen Hawking along with 1,000 AI and robotics researchers.

The letter states: "AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] is – practically if not legally – feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high:'

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/27/musk-wozniak-hawking-ban-ai-autonomous-weapons

Musk and Hawking have warned that AI is "our biggest existential threat" and that the development of full AI could "spell the end of the human race". But others, including Wozniak have recently changed their minds on AI, with the Apple co-founder saying that robots would be good for humans, making them like the "family pet and taken care of all the time".


Fwd: Afghanistan

'The district of Musa Qala fell after the Taliban over-ran police and army posts in an offensive that lasted several days. Three U.S. air strikes on Saturday killed up to 40 militants, but they regrouped and chased government officials out of town.

Elsewhere in Helmand, two men in military uniforms opened fire in the former British base of Camp Bastion, killing two NATO soldiers.

In the first summer fighting season since foreign troops formally stepped back from combat roles in the Afghan war, the Taliban have pushed into a number of districts but have struggled to hold them when the Afghan army counter-attacks.'

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/26/us-afghanistan-attack-idUSKCN0QV13E20150826