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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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.'




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."




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.'




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



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'


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