science

First successful test of Einstein’s General Relativity Theory near supermassive black hole

From eso.org: “Observations made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have for the first time revealed the effects predicted by Einstein’s general relativity on the motion of a star passing through the extreme gravitational field near the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. This long-sought result represents the climax of a 26-year-long observation campaign using ESO’s telescopes in Chile.”

Jacob’s Ladder electrical arc device

After watching the movie Powder and hearing an electrical arc device referred to as Jacob’s Ladder, I looked into it and found this Jacob’s Ladder page on the Popular Science website (where this image comes from). I was familiar with the term in a religious context, but I didn’t know that’s what the name for this device is.

Top environmental problems: Selfishness, greed, and apathy alvin April 2, 2018 - 7:51pm

I saw this quote by Gus Speth on Facebook and Twitter, and wanted to share it here. As Mr. Speth says, the top environmental problems aren’t biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change, they’re selfishness, greed, and apathy (mostly the first two, in my opinion).

Teaching the mathematics of infinity (and childrens’ brains)

Here’s an article with two interesting exercises near the end of it: How thinking about infinity changes kids’ brains on math. When you’re ready to go deeper, that article links to a NY Times article, Teaching the mathematics of infinity. And then that article links to another titled, The life of Pi and other infinities.

(When I was a young lad, I’d often lay in bed at night and wonder, “Okay, so I go to the edge of the universe ... what’s after that? There’s gotta be something after that, right?”)

Researchers are developing photovoltaic windows that can provide shade and generate electricity

From a fastcodesign.com article: “Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing smart photovoltaic windows that can shade you and generate electricity at the same time ... This coated glass is about 82% transparent when it’s at room temperature ... At 7% efficiency, they’re still under the minimum of 10% that the team led by Professor Peidong Yang believes would be adequate for commercial purposes. Dou told me that they hope to reach that mark in the next three to five years ... They also face a manufacturing roadblock: the color. Right now, Yang’s team can get the glass to turn orange, red, and brown ... But the main problem, right now, is the glass’s temperature threshold, which they’re working to reduce to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, the typical temperature of glass exposed to a typical sunny midday.”