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Brian Dodson

Science

Michigan Tech physicists search for time travelers on Twitter

At this juncture in time, humanity does not know how to travel into the past, or even if such a concept has any meaning. So if you are an astrophysicist who wants to uncover evidence of time travel, what do you do? If you're Michigan Technological University astrophysics professor Robert Nemeroff and his PhD student Teresa Wilson, you look for time travelers on Twitter.Read More

Automotive

McLaren's ultrasonic force field to replace windshield wipers

Windshield wipers are life-savers, but also can drive one to distraction with their incessant streaking and chattering. Well, the tyranny of the wipers may soon be over. McLaren Automotive’s chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles. While Stephenson referred to a military source for McLaren's tech, there appears to be very little public information on how such force fields might clean a windshield during a storm, so I'm taking a look at the patent history to see how this might be accomplished.Read More

Cyberpunk furniture for the environmentalist

Benjamin Rollins Caldwell exults in materials, designing entire lines of furniture from a wide range of castoffs. His latest creations form his remarkable Binary collection of living room furniture, in which all components come from old PCs and defunct electronics. Read More

Telecommunications

Cities reimagined as cellular dreamscapes

Nickolay Lamm is a self-identified artist and researcher, who is making a career of transforming ordinary images into extraordinary visual displays of quantitative information, to borrow from Ed Tufte. We take a look at his transformation of New York, Chicago, Hollywood, and Washington D.C. through converting cellular network transmissions into visual overlays.Read More

Science Review

Review: Astronomers Without Borders' OneSky starter telescope

Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is a nonprofit organization aimed at knocking down national and cultural boundaries by encouraging a common interest in astronomy. Along with their message that we all share one sky, AWB is now selling a neat little grab-n-go telescope called OneSky. The scope is perfectly suited for a quick look at the heavens from the backyard, as well as for throwing in the car before heading to darker skies. I'm reviewing this scope, and it is a prize for the price. Read More

Space

China's Chang'e-3 makes successful Moon landing

Following 12 minutes of precise maneuvering which began in lunar orbit, China's Chang'e-3 lunar lander, with the Yu Tu (Jade Rabbit) lunar rover onboard, successfully landed on the Moon's surface at 13:11 UT Saturday night. At this point, Chang'e-3's solar panels were opened to begin charging the rover's batteries for its first drive about the lunar surface, which is expected to begin about seven hours after landing. Read More

Science Feature

Archaeology vs. Physics: Conflicting roles for old lead

The study of archaeology has long been carried out using tools from the physics lab. Among these are carbon-14 dating, thermoluminescence dating, x-ray photography, x-ray fluorescence elemental analysis, CAT and MRI scanning, ground-penetrating sonar and radar, and many others. What is less well known is that archaeology has also made substantial contributions to physics. This is the story of old lead; why it is important to physics, and what ethical problems it presents to both sciences.Read More

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