26 September 2009

News Roundup -- I'm not dead yet

Hey, a news post. I haven't done one of these for a while.
  • Giant Squid: Fear them, reprinted by Slate to honor the fact that U.S. scientists accidently caught a giant squid this week. A humorous look at the scariest creature to live beneath the waves.

  • Incidentally, this article on a new rewrite of a Jane Austen classic (this time with giant crabs and man eating jellyfish!) is worth a read. These things seem to be all the rage, these days. Why is it that Jane Austen novels seem to perk right up with the addition of Vampires, Zombies, or similar monsters? We may never know.

  • EEStor requests UL certification for their Ultracapacitor. This is big news. EEStor has been in the news for a while now, touting a truly monstrous capacitor that could, potentially, give cars 300 miles of driving. With a five minute charge time. And cheaper than batteries. When can I get one of these for my laptop? Check out Wikipedia for some (still unverified) details on EEStor's technology. Fascinating stuff.

  • Ice near equator on Mars and, in the same week, water discovered on the moon. It's been a good week for dihydrogen monoxide discoveries in space. Unfortunately, the moon water is found in such small quantities that it could be from solar wind, which would imply that it's a fairly ephemeral substance on the moon. Mars ice is much more exciting -- and frustrating, since the ice was discovered near the area where Viking-2 landed. The Viking program results indicated that Mars was a dry, dead world, with no water -- how would our image of the planet be different if Viking had dug four inches deeper and encountered ice, thirty some years ago? Hard to say... But it would certainly have changed NASA's direction away from the gas giants towards the inner planets.

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