Tag Archives: science

Now someone make me an awesome brick hurling robot..

Boston Dynamics, who have a lot of US military and DARPA money invested in their work, frequently build awesome things that I want, like littledog:


Bigdog, and other robots being developed for troop support:

And even robots that move like real people and make Asimo look like a kid’s toy:

And now they’ve given bigdog a robot arm so it can hurl bricks, (bbc news) because Skynet will find all of these remarkably useful when the time comes…

So now I need them to build me an army, one worthy of the Nerd Lair.

So.. now what?

My fantasy novel, which is now renamed “The Harbinger Rises” – Book I of The Red Bargain has now been completed.  Or at least, the first draft has been. 116265 words including the glossary, which is about at the level I expected it / planned it to be.

So; now I need to get a printout so that the friend who’s agreed to do a readthrough can do so, and I need to go through it myself and edit it; I am n ot wholly sure what to look for and what to do but I suppose I can find guides online.  Part of me can’t help thinking to myself.. now what? :-S

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Galaxies Due To Collide

It’s true, or as true as we can determine anyway… the Milky Way is going to collide with the Andromeda Galaxy… don’t worry though it’s not due to happen for… ooh, about another four or so billion years, and Earth and the Solar System are apparently not in any danger… Oh good.

Series of photo illustrations showing merger between milky way and andromeda

Series of photo illustrations showing merger between milky way and andromeda

source: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/milky-way-collide.html

Teeny-tiny artificial heart saves life of 16 month boy

Ok, let’s just agree right now – medical science is cool.. and even more cool when it saves the life of youngsters who haven’t really had much of a chance at life yet.

So, this story reported in Reuters has me smiling: Doctors at Rome’s Bambino Gesu hospital implanted a tiny little artificial heart into the kid until a donor was found.

The tiny titanium pump weighs only 11 grams and can handle a blood flow of 1.5 liters a minute. An artificial heart for adults weighs 900 grams.

I wonder how long it will be before we manage to create heart replacement pumps that can be trusted to work on a permanent basis?

Skin Cells can be turned into beating heart cells

Oh wow.. this is just one of the most awesomest sciency things I’ve ever heard.

So, you’ve heard of stem cells? Those cells that can be thought of as building blocks, and that potentially will allow us to grow whole new organs or limbs for use in transplants?  They are, as I like to think, damn cool biology stuff.

Well, stem cells can get bad press, because the easiest and most heard of method of making them is to create an embryo.. but hold on a gosh-darned-tooting second I hear you cry.. what about all those awkward ethical questions?!?!

Do not fret! I say, because stem cells can be made from skin cells!  Also, researchers at Technion Israel Institute of Technology have managed to turn those stem cells into beating heart muscle!  Awesome!

source – http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/3081/20120523/can-skin-cells-help-heal-your-heart.htm

via http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/05/23/2221226/scientists-turn-skin-cells-into-beating-heart-muscle?utm_source=slashdot&utm_medium=twitter

No more ketchup waste thanks to MIT

When I see sciencey things I think to myself… wow.  Occasionally I see something so awesome I just HAVE to share it with everyone else, beceuse.. well, it’s like, the law or something.  I haven’t really thought that thought through very thoroughly but let’s just leave it there.

Anyway, this is one of those second things, and I know it’s rather lame and superfluous but it’s also rather awesome too..

Scientists at MIT have invented a food-safe coating that can be applied to glass or plastic containers that is super-hydrophobic.

What that means is..  tell you what, here, have a video:

The ketchup does not stick to the bottle!

Now, I don’t know the amount of ketchup or mayo that could be saved if this coating was applied to all containers, but I’m going to imagine it could be measured in olympic swimming pools, or possibly areas the size of Wales.

Science, isn’t it awesome?

Source – http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pick/mit-creates-superhydrophobic-coating-for-condiment-bottles-20120523/