Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Of moons, clouds, and the state of the art(s)

Flexing moons, by Jove!
New cameras keep coming to market with more pixels than I can imagine any earthly use for -- but here comes astronomy to the rescue. See (from Space.com) "Alien Moons May Be Easier to Photograph Than Planets." The basic concept: tidal flexing of a moon by its primary generates heat, and that heat is in addition to all solar heating. And heat shows up in infrared imaging ...

That's one more way to search for Jm'ho, the Gw'oth world ;-)

How will you get to distant worlds? Odds are, not by beaming there à là Star Trek. For a mathematical look at the (im)probability of human teleportation, see (from Slate) "Bad News, These Physicists Say That Teleportation is Unworkable." Assuming you want to arrive wherever knowing what you knew when you set out, the trillions of tiny synapses in your head are a big challenge. 

Speaking of your head ...were you ever accused of having it in the clouds? (I may be dating myself with that turn of phrase. So be it.) And have you succumbed to the trend of keeping lots of your data there? Then (from PC World), be forewarned (and appalled by metaphor abuse): "Attackers reported seeding cloud services with malware.

Beneath the clouds, I trust you'll be happy to know, nanotechnicians are hard at work on tiny challenges. Like miniature art that demonstrates their prowess at manipulating individual molecules. As in, from the Christian Science Monitor, " 'Mini Lisa': Georgia Tech researchers create world's tiniest da Vinci reproduction.' " As in producing what must be the world's most expensive Claymation-like video (courtesy of IBM Research, see "A Boy And His Atom: The World's Smallest Movie").

To end with a bit (hah!) of fun, check out the Onion's take on the Mini Lisa

No comments: