Category Archives: Engineering

Hoverbots Playing Catch

Your robot overlords will play catch with you. If they’re not too busy. And if you ask. Nicely. These robots were made by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and use highly precise positioning sensors to … Continue reading

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The Quake: The Reactors: A Status Report

CNN has an overview of what we know –and don’t know– about the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. Status report: Reactor-by-reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant – CNN.com

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Twelve Insane Roller Coasters

So this is how they play with the gravity well on planet earth. Think of what we could do on the surface of a neutron star. Of course, the ultimate would be a black holercoaster. From Oobject Incredible Roller Coasters … Continue reading

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The Quake: Reactors Still Far From Stable

Time is now on the side of the engineers struggling to regain control of the reactors at the Fukishima complex. But that hardly means they can relax. Or WE can relax. Technicians working inside an evacuation zone around the stricken plant … Continue reading

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The Quake: Finally, Some Good News from the Reactor

Workers are close to restoring power to cooling systems at a quake-hit Japanese nuclear power plant, officials say. Engineers connected a cable through which they hope to supply electricity to part of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. BBC News – Japan: … Continue reading

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The Quake: Japan May Have to Bury Those Reactors

So far, the only good news coming from the reactor disaster has been the restoration of power to the plant, which would help cool the reactors and keep the pools of spent fuel rods cool. Science Daily says these efforts … Continue reading

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Tom Toles Nails It — As Usual

  Click for the full cartoon, from 18 March. Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon on GoComics.com See also Quake Could Have Been More Devastating

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The First Planet, Mercury, Gets Its First Satellite

NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft successfully achieved orbit around Mercury at approximately 9 p.m. EDT Thursday. This marks the first time a spacecraft has accomplished this engineering and scientific milestone at our solar system’s innermost planet. For the next several weeks, APL … Continue reading

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About That Plutonium in Reactor #3

The genie trying to get out of this particular bottle is a very nasty genie indeed. Reactor #3 at Fukushima Daiichi is fueled by rods with 6% plutonium, obtained from spent fuel rods. (This is recycling we could do without.) It’s … Continue reading

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The Quake: Radiation Falls from Yesterday’s Spike

The radiation levels around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi complex  –perfect word– appear to have eased. Two possible causes have emerged. Either the containment structure was breached, or the now-extinguished fire in reactor four pumped radioactive material into the atmosphere. Whichever was … Continue reading

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