Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Science, Gaming, Whatever Links

Jesse Liemkuehler sent in several links to some excellent space picture.
Saturn's moons cause ripples in the rings:
Dunes on Titan around the equator region:
A crater on Titan:

Not exactly a science link, but Brian Pilnick sent in a 2005 story from the New York Times about the most expensive rock, paper, scissors game ever, involving a twenty million dollar art collection. It's a fascinating article, and you can read it here.

From Sirius, a link to a computer just slightly larger than your thumb. It's called the Gumstix and you can read about it here.

The absolutely excellent game Darwinia is now on sale at Circuit City for $10. Thanks to Chris McNair for the heads-up and here's the link.

From Brian Witte comes an interesting link to a new type of engine that could have all kinds of applications in space:
Roger Shawyer has developed an engine with no moving parts that he believes can replace rockets and make trains, planes and automobiles obsolete. "The end of wings and wheels" is how he puts it. It's a bold claim. Read Shawyer’s theory paper here (pdf format).

Of course, any crackpot can rough out plans for a warp drive. What they never show you is evidence that it works. Shawyer is different. He has built a working prototype to test his ideas, and as a respected spacecraft engineer he has persuaded the British government to fund his work. Now organisations from other parts of the world, including the US air force and the Chinese government, are beating a path to his tiny company.

The device that has sparked their interest is an engine that generates thrust purely from electromagnetic radiation - microwaves to be precise - by exploiting the strange properties of relativity. It has no moving parts, and releases no exhaust or noxious emissions.

The full story is here.

Also from Sirius, a link to a story about archaeopteryx and it's four wings. Here's an excerpt:
The earliest known bird had flight feathers on its legs that allowed it to use its hindlimbs as an extra pair of wings, a new study finds.

The finding, detailed in the current issue of the journal Paleobiology, supports the theory that early birds learned to glide and parachute from trees before achieving full-fledged flight.

The full story is here.

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