Archive for October, 2011
The part where you can see the night sky reflection off the lake is especially cool.
It’s not just BMW with laser headlights. But the higher efficiency is tempting.
Little research had been done on diode lasers for lighting because of a widespread assumption that human eyes would find laser-based white light unpleasant. It would comprise four extremely narrow-band wavelengths—blue, red, green, and yellow—and would be very different from sunlight, for example, which blends a wide spectrum of wavelengths with no gaps in between. Diode laser light is also ten times narrower than that emitted by LEDs
Not sure if the arm-wave is just to be cute or if it’s programmed in to help locate the biker when it’s not moving, e.g. if it got stuck somewhere or lost the signal.
The issue of hiding behind the skirts of “getting involved” is something I’ve mentioned before. Letting people spout off (and apply spin) without calling them on their claims shouldn’t count as journalism.
The included link, If “he said, she said” journalism is irretrievably lame, what’s better? is well-worth a read, too, so I’m linking it separately. Good list of reporter guidelines, including some that especially apply to science stories, such as
* There is no such thing as 50/50 balance. There is a truth and we work our damndest to get there.
* Sometimes two viewpoints don’t deserve 50/50 treatment.
This is so cool, and artsy as well; like a very complicated moving moiré pattern (which is basically what it is, as far as I can tell). You can see lines emerging, similar to the effect of driving past an orchard with evenly-spaced trees, and glimpsing the far side when you hit a particular “order” of the structure, but there’s so much additional structure in the animation.
The outer surface of ice crystals can hold a static electric charge, similar to what happens when you rub a glass rod with a cloth, or rub a balloon on your hair and stick it to the wall. When placed in an electric field, the charges feel a force on them, and align themselves along the field. So all the ice crystals above that cloud top are aligned one way in the field. Then the field snaps (maybe due to lightning releasing the energy) and then reforms. The ice crystals change their orientation suddenly when that happens.
I crossed this “bridge” while I was out geocaching on Saturday. It connects the Rachel Carson trail with the Northwest Branch trail just north of the Burnt Mills dam in Maryland.
There are geocaches along both sides of the stream and I didn’t want to hike back to the dam and cross . At the midpoint — where the rope is least effective at providing a restoring force and you are at an antinode of the tree it tends to bounce a bit — is a bad place to get dizzy. But since you are on a curved surface, you have to watch where you step, and there’s no way not to look at the water rushing by a few feet below, which I found to be disorienting. Turning around wasn’t much of an option. Falling in would not have been disastrous, since I was only a few feet up, there were no protruding rocks, the water was not going to sweep me away and it was warm enough that getting wet would not have been more than an inconvenience, but I’m glad I didn’t.
It wasn’t a full blown vertigo attack — I didn’t start talking like Jimmy Stewart, by golly — but enough to make me swear off any future attempts at this sort of thing unless my life is in danger.