Do or Diode

Diode lasers may vie with LEDs for lighting supremacy

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


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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.

Be a Journalist, not a Refereee

Fighting the “he said, she said” cowardice

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.

Quasicrystal Animation

Quasicrystals as sums of waves in the plane

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.

I Really Don't Know Clouds At All

Amazing video of a bizarre, twisting, dancing cloud

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.