On Wednesday, Stephen Colbert celebrated America’s latest scientific development: A super laser that can “focus 192 laser beams on a small point, generating temperatures and pressures that exist at cores of stars or giant planets.” Sound familiar? See The Colbert Report clip beneath the cut. Continue reading →
Most of The Physics of the Death Star is pretty much Greek to me (art degree!) but long story short, the amount of energy the Death Star needs just to blow stuff up:
It’s a solid week of the sun’s entire power output. Dumping it in about a single second, as required to blow up Alderaan, is a very, very impressive feat. Doubly so when you take into account the fact that the binding energy is just enough to dissociate the planet into a diffuse cloud. If you want to actually blow the thing up into pieces flying out at many times escape velocity, you need much more energy.
So how much would it take to move that thing around? Even in zero gravity? How about the lights? Interior gravity? Refreshers? Mouse-droid charging stations? On second thought… I don’t want to know. (via)
No, USA Today is reporting this one straight, complete with comments from Howard Roffman. The Force Trainer “uses brain waves to allow players to manipulate a sphere.” Naturally.
No, you’re not tapping into some “all-powerful force controlling everything,” as Han Solo said in the movies. But you are reaching out with mind power via one of the first mass-market brain-to-computer products. “It’s been a fantasy everyone has had, using The Force,” says Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing.
…In the Force Trainer, a wireless headset reads your brain activity, in a simplified version of EEG medical tests, and the circuitry translates it to physical action. If you focus well enough, the training sphere, which looks like a ping-pong ball, will rise in the tower.
Call me when they start making the toy lightsabers with real light, okay? (via)
You may have noticed our latest sidebar poll, which went up a few days ago, is about social networking sites.
It’s mostly idle curiosity on my part, as I created a Twitter account for the blog the other day. You don’t need an account there to read it, nor do you really need to read it. I fully plan to incorporate most of what is linked there into roundup posts here in time… You know, all that news that doesn’t really justify more than a line or two. This is nothing more than a quick and easy way to get it out there. But if you’re already Twitterified, go ahead and follow it! I promise, you won’t be hearing about what I had for lunch or anything.
In the meantime, fill out the poll! (If you marked ‘Other,’ go ahead and specify here.) And remember, friends don’t let friends use MySpace. Continue reading →
Scientists have discovered what appears to be an Earth-like planet in the Epsilon Eridani System. For those not insanely focused on Star Trek trivia, this would be the system that is home to one Mr. Spock of Vulcan.