Tag Archives: science

Plus I really doubt that’s clean energy

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)

The ‘Force trainer’ is not an Onion story

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)

Transparisteel, almost.

The Air Force is testing transparent aluminum… As Karen Traviss points out, we’re getting damn close to transparisteel!

Also, the testing is at the Wright-Patterson Air Force base… I’ve been there. It’s where the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is. Totally a must-see for anyone into that sort of thing – it’s huge. (And if you’re lucky, sometimes they give tours of the warehouses of all the stuff they’re not putting up in the main museum. Or at least they did a few years back.)