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On-The-Horizon Technology

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Posted on Oct 9, 2012 3:16:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 10, 2012 7:30:59 AM PDT

I love low-tech solutions to complex problems, like planting sunflowers at irradiated sites like Chernobyl. Now we learn that worms can detoxify contaminated soil.

"Soil samples of the treated areas show that the worms removed more than 60% of the toxins in the 60,000 tons of polluted sludge tackled by the project in Muthia village."

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 7:40:10 PM PDT
Seems awfully tough on the worms, but then I'm not that worried about the worms. I am a bit worried about birds and fish that eat these worms.

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 7:36:06 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 10, 2012 7:37:13 AM PDT
Hi Sailor!

The article says the worms burrow up to five feet down, ingest the toxins, then rise to the surface where they then "are allowed to wander off into nearby land, dispersing and diluting the toxins so they no long pose a threat ... Otherwise the worms may be transported to a secure, long term dump site or burned in an incinerator."

But you made a good point, about the Food Chain. My husband used to catch cockroaches outside to feed to his small tank shark. One day the shark was dead, and he learned that roach poison had been left out, and the one that killed the shark had probably ingested the poison.

They recently had a cockroach eating contest in Florida, and the winner died. They are calling the death "mysterious", but I wonder if the same idea holds true, that the cockroaches caught had all ingested poison.

Posted on Oct 12, 2012 10:37:45 AM PDT

"Boeing has filed a patent for a method of disposing of dead satellites and other orbiting debris, but hitting them with a puff of gas. This is designed to slow down satellites, forcing them to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up."

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 12:24:16 PM PDT

I've just completed watching a live feed of Felix Baumgartner's stratospheric sky-dive. It was beautiful! He jumped from 128,000 feet (24 miles) or 39,000 meters (39 kilometers) and reached an estimated free-fall speed of about 729 miles per hour (1,000 feet per second) or about 1,166 kilometers per hour (324 meters per second). Now THAT was a sky-dive!

Here are links to two sites where you can check it out:

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 8:39:42 PM PDT

Yeah, I watched it live. I kept switching over from the Jets game. The best part was when he was tumbling like crazy until (I guess) the air was thick enough to assume a skydiving position. Still, it irked me a bit with the whole 'sky dive from space' since he was only a bit over 1/3 of the way to space (which is 62 miles).

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 7:55:42 AM PDT
OK, now here is someone who just had WAY too much time this weekend. My laugh for the morning.

Felix's jump recreated using Lego's (1 min, 44 seconds video)->

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 12:21:02 PM PDT
This was quite an accomplishment. And the actual jump was pretty cool too.

And you're right Bob, it wasn't "from space." That guy who took the pictures from the balloon, the ones everybody was calling "pictures from space! and so much cheaper than NASA!!" wasn't from space either. It was hella cool, but not from space.

But it's headed that way.

Ah well. From space is coming, and hopefully the guys who do these things will themselves point out that it isn't from space YET.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 12:33:41 PM PDT
For some reason, when I think of that jump from space, I'm reminded of the Star Trek reboot scene where they dive down to that laser platform to disable it. Now THAT was pretty awesome. The DVD extras showed how they filmed it. I wonder if this guy saw the movie and felt the same way? I still couldn't get over how much he spun around during the first minute.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 1:46:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 15, 2012 1:47:51 PM PDT
TO: CivWar64 (Bob)

RE: "The best part was when he was tumbling like crazy until (I guess) the air was thick enough to assume a skydiving position."

I don't remember him tumbling all that much. And I know that he didn't when he first left the capsule. (That shot looking straight down on the exit doorway.)

RE: "Still, it irked me a bit with the whole 'sky dive from space' since he was only a bit over 1/3 of the way to space (which is 62 miles)."

C'mon, Bob, you know better than to expect accuracy on scientific or technical subjects from the mainstream media. As far as the media were concerned, it was all about Red Bull's marketing efforts.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 7:29:55 PM PDT

Re. the tumbling, go to the link you gave->
and jump to 3:29 -- they only show it for about 5 seconds, so you may have missed it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2012 8:14:27 AM PDT
TO: CivWar64 (Bob)

RE: Felix Baumgartner's skydive

Thanks for the heads-up. I remember having seen it now. It's strange that I didn't remember it before (must be the old fogey's brain cells (smile)), probably because it was so brief.

One thing that bothered me, though, was that Earth's curvature seemed to be much greater than what one would expect to see at only 128,000 feet. It even seemed greater than what one would see from the Space Shuttle or the ISS (205 miles perigee), which is more than eight times higher. Maybe they were using wide-angle lenses - that would exaggerate Earth's curvature. And that would be right in line with Red Bull's marketing tagline of "a leap from the edge of space."

Posted on Oct 31, 2012 4:28:22 PM PDT

"The lasers are ten times more powerful than any yet built and will be strong enough to create subatomic particles in a vacuum, similar to conditions that may have followed the start of the universe."

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 8:37:36 AM PST
I figured I would beat Marilyn (yes, once again) before we got her speculations. Then we can ignore them.

She won't read this, so I expect her to duplicate post in a few days (weeks? months?) as if she's got the scoop of the century, and I expect her not to get the difference between the phase velocity and group velocity of light and the ramifications.

Scientists Make Light Travel Infinitely Fast
[Note: it was the wavelengths appearing everywhere at once inside a special material ... it cannot be used for travelling faster than light nor for transmitting information faster than light. The scientist explains it might be good for making a special small antenna or an optical device in circuitry.]

A more detailed description here->

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 1:07:01 PM PST
TO: CivWar64 (Bob)

RE: "Scientists Make Light Travel Infinitely Fast"

Thanks for the links to the two articles; they were pretty interesting. I seem to remember an article about a similar experiment about "phase velocity" that was done decades ago. I don't remember any details except that I think it involved quantum tunneling.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 3:45:12 PM PST
I don't remember that one specifically, Walter. Waves can do very bizarre things (specifically, I'm thinking of 'rogue waves' in the ocean).

I don't remember ever doing any discussion or calculations in college electrical engineering or physics courses back in the 70s about phase vs. group velocity of waves, though we did do the calculations for quantum tunneling. I'm scratching my head over why we didn't!

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 3:46:22 PM PST
PS..maybe this was one of those ET physics issues Marilyn is always talking about ;-)

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 1:27:28 PM PST

The LEGO robot was on Earth, and controlled from the ISS using an "experimental interplanetary internet system," called the Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 11:42:31 AM PST

One Physicist has found a way to measure the foam-like structure of Space/Time with a laser and a block of glass.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 9:24:14 PM PST
This seems like it should work.

I'm going out of town for the holiday, but I'll be back Monday, and in the meantime, I'd like to wish everybody a happy Thanksgiving. And if you don't do that holiday, well, have a good rest of the week.

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 8:16:55 AM PST
You too, Sailor B!

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 9:26:36 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2012 8:19:08 AM PST
Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Sailor. Enjoy!

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 10:43:21 AM PST
Thanks, both of you. I'm leaving in another hour or so, and it'll be my first long train ride since Germany, when I was four or five years old. I'm forty-six now.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 7:42:37 AM PST
I thought I had been noticing this. Now here's the proof:
"... survey of future technologies to skew towards longer times to fulfill them."

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 8:48:43 AM PST

You're reading and critical thinking skills have once more failed you. You obviously didn't realize that THIS WAS ABOUT A SURVEY A PROFESSOR CREATED FOR PHYSICS STUDENTS AND FACULTY??!! and has nothing to do with general articles about future tech.

And the prof. specifically says: "Let me clarify that I do not design surveys for a living, and may have made some rookie mistakes."

Once more you don't read, and just knee-jerk post some wild assumption of yours. So whatever you're 'noticing' has no meaning to those of us here, obviously, and you wonder why.

Survey results (and background, and you can take the survey yourself) if you had bothered to click on the link at the top of that post of yours=>
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  44
Total posts:  1015
Initial post:  Jul 29, 2010
Latest post:  Aug 31, 2013

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