Futurology 02 ~ Weird binary star, impossible engine


Roger Shawyer's 'impossible' space engineRoger Shawyer’s ‘impossible’ space engine

Bizarre binary — There are some strange things in our galaxy, but a double star system with misaligned protoplanetary disks around 450 light-years from Earth has to be one of the weirdest. It has the potential to explain why some exoplanet orbits can be wildly eccentric.
Using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, astronomers have managed a detailed look into the binary star system HK Tauri.
~ And they’re less than 500 million years old – almost new!

Impossible Engine could change space travel — Roger Shawyerhad been laughed at by physicists for his EmDrive, which goes against classical mechanics. But the fact is that the quantum vacuum plasma thruster works and scientists can’t explain why.
~ Well, don’t ask me, then!

Glider to the edge of space — In an ambitious attempt to break every wing-borne sustained flight height record for a manned aircraft, the Perlan ll project intends to construct and fly a glider higher than any sailplane has gone before. Riding on the colossal stratospheric air waves generated over mountains, the team plans to fly its craft to more than 27,000 metres to shatter its own existing glider altitude record of 15,400m set by Perlan l in 2008.
~ Effortless heights.

Map shows the world’s most important cities over time — A map shows how the world’s most important cities changed over time.
Art historian Maximilian Schich put together the pretty visualisation that records humanity’s cultural history over 2600 years. The blue and red dots (below) are the birthplaces and deaths for over 120,000 people who were ‘notable enough’ to have their births and deaths recorded.
~ Eurocentric but still bewitching.

Cities plotted over 2600 years
Cities plotted over 2600 years

Zoo that’s better for the animals because they don’t see the human voyeurs — Danish architects at Bjarke Ingels Group think they have designed a better zoo, in which humans are usually hidden from the prisoners I mean animals by grass shelters and mirrored pods.
~ It would work for me. 

Old amber haul gives up its secrets — In the late 1950s, an entomologist named Milton Sanderson collected over 72kgs of 20-million-year-old amber in the Dominican Republic. Now, 50 years later, that amber is finally giving up its secrets, including a fascinating insect named for David Attenborough.
They’ve already found mating flies, stingless bees, gall midges, Azteca ants, wasps, bark beetles, mites, spiders, plant parts, and a mammal hair, and even a new species of pygmy grasshopper ‘Electrotettix attenboroughi’, which has just been described in the journal ZooKeys.
~ Sounds like an insect for Asterix.