Tag Archives: Antikythera

Futurology 20 ~ Space DNA, cooling paint, solar, spoon, pain switch, Antikythera, huge block


German scientists discovered a huge cut stone block in Baalbek. It's 19.6 meters long by 6 wide, and is at least 5.5 high with a weight estimated at 1650 tons!
German scientists discovered a huge cut stone block (to the right) in Baalbek. It’s 19.6 meters long by 6 wide, and at least 5.5 high with a weight estimated at 1650 tons!

DNA survives critical entry into Earth’s atmosphere — The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere – and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results during an experiment on the TEXUS-49 research rocket mission.
~ DNAlien, anyone?

Scientists develop ‘paint’ to help cool the planet — Engineers at Stanford University have developed an ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings but also directs internal heat away using a system called “photonic radiative cooling.” The coating can reflect away 97% of incoming sunlight. When combined with the photonic radiative cooling system it becomes cooler than the surrounding air by around 9F (5C). The material is designed to radiate heat away into space at a precise frequency that allows it to pass through the atmosphere without warming it.
~ And so it shall pass from Global Warming to Space Warming. Expect an angry missive from the Intergalactic Hegemony soon after. 

Large scale solar farm under construction — Large-scale solar plants are monstrous construction projects that cover hundreds or thousands of acres of land in photovoltaic goodness. This amazing video shows how they go from concept to reality.
~ And what of the land beneath? What happens to the eco-system?

Scotland renewable energy milestone — Thanks to a combination of wind, solar and hydroelectric, along with less-publicized sources such as landfill gas and biomass, Scotland produced 10.3TWh in the first half of 2014, which is more than it generated the dirty way.
~ Crikey, if you can do it there …

Magnifying spoon —  Object Solutions’ Magnifying Spoon lets you inspect your meal up close before you eat. Designed by Ernesto D Morales, Carlos Maldonado and Juan Pablo Viedma, there’s a good chance you’ll offend the proprietor of wherever you’re dining when you pull out the Magnifying Spoon, but that’s a small price to pay if it means you don’t end up with a disgusting spoonful of bugs, cigarette ash or coriander.
~ Shame it doesn’t actually make some meals bigger.

Brain switch turns off pain — Scientists working together from several international universities have discovered it is possible to block a pathway in the brain of animals suffering from neuropathic pain, which could have a huge impact on improving pain relief in humans.
A chemical stimulator called adenosine binds to brain receptors to trigger a biological response, and has shown potential for killing pain in humans.
~ I’ll wait for the app.

Antikythera Mechanism older than previously thought — As if the freakishly advanced Antikythera Mechanism wasn’t astounding enough, a new analysis suggests the astronomical device is older than archaeologists assumed.
~ Genius that hasn’t aged.

Largest stone block discovered — German archaeologists working at Baalbek in Lebanon have uncovered the largest known ancient block. The fully exposed block (main picture, to the right) , which dates back to around 27 BC, is located in a stone quarry at the site of the ancient Heliopolis in Lebanon.
~ The stone was unmoved at its discovery. 

Futurology 13 ~ From robo-linguist, cure for Diabetes to more Antikythera finds


So far In the android can only pass along simple greetings in Japanese sign language
So far In the android can only pass along simple greetings in Japanese sign language

Toshiba’s eerie Sign Language Robot will silently stare into your soul — Proving its engineers are just as capable as anyone at developing a creepy human-like robot that embraces the Uncanny Valley, Toshiba has developed an android that specialises in sign language, thanks to a pair of highly articulated hands. One day, the company hopes it could serve as an artificial receptionist, but it’s probably going to need to learn to talk first.
~ Creepy but potentially useful. 

Print a super-thin touchscreen display on just about anything — PrintScreen is a system for printing displays on nearly any kind of material: wood, Mylar, marble, leather, metal, paper. And what’s more, these super cheap, super fast displays are touch sensitive. They can be double-sided. You can roll ’em, fold ’em …
~ But you need to know when to hold ’em. 

Computer fits together like Lego — Kano is a new kind of computer company, a startup that’s totally devoted to teaching a new generation about the craft of silicon. Its first product, a Raspberry Pi-based system so easy a child could build it, makes it easy to build a PC practically from scratch.
~ And not sponsored by Shell. 

Have scientists developed a viable cure for Type 1 Diabetes? In what’s being called one of the most important advances to date in the field, researchers at Harvard have used stem cells to create insulin-producing beta cells in large quantities. Human transplantation trials could only be a few years away.
~ Well, take your time why don’t you.

Cars take up this much more space than bikes
Cars take up this much more space than bikes

Possibly the World’s silliest (and most creative) protest against cars — In Latvia, a group of bicycle enthusiasts decided to show the city of Riga what it would be like if every bicycle turned into a car. So they built these amazing contraptions to remind everyone that cars are what cause traffic jams.
~ As long as the bike couriers don’t start doing it. 

City growth explosions visualised — Cities are growing larger, and that over half the human population lives in a city. But when you see these maps charting the growth of megacities since the early 1900s … well, it’s stunning. It’s especially incredible when you realise most cities exploded in size over the past 50 years.
~ And get used to it – that’s what National wants for Auckland. 

Archaeologists make more stunning discoveries on Antikythera shipwreck — The international team of divers and archaeologists investigating the site of an ancient Greek ship that sank more than 2000 years ago off the remote island of Antikythera have not been disappointed.
The site is bigger than they thought, and contains a treasure trove of artefacts. This is where the Antikythera Mechanism came from decades ago, which seems to be a highly complex geared calculation device of some sort. The wreck is so deep they’re using a diving exosuit with rebreather technology to get to it.
~ Plus the ship is perhaps 50 metres long – a monster for the era.