How science is transforming the sport of MMA fighting
By Matthew ShaerPosted 08.27.2012 at 12:49 pm 4 Comments
Greg Jackson, the single most successful trainer in the multi-billion-dollar sport of professional mixed martial arts fighting, works out of a musty old gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not far from the base of the Sandia Mountains. On a recent morning, the 38-year-old Jackson, who has the cauliflowered ears and bulbous nose of a career fighter, watched two of his students square off inside the chain-link walls of a blood-splattered ring called the Octagon.
Shape-shifting stadiums could transform the way we watch sports
By Bjorn CareyPosted 08.21.2012 at 10:06 am 6 Comments
Almost as soon as RFK Stadium opened in 1961, it became clear that the stadium was a dud. Football fans complained that the low seating made it difficult to see the entire field. Baseball fans complained that they had to twist in their seats to see the action at home plate. By trying to accommodate two sports, the stadium failed at both. All dozen of the combination football-baseball stadiums built in the U.S. since then have garnered similar complaints.
Drones are learning the difference between a car and a tree--and how to make their next moves
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.14.2012 at 10:14 am 5 Comments
Self-piloted drones have become sophisticated enough to land on moving aircraft carriers, but put a single unexpected tree in the way, and they will crash. Now a five-university group that includes specialists in biology, computer vision and robotics is trying to teach drones to dodge obstacles on the fly. Working with $7.5 million from the Office of Naval Research, the scientists aim to build an autonomous, fixed-wing surveillance drone that can navigate through an unfamiliar city or forest at 35 miles an hour.
Even without a telescope, it’s possible to look off the summit of Mauna Kea and see, 14,000 feet below and dozens of miles in the distance, wide swaths of rain forest touching the whitecapped Pacific. Down there, people are doing what people come to Hawaii to do: hiking to waterfalls, lying in the sand, exposing their skin to tropical solar radiation. Up here, there is no vegetation, no warmth and very little atmosphere. And as the sun sets over the parabolic aluminum dishes of the Submillimeter Array observatory, it’s time to work.
By Steve FeatherstonePosted 07.17.2012 at 10:10 am 19 Comments
On April 26, 1986, two powerful explosions tore through Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, flipping the reactor's giant 2,000-ton concrete lid into the air like a coin. White-hot chunks of the nuclear core rained down on adjacent buildings, setting fires and peppering the ground outside. Remnants of the core burned for 10 days, churning a thick plume of radioactive isotopes equivalent to 400 Hiroshima bombs high into the atmosphere.