In the future, a few things will still roll off a printing press -- dollar dollar bills, y'all!
CNET has a nice behind-the-scenes tour of the process of making the newly redesigned $100 bill, which the government unveiled in April. It won't be in circulation until February 10, 2011, but CNET's story provides a nice sneak peek.
Choking back a tear, NASA has announced the dates of the final missions to be made by the Space Shuttle. Discovery will lift off on November 1, for a 10-day mission carrying parts to the International Space Station. After that, February 26, 2011, will mark the last shuttle flight, as Endeavour takes the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer up to the ISS on a 13-day mission.
True to its aeronautic roots, NASA is evaluating a new generation of supersonic airplane designs to see whether they can reduce sonic-boom levels.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin have submitted futuristic concepts that look similar to the Concorde, but aim to muffle the annoying and potentially damaging sonic boom problem.
Tired of seeing 3-D renderings of objects on your screen and being unable to grab and fondle them? Just slip your fingers into the firm grip of Japanese haptics robot HIRO III. Driven by 15 independent motors, its black phalanges provide real-time force feedback to your hand, precisely simulating the weight and contour of virtual 3-D objects -- a pretty wild paradigmatic leap forward in interface technology!
Schwarzenegger's Terminator memorably thrashed and crawled onward towards its victims even after its robotic limbs had been mutilated by explosions and crashes. Now, a German research team is trying to bring that ability to the robots of today, looking at how three-legged dogs move in order to design robots that can recover from injury or damage.
Scientists must really dread the dentist -- they're always coming up with new solutions to help people avoid that cursed drill. The latest: a hormone gel that regenerates tooth cells in as little as a month.
The gel, the first of its kind, could eliminate the need to fill cavities or drill into the root canal of an infected tooth, Discovery News reports. It is reported in the journal ACS Nano.
Reporting from the Gulf, an offshore oil rig worker finds mundanity, a complacent obsession with safety, and the doom beneath it all
By Jasper CollumPosted 06.29.2010 at 2:00 pm 8 Comments
It's a recurring dream. I'm standing next to a machine, some giant warm Fritz-Lang-inspired monster. I live in it. I am a piece of it. But I know at any moment this machine could destroy itself and there won't be a thing I can do about it. What a mutinous thing when a machine, usually so faithful and repetitious, turns against us.
I'm afraid of this dream, and every morning I wake up in the Gulf and go to work on an offshore drilling rig the dream gets worse. Though it shouldn't.
Environmental monitoring has come a long way since the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Now we use bees.
Airports in Germany are using honeybees as "biodetectives," regularly testing their honey for a suite of pollutants, the New York Timesreports. This year's first tests were conducted in early June at Düsseldorf International Airport, and the bees got a clean bill of health. That means the air was clean, too.