Many of the pavilions at the 2010 Expo in Shanghai are phenomenal, both inside and out. The USA pavilion, however, is neither. But far worse than being visually unimpressive (which it is), the essence of our representation at the largest World's Fair carries an even sadder message.
ESA's Herschel space observatory is about to celebrate its first anniversary in space, and in anticipation the European Space Agency has given all of us a little gift. This colorful image of a giant bubble of gas and dust named RCW 120 was spotted by Herschel's infrared sensors, but it's not just the aesthetic aspect that's exciting. The small white bright spot at the bottom fringe of the cloud is a young massive star still in formation, and it could provide us with unique insights into exactly how massive stars come to be. The image was presented this week at the Herschel First Results Symposium in the Netherlands.
With a budget battle looming and its Ares I rocket program all but dead, today NASA test-fired its $220 million Orion crew capsule, which it is currently repurposing into an escape vehicle, per President Obama's new vision for NASA. Conducted at the Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the launch came off without a hitch, launching Orion more than a mile skyward before deploying parachutes and drifting back to the desert floor a mile from the launch site.
"Wow, that went like clockwork from what I can see," said Jay Estes, NASA's deputy manager of the Orion project office. "That's an amazing test."
Texas is known for its wide open spaces and a certain enthusiasm among its citizens for traversing them by automobile. So it's appropriate that IBM and the Department of Transportation are planning an upgrade for car culture in the Lone Star State. Texas will serve as the test bed for several IBM telematics transportation technologies aimed at easing congestion, reducing accidents, and making painful commutes a thing of the past.
Future vaccination against measles, tuberculosis or even cervical cancer might be as simple as huffing from a plastic sack. Scientists have refined a powdered inhalable vaccine that is slated to undergo human clinical trials for preventing measles later this year in India.
Yesterday we showed you some of our favorite pavilions' impressive exterior architecture, but what's on the inside, you may ask? Why, hyper-realistic megababies and other assorted wonders, of course! Check out a gallery of some of our favorite World Expo pavilion interiors here.
A solar storm that smashed into Earth on April 5 went largely unnoticed by most of us down here on the planet, but a group of engineers at satellite maker Orbital Sciences Corp. have been thinking about it ever since. That's the day Galaxy 15, one of their satellites owned by Intelsat, went radio silent. The satellite is still functioning, going about its daily chores of relaying signals around the globe, but Galaxy 15 is ignoring all commands from handlers on Earth, leading engineers to dub the renegade satellite a "zombiesat."
SimCity players have struggled to keep their virtual towns alive against fires, tornadoes, and even UFOs, but can they handle strained water supplies and rising energy costs in CityOne? IBM's so-called "serious game" challenges urban planners to navigate the labyrinthine issues facing today's growing cities -- and perhaps to test better real-world policies.
The UK's Seed Cathedral is the best pavilion at the 2010 Expo, hands down. After getting a chance to go inside, I've decided I want to not only worship but live amongst its 60,000 fiber-optic-lit seeds. Wouldn't you?
When we tickle our artistic sides, playing with the varying fields of focus in our camera lenses can be a form of aesthetic expression. But for more practical uses -- say, filming a multi-layered scene like a concert where various subjects are at various depths -- it would be advantageous to capture the entire scene in perfect focus. A researcher in Toronto claims he's created an omni-focus camera that does exactly that.