Scientists get the Extreme Dreidel award:
Graphene is a derivation of graphite, which in turn comes from carbon. Basically, graphite comes from stacked sheets of carbon, and graphene is made of one-atom-thick separated graphite sheets, which form a honeycomb crystal structure. Graphene has some pretty incredible properties: It conducts electricity better than any other known material at room temperature and exhibits a startling amount of strength, given its 2D structure. A bit of graphene the same thickness as plastic wrap would require 2.5 tons of force to puncture it.
Kane then set them spinning using a light beam that is circularly polarised, meaning it passes its momentum to objects in its path. As a result, the flakes started spinning at 60 million rotations per minute, faster than any other macroscopic object.
It’s not really clear that there are any particular uses for this discovery, but graphene has shown nothing but promise so far, so further research on its spin speed could well lead to scientists stumbling onto something great.
Not really clear?!? I have one good particular use for it: because it’s frickin’ awesome. 60 million RPM? That’s nothing, they say. Apparently this may only be 1/1000th it’s possible top speed. Insane.
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I’ve been mainlining the great science videos over at Sixty Symbols. Really brilliant stuff. Check out the one on the LHC.
Something is adding methane to Mars’s atmosphere:
Scientists and the public get excited about extraterrestrial methane because it’s usually produced one or two ways — through volcanic eruptions and biological processes. It is prevalent in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus, and more recently, scientists figured out it also exists (with some interesting variation) on Saturn’s moon Titan.
Chemical processes could also produce methane, such as carbon dioxide combining with melted water beneath the surface.
Though detection of methane is not a smoking gun for life, changes in the presence of methane are intriguing. Methane breaks down in ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which means something on Mars is replenishing it.
Wow, pretty cool. I wonder what’s going on?
MakerBot industries introduces their new revision 3d printer, the Thing-O-Matic. Larger build platform, improved Z-axis, heated build platform. Higher price ($1300). Sounds like something Wallace and Gromit would build. Want!
The next Mars rover is named Curiosity. That makes my heart smile.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws the fastest pitch in MLB history. 105mph. Amazingly, this was during a 25 pitch streak where every pitch was above the century mark.
This is just astounding. I tried my hand at a radar-measured pitch a few years ago. I thought “well, I’m a fairly big and coordinated guy. I’ll bet I can get to 60mph”. Yeah, right. I was barely able, with all my might, to break 40. 100+mph for 25 consecutive pitches is just incredible.
The Tube Map of modern science. Nifty. I spent quite a while staring at this and trying to figure out where one person made connections between several different disciplines.
A growing chorus of voices: Virginians calling for a Constitutional Convention to propose an Amendment that would empower the states to check the actions of the federal government, thus restoring some of the lost power of the states and checking the rampant growth of federalism.
the Virginia Times Dispatch has the call.
When unfunded mandates, insurmountable debt, and unconscionable spending have mortgaged our children’s and grandchildren’s futures, it is not only the right, but the duty of the states to use every tool at their disposal to restore the republic…
There are risks associated with action, but history has shown there are times when the cost of inaction is far greater. Our founders risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor because they understood the alternative was far worse — no longer being free men.
Today we face the same risk: We are no longer free and sovereign states.
,,,We need an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will allow the repeal of any act of Congress or regulation when two-thirds of the states agree to the repeal.
“I’m overwhelmed with the urge to share a dark, dirty literary secret: that I not only read science fiction, I love it, I learn from it — and I think you should too.”
Science Fiction is a Genre that Everyone Should Read.
The scariest video you’ll watch today.
best comment from the comment section: “I could totally make a diamond while watching this video”. Yup.