You can’t smoke on planes, but Boeing’s burning tobacco to fly

Lighting up a cigarette whilst in flight has been banned for quite a long time, but that doesn’t mean Boeing won’t be burning tobacco on its planes in the future. The company has teamed up with South African Airways and aviation innovation outfit SkyNRG to create biofuel from tobacco plants. Solaris, a hybrid variety of the agriculture product, will be used to make sustainable jet fuel and give farmers another crop option. The plants contain almost no nicotine, and at the start, oil from its seeds will be transformed into a renewable way to power plane engines. Eventually, Boeing sees … Continue reading You can’t smoke on planes, but Boeing’s burning tobacco to fly

Robot with broken leg figures out how to walk again in under 2 minutes

When an animal loses a limb, it’s usually able to work out a system for walking on the remaining ones pretty quickly. You might have seen a three-legged dog that can still outrun you without issue. A robot that loses a limb is a different matter. Since we still need to program robots with commands for every little thing, they don’t know how to adapt to damage. A group of engineers at Sorbonne University in Paris have developed a system that could make robots much more versatile by allowing them to compensate for damaged legs in just a few minutes. … Continue reading Robot with broken leg figures out how to walk again in under 2 minutes

Restoration of Third Law of Thermodynamics in Spin Ice Films Unexpected, Researchers Say

Scientists say that contrary to popular belief, the third law of thermodynamics can be restored in thin film of spin ice. Spin ice were seen as an exception to the Third Law of Thermodynamics, which states that “the entropy of a perfect crystal is zero when the temperature of the crystal is equal to absolute zero (0 K or minus 273 degrees centigrade.” The study on spin ice (a type of crystal with ions placed in a tetrahedral shape) was conducted by researchers at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) in collaboration with scientists from Oxford and Cambridge. “Restoration of the … Continue reading Restoration of Third Law of Thermodynamics in Spin Ice Films Unexpected, Researchers Say

Mapping out Earth’s place in the universe among ‘Council of Giants’

We live in a galaxy known as the Milky Way – a vast conglomeration of 300 billion stars, planets whizzing around them, and clouds of gas and dust floating in between. Though it has long been known that the Milky Way and its orbiting companion Andromeda are the dominant members of a small group of galaxies, the Local Group, which is about 3 million light years across, much less was known about our immediate neighbourhood in the universe. Now, a new paper by York University Physics & Astronomy Professor Marshall McCall, published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal … Continue reading Mapping out Earth’s place in the universe among ‘Council of Giants’

How NASA Sold Us The Moon

When President John F. Kennedy first roused the nation with his 1962 challenge to send astronauts to the Moon and back, most Americans took it on faith that it was a worthwhile quest. But they likely didn’t fully appreciate that in the decade that followed, NASA would also marshal all its marketing and public relations know-how to ensure that the court of public opinion would continue to give the space agency’s lunar efforts a hearty thumbs-up. You note that Apollo was the most important marketing and PR case study in history. How so? Scott: Imagine convincing the American public to … Continue reading How NASA Sold Us The Moon

We all owe our EXISTENCE to lovely VOLCANOES, say boffins

Antarctica lava blasts kept Earth warm ‘n’ cozy during global cold snaps Pic Research by the British Antarctic Survey has found that volcanos played a crucial role in preserving life when our world went through one of its periodic ice ages. From time to time in Earth’s history, the planet cools and an ice cover extends from the poles to cover large sections of the planet’s surface. It’s even hypothesized that about 650 million years ago the entire world was covered with an ice sheet – the Snowball Earth scenario. Current scientific thinking is that as ice extends from the … Continue reading We all owe our EXISTENCE to lovely VOLCANOES, say boffins