It’s an uncertain world when even the constants aren’t constant…
After more than a century, the international prototype kilogram – a cylindrical chunk of metal stored in a French vault – doesn’t weigh the same as its 40 replicas, distributed worldwide and used to standardize mass measurements. Suspecting that gunk accumulating on the metallic surfaces is to blame, scientists at Newcastle University have developed a high-tech way to clean the standards.
… in the late 1980s, scientists noticed that the original kilogram was about 50 micrograms lighter than its brethren. Because mass measurements are relative, it’s tough to determine whether the replicas are getting heavier or the original is getting lighter.
Read the full story at Wired
We were always told not to stare at the Sun. Retina burn and all that. But we never had eyes like NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
(image via NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Want to see it in motion? Click here
The e-book concept, turned inside out. A timelapse of an amazing senior project at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice.
Elektrobiblioteka / Electrolibrary from waldek wegrzyn on Vimeo.
A few nights ago I was listening to BBC World Service Radio. Broadcast from the UK, of course. And then relayed to me through a satellite radio service. This was while driving a Korean-made car through Nashville, heart of the bible belt, on my way to a Zen Buddhist service inherited from Japanese traditions.
Afterwards I joined a few friends at a locally-owned eatery, had pita bread and hummus (both of Middle Eastern origin), and an oatmeal stout from a North Carolina brewery. Oatmeal stouts are a style of beer that, like the BBC, originate from the UK. Only a good bit further back in time.
On the drive home I was able to queue up, on demand, Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports, originally released in 1978. This took no more effort than finding music released last year or last month.
Finally, once home I was able to pull up the most recent images beamed back by the Curiosity Rover, from the surface of another planet.
None of this was due to any great effort on my part. It was possible simply because I am alive now, at this time.
We have increasingly connected, immediate-access, globally-sourced lives. There has been much critique and concern over the effect this is having in terms of quality-of-life, attention spans, competition for resources, etc. Where this is ultimately taking us remains to be seen. But in the moments when we can stop and notice how amazing it is, a feeling of ‘wow’ becomes undeniable. We are living in the future.