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5 for Friday: Heaviness

February 9, 2018

In this week's round-up, we are heavy into science but also heavy into drama (snarky text messages can come back to haunt you)....and also things that are literally heavy, like superionic water and orbit-worthy payloads. Read on.

 

  1.  

    From Space.com (how expensive do you think that domain is, btw?) - As you may have heard, real-life Tony Stark launched the world's most powerful rocket the other day. Falcon Heavy, the syntax-challenged rocket with the ability to put 141,000 lbs. (64 metric tons) into orbit, could revolutionize our ability to send satellites, equipment, and even people further than we thought possible. To boot, some of the boosters SpaceX is developing are intended to be reusable. Let's get to Pluto, y'all!
     

  2. From Science News - Have you ever stopped to wonder where an explainer on nuclear fission ranks against Einstein's famous paper asking if quantum mechanics is complete? Me, too. This round-up article tracks the top 10 papers from Physical Review’s 125 year history and gives nice summaries of what was then groundbreaking and now taken for granted. This is a nice one to enjoy with a cup of coffee and a lot of time to consider all you haven't done with your life.
     

  3. From Gizmodo - In a tech- and bro-mance heavy lawsuit (the latest evidence is a bunch of text messages between the protagonists), Waymo (Google) and Uber are still fighting about trade secrets. Anthony Levandowski, formerly an engineer at Waymo and the eventual creator of Otto (acquired by Uber), apparently gave trade secrets from Waymo to Uber. Travis Kalanick (former Uber CEO who was ousted with Shakespearian levels of craziness) is in the mix, as are the usual suspects from Google including Larry Page. Basically, this is a scintillating soap opera with enormous amounts of money at stake. Stay tuned for next week's cliffhanger. 
     

  4. From Reuters - Didi Chuxing, the ride-share leader in China, is launching a new electric car-sharing platform. You may remember Didi as the company that bought out Uber's Chinese marketshare back in 2016. Now, they're looking to get one million electric cars on China's roads through its network by 2020. Considering they're already a quarter of the way to that goal, it certainly appears attainable. Oh, and they've launched a bike-sharing service in their spare time. 
     

  5. From Smithsonian - Filed under 'weird science', superionic water is now a thing! As the article explains: 'The experiment adds weight to a theory that superionic ice, which can conduct electricity like metal does, may explain the lopsided magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune.' Maybe we can take a Falcon Heavy through the magnetic fields en route Pluto?

 

 

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