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science and technology 4

miniaturised fuel cell battery substitute

“The petite power system — about the size of a cigarette lighter — converts liquid fuel to electricity via a microscale fuel processor coupled with a microscale fuel cell developed by Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. An integral part of the system is PNNL’s revolutionary fuel reformer, about the size of a pencil eraser, which enables the system to convert fuel and water into hydrogen-rich gas. The fuel cell then generates electricity by converting hydrogen and oxygen from the air into electrical power and clean water.

“ “Our miniaturized fuel processor incorporates several chemical processes and operations in one device,” said Evan Jones, PNNL principal investigator. The fuel processor system contains two vaporizers, a heat exchanger, a catalytic combustor and a steam reformer, all within a compact package no larger than a dime.

More on the technology here.

Expect similar methods for portable computer batteries soon.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science4.htm#science050403-3

05.04.2003


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and this is only a child – be afraid (in antarctic seas)

image from BBC News “A colossal squid has been caught in Antarctic waters, the first example of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni retrieved virtually intact from the surface of the ocean.”

“"It's only half to two-thirds grown, so it grows up to four metres in mantle length." By comparison, the mantle of the giant squid, Architeuthis dux, is not known to attain more than 2.25 metres.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science4.htm#science050403-2

05.04.2003

elephants do run, like groucho
(n.b. we failed to make the .mov file work. we are corresponding with NS.)

Their gait “is a variation of the "Groucho gait", named after the crouched stride of the comic actor Groucho Marx.”

“The elephants' top sustained speed of 25 kilometres per hour (16 mph) is fast enough, in theory, to launch the animals into an aerial gate. But the animals always kept three feet on the ground and used the same four-step gait as when they were walking slowly.” Pic: Richard Lair, Thai Elephant Conservation Centre

[For the curious, pachyderm means thick skinned.]

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science4.htm#science050403

05.04.2003

empirical-theoretical advance—electrostatic spin

“Spin is used in quantum mechanics to explain phenomena at the nuclear, atomic, and molecular domains for which there is no concrete physical picture. "So the discovery of electrostatic rotation and the identification of electrostatic spin as a natural phenomenon opens up an entirely new field of inquiry with the potential for significant advances" ”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science4.htm#science040403

04.04.2003

invisibility coat? a bit more work still required!

We should able to improve on this with flexible flat screen technology and a lot of computing power.

The basic idea—on the front of your coat, show an image of what your body is obscuring behind you.

We could all do with one of these when the government tax thieves call round.

[link thanx to the auroran sunset]

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science4.htm#science020403

02.04.2003

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