1. Rosner, Hillary. “A Chemist Comes Very Close to a Midas Touch.” The New York Times 15 October 2012. Web. 3 November 2012.
Paul Chirik, a chemist at Princeton University, has successfully managed to make iron react like platinum in certain chemical reactions. Though shy of changing the base metal into gold, Rosner describes this as a kind of alchemy and gives a brief glimpse at some of the implications of this discovery – including how it’s contributing to new fuel-efficient tires. writes in a clear conversational style.
As a medievalist and someone interested in modern discoveries that either look or wink back at medieval beliefs and/or ideas, I just had to include this article.
2. University College London. “Virtual reality puts human in rat world: ‘Beaming’ technology transforms human-animal interaction.” ScienceDaily 31 October 2012. Web. 3 November 2012.
Computer scientists at UCL and Barcelona have managed to create the technology to add a physical dimension to long distance interaction. The article details how this technology works (a mix of virtual reality and robotics), and includes some quotes from the scientists leading the project about its implications. This one is written in a clear style while making use of block quotes.
As someone who’s been in a distance relationship for several years, this kind of technology is beyong intriguing. So, this one had to be included.
3. Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). “Asteroid belts of just the right size are friendly to life.” ScienceDaily 1 November 2012. Web. 4 November 2012.
Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md, have published a study that suggests that a perfectly placed asteroid belt is necessary for life-sustaining planets to develop. The article summarizes these scientists’ hypothesis, and walks readers through the possible asteroid belt-related scenario that lead to the formation of Earth, as well as suggesting that asteroid impacts can help to spur on evolution. This article is written in a clear, matter-of-fact style.
The necessity, and usefulness of asteroids is something curious to ponder. And what better way to stir thoughts on space rocks than to read about them? That’s why this article is included in this week’s Annotated Links.
4. Adams, James. “It’s high time: The Dreamachine is no longer just a dream.” The Globe and Mail 31 October 2012. Web. 3 November 2012.
Adams’ article provides a quick overview of the history and cult popularity of the dreamachine – a device that simulates light undulating in a regular pattern, as when passing by evenly spaced trees at sunset. Adams also gives some insight into the celebrities that have used it in the past, and uses the case of Margaret Atwood’s recent receipt of one to provide a slightly cynical perspective on the device. This article is written in a steady going style.
Anything that offers a “drug-less high” is a curiousity. Not because it’s possibly a legal way to get such a high, but because of what it suggests about the brain and its ability to, put simply, entertain itself. This article is included in this batch of links because of the insight into this phenomenon.
5. Kim, Sam. “Elephant in South Korean zoo imitates human speech.” Bradenton.com 1 November 2012. Web. 3 November 2012.
Scientists have confirmed that an elephant in South Korea’s Everland Zoo can imitate human speech. Kim explains how this phenomenon came about and why it seems to be isolated to just a couple of elephants. Kim’s article is designed for the internet with simple sentence structure and short paragraphs.
Various birds can mimic human speech, but elephants? That’s just plain weird, and so it just plain had to be included in this article.
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Next week on the blogs watch for another poem on Monday, the second to last stanza of “Dum Diane vitrea” on Tuesday and more Beowulf on Thursday. As always Tuesday’s and Thursday’s updates can be found over at Tongues in Jars, and Monday’s can be found right here at A Glass Darkly!
By the way, because of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and how my work week’s rolled out, I’m not going to be reviewing a movie this coming week. But, watch for a review of something the next week!
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