Category Archives: Science

NASA Decommissions Nuclear Vehicle Research Facility

Bryan Bishop, The Verge:

In 1961, NASA’s Plum Brook Reactor Facility in Sandusy, [sic] Ohio went live, with a focus on researching nuclear-powered vehicles — first airplanes, and then rockets. It was shut down 12 years later, and in 1998 NASA finally decided to begin the process of decommissioning the site. Wired has published a photo tour of the facility, taken before its final demolition on May 31st this year, and when paired with NASA’s own site on the decommissioning process it provides a haunting look at the last days of the 27-acre installation.

Fascinating.

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Paralyzed Woman Completes Marathon

Once every six thousand years, something happens which makes this whole human experiment seem worthwhile, for about five minutes.

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Fake Life is Finally Real

I’m not sure whether this excites or terrifies me. Quoth National Geographic:

[N]ew synthetic compounds called XNAs can also store and copy genetic information, a new study says. And, in a “big advancement,” these artificial compounds can also be made to evolve in the lab, according to study co-author John Chaput of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.

On the one hand, it’s unquestionably a triumph of human effort. On the other, it’s what Frankenstein warned us of. On one hand, it provides categorical evidence of the truth of evolution. On the other hand, Christians don’t give a shit about evidence and will now be forced to behave with even less recourse to logic than before.

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Snowflakes In a Furnace

Among the data coming back from NASA’s MESSENGER probe and its study of the planet Mercury is the (somewhat) shocking revelation that there are pockets of ice on one of the hottest surfaces in our solar system. The probe has photographed many craters which have sides that are never exposed to the sun–and since Mercury has no atmosphere, those shadowed areas are at incredibly low temperatures given the surrounding surface’s 750° F hellscape.

It gives me hope to know that even in the hottest of hells, something cool can survive.

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