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Archive: April 16, 2004

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Friday,  04/16/04  07:32 AM

Sedna trackThe dog that didn't bark?  Universe Today reports Hubble Looks at Sedna, but suprisingly the object/planet does not appear to have a moon.  "When Sedna's existence was announced on March 15, its discoverer, Mike Brown of Caltech, was so convinced it had a satellite that an artist's concept of Sedna released to the media included a hypothetical moon."  I find it amazing that we can even tell whether Sedna has a moon, let alone that we know enought about it to be surprised it doesn't have one.  After all, it is 7 billion miles away.

horn-shaped universeNewScientist suggests Big Bang glow hints at funnel-shaped Universe.  "Could the Universe be shaped like a medieval horn?  It may sound like a surrealist's dream, but according to Frank Steiner at the University of Ulm in Germany, recent observations hint that the cosmos is stretched out into a long funnel, with a narrow tube at one end flaring out into a bell.  It would also mean that space is finite."  Sub-regions of the shape have the inverted saddle characteristic of heated thin layers (like potato chips).  This is called a Picard topology, no relation to Captain Picard :)

A Japanese inventor claims to have a new super-efficient electrical engine, based on magnets.  Pardon me for being skeptical, I don't think the laws of physics have been repealed.  But you never know...

Here's an inside look at the patent examination process, from a former patent examiner.  "The successful prosecution of a patent application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires not only a novel invention and adequate prosecution skills, but a bit of luck."  As someone who just spent several weeks filing four patents, this is tough to take.  Engineers and scientists spend a lot more effort creating the patent applications than the patent office can spend reviewing them.  The result is bad; unworthy patents are allowed, and prior art is ignored.  To someone on the outside it feels a bit like a lottery.universal invention space

Andrew Lee diagrams the Universal Invention Space [ via razib ]





(new yorker, 4/5/04)

Friday,  04/16/04  03:38 PM

that's the Spirit



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Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained