European robins can maintain quantum entanglement in their eyes a full 20 microseconds longer than the best laboratory systems, say physicists investigating how birds may use quantum effects to "see" Earth's magnetic field.The quantum compass mechanism hasn't been conclusively demonstrated, but multiple lines of research point towards its existence. Findings like this one underscore its apparently extraordinary sophistication."How can a living system have evolved to protect a quantum state as well - no, better - than we can do in the lab with these exotic molecules?" said quantum physicist Simon Benjamin of the University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore, a co-author of the new study. "That really is an amazing thing.
As if the fictional worlds from comic books and sci-fi flicks weren't already on most geek's destination wish lists, Justin Van Genderen's new travel posters show off pulp cities like Gotham and Metropolis."If superheroes really existed in this world we might see a poster like these in some old travel agency, all tattered hanging on the wall," Van Genderen said in an e-mail interview with Wired.com
The jet-black helmet, mask and armor worn by the intergalactic villain are expected to sell for between 160,000 pounds and 230,000 pounds ($250,000 and $365,000) at a sale of pop culture memorabilia next month. Christie's said Wednesday that the costume is thought to have been made for "The Empire Strikes Back," the second film in George Lucas's sci-fi series, released in 1980.
Skydiving is dangerous. Skydiving from a plane in outer space is worse. But it's the lawsuits that'll really kill your dreams. For years, an Austrian daredevil named Felix Baumgartner has been planning to take a 23-mile plunge from the edge of space -- and in the process, become the first parachutist to break the sound barrier, plummeting toward the ground at 760 miles per hour. The engineers and scientists behind The Red Bull Stratos project, an effort to break the record for the highest freefall ever, billed the jump as more than a stunt. The leap from 120,000 feet was to yield volumes of data that would have been used to develop advanced life support systems for future pilots, astronauts, and even space tourists. But a promoter feels that the jump was his idea, and filed a lawsuit in April to prevent the event from taking place. Daniel Hogan claims that Red Bull stole confidential plans he had developed for the stunt, which he pitched as "SpaceDive" to Red Bull in 2004. Due to the ongoing lawsuit, Red Bull has been forced to suspend the mission -- and put on hold Baumgartner's jump.
A couple weeks ago, I was listening to a story by NPR's Planet Money team about "Toxie" a toxic asset they had purchased to follow and help tell the story of the recent financial meltdown. One of the mortgages in Toxie was on a home bought for investment in Bradenton, Florida, and the team took a look at housing in the area. Many homes there are empty and have been for years. Huge developments sit partially completed among densely built up neighborhoods and swampland. A guest stated that there were "enough housing lots in Charlotte County to last for more than 100 years". Boom and bust residential development has drastically affected parts of southwest Florida for decades now, and I spent some time (with the help of Google Earth), looking around the area. With permission from the fine folks at Google, here are a few glimpses at development in southwest Florida. (26 photos total)
Awesome photos of old school Russian arcade machines
The Hornsby Water Clock, titled Man, Time and the Environment is a piece of kinetic sculpture, a decorative fountain and a functional clock in the Florence Street pedestrian mall in Hornsby, New South Wales, Australia. Unveiled in 1993, the sculpture was designed and engineered by Victor Cusack and constructed of bronze, stainless steel and glass by Victor and his foundry floor manager Rex Feakes. Construction, including alterations to the mall, cost over AU$1 million and took two and half years; thereafter, chicken bones and other carelessly discarded items caused many breakdowns before the water filtration system was upgraded
The minds at Twitter (Twitter) found it on iStockphoto and used the image as a 404 page (replacing a picture of a LOLcat).The whale, once an image of Lu's well-wishes, was supposed to represent the Twitter team's effort to fix problems of scalability. Instead, the associations have largely been negative. Lu is hoping to turn that around even as she begrudgingly calls herself the "Fail Whale" designer.
Sometimes, someone says something that turns out to be an incorrect prediction. In hindsight, however, the people who said these things may have had good reasons for thinking they were right. Sometimes when they try and explain their way out of it, they make it even worse:"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." - Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)This quote was from a talk given to a 1977 World Future Society meeting in Boston. This is widely quoted but Olsen claims it is taken out of context, that he was not referring to personal computers but to a household computer that would control the home.