Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Today's helping of news

My posts lately have been a little lame, so I figured I needed to gather up a little interesting info this evening.

First up: Mad scientists are fine, just don't be a bad, mad scientist!

Scientists have produced superheated gas exceeding temperatures of 2 billion degrees Kelvin, or 3.6 billion degrees Fahrenheit.

This is hotter than the interior of our Sun, which is about 15 million degrees Kelvin, and also hotter than any previous temperature ever achieved on Earth, they say.

They don't know how they did it.

For something which they don't understand and was, in a sense, sort of a goof, this could turn out to be really big news. Read on.
One thing that puzzles scientists is that the high temperature was achieved after the plasma'’s ions should have been losing energy and cooling. Also, when the high temperature was achieved, the Z machine was releasing more energy than was originally put in, something that usually occurs only in nuclear reactions.
So they may have discovered a rather amazing energy source. Let's just hope they don't burn down the lab before they figure this out.

Next up: Some people may be smarter than they appear (at least on paper)
About 4,000 students who took the main SAT college entrance exam last October received incorrectly low scores because of problems with the scanning of their answer sheets.
How bad was it?

Admissions officials, however, said Tuesday some students had been affected by as much as 130 points — forcing schools to scramble to re-evaluate candidates at a time when many are trying to make final decisions.

Great! Glad this kind of thing didn't happen when I was applying at the University of Illinois.

Here's another great one.

Do you remember a while back when I mentioned that the Malaysianan government was sponsoring a search for bigfoot? Well Guess what? No, they didn't find him. In fact, nobody wants to try.

And of course I would be remissis in my duties if I didn't mention this:
The Empire Microsoft Strikes Back.

In a fairly obvious attempt to strike back at Google, Yahoo, and all the others, Microsoft has released it's beta

Don't you just love competition?!

Let's wrap things up on a light note.

Does anyone remember the opening scene of "Back to the Future" when Michael J Fox (Marty McFly if you prefer) gets blown across a room by that giant amp? Well here's a subwoofer that might actually be able to do just that.

I'm just glad these guys don't live next door to me.


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