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'Invisibility cloak'.

Why 'event cloaks' could be the key to the ultimate bank heist

June 30 , 2009 - In this month's special issue of Physics World, which examines the science and applications of invisibility, Martin McCall and Paul Kinsler of Imperial College London describe a new type of invisibility cloak that does not just hide objects – but events.

Using the ultimate bank heist as an example, McCall and Kinsler explain how a thief could, in principle, use an "event cloak" to steal money from a safe, without even the CCTV surveillance cameras being aware.

Read the full story, click Filtered News 


Sooner, Not Later: Interstellar Voyages a Reality?

June 02 , 2011 - Projections for the first interstellar voyages, based on extrapolations of our current technological state and current investment into space exploration, will almost always place such missions hundreds of years into the future.

To emphasize this point, the Augustine Committee, a review of the United States human space flight program, found that a heavy lift rocket that could return us to the moon -- a destination that, in the grand scheme of things, is right on our cosmic front doorstep -- would not be available until approximately 2030.

Compound that with the fact that the committee also determined that the lunar lander, necessary for manned landings, would not be ready for many years after. It's therefore easy to grow skeptical about the prospects for an interstellar mission that could be launched this century.

Read the full story, click Discovery 


"It's Sad But True That Most Discoveries In Biology Are Made By Physicists" - Freeman Dyson

June 02, 2011 - Wilson da Silva, Editor-in-Chief of COSMOS, a science publication in Australia, was attending a lecture by Freeman Dyson lecture at the Perimeter Institute in Canada when Dyson said, "It's sad but true that most discoveries in biology are made by physicists."

Hubris? Dyson is a theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum field theory and for being a modern day contrarian - as you would expect a "Scientist As Rebel" to be in that old-school, fiercely independent intellectual way not really possible in today's government-funded science machine. And his mentality may have cost him a Nobel Prize since, as he said, “I think it’s almost true without exception if you want to win a Nobel Prize, you should have a long attention span, get hold of some deep and important problem and stay with it for 10 years. That wasn’t my style."

Read the full story, click Science 2.0  


Ancient World Dictionary Finished After 90 Years

June  06, 2011 -The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary is now officially complete -- 21 volumes of Akkadian, a Semitic language (with several dialects, including Assyrian) that endured for 2,500 years. The project is more encyclopedia than glossary, offering a window into the ancient society of Mesopotamia, now Iraq, through every conceivable form of writing.

It was a monumental project with modest beginnings: a small group of scholars and some index cards. The plan was to explore a long-dead language that would reveal an ancient world of chariots and concubines, royal decrees and diaries and omens that came from the heavens and sheep livers.

Read the full story, click Sci-Tech Today

The Voynich manuscript

The book of secrets

Oct 05, 2009 - It has baffled code-breakers and linguists for centuries, now some wonder whether an unreadable 600-year-old book was a prank, writes Michael Day.

SOMEWHERE deep in the bowels of Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library - the Ivy League institution's own cemetery of lost books - lies a tome that experts have studied for centuries, but which has yet to be understood by a single soul.

The book has no known author or official title; Yale librarians simply refer to it as MS 408. But thanks to its peculiar language, symbols and diagrams, often strangely familiar but insistently elusive in meaning, it has intrigued and frustrated anthropologists, linguists and mathematicians for centuries. Even the elite cryptologists at the US National Security Agency drew a blank after spending years trying to decode it in the 1950s.

Read the full story, click The Age  

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