Monthly Archives: January 2012

Most powerful diesel engine in the world

If the Seven Wonders of the World was updated for the 21 st century, the Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine could be a contender. If you are a student of the internal combustion engine in all its wonderous configurations, … Continue reading

Posted in Design, Mechanics | 2 Comments

How do you decaffeinate coffee?

Caffeine, on its own, is an off-white powdery substance with an intensely bitter taste. It’s the reason why beginning coffee drinkers load their cups with sugar and cream instead of doing the smart thing and throwing the cup and its … Continue reading

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Astronomers solve mystery of Earth’s vanishing electrons

Deskarati Earth Atom

UCLA researchers have explained the puzzling disappearing act of energetic electrons in Earth’s outer radiation belt, using data collected from a fleet of orbiting spacecraft. In a paper published Jan. 29 in the advance online edition of the journal Nature Physics, … Continue reading

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Chimp ‘X factor’

Genetic mutations that boost an individual’s adaptability have greater chances of getting through to X chromosomes — at least in chimpanzees, according to new Danish research. One of the most important questions for evolution researchers is how a species develops … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Evolution, Wild Life | Leave a comment

Move over Bluetooth here comes WiGig

Panasonic is working on applications for the new WiGig-technology. WiGig holds out the promise of a time when mobile devices can communicate with each other—in an exchange of videos, photos, and other information– at multigigabit speeds using the 60 GHz … Continue reading

Posted in Technology | 3 Comments

Humans Tamed Horses All Over the World

horse pic

The domestication of wild horses had a profound effect on human history — offering nutrition, transportation and a leg up in warfare, among other advantages. But there are still many unanswered questions about when and where our species began its … Continue reading

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The Proust Phenomenon

Marcel Proust

Most everyone has had the occasion of breathing in an odor and suddenly finding themselves lost in the reverie of a memory from long ago; the smell of fresh baked bread perhaps bringing back mornings at Grandma’s house or a … Continue reading

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Why is there a hole in the universe?

barnard 68

This eerie patch of blackness in the middle of a busy star cluster may look like a rather misshapen black hole, but it’s actually something even stranger. It’s also quite possibly the loneliest, darkest, coldest place in the entire cosmos. This … Continue reading

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Thanks to Alan Mason – It was one hundred years ago today, 30 January 1912 that the song “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary” was published. Most of us know the chorus, but few of us know the verses which … Continue reading

Posted in Alan Mason, Arts, History | 1 Comment

Body clock receptor linked to diabetes


A study published in Nature Genetics today has found new evidence for a link between the body clock hormone melatonin and type 2 diabetes. The study found that people who carry rare genetic mutations in the receptor for melatonin have … Continue reading

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A Short History of Sanskrit

sanskrit document

Thanks to Murali Sham for bringing this historical lanuage to our attention – Deskarati – Sanskrit is a member of the Indo-Iranian sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages. Its closest ancient relatives are the Iranian languages Old Persian and … Continue reading

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The Big Space Balloon

big space balloon

The project will take the super pressure balloon to an altitude of upto 130,000 feet, high in the earths stratosphere, to the edge of space. The Big Space Balloon will carry a scientific capsule to undertake a range of experiments regarding both … Continue reading

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The Schwarzschild Radius

The concept of a black hole, a space in which so much matter was packed that the gravitational pull prevents the escape of light, was known as far back as the 18th century. But it was seen as more of … Continue reading

Posted in Cosmology, Mathematics | 2 Comments

Solar Powered House is controlled with Xbox Kinect

The CHIP House – which stands for “Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype” – was started with the goal of creating a net-zero energy home (i.e. one that requires no external energy source), and it looks like the designers exceeded that target. The … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Technology | Leave a comment

Australians make Antarctic history

australia antartic

Two Australian adventurers have made Antarctic history by becoming the first team to travel unaided to the South Pole and back, surviving three months of “extreme hardship”, they said on Friday. James Castrission, a 29-year-old accountant, and Justin Jones, 28 and … Continue reading

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Funso shut its eye

Powerful Cyclone Funso’s eye has been clear in NASA satellite imagery over the last several days until NASA’s Aqua satellite noticed it had “closed” and become filled with high clouds on January 27. NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Funso … Continue reading

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Why are snowflakes six-sided?

Most of us spent part of our youth cutting up construction paper to make snowflakes which tended to look nothing like the globs of white moving past our windows. Check under a microscope, though, and you’ll see that snowflakes are … Continue reading

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Richard Dawkins: “On Life in the Universe”


It’s no accident that we see stars in the sky, says famed Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins: they are a vital part of any universe capable of generating us. But, as Dawkins emphasizes, that does not mean that stars exists in … Continue reading

Posted in Cosmology, Evolution | 1 Comment

The Ornithopter

Leonardo's ornithopter design

The flying machine featured here is called an ornithopter, and its conceptual origins date back at least as far as the late 15th century, when Leonardo Da Vinci first produced drawings of a bird-like machine capable of flight. Da Vinci … Continue reading

Posted in Design, Flight, Invention | 2 Comments

Lucian Freud

Freud - Boy's Head (1952)

Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH (8 December 1922 – 20 July 2011) was a British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impasted portrait and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time. His works are noted for their psychological penetration, … Continue reading

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