There are a lot of people out there who break the law without considering themselves “lawbreakers.” And while sometimes it means parking illegally or pirating a movie to make a sweet YouTube video montage, drunk drivers are among the most indignant when it comes to upholding the law. I’d be the baldest-faced of liars if I claimed to be innocent of that crime, but you’d never catch me doing it with RoboCop patrolling the streets, as he is in the above PSA. Honestly, you wouldn’t catch me coming out of my bedroom if RoboCop was real. Someone bring me this month’s supply of cheese and pork while the sun still rests atop the horizon!
Well now, here’s something you don’t see every day.
Xie Wei, a Chinese man who accidentally cut off his hand while operating heavy machinery at his family’s workshop, is the beneficiary of some seriously weird science. After the accident, Xie somehow managed to keep his head — he gathered up his severed hand and went looking for medical facilities that could help him try to save it, even though he figured it was a long shot.
Xie tried hospitals located near the factory, but they told him they didn’t have the ability to save his hand. Xie searched for a doctor or medical facility willing to take him on as a patient for seven hours. Think about that for a minute. The reports I’ve read don’t really talk much about Xie’s state at that time — I’m presuming he had a tourniquet and had gotten attention for the injury, or else he wouldn’t have been able to pound the pavement for SEVEN HOURS looking for someone to help him. And let’s not forget that he was carrying around his own severed hand, at first stored in a plastic bag and then in a cooler of ice. He must have read about how to preserve a severed limb. Xie sure sounds like someone I’d like to have around in a crisis. His methodical search for help eventually held him to a hospital about two hours away where doctors were willing to try to save his hand.
Scientists consider Jupiter’s moon Europa one of the best candidates for harboring alien life in the solar system. Its atmosphere is mostly made up of oxygen and it has a smooth surface of ice (not to mention a rocky mantle and likely an iron core — sound familiar?). Based on data gathered by the Galileo spacecraft, which arrived at the Jovian moon in 1995, scientists theorize that under Europa’s icy surface exists an ocean of water, kept liquid by heat generated from tidal forces. Recent evidence published in the Science Express journal lends support to this theory, as data from the Hubble indicates plumes of water vapor at Europa’s south pole, suggesting that there is indeed liquid water under the surface.
Flying robots are nothing new (unless you’re Amazon), and neither, at this point, are robotic bees and remote-controlled cockroaches. But within this basic category of, there are still characteristics that set the new DelFly apart—namely, autonomy.Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has created the first Micro Air Vehicle, or the first autonomous winged machine. They named it the DelFly Explorer, and it looks like a cross between a dragonfly and a kid’s paper airplane. It also weighs in like one, tipping the scales at a whopping.7 oz. With a design that combines a barometer, gyroscope, two cameras, and a microcontroller that performs all necessary processing, it flutters all on its own without the help of pesky humans. DelFly sees the world through its eye cameras, and adjusts to the environment, avoiding obstacles and other pitfalls. Unfortunately, its lifespan is a bit like that of its insect counterparts—9 minutes. But hey, the DelFly just needs to be charged back up for another go. I’d like to see a fruit fly do that.
Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.
― Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams
Physicist poet (you don’t hear that very often, do you?) Alan Lightman wrote a gorgeous book called Einstein’s Dreams, a fictional account of different theories of time dreamily devised by Albert Einstein. Each chapter details a unique working of time and its implications for those who live in that world. By exploring the consequences of various constructs of time, Lightman demonstrates how much of our lives are dictated by this somewhat contrived notion. How many times a day do you find yourself wondering, or worrying about, what time it is? And most of us, if we keep at it long enough, develop an internal clock that wakes us up just before the alarm or generates a nagging feeling that we might be running late. But how exactly does it work? How do our brains process time?
Today, China became the latest country to touch down on the surface of the Moon. The China National Space Agency landed a Chang’e-3 lander on our local satellite, and deployed a rover with the adorable name Yutu, to check out the scene.
Yutu has been unleashed for a three-month jaunt to explore the Bay of Rainbows, a region primarily made up of plains of dark basaltic lava. On most maps of the lunar surface, the Bay is known by its Latin name, Sinus Iridium, and forms the dark spots visible from Earth. The Bay is one of the northwestern finger of the Mare Imbrium, and is partially surrounded to the northeast and southwest by the Montes Jura mountain range.