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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cyber Attacks and a Need for Computer and Network Security

As some of you know, one of my personal biggest worries is the protection of computer networks. The threat of cyber-attacks is very real, it happens very frequently (just doesn't make it to the popular press very often, so most people are not aware of this danger), and it could be the single biggest threat to our national security at the present time. It is a BIG deal. Here is a recent TED talk about this issue. Specifically, it looks at the Stuxnet virus, considered to be a cyber weapon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bad Science Examples

Here's a TED talk that helps one think about 'bad science.' This refers to the numerous examples that permeate the mainstream media when they report on scientific studies, and simply get things wrong, both in terms of the information as well as what makes up a good scientific study. This topic in general is one we need to take seriously and be on the lookout, because the general public may want to believe anything they see or hear from a news outlet, and not question the validity or reliability of studies that are cited.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guns Firing Under Water - a Lesson in Energy Efficiency

Check out high-speed cameras catching two guns firing under water - a conventional revolver, and a semi-automatic pistol. Watch the waste of energy in the revolver, shown by a burst of gases coming out in the rear of the gun. The semiautomatic has much less energy loss in the gases that escape prior to the barrel. Also check out the complicated turbulent patterns in the water.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nobel in Physics Given for Discovery of Accelerated Expansion of Universe

Three physicists shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of the acceleration of the expansion of the universe, and therefore the notion of what we now call 'dark energy' in the universe. See more here. Check here for links to papers about their work.

Here is a MinutePhysics video that gets into this topic (thanks to Patrick for the link)!

See the Hubble Deep Field in 3-D - Amazing!

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is one of the great experiments in human history. It has changed the way we literally see space, and has given us countless images that were once unimaginable. Check out what is called the Deep Field image, where the telescope focuses on one tiny spot of space for an extended period of time, and allows individual photons from very distant objects to be recorded. The result is thousands of new galaxies we had never seen before! This video looks at how astronomers do this, and how they got a 3-D image of the Deep Field.