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David Kramer's high-entropy blog

Chicken Feathers May Hold Key To Hydrogen Storage

From Slashdot: Chicken Feathers May Hold Key To Hydrogen Storage. While what they say is plausible (in the MythBusters sense of the word), the original article is from Oregon Live.com, a source I know nothing about.A practical hydrogen car has been elusive for decades. Before the announcement this week by University of Delaware engineers, a nonstop trip from Portland to Eugene in a hydrogen car would need a tank bigger than 100 gallons to store liquid or gaseous fuel, even under high pressure.

Treated chicken feathers work like a sponge. They soak up large amounts of hydrogen and hold it in a small space so the tank can be a conventional size and the fuel won’t need to held under dangerously high pressures….

“It’s the most energy-rich material we have,” says Roger Ely, an Oregon State University professor who specializes in hydrogen, “It’s three times the energy content of gasoline on a pound-for-pound basis.”

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Dogs Are Not Bilaterally Emotionally Symmetrical

According to this New York Times article, dogs wag more to one side than another depending on their emotions. If they see something or some one they’re happy about, they wag more to the right. If it’s something they’re less positively disposed towards, they wag more to the left.

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Science Tatoos

From Discover Magazine: The Science Tatoo Emporium.  Cool stuff.

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Oxygen: A 3D Animated Short

This is a humorous short video on the day in the live of a young Oxygen atom.

Produced by Christopher Hendryx as his thesis for the department of Computer Animation at the Ringling College of Art + Design, Oxygen is a really cool 3D animated short featuring Oxygen as our main hero, with various other elements thrown in as supporting characters.

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Nominate A Robot For The Robot Hall Of Fame

The Robot Hall Of Fame is a Carnegie Mellon University project.

The School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University established the Robot Hall of Fame to honor landmark achievements in robotics technology and the increasing contributions of robots to human endeavors.  Two categories of robots are honored in the Robot Hall of Fame: Robots from Science and Robots from Science Fiction

They are currently accepting nominations for new inductee robots.  At the head of the pack right now is my personal favorite, Bender Bending Rodriguez from Futurama (yes, I voted for him.  Bite my shiny mettal a**.)  However, I found this entry quite intriguing.  This is an actual mechanical robot automaton from the 18th century that looks like a man, but can draw several complicated drawings and reproduce a few poems.  All mechanically.  Fascinating!  The website at The Franklin Institute has videos of it working and its output, as well as its complex history.

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Colbert Gets Runner Up Prize

Steven Colbert got a huge number of his audience to vote for his name in the NASA contest to come up with a name for the space station module. While his name was by far the winning vote, NASA has chosen to not only go with the highest-voted name, but to go with the eighth most popular name, Tranquility.  The new name was announced on Colbert’s show last night.

But Colbert didn’t go home empty-handed.  As a consolation prize, they named a new treadmill after him.  It’s the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT).  I don’t think that’s good enough.  Whether you’re a Colbert fan or not, popular vote is the American way.  I’m kinda disappointed.  I guess there’s a fine line between “Popular Vote” and “Mob Rule”, but to select the eighth most popular vote seems like a sham to me.

This article has all the details.

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