Thursday, December 08, 2005
- What happens when you cross Godzilla with a Portuguese Man-O-War? You get echizen kurage, giant 450-pound jellyfish that are menacing fisheries in China, South Korea and Japan. The juggernaut jellies are reportedly killing fish, breaking nets, and poisoning fish catches. The UK Times Online [image from the Kyoto Prefecture website]:
The problem has become so serious that fishery officials from Japan, China and South Korea are to meet this month for a "jellyfish summit" to discuss strategies for dealing with the invasion.If the U.S. ever needs to form a Jellyfish Countermeasures Committee, you bet I'll be right there to sign up.
Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has formed a jellyfish countermeasures committee and fishermen are at work on technology to keep the marauders out of their nets. The problem first became obvious in the late summer when fishermen chasing anchovies, salmon and yellowtail began finding huge numbers of the jellyfish in their nets.
In some places jellyfish density is reported to be a hundred times higher than normal. Worst of all, no one yet understands why. One theory is that global warming is heating up the seawater and encouraging jellyfish breeding. ... In the meantime locals are making the best of it — rather than just complaining about jellyfish they are eating them.
- University of Chicago physicists have described a strange new "fluid-like" state of matter. You too can create and view the phenomenon, using only a falling marble and a loosely packed container of sand. Groovy!
- The hole crystal, and nothing but the hole crystal: a team at the Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics at Kiel University, Germany used computer simulation to study the behaviour of electron holes within a semiconductors. They have worked out a way to create crystals from the holes between atoms, something that may lead to unexpected benefits such as superconductivity at higher temperatures [New Scientist]
- "Cyclotrons? N.I.M.B.Y.!"
Albert Swank Jr., a 55-year-old civil engineer in Anchorage, Alaska, is a man with a mission. He wants to install a nuclear particle accelerator in his home. But when neighbors learned of plans to place the 20-ton device inside the house where Swank operates his engineering firm, their response was swift: Not in my backyard. [WIRED News]
- Gizmodo shows a simple 'hack' that may extend the range of your wireless router: stick it inside a Chinese chef's wire strainer
- If this gadget is decently built and works as advertised, it would be a fantastic gift idea for those people on your list with huge collections of vinyl records - who would love to rip them into .mp3's, or some such nonsense. From BIOS Magazine UK:
California-based ION has created what it is claiming is the industry's first USB turntable, allowing you to convert your old vinyl collection directly to CD or MP3 with the included recording software. No special drivers are required either, which is always helpful.The ION iTTUSB turntable isn't in stores yet, but BIOS reports its retail price will be about $139.00. Not bad.