Turned out, last week I took it way too easy on you all! Despite the fact that I had never seen such a strobe before, there were indeed those among the readers here that were and are intimately familiar. The first one to throw out the right answer was Batshitbox, who got [...]
For some reason I find the whole Moon landing conspiracy to be really fascinating. To me it just seems like what is harder to believe, that man managed to travel off the Earth and land on our nearest neighbor, or that hundreds if not thousands of people pulled off a highly technically complex and intricate hoax, and have managed to keep it a secret for nearly 50 years? That, and NASA left stuff there, not just the disposable Moon rovers and descent stages, but actual experimental equipment that can still be used from Earth, given the proper tools of course. One such experiment is the retroreflector arrays left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts that are used for laser ranging.
Continue reading Moon Lasers
The other day I was reading an article on the news about the chance that the Sprint/T-Mobile merger will or will not occur. I have some interest in such for purely selfish reasons, I have had Sprint since the first day I bought a cell phone (at Radio Shack, no less), and [...]
No discussion of lasers could ever be complete without at least one space laser, and courtesy of Soviet Russia, here is one such weapon. While this little ray gun doesn’t seem to have ever gone to space, it does appear (judging by some semi-literately translated scientific papers) to have been a functional low output prototype that might have actually worked as intended in the cold vacuum of space.
Continue reading Pew! Pew!
Lasers are useful for a great many things, certainly up to and including being placed on the heads of irritable sea bass. For no reason whatsoever, this weekend will be the weekend of the laser here at Atomic Toasters, and we are going to start out by taking a look at a laser system that has proven to be quite useful indeed for those friendly fellows from down under. In the 1970s, the Royal Australian Navy noticed a lack of progress made in the surveying Australia’s territorial waters. There was much of the sea area that was was unsurveyed or simply old data from the age of sail, prompting the RAN to seek a method of effectively surveying large areas from the air. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation developed the LADS system, which stands for Laser Airborne Depth Sounder. The system began feasibility trials in is 1977, and although it was not operational until 1993, it is still flying today.
Continue reading Egads! LADS!
Every invention, you could argue, comes with tradeoffs. It does certain things well, and other things, not so much; that or there can be unintentional side effects. The chalkboard gets dusty, they can be hard to clean and hard to see the writing on if they aren’t clean, and of course [...]
Just a little character building help!
Image by Jacob Borshard.
Most of the readers here I feel are probably fairly up on current events, so you have probably seen where there is a country that rhymes with Prussia that has (finger quotes) invaded (finger quotes) a country that rhymes with Brukraine. This particular event has gotten more than a few folks considering the possibility of a return to the Cold War that we knew and loved, and I don’t use the word love entirely with sarcasm–there does seem to be a certain excitement about for a nostalgic return to the heady days of living free and hating on Commies. I came across this question on Motherboard the other day, and they were coming at the situation from an angle that I hadn’t thought of, but I found quite interesting. Does a new Cold War mean a new Space Race?
You Fry Neutrinos! Bounce Positron Clusters!
Image via the Flickr of paxtonholley.
It’s a quarter after go, which clearly indicates cross traffic must yield the right of way.
Image of Marshalite Traffic Signal via museumvictoria.com.au.