Think of a ground frost. At night thermal radiation from the ground goes through the atmosphere resulting in cooling but air can only radiate weakly (it is transparent) so cools far less. The result is that the ground ends up colder than the air.
In a vacuum you use this to control the temperature of a spacecraft http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...
White in the visible and black in the infra red. Not exactly a new idea but based on the strange words they are using I suspect that they are trying to patent this.
Given that all the power from the PU-238 will eventually be converted into heat in the lander (10% via electricity) this is 320W of heat that needs to be dissipated. For a lander sitting on ice this could seriously affect the results - it would certainly vaporize some of the surroundings.
Looking at the original link http://www.themarysue.com/marv... they are redefining Thor as the being that holds Mjölnir. Which is tough on the demigod Thor who happened to be the wielder of Mjölnir. They do seem to have confused Mjölnir and Thor but I am sure this is entirely deliberate and I am equally sure that nobody really cares. Comic books take religion/mythology and rework it as seems commercially appropriate but this one does seem to be gratuitous - they could have used a generic costumed superhero where retirement and replacement is normal (Watchmen) but replacing immortal(ish) gods is a bit much.
Thor the son of Odin. http://www.rosala-viking-centr... Hmm. Costumed superheroes can move on from generation to generation as done well in Watchmen but genuine gods are surely a bit more stable.
If you buy a car then you are buying a complex machine with many failure modes. There is a huge business dedicated to saying that these failure modes are due to human failure or engineering oversight. Both are possible but the human element dominates - at a guess for every mechanical/software failure there are at least 100 human failures. The insurance industry loves this kind of issue. I suspect that when safe computer controlled cars become practical the insurers are going to be a issue.
If you are responsible for a subsystem and you discover a potential fault then the temptation to quietly fix it in future versions and not worry about the 'probably OK' past is huge. This is human nature but the company needs to have schemes in place to allow people to say that something is wrong without worrying about being sacked.
Oh for some mod points. +1 to that. In a previous job I had my own office and could really get into things but now in a open plan the interruptions are endless.
Quote from the linked article "These findings point to an increase of up to two orders of magnitude – a hundredfold- in concentrations of strontium-90 in the sea, with respect to the background values for this part of the Pacific before the Fukushima accident". I am guessing that the background levels of strontium-90 are going to be minute, I am impressed that it is even detectable, this feels like a 100 times almost nothing is still almost nothing.
Always the problem with fusion, the proto(ns) tend to miss.
Sharks with frikkin' lasers are old school. Be afraid of carp with particle beams! And I know that the real purpose of the NIF is bomb research but as a side effect it is still a good physics experiment. The only worry is that the results are always going to be filtered by security concerns so some results are going to vanish - this makes it trickier to use as a source of data but still good (rose tinted glasses? I hope not).
IMHO the NIF is a excellent tool in researching the properties of ultra dense materials be they fusable or not and is up there with CERN as a high energy physics lab and it covers bulk phenomena that CERN can never touch. I expect papers on Rayleigh–Taylor instability, neutron absorption cross sections and tests on the theoretical reaction probabilities/speeds of H,D fusion. But (and you all knew I was about to say that) this is a research tool on the subjects I just mentioned and many others not a step towards a fusion power source. This is a excellent research tool and I fully support it - just don't think of it as a proto-proto-proto type fusion power plant.
Smokers have to go outside to indulge - just a thought.
Personally I cant stand the long adverts at insane volumes pushed down the PA system of planes. Loads of 'buy our gifts' and 'this is our hire car partner' sometimes in several languages so this can go on for 10 minutes. Why is it always blasted out at ear bleeding volume? I would prefer phones, at least then you can complain to the noisy person and at least have a theoretical chance of peace.