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Submission + - Director James Cameron awestruck at ocean's deepest spot (reuters.com)

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Returning from humankind's first solo dive to the deepest spot in the ocean, filmmaker James Cameron said he saw no obvious signs of life that might inspire creatures in his next "Avatar" movie but was awestruck by the "complete isolation." The only free-swimming creatures he saw near the bottom were tiny shrimp-like arthropods, but little else in the way of life was immediately visible. Cameron said further exploration would be required to discern what other organisms might dwell there.

"When I got to the bottom ... it was completely featureless and uniform," he said. "My feeling was one of complete isolation from all of humanity. ... More than anything, (it's) realizing how tiny you are down in this big, vast, black, unknown and unexplored place."

The craft functioned flawlessly, he said, except for an unexplained failure of the hydraulic system that idled the vehicle's robot arm and prevented Cameron from collecting most of the biological and geologic samples he had hoped to retrieve.

Power

Submission + - 3D solar towers offer up to 20 times more power output than flat solar panels (gizmag.com) 1

cylonlover writes: While we’ve seen the development of solar cell technologies that employ nanoscale 3D structures to trap light and increase the amount of solar energy absorbed, MIT researchers have now used 3D on the macro scale to achieve power output that is up to 20 times greater than traditional fixed flat solar panels with the same base area. The approach developed by the researchers involves extending the solar cells upwards in a three-dimensional tower or cube configuration to enable them to better capture the sun's rays when it is lower on the horizon.

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