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Submission + - Universe NOT expanding at accelerating rate? (sciencedaily.com)

uvajed_ekil writes: From ScienceDaily.com:


Five years ago, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three astronomers for their discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace. This led to the widespread acceptance of the idea that the universe is dominated by a mysterious substance named 'dark energy' that drives this accelerating expansion. Now, a team of scientists has cast doubt on this standard cosmological concept. The evidence for acceleration may be flimsier than previously thought, they say, with the data being consistent with a constant rate of expansion.

If correct, this may turn cosmology on its ear yet again. Perhaps we don't need anything as exotic as dark energy to explain the universe's expansion, after all.

Star Wars Prequels

Submission + - LucasFilm Ltd. protects lightsaber design (cnn.com) 3

uvajed_ekil writes: From the article:
""Star Wars" creator George Lucas wants to force a laser company to stop making a new, high-powered product he says looks too much like the famous lightsaber from his classic sci-fi series."

The laser does look vaguely like a lightsaber, or at least the hilt of the Jedi weapon. Nevermind that it is not a lightsaber, is not intended as a weapon, can not be used like a lightsaber, and is not marketed as one. LucasFilm Ltd. has insisted that it be pulled from the market anyway. Is this a legitimate demand to protect intellectual property and a somewhat novel design, given that LucasFilm does not sell a working lightsaber, and has no apparent intentions to develop one?

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