Author Archives: Alexander Szewczak

Ultima Thule is a Red Snowman in Space

From  The first color image of Ultima Thule, taken at a distance of 85,000 miles (137,000 kilometers) at 4:08 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, highlights its reddish surface. At left is an enhanced color image taken by the … Continue reading

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Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Can Now Chase You Up the Stairs

Read more at Popular Mechanics.  

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Spiders can fly hundreds of miles using electrical gradients

It’s long been known that spiders spiders can “balloon” themselves up into the air using extruded silk strands, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles. Recent work by Erica Morley and Daniel Robert at the University of Bristol demonstrates that the strands … Continue reading

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A glimpse into how they made the newest exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, “Unseen Oceans.” This burger bot makes your lunch with no human help.      

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Charon 40 Years Ago and Today

Pluto’s moon Charon (technically a binary partner) was first discovered 40 years ago, on June 22, 1978, by U.S. Naval Observatory astronomer James Christy.  Like Pluto, it was known only as a blurry smudge until the New Horizons flyby in 2015. … Continue reading

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In the long run the winning company in any industry will be the best software company

The recent blowout financial results from the FANG companies (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) reminded me of Marc Andreessen’s bold prediction about software companies.  Seems more and more relevant with every passing quarter: 1) Every product or service that can become software … Continue reading

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Most visitors to a place are those who live nearby, and those who visit rarely.

Think about that for a moment.  Certainly fits with what most city downtowns are like — swarms of both tourists (rare visitors) and the people who work (or live) there.  Empirically the number of visitors scales inversely as the square of … Continue reading

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Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot.

The basic idea behind this robot is straightforward. It’s a tube of soft material folded inside itself, like an inside-out sock, that grows in one direction when the material at the front of the tube everts, as the tube becomes … Continue reading

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World’s first cable-free elevator travels horizontally and vertically, driven by maglev technology.  Link here.  

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Boston Leads the List of Top 25 U.S. Cities for NIH Funding

Not surprisingly, the biotech hubs cluster at the top.  Boston leads at $1.9B, New York $1.4B, Seattle, Philadelphia and Baltimore all coming in around $900M each. Somewhat surprising is how high Boston ranks relative to San Francisco ($680M). Consolidating San Francisco, Stanford, … Continue reading

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