Galileo’s middle finger
Birth - Dir. Jonathan Glazer
Draw a monster. Why is it a monster?
Only Angels a Have a Wings, 1939
Katharine Hepburn, 1935.
At the bottom of philosophy something very true and very desperate whispers: Everyone is hungry all the time.
“Every time someone says we don’t need feminism anymore, things like this come to mind. Due to insufficient dowry this young girl’s husband lacerated her face with a razor blade.” (Gwalior - India) - ph. Adrian Fisk
Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.
– David Gaider
(source: it was tweeted by @femfreq)
The hot test generator in action. Image: J.Mannhart/MPG.de
Through a process known as thermionic conversion, heat energy — such as light from the sun or heat from burned fossil fuels — can be converted into electricity with very high efficiency. Because of its promise, researchers have been trying for more than half a century to develop a practical thermionic generator, with little luck. That luck may soon change, thanks to a new design — dubbed a thermoelectronic generator — described in AIP Publishing’s Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy(JRSE).
Thermionic generators use the temperature difference between a hot and a cold metallic plate to create electricity. “Electrons are evaporated or kicked out by light from the hot plate, then driven to the cold plate, where they condense,” explained experimental solid-state physicist Jochen Mannhart of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, the lead author of the JRSE paper. The resulting charge difference between the two plates yields a voltage that, in turn, drives an electric current, “without moving mechanical parts,” he said.
Previous models of thermionic generators have proven ineffectual because of what is known as the “space-charge problem,” in which the negative charges of the cloud of electrons leaving the hot plate repel other electrons from leaving it too, effectively killing the current. Mannhart, along with his former students Stefan Meir and Cyril Stephanos, and colleague Theodore Geballe of Stanford University, circumvented this problem using an electric field to pull the charge cloud away from the hot plate, which allowed electrons to fly to the cold plate.
"Practical thermionic generators have reached efficiencies of about 10 percent. The theoretical predictions for our thermoelectronic generators reach about 40 percent, although this is theory only," noted Mannhart. "We would be much surprised if there was a commercial application in the marketplace within the next five years, but if companies that are hungry for power recognize the potential of the generators, the development might be faster."
Bande-annonce for La Belle et la Bête
A heart can learn ever so many tricks , and what sort of beast it becomes depends greatly upon whether it has been taught to sit up or to lie down, to speak or to beg, to roll over or to sound alarms, to guard or to attack, to find or to stay. But the trick most folk are so awfully fond of learning, the absolute second they’ve got hold of a heart, is to pretend they don’t have one at all.
A glove to find your way in 19th-century London
This amazing artifact came by in my Twitter feed today and it is too special not to share. It is a glove that was purchased in 1851 as a tourist souvenir at London’s Great Exhibition, which was attended by a variety of famous individuals, from Charles Darwin to Charlotte Brontë. The leather glove is special because it contains a map that shows the routes to Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, which was the main staging area for the exhibition. It appears to be made for a child, perhaps in case he lost his parents in the crowds. The glove is one of a variety of maps that was produced for the many visitors to the city. Another is this wonderful folding specimen printed on silk, which shows a great amount of detail (check out the enlargements). London in the palm of your hand: a functional memento from the time that the tourist industry was beginning to boom.
Pic: Kew, The National Archives, EXT 11/159 (c. 1851). This the source of the image; here and here is more information on the glove (the latter webpage, from the archive that keeps the artifact, suggests it was a kid’s glove). The glove features on various blogs, such as this one; I saw it in this tweet today.