Nov 202007


According to a group of mathematicians, it may be possible to create devices with internal tunnels that are invisible to detection by electromagnetic waves—wormholes, in a sense. The group discusses the idea in a paper published in the October 29 online edition of Physical Review Letters.

Here’s the abstract:

We describe new configurations of electromagnetic (EM) material parameters, the electric permittivity epsilon and magnetic permeability µ, which allow one to construct devices that function as invisible tunnels. These allow EM wave propagation between the regions at the two ends of a tunnel, but the tunnels themselves and the regions they enclose are not detectable to lateral EM observations.

Such devices act as wormholes with respect to Maxwell’s equations and effectively change the topology of space vis-à-vis EM wave propagation. We suggest several applications, including devices behaving as virtual magnetic monopoles, invisible cables, and scopes for MRI-assisted surgery.

Here’s a link to Physorg with a great synopsis and assessment.

 Posted by at 6:06 am
Nov 192007

GI Joe

More info is starting to flow around the GI Joe action/adventure movie that is in the works.

Here’s 4 bits of news.

1. Plot Summary: The movie will be a modern telling of the "G.I. Joe vs. Cobra" storyline and its compelling characters that Hasbro created 25 years ago. The premise of this fantasy is the story of the G.I. Joe team, led by Duke, and their "fight for freedom wherever there is trouble" against the evil Cobra Commander and his Cobra force. This storyline was an instant hit with kids in the early 1980s, spawning a highly popular 3-3/4-inch action figure line, comic book collection and animated series. The G.I. Joe team will not be based in Brussels. Instead, they will be based out of the "Pit" as they were throughout the 1980s comic book series. And, in keeping with the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra fantasy, the movie will feature characters and locations from around the world. Duke, the lead character and head of the G.I. Joe team, will embody the values of bravery and heroism that the first generation of G.I. Joe figures established.

2. The Sissyfication: No longer will this character be a US Special Forces soldier. It seems that the Iraq/Afghanistan skirmishes are causing Paramount and Hasbro to make some critical tweaks to the character and backstory in an effort to disassociate the franchise’s gung-ho leader from the US military. In the movie, ‘GI Joe’ is now a Brussel’s-based organization called ‘Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity’. WTF?

In this IGN article the execs discuss how GI Joe as a ‘Real American Hero’ would be a tough sell to some parts of the world.

In this Foxnews article retired Army Col. David Hunt, a military and terrorism analyst called the scheme a shame, adding "G.I. Joe is a U.S. guy. What are we going to call it — Global Joe? International Joe? It’s kind of stupid. It’s ridiculous that they’re doing that."

3. The Director & Writer: Also in GI Joe news is that Stephen Sommers will direct, he’s the fellow we have to thank for The Mummy and Scorpion King. One of the two writers is Stuart Beattie, he co-wrote the Pirates of the Carribean series.

4. The Date: The last piece of news I just picked up from is that GI Joe is slated for release on August 7, 2009. Maybe by then all the hullabaloo over the sissyfication of GI Joe will have blown over.

 Posted by at 10:14 pm
Nov 192007


In an experiment to test for a pain response, after applying acetic acid on to one of the antennae of 144 prawns, the creatures immediately began grooming and rubbing the affected antenna, while leaving untouched antennae alone.

This is a response animal behavioral expert Prof Robert Elwood says is “consistent with an interpretation of pain experience”. The same pain sensitivity is likely to be shared by lobsters, crabs and other crustaceans, researchers believe.

If you’re not familiar with why this may be controversial, it’s been debated for many years by animal welfare advocates that boiling lobsters while they’re alive is cruel and painful. On the other hand some researchers claim crustaceans feel no pain.

Link to the New Scientist article.

 Posted by at 6:00 am