Links for 11th June 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Acoustic Black Hole Created in Bose-Einstein Condensate

    "One of the many curious properties of Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs) is that the flow of sound through them is governed by the same equations that describe how light is bent by a gravitational field. That sets up the possibility of all kinds of fun and games: in theory, physicists can reproduce with sound and BECs whatever wicked way gravity has with light.

    Today, Ori Lahav and his mates at the Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, say that they've created the sonic equivalent of a black hole in a BEC. That's some achievement, given that physicists have wondered about this possibility for some 30 years, and various groups with the ability to create BECs have been racing to create acoustic black holes. "

    Tagged with: sciencephysicsmaterialsquantumacousticsblackholesound

  2. Scientists Create a Form of Pre-Life

    "Called tPNA, short for thioester peptide nucleic acids, the molecules spontaneously mimic the shape of DNA and RNA when mixed together. Left on their own, they gather in shape-shifting strands that morph into stable configurations.

    The molecules haven’t yet achieved self-replication, the ultimate benchmark of life, but they hint at it. Best of all, their activities require no enzymes — molecules that facilitate chemical reactions, but didn’t yet exist in the primordial world modeled by scientists seeking insight into life’s murky origins."

    Tagged with: sciencebiologyevolutionchemistrytPNAlifeartificial

  3. The Learjet repo man

    "Nick Popovich is a repo man, but not the kind that spirits away Hyundais from suburban driveways. Popovich is a super repo man, one of a handful of specialists who get the call when a bank wants back its Gulfstream II jet from, say, a small army of neo-Nazi freaks.

    For the past three decades, Popovich has been one of a secret tribe of big game hunters who specialize in stealing jets from the jungle hideouts of corrupt landowners in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil and swiping go-fast boats from Wall Street titans in Miami and East Hampton. Super repos have been known to hire swat teams, hijack supertankers and fly off with eastern bloc military helicopters. For a cut of the overall value, they'll repossess anything."

    Tagged with: repossessionbusinessaircraftrepomercenary

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