Tech Net News 01-05-2018

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Humans are tasty! They look so funny after I disembowel them, too. Credit:

The next club meeting is this Tuesday! I’ll be presenting on knots and ropes in amateur radio, also known as “why not to buy rope from a home improvement store,” and why dyneema—or even paracord—is amazing. Don’t worry about being bored! We’ll all practice some fun and important knots right there at the meeting.

And don’t forget to pay your dues. Check Ham Club Online to see if they’re due.

And after you pay your dues, why not sign up for Winter Field Day? It would be great if we knew you were coming.

The contest calendar is fairly quiet, but the Linc Cudnall Memorial CW contest—where you get points for using pre-1950 gear—is still going on.

I’m not clear on the dates, because their website is out of date, but the Italian QRP Quarterly Marathon might be going on now. Some sites put the dates as 0800Z, Jan 7 to 2000Z, Jan 13, 2019.

In news from the world of amateur radio:

The ARRL reports that the FCC has outlined how it will handle the current partial government shutdown. The ULS website will stay online, but amateur radio licence applications will not be processed.

In news from the world of science:

You can view ultima thule (486958 2014 MU69) in 3d! If you don’t have or don’t like 3-d glasses, here’s a hint: open the “crossed eyes” version of the image in a new tab, and use the control-minus key combination to make the image smaller until it’s easy to view it “magic eye” style.

Did you know that you an dial 911 from the International Space Station? Well, now you do. Modern communications relay satellites are pretty amazing, and sometimes funny, too.

The biggest news in biology this week is that some scientists have figured out a way to make photosynthesis more efficient. As the Earth’s population continues to increase, another Green Revolution is something we could all use.

It turns out that painting a Mars rover is just like painting your house: the preparation is almost all the work, and the actual painting takes hardly any time at all.

Scientists don’t just improve photosynthesis or visit different worlds; they have fun by figuring out the best possible way to shoot a rubber band.

Graphite isn’t a superconductor. Graphene isn’t a superconductor. But if you combine two layers of graphene at a slight angle to one another and get them really, impractically cold…you get a superconductor! This story has been making quite a few waves in the physics community this week.

And finally, I haven’t run across any really great bird news this week, so I’ll just leave you with a few nightmares. Remember the pelican’s motto: “if it fits in my pouch, I can eat it!”

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