Tech Net News 02-22-2020

Did bees buzz 100 million years ago, or make a different sound? Credit: George Poinar Jr./ OSU.

That’s a lot of 2s today, isn’t it? There will be even more in a couple of years. Today was a really fun Lecture and Lab, and I hope hams who participated can share their experiences—and share any questions they still have—on tonight’s net.

Our next club meeting will be on Tuesday, March 3rd. John Galvin, N5TIM, will speak about Winlink radio messaging, something I’ve been struggling with lately. I hope you’ll come on out to learn more.

If you check the contest calendar for this weekend, you’ll see a very brief high-speed CW contest coming up on Sunday, and the CQ WW 160-meter SSB contest is in progress right now. Please note that logs are due within five days of the contest, and contacts not in the other station’s log result in a penalty. If you participate, please turn in a log. Speaking of which, if you participated in Winter Field Day, please remember that logs need to be turned in this month. Please do so, if you haven’t already.

In news from the world of amateur radio, as reported by the ARRL:

A DX-pedition to the South Orkney Islands is running behind schedule, but should be on the air sometime tomorrow.

Amateurs in France have gained a 60-meter band, but it appears that only one of our channels will overlap with their 15 kHz allocation.

Using only half a milliwatt, amateurs in northern Californa have claimed a new record distance for a CW contact on 122 GHz: slightly over 86 miles. They not only needed to use mountaintops, but they had to wait for a frigid, dry day as well.

The ARRL also has a short article on hams assisting in the response to a tornado in Mississippi. I hope there’s a longer follow-up in a future QST.

In news from the world of science:

DNA testing has identified the species of a 46,000-year-old songbird found frozen in Siberian permafrost: it’s a horned lark. The same fascinating site has yielded a partially preserved woolly mammoth, an 18,000-year-old puppy, and a 50,000-year-old cave lion cub.

A new species of bee, from the age of the dinosaurs, has been discovered in amber and described with very detailed photographs. It was found complete with ancient parasites, and the remains of pollen. Both bees and flowering plants were new and rapidly evolving during this era, so the find is especially important.

And in one last, cool first, individual atoms have been observed participating in a chemical reaction. They had to be kept very cold, and the reaction rate and mechanism weren’t quite what was expected, but that’s why the experiment is important. It’s worth remembering that almost everything we studied in high school and college about the details of chemical reactions was a well-educated guess; no one could actually see them. That’s starting to change.


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