Tech Net News 03-28-2020

A clever kea. Credit: Amalia Bastos,

Remember that the next DARC board meeting and club meeting, on April 7th, 2020, will be held on-line and over the air. The board meeting will use Google Meet; details about the apps for Android and IOS can be found in last week’s news.

The clickable link to the board meeting is found in our event calendar.

The April Old-Timers’ Night program will be held on our 146.88 MHz repeater at 7:00 pm local time on April 7th, 2020. Please charge up your batteries and get ready to participate on this unique meeting over the air!

Future programs like the April Lecture and Lab are still in a very uncertain state, so please keep an eye on this website and on our Facebook page for the latest news.

And finally, don’t forget our 10 O’Clock Coffee Break! Meet us on the 146.88 repeater every weekday at 10:00 am for the latest news and humor.

In news from the world of amateur radio:

The HamSci 2020 ham radio science workshop was converted into an online-only event, and it was a big hit! You can watch the presentations and review the posters on-line.

The state of Connecticut has closed all non-essential nonprofit offices, and so the ARRL headquarters has closed. Staff will do their best to provide services while working from home, but there may be significant difficulties and delays.

The DX logging site ClubLog is donating time on all of its CPU cores to support coronavirus research using Folding@Home. You may find that it takes longer than usual to upload your logs…but if you don’t mind the heat, you can donate time on your own computers, too. The performance of Folding@Home is now an order of magnitude greater than the world’s next-largest supercomputer.

And hams are donating their software know-how to help develop a low-cost ventilator at the University of Florida.

In news from the world of science:

The kea, a clever, but endangered parrot found in New Zealand, not only plays jokes on humans, but it’s recently been shown to have a basic understanding of probability.

Scientists have found a naturally-occurring superconductor in an Australian meteorite! It’s not a new one, or one that works at room-temperatures, but it was a big  surprise to the researchers who found it.

Australia is having a good week in science news, it seems. An Australian fossil of a rice-sized, worm-like animal is, at 555 million years old, the oldest known animal with bilateral symmetry (like a kea or a human) instead of radial symmetry (like a jellyfish).

And finally, it’s not news at all, but it’s interesting to learn that the N-95 mask has a superhero origin story: it was invented in China during an outbreak of the plague.