Tech Net News 04-04-2020

Maybe only 300,000 years old, and so even more interesting. Credit: Wikipedia.

Remember that the next DARC club meeting—the famous April Old Timers’ Night—and our next board 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 our March 21st news.

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

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.

As long as Tom’s voice holds out, we’ll continue to have our 10 O’Clock Weekday Net.  Meet us on the 146.88 repeater every weekday at 10:00 am for the latest news and humor, as well as warnings about what not to eat in the employee cafeteria. Remember, if Tom can’t make it, you’re free to call the net yourself…and Tom wouldn’t mind some extra help. You can contact the club to volunteer.

For activities you can do from home, the contest calendar has some fun in store, including a new, ongoing series of short contests, the Hope QSO Party from the RSGB. We’ve also got QSO parties in Nebraska, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri, but NOT the Florida State Parks on the Air or International Marconi Day events—those have been cancelled. Also, please check the rules for your favorite contests, because many have been changed so that operators no longer have to gather in the same location.

In news from the world of amateur radio:

In some countries, suffixes like “mobile” or “water stop 2” are regulated by the local government. The ARRL reports that some countries are allowing amateurs to use the suffix “stayhome” as a reminder of social distancing. The Australian national club station AX2020STAYHOME is thus using what may be the longest call-sign in amateur history.

It’s also been good to hear the ARRL report that a ventilator design using common parts and a circuit board designed by amateur radio operators continues to move forward.

In news from the world of science:

People have been talking quite a bit about how lockdowns, in addition to causing hardship, are (very temporarily) reducing pollution. But did you know that they’re also making it easier to detect earthquakes?

The famous Broken Hill Skull, found accidentally during a mining operation, seems to be much younger than currently thought. This shows that there were even more different types of human-like animal alive at once than we thought, making our history even more difficult to understand.

Research shows that the challenges of living in cities are causing some birds to raise more chicks, but causing others to become more intelligent. Please use caution and avoid taunting birds! They might remember it. Also, please remember that nesting season is in full swing. Consider setting out food or water, and take a good look at that shrub or tree before you trim it, or even at that shoe you left outside.

We know that at a small scale, the universe seems to travel from the past to the future; you never see an egg un-scramble itself. But at the large scale, things seem to be the same whether time goes backwards or forwards. Recently, though, researchers have shown that just three things orbiting each other in space are enough to create an “arrow of time.”

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