If you only watch one Rube Goldberg machine today, make it this one: Magnets and Marbles!
Earth's Magnetic Field May Be About to Flip [summary] - "Earth's last magnetic reversal took place 786,000 years ago and happened very quickly, in less than 100 years -- roughly a human lifetime. The rapid flip, much faster than the thousands of years most geologists thought, comes as new measurements show the planet's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal and could drop to zero in a few thousand years." (via)
By making a very precise measurement of the muon g-2 value and comparing the results to its predicted value, researchers at Fermilab hope to uncover evidence of new, undiscovered particles and forces. This continues work done at Brookhaven National Laboratory a decade ago. To do so, Fermilab needs their 50-ft ring magnet and its fragile, precisely assembled superconducting coils. After six months of planning, the magnet was slowly hauled on an eight-axle trailer through the streets of Long Island, loaded onto a barge, and tugged down the Atlantic coast and into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will go up the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to the Mississippi and then through Illinois waterways before it's trucked again through suburban Chicago. Fermilab has a photo and video gallery and is posting updates. [more inside]
“Happy” was the theme we were given by the organizers for this year's F5 Re:Play Fest, held in April in NYC, to create this edition's pieces, probably the hardest thing to convey in any artistic expression. After a good deal of introspection, and teaming up with awesome motion graphics artist Gerardo del Hierro, we decided that happy wasn't happy for Physalia unless pliers, microchips and a bit of soldering were involved, and with this idea we resolved to create the happiest machine Physalia has built to date. [more inside]
The Magnet (scroll down on the linked page to see scanned copies of the magazine) published stories about an English public school called Greyfriars from 1908 until 1940. [more inside]
Meet the Sheeples. The rehasher of the Dress-Up Jesus magnets (Previously on MeFi) has immortalized his legion of hate-mailers in comic form. Click each to read the actual tête-à-tête. [more inside]
Could giant magnetically levitated windmills be the solution to the worlds energy problems? Chinese scientist have reported 20 percent increase in capacity over traditional wind turbines using maglev turbines, and now Arizona-based based Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies claims their turbines will have 1000 times the capacity of a traditional turbine. Not everybody is convinced.
Sucked in! MRI scanners are hungry for any metal objects in the nearby vicinity, with hilarious and sometimes tragic results. The roughly 10,000 scanners in the United States are found not just in hospitals, but in storefront clinics and even mounted on trucks, making rounds of small hospitals or parking at malls to do scans for a fee.
Researchers at the University of Utah and Ohio State have developed a light-tunable plastic magnet. "The researchers developed a plastic material that becomes 1.5 times more magnetic when blue light shines on it. Green light partially reverses that effect." My mind is now completely blown.