Wednesday What We’re Reading (Oct. 7, 2020)

It’s late, so the commentary won’t be as inspired as usual.

Update: actually, it’s early, and I forgot to hit publish last night, so here you are.




Science and Technology

  • Physicists build circuit that generates electricity from graphene – That is, from the thermal motion of graphene at room temperature. They seem to have sussed out a way to make the thermodynamics work out. I wish the article said something about what kind of voltages they’re generating—how far away are we from, say, a useful sensor-with-BLE chip that lasts forever? Because that would be handy.
  • Airbus and the hydrogen-fueled airliner of the future – Parvusimperator’s jokes about exploding airlines aside, it seems to me that some kind of liquid fuel is going to be required for aviation until such time as we start flying fusion jets around. Synthetic Jet-A seems more likely to me, though.
  • Otto Aviation reveals the Celera 500L – Thanks to laminar flow, it gets similar fuel mileage to my car, and cruises at 460 miles per hour on (coincidentally) 460 cruise horsepower out of a 6.3L turbodiesel.


Grab Bag

  1. I should emphasize that I’m not making fun of the Action Air guys. I think it’s cool that they have the option to at least shoot something, and airguns aren’t useless as training aids either. Tatsuya Sakai won the 2004 Steel Challenge championship practicing mostly with an airgun. He came to the US a month early to work up his real-gun skills and beat KC Eusebio by about six tenths of a second. 

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