And we’re at issue #100!
I’ll level with you: I didn’t end up doing anything special (although maybe I will as the year winds down). I’ve been consumed instead with a fabrication project that will definitely yield an article or two on the process, and will hopefully yield a few articles on the underlying reason for the project over the next year.
That cryptic statement aside, here’s the news.
- Mathematical history: modeling the Luftwaffe’s chances in the Battle of Britain – I should see if I can get Battle of Britain II working again, avoid the frustrating campaign bugs which make all your AARs and data useless, and game it out. Well, first I should finish the Rule the Waves 2 playthrough, but that’s on my desktop computer, which is in a room I’m slowly painting.
- Test-flying the world’s most advanced F-15 – That’s the one for the Qataris, so presumably they’re not counting any future designs.
- Laser weapons: sci-fi ten years ago, commonplace now – How did it happen? Read on, find out.
- Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, father of Iran’s nuclear bomb ambitions, assassinated – Was it Israel? Probably.
- The weapon? A remote-controlled machine gun mounted to a car, which shot up Fakhrizadeh’s vehicle, then exploded when the job was done
Science and Technology
- AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine data is not up to snuff – They did do all the testing they say they did, but they also did some no-nos in reporting it—using certain subgroups of the trial participants, combining unlike tests, and so on.
- The mechanism of COVID destroying your sense of smell
- Anecdata: Amazon reviews of scented candles have fallen one full star since the start of the pandemic – “This candle doesn’t smell like anything!”
- DeepMind attacks another intractable problem, this one more practical than ‘beat the world’s best Go players’: protein folding! – Maybe next they’ll tackle predicting plasma instabilities in tokamaks, and 2020 will be the start of the Fusion Age.
- Lessons from 20 years of Linux kernel work – “Don’t annoy your users.” Also, APIs are tricky to design, because you don’t know if they’re good until people start using them, and you can’t change them after people start using them.
- It’s going to take LockMart a year to replace a failed power unit in the Orion capsule earmarked for Artemis I – If I were king and could make a race happen, I’d lay approximately even odds on SpaceX soft-landing something on the moon before LockMart can tear their capsule down and put it back together.
- Arecibo’s instrument platform has collapsed – R.I.P. (radiotelescope in pieces).
- As always, it needs a big IN MICE disclaimer, but scientists have reversed age-related vision loss in mice – Via epigenetic programming, or in essence telling the old mice to sort themselves out.
- The best measurement yet of the fine structure construct – IN MICE! … No, just kidding.