May 2, 2023

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Trump's Rape Trial Does Not Appear to Be Going as Well as His Lawyer Had Hoped (Bess Levin, May. 1st, 2023, Vanity Fair

[Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina]--who himself has had some interesting things to say about Trump in the past--also appeared to suggest that Kaplan is clearly on Carroll's side because the judge understood one of her literary references without having it explained.

MAGA does hate literacy. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Wind turbine recycling breakthrough delivers promise in a test tube - but can it be scaled up? (Amalyah Hart , 2 May 2023, Renew Economy)

A team of Denmark-based researchers say they've found a novel way to break down the tough plastic that makes up wind-turbine blades, recovering useful materials in the process.

As described in a new paper in the journal Nature, the researchers, from Aarhus University and the Danish Technological Institute, have developed a novel chemical process in which the blade material is submerged in a solvent spiked with a catalyst called ruthenium, and heated to 160°C.

After several days in this mixture, the blade material is broken down into its constituent parts, including bisphenol A (an expensive and useful material for building new composites), and the intact carbon and glass fibres that were embedded in the original material.

In their study, the researchers applied the method to unmodified epoxy resins as well as to commercial composites - epoxy-based products that had been created and used in practice, including the shell of a wind turbine blade.

The paper presents a proof of concept that these materials can be broken down into usable, retrievable parts.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Strange but true: the expanding Universe doesn't conserve energy (Ethan Siegel, 5/01/23, Big Think)

In all the Universe, one of the most fundamental rules of all is the law of energy conservation. In its simplest form, it states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but only transformed from one type into another. Regardless of transformations between different types of energy, including:

gravitational potential energy,
chemical energy,
the energy of radiation,
thermal (heat) energy,
kinetic (motion) energy,
rest mass energy,
as well as any other form of energy you can dream up,

the total amounts of "initial" and "final" energy in any physical system must always add up to the same values.

But there's an underlying reason for why energy is always conserved: it's because there's a physical symmetry that corresponds to the conserved quantity of energy. In this case, it's time-translation invariance: the notion that physical properties and laws don't evolve with time. But there is a very important physical property -- not on Earth, but on cosmic scales -- that actually does evolve with time: the distance between any two cosmic objects that aren't gravitationally bound together. In the expanding Universe, distant galaxies recede from one another, growing farther apart with time.

Does that imply that energy is no longer conserved in an expanding Universe? Bizarrely, it actually does. As strange as it may seem, it's actually true: energy is not conserved in the expanding Universe.