Graphene Advancements Bringing Cooler Tech Closer
You know those estimates about how the pace of advancement is accelerating and we’re achieving a century’s worth of progress in the next 10 years, and we’ll do the same in the next 5 after that and so on?
Weeeeeell… some days it still feels like we’re getting no place fast, and there’s others when it seems you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a major discovery.
One of the more intriguing breakthroughs I’ve been keeping an eye on is Graphene.
Graphene has in fact been known for awhile and around in various forms but recent advancements are bringing us significantly closer to using it in everyday applications.
Graphene is a honeycomb-shaped layer of carbon atoms but only one atom thick. It’s 200x stronger than steel, incredibly flexible, and carries an electric charge. In fact it’s one of the most conductive materials ever created.
Because a layer of graphene is so thin, it has to be layered on top of another material like cellophane but imagine the possibilities of truly bendable, transparent, dirt-cheap screens.
That means super cool new gadgets aren’t far away!
Booking Travel with Google Flights
Speaking of far away, sometimes it’s nice to get away and Google Flights has just made that a little easier.
My family has a home in Northern Michigan where I spent much of the summer as a kid and still visit a couple of times a year. But getting from Dallas to Northern Michigan by car takes too long so flying is the only option. Unfortunately, there are no major airports up there, just small regional runways, and they’re often expensive to fly into so we have to look at multiple options.
That means every trip I have to compare flying out of DFW or Love Field in Dallas and into one of 12… you heard me right, TWELVE possible airports. Some closer than others, some cheaper than others.
That means that instead of just price comparing airlines from point A to point B, I have 24 possible flight combinations across multiple airlines. It’s so frustrating and time consuming that driving is starting to look like a good idea again.
But now, with Google Flights, I can choose dates, origin, and destination, and Google Flights will show me the surrounding airports and associated cheapest price. If I want to explore deeper I can just click on the various airports and see what the best options are.
It’s saving me tons of time and hair loss when figuring out which flight fits my travel plans best. If you’re making travel plans, I’d recommend adding Google Flights to your tool box. Just go to google.com/flights and check it out.
NASA Spacecraft Photographs Strange Lights on Dwarf Planet Ceres
Speaking of looking at things far away, NASA recently spotted some strange lights on the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The lights at this time are of unknown origin but are incredibly bright against the dark background leading to all kinds of hypothesis on what they may be. As the Dawn spacecraft get’s closer we’ll get a better look but there could be a VERY interesting discovery just around the corner. Dawn is less than 30,000 miles from Ceres now so hopefully we’ll know more soon.
Of course it could just be some hillbilly with a mirror having fun at our expense… but let’s hope not.
Remembering Leonard Nimoy
Late last week we heard the sad news that Lenoard Nimoy had passed at age 83. It goes without saying that we don’t do ‘celebrity’ news here at Geek Beat but Mr. Nimoy was an iconic part of geek culture. His portrayal of the dispassionate Mr. Spock on the Star Trek series helped many to be unashamed of our geeky passion for science and sci-fi.
As you saw in today’s opening, Leonard Nimoy did so much more than just play Mr Spock. He’s credited in over 130 movies and TV shows, he was an art collector, author and accomplished photographer, but Spock may be his largest legacy. Nimoy became known for his willingness to indulge fans, show up at conventions, and show the kind of warmth that Mr. Spock would not have.
Of course there are those that don’t fully understand how much geek culture will mourn Mr. Nimoy’s passing. But I think John Scalzi summed it up best on Twitter:
If you're having trouble understanding the grief over @TheRealNimoy's passing, here it is: Every geek just lost their favorite grandparent.
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) February 27, 2015
Leonard Nimoy left us with many great memories and quotes and we thank him for portraying Mr. Spock as beautifully as he did and as only he could.
There is a lot we can say but dragging this out for the sake of it would be… well… illogical.
So I’ll leave you with this:
Leonard Nimoy, you are, and always shall be, our friend.
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