R. Stephen White debunks the misinformation claiming nuclear power is not “safe.”

Safety is judged incrementally, not categorically.

Take a silica gel filled with water and replace the water with carbon dioxide. What do you get? A solid that is lighter than air. It is a super-absorbant that can dry materials, absorb pollutants, provide insulation and can be used for armor. It is called “Frozen Smoke” and it may be a revolutionary new material. It has practical uses for home construction, space travel, body armor, and more.

Dafydd ab Hugh takes a closer look at silica aerogels.

I recommend Marc Levinson’s economic history – The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

It’s the history of a box. And it is the most fascinating history of a box you’ll ever read.

Hopefully, he will write the history of food stored in tin cans and the revolutionary effect it had on our lives. And it will be just as fascinating. Containers play such a major role in human history – from pottery, to tin cans, to cargo containers. Transportation and storage is pointless without good boxes.

Popular Mechanics reports a new super-adhesive tape that uses nanotubes instead of glue.

a team at Ohio’s University of Akron has produced a new kind of “gecko tape” that mimics the thousands of hairs on the gecko’s footpad, each of which splits into hundreds of smaller nanohairs. The tape uses bundles of setae—strong but flexible carbon nanotubes—which, like the gecko hairs, create an electrostatic attraction with a surface.

One inch of tape can hold 50 pounds. Since it has no glue, it does not lose adhesiveness. It’s scifi space tape made real. And it will be used… in space. Of course.

Ground-based telescopes with Lucky Imaging can now take images that are twice as clear as Hubble. Space telescopes will still have uses, but improved ground telescopes cost only 0.01% as much.

This is awesome:

It’s from earlier this year, but if you’re interested, Popular Mechanics gives a good overview of the proposed upgrades. They also republished their original 1913 article on the canal.

5% of ocean cargo passes through the canal. The canal is maxed out and cannot handle the current load, much less the expected future increases. Many modern cargo ships cannot even fit in the canal. And so they’re trying to upgrade it to double capacity and allow larger cargo ships to pass.

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