Annihilation! Cool Flying Dudes! And other stories from the world of science . . .

by wjw on September 15, 2007

Greg Frost has been keeping me up to date this week on the world o’ science, and it’s clear that science is becoming more skiffy than ever.

First up— annihilation! A team including David Cassidy— who will be played in the movie by David Cassidy— has succeeded in merging di-positronium with ordinary positrons in order to produce a powerful ray called the gamma-ray annihilation laser! “The difference in the power available from a gamma-ray laser compared to a normal laser is the same as the difference between a nuclear explosion and a chemical explosion,” sez Cassidy. These annihilation lasers!— in addition to blowing up our enemies better than our enemies have ever been blowed up before— might also be used to kick-start fusion reactors.

And face it— doesn’t “di-positronium” sound like something out of a bad science fiction film?
Plus, extra points for actually calling it an “annihilation laser.”

Next, researchers at the University of Cardiff— where, according to Dr. Who, a giant rift in spacetime is permanently moored— are using the enormous Diamond synchrotron, which generates a light source ten billion times brighter than the sun, to read delicate or damaged ancient manuscripts without having to open them.

This is cool. I really need them to use this really soon on all those manuscripts from Herculaneum. Never mind that they probably have all sorts of other things planned for this colossal synchrotron— I want Sulla’s autobiography now!
Lastly and most coolly, those ingenius Brits aren’t sitting on their Diamond synchrotron laurels, no! They’ve invented the Gryphon one-man strap-on stealth jet plane, tailor-made for getting special forces into all sorts of brand-new trouble!
Can I just say that I’ve been waiting for this for decades! I absolutely want one, I want it now, and I promise not to invade any foreign countries without permission.
Plus, when the country with the gamma-ray annihilation laser is invaded by the country with the strap-on jet planes, you could have the coolest game of Space Invaders ever!
qtera31 September 15, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Walter – I love everything about this post! David Cassidy photo – teenage sigh. “annihilation laser” – What’s not to like about this especially when driving home in rush hour traffic or when needing to eliminate particularly irritating individuals at a comfortable distance. “enerates a light source ten billion times brighter than the sun, to read delicate or damaged ancient manuscripts without having to open them.” I bet I could find missing stuff in the barn or the back of my closet with this too. “Gryphon one-man strap-on stealth jet plane” – Right up there with “rocket car” on my list of – “Why don’t I have this by now?” I think I better go off and read some of my old Tigerbeat magazines and maybe some Scientific American too.

Anonymous September 15, 2007 at 9:36 pm

Alas, the technique for reading documents seems to only work on pieces written with iron gall ink, which only dates to the 12th century, well after Sulla’s autobiography.

Also, di-positronium is made from electrons and positrons (which are hardly “ordinary”) and can annihilate itself; no need to stick in extra positrons…

John September 18, 2007 at 10:59 pm

I’m sad to hear of Robert Jordan passing. I hope he got to read this before he went, he would have gotten a great laugh.

Hit the Link

John September 18, 2007 at 11:04 pm

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