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June 2023 News Wire

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Gravity Batteries in Abandoned Mines

Renewable energy sources like wind and solar work well when there’s wind and sunshine. Gravity batteries only require a long shaft to drop sand and extract energy by braking to slow the fall of sand. Sounds weird but it works. And there are lots of abandoned mine shafts around the world connected to a power grid, with 550,000 mines in the US alone.

Musical Elements

All chemicals like Zinc, Hydrogen, and Iron have a visual spectrum or range, in the same way sound has a spectrum from low sounds to higherpitched sounds. And, all chemicals can be arranged in an array called the Periodic Table based on their atomic weight, and the number of protons in their atomic nucleus. A recent college graduate, W Walker Smith, mapped all the elements of the Periodic Table to sounds we can hear. The result is an amazing way to understand and learn about chemistry. Smith’s favorite sounds are from Helium and Zinc.

Print-And-Eat Cheesecake

We can create and buy lots of 3D-printed items these days, from bike frames and toys to Thing from the Addams Family. Scientists are playing with 3D printers to create food. They’ve come up with a seven-ingredient recipe to print cheesecake.

All the Craze in 1800s London

If you’ve ever seen a line outside the Apple Store after a new release, maybe you can relate to this 1970s BBC interview with two London women who were teenagers in the late 1800s. One recalls her brother dragging her to a shop window to see a new machine called a typewriter. Of course, back then, they also got around by horse-drawn cabs and walked through muddy streets in long dresses, (a laundry nightmare). Life today is a lot easier.

Typewriter Artist

James Cook is a British artist who uses a manual typewriter to take ASCII art to amazing levels. If you don’t already know, ASCII art uses all the keyboard keys—A to Z, a to z, 1-0, and special characters – to create images like boats and houses. Cook uses these keys to create extremely complex images of London scenes. His website includes incredible close-ups of several images.

Mapping Out Math

For most people, learning about math starts with counting and then playing with numbers using
multiplication and division to find new numbers. Later on in school, we learn about algebra and maybe calculus and statistics. But how do all of these kinds of math fit together? And how does math tie to computing? Physicist Dominic Walliman has created a video that starts with the history of math and then describes all its many areas in map form.

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