Interest of the day

A blog about miscellaneous topics.

RenderMan now free

morreale Monday 09 of June, 2014
Pixar Animation Studios is making it's RenderMan animation software available for free for non-commercial use and a commercial license will be available for $495.

Hello Internet

morreale Sunday 08 of June, 2014
CGP Gray and Brady Haran have produced the Hello Internet podcast that discusses a wide variety of very interesting topics that covers the Internet, Youtube educators, TV, movies, and pop culture for example. Gray and Haran also have their own educational based YouTube channels.

Make a Mission: Mercury

morreale Sunday 08 of June, 2014
The AAAS website has posted the Make a Mission interactive simulator to explore the planet Mercury. The objective of the mission is to
  1. Take pictures of Mercury's surface
  2. Measure the chemicals and elements that make up the planet's crust
  3. Search for magnetic regions of the crust
  4. Gather details about volcanoes and other tectonic features
  5. Measure gases in the atmosphere
  6. Measure energy and charged particles in the planet's magnetic field

Seismic cloak

morreale Sunday 08 of June, 2014
Researcher at the Institut Fresnel have come up with a seismic cloak to protect building and structures from earthquakes. The technique is based on the concepts used in metamaterials and creates periodic structures containing materials that change the soil density and elastic modulus in the area surrounding a building. Tests using 5 m deep bore holes showed a 20% reduction in the building oscillation amplitudes.

Asteroid Redirect Mission

morreale Sunday 08 of June, 2014
Kerbal in collaboration with NASA has released the Asteroid Redirect Mission add-on for the Kerbal Space Mission simulation game that lets you run a space program to build spacecraft, space stations, and explore the solar system.


NASA Software catalog

morreale Monday 19 of May, 2014
The NASA technology Transfer Program is making 1000s of computer programs available on their website. The software catalog lists the programs in 15 categories. To get the software, you need to send a request for a software release form to the appropriate program center with your name, contact information, and a short description (one or two sentences) of how you intend to utilize the software.


Particle accelerators

morreale Thursday 08 of May, 2014
Symmetry Magazine has posted the article Ten things you might not know about particle accelerators. Particle accelerators are extreme machines that accelerate particles to near the speed of light to crash the particles together in order to understand the composition of matter. There are 30,000 accelerators in operation today. The SLAC National Accelerator holds the record as the longest building with a length of 2 miles.


Rosetta chase comet

morreale Thursday 03 of April, 2014
The Rosetta spacecraft was launched in March 2004 and is scheduled to rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. The spacecraft will launch a lander to explore the comet's surface in December 2014. Rosetta will continue to orbit the comet through 2015. Solar System Scope produce a neat animation showing the spacecraft's voyage to the comet.