It'll go great with your Harkonnen Chair

Philip Watts Design

Another. Previously, previously.
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DARPA solicits swarming robot space vampires

Phoenix seeks to repurpose retired satellite components through GEO servicing

More than $300 billion worth of satellites are estimated to be in the geosynchronous orbit. Many of these satellites have been retired due to normal end of useful life, obsolescence or failure; yet many still have valuable components, such as antennas, that could last much longer than the life of the satellite. [...] One of the primary drivers of the high launch costs is the weight and volume of antennas. The repurposing of existing, retired antennas from the graveyard represents a potential for significant cost savings.

"Satellites in GEO are not designed to be disassembled or repaired, so it's not a matter of simply removing some nuts and bolts," said David Barnhart, DARPA program manager. "This requires new remote imaging and robotics technology and special tools to grip, cut, and modify complex systems, since existing joints are usually molded or welded. Another challenge is developing new remote operating procedures to hold two parts together so a third robotic `hand' can join them with a third part, such as a fastener, all in zero gravity. [...]

Phoenix specifically seeks technologies for developing a new class of small "satlets," or nanosatellites, which can be sent more economically to the GEO region through existing ride-along services with commercial satellite launches and then robotically attached to the antenna of a nonfunctional cooperating satellite to essentially create a new space system.

This has been making the rounds lately with a lot of people reposting it as if this is a thing that is going to happen, but DARPA puts out these kinds of proposals all the time, sometimes for seriously wacky, probably-impossible things. What they're saying is, "Here's something we'd like, and if you figure out how to build it, we'll probably buy it."

Neat idea, though.

Previously, previously.

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The Zombie Brain: Impulsive-Reactive Aggression

Dr. Timothy Verstynen & Dr. Bradley Voytek of the Zombie Research Society are posting a series entitled The Living Dead Brain: What Forensic Neuroscience Can Tell Us about the Zombie Brain. I think you will find it relevant to your interests.

Part 2: Impulsive-Reactive Aggression

Given the impulsive and aggressive behavior exhibited by zombies, it's safe to say that they lack a properly functioning orbitofrontal cortex. So we've modeled the zombie brain such that the orbitofrontal cortex is more or less obliterated. As a result, the zombie amygdala, hypothalamus, and thalamus (specifically the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis) should be constantly overactive. These changes would easily produce a hair-trigger adrenal response unlike anything seen in normal humans!
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Are pingbacks worthwhile at all? I don't get very many, but at least half of them seem to be spam.

Akismet doesn't trap them nearly as well as comment spam, and sometimes it's even hard to tell manually whether they're spam, since the spam-blogs have gotten good at stealing plausible-sounding content. Most of the time it's only by the 3rd identical pingback from a different domain that I'm sure.

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