Grab bag: Just for (slightly geeky) fun

The web brings me lots of cute and/or entertaining snippets which are worth sharing but don’t really deserve a whole page to themselves. Here’s a selection of recent ‘grabs’, with thanks to those who pointed them out to me.

Tata Develops Car That Can Run On Air

A car that runs on air sounds like an interesting idea that’s too good to be true. I followed it up to the extent of finding more technical details, here, and it is, in fact, both.

It should indeed be cheap to run and reduce pollution in the cities – both good – but it is essentially another ‘long tail pipe’ technology in that the power source is really  mains electricity, since the compressed air, like hydrogen or batteries, is just a way of storing energy. Until the mains electricity is generated from renewable sources the Tata ultimately runs on coal or oil, so there is still a pollution cost. This link points to a way around that problem, but it is some distance into the future.

IgNobel prizes

The Ignobels are awarded annually for ‘achievements that first make people LAUGH then make them THINK,’ as the website says. They do that.

Fate of the World game

Computer strategy game Fate of the World gives gamers the chance to save a virtual world from climate catastrophe.

Using real climatic models, it gives gamers and environmentalists the chance to test policy ideas on a global scale. Its developers intend the game to be fun and to help increase awareness of the complex nature of fighting global warming.

Initial reviews (linked from bottom of this Greenpeace review) are positive in terms of game enjoyment.

Quantum levitation

http://youtu.be/Ws6AAhTw7RA

I sent this link to a young relative (relatively young, anyway) working in quantum physics and he sent me a link to Tested.com by way of explanation. (That content has been removed but Tested.com is still full of geeky fun, so it could be worth a visit.) Another knowledgeable friend said, ‘What you are seeing with the superconductor is a result of the diamagnetism and flux pinning of the superconductor,’ and pointed to

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