Friday Foofaraw: February 24, 2017

Every Friday (more or less) I send an email to some coworkers with three or four short entries, usually from Wikipedia articles, collected from whatever weird crap I’ve been looking at that week. I’ve decided to start posting them here too, so you fine people have something to read here in between my larger projects.

Space-Time Crystal

A ‘space-time crystal’ is a crystal which, like other crystals, has a pattern that repeats in three dimensions, but it also repeats in the fourth ‘time’ dimension. It’s a real thing that scientists have created in laboratory experiments. The fact that it replicates itself in the fourth dimension technically means that it’s in perpetual motion, but even so it doesn’t violate the laws of thermodynamics because energy can’t be extracted from it and it doesn’t convert its thermal energy into mechanical work.

Black Hole Starship

A black hole starship would operate by creating an artificial black hole and attaching a parabolic reflector to capture the black hole’s Hawking radiation and thereby propel the ship. This idea is apparently a lot less absurd than it seems.

Road Rage

“People who customize their cars with stickers and other adornments are more prone to road rage than other people, according to one study. The number of territory markers predicted road rage better than vehicle value or condition, and furthermore, only the number of bumper stickers, and not their content, predicted road rage.”


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