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April 6, 2021 Archives

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

CONTEXT: Age of Stupid—Academic Journals Are Omitting the Titles of Cited Papers

This makes citations almost worthless unless you want to look up every one to see what it's about. The “saving paper” argument is absurd in an age where the vast majority of publication is electronic and actual printed journals go for exorbitant prices. You almost wonder if academics don't want you to check the cited papers.

Posted at 19:54 Permalink

CONTINUITY: Spacecraft Spin Stabilisation—from Explorer 1 to New Horizons

Posted at 19:46 Permalink

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Vacuum Tube Computer — Adding Skip to the Instruction Register

The skip logic simply forces an instruction of all ones into the instruction register when the SKIP signal is asserted. This is done with four OR gates with cathode follower buffered outputs to drive the instruction register flip flops. The OR gates are built from semiconductor diodes, which is fair enough since “diode OR” has been used in electronic computer logic circuitry from the very beginning: ENIAC used 7200 “crystal diodes” (or “crystal rectifiers”) as they were called at the time.

Posted at 13:38 Permalink

CONTINUITY: Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Flight Plans

Posted at 13:20 Permalink

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Photosynthesis from Infrared Emission by Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents

The paper is “An obligately photosynthetic bacterial anaerobefrom a deep-sea hydrothermal vent” [PDF]. Abstract:

The abundance of life on Earth is almost entirely due to biological photosynthesis, which depends on light energy. The source of light in natural habitats has heretofore been thought to be the sun, thus restricting photosynthesis to solar photic environments on the surface of the Earth. If photosynthesis could take place in geothermally illuminated environments, it would increase the diversity of photosynthetic habitats both on Earth and on other worlds that have been proposed to possibly harbor life. Green sulfur bacteria are anaerobes that require light for growth by the oxidation of sulfur compounds to reduce CO2 to organic carbon, and are capable of photosynthetic growth at extremely low light intensities. We describe the isolation and cultivation of a previously unknown green sulfur bacterial species from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent, where the only source of light is geothermal radiation that includes wavelengths absorbed by photosynthetic pigments of this organism.

Posted at 10:44 Permalink