So That Avengers Stuff Was Just Baloney, Right? HERE COMES THE SCIENCE!

Yes, how DOES all that comic book stuff work? An actual, honest-to-goodness PhD has the answers!

So when kinetic energy impacts vibranium, the energy is transformed and released as photons. If this were a science fiction novel, not a superhero movie, there would be some limit to the process, as there are not an infinite amount of photons in an atom. Perhaps the shield would have to be recharged by the sun after seeing use, so it could absorb photons, and if it wasn’t, it would lose the energy transformation power altogether.

On another note, if you give a photon enough energy it becomes a gamma ray, one of the chief forms of ionizing radiation. Could a big enough impact on Cap’s shield cause it to emit gamma radiation?

Could the Hulk do that? If so, could the Hulk smashing Cap’s shield cause enough gamma radiation to transform Cap into a Hulk himself?

See? Now THAT’S science!

“I Can See Colors Now!”

If there’s a real bastard among the laws of physics, it’s the three laws Laws of Thermodynamics, which govern our good old friend Entropy. Boiled down, they mean this: sooner or later everything in the universe breaks down, falls apart, or fades away. Entropy is why we have genetic diseases, why we’re born blind or deaf, why we get cancer, why we age, and ultimately why we die. In the end, Entropy always wins.

Like I said, a real bastard.

If Entropy always wins in the long run, still there are things we can do in the short run to stave it off for a while, and even repair some of the damage it did. Take this short film as an example.

It is amazing, to me, to see people deprived of a source of great joy be given it back by something as simple as a pair of glasses. To suddenly see the fullness of a rainbow or sunset, to be able to see a painting the way the artist intended, to watch a movie and get the full effect of lighting, hue changes, costuming. Amazing.

It’s why I get so upset at “deaf culture” people who want their children to remain deaf. These parents are denying their children part of the joy and wonder of the universe, and if the people in this clip are happy just being able to see color for the first time, how much joy comes to a child who can hear “Happy Birthday” for the first time?

I can let Entropy off the hook. It causes pain and sorrow, but it has no malice. It’s an impersonal effect, part of the universe in which we live.

People who deny their children life-changing technologies are doing it on purpose, and that’s much harder to excuse.

Deaf Dude Hears Wifi

No, not like a mutant thing (though if I were more well read in Marvel, I could tell you which X-Men character could actually do this) but because of a modified hearing aid.

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The dude.

Using grant money, Frank Swain and Daniel Jones modified Swain’s hearing aid to turn wifi signals into audible tones. Then Swain walked around London, putting together a map of wifi signals.

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His story is fascinating, and you can read the rest At The Link!

Anti-Video-Game Hack Psychologist Proven Hack Psychologist

This guy:

Small pic! (They were all small pics. Seriously, I'm starting to think they'e life-sized, that his head really is the size of a postage stamp.)
Small pic! (All the pictures of him on the Internet were this small. I’m starting to think they’re actually life-sized, and his head really is the size of a postage stamp.)

Says video games turn children into driven, relentless killing machines! KILLING MACHINES!

“Not so fast!” Said The Guardian. “Not so fast.”

Long story short, he seems (allegedly, so I heard) to be a fraud.

Uproxx has all the gory details At The Link!

Diamonds Rain Down On Saturn

Blah, blah, blah methane, blah, blah, blah, lightning, blah, blah, blah carbon turns into diamond. 1,000 tons a year, that falls through the atmosphere of Saturn like rain.

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Then the writer mentions possible future X-Treem! sci-fi mining operations in the Saturnian atmosphere. Yes, sometime in the future (the writer suggests) it will be economical to fly a spaceship out to Saturn, grab a (literal) ton of diamonds, and cart it back to Earth to sell. Just one problem…

The writer appears to be wholly ignorant of the De Beers diamond cartel. Long story short: diamonds should cost as much as gravel, but the prices are kept artificially inflated by the monopoly. Ergo, it doesn’t matter how many diamonds rain down on Saturn, they’re all basically worthless.

And even if they were worth what De Beers charges, that’s a lot of metal to haul up a 1G gravity well, throw across the solar system, and set to catching falling diamonds in 100,000 atmospheres of pressure. That’s right: the pressure at that depth is 100,000 times that of Sea Level on Earth.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

It’s an interesting article anyway, if you ignore the writer’s ignorance of basic economics and astronomy. (You’ll also find out about a planet-size diamond, orbiting a neutron star. Good stuff.) Give it a read at Gizmodo.