Thursday, March 17, 2005

Updates: Dreaming the Future, Graphics & Fish

Well, here it goes! An update atlast :-) Dreaming the future Am _really_ happy at the way technology is coming around lately. Just the other day scientists at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory had a fireball in the laboratory. These are folks who basically smash together beams of gold nuclei at near-light speeds, so this isn't a big thing in itself. Except that physicists believe that the core of the fireball has a striking similarity to an artificially created blackhole. Ofcourse, the reason they believe this is because particle were disappearing into the core and reappearing as thermal radiation, similar to how matter getting into a typical blackhole is supposed to generate "Hawking Radiation". And in the unlikely case that you're scared about Earth getting sucked into a teeny little grain (which I don't think is a particularly bad thing, but then I digress), the good news is that at those sizes gravity is not the dominant force. But that would be fun, wouldn't it? Like this dude said -

Played to the Galactic Darwin Awards audience: "World-wide catastrophe, *phfff*, don't be ridicu...
Oh yeah. That's rich alright. That done, today I read that researchers at the University of Bath are creating self-replicating rapid prototyping machines. Now, that is something extremely cool. And this is quite reminiscent of the Universal Constructor proposed by von Newmann. Wow! Now the only thing to do is to ensure that these things get built! All that we need to wrap all this up is some really cool sources of energy. If any of you are fans of Stargate, you might have heard of ZPMs or Zero Point Modules, which supposedly use Zero Point Energy & Vacuum Energy to provide for an almost infinite source of energy. While this is largely science fiction, I've been looking at ways of designing a simple ZPM. Ofcourse, the design is largely in its infancy and the document is still under construction, but I promise to post it once its done.
Graphics In other news, I've started working with the eminent Professor Jarek Rossignac on some graphics related projects, particularly the editing of graphical structures.
And it feels _good_ to get back into graphics after so long! Should be fun, should be fun, should be fun. Tra la la! Fish So now, how can I put this subtly? I can't. I'll try anyway. Okay, my buddy and lab-mate Lorenzo decided to buy some _fish_ for the lab. Now I do know that Markus Haas in the Augmented Reality Lab has an Aquarium (he was also my TA for that ARD class). So, now Lorenzo has one too. I do not know if that is weird in itself, but what spooked me was that he named the poor gold fish Photon. I personally consider that an act of cruelty. But considering that the poor thing only has a memory of 3 seconds, it probably doesn't matter. It probably goes, "Hey lookiee! Castle... wowee! Heyyyy lookie, food! Hey lookie! Another castle. Wow, I'm having such a swell day". Or something like that. He wanted to get another one, I suggested that he name it Torpedo. That way, with all the Star Trek DVDs, posters and the fish, we'd feel right at home. But no, his wonderfully imaginative mind decided to name it Fish. I'm _not_ kidding you guys - he's gonna call the damn thing Fish. Wow, that's original. At this moment, all I can do is thank God that I'm not a gold fish. Particularly Lorenzo's gold fish. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see what he names his kids. That should be fun.