Link roundup for 22 May, 2010: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Nynorsk, giant liquid telescopes, parallax, etc.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time to get rid of some tabs that have been open for a long while but have never been turned into full-fledged posts. Here goes:

An article here in Norwegian on how Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (Norwegian writer, composer of the national anthem) hated Nynorsk. The director of the språkrådet thinks Nynorsk would have been in a much stronger position today if it wasn't for him.

Giant liquid telescopes: apparently the two methods whereby a liquid telescope could be tilted a bit would be either through a fake tilt simply involving moving the collecting area to a different spot (effectively reducing the size of the collecting area but still not too bad a technique), as well as using magnets (and probably a more viscous liquid too) to actually tilt it.

On parallax, one of the first benefits in an interstellar mission as it speeds away from the Solar System. In essence, the farther away a mission is the more accurate our estimates of the distance, location etc. to other stars become.

Robot blimps on other worlds - comparing the challenges involved in sending a blimp to Venus, Titan, and Mars. One on Venus would be easy to fly and the only issue would be avoiding corrosion and the high wind speeds, on Titan it would need to be protected against the extreme cold, and on Mars with the thin atmosphere you'd need a much larger blimp, and even then it would only be able to carry a much smaller payload than the others.

High speed rail in Canada and the United States, and the irony of a high-speed rail company (Bombardier) being located in a country that doesn't have it.

This person doesn't like French immersion, in a largely fact-free op-ed.

Offshore energy in the UK could result in the equivalent of a billion barrels of oil annually, matching that produced in the North Sea.

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