truly a site unseen

Archive for June 2009

Keeping skyscrapers visible

Now this is ingenious. The same kind of technology that makes invisibility cloaks work, sort of, can protect buildings in earthquakes:

The new theoretical cloak comprises a number of large, concentric rings made of plastic fixed to the Earth’s surface. The stiffness and elasticity of the rings must be precisely controlled to ensure that any surface waves pass smoothly into the material, rather than reflecting or scattering at the material’s surface.

When waves travel through the cloak they are compressed into tiny fluctuations in pressure and density that travel along the fastest path available. By tuning the cloak’s properties, that path can be made to be an arc that directs surface waves away from an area inside the cloak. When the waves exit the cloak, they return to their previous, larger size.

The same way our prototype cloaking devices divert light away from the object to be cloaked. I am impressed.

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Green-eyed lady, ocean lady

Mister Doe sent this one to me, and it’s one of the better examples of “in certain circumstances”: the narrator is totally unable to see anyone with green eyes. Unfortunately, this included his mother, who died when he was ten.

It’s a little rough around the edges, but it gets the tone and the dynamics right.

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Onward and upward

You’re looking at WordPress 2.8. If it looks funny, or if you can’t see it at all, then I’ve got problems.

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