Don’t trust hurricane intensity models?

Dr. Jeff Masters, on the WunderBlog, says “The National Hurricane Center (NHC) set a new record in 2012 for accuracy of their 1, 2, 3, and 4-day Atlantic tropical cyclone track forecasts, but had almost no skill making intensity forecasts”.

Below is a NASA video on the subject of hurricane intensity prediction.

New optical force

MIT Technology Review blog reports on a new optical Bernoulli force and asks what this new force might be used for.  I had one idea. With some way to magnify the force, it might be possible someday to use a light beam to impart additional spin on a plastic ball — such as in a game of ping pong.  Take a look at the article to see what other cool ideas readers have proposed.

First computer with built-in Leap Motion gesture control

According to CNet, the HP Envy 17 Leap Motion Special Edition laptop will be the first computer with Leap Motion gesture control built-in.  Useful?  That depends.  CNet says that Leap Motion requires enough power that you will often have to leave your laptop plugged in.  But is it neat technology?  Absolutely!

Ig Nobel award in 2013 for cow research

In 2013, cow research received an Ig Nobel award.  Ig Nobel awards are given for research that first makes you laugh and then makes you think.  The research attempted to answer the following questions.

Are cows more likely to stand up the longer they lie down?

Are cows more likely to lie down the longer they stand?

One thing we know for sure.  At some ponit, cows do lie down.

Jurassic Park not possible?

According to The Scientist magazine, “Researchers find that extracting dinosaur DNA from insects embedded in ancient amber is likely impossible.”

Likely or not, Jurassic Park is fun science fiction.  Even if you can’t get dino-DNA from insects trapped in amber, there might be some other way to get it.  But why would you want to unleash creatures into the wild that are so incredibly dangerous to humans?  Just take a look at the “Jurassic World” (next movie in the Jurassic Park series) teaser trailer below.  I can’t confirm that this is an authentic teaser trailer, but I think it gets my point across.

Wireless charging from 30 feet away?

Techcrunch reports on a new prototype technology, Cota, from Ossia which claims wireless charging from 30 feet away through doors and walls.  Since the Cota delivers about 1 watt, according to Computerworld that’s only about one third what the device would get via a USB connection.  Charging with the Cota may eventually be more convenient than other means, but it could also possibly be more expensive.

New approaches to early diagnosis

According to Medical News Today, scientists at Georgia State University in Atlanta and the University of Cincinnati “launched research on a fundamentally new approach for diagnosing flu and other viral disease…Their vision is for a package similar to a strep throat or pregnancy test that gives an easy-to-read color change.”

On a related note, Lockheed Corp. asks “What if wearing a small patch on your arm enabled the detection of an oncoming cold, allowing for treatment to deter the onset of symptoms?”  Lockheed is experimenting with nanotechnology to attempt to make this happen.  See more below.

Clearwater Beach’s Chalk Walk Festival, Oct. 25-27, 2013

The second Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival.  Okay, it’s not totally NEWWorthy, since it is the second festival and not the first.  But this is the first time we’ve reported on our local Clearwater Chalk Walk, and the results (see below for last year’s event) look pretty neat.