Ceres close up


Ceres was the first dwarf planet discovered, long before Pluto was found, and it’s the largest body between the sun and pluto that a spacecraft has not yet visited.  Dawn gets closer to Ceres every day, bringing us NEWWorthy — close up — images of the dwarf planet.  Already, scientists are pondering many questions, such as what is causing the mysterious bright spot(s) in the image of Ceres.

OLDWorthy Mail trucks and NEWWorthy Deliverbots

Mail trucks in the United States are OLDWorthy.  The Wall Street Journal says that “It’s Time to Retire the Old Mail Truck” and get replacement vehicles.

I wonder if they will keep the boxy shape we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing?  On the other hand, it might not be long before consideration should be given to Deliverbots — self-driving delivery robots.

Weight of Awards

Awards are OLDWorthy.  Yet if you search on awards for literature, art, or entertainment, you might get the impression that they are not all that old.  Most awards mentioned started in the late 1800’s — such as the Nobel Prize — and later.  The Academy Awards started in the 1920’s.  So while it is obvious that people have probably given other people some kind of prize or award throughout history, most modern award lore on the internet is typically about the last 100 years or so.

That said, I was curious how much each major award weighs.  I mean, have you watched people win an Oscar and tightly grip it so they would not drop it?  It’s pretty heavy.  So, in honor of the recent awards season,  here are some of the weights I found.

Oscar is 8.5 pounds according to Wikipedia.

Golden Globe is 5.5 pounds according to CBS News.

Emmy is 6 pounds 12.5 ounces (or about 6.8 pounds) according to Wikipedia.

The Grammy is 4 pounds 6.4 ounces (or about 4.4 pounds) according to Country Hound.

According to Playbill, the Tony is 3.5 pounds as of 2010, unless it has changed since then.  Before 2010 it was only 1.5 pounds.

The Nobel Prize Medal averages about .386 pounds, according to Wikipedia.

NEWWorthy deep drill for planetary exploration

The Planetary Society talks about a new deep drill developed by Honeybee Robotics.  According to the Planetary Society website, “…field tests, which could happen in February or March of 2015, aim to send Planetary Deep Drill 100 feet beneath the surface.”  That’s a NEWWorthy and impressive planetary exploration machine!

Are countries poor due to corruption?

MIT Technology Review wrote about “…the first study that links corruption with wealth.”  The researchers at Charles University in Prague have found a correlation between corruption and wealth.  Less clear, however, is whether some countries are poor “because they are corrupt or corrupt because they are poor?”

Viruses and non-coding RNAs

The Scientist reports that new understandings of non-coding RNAs may help us to understand how “viruses orchestrate lifelong infections.”  You’ve probably heard of probiotics for management of gut bacteria, but have you heard of provirotics?  If this research goes in the direction it seems to be headed, you may be hearing more about provirotics soon.

Below is a talk by Dr. Joan Steitz last year that introduces the subject of non-coding RNA in relation to viruses.

Germanium circuits are OLDWorthy & NEWWorthy

According to MIT Technology Review recently, germanium may be the next great chip material.  Interestingly, and oddly, the first transistor — created in 1947 at Bell Labs — was made from germanium.  That makes germanium both OLDWorthy and NEWWorthy.  By the way, germanium is produced mostly in China, Russia, and the U.S.

By now, many of you already know the elements song: “There’s antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium,  And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium,  And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium…