Saturday, September 1, 2018

Gathered Up

-- A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I find myself disagreeing with economist Tyler Cowen about a lot of things, even though I liked the idea behind his new book and what he was going to do with the proceeds. He's helpfully offered some evidence as to why I give some of his opinions the short end of the shrift.

-- The Lego people claimed that you could build anything with their Lego Technic bricks. In order to prove it, they built a Bugatti Chiron using more than a million of the little plastic late-night carpet caltrops. More than that, they put a bunch of Lego motors in it to power it (top speed: 18 mph) and batteries to power its lights. As you can see at the link they had someone actually test drive it. The Lego version of the Chiron does tip the scales at about 700 pounds less than its metallic counterpart, but engineers had no idea of how safe it might actually be. After spending more than 13,000 work-hours building it, no one had the heart to crash it into anything.

-- A drifting planet a dozen times as large as Jupiter has been spotted drifting through space about 20 light years from our solar system. Although it's drawn scientific attention because of its unusual aurorae, it doesn't look like we're in for a real-life version of When Worlds Collide any time soon, since this potential visitor does not have its own star. Nor, comparing its name of SIMP J01365663 +0933473 to that story's "Zyra," does it sound much like a place to check out for a vacation.

No comments: