"5 COOL THINGS" - weekly emails

5 Cool Things  😎
5 Cool Things:
04/09/21
Hi, this is Greg Powell. I hope you'll enjoy one or more of these interesting topics from the world of business and beyond. Dan Powell, my son and collaborator, has researched the articles and written the summaries, so this is not a boilerplate message. We'd like to give you a weekly break to learn about something cool or, better yet, 5 Cool Things.


Exclusive Look Inside the US Supersonic Presidential Jet (CNN)

Decades after the retirement of the legendary Concorde supersonic airliner, supersonic transport is making something of a comeback — on paper, anyway. With designs in the pipeline for commercial aircraft, the world learned last year that there are also supersonic concepts in the works for the US Presidential aircraft known as Air Force One. Exosonic, a California start-up under contract with the US government to develop such a jet, recently released photos of their design, which will seat 31 people in comfort as it travels at Mach 1.8. Exosonic even claims that the craft will be able to fly over land at such speeds without disturbing people on the ground thanks to a new “low-boom” design that cuts air resistance. The plane is expected to make its first flight sometime in the mid-2030s. Read more…


How Fit Can You Get From Just Walking? (GQ)

So you want to get fitter, but you don’t want to work too hard. Now, there's an answer to a question you may have considered but never researched: How fit can you get just by walking? According to fitness experts, the walker’s physique will be, unfortunately, somewhat lackluster. "If you do cardio and you have a pear-shaped body, all that you can expect is to become a smaller pear,” says one. But walking has the advantage of being something that most people can take up quite easily. And, at a recommended 10,000 steps per “workout,” the consensus holds that you will definitely see some results — even if it’s not the fastest. "Walking is something you're completely capable of starting right now…it sounds cheesy to say changing your life is that simple, but this definitely changed mine." Read more…


Muons: 'Strong' Evidence Found for a New Force of Nature (BBC News)

Gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak atomic forces: these are the four fundamental forces of nature known by modern science. But according to physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory outside of Chicago, they might soon be joined by a fifth. Muons, which are fundamental particles like electrons or protons but larger, were accelerated by the team using a particle accelerator and measured as a magnetic field. Surprisingly, the muons wobbled more than expected --- meaning that their behavior defies the known laws of nature. There’s a 1:40,000 chance that the results of the experiment are a fluke. If not, however, scientists will investigate further to see what additional effects this muon force might have on reality as we know it. Read more…


Growing California Almonds Takes More than Half of US Honeybees (ABC News)
Almonds are an increasingly popular food that’s mostly produced in California’s fertile Central Valley. In order to keep supply flowing, farmers need help pollinating the almond plants’ white flowers — lots of help. So they rent bees. Truckloads of honey bees — 112 palates to a flatbed — make their way each year from America’s heartland to the California farms, moving throughout the day to keep the hives cool. In all, 70 percent of the world’s crops depend on bees to produce, highlighting the critical role of these tiny creatures and the importance of keeping them healthy. With over 40 percent of colonies lost between 2015 and 2016 to factors like insecticides and climate change, it’s a challenge that should concern us all. Read more…


NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter Survives First Night Alone on Mars (RFI)

Landing on Mars was the easy part. Now, NASA engineers in charge of the Perseverance rover are working to prepare the craft’s helicopter, dubbed Ingenuity, for its first flight. Last Saturday, the aircraft detached from the rover and weathered the Martian night on its own, its delicate instruments braving the frigid atmosphere under their own battery power. By April 11, the craft is expected to take flight, which will represent the first time that an aircraft has made a powered, controlled flight on another planet. Ingenuity is paving the way for the future of space exploration because, at a fraction of the weight, they can travel much faster and farther than rovers. In recognition of its pioneering status, the flying machine carries a small piece of cloth from the star of another daring mission — the Wright Brothers’ first aircraft, which took to the skies at Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903. Read more…

 

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            - Greg
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