Fan-diddly-damn-tastic! The whirly-twirly-leapy-flippy world of nonce words – terms coined for a single occasion that don’t catch on at all. — Good

Fungus Opera. Nicholas Money, an expert on fungi at Miami University, has been playing around with very fast video. Ultra fast. As in 250,000 frames-a-second fast. He knew exactly what this kind of video was made for. To film fungi that live on dung as they discharge their spores. Money’s results were not just significant, but beautiful. The fungi fire their spores up to 55 miles an hour–which translates to an acceleration of 180,000 g. Money calls it “the fastest flight in nature.” Click through to watch the video set to the Anvil Chorus from Il Travatore — The Loom [via 3QuarksDaily]

‘Space elevator’ to take mankind into orbit. A new space race is officially under way, and this one should have the sci-fi geeks salivating. A conference discussing developments in space elevator concepts is being held in Japan in November… A cable anchored to the Earth’s surface, reaching tens of thousands of kilometers into space, balanced with a counterweight attached at the other end is the basic design for the elevator. It is thought that inertia — the physics theory stating that matter retains its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force — will cause the cable to stay stretched taut, allowing the elevator to sit in geostationary orbit. — CNN

Alaska v Hawaii. The Republicans are working hard to pitch Sarah Palin as “authentically” American. Slate asks where this authenticity come from, and why is Barack Obama’s childhood in Hawaii viewed so differently? — Slate

Peter Fray

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