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Evan Ackerman

administrator, editor, writer

Evan Ackerman is a native Oregonian who now lives, somewhat unwillingly, in San Francisco. He has a background in creative writing and astrogeology, neither of which are necessarily appropriate for someone who is now a full-time blogger. Evan also writes for IEEE Spectrum's robotics blog, and when he's not parked at his computer with his eyes glazed over, you can find him getting injured on a soccer field or playing bagpipes excellently.

 
The Chernobyl #4 reactor has been sort of contained by a leaky and unstable "sarcophagus" since shortly after its meltdown 25 years ago today. As a more permanent solution to the problem, an international effort will place a gigantic steel arch over the site to seal it off, with three robot cranes inside to help clean up the mess.
 
The European Commission has approved the construction of three gigantic new research lasers, with the option for a fourth that would, for an instant, be several hundred times more powerful than the entirety of the power generated by our civilization. The hope is that this will be enough energy to actually conjure virtual particles out of nothingness.
 
It's Easter, which means that Cadbury Creme Eggs are sacrificing themselves to small children and thieving adults everywhere. But a few of those eggs have been chosen to be an integral part of some questionably valuable scientific experiments, and so if you ever wanted to know how many gravities of deceleration a Cadbury Egg can withstand, now's your chance.
 
When I was in college, Greyhound was a necessary evil. Generally, I just sucked it up and suffered through the three hour trip from Maine to Boston (where the girls were), but it was pretty miserable. Japan, though, has managed to turn bus travel into what looks like first-class air travel, with extreme luxury seat modules that they call cocoons.
 
There's a physical limit to the number of magnetic bits that you can stuff onto a given area on a traditional hard drive, and we're pretty close to it right now. For hard drives to get bigger without getting, you know, bigger, we're going to have to get creative, and one research team has done this by taking hard drives into the third dimension.

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