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Evan Ackerman

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.

 
30 years ago today, Xerox launched what's generally considered to be the world's first commercially available computer mouse. Arguably, the mouse ushered in the era of personal computing, since it made it easy and intuitive for people without computer experience to click around and get stuff done. That 30 year old mouse is very different from what we're used to nowadays, though, and here's a look back at how mousing technology has evolved, from bowling balls of the past to mind control of the future.
 
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.

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