This is the time of year when everyone is doing the “The best of 2021… whatever” list. I shall admit I dive down rabbit holes too easily. I thought I might take a few minutes to share some of the ones I found interesting, entertaining, and fascinating. This post is going to focus on science-related stuff. I wouldn’t consider this a “top ten” or such, just stuff I stumbled on.
- Closer to a Fusion Future – Fusion creates lots of clean energy. The problem is that it takes a lot of energy to get it going. At present, we actually can produce fusion energy. The issue is we spend more with the ignition process than we get back. We are currently at 70% efficiency.
- We have written about it, theorized about it, and even done movies so themed. Seems we may have now actually observed a black hole swallow a star. According to the article at Science News, the star went out in a blazing explosion but, alas, all that remained was a black hole.
- We have also observed something coming out of a black hole.
- Of course, we must mention that the oldest man ever launched is also a very old skewl fictional spaceman but nobody even cares, just kewl.
- We did launch the James Webb, on Christmas even.
- In the interests of “stranger than fiction”, it seems like potty training cows might help with greenhouse gas and making fertilizer. Smells like bull shit to me.
- Perhaps one of the most optimistic finds is that shark antibody-like proteins may prevent COVID infections in humans.
- We have flown through the atmosphere of the sun. I wonder how Prometheus feels about that?
- Dinosaurs are just weird, feathered, flight, like what next? The Monkeydactyl not only flies but is the oldest known record of opposable thumbs! It dates back 160 million years.
- Kudos to two younger folks; 17-year-old Wolf Cukier discovered a new planet (with two suns!) on day three of his NASA internship and Nicole Oliveira of Alagoas, age 8, has discovered 7 asteroids in her life.
Thanks for reading, feel free to share interesting stuff you found in 2021 with a comment. Hope you all have a great new year.