So many things are happening today. Some changes today will affect the world for a long time. A really good thing is the uptick of wind as a source of power in the world.
The good news is that the amount of wind-generated power is up 50% in the U.S. since last year. The bad news is that we are falling behind ‘that backward country’ China, who grew its wind energy supply by 200%, over the same time period.
Elsewhere, an element that is nowhere near the transuranium series in the Periodic Table of Elements is providing many new surprises for scientists. Boron is amazing in many ways, one simply being that, in combination with nitrogen, can form boron nitride, and a substance that is, by virtue of its bonding structure, as hard as diamonds! That’s not new. New forms of pure boron are now being studied, to the amazement of many. That B is a non-metal, but is showing it is unique in its own right!
Image showing the structure of the new phase of boron, gamma-B.
This looks like something from a video game or the construct of a child, but its the structure of a new solid arrangement of pure boron.
Boron, atomic number five, has an interesting back story. “Discovered” as an element in 1808, this new “element” turned out to be a compound that contained less than 70 percent boron. Pure (greater than two nines) boron was not actually described for over 100 years. While the scientific world has been aware of its existence in some form for over 200 years, we’ve had a hard time figuring out precisely what we’re looking at. There are 16 different forms of the element that can exist at room temperature and pressure, and scientists have now identified a seventeenth.
Boron is what’s called a frustrated material—one that is trapped between equilibrium states and cannot really move without energetic input. Boron lies between the metals and non-metals on the periodic table. Its electron structure has only three valence (outer) electrons, which would suggest it to be metallic, but their charges are quite localized, which leads to insulating behavior. Minor changes in the pressure, temperature, and composition of a boron alloy can greatly affect its metallic/non-metallic properties.
from Ars Technica
Next, we find that the Congress finally got out of its rut and passed something today. The bill to delay the DTV transition lunacy was passed.
By a vote of 264 – 158 at 4:12 pm ET, with official time to vote having been closed, it appears Congress has moved to extend the transition date for the DTV transition to June 12.
The story on Betanews tells us that there is finally something the legislators weren’t afraid to vote on. Perhaps this is a warm up for the economic package. Maybe not, but it might be a start of the Republicans pulling their collective heads out.
Does anyone really care about UAC?
Another place labors over the question, “Is UAC broken in Windows 7 beta?” Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not. In the same vein of that question, I ask “Does anyone care at all?” It’s clear that Microsoft does not, It’s clear that Microsoft cares little about anything other than its own profit margins, having let people go, right after announcing profitability for the last year.
Food for thought. Gorge yourself.