Ford Gyron Concept Car
“The Ford Gyron was a two-wheeled gyrocar first shown in 1961 as a concept car. One wheel was at the front and the other at the rear like a motorcycle and the car was stabilized by gyroscopes. When the vehicle was stationary, two small legs appeared from the sides to support it!”
Dali by Philippe Halsman
About a month ago you asked if you could have a “circle mohawk” again. I told you to think about it because you’ve been growing your hair out for so long and I didn’t want you to regret it. On Sunday night I told you I had a hair appointment with Allison the next day. You asked if you could get your hair cut like that again, but you were laying down for bed and not supposed to be talking so I ignored you. The next day you asked twice, so I finally said I didn’t care and that you look beautiful whatever you decide. The last time your hair was like this you weren’t in school yet, I was so nervous about kids being cruel. I walked you to school on Tuesday morning and stayed awhile to make sure everything was going to go smoothly, which it did. When I picked you up you said, “Olivia liked my hair. She said she didn’t want her hair like this, but she liked mine like this. And we’re still friends. That’ just like how I don’t want to have purple hair like Allison, but I love Allison’s purple hair. You don’t have to have all the same stuff as your friends.” Wise beyond your years, baby child. I’m so proud of you and how you have the courage to be exactly who you want to be, despite any other outside influences. While we’re on the topic of gender, when I was at parent teacher conferences a few months ago a mom of this little boy approached me. She told me how he wanted to paint his nails and go to school. She let him. When he came home he said, “Scarlet loved my nails, Mom!” I’ve never been so proud.
THESE ALWAYS MAKE ME CRY
Blink and you’ve missed it. Researchers in the US have captured the world’s first X-ray images of lightning, by creating a special camera that can capture radiation at 10 million frames per second. They presented their new findings at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco and they say that this new view of lightning could help to solve some of the mysteries of this spectacular natural phenomenon.
The research was carried out at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing, located in Florida. It is one of the few sites in world where lightning is initiated and studied under controlled conditions. By firing rockets with trailing wires into thunder clouds, scientists are able to generate electric fields that are large enough to trigger bolts of lightning, which then propagate back down towards the rocket launch tower.
Joseph Dwyer and colleagues at the Florida Institute of Technology became interested in the fact that lightning emits X-rays as it propagates through the air, a phenomenon that was only noted in the past decade. But given that X-ray sources in lightning travel through the Earth’s atmosphere at velocities approaching the speed of light, it is difficult to catch them on camera before they disappear. In addition, they cannot be imaged with standard mirrors and lenses because huge amounts of material are required to prevent X-rays and gamma rays from entering through the sides of a camera.
Dwyer’s team has created a customized camera that has 30 detectors made from a combination of sodium iodide and photomultiplier tubes, each measuring 3 × 3 inch. The device, which is approximately the size of a standard refrigerator, is also equipped with a 3 inch pinhole aperture, and can record X-rays at 10 million frames per second. “This is actually a very old technique for making images, like that seen in a camera obscura,” Dwyer says.
During July and August this year, Dwyer’s team studied four rocket-triggered lightning flashes at the Florida test site. Each flash lasted for approximately two seconds and the resulting sequences of images revealed that X-rays emerged primarily from the vicinity of the lightning tip as it propagated towards the Earth. As the lightning crashed into the control tower it also triggered large bursts of gamma radiation, which were also captured by the camera.
“For the first time we’re catching a glimpse of lightning in the X-ray emission,” says Dwyer. “We’re seeing lightning as Superman would see it with his X-ray vision”.
Credit: James Dacey/physicsworld.com