Friday, May 11, 2012

Dead Babies and Teleportation (Link Round-Up 5/11/12)

[via BuzzFeed]

The train is late? Blame Chicago.
Some of the causes of delay might have seemed outdated in the 20th century, much less the 21st, like manual switches that engineers have to throw after their trains have passed. Create is replacing them with electronic switches and online traffic control networks, but until then engineers at some points have to get out of their cabins, walk the length of the train back to the switch — a mile or more — operate the switch, and then trudge back to their place at the head of the train before setting out again.
South Korea finds ship smuggling capsules of human flesh
The capsules were made in northeastern China from dead babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, a statement from the Korea Customs Service said.

Customs officials refused to disclose where the babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing. Chinese officials have been cracking down on the production of such capsules since last year.
Chinese physicists set 100 km teleportation record
Teleportation turns out to be extremely useful. Because teleported information does not travel through the intervening space, it cannot be secretly accessed by an eavesdropper.

For that reason, teleportation is the enabling technology behind quantum cryptography, a way of sending information with close-to-perfect secrecy.
Mayan calendar found that lasts beyond 2012
Explorers first reported the site of Xultun, once a large Maya center, in 1915. But it was only two years ago that National Geographic Society-funded archaeologists noted a small residential room partly exposed by looters. The room's walls proved to hold murals and small, delicate hieroglyphs inscribed in rows between paintings of scribes and rulers that not only corresponded to a 260 day ceremonial calendar and 365-day year, but the 584-day sky track of Venus and 780-day one of Mars.
Goodbye, Senate moderates
Mann said that in the highly politicized and polarized world of government service, within both the executive branch and on Capitol Hill, “It’s going to be difficult to find successors in both branches that will make the kind of commitments to learning, to appreciate the institution of which they are part.”

“I just don’t see much of that around anymore,” he said.

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