Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weird News - From Axolotl and Paper Batteries to Robbie Williams

I was thinking what to blog about tonight, one of the Christmas Stories or perhaps some attempt at a witty comment or even about how the new book is "not" going, when I realized I had not done a "Weird News" spot for a while. So here's a couple of items of interest... well perhaps to some of you.

This is an "Axolotl" (there's a good score in Scrabble for you) sometimes called "The amphibian that never grew up". The axolotl is a type of salamander that uniquely spends its whole life in its larval form. Its odd lifestyle, features and ability to regenerate body parts make it a popular animal kept in labs, schools and as pets.

But in the wild, the future is bleak for this "Peter Pan" of animals. Now a new survey work suggests that fewer than 1,200 Mexican axolotls remain in its last stronghold, the Xochimilco area of central Mexico.

Ex "Take That" and star performer Robbie Williams created quite a stir at the end of a recent appearance on an Australian radio show. The show host thought it was a joke when on the air Williams asked asked actress Ayda Field to be his "betrothed for the end of time". However Robbie's mother, Jan Williams told BBC Radio 5 live that her son had revealed his proposal plans to her "a week ago".

She said she was "really pleased" for the couple, adding: "I've always wanted a daughter-in-law.

Finally something that could make a huge change in the way we live, work and even drive.

A team of researchers at Stanford University have come up with a Battery made from paper.
Made from plain copier paper could make for future energy storage that is truly paper thin.

The work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to "paintable" energy storage.

Because of its structure of millions of tiny, interconnected fibers, paper is a good candidate to hold on to carbon nanotubes, providing a scaffold on which to build devices.

However, paper is also mechanically tough, and can be bent, curled or folded, more than the metal or plastic surfaces that are currently used or under development.

The paper acts to collect the electric charge from the reaction. Using paper in this way could reduce the weight of batteries, typically made with metal current collectors, by 20%.

The team's batteries are also capable of releasing their stored energy quickly. That is a valuable characteristic for applications that need quick bursts of energy, such as electric vehicles - although the team has no immediate plans to develop vehicle batteries.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book

1 comment:

  1. That axolotl is really cute! I don't know how you come up with such unique things to blog about.

    Morgan Mandel