The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (2/23)

Article-1359563-0D504E89000005DC-868_468x286 Scientists discover life can survive for billions of years of planets without a supporting star

It sounds like something that would be more suited to Star Wars than the Solar System.
But scientists in Chicago have calculated that life can cling on to a planet for billions of years without a star to provide a direct source of warmth. Research by astrophysicists Dorian Abbot and Eric Switzer from the city's university discovered that heat would come from the breakdown of radioactive elements inside the planet's core.

Earthquake_fault Google Person Finder Website Locates Those Affected by New Zealand Earthquake

Google's never been known for its design, but in this website's case, I don't think it's an issue. They set up the site within hours of New Zealand's 6.3-measuring earthquake, to help family and friends locate one another. Over 65 people are believed to have been killed by the Christchurch quake, and thousands more have been affected. Visitors to the site can either search for a person's name, or enter details about themselves. Over 5,100 people's records have been entered to date, according to the site. [Google Person Tracker via New Scientist]

Xlarge_castlecrop The Castle of Shadows, a 15th Century Virtual Reality Room

In 1420, Venetian engineer Giovanni Fontana proposed an elaborate mechanical room he dubbed the Castellum Umbrarum, or "castle of shadows." Sound awesome? It is. In a recent paper, French professor Philippe Codognet described it as "a room with walls made of folded translucent parchments lighted from behind, creating therefore an environment of moving images," adding that "Fontana also designed some kind of magic lantern to project on walls life-size images of devils or beasts." Codognet deems it an early ancestor of the immserive VR rooms, like StarCAVE, that are used today. Whatever. Da Vinci probably had one as his guest room.

Photoshop-planet-ring-outer-space-sky Hey, Capt Spock, What's the Time on Saturn?

Instead of tossing out his junk components, one man decided to make a clock with a difference: it tells the time on the various planets, not just Earth. So we now know the time on Jupiter, but the reason we'd want to know it is somewhere out there in the ether…Using a backlit LCD, 16-button keyboard and PIC16F877A microcontroller, the 16 timers can display the exact time on the planets. He can even set alarms, if he wants to wake up in Saturn's AM! But can he go back in time to a much cooler period of his life? I wonder. [Avtanksi via Dangerous Prototypes via Make]

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